Bad Boy Saved

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Truth or Dare?

I managed to avoid Liam and Reece for two days, it was a miracle considering we were sleeping in the same house. But I curled up in my bedroom with a good book and refused to leave. I shut out the laughter coming from downstairs and focused on the world of fantasy between the pages at my finger tips.

“Come on Olive, you can’t hide away from him forever.” Jordan fidgeted with the small decor items on my dresser.

“I’m not hiding from him Jordan I’m just reading a good book.” I lied.

I must admit I was a little surprised to see Jordan at my door trying to force me out, for the past two nights it has been Tia and Lola. Maybe they sent Jordan because they failed at their attempt to move me.

His thumbs pressed into the small model boat on the dresser, it looked delicately made from wood and very carefully put together. Practically as soon as his heavy thumb touched it the sail snapped into two. I watched him with interest, his eyebrows raised at the broken piece and then he looked around the room. Once he found a suitable spot he dropped the boat behind a potted plant and then nodded at his accomplishment. Like hiding it sorted the problem, I shook my head in disbelief.

“How long you going to let this go on for?” He asked, jumping down on my bed beside me. I moved away uncomfortably but refused to answer his question. “She’s a nice girl and all but she’s not the girl for him.” He continued.

“I think Liam made his choice pretty clear.” I crossed my hands stubbornly and Jordan didn’t look pleased.

"Liam is ... difficult." Jordan replied as if that explained all. "He doesn't do well with emotions and talking about them is just off limits. You know this." He sighed and rolled his eyes like I was the one over reacting.

"He intentionally kept Reece a secret from me, then they kissed and he lied about it. I don't want to see them together Jordan. It hurts." I admitted, feeling the tears clog behind my eyes. He waved his hand in dismissal.

"Oh those two have as much chemistry as me and Zaks grandma Sally. I mean sure, she's a lovely lady and all but I wouldn't want to kiss her when she's got her teeth out." I laughed at his unexpected comment but didn't offer a reply.

"Look Olive, I don't what is going on between Liam and Reece so I can't tell you what to do. But I do know Liam, I've known him most of his life and I can tell you that you are the most important person that has ever walked into his world. He has never let anyone else close to him. Even now I see the way he looks at you, he misses you, he's regretful. He's not happy with Reece, in fact quite the opposite. He's completely consumed by sadness.

But Liam will never tell you that. He won't admit what he's thinking or feeling. He won't apologize or ask for help. He doesn't know how to express his emotions, that's why he has meltdowns. It's just who he is.

I know that doesn't give him a free pass to lie about Reece but I don't think Liam has ever had anyone love him before. Imagine going your whole life never feeling loved and then finally you feel it and it's incredible. I know if it were me, I would do absolutely anything not to mess that up, even if it meant hiding things from you.

And for what it's worth, I don't believe he kissed her. I think he was just scared and confused. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you had no teeth - like grandma Sally, Liam would still kiss you every day and think you were the most beautiful person on this planet. So I will ask you again, are you coming downstairs Olive?” Jordan sighed when I shook my head.

He stood up and grabbed the bottom of my mattress, in a sharp movement he tilted it making the pillows and duvet fall to floor.

“Jordan stop it!” I shouted, clutching onto the ends but he kept tilting it higher and shook it to make me slide down. I clambered to the floor, finding my feet and steadying myself with the bedside table.

“Are you coming Olive or do I have to take your mattress away completely?” He asked calmly.

“Fine.” I huffed.

Jordan lowered the mattresses and gave me a big boyish grin, I really hated him sometimes. I followed him out of the room but as we got to the door way he turned back and assessed the room with a frown.

“Olive, you’re so messy. You should always make your bed.” He joked sarcastically.

***

“Drink up, then the drinking games can commence.” Jordan announced.

I sat on the sofa wedged between Lola and Tia, keeping my head low so I didn’t cross eye contact with the blue eyed beauty.

“What are we playing?” Zak perked up.

“Truth or dare.” Lola said with wide eyes.

“No.” Liam closed it down immediately. His voice was harsh and stern, leaving no room for negotiations. I understood why he didn’t want to play, he had a hard time revealing his truth but I really wanted to know some answers right now and I couldn’t be the one asking the questions so this game seemed like the perfect opportunity to just sit back and listen.

“We’ll vote on it.” She said forcefully. “Raise your hand for truth or dare.” Everyone around the circle, including Reece raised their hand. Liam sat furious.

“Well count me out.” Stubbornly he folded his arms and sat sulking like a child.

“Oh come on you big baby.” Lola poked him in his side and Liam visibly flinched startling Reece who sat beside him. “What the fuck?” She laughed and she poked him again.

Liams face paled and he flinched again, grabbing the attention of everyone in the circle. Fear lay behind his silver eyes and in that moment of rapid breathing and ultimate darkness he searched the circle for me, secretly crying out for my help.

Our gaze was hooked onto one another, communicating with our eyes. His fear overwhelmed him and Lola had her fingers ready for another poke, one he was unable to prepare himself for thanks to his distracting inner battles.

In that moment I answered his plea by knocking the wine glass over and watching a blood bath of red liquid pour out onto a white faux fur rug.

“Shit Olive the rug.” Jordan shouted

Chaos broke lose and Lola dodged out of the way of the spilled wine. Within seconds people were blotting at the stain but the distraction allowed Liam to quietly breathe to himself, regulating his inner darkness and subsiding his thoughts. My plan worked perfectly.

“I’m so sorry, how clumsy. It won’t stain will it?” I played innocent.

“I don’t care about the rug, you wasted good wine.” Jordan complained as he blotted at the stain.

“So truth or dare, you get three passes.” Zak instructed once the chaos had settled down. “Jordan, truth or dare?”

“Truth.”

“What is your ultimate secret fantasy?” The group broke out in little giggles as Zak asked the question, it was like being back in high school.

“I don’t wanna say.” Jordan said shyly. I have never seen Jordan shy. I didn’t think he could even get shy.

“Oh come on, we all know it will have something to do with your car.” Zak encouraged.

Jordan scoured at him. “On the bonnet, in a showroom that has mirrors everywhere.”

We all burst out laughing.

“You’re fucking weird dude.” Liam said.

“Lola, truth or dare?” Jordan asked with a raise of his eyebrows.

“Dare.”

“Make out with Zak.”

“Easy.”

Lola lent forward and Zak met her halfway, everyone cheered as they locked lips and went at it hard for at least a minute. Then she sat back and wiped her swollen lips.

“Liam, truth or dare?” She asked him, I knew she wasn’t going to go easy on him just because he protested to the whole game.

“Dare.” He said after a long hesitation.

“Strip.”

“Pass.”

She sighed. “Okay, you can keep your underwear on.” She negotiated.

“Still a pass.”

“Fine, what’s your best high school memory?” She asked.

Liams eyes flicked towards me for the slightest second but then looked back at Lola.

“I picked dare.” He said straightly.

“You passed the dare so now you get a truth.”

“Well I pass that as well.”

“Oh come on Liam, don’t spoil the fun. That’s an easy one.”

His look didn’t waiver, his facial expression was impassive and unreadable to everyone around the circle except me. I could see what he was thinking and feeling as clear as day.

“Fine, dare... um... Kiss-”

“Pass.”

“You don’t even know who I wanted you to kiss.”

He shrugged “Oh look at that, I’ve had my three passes. Looks like I’m out of the game.” Liam got up and left the room, I could hear him clanging glasses around in the kitchen and as much as I wanted to go and talk to him I kept myself in the game doing childish dares and telling pointless truths.

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