Bad Boy Abused

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Where is your safe place

Liam walked up to my table like it was the easiest thing in the world. His feet were as light as feathers gliding between the tables and my heart pooled with jealousy. He’s part of the reason I have such a hard time getting around this school yet he can just stroll in effortlessly. He took his seat next to me and I kept my focus on Mr Hibbert. Sure, my eyes might have been on Mr Hibbert but my mind was anywhere but.

I can’t believe I got stuck with Liam as my partner. ‘Find out what makes them behave the way they do.’ Ha! Easier said than done when your partner is a borderline psychopath. There’s no way I could work with Liam. I knew if he bothered to show to class then he wouldn’t put in any effort. I knew he would make my life a living hell and due to my past experience of sitting next to one of these jocks, lets just say I was overly skeptical about working with another one again. Let alone the worst one of them all.

Having missed the first half of Mr Hibberts introduction, Liam was completely obvious to the rational thoughts running through my mind. Allowing myself to swiftly side eye him I noted that he already lay his head down on his desk to take an afternoon snooze. That just shows how much he’s going to cooperate in class assignments. Now that I knew I was safe I turned my full vision onto him to inspect him closer.

His arms, draped in a leather jacket were folded down onto the table to make pillows for his head. His chestnut brown hair flopped slightly over his face and the warm glow edging in from the window made his natural honey blonde highlights shine. Secretly eyeing his side profile as he slept peacefully I noticed his full eyelashes evenly fluttered across his cheeks, pale skin completely flawless and perfectly plump lips that were the ideal balance between being not too big but not too small. He was undoubtedly attractive even if I could see only half of his sleeping face.

There was something soft and soothing about the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he breathed deeply. The scent of oud wood and fresh vanilla drifted from his body and filled my nostrils causing me to inhale deeper every time. He smelt so good.

Maybe working with him wouldn’t be so bad. I just have to pluck up the courage to talk to him first. It can’t be that hard can it? I mean, we used to talk as kids.

BANG!

Mr Hibbert pulled me out of my thoughts by pinging a ruler off the edge of the table, the sharp impact echoing out across the classroom and waking a sleeping Liam in turn.

“Jesus!” Liam sprung into an upward position and looked around the room groggily.

“That’s right Liam, we don’t have sleeping in my classroom. Keep it up and you’ll find yourself in detention young man. Now Get to work getting to know Miss Charles.” The annoyance in his voice was crystal clear.

With a sleeping Liam next to me I was calm but with an awake Liam in such close proximity my heart thundered in my chest so loud I felt like he could hear it. I sat impeccably still, my whole body stiff. I don’t want to risk touching him, not even slightly. Heat coursed through my body, my cheeks filled with a burning sensation and I know they are flushed bright pink. In my peripheral vision I can see Liam staring at my side profile. I know he’s waiting for me to talk but what do I say?

As I desperately searched my blank mind the awkward silence between us stretched for too long. Though his gawk still burns into the side of my face I dare not look at him once. Without making direct eye contact I see him reach up and rub the back of his neck and sigh.

“This is going to be a fun year.” he mumbled low with a voice laced in sarcasm.

I take deep breath, square my shoulders to hopefully appear more confident and turn to face him. Blue eyes filled with revulsion met green timid eyes.

“I.. I’m O.. Olivia. Two parents. No siblings. No pets, one friend called Tia and my safe space is somewhere trapped inside a book.” I stuttered out.

There. I had told him everything there was to know about me. His eyes bored into me and I was held captive under his murderous gaze. I couldn’t keep eye contact. A sense of humiliation washed over me and I started toying with the sleeves on my cream knit sweater.

The silence thickened, it was deafening.

“A...and y...you?” I managed to crawl out from the depths of my voice box.

Looking back at Liam and the sour scowl that was pointing in my direction I felt myself tense. Two blue orbs burnt into me like lasers and for a fleeting moment the anger in his eyes subsided, to be replaced with something else. Possibly fear?

“Sir, I’m not working with her. I need a change of partner.” Liam blurted out sardonically.

The whole class looked in my direction and I could feel myself suffocating with embarrassment.

“That’s enough Liam. Answer the questions on the worksheet.” Mr Hibbert dismissed Liams outburst right away.

I sunk lower and lower into my seat, willing myself to disappear.

“Listen here, Olive.” He spoke with such malice and emphasized the word ‘Olive’ just to get to me that little bit more. “I can’t stand you. Nobody in this school can. The faster we get this shit over and done with the better.”

Soulless black pupils pointed towards mine and a cold shiver ran down my spine. Keeping gaze with Liam was really hard when he looked directly at me with an intense, cold stare. I scanned my eyes down the list of questions on the worksheet and decided to start with an easy one.

“What’s your favorite food?” I choked out.

“Barbecue chicken pizza.”

The reply was instant, in a nanosecond. He really did want to get this over and done with.

“Do you have any pets?”

“no.”

“What’s your favorite colour?”

Red.

“Who do you live with?”

His hesitation made me look up from my worksheet. His face was alive with a whirlwind of emotions which is something I’ve never seen before in Liam. He’s usually very emotionless. For once I couldn’t look away. His eyes gleamed in the light and looked beautiful, light blue iris surrounded by darker blue flakes and a sapphire ring that blended back in with the light. They reminded me of a little boy I once knew.

I felt my chest tighten and my breath hitch while I searched his face for answers. I managed to catch incredulity, hurt and anger. Liam shook his head and just like that his the walls of his barrier was back up and standing high. The blue flakes had vanished from his eyes and I was just left with a overbearing glare that fueled all of his hatred for me.

“My mom and her... slam piece.” Through gritted teeth he finally replied.

I wanted to ask him more, but I couldn’t bring myself to. The tone of his reply alone made me wince and I knew he would only fill up with aggression if I asked him questions that were not on the sheet. So I continued to work off the sheet.

“Do you have any siblings?”

“No.”

We were back to the quick firing questions and answers.

“Who is your best friend?”

“Dunno? ...The guys. ... My teammates.”

“Where is your safe place?”

Uh oh. We hit another hard question.

“Why are you asking me all of these questions?” Anger seeped through his deep voice.

I could feel heat riveting through his body and it made my insides churn. His blue eyes darkened and he pressed his lips into a deep frown. Just like the flip of a switch his whole manner had changed. His shoulders tensed and a vein popped out at the back of his neck. Fear rushed through me and I tore my bewildered eyes away from his.

I wanted to scream at him that I wasn’t asking him these questions, Mr Hibbert was but I just couldn’t find my voice. Or my confidence. So I sat in silence and just looked anywhere but at him.

“I’m done with these dumb questions, just make up the answers.” He grunted viciously.

The bell rang and I exhaled sharply, I wasn’t even aware I was holding my breath. I knew that I had survived the lesson and could get away from him and his burning stare. Although I was thanking all the Gods to be away from Liam I couldn’t help but feel a aching heaviness inside. Maybe there was more to his story than what he portrays on the outside.

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