Being Free

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Battles.

I swallowed down my fear with extra slurps of coke, I could feel Olivia analyzing every expression on my face but I kept my expression as blank as possible, not wanting to give her any indication of my doubts. Thankfully I have had plenty of practice masking my emotions but then again Olivia has had plenty of practice removing the mask.

Amber approached the table and asked if we wanted any food, I could see Olivia instantly tense and she watched her very warily.

“Burger and Fries please Amber.”

As she started scribbling on her little white pad I turned to Olivia who was watching me with wide eyes. I know she was wondering how I knew her name so I raised my eyebrows smugly at her, secretly asking if she was jealous. Automatically Olivia narrowed her eyes at me, answering the silent question with a scowl. It made me laugh out loud and Amber looked up from her notepad with a perplexed expression so I stifled my laughter.

As she retreated back to the kitchen to make our food my cell vibrated inside my pocket and I quickly pulled it out, smiling to myself as I read over the words.

R: You lost the arm wrestle so drinks on you tomorrow at Goldies. xxx

L: Fat chance, you cheated. Elbows are meant to stay on the table! Better bring your purse.

R: Had to make it fair, you have super boy strength. Where are you? Come play soccer. xxx

L: At the diner right now with Liv, will be there soon.

R: You’re missing a lot. *IMAGE ATTACHED*

I glanced my eyes over the image of Reece holding a soccer ball in the middle of the pitch, she wore a goofy expression on her face and it made me smile from ear to ear. I pulled my eyes away from my phone to see Liv studying my expression. Amber brought over our food and only then I realized how long I had been looking at my phone for. I suddenly felt very guilty again so I slipped my phone away and apologized for my rudeness.

“It’s okay, is it Jordan and the guys?”

“Nah, it’s my roommate.” I told her.

“Oh.” She replied disappointingly.

We ate our food and made small talk, things between us felt weird and I knew it was one sided, coming from me. There was definitely some shit I needed to sort out in my own head. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy but I didn’t think it was going to be this hard and confusing.

I just didn’t want to talk about anything deep. I didn’t want those reminders, couldn’t cope with the darkness returning when it’s stayed away for longest it ever has in my life. So I tiptoed around subjects, keeping things light and casual. She could definitely tell the difference in me I could see it in her eyes and that wasn’t fair to her but for the first time ever, I felt free.

Fuck sake Liam, get over this ridiculous fear.

“I’ll give you a ride back to campus.” I offered, helping her onto the back of my motorbike.

Prepare for her to touch you Liam.

She clutched my chest through the safety barrier of my t.shirt and I’m pretty sure she would have been able to feel the racing of my heart beneath her hand. Her hands were burning through the material, trying to get at the skin underneath. It was distracting.

I was thankful when we pulled up in the designated bike spots on her campus. I unclasped the buckle under her helmet and slung it over the handle bars.

“This a Royal Enfield?” A petite girl approached us, she had the brightest of orange hair and in my opinion her clothes were a little risque for the daytime college campus scene but each to their own. She ran her finger along the base of the bike seat and I watched her short, black painted nails leave an invisible trail along the leather.

“Yeah, you know bikes?” Her grey eyes pulled away from the bike and looked up to meet mine.

“A little, The Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production. Nobody I know owns one though, how does she run?”

“She’s getting a little tired now, I’ve had her a while but I can’t part with her. She’s been with me through some tough times.” I tapped the chassis affectionately. The girl looked over at Olivia as if she was noticing her for the first time, I wondered if they knew each other.

“Liv, your boyfriend is like super hot.” She looked me up and down with appreciation, making it no secret that she was undressing me with her eyes and I squirmed under her exposing gaze. I could feel my cheeks heating up and my eyes widened so big the eyeballs almost fell from the sockets. I didn’t know what to do with myself but Liv just laughed.

“Liam, this is Lola my roommate. Lola, this is Liam my boyfriend.”

“You’ll let me ride it one day, right?” This girl was very straightforward and by the tone in her voice I convinced myself she was no longer talking about the bike.

“Nobody rides the bike but me.” I replied curtly, hoping that would shut her down in all areas of her suggestion.

“We’ll see.” She said with a mischievous glint to her eye and then walked away without saying goodbye.

“She’s a character.” I said, rubbing the back of my neck.

Olivia laughed and in a sudden movement she grabbed my t.shirt and pulled me closer to I rested against her body. My breathing hitched at the proximity and it was both an equal mix of good and bad. I inhaled her familiar tropical scent, it brought back a wave of nostalgia. Reminding me of safety, or rather a time I needed to feel safe.

Everything is so confusing.

She looked up to meet my face and gently rubbed her nose against mine, sharing a cute Eskimo kiss probably because she didn’t want to lay on the PDA in the middle of her college campus.

My nerves settled and butterflies fluttered, driving my emotions crazy. I didn’t know if this was a bad feeling or a good feeling. I didn’t understand the battle going on in my own mind. For the first time in a while I got the overbearing urge to kiss her but she pulled away, ending the Eskimo kiss far too abruptly.

I grabbed her arms and pulled her back towards me. She turned to face me startled by my outburst but I couldn’t let her leave, not without experiencing stolen kisses. Her body fell against mine but I was expecting it, that’s what I wanted. Her closeness. My lips clung to her desperately, like I had waited a long time just to taste her again and the flavor was divine. Olivia, safety and love.

Every nerve ending in my body sizzled at the closeness of us, heightening every sense I that possessed. It was no longer about what she reminded me of, it was just about her and my dire need for more.

In this confusing inner battle there was no doubt in my mind that kissing Olivia felt right and this feeling was something I desperately needed to cling onto because everything else I was experiencing felt wrong.

Olivia was the light in my darkness.

The savior in my story.

The reminder of home.

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