“Mom, pool!” Liam excitedly points at the pool as I grab his arm tightly in my hand so he doesn’t go running towards the pool.
Maybe I should personally thank Kris for selecting the poolside as her wedding venue.
“Listen, Liam, you can’t go near water.” Crouching down, I sit in front of him and directly look into his eyes, “It is not safe and you are just learning to swim.”
Looking at the pool, I notice it is surrounded by a safety fence so that no children can go there. But it is nowhere enough to stop my son.
I would not be surprised if he will be able to jump this fence to go to the other side. Because in these five years of his life, I have learned there is hardly anything that is Liam-proof.
“Mommy.” He pouts looking at me innocently, but I know how innocent he is. After all, he is just like me.
“No, Liam,” I sternly say, “No, going near the pool.”
“Okay.” He nods his head obediently understanding that I am not joking.
“Now, let’s go and find our seats.” I hold his hand as we walk towards the front as our seats are near Kris’s family.
My eyes land on Matt’s face who is limping his way towards his seat. Involuntarily the corner of my lips curved in a satisfied smile when I notice the bruise on his face where my fist met his face, but then frown appears on my face when I notice he looks far more badly beaten up.
Before I can assess his condition more, Liam calls me to get my attention.
“Yes?” I turn my face to him as he questioningly looks at me.
“Mommy, why people get married?” He asks.
“Umm... because they love each other and want to spend all their life with each other,” I answer him.
“Also because they want to have children,” I hear a woman from behind us speak, “But then there are some women who still have children without being married.” I hear some snickers, making me roll my eyes.
This is not the first time I am listening to things like this and, trust me, it hardly bothers me what anyone thinks.
“What kind of women, these women are?” Another voice says with disgust.
“The kind of women who are more than enough to provide for themself and their children without needing a man to look after them.” Turning my body slightly in their direction, I smirk. “Also they are the kind of women, who have something better to do with their lives rather than being bitches.”
The woman who is sitting directly behind Liam's seat glares at me, as her nostrils flares in anger but smartly she keeps her mouth shut. While when I shift my gaze to the other woman sitting next to her, she tries to pretend that she hasn’t said anything.
Shaking my head at them, I turn back in my chair, facing front praying that the wedding starts soon because my patience level is not very high at this moment.
I slightly flinch and look at Liam when he holds my hand and carefully touches the scrapes on my knuckles.
“Did you punch someone again?” He quietly asks, “You should wear hand wraps to protect your hand before punching, you know that right?” He seriously nods his head.
I can’t help but smile at him, as he looks so cute being serious.
“Sorry, next time, I will keep that in mind.” I pout giving him a sad look.
He kisses the back of my hand very gently.
“Here, now it will get better very soon.” He smiles looking at me.
“Thank you for being the best son, in the whole world.” Wrapping my arm around him, I tightly hug him.
Soon the ceremony starts, Kris looks gorgeous in her boho bride avatar wearing a short white lace dress and a flower crown. On the other hand, Jake is wearing a grey tuxedo looking absolutely handsome.
The best thing about this wedding is that there is no theme. Kris wanted everyone to be themselves and wear whatever they like.
However, I am not the lucky one who got this freedom as Kris selected a yellow Hi-low dress for me, for her wedding. She bought her dress and mine together as she liked both of them and don't want anyone else to have this yellow dress other than me or her.
But since I like the dress, so I don't mind wearing it.
When they both said 'I do' more than them, I was relieved because the questioning machine beside me has been asking non-stop questions about the ceremony.
Miraculously, Liam patiently sat in his seat for this long which is a great achievement in itself. So when he asks me to go and play, I allow him after making him promise that he will stay in my sight and will not go near the pool.
I watch him run towards the kids' area, set up to keep the children occupied during the wedding reception.
Turning my gaze back to the couple, I smile and walk to them who are already surrounded by friends and family.
"Congratulations, guys!" I smile widely at them feeling genuinely happy for my friends.
"Oh, my God!, can you believe I am married now?" Kris laughs with teary eyes, "I still can't believe. it."
I hug her when she breaks down feeling overwhelmed with happiness.
"Damn, you are looking bomb AF," She pulls back, and wipes her tears, and lowly whistles ignoring everyone around us, "You are lucky Jake, I haven't seen her before marrying you. Otherwise, I would have totally married her."
Shaking his head at her he laughs, already used to her comments.
"Okay, guys, I see you in a bit."
Excusing myself, I go to check on Liam. Leaving him unattended can sometimes mean waiting for the storm to hit you. Pops used to say he is terror disguised as an angel.
But before I can reach the play area, a strong hand grabs my elbow and drags me away from the party.
Yanking my arm free, I slap Alec feeling every bit of anger rising in me.
"Can't you understand, when I told you, not to touch me ever?" Biting inside of my cheeks, I glare at him feeling nothing but disgust because of his touch.
"Alec, I have stopped being a slut a long time ago." Raising my eyebrows, I shrug nonchalantly, "So, if you are looking for someone to warm your bed, then please go look for someone else."
"Avery, please." He grits his teeth, "Don't say such things."
"Just listen to me once." He takes a step towards me, making me take a step back. "I know you hate me..." he sighs and trails off.
"Don't give yourself so much importance, that I am going to waste my life in hating someone like you." I point my finger at him, "There was a time when I was a fool to fell in love with you. But now my heart doesn't beat for you anymore."
"However, I do like to give you some credit because everything that you told me about myself, did come true." I nod my head at him, "This body of mine did make sure that I never have to worry about being alone or unloved." I wave my hand in front of me, gesturing towards my body.
I never realized how amazing my body is until the moment I held Liam for the first time in my hands. So, yeah I am pretty proud of myself.
"I know you are just trying to hurt me by saying all these things. Hurt me any way you want, but please, don't talk about yourself like this." He shakes his head, glancing towards the ground.
"I am sorry, for everything that I said to you." He sighs, "I had my reasons-"
"Tell me, what motive do you have behind pretending to care about Liam?" I interrupt him, directly asking the question which is bothering me for the past few days.
"Avery, I do care about him." His eyes lock with mine.
"Yeah, of course, you do," I say sarcastically.
"Alec, I will not tolerate your nonsense anymore." Narrowing my eyes, I glare at him, "Liam is just a small child, so don't you dare play with his feelings for any of your hidden motive."
"You think my concern for him is just a pretense? That I am using him?" He seems repelled by my words, "I thought you know me, Avery."
"Even, I thought the same," I smile coldly, "News flash! We both were wrong." I arch my eyebrow.
"Avery!" A panicked voice makes me tear my eyes away from him as I turn to find Kris's younger brother, Ryan, running towards me with an alarming expression.
"Liam." He looks frightened, "Something is happening to him..."
Even before he can finish his sentence I run off in the direction from where he came from.
My heart beats rapidly as if it will jump out of my chest any moment when I see Kris sobbing while holding Liam as Jake is talking on the phone with someone.
"Baby." I sit on the floor and take Liam in my arms, my heart twists painfully when I see tears streaming down his reddened face.
"Mom..." He barely manages to say through labored breathing.
"He was just fine..." Kris sobs, "He was eating chocolates and then just after a few moments, he came to me crying..."
"I have got you," I speak to Liam in a controlled voice, however, from inside I am shaken till core as I quickly turn the content of my purse upside down looking for the only thing which is important to me more than anything at this moment.
"Eyes on me, Liam." I calmly order Liam while holding his thigh firmly with one hand and with the other hand I hold junior-EpiPen.
Without wasting any moment I firmly press the tip of the auto-injector on his outer thigh and wait for the drug to be injected. Turning deaf to the whimpers of him, I focus on the task at hand.
"My strong and brave boy." I lie him down in my lap while lightly running my fingers through his hair. I release a small sigh of relief when his breathing slowly turns back to normal.
"I am taking him to the emergency room." Quickly, lifting him in my arms, I pick my car keys from my scattered stuff and rush towards my car with Kris following me behind.