The Reflection Of Love

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21

***

I woke up earlier than most mornings, which half sucked but it was also nice because I had some time to lay in bed, stare up at the ceiling and just think. Imagine and remember. Wonder about this and that and then silently cry over other things.

It hurt knowing everything now. It hurt to know it all and not being able to do anything about it. I couldn’t help Liam in anyway. I couldn’t save myself from New York and I couldn’t love Oliver for his, Liam’s and my sake.

I glanced towards my bedroom door as it opened slightly and Oliver poked his head in, making me blink and glance to the alarm clock on the bedside table. The time showed, telling me if was two past six.

I sighed softly, raising my hands to my eyes and rubbing them as I heard Oliver walk over after he closed the door again.

“You’re missing something,” I stated, touching my hand to his arm as he crawled next to me, his face coming over mine. I swallowed softly, looking away from his face, his bare chest and abs as I dropped my hand from his arm too.

He laid down against me on his side, facing me as he curled his arm under his head. I glanced back towards him as I felt his free hand touch to my side, his fingertips first before he pressed his hand there.

I wasn’t wearing a shirt either because it’d been a hot night but I didn’t walk into his room to show off my abs on purpose.

“There’s a hundred other girls you can have, Oliver,” I said, turning to him as I moved my hand over his to push it off me.

“Funny,” he whispered. “There’s only one I want.”

“Too bad she’s taken,” I whispered back and turned away from him, looked down at the bed where I drew my finger in a circle.

“Sarah,” he murmured, leaning up on his elbow to slightly lean over me, his face looking down at my own. “You’re right. There are a hundred girls out there that want me but I don’t care about them. I don’t know them. I don’t want them. I care about you and I know you-.”

“If you knew me then you’d give up now.”

“You know me as well,” he whispered and I took a breath, turned onto my back to look up at him. “I’m no quitter.”

“Then put a glitter bomb in my locker. Throw gum in my hair. Take my books and dump them into the trash can,” I replied and leaned up on my elbows, making him back away slightly so we didn’t head but. “I’ll scream and yell at you all day. I’ll wish you were six feet under ground and I’ll send you to the principal’s office. That’s what we did, that’s who we were to each other and it’s all we’re good for. Enemies, death do us part, Oliver. I crossed my heart, hoped to die before I ever let you into my heart and I’ve betrayed that oath of mine. What for? To harm Liam? I could never,” I told him, shaking my head lightly.

“Okay,” he whispered, moving to lay back down. I looked at him, turned to my side as he suddenly frowned and looked back at me. “You really made an oath?”

“I was young and foolish, thought we’d never gain enough respect for a mutual friendship,” I answered, raising a brow as he narrowed his eyes at me. “What?”

“If you were young and foolish, what was I?”

“Little and stupid,” I answered and laughed a little as he gave me a mean look for a moment. I stopped, staring at him lightly as I bit the inside of my cheek. “You should probably get out of my bed,” I said, my eyes dropping down to where his body was bare, the thin sheet over his legs and waist.

“What’s the rush?” He replied, shrugging a little as he moved an arm around me, slipping it under my neck to pull me in. I groaned a little, putting my head to his shoulder as my body turned into his, the sheet falling off for me to see the bandages around my stomach.

I swallowed and pulled the sheets back over my tummy to hide it before I remembered how Oliver had gone through the same and had his scar. I looked over him again, shifting to sit up slightly to look at it better. It was thick but not as long as I remembered it to be.

“Fuck, you’re nosy, aren’t you?”

“Don’t swear,” I told him, laying back down and looking at him as he rolled his eyes. “Liam doesn’t swear.”

“You did not just bring him into this,” he muttered, closing his eyes and I shrugged.

“He doesn’t.”

“Because Liam’s perfect, I know,” he grumbled and I curled my lips a little.

“You’re a hot mess with a bad reputation and no clue as for what’s happening in your future. Liam’s, well, Liam’s Liam. You know him,” I said and he sighed, looked back at me as he touched his fingertips to my neck to tangle them in my hair.

“I applied for the Navy,” he whispered and I took a moment to rehear that before I looked back at him. “If I pass this year and graduate with flying colours, I’m off this time next year.”

“What does Liam think of that?”

“He doesn’t know. No one does, apart from you now. I have my career set-.”

“And if you don’t get in?”

“Police Force,” he answered and I took a small breath, raising my hand to hold his, his arm still under my head.

“They’re both dangerous jobs.”

“All jobs have their dangers, I’m just prepared to take the worst of them and die doing good,” he said, squeezing my hand softly as I stared down at nothing. “What are you doing when you graduate?”

“University for a phycologist degree. Which is therapy,” I added in case he didn’t know.

“You could be a therapist for the Navy,” he whispered, making me smile softly before I shook my head.

“Too many parking tickets,” I replied and he snorted.

“That’s for the Army. You can’t have any parking tickets for the Army, not Navy,” he replied, making me smirk as I turned to him.

“Maybe so then.”

“Don’t,” he shook his head, giving me serious eyes now. “You wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

“What do you mean?” I asked and he looked at me softly but shook his head to tell me not to worry about it. “Tell me.”

“Being a therapist for the Navy or Army, it’s not the best job out there. You go to work every day, hearing the horrors of war and how he lost his legs or how she got blown up and lost her arm. Angry soldiers, big men who can’t control themselves because they don’t know who they can be if not a solider. I know for sure if I’d lost a leg or arm and got told I couldn’t go back, all the study, all the hard work, the training and passion I would have had to put into my job, into being a solider, it’s definitely not the kind of news you want to hear. They get angry at themselves, at their bosses, at everyone. It’s more dangerous than a lot of jobs the Army and Navy offer.”

“I guess that makes sense,” I replied and he nodded a little. “Just don’t do anything stupid. Don’t be trouble, don’t get kicked out.”

“I’ll try my best but-.”

“But I know you,” I finished, turning onto my back again. “And where you go, mischief and bad decisions follow, I know.”

“Not all the time,” he put in and turned to me, moving his other arm over me to hug me into him. I sighed softly, pressing my head to his chest and closing my eyes.

This didn’t mean anything. We’re just snoozing together, spooning and talking about our futures.

“I don’t see you in my future.”

“Don’t say that,” he whispered back, the breath brushing through my hair slightly. “We’ll see each other again after you go. We have to.”

“I wouldn’t know,” I breathed, feeling my voice shake for a moment there. “Let’s stop talking about it. I’m tired.”

“Go to sleep then,” he murmured, his hand brushing gently over my shoulder, drawing circles there. I closed my eyes after, leaned into him and getting comfy before I stilled and let my body relax to limits I thought I’d never do while being with him.

***

I woke up from myself as my legs sweated and kicked the rest of the sheets off me. I felt so hot, sweat taking over my body as Oliver consumed me, his arms around me still but loose while he slept silently, his breath hitting my face every second or so.

I swallowed hard, staring up at the ceiling as I spread my legs out to cool them down a bit more. I shifted slightly and slowly, trying not to wake him up but it was hard and I knew I had failed when he groaned lightly.

“Stop moving.”

“Sorry,” I whispered, pausing before I shifted again to face him. He frowned, his eyes still closed before his expression relaxed again when I stayed still. “I can’t believe we literally slept together,” I whispered mostly to myself, my head hurting at the realisation.

“Get used to it,” he mumbled, smirking a little as I looked back at him. “I mean, I could get used to the wriggles and little purrs.”

“Damn you, I don’t even snore,” I grumbled back, leaning up onto my elbow to check the time. It was almost eleven o’clock, making my eyes go wide because half the day was practically gone already.

“Eww, why are you so sweaty?”

“Because I’m hot,” I replied, smirking at him as he frowned at me sleepily, his eyes getting used to the light.

“Damn right,” he chuckled, rubbing his eyes with the palm of his hands. I smirked wider at that, turning around and sitting up, pausing again when my feet hit the ground. I heard him take a breath before he got up, started walking around to probably help me.

I pushed myself to my feet before he reached me but he was quick to move closer and secure me just in case I fell again.

“I can walk,” I told him, touching my hand to my side as I felt it start to hurt.

“Sure you can but it’ll be better if you don’t,” he replied, following me as I took small steps to the cupboard. I opened a draw to get out a blue tank top. I put it on quickly, covering myself and my bra from his devious eyes.

“You’ve lost weight since the swimming carnival.”

“Really?” I asked him, looking at him with a certain look. Did he really need to comment that?

“I’m just saying. It’s not a bad thing. You’re just fine now.”

“Thank you and yes, I’m aware because I hit the gym and turned all the unwanted fat to muscle, dummy.”

“That’s good. Exercising’s healthy.”

“Yes,” I replied, wincing a little as I lifted my leg to put on my shorts. I got them on after a while as he just stood and watched, commenting about my hair next and how he preferred it the length it was now to how long it was before I had it cut.

“Thank you. I like it too.”

“Well, I’d certainly hope so,” he replied, making me laugh weakly as I turned and touched my hands to his shoulders.

“Go put some clothes on,” I told him before I passed him to get my phone from the bedside table.

“I don’t have to, you know?”

“Oliver,” I whined as he hugged me from behind, his head touching mine. “Okay, we slept together and it was nice but I was too tired to kick you out and it didn’t mean anything,” I told him, shaking myself out of his arms. I sat down on the bed, turned my phone on to see I had no notifications. Usually, I’d have a good morning text from Liam so I just automatically checked now.

“That’s not true,” he said, leaning his shoulder against the bedframe. I sighed and looked up at him, nodded.

“Sorry but it is. It didn’t mean anything to me,” I told him, watching his eyes drop sadly for a moment. As much as it hurt to say it, to sound so cruel, I knew I had to or it’ll just continue happening and I may lose control of myself.

“Has Liam ever slept with you?” He asked, stepping off the beam. I felt my heart skip a beat as I glanced away because no, Liam’s never slept with me. Not even for a few hours like we just did.

I’ve fallen asleep on him plenty of times in the middle of a movie but I’d always woken up alone in his bed while he spent the night on the couch.

“Has anyone ever slept with you?” He asked and I closed my eyes when he sat next to me. “First time sleeping with someone’s big, Sarah. You can say it didn’t matter to you but here and there, you’ll suddenly remember it and you’ll wonder why you ever. Trust me.”

“Was it bad for you?”

“It wasn’t bad. I just regret it,” he shrugged. “A girl I stupidly tried shit with. You know, it all. She asked me over for a night and we slept in the same bed after you know what. She blocked me on everything after that night and I just left her to do her own thing. I wasn’t good enough for her, so what? We were only using each other for sex. That never mattered to me, not until I slept with her of course. It’s a different feeling waking up with someone by your side,” he stopped and I just looked at him but then awoke and blinked, frowned and then raised a hand to question everything he just said.

“Why on earth would you do that with someone in the first place? Using each other like Guinea pigs? Really?”

“Why does anyone? It’s what a friends with benefits relationship is. You use each other until you block each other and move on with life.”

“That’s just plain old stupid. What happens when you find your love and you marry and when it comes to making a baby, you’re like, oh, been here done this but whatever, sex is fun.”

“Sex is fun,” he smirked, leaning back on his elbows and I hit his leg lightly. “Are you religious?”

“What? No.”

“Then why are you so against sex and all before marriage?”

“Because that’s the right thing do to. That’s what love is. You love someone and you explore the world with them. Then you have that stage where you’re engaged and it’s all exciting. Then you get married and it’s… it’s just perfect,” I smiled, daydreaming about the fantasy I have with Liam for our wedding day. A white wedding in the snow. A long white dress that kept me warm enough and everyone we know and love are around to witness the love we have by accepting a ring and saying our vows.

“So, you’re a love freak. Never knew,” he gave me a surprised look and I shrugged a little, still smiling.

“Liam and I-.”

“Are getting married? You told me already,” he muttered and sighed.

“We love each other. Without the sex and desperation you live for. It’s rare, Liam’s rare and I’m so happy I have him,” I said, laying down too before I took a breath. “You’ll never compare to him, Oliver and I’ll never love you like I love him. He caught my heart a long time ago and he’s not letting go of it any time soon,” I said and turned my head to look at him. “So, show off your abs, hug me to sleep and do whatever you want. It won’t mean as much to me as it would if Liam was doing it,” I told him and he took a moment before he nodded and looked at me too.

“So, it does mean something to you.”

“Yes. Something small.”

“But it’s still there,” he whispered, turning his body to me. “Will you let me do what I want? Apart from sex of course but if I held you and hugged you, you’ll let me?”

“If you don’t give me a chance to deny,” I murmured, feeling my heart rise to my throat for a moment. His eyes shined with something within the second before he glanced away from my face. I closed my eyes and sat up, touched my hands to my knees before I felt his hand slip under my top to touch my back.

“Who knew the accident would save your life and bring us together?” He said and sat up too, moving his arm over my shoulders. “All the while, Liam’s sleeping. Lucky bustard, I say,” he said and I smiled lightly but shrugged my shoulders lightly.

“I’d rather him awake. I’d rather him be okay. Let me suffer, just as long as he’s okay.”

“Yeah, I thought like that too until he charmed my girl and stole her from me,” he said, making me scoff.

“I was never your girl.”

“I asked you out before him and he knew I liked you. But he had to fall for you too and manage to take you before I had another chance to do my best.”

“So you bullied me for years instead?!” I exclaimed, getting up as he grumbled things I couldn’t heard. I chuckled lowly, glancing down at my phone unconsciously to check for anything but there was nothing again.

“It was fun and made me lose feelings for you, made me hate you until the accident and you showed me that you weren’t worth hating. You suffered and you cried and you were weak in those first few days and I pitied you,” he shrugged as I looked back at him.

“You said you waited years for me last night,” I said, raising a brow as he opened his mouth to speak but no words came out. “So, you lied. You didn’t wait for me to love you, you lost your feelings for me and hated me all because I liked your best friend instead of you. You’re selfish, Frost.”

“Damn, now you’re giving me that tone?” He questioned, getting up. He sighed and moved close, taking my arms as I kept my eyes off him.

“Don’t lie to me.”

“Okay,” he murmured. “I’m sorry,” he said and I looked up at him softly but now I felt like I could tear his face off and I’d feel better.

“Go get some clothes on,” I told him, passing him slowly to sit back down when my stomach ached. “Do you mind getting my meds too?” I asked, looking to him as he stopped in the doorway to hear me before he continued.

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