He grabbed my hand and led me to the center of the soccer pitch, sitting in the circle right in the center like it was our very own bubble. He sat down with his legs crossed in a yoga position so I copied him. For some reason I started to get nervous.
“You’re nervous?” He asked softly, reading my thoughts like an expert.
“I don’t know what you’re going to tell me.” I answered.
“There’s a lot going on up here Liv, I’ve been holding out on you.” He tapped on his head with his index finger and my brows furrowed with confusion.
“Why?” I asked, he was not doing a great job at settling my nerves. I felt nervous flutters in my stomach and chewed down on the inside of my cheek.
“Because I can’t talk about things until I’m ready to talk about them but for some reason I feel more confident this evening.” He gave me an innocent smile. I think we both knew what that reason was.
“Is this about what happened at the Lake house with the gun?” I knew as soon as that left my lips it would dampen the mood between us but I also felt it was important to bring it up. It really bothered me that Liam never spoke about the incident. I knew he ought to speak to someone professionally but whenever I brought that up he shot it down.
“There is so much stuff still left unsaid between us, we haven’t really talked about that day at the lake house. I know you say you are fine and you put on this front but I don’t think you are fine and if you don’t want to speak to me about it or your friends I think you should talk to someone professionally. It could really help.”
I tried again and Liams smile fell from his face, through his drunken eyes he looked a little sad but then he took hold of my hand and raised it to his lips. That small gesture sent tingles down my spine.
“You’re right.” He said simply, taking me by complete surprise. I was expecting a bigger battle than this on my hands. "What happened did have an affect on me and I’m not speaking about it because I’m not ready to talk about it yet. When I am ready you are the first person I will come to but until then please let me keep this front going.”
I searched his eyes, a sapphire ring holding all of his emotions enclosed inside light blue irises. He could see the worry in my face, I could tell.
“I’m okay Liv. I gotta do things in my own time, mentally prepare for those hard conversations or it just becomes too much.” He still kept my hand in his and I trusted that he knew what he was doing.
“Okay.” I said simply.
“So my secret...” Liam started and for some reason he was the one looking nervous now. “I got an offer to be signed, professionally.” Liam said it like it was the most casual sentence to ever pass through his lips.
“What?” I asked in disbelief, not entirely sure I heard correctly.
“So a manager has been coming to my games the last few weeks and nobody knew it. He watched us play and a few days ago he approached me and asked me to play for their team which never happens because I’m so fresh into college.” He was getting his words out fast like he was nervous but this is major news, it’s exciting and it’s everything he has ever wanted so what was the problem?
“Next week he is bringing the contracts for me to sign. Liv the money I’m going to be on is insane which is a good thing but after I sign them he told me everybody would know my name. He said any skeletons in my closet were best to come out now before the media dragged them up.”
“So you’re not going to take the offer?” I questioned, reading the worry on his face.
Liam rubbed the back of his neck, clearly troubled by his decision.
“Liv... it's not me I'm worried about, it's us.” Liam told me quietly, he seemed more sober somehow now although he was talking in riddles that I couldn’t quite keep up with.
“This has always been my dream but it has never been yours. You didn’t ask for a life where everyone is desperate to know your business and the media are writing stories about you that aren’t real but people are believing them anyway.
And I might be away from you a lot, travelling the world whenever we play against someone else. I always thought I needed a soccer deal to be rich but I was wrong. I’m already the richest man in the world right now just because I have you and if you don’t want me to take the deal then I won’t.”
I knocked him down in the grass and climbed on top of him, not even caring if he was prepared for my touch or not. He didn’t flinch beneath me so I took that as my que to lower my lips down onto his.
“You’re crazy.” I slurped between kisses.
“I love you.” I kissed him again.
“You’re taking this deal.” Another kiss.
“We’ll make it work, we’ll always make it work.”
This time I didn’t pause the kiss to say words, I showed him how genuine my feelings were towards him taking this deal. I let him know through the power of my tongue that I had no doubts whatsoever. Our relationship wouldn’t suffer. This was his ultimate dream come true, it’s all he’s ever wanted and he deserved it more than anyone I know.
“Wait.” He said holding me back and looking me deep in the eye. “People might come forward with kiss and tell stories about me.”
I laughed “It’s okay Liam, I know I wasn’t your first.” I joked but he didn’t drop the intense look in his eyes and somewhere muddled in with his contrasting emotions was shame.
“Liv... it’s a lot of girls.” He warned.
I traced my hand over his blushing cheek and he leaned into my touch.
“Liam I don’t care who you’ve been with before, I only care that you make me your last. The past is in the past... you’re not like that anymore. So let them sell their stories because whatever they write won’t touch on anything we have.”
I think a part of him wanted me to say no because this is a scary step for him, opening himself up to the world before he was truly ready. I was not sure how he was going to do it but I knew he was strong enough to try and I was not going to stand in the way of his dreams.
“You can not tell anyone about this yet, the only people that know are the coach, the manager, me and now you. I have to finish off the year at Stanford while they train me up but before I sign, are you sure about this?”
He searched my face for any doubt but I did not even need to think about the decision, my choice was already made and I was excited for this next chapter of his life to begin.
“I am sure.” I said strongly.