“Liam!” I laughed, jumping away as he grabbed my hips, the cold water splashing up over my legs as he hugged his arms around me. I squealed as he picked me up, my legs swinging up to the sky before they fell down again and were back in the water.
I laughed with him, feeling his arms hold me securely as my legs felt like they were going to give up.
“Stop doing that,” I hit his chest, looking up at him as I smiled widely.
“Okay, okay,” he gave me wide eyes in return and moved his arms from down around my waist to up around my neck. “I need you to hear something,” he whispered in my ear and looked back at me as I searched his eyes, my smile creeping away slowly as I wondered what he was about to tell me.
I felt my heart start to race a little fast as he touched a hand to my cheek, caressed it softly and pushed back a wet lock behind my ear.
“Oli can say and do whatever he wants but he can’t do or say anything to change my mind about you. And you know I love you and I know you love me too and I’m still waiting for you, I’ll wait as long as I need to,” he said quietly, his eyes shining in the sunlight while I smiled widely, holding his hands tighter and tighter by the moment.
“Liam, I’m sick of waiting,” I blurted finally, letting go of his hands to branch my fingers to the side of my face, my eyes going wide as he chuckled at my reaction. “Fucking sick of it,” I whispered, shaking my head slightly as I moved my arms around his neck, tiptoeing to be a little taller. I stared into his eyes and he stared back. He held me close, pulling me up against him just as his head tilted down and forward.
He came closer and closer and my eyes fell to his lips. Butterflies burned in my stomach just as I felt my head go hot and I went to go close my eyes and just meet his lips but didn’t get the chance when he was suddenly forced away.
I heard him yelp from surprise as someone else laughed and I stared down at the two guys in the water.
“Oliver!” I growled, kicking the water to get his face wet while he got back to his feet.
“Lighten up, Sunshine. Just saved a life,” he breathed, brushing off his shoulder and smirking back at me, his eyes falling down and making me tense up.
“Stop looking at me like that,” I snapped, moving my arms over my bikini top just as Liam shoved him off and came to me, shaking his head in anger.
“He’s just being a dimwit,” he whispered, moving his arm around my shoulders and directing me back to the beach.
We weren’t too deep. Only up to our knees but the water was cold and so was the breeze. I wouldn’t mind laying in the sun for a bit either so I was kind of glad we were heading back but I was extremely mad for the reason why we were going back.
“Where did he even come from?” I growled, my butterflies and sparks ruined and taken over by the frustration and anger I had when Oliver was around.
“I really don’t know,” Liam sighed, glancing back as Oliver followed us out, jogging to get next to Liam. “Man, just piss off right now. Please.”
“Lovely manners but no can do I’m afraid-.”
“Oliver, it’s not all about you!” I yelled back, moving in front of Liam to shove the jackass back. “Leave us alone or I swear I-.”
“What?” He snapped, hitting my pointy finger down to size me up, glaring down at me. “You’re going to hit me? Going to tell my mummy?”
“I just might. She tends to like me.”
“She tends to be nice to everyone she has to deal with, including rich snobby little girls who complain twenty-four-seven about things she can’t fix herself.”
“Including a know it all, ungrateful pig of a son she can’t get rid of,” I bit back, felt Liam take hold of my arm to gently pull me back while Oliver clenched his jaw and didn’t lose the dirty mean look he was giving me. “Your father didn’t want you, Oliver. Your mother doesn’t either!”
“Sarah,” Liam barked, tugging me back as Oliver kept up the act but his eyes gave off that inside, he was breaking.
Good, I thought, turning away and shaking Liam’s grip off as I walked away and towards my things. I glanced back for a second to realise Liam wasn’t with me anymore and going back to Oliver. I rolled my eyes because he was always going to go back to Oliver.
He wouldn’t follow me to end the argument, he’d go back to see if his best friend was okay. I understood why but sometimes it annoys the crap out of me that Liam couldn’t just pick a side sometimes. He had to be on both, to be here for the both of us when Oliver never deserves it.
He doesn’t deserve to be looked out for. To be loved and wanted.
He did bad to everyone, he put Hell on Earth for some of us and we hate him for it.
“Liam,” I called, stopping and shrugging out my arms. Liam looked to me just as Ted ran back from playing with a few other dogs. He crashed into Liam’s legs, circling and jumping to get his attention but he kept his eyes on me.
“Don’t,” was all he said but his eyes said it all. Don’t make me choose.
I watched as Oliver bent down to give Ted the attention he wanted. Liam glanced down and then away from us all, moved his hand over his eyes and that told me enough.
What was I compared to his two best friends? Oliver and Ted.
I’m just a girl in his heart and in their way.
So, everything he just told me? That no matter what Oliver did or said…?
I felt my eyes start to suddenly water because we were honestly the closest we’d ever been. We were going to kiss! And Oliver just had to come in and ruin everything.
I closed my eyes, swallowing hard to control myself as I turned and continued to our things. I put on my shorts, put my shirt in my bag and put it over my shoulder. I picked up my towel and flipflops and started towards the back of the beach.
“Sarah, wait,” I heard Liam call just before he caught up, catching my arm as he put his bag over his shoulder. “Oli’s taking Ted for now. What do you want to do?”
“I just want to go home,” I answered, continuing as he walked with me, his arm coming around my shoulders.
“Don’t be. Oliver’s just better than me-.”
“Don’t say that. It’s not true. You’re both equal.”
“Liam,” I stopped and turned to him, gently pushed his arm off me. “That’s not good enough for me.”
“I know. He doesn’t like it either but it’s what I can do and I just wish you’d both accept that that’s what I want. I want you both and I want you to get along because he’s around, Sarah. I love him, I wouldn’t be who I am without him and you wouldn’t understand-.”
“I wouldn’t understand?” I questioned, my voice croaking from the tears in my throat. I swallowed as I rubbed my eyes and walked away again, feeling as he hooked a finger in my shorts and followed close.
“I’m sorry for making you upset. Can you forgive me?”
Can I? I wondered but of course I could. This wasn’t his fault. Oliver showed up unexpectantly and ruined our evening.
“Of course I can but I just need time and I want to go home,” I replied, touching his arm gently as I glanced back and he paused before he nodded.
“Want me to stay and still take you to work?” He asked as we reached his car.
I felt my heart tie up into a knot as I got in and put my things down to the floor.
“It’s okay. I’ll get Amber to take me-.”
“Liam,” I cut in and looked up at him but nothing else was needed to be said. He gave a small nod and turned the keys, started the car up and slowly moved out of the park.
I ran my fingers together, held my hands together in my lap as the silence between Liam and I was almost daunting and painful.
I hated this. I hated when I was mad and I couldn’t let him in. I hated how Oliver always seemed to stuff up my days.
Things were running perfectly until he showed up and that makes me so mad. I don’t want to take it out on anyone but after so long of this, it’s so hard to keep it in now.
“I hate him, Liam. I hate him so much.”
“I know,” he replied, glancing to me for a moment. I looked back and blinked, looked down as I touched my hand to his hand which was resting on his knee. “It is what it is,” I heard him whisper so quietly, I knew it wasn’t for me.
I looked back at him and he was staring out at the road, his eyes low and narrow in sadness.
I looked away and to the outside road, watching as the traffic lights turned to orange. Two seconds later, my heart jumped up when he wasn’t slowing.
“Liam, red light!” I yelled when the lights changed. I heard him curse lightly as he slammed on the brakes, stopping before the car was spinning and everything was suddenly dark.