“Actually, Mom, she’s here right now,” Liam said proudly, rubbing my back gently and smiling at me. His eyes bore into mine, making my whole body feel a little hotter. Pat jumped and wiped her hands on a cloth, quickly fixing her hair frantically, before she practically ran to the hallway. OK, weird! “Mom, what are you doing?” Liam asked, laughing; I noticed that Rick was staring at Liam’s hand on my back, a wide grin on his face.
“Well, is she parking the car or something?” Pat asked, looking back at Liam before glancing at the front door again. He laughed harder and Rick and I chuckled too.
“Mom, this is my girlfriend. Her name is Amber Walker.” Liam beamed proudly at me as I pressed myself closer to him.
Pat’s face snapped to look at me, shocked. Slowly, her face turned to happiness, then complete bliss, as she laughed and ran to me, grabbing both me and Liam into a big hug. “Oh my gosh! Finally, you two got together? Finally!” she almost screamed, jumping up and down on the spot.
Liam wrapped his arm round my waist and pulled me impossibly closer to him. “Yeah, finally,” he confirmed, rolling his eyes, but looking amused at the same time. Rick put his hand out to Liam. They shook hands in a very grown up gesture, before he pulled him into a bear hug.
After all of the excitement had died down, we had dinner. It was really nice to be sat with Liam’s parents like this, they honestly didn’t stop smiling. Every time Liam and I touched each other, Pat would sigh happily, beaming at us.
“Right, you boys can clear the table!” Pat ordered, grabbing my arm and pulling me to the lounge. “I am so happy for you two. Liam’s told you he’s been in love with you for years, right?” she beamed. My breath caught in my throat at her choice of words. She thought that Liam was in love with me? He wasn’t in love with me, was he? Did he really whisper that he loved me last night before I fell asleep?
“Er, he told me he’s liked me for a long time, yeah,” I mumbled, a little uncomfortably.
She rolled her eyes. “Liked, jeez that boy has been smitten with you from the get go. I mean, he still calls you Angel for goodness sake!” she laughed.
I looked at her, confused. “What does that have to do with anything?” I asked, frowning. I really loved Pat, but sometimes she can be a little crazy.
“He’s never told you why he calls you that?” she asked, smirking at me. I shook my head, and she chuckled darkly. “The first time we met you was at Liam’s sixth birthday party. You’d not long moved in and we thought it would be nice, you know, to invite the neighbours to the party,” she started, nodding enthusiastically.
“Yeah, I remember. You had balloons everywhere, and a clown that did magic tricks.” I smiled; the James’ always did throw the best parties, even kids parties.
“That’s right. So anyway, you and your brother came to the party and as soon as you walked through the door, Liam just stared at you. He literally couldn’t take his eyes off of you. You smiled and said happy birthday to him, but he couldn’t even speak to you, so you walked off to go dance. He turned to me, and do you know what he said to me?” she asked, her eyes tearing up. I shook my head. What the heck is she going to say? This is freaking me out a little! “He said in a deadly serious tone, ‘Momma, am I dead?’ And I said ‘no honey, you’re not dead’, and he shook his head, looking all confused about something. Then he pointed to you dancing and said, ‘if I’m not dead, then why is there an Angel in our house?’” she stated, clasping her hands together and beaming.
I gasped. Holy crap! That’s why he calls me Angel? My heart was racing and my palms were sweaty. I think Liam really is in love with me, but am I in love with him? I don’t think so, at least, not yet. But I could easily see myself falling in love with him.
“That’s why he calls me that? Are you serious?” I asked, unsure if she was joking or not.
“Totally. Ask him if you don’t believe me, but from the moment he saw you he was in love with you, it’s plain on the look on his face. I’m surprised you never noticed.” She shook her head, chuckling.
“I never noticed because he was always so mean to me. He was always pushing me over, or pulling my hair, calling me names.” I frowned. Why did he do all of that if he was in love with me?
“Your brother made him stay away. He beat Liam up after his birthday party that same year and told him to stay away from you,” she said, laughing and shaking her head. “That brother of yours sure is protective, bless him,” she said, smiling fondly.
“Yeah, I know. Liam and I talked about it and we decided to keep it from Jake for a couple of weeks, just until things settle down. I’d really appreciate it if you’d not say anything to him if you see him.” I winced at the thought of Liam and Jake fighting. I definitely wanted to put that off as long as possible.
“I won’t say anything, but I don’t think you should leave it too long, otherwise it’ll only get harder.”
I smiled gratefully. “Yeah, just a couple of weeks.”
Suddenly, Liam jumped over the back of the couch and landed next to me, wrapping his arm around my shoulder and pulling me to him. When I turned to smile at him, he kissed me, nibbling my lip, asking for entrance. Jeez, did he forget his mom was sitting there watching us?
I pulled away quickly, making him groan. “Angel, I haven’t seen you all day,” he whined, pouting like a little kid. I laughed at the word Angel; did he really call me that because he thought I was an Angel when he was six years old? “What are you laughing at, beautiful?” he asked, stroking the side of my face with the back of one finger.
I bit my lip to make me stop and shook my head. “Nothing,” I lied, smiling at him. He bent his head forward and kissed me again, asking for entrance and I pulled away again. “Liam, seriously, your mom is watching us,” I whispered to his puppy dog face. We both looked over at Pat who was staring with a huge grin on her face, like she was watching the cutest thing in the world.
Liam stood up and held out his hand to me. “Let’s go listen to some music in my room.” He frowned a little at his mom who was still watching us like some kind of crazy happy woman.
I grabbed his hand and let him pull me up and into his room. I hadn’t been in his bedroom for years. I think the last time I was in here was probably about two years ago when I came in to change my clothes after we had a huge water fight and Jake and I had gotten locked out. His room was much the same as it was then, but it now had more stuff on the walls. Like his signed hockey shirt that he had gotten for his birthday from his parents this year, and his trophies that were all lined up on some shelves.
He put on some music quietly and I walked over to the bookcase to see two framed photos. One was of Jake, Liam and I at the park where we had gone for a picnic when we were kids, I was probably eleven or twelve. The other photo was of me and my dance crew, taken at one of the competitions that we had entered. I picked it up and looked at it curiously.
“I love that photo,” Liam said, smiling at it as he stood next to me.
I held it out to him. “When did you take this?”
“About two months ago at the club on Richmond. You won first prize and you were jumping all over the place, excited.” He smiled and rubbed his thumb over the picture, before putting it back down.
I walked over to his bed and sat down. “Wow, your bed is uncomfortable! No wonder you like sleeping at mine,” I joked, running my hand over his duvet. He laughed and came and sat next to me. I couldn’t help but notice that he looked so handsome when he laughs. I pushed him down on the bed and moved so I was straddling him, I put my forearms near his head and bent down so that our faces were almost touching. “So, Liam, I want you to tell me something,” I breathed, running my hands through his hair.
“Can I kiss you first? Then I’ll answer anything you want.” His gaze flicked down to my lips for a split second, before returning to my eyes.
I crashed my lips to his. His arms immediately went around my waist, pulling me closer to him, one of his hands tangling in my hair. He traced his tongue along my bottom lip slowly and I didn’t refuse him this time, I opened my mouth, eagerly. His taste exploded into my mouth as he slipped his tongue in, massaging mine passionately, making me moan. Kissing Liam seemed to get better and better each time. I was burning with the need for him to touch me, but I was also conscious that his parents were just down the hall and knew that we were in here together. I pulled back after a few minutes, we were both breathing hard. He was running his hands slowly down my body from the top of my head down to my waist and back up again, looking at me lovingly.
I was a little startled by the look on his face. What his mom said was true. He really was in love with me; I could see it in his eyes.
“So, what is it you want to know, Angel?” he asked, gripping both of his hands on my ass and squeezing gently. I was almost distracted by his hands; I mean, if he just moved them a bit further down and towards the centre more, they would be exactly where my body was screaming for him to be. I shook my head to clear away the lustful thoughts, and smiled at his handsome face.
“I want to know why you call me Angel.”
He gasped and blushed slightly. I smiled reassuringly at him. He groaned and shook his head quickly. “No way. I’m not answering that,” he whined, giving me the puppy dog face that I couldn’t resist.
“Come on, you said you’d answer anything I wanted,” I encouraged. He frowned and shook his head. OK, I’ll try another tactic. “Please?” I begged, pecking his lips. “Please?” I whispered, kissing him again. “Please?”
He moaned and took a deep breath as I kissed down his neck. “I call you Angel because, I honestly believe that God put an Angel on this earth just for me,” he admitted, cupping my face in his hands making me look at him. I took in a shaky breath. So it was true what Pat said. My heart was racing in my chest as he continued to speak. “The first time I saw you I thought you were an Angel straight from heaven. You were so beautiful that you took my breath away. You still do, every day.”