~ Amber ~
After finally prying myself off of Liam on
Saturday morning, I literally couldn’t keep
the smile off my face. He was so incredible
last night and it was better than I ever
thought it could be. He was so sweet and
patient and tender with me, taking
everything slow and easy. I couldn’t have
asked for a more loving boyfriend.
“Come on then, lover boy, let’s go,” I ordered, pulling
on some sweats and a tank top ready for dance practice.
He grabbed my waist and kissed the back of my
neck. “OK. But please try not to shake that fine ass in my
face too much, or I might have to rip those sexy sweats off
of you and take you right in front of your crew,” he growled,
biting my neck gently.
I couldn’t help but laugh at that comment. He’d never
said anything like that to me before and I blushed like crazy
as I slapped his shoulder. “Get out of my room, manwhore,”
I joked, pushing him away, laughing. He gripped my
hand, tugging me along behind him, grinning happily. I
couldn’t help but stare at his ass as he walked in front of me
up the hallway. Wow, he’d made me into a pervert too!
Dance practice was great. I seemed to finally be
picking up the lift that I was having trouble with last week, so
at least I didn’t fall on my ass too much. By the time we
finished I was tired and sweating. Liam sat there patiently
watching as usual, joking around with Justin. He seemed to
be smiling more than normal. I guess it was hard for him,
waiting a whole week for sex, I bet he’d never done that in
his life. He was probably just pleased to have finally gotten
some last night after all the teasing I’d done recently.
Wait, had we only been dating a week? I laughed to
myself - wow, I was a slut. I slept with a boy I’d been dating
for a week; I never thought I would say that! It seemed like
we’d been together forever because everything was just so
easy and I’d known him for so long.
When we were finished practicing, we went to a little
café and bought sandwiches, taking them over to the park
to eat them. Liam sat under the shade of a tree, opening
his legs for me to sit between them. Just as I was about to
sit down, he stopped me. “Wait, Angel.” He shrugged off
his hoodie and laid it on the floor for me to sit on.
“Thanks.” I smiled gratefully, sitting down and leaning
back into his chest, eating my food. As usual, Liam inhaled
his food and wrapped his arms around me, rocking me
gently while I finished eating. I never thought I would ever
have anything like this with a guy. Whenever I’d thought
about dating, it had scared the hell out of me because I
didn’t ever want a man to touch me like that. After what my
father did with all the touching, I guess I was a little scarred.
All the time I’d thought I didn’t ever want a boyfriend, I never
realised I already had the perfect boy who was sweet and
kind and kept me safe every night.
“I could stay here forever,” I mumbled, closing my
eyes, sighing in contentment.
He kissed the side of my head. “Not regretting
sleeping with me then?” he asked.
I turned to face him, pretending to think about it.
“That depends. Are you going to leave me now I’ve given it
up?” I joked.
He smiled at me wickedly. “Hmm, I just might,” he
answered, kissing me gently.
I smiled against his lips. “Well maybe I should get in
there first and dump your hot ass. Save myself the
embarrassment,” I suggested, raising my eyebrows,
smirking at him.
He laughed and laid down on his back, pulling me
on top of him, holding me close. “If you dump my ass I’m
going to be begging you until the day I die for you to take
me back,” he stated, running his hand down my back.
“Begging on your knees?” I asked, laughing.
He nodded, looking at me gravely. “Yep, whatever it
takes. Everywhere you go, I’ll be following behind you,
begging for another shot. I’ll be just like an obsessive
stalker,” he joked, rolling so I was under him.
“Sounds like that would be a pain in my butt. Maybe I
just should keep you then.” I smiled, shrugging.
He nodded. “Good plan,” he agreed, kissing me
passionately, ending the conversation.
After an hour in the park we went home to
tidy the house. As usual the place was a
mess. Jake had already started. We had to
do a really good job this time because my
mom was due back tomorrow. She had no
idea there was a raging party in her house
every week. I even roped in Kate to help
with the cleanup, but to be honest as soon
as she showed up neither of us got much
done. She followed me around wanting to
know every single detail of last night - how
was he, what was it like, and every other
detail you could think of. I refused to
answer the more personal questions, like
how long he lasted, and how big he was.
Finally, we were cleaned up and settled back with
pizza and a DVD. “So now that these two are paired up,
Jake, that just leaves you and me,” Kate said to my brother,
He smirked at her. “You’re too much of a good girl
for me, Kate,” he told her, grinning wickedly.
She laughed. “And who told you I was a good girl?
Anyway, even if I was, maybe you could corrupt me.” She
raised her eyebrows, looking him over slowly.
I cleared my throat theatrically, gaining their
attention. “Stop. The movie’s on. No flirting through horror
movies, that’s the rule, you both know that,” I scolded, trying
to sound stern. Jake shot me a thank you smile. I rolled my
eyes. He really didn’t help himself; he'd walked straight into
that one. If he didn’t want her to hit on him then why set
himself up for it?
I snuggled closer against Liam, watching the rest of
the movie. When it was finally done, Liam went home as
usual to keep up the pretense for his parents. With my mom
due home tomorrow, we needed to make it look like he
stayed at his house. I don’t think my mom would like to hear
that the boy from next door sleeps with her daughter every
night. I kissed him hungrily at the door, before skipping to
my room, deciding on a nice long soak in the bath. I was a
little sore from having sex, and on top of that dancing for
hours this morning made my muscles a little tight. I slipped
in the bath, closing my eyes, blissfully happy.
“Hey, you,” Liam said from the door way a little while
“Hey,” I greeted, not opening my eyes.
“Another cold bath?” he asked, laughing. I shook my
head and glanced over at him. He was leaning against the
doorframe, one leg slung casually over the other, his arms
folded across his chest, a smirk on his face. He looked
sexy as hell.
“Actually, it’s warm this time. Want to get in?” I
offered. He looked a little shocked. “Seriously?” he asked,
standing up straighter, looking ridiculously eager.
I laughed and nodded in confirmation. “Seriously.”
Quicker than I thought possible, he was naked and
in the bath behind me, wrapping his arms around me.
Sunday flew by incredibly fast. I was really
excited to see my mom; I hadn’t seen her
for just over two weeks. She wasn’t actually
due back until next weekend but she wanted
to come back this week instead. It was now
just after six o’clock, and she was due
home any minute. I was sat on Liam’s lap in
the lounge, practically vibrating with
excitement. When I heard her car pull up
outside, I ran towards the door, squealing
Jake jumped up at the same time as me and
grabbed me round the waist, laughing as he threw me on
the sofa. “Me first, shrimp,” he stated, running for the door
ahead of me, making me laugh.
I followed him out of the door and attacked my mom
into a hug. “Hey, Jake. Hey, Amber!” she chirped, hugging
us tightly. Liam went straight to the trunk and pulled out her
luggage. When she pulled out of the hug she was smiling
with tears in her eyes. “I missed you guys,” she said,
kissing us both happily, “Hey, Liam. Got a hug for me?” she
He laughed and nodded. “Always, Margaret,” he
said, hugging her tightly.
“You got more handsome,” she stated, patting his
He laughed. “I don’t know about that,” he answered,
shaking his head, grinning. I bit my lip; he’d definitely got
more handsome in my opinion. My mom loved Liam, she
always had done. He spent a lot of time over at our place,
and since my father left she became really close with Pat
and Rick once she was ‘allowed’ to socialise.
“So, what have I missed?” she asked, looping her
arm through mine, walking off towards the door, leaving the
boys to carry her bags.
I grinned knowing that she was going to freak out
when I told her about Liam. “Um, not much. I fell in love,” I
She gasped and pulled me to a stop, looking at me
so shocked that I couldn’t help but laugh. “You…You what?”
she stuttered, looking at me with a bewildered expression.
I smiled and made her walk into the house, pulling
her into the kitchen. “I got a boyfriend,” I confirmed, grinning
like a mad person.
“Oh, Amber, I never thought you would be able to!
I’m so proud of you, honey. I know how hard it is for you to
let people near you,” she cooed, hugging me tightly, tears
glistening in her eyes again. Liam and Jake walked in; both
of them leaning against the kitchen counter. Liam shot me a
little wink and I smiled in response. “Well, what’s his name?
Do I get to meet him while I’m here? Oh wait, does Jake
know?” she asked, whispering the last part, probably
thinking she was dropping me in something with my
overprotective big brother.
I laughed and looked at Jake who was in the
process of glaring at Liam again. “Yeah, Mom, Jake
knows,” I confirmed, chuckling.
“Well? Who is it? What’s he like?” she asked,
beaming at me excitedly.
“Well, mostly he’s a pain in the ass. He’s cocky and
way too confident. But on the plus side, he’s extremely hot,”
I stated, watching Liam’s face as he tried not to laugh.
“Looks don’t last long, Amber! You shouldn’t base a
relationship on how someone looks!” she scolded, her
eyebrows knitting together in disapproval.
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll kick
him to the curb when his looks go,” I joked.
“You’d better not!” Liam warned, moving to my side,
wrapping his arm around my waist.
My mom looked between the two of us a few times,
a shocked expression on her face. Her eyes flicked to
Jake, her expression bewildered and confused. Jake
nodded somewhat reluctantly. All of a sudden, she started
laughing and shook her head. “I should have known! All that
teasing and stuff, I didn’t realise it was sexual tension,” she
said, laughing harder as Jake snorted angrily.
“I don’t want to know!” Jake growled, covering his
ears quickly, shaking his head as we all just laughed.
My mom pulled me into another hug. “I’m so pleased
for you, Amber. He’s such a good boy,” she whispered.
“I know he is,” I agreed as she let me go. I took hold
of Liam’s hand, pressing my side against his. I couldn’t help
but wish I could take him in my room and have him rub his
hands all over my body again, I hadn’t been with him since
this morning and it felt like forever.
“Congratulations, guys,” she chirped, smiling. Liam
squeezed my hand, grinning happily at me, making my
heart melt. My mom smiled a little sadly, looking at Jake
first, then me. “Guys, I need to talk to you about something.
There’s a reason I came back a week early,” she admitted,
her voice hard and serious.
Jake stiffened, and his face hardened. “We don’t
want to see him if that’s what you’re going to say,” he said
sternly, moving to stand next to me protectively.
My mom shook her head. “It’s not that simple. I don’t
want to have to say this, he’s put me in such an awkward
position and I’m sorry,” she said quietly. Liam and Jake
both moved closer to me unconsciously, so I was
completely wedged between the two of them. Jeez, what
the hell are they getting so worried about? He’s not here
“Mom, what are you talking about? I won’t let that
asshole anywhere near Amber,” Jake growled angrily.
She started to cry so I pushed away from the boys
and wrapped my arms around her. Crap, this was bad.
Whatever it was, she was really upset about it. “What’s
wrong?” I whispered, willing myself not to cry too. I hated
seeing my mom upset, she was always the strong one.
“I need to sit down,” she said quietly, swiping at her
face roughly, wiping the tears away as she took a deep
breath. I followed her into the lounge, sitting on the sofa,
barely able to breathe. Thoughts of the two of them getting
back together, him wanting to move back in, him
demanding to see us, even him wanting custody of us, all
these thoughts were whizzing through my brain so fast that
it made me feel sick. Liam sat next to me, wrapping his
arm around me tightly. I pressed into him for support,
waiting for her to say it.
“Your fathers moved to this town,” she said quietly.
Jake jumped out of the seat. “Motherfucker! I told
him to stay away!” he shouted angrily, looking like he
wanted to smash something.
My mom nodded. “Jake, he wants to get to know you
two again. He says he’s sorry and that he’s changed. He
wants you to give him another chance.”
“You mean he wants another chance to try and rape
Amber?” Jake shouted. I flinched as the memories rushed
back. Liam’s arm tightened around me, his hands
clenching into fists.
My mom shook her head, looking at him pleadingly.
“Jake, I don’t like this any more than you do, so please stop
shouting at me! I hate that I’m the one to have to tell you
this, but it’s not my fault,” she said, crying again now.
Jake sighed and shook his head, kneeling down in
front of her pulling her into a hug. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be
taking this out on you,” he said, still sounding angry. I
pressed my face into Liam’s shoulder, breathing him in. I
felt him put his lips on my neck and I concentrated on the
feel of his breath blowing reassuringly down my back, trying
desperately not to freak out. After a minute of silence, Jake
spoke. “Why has he come back? Why didn’t you just tell
him we didn’t want to see him?” he asked.
She closed her eyes and smiled sadly. “He
remarried. He has a son who’s one, he’s your half-brother.
Apparently, the woman that he married has a son already.
He’s seventeen. Your father wants you to get to know his
new family,” she said, sneering slightly at the ‘new family’
bit at the end.
Holy shit, I had a little brother, and a step-brother?
Jake jumped up. “That fucker should have been
castrated! He shouldn’t be allowed to have more kids!” he
cried, gripping his hands in his hair tightly.
“I needed to come back today and speak to you
because the elder boy, Johnny his name is; he’s going to
be starting your school tomorrow. He knows about you two,”
she said, looking at me apologetically.
Jake kicked the coffee table, hard, sending it flying
over. Liam jumped up and stood in front of me protectively
as Jake shouted profanities and kicked the table over and
over again, probably hurting his foot. I stood up and pushed
past Liam, batting off his hands as he tried to stop me
going near my brother. I grabbed Jake’s arm, making him
stop and look at me. His face was pure rage and I think if
my father was here tight now, he’d be dead. That man really
needed to stay the hell away from Jake. I wrapped my arms
around him tightly, knowing I needed to calm him down
before he hurt himself. The only way to calm Jake down
when he went crazy like this was to make him think I was
upset, that usually snapped him out of his rage pretty
“Jake, stop. You’re scaring me. Please?” I
whispered, clinging to him for dear life.
He was shaking with anger as he wrapped his arms
around me. “It’s OK. Shh, everything’s OK. I’m sorry,” he
murmured, rubbing my back, his overprotective nature
“I’m sorry,” my mom muttered, sobbing behind us.
I pulled out of Jake’s arms and went to sit next to
her. “It’s OK, Mom. None of this is your fault. We’ll figure it
out. Neither Jake or I want to see him, so we just won’t see
him,” I stated, pretending it would be that easy.
“What about this boy, Johnny, your stepbrother?
He’s going to be at your school tomorrow. He knows who
you are but he doesn’t know about what happened back
then. Your father told me that his new family thinks that you
don’t want to see him because of the breakup of our
marriage, nothing else,” she said shaking her head.
Jake laughed humourlessly. “Yeah, why would the
spineless bastard tell his new wife that he beat the crap out
of his old family for years before finally trying to rape his
own daughter? Not something you can bring up in normal
conversation is it?” he spat nastily. I flinched again. I hated
the word rape, it was awful.
“Jake! Will you stop fucking saying that?” Liam
cried, glaring at him angrily as he sat down in front of me,
taking my hand.
“Sorry, Ambs, I didn’t think,” Jake mumbled
I shook my head and faked a smile. “It’s fine, Jake,
don’t worry.” I waved my hand dismissively, pretending that I
was unaffected by this whole situation. “What’s the baby’s
name?” I asked my mom, wanting to know about the little
brother I now had.
She smiled sadly. “Matt.”
I smiled. Matt. It was cute, I liked it. I could feel the
hysterics building inside me though and I knew I needed to
be on my own. “Well, there’s not much we can do about it
now, I guess. We’ll just have to see what this Johnny guy is
like tomorrow. But I don’t want anything to do with that man
ever again,” I stated matter-of-factly as I stood up. “I’m
going to lay down. I have a headache,” I said as I started to
walk off. I needed to get out of here before I had a
meltdown in front of Jake - that would just make him crazy
Liam grabbed my hand. “Want some company?” he
asked quietly, looking at me with the puppy dog face. The
damn boy knew I couldn’t say no to that face.
“Yeah, OK.” I nodded slightly and started walking off
towards my bedroom.
“I’ll just be a minute. I’m just going to help Jake clear
up the table,” Liam said, nodding towards the broken
wooden mess that used to be our coffee table.
I nodded and walked off quickly. I could hear them
whispering behind me, I knew they were talking about me,
but I just couldn’t bring myself to care. I curled into a ball on
my bed and sobbed as I thought about it. My father was in
this town and wanted to get to know us again. He had a
new family. I couldn’t help but wonder if he treated them
nicely and loved them, and if he did treat them nicely and
love them, why the hell couldn’t he have done that to us?
Why didn’t he love us?
A few minutes later Liam walked in, wrapping his
body around mine, letting me sob on his chest until I fell
asleep. The last thing that went through my brain was that I
knew everything in my life was just too perfect. I knew I
shouldn’t have got my hopes up for a happy ending. I’d
never have a happy ending.
~ Liam ~
“What’s the baby’s name?” Amber asked
her mom curiously. She was being so calm
about it. I knew this was probably killing her
inside but she was putting on an act -
probably for Jake’s benefit. Her eyes were
tight; her hand was holding mine a little too
hard for her to be alright.
“Matt,” Margaret replied, looking sad.
Amber smiled. “Well there’s not much we can do
about it now, I guess. We’ll just have to see what this
Johnny guy is like tomorrow. But I don’t want anything to do
with that man ever again,” she stated, as if it just didn’t
matter that the man who beat her, sexually abused her for
years, and finally tried to rape her, was coming back and
wanted to see her again. She stood up and let go of my
hand. I instinctively jumped up too. Jake was still really
angry, I knew he wouldn’t ever hurt Amber on purpose but if
he went off on one she could get hurt by accident, so I
needed to be there just in case. “I’m going to lay down. I
have a headache,” Amber mumbled, walking off without so
much as a tear. This was bad; she seriously was going to
freak out any minute I could tell by how her shoulders were
I grabbed her hand. “Want some company?” I
asked, praying that she wasn’t going to shut me out.
“Yeah, OK.” She nodded slightly and walked off
without waiting for me.
I needed to speak to Jake first, make sure he wasn’t
going to go around there without me or anything. “I’ll just be
a minute. I’m just going to help Jake clear up the table,” I
lied, nodding at the splinters of wood scattered across the
floor. She nodded and walked off quickly. I watched her
walk up the hallway before turning to Jake. “Don’t you dare
go there on your own. I’m serious, Jake. If you want to go,
then I’ll come with you,” I whispered to him warningly.
He frowned but nodded reluctantly. “I’m not going to
go unless I need to. If he doesn’t come near us then I don’t
want anything to do with him. If comes anywhere near her
though, I’ll kill him,” he growled.
I nodded, I knew he would, I could tell by his face.
Stephen Walker was in some deep shit, because if Jake
didn’t kill him, then I would if he came anywhere near my
Angel. “Listen, I need to go in there and make sure she’s
alright. I’ll speak to you about this later. Don’t do anything
rash, Jake,” I said sternly. He nodded and I practically ran
down the hallway to her. I let myself in her room; she was
curled into a ball on her bed, sobbing her heart out. I hated
seeing her like this; it brought back memories when I used
to see her like this every night since she was eight. The
sight of it now was breaking my heart.
I laid down in front of her and wrapped my arms
around her tightly, throwing my leg over hers, pulling her
closer to me as I rested my chin on the top of her head. If he
ever touched her again I was going to kill him. I won’t let her
live her life afraid of a man. I didn't care if I ended up doing
time for it - so long as she was safe, that was all I needed.
After about half an hour of her sobbing hysterically,
her breathing became deeper. I pulled back slowly and
looked down at her. She was sound asleep. Her face was
red and puffy, it was stained with tears, but she still
managed to look like the most beautiful girl in the world. I
kissed her forehead gently and wiped her tears away,
untangling myself from her as gently as I could.
I snuck out of her bedroom and found Jake sitting on
the sofa; his mom was in the kitchen making dinner. I sat
down next to Jake letting my eyes wander over his face. He
looked so stressed; I hadn’t seen him like this for a couple
of years. The last time I saw him like this was when his dad
got in touch about two years ago, when we were sixteen.
That was about a year after we had beaten the crap out of
him and kicked him out. Apparently, Stephen had wanted to
see them again to make amends, or so he said anyway.
Jake had freaked out, just like earlier, and in no uncertain
terms told his dad that if he ever came near Amber again,
that he would rip him to pieces. It was just lucky that that
conversation happened over the phone; otherwise that
asshole would be rotting in some unmarked grave right
“Alright, Jake?” I asked, gripping his shoulder,
He sighed and nodded. “Is she OK?” he asked
I shook my head. “No,” I admitted sadly. I winced as
his face turned harder; I hated to see Jake so angry. “She’s
asleep now though.”
“You need to help me, Liam,” he mumbled, closing
“Of course,” I agreed, nodding quickly. I’d do
anything it took to keep my Angel safe, anything in the
“I don’t want her on her own. One of us needs to be
with her at all times. Can you stay with her while I go to work
during the week?” he asked, looking at me hopefully.
I smiled a little guiltily. “I always do, Jake. Don’t
worry. Everything will be fine. She’ll be fine.” I smiled
reassuringly. I would never let anything hurt her again. I’d let
it go on when they were kids and I never forgave myself for
that. I mean, if I’d just said something to my mom or dad,
maybe it would have stopped before it got too far.
He nodded. “Yeah, I know. Listen, about tomorrow, I
don’t know how she’s going to react to this Johnny kid. I
know he doesn’t know anything, but what if he starts asking
her why we don’t see him? He could upset her at school.
She’d hate that. She’ll have years of this now,” he said
“Jake, we’ll just have to see how it plays.” I took a
deep breath and decided to tell him what I had been
thinking about since his mom first said that asshole was
back in town. I wasn’t sure how Jake would react to my
suggestion though; hopefully he’d see that I was thinking
about her. “You know I’m off to college in a couple of
months. Well, I was going to turn down my scholarship to
Boston and go to college closer to here so I could still stay
with her, but if the worst comes to the worst, I’ll take her with
me to Boston. She can transfer schools,” I suggested,
shrugging, waiting for his reaction.
I’d been thinking about this a lot over the last few
months, since I received my offer letter. That college was an
awesome opportunity for my career, but I didn’t want to go. I
didn’t want to leave Amber even before we got together,
but I don’t even think I’d survive it now that I finally had her. I
was thinking about either going to a local college, or asking
her to come with me to Boston. The trouble was that Amber
was only sixteen, so I was sure I was going to take the first
option and stay here with her. Now that this situation had
come about though, I was back to the asking her to come
with me plan. I could take her away from it all; we could
have a fresh start where she wouldn’t be reminded about
him every day, where she wouldn’t have to worry about
bumping into him every time she stepped out of the house.
I expected Jake to go crazy at me for even
suggesting that I take her away from him; it surprised me
when he didn’t. He just nodded. “Thanks, man,” he said
“I’m going to go and ask your mom if I can stay the
night,” I said, standing up and heading to the kitchen.
Margaret was still upset; her eyes were red from crying.
She smiled sadly when she saw me. “Is she OK,
Liam?” she asked, looking towards the hallway as if
expecting her to come out.
I nodded. “She’s upset, but she’s sleeping now.
Margaret, do you think I could stay with Angel tonight? We
won’t do anything, I swear. I just want to be there for her
when she wakes up,” I pleaded. I would be staying in her
room regardless; I just thought it would make things easier
if everyone knew I was in there.
She came over and hugged me tightly. “You’re a
good boy, Liam, you always have been,” she said with a
tear in her eye.
“Is that a, ‘yes, you can share a bed with my
daughter, Liam’?” I joked, trying to lighten the mood. It
worked, she laughed.
“Yeah, OK.” She nodded, rolling her eyes and
I kissed her on the cheek. “Everything’s going to be
fine. Jake and I will watch out for you both,” I promised as I
hugged her tightly.
She nodded. “I know you will. Just watch out for Jake
for me too. I have a feeling he’s going to do something rash
and get himself in trouble,” she said, frowning.
“I’ll watch him. Don’t worry about anything.” I smiled
and rubbed her back gently. “I’m going to go grab some
clothes and stuff from mine. I won’t be long.” I turned and
practically ran to my house, trying to be as quick as I could.
My mom was ironing in the lounge. “Hey, Mom. I’m
staying with Angel tonight,” I informed her as I breezed past
without waiting for an answer. I shoved fresh clothes and my
school books into a bag, before heading back out to see
my mom. I hadn’t seen her since Friday morning when I
came out of my room, pretending I’d stayed the night here
“How are you and Amber getting on?” she asked,
I smiled, thinking about just how great we were
getting on before all of this happened an hour ago.
“Awesome. Really awesome,” I admitted.
She beamed at me happily. “You two are being
careful, right?” she asked, looking at me warningly.
I smiled and nodded. “Yeah, Mom, Angel’s on the
pill,” I stated, rolling my eyes. She had never asked me
about my sex life before and now all of a sudden she was
interested? “Listen, I’ve got to go. Margaret’s back so she’s
making dinner. I just came back to grab my clothes.” I
shifted the bag on my shoulder, looking at the door
longingly; I just wanted to get back over there as quickly as I
could in case she woke up.
My mom looked at me curiously. “Margaret’s home
and she’s letting you stay with Amber?” she asked, looking
a little shocked. I smiled, knowing that under normal
circumstances Margaret would have kicked my ass just for
asking to stay, but what with everything going on she didn’t
seem to mind.
“Yeah, she said it was fine.” I kissed her on the
cheek. “I’ll see you tomorrow night about nine when Jake
gets home from work, OK?” I called over my shoulder as I
walked towards the door.
She sighed dramatically. “It was nice to see you,
Liam,” she called sarcastically.
I laughed. “Love you, Mom.”
“Love you too,” she called, just as I shut the door.
I ran back to Amber as quick as I could, she was still
asleep in the same position. It was only seven thirty; maybe
she’d sleep all night. I laid down next to her again, just
looking her over. Instantly, she snuggled closer to me, the
same as she did every night. I wrapped her tightly in my
arms and closed my eyes, trying to think of anything other
than the worst memory of my life. The image of walking in
on her father trying to force himself on her while she laid
there bruised and bleeding on their lounge carpet. After he
left, she admitted that her father had been touching her
since she was about five. After that confession, she never
spoke of it again. I think she buried it so deep inside her
that she kind of pretended like it didn’t happen or
something – like denial I guess. The only time that you ever
saw effects from it, where when people touched her and
A little while later, Jake brought in two
plates of food. He looked at Amber with a
pained expression on his face. “You think
we should wake her and get her to eat
something?” he whispered.
I shook my head. “No, let her sleep. If she wakes up
hungry then I’ll make her something,” I said quietly, as I
started scoffing my pasta, hungrily. He sat on the foot of her
bed just watching her sleep for a little while. “She’ll be
alright, Jake,” I promised.
He sighed and nodded. “Yeah I know. G’night,
Liam.” He smiled sadly as he took my empty plate and
Amber’s untouched one and slipped out of her room. I
wrapped myself back around her and watched her sleep
until I couldn’t stay awake anymore.