The lake house looked gorgeous, a wooden log cabin in the middle of a secluded forest. It had a green roof and pine trees surrounding the grounds. Jordan parked out front and we all fumbled with our suitcases in the back of his car. Zak and Ben pulled up as we were unloading our bags, Jordan ran into a bro hug almost instantly and it was sweet watching the happy moment but I was a bag of nerves and couldn’t really appreciate the reunion.
My stomach did somersaults when I heard the distant roar of a motorbikes engine and as it got closer I thought about making a run for it. Tia slung her arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer for support. The bike came to a stop a little up the lane and Liam climbed off first, stopping to help Reece off.
“Oh isn’t she beautiful.” Lola admired.
I shot her daggers through my eyes.
“You better be talking about the bike.” I warned
She screwed her face up “Obviously.” She said.
Liam walked towards his friends, Reece in tow. I could see his perfect pink lips move as he introduced his new girlfriend and her sickeningly sweet smile as she made nice. Jordan waved us over and very slowly we took small steps. Liam watched me approach him and he protectively moved himself closer to Reece.
“Hey.” I made the first move, it was tense and I think everyone including Liam and Reece could sense the fake undertones to my niceness.
“Hi.” He said with a small polite smile. “Reece, you know Olivia. This is Tia and Lola. I’m sure you girls will be hanging out a lot while us guys catch up.”
Lola scoffed from beside me but Tia was polite and said a quick introductory greeting.
“I don’t like you so I won’t be hanging out with you.” Lola said with a dry tone, looking her up and down in disgust. I squirmed awkwardly beside her, Zak and Ben burst out laughing and I could see the amusing twitch of Jordan’s lips but Liam looked pissed.
He cleared his throat “Shall we go pick our bedrooms?”
I was so consumed with the idea of Liam bringing Reece here I didn’t even think of the sleeping arrangements and having to stay in a bedroom just down the hall from him and her. I felt physically sick.
“Well there’s enough space for everyone to have their own bedroom, unless of course you two want to share?” Jordan asked.
Please say no.
“We’ll share.” Liam said confidently.
“Okay, lets get upstairs, unpacked and then everyone can join me in the lounge for a gang meeting.” Jordan announced and then we all dispersed our own separate ways.
Jordan’s lake house was the most elegant place I have ever had the option of sleeping in, in my entire life. The bedroom was huge with a four poster bed that had fancy, rich maroon bedding. I lay back on the bed letting the high cotton thread count comfort me. Liam and Reece picked the room three doors down and I was just thankful Zak and Tia slept between us.
I took my time neatly folding every item of clothing that I brought with me in order to stall going back downstairs and facing the music. Lola burst into my room and flung herself down on the bed.
“I’m so glad I came. This lake house is lush! But I still want the keys to that bike.” I chewed the inside of my lip nervously, I hadn’t forgot.
Jordan shouted us down and everyone had gathered in a circle around the coffee table with a wine or beer in their hands.
“We’re gonna have to go out and buy alcohol for tomorrow, more people showed than we were prepared for” Jordan said assessing the situation, his eyes flicked between Lola and Reece with disappointment.
“Where are we? Aren’t we in the middle of the wilderness?” I asked.
“Nah, the town center isn’t too far from here. You remember that motel we stayed in during the tournament? We’re basically on the other side of the forest to that.”
My eyes darted to Liam and he caught my gaze. Two beautiful blue eyes, brighter than the sky on a cloudless day relived the same memory as me. His lip curled up into the slightest smile but then he looked away and put his arm over Reeces shoulder.
I hated this. This awkwardness between Liam and I. It was strong enough to drag down the mood of the whole room. The air was thick with tension and he looked at me with a certain blankness, like he was mad at me even though he was the one that kissed Reece first.
The group decided to watch ‘The Grudge’ and I watched as Liam and Reece took their seat on the sofas, he automatically slung his hand over her shoulder. At this point I wasn’t even watching the television, I was watching her cuddle into his chest whenever a scary point happened. He didn’t flinch at her touch, he was expecting it and that hurt me.
Why was he flaunting his relationship in front of me?
Maybe because I flaunted Luke in front of him and now I was getting my payback. This is what I deserved, but it hurt so damn much. Liam had never let a girl close to him like this, beside me.
His finger tips found the loose strands of her brunette hair and he absentmindedly twirled them between his finger tips as they watched the movie.
I could feel the tears gathering behind my eyes, coming here, facing them... it’s too hard. I stood up and all eyes turned to me.
“Getting some water.” I announced, waving an empty glass at the room like that was all the proof they needed. I filled the glass and sat down at the kitchen nook, trying to make the small sips push down the big bile at the back of my throat.
Alone in the kitchen made the air feel thinner, I could breathe out here.
I stalled in the kitchen until I had finished every last drop in my glass, I really didn’t want to go back in there. I just wanted to escape to my bedroom and avoid them both for the whole two weeks. As I was rinsing off my glass in the sink Liam walked in.
“Popcorn refill.” He muttered shyly, his hands reached up and rubbed the back of his neck. I smiled to myself because at least I knew he was just as much affected by this weird atmosphere as me. He threw a bag of popcorn into the microwave and pushed some buttons.
“How did you find the journey up here?” Liam turned away from the microwave to look at me. His powder blue eyes hooked onto mine, reeling me in and making me forget all about Reece.
“You’re talking to me about the journey up here?” I asked skeptically.
Liam paced forward, bringing his body closer to mine and a wave of his body wash intoxicated me, reminding me of everything I had given up, reminding me of how destroyed I was when Reece showed me that picture.
“I don’t know Liv, I don’t know how to talk to you. It’s awkward.” He admitted honestly.
Reece came in and I looked away, my heart couldn’t take seeing them together. She crept up behind him and threw her arms around him from behind, clutching onto his chest.
“What’s taking so long?” She asked with a smile on her face.
Right before me Liam’s manner changed, the blue of his eyes slipped away like water down a drain, replaced with a deep shade of silver. His body heaved under her touch and he stepped out of the way frantically, keeping his back turned to her while he breathed through his darkness, allowing only me to see the fear on his face.
“Microwave.” I answered for him, pointing at the device.
Liam closed his eyes over in annoyance, mad at himself for reacting in the way that he did. I placed the glass back in the cupboard and walked out, leaving them alone together.
What did I get myself into when I agreed to come on this trip?