Chapter 25

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A/N: I AM SO SO SO SO SO SORRY FOR NOT UPDATING FOR SO LONG! It was the holidays, and there was family drama and just ugh, I'm still a jerk for not updating. Please enjoy this chapter though, I'm back on a regular updating schedule now! Love you all!

LIAM'S POV

I woke up the next morning a very happy man. Carter's head was laying on my chest, her arm draped across my stomach. Her short hair was messy and covering her makeup free face and I just couldn't stop staring. 

Carter was by no means perfect, but she was still beautiful. She might not be as skinny as the models on the telly, and her skin isn't perfectly clear, but that just makes her so much more real to me. And realness is something I don't take for granted.

I took in a deep breath and looked out the window in her old room, blinking when the light hit my eyes. It was obviously very early, the sun just coming up, but I've always been an early riser. 

Very slowly, I eased my way out from underneath Carter, pulling one of her pillows out from under me and setting it beside her to cuddle up to in my absence. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing when she mumbled something and wrapped both her arms around the pillow as I stood up. I was only in boxars and a tshirt, so I grabbed some jeans and a sweater, pulling them on as quietly as I could. 

Before I walked out of the room though, I leaned back over Carter's bed and very gently pressed my lips to her forehead, pulling back and swiping the hair away from her face. She looked so peaceful, so calm. 

For fuck's sake man you're so whipped.

Well yeah so what if I'm whipped? Not to be cocky, but Carter needs me. And I need her. There's no other way to put it.

I tore myself away from Carter and quietly left her room. As I walked down the hallway, I noticed that her little brother's bedroom door was open, he must already be up. Which means their mum must be up as well. Great. Because she is such a fan of me.

As I made my way down the stairs, I couldn't help but linger, looking at the pictures along the wall. There were family photos of a much younger, long haired Carter holding her brother when he was a toddler. There were also pictures of Rebecca and who I assumed was Carter's dad, Charlie. Carter certainly resembled him, especially their eyes. One picture in particular though I kept staring at, it was Carter's father holding her up on his shoulders in front of a Christmas tree. She couldn't have been but maybe five or six years old, a front tooth missing as she grinned widely, adorning a Christmas onesie. It was adorable.

And even though it was a stupid way to feel, I couldn't help but be jealous. My dad never held me up on his shoulders, I've never had family photos except for when some business magazine comes to interview us, and I certainly never had a Christmas onesie. My family was so focused on the fateful path they've set for me, they essentially robbed me of a normal childhood. And I was jealous. Jealous of Carter and Shawn for what they had, even if their parents aren't together anymore. But at the same time, happy for them that they had a normal family at one point.

I shook my head and turned away from the pictures, going down the stairs. From what I remembered from last night, I headed towards the kitchen. 

I could hear Carter's mum before I saw her, humming over the stove as she cooked something. She was wearing slacks and a blazer and those high heels that girls wear that I've never understood. At the table was Shawn, his chair pushed in as close to the table as possible with a notebook in front of him. 

Shawn looked up before I could say anything, smiling at me. 

"Mum, Carter's boyfriend is up." 

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