Chapter 23
I knocked on the door and held my breath,
waiting for him to answer. The door opened
almost immediately. There he stood, the
man that made me lose my baby, the man
that’s making my boyfriend stand against
charges of GBH. His face was a mess. He
was right; Liam certainly did a good job. His
nose was strapped and swollen, almost
every inch of his face was red and sore
looking, and he had two wicked black eyes.
I couldn’t help but be a little proud of Liam, I
knew I shouldn’t be, but my boy was a
He smiled. “Amber, come on in. How are you?” he
asked politely.
Is he kidding me? How am I?
I walked past him and ignored his question. “Let’s
dispense with the pleasantries. What is it that you want so
that you’ll you drop the charges against Liam?” I asked,
willing my voice not to betray how terrified I was.
He grinned and turned and walked into the lounge,
obviously expecting me to follow. As soon as he was out of
sight, I flicked the latch on the door so all Jake had to do
was push it open. Then I followed him into the lounge.
Please let this work, please.
“Have a seat,” he instructed, sitting on the sofa and
patting the space next to him. I knew I needed to stay on his
good side, I also knew I needed to stay as close to him as I
could, so I made my way over and sat down, turning in the
seat to face him and getting ready to run if I needed to.
“So, who’s baby is it? Or don’t you know?” he
asked, sneering at me.
I could feel my anger and grief threatening to spill
over because he was talking about my baby. “I lost it thanks
to you. Why did you hit me?” I asked, trying not to cry.
He laughed, shaking his head as if I had said
something stupid. “You fucking deserved it,” he said angrily.
“You hit me and made me fall and lose my baby.
That’s why Liam hit you,” I replied, matter-of-factly.
“That little fucker, he always was trouble,” he
growled, his hands clenching into fists.
I gulped. Oh God, this wasn’t working! “It was your
fault. You came around to our house wanting a fight, you
wanted this to happen,” I goaded.
He nodded; a sly smile crept on to his face. “Yeah, I
was hoping to get your fucking brother in trouble, but that
little punk from next door stopped him. Jake always was
trouble, even when you were kids he used to get in my
way,” he barked, shaking his head annoyed.
“Jake used to stop you beating me. He stopped you
trying to rape me. Is that what you’re talking about?” I
asked. Oh God, please answer the question!
He looked at me angrily. “Rape? Screw that, it’s not
rape. You’re my daughter; you owed me for all the shit I had
to put up with. You were fucking ripe for the picking,” he
stated, looking me over slowly, making my skin crawl.
My hand tightened around my cellphone in my
pocket. “You think you can beat the crap out of your wife
and two children for years, sexually abuse your own
daughter and try to rape me, and that’s OK?” I asked, my
voice breaking.
“You lot made my fucking life a misery! You needed
a good slap to keep you in line. I was disciplining you, that’s
all,” he spat, getting up from the sofa gripping his hands
into his hair.
“Discipline? One time you punched Jake so hard in
the stomach that he couldn’t eat for a days. You broke his
arm, and ribs. You made us all scared to do anything in
case we made you angry!” I shouted, trying to provoke him.
He rounded on me and I stood up quickly, needing
to be on my feet in case I needed to run. “Jake deserved all
of that! I should have fucking drowned that kid at birth!” he
shouted, slamming his hand down on the coffee table,
making me yelp.
“What about Johnny, Matt and Ruby? Do they need
discipline too?” I asked.
He nodded. “Yeah, they all need to learn some
respect. Where is Ruby anyway?” he asked, his eyes trying
to bore holes into mine.
“She’s gone back to Mersey,” I lied.
He made an angry growling noise and gripped hold
of the coffee table, tipping it over roughly. I jerked back as it
almost crashed into my feet.
Come on, Amber, you can do this!
“I want you to drop the charges against Liam, and
leave town,” I stated matter-of-factly.
He laughed and rolled his eyes. “Right, that’s not
going to happen. I tell you what, I’ll drop the charges against
that little punk, if you come and live with me,” he bargained,
looking me over again slowly. I cringed back, feeling sick
and slightly dizzy, then I realised it was because I wasn’t
breathing so I drew in a ragged breath.
“No. You’re going to drop the charges and leave
town and never bother me or my family again. And when I
say my family, I mean Ruby, Johnny and Matt too,” I said
Oh God, this was going to work! I couldn’t help but
smile; I brought my phone from my pocket and pressed
send. I laughed quietly before putting my poker face back
He was looking at me like I had lost my mind,
making it seem even funnier to me. “And why would I do
that?” he asked, his voice coloured with amusement.
“Because if you don’t, I’m going to go to the police
and tell them everything about what happened when we
were kids. Trust me; the time you’ll spend in jail will be a lot
longer than the time Liam will get. And, you’ll be in a much
worse part of the jail too, where they put the rapists and
paedophiles,” I shrugged.
He burst out laughing. “And who’s going to believe a
dirty little tramp like you? Knocked up at sixteen. I’m a
respected professional. I can afford the top lawyers to rip
your case to shreds, and besides, you have no proof. This
happened so long ago, it’s your word against mine,” he
growled, stepping closer to me.
I felt the bile rise in my throat and I prayed that Jake
was close. How long had it been since I sent that text?
“Actually, that’s where you’re wrong. I have your word
too,” I corrected, smirking at him as I pulled out my
cellphone. He looked at me like I was stupid again. “Clever
things phones nowadays, they have all sorts of gadgets in
them; cameras, music players, calculators…….. voice
recorders,” I chirped, raising my eyebrows at the last one.
I flicked through the menu and played back our
conversation that I had just recorded on my phone. I
watched his face with a satisfied smile.
“So, who’s baby is it? Or don’t you know?”
“I lost it thanks to you. Why did you hit me?”
“You fucking deserved it!”
“You hit me and made me fall and lose my baby.
That’s why Liam hit you.”
“That little fucker, he always was trouble.”
I stopped the recording. “Heard enough, or do you
want to hear what else is on here? Can you remember what
you said? What you admitted to? Abuse, attempted rape,” I
said, grinning like an idiot. He grabbed my phone and
dropped it on the floor, smashing his foot down on it, hard. I
fought hard against the urge to laugh. “Oh, Daddy, that
phone cost me a lot of money. Do you know how much a
brand new iPhone costs nowadays?” I asked sarcastically.
He grinned, obviously thinking he had won. “You’ve
got nothing now.” He grabbed my wrist and pulled me
closer to him.
I laughed and nodded in confirmation. “You’re right. I
don’t, but my family do. I sent it to them just now. Five other
people have that recording, and if you don’t take your dirty
pervert hands off of me right now, that will be going to the
police,” I stated smugly.
He slapped me hard across the face, making me
yelp as his hand crashed into my already sore skin. I held
my face and looked at him; I hated him more than I had ever
hated anything in my life.
“You drop the charges right now and leave town and
never contact us again! Otherwise, I’ll make sure that all five
of those recordings make it to the police. I’m serious, you
drop the charges and leave and I’ll let it go. I just want Liam
free,” I instructed.
I didn’t care about anything else. We would always
have the recordings; if he ever came near us again I had no
problem with pressing charges and get him sent away for
good. But I couldn’t do that now, Liam would still be facing
jail and I couldn’t take the risk of him being found guilty and
sent to jail for defending me.
My father was looking at me hatefully as he thought
about it. I could tell by his angry expression that he knew
there was no other option. If he didn’t want to be charged
with attempted rape, child abuse and a couple of accounts
of assault then he needed to go along with what I was
“You’re just like your fucking brother,” he shouted
venomously, as he shook me by the arm.
I smiled. “I’ll take that as a compliment. Jake’s the
best brother in the world.”
“You little bitch,” he hissed.
I yanked my arm out of his grasp. “Call them now,
drop the charges and I want to speak to them after to make
sure it’s done,” I ordered. Oh my God, it’s working! It was
really going to work.
I heard a car screech up outside and seconds later
Jake burst through the door. He looked murderously angry
as he bounded towards us with his fists clenched.
“Jake, everything’s fine. We were just talking. He’s
decided to drop the charges and leave town. Right,
Stephen?” I explained, sneering on his name. Jake looked
at me, shock clear across his face. He grabbed my arm
and pulled me behind him, as he glared at my father. Wow,
if looks could kill! I gripped his arm, squeezing gently to get
his attention. “Everything’s fine, Jake, just calm down. I’ve
sorted everything,” I stated, fighting the urge to just let him
kill him, but I couldn’t let Jake get into trouble too.
“Sorted everything?” he asked, his eyes not leaving
my father’s face who actually looked scared of Jake right
now. To be honest, I wasn ’t surprised he was scared. Jake
could be damn scary when he wanted to be.
“Call them and drop the charges,” I ordered. My
father sneered at us both and turned to grab his phone.
While his back was turned, Jake looked at me.
“What’s happened? What the hell are you doing here?” he
asked quickly.
I smiled. “Check your phone.”
He frowned at me, and pulled out his cellphone.
“One voice message,” he read, opening it and playing it. I
watched his face as he listened to it; it went from anger, to
shock, to happiness. He looked at me proudly and slipped
his phone back in his pocket, wrapping his arm around my
shoulders, holding me tightly to his side.
I started to feel a little weak on my feet, I needed to
sit down and rest. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep.
“Jake, stay calm and finish this, OK? He’s going to leave
town. I sent that message to Mom, Liam, Johnny and Ruby
too, so you just need to make sure he does what he says. I
just need Liam free,” I said, as I sat down in the armchair
behind him.
“You alright?” he asked, concern colouring his voice.
I nodded, smiling. “I’m totally fine. I just need to sit
down. You can take it from here, just stay calm,” I replied,
feeling my body relax knowing that I didn’t have to talk to
him again. Jake would sort everything out, he always did.
I watched as my father called the police and
dropped the charges. Jake called them from his phone and
they confirmed that the charges had been dropped and that
no further action would be taken against Liam. He was
hovering protectively in front of me the whole time, staying
in-between my father and me. He really was the best
brother anyone ever had.
After about ten minutes, Jake turned to me. “We’re
ready to go, Ambs.” He took my hand and pulled me up
from the sofa. He pushed me towards the door in front of
him, his eyes not leaving my father the whole time. “You
better not come back, old man. Next time I see you, either
I’ll kill you or we’ll be headed to the police station to press
charges, all of us. I’m not sure which option I prefer,
personally, I’d love to stand there and watch you burn,” he
stated, with a small smile, as if he was imagining it. He
wasn’t joking, I had no doubt in my mind that Jake would kill
him, and if Jake didn’t, I was pretty sure that Liam would.
“Leave town today!” Jake growled as he slammed the door,
pushing me towards his car. He made sure I was in before
heading around to his side and speeding off down the road
without saying a word.
After about two minutes of driving he pulled over and
cut the engine. His hands gripped the steering wheel so
tightly that his knuckles went white. His jaw was clenched
so tightly I was surprised his teeth hadn’t crumbled under
the pressure. OK, I knew he’d be pissed with me! He took a
few deep breaths, obviously trying to calm down.
“What the fuck was that?” he growled.
I winced and looked at him apologetically. “Jake, it
“Do you have any idea how freaking stupid that was,
Amber? Think about it, what if it didn’t work? What if I didn’t
get your message? What if he had decided to hurt you? Or
worse!” he shouted, slamming his hand on the steering
wheel angrily.
I flinched. He’d shouted so loud and it echoed in the
car making it even louder. “Jake, I’m sorry. I needed to do
it; it was the only way I could think of to get Liam free. Now
we’ve always got that recording so he won’t come near us
again,” I explained, pleading with him to understand my
reasons. He didn’t say anything, he was still really angry.
“You should be proud of me,” I whispered, giving him my
puppy dog face.
He sighed. “I am proud of your idea, Ambs, but that
was freaking idiotic. Just because it worked, doesn’t mean
that what you did was right. You’re supposed to be in the
hospital for goodness sake. How the hell did you get out?
Oh crap, please tell me you didn’t sneak out or something
and they’re looking for you,” he said, grimacing.
I laughed and shook my head. “I discharged myself.
I’m fine, I just need bed rest, which I’ll get plenty of once my
boyfriend is out of custody,” I said, smiling at the thought.
Jake laughed wickedly. “You know what? I’m not
going to shout at you anymore. Liam is seriously going to
be pissed with you for doing this too. I’ll let him deal with it,”
he said, laughing as he started the car back up again. Oh
crap, he was right; Liam was going to be really angry that I
put myself in danger like that. Jake looked at me and
laughed again. “Well, I’m glad I don’t have to be the one to
rein you in all the time now. Liam can take over.” He
smirked at me and I couldn’t help but laugh, he actually
looked a little relieved. “Do you need to go back to the
hospital?” he asked.
I shook my head. I felt fine, I was just tired and
needed to sit down, my body felt like I’d ran a marathon but
I wasn’t in pain or anything. “I’m fine, honestly. We can go
pick up Liam and then go home,” I suggested, resting my
head back on the headrest. I just needed Liam to hold me.
“They told me on the phone that he’ll be another hour
at least. They need to process him out or something. I’ll
take you home and you can wait for him there.” He smiled
at me reassuringly and headed in the direction of our
When we pulled into our drive, Ruby and Johnny
came running out of the house, looking at me concerned.
“Oh, Amber, are you OK, honey? ” Ruby asked, fussing over
me as we walked to the house.
“I’m fine. I’m just tired.” I nodded.
“What was that message? Did you go and see
Stephen?” Ruby asked, frowning.
I nodded and looked at Jake pleadingly; I just
wanted to go to bed. “I’ll tell you in a bit, Ruby. Ambs needs
to rest,” Jake interjected, steering me towards the back
hallway. I smiled at him gratefully. I couldn’t deal with
anymore; the reality of what I had just done was sinking in.
I’d really been stupid. I tried not to imagine all of the things
he could have done to me. I shuddered lightly and pushed
the thoughts away, it was over now, nothing happened. I
was lucky. Jake followed me into my room putting my bag
down for me; I kicked off my shoes and got in the bed fully
clothed. He sat on the edge of my bed, looking at me sadly.
“Ambs, I’m really sorry you lost your baby, you know
that, right?” he asked quietly.
I nodded. “Yeah, I know. You would have been a
kickass uncle,” I teased, smiling weakly.
He laughed. “Yeah, I would have spoilt that kid
rotten, just to spite you and Liam.”
I smiled. “I bet you would have done too.”
He bent down and hugged me, kissing my cheek.
“You were really brave, and I’m proud of you, but don’t you
ever do anything like that ever again,” he said fiercely.
I nodded and yawned. “I won’t. Are you going to go
pick up Liam?”
He shook his head. “No, I’ll ask Johnny to go and
pick him up. I don’t want to leave you here until I know that
asshole out of town,” he replied. I nodded and closed my
eyes, needing to go to sleep; I was physically and
emotionally exhausted.
I woke up as I felt someone get on the bed.
I opened my eyes groggily and looked over
to see Liam getting in the bed with me. I
burst into tears and threw my arms around
him. I’d never been so happy to see anyone
in my life. He hugged me back tightly,
stroking my hair, rocking me gently as he
pressed his lips to my neck, the same as he
always does when I’m upset. I tangled my
hands in his hair and didn’t ever want to let
go. I never wanted him away from me
“It’s OK now, Angel. Everything ’s fine. How are you
feeling?” he asked softly as he pulled back to look at me.
His gorgeous eyes blue were looking at me concerned. I
smiled and kissed him, pressing myself to him tightly. He
smiled against my lips and I pulled back.
“I’m fine. I’m pleased to see you,” I promised, tracing
my hands down his beautiful face. He ran his hand through
my hair, just looking at me tenderly for a couple of minutes.
“Jake told me what you did,” he said, his face turning
I gulped and grimaced. “I’m sorry, I had to,” I
mumbled apologetically.
He buried his face in the side of my neck. “I’m not
going to shout at you, if that’s what you’re thinking,” he
replied, chuckling against my skin. I let out the breath I
didn’t realise I was holding and relaxed. He pulled back to
look at me. “I am seriously pissed at you though. I hate that
you did that, but I don’t need to put any more pressure on
you than you’re already under. You’ve been through so
much already,” he said sadly, his hand trailing down to rest
on my now empty stomach. “I’m just going to say this; you
don’t ever put yourself in a situation like that again. You
never put yourself in danger again. I don’t care what the
reason is; it’s not a good enough reason for you to get hurt.
Do you understand me?” he growled.
I nodded, I could see he meant it; he was crazy mad,
he wanted to say a lot more than that too, but he wasn’t
because of the baby. “I understand.” I nodded, smiling
guiltily. “I love you, Liam, so much.” He was the most
important thing to me. This whole situation just proved to
me how much I loved him, I would do anything for him, even
face my worst nightmare.
“I love you too, Angel,” he whispered, bending his
head and kissing me gently. By the time he pulled away we
were both slightly breathless.
“Liam, can I ask you something?” I mumbled as he
settled down on the bed next to me. He nodded, taking my
hand and weaving his fingers through mine. “Do you still
want to be with me? Answer me honestly. After I lost the
baby and everything, do you still want me?” I asked, biting
my lip, terrified he would say no.
He looked at me like I was crazy. “Angel, I’ve always
wanted you. I will always want you. Always,” he said fiercely.
I smiled, happiness bubbling up inside me. OK, ask
him, come on Amber you can do it. “You said when we
found out that I was pregnant that you were thinking about
asking me to move to Boston with you,” I started nervously.
He nodded. “Yeah.” He looked a little confused as to
where this conversation was going.
“Boston is an awesome opportunity for you, isn’t it?
And if you could do anything you would go there, right?” I
asked, needing confirmation before I asked him.
He looked even more confused. “Yeah, but it’s fine, I
want to stay here with you. You‘re the most important thing
in the world to me,” he replied, kissing my temple gently.
I shook my head, that wasn’t the answer I wanted.
“Liam, answer this honestly, don’t think about me. The best
thing for your career is Boston, is that right?”
He nodded. “Yeah but-” he started. I put my hand
over his mouth to stop his answer.
“I want to come with you, if you still want me to. You
said before that you wanted to ask me to come with you.
Do you still want that?” I asked, looking at his shocked face,
he wasn’t expecting that at all. He didn’t answer; he was still
looking at me, his mouth hanging open. “Liam, do you want
me to come with you?” I repeated, squeezing his hand
“You would do that for me?” he asked, looking at me
so lovingly that it made my heart melt.
I nodded. “Yeah, I’d follow you anywhere if you asked
me to.”
“But you’d be leaving so much behind, Angel. Your
school. Your friends. Jake. Your home,” he whispered,
cupping my sore cheek gently.
I nodded. “Yeah, but I’d get to be with you, so that
makes everything worth it.” I shrugged.
“How the hell did I get a girl like you?” he asked,
rubbing his thumb over my cheek softly.
“Maybe you were a murderer in a previous life,” I
teased, making him laugh.
He nodded. “Serial killer,” he joked, making us both
laugh again. He bent forward and kissed me so softly and
tenderly that it made me feel like the most special and
luckiest girl in the world.
He pulled out of the kiss way too soon for my liking.
“Will you move to Boston with me, Angel?” he asked.
I grinned and hugged him tight. “I’d love to, Liam.”
I needed a fresh start. So much had happened here
that I just needed to go and start over. I needed to forget
everything and look to the future - my future with Liam.
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