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[Chapter Twenty-Four] Liam

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            Stay with me, baby stay with me,
                 Tonight don't leave me alone.
           She shows me everything she used to know,
                 Picture frames and country roads,
          When the days were long and the world was small.

                 She stood by as it fell apart,
                     Separate rooms and broken hearts,
                          But I won't be the one to let you go.

                 Oh, I'm not sure what this is gonna be,
           But with my eyes closed all I see
                 Is the skyline, through the window,
           The moon above you and the streets below.
                 Hold my breath as you're moving in,
           Taste your lips and feel your skin.
When the time comes, baby don't run, just kiss me slowly.


Chapter Twenty-Four- Liam

Listening to her tell me about what happened to her was hard, I never thought that what she went through would be that bad, and as bad as it sounds, when she told me that she didn't do the cuts to herself I thought it was just a reflex to say that.

I didn't know her too well then and we didn't have the honesty like we do now, so I was thinking that she did in fact lie to me about it.

I felt anger towards this guy who felt the need to lay a harmful hand on a woman, if I thought the anger I felt towards Jack was bad, this guy went above and beyond that. What he did to her, without even hearing the details, was torture.

It's no wonder she didn't want to be touched, she had every right to shut down like she did and I was terrified on what would happen when she went back home.

She curled up against my side and I relaxed slightly, I loved this feeling with her. At midday it was getting extremely hot.

"Do you want to head to the pond closer to home? It's getting hot and the shade would be better." I told her and she agreed we got up and headed back to the horses.

We raced to the pond, i slowed down so she could keep up and i wasn't leaving her behind. The only sounds you could hear were the wind racing by and the sounds of our laughter

When we got close we slowed down so Hadley and Connelly could walk side by side, and when we got to the pond we grabbed the food and settled a blanket on the ground for a picnic.

We both started pulling food out and settled down. She put together the sandwiches' while I pulled the rest out; we forgot plates so we just ate out of the containers, which she didn't mind, so it was fine. We just had to share.

 "So how do you like it down here?" I asked

"I love it, it's warm and I don't have to hear cars and read about shootings and other crimes. It's peaceful." She concluded and I nodded

"Yeah, it's a different way here, for the most part." I said thinking back to Jack, not as different as I thought though. Granted there is less crime by far, but still. That was a real wake up call for me.

"I like it." she said and we ate with only small talk as conversation, I didn't know what to talk to her about, I really didn't know much about her and was too afraid to bring some of the most normal of things up, I never know what's going to bring up bad memories or upset her.

"What was your favorite subject in school?" I asked

"ASL, it was one of two subjects I got to choose in school." Okay, not as safe as I was thinking it would be, but I had no clue what to talk about that wouldn't go back to her parents or ex.

"Okay, if you could travel anywhere where would it be?" I thought

"Italy." She said instantly.

"Why Italy?"

"I love the food and have always wanted to go explore Europe, and it's just a place I want to see, I don't know. I've wanted to go there my whole life."

"Have you got out of country?" I wondered

"Of course. I've been to Canada, Mexico, and I've actually been to a few places in Europe, and then the tropics mostly. All family vacations with clients." She concluded

"Seems like a lot."

"Yeah, and it's not as great as it sounds, if I were with anyone else, it would have been nice, but there with my parents was just not fun."

I found myself nodding again, I never quite knew what to say to her a lot of the times, I knew her better but not well enough to know when things are upsetting her or not. I didn't want to upset her, but sometimes it was impossible not to.

I tried to just get to know her with small questions; favorite color, favorite food, favorite band, song, movie types and movies; The small and basic things that make up a person, and then when we ran out of things like that to talk about, we sat up and looked at the clouds.

A game I will never get tired of is looking up at them and trying to make sense of what they are; a heart, a vase, flowers, a baby carriage, alien, or making a blob into a Christmas tree. The game was limitless as long as you had an imagination for it.

Addie and I argued about what they could be, when I saw a fish she saw a pineapple and then we had to debate who the one who was right was, it was almost like seeing a completely normal girl who grew up with loving parents and didn't have a horrible childhood.

She was currently beside me cracking up laughing about something I had said, and seeing her like this, I didn't actually remember what it was, I was just glad that I said it. She was laying on her back with me beside her as we both just laughed.

She finally calmed down enough and turned to face me again but from all her moving around she was closer than before. Our bodies were nearly touching, just a whisper away from each other now. She was looking up into my eyes and I watched her laughter turn into a big smile and then a smaller one when she noticed how close we were.

She was so close to me, and I couldn't believe how much has changed with us.

"Addie." I whispered to her and she bit her lip, nervous now. Hell I was nervous too, because I knew what I wanted to do. But with knowing her past a bit more, it was hard to risk it, but I felt like I wanted to, needed to. I put a hand on hers and moved it slowly up her arm, when my hand got to her face I brushed her hair back and put my hand on her cheek.

My fingers were on the side of her head, partially the back, and my thumb brushed against her cheek now. I felt like I was holding my breath, waiting for her to freak out and push me away at the more intimate contact.

We both knew that this wasn't just purely friendly, she knew what I wanted to do, and she wasn't pulling away. I leaned in slowly, so slowly I didn't feel like I was moving at all. I gave her time to stop me, to push me away, to tell me not to.

Any sign that she didn't want me to do this, and I would have stopped in an instant, but she didn't give me anything. When I got closer her eyes widened slightly, but the closer I got the more her eyes seemed to droop shut. When I was just a breath away her eyes fully closed and I closed mine too as I closed the last of the space and gently met my lips with hers.

And the best part was that she kissed me back.

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