He was beautiful.
That was all I noticed. For the five to ten seconds I saw him everyday, his physique was perfect. A teenager like him was capable of putting Gaspard Ulliel to shame. Difficult, but yet it seemed almost natural to the senior. His steps were always graceful, as his strides remained swift and equal.
I saw him everyday, but I doubt he even noticed me. Following fourth block, I would always take the same stairs everyday which led closest to my locker. But what I soon discovered was that no one ever occupied the stairway whenever I walked through, asides from him. He would stay in his respective place to the right while coming down, myself going up. The collar of his polo shirts were always slightly popping up, as if he had not even attempted to join the trend of "collar popping". Everything he did just appeared natural.
His dark brown hair was mussed, but every strand was in its destined place. He didn't even have to try, and he managed to pull off that indifferent, suave look every teenage guy desired. Of course, he was the only one who truly accomplished it. Any other guy looked like a mouse next to him. A disheveled mouse…
It was driving me crazy. For the last three months, I would pass him in the stairwell. I would stare at him as long as possible, but his blue eyes never turned to the side. Instead, he focused on his path straight ahead, undeterred by outside forces.
All my friends and I noticed him. In fact, my best friend Pam Florence seemed to have the same attraction to him as I did. Unfortunately for us, it appeared that he held no interested for us whatsoever. Never had I heard him say a single word to anyone asides from his own friends. Never had I seen him around town on the weekends, or at the movie theatres. It was as if he refused to mingle with society.
I knew he was out of my league. He had girls pining after him left and right, but he paid no heed to any single one of them. His friends all consisted of guys. If anything, I had never seen him speak to anyone of the opposite sex and never would.
Or so I thought…
It was a Friday afternoon, one of the dreariest days of the week. Sure, it was excellent that the weekend was right around the corner. But time appeared to travel slower as the clock inched towards the 2:27 mark. It never seemed to arrive no matter how hard I stared at the analog clocks above the doors of my classrooms.
By now, fourth block was over (finally) and I was making my usual route up to my locker. I pushed open the door next to the main entrance which led to one of the more abandoned stairwells in our school. It was baffling why this was never used asides myself and… him. It was one of the most convenient and cut through at least half the school.
Sighing, I shifted my Physics binder and textbook from my right arm to my left. After a relatively devastating fall down the stairs, my knee was wrapped twice with ace bandages. My right hand replaced the usage of my right leg as I limped my way up the stairs. I'd definitely have to take the time to find a security guard on the way down to band…
Suddenly, the weight from my left hand disappeared. I looked down in shock to see my books no longer in my grasp. I glanced to my left, nearly toppling over when I saw him holding my books in the crook of his arm. Liam Manser was holding my books.
"You don't have to…" I muttered, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ears. I didn't want to focus all my attention on his face, I needed to do something else with my fingers. I knew if I got too distracted with his features, I'd do something incredibly stupid.
He merely shook his head, a low laugh sounding from deep within his throat. "No." His voice was mellow and soothing, almost making me melt into mush on the spot. "You're limping, it's the least I can do."
I let his voice wash over my body. It had this calming effect on me as I pushed down any refutations waiting to arise from my vocal chords. I ended up nodding and continuing my way up the last few steps. He walked slowly besides me, making sure to not rush my steady stride. He pushed open the door, almost hitting a few people who had unfortunately gotten in the way. The victims turned to yell at their aggressor, but when the saw it to be Liam, they quickly shuffled away.
Like I said, no one dares to say anything bad to him.
It was almost awkward to walk next to him. Everyone was staring at me in bewilderment, wondering how a girl had managed to stand next to the Liam Manser for more than twenty seconds continuously. He was known for shutting out the female race, causing rumors to spur that he was possibly homosexual. Of course, those were only the products of the jealous girls who had no life asides from making others feel guilty. Obviously these rumors played no role in Liam's life because he knew they were complete bullshit.
"Where exactly are you going?" he spoke, his baritone voice ringing gently in my ears. I was almost spellbound by his voice, before I realized I actually needed to respond to his question. I immediately blushed and pointed in the general direction of the world language hallway.
"Next to Borgman's room." I replied as he nodded in response. If he had noticed my delayed reaction, he said nothing of it. I had come to the realization that he never said anything more than he had to. He didn't even ask me how I had injured myself, or when unlike most others who probe until they find the answers. Liam… he just did it because he felt an obligation to, no questions asked.
We walked in silence, or more like he glided while I gimped, to my locker. One of my friends, James Scott, was at his own locker besides me. I began fishing around with the combination as Liam leaned against the locker to my right. James suddenly looked up and grinned at me. "What's up?" he asked, as my locker gently clicked open.
I shrugged and swung my bag in front of my body to put away my extra books. "Nothing really. Physics was shit as usual."
James was about to respond, but he quickly froze. He was glancing over my shoulder as I followed his line of vision. I shouldn't have been surprised to see him focusing on Liam Manser, who stood over me holding my text books out at me. I graciously took my supplies as I nodded at him. "Thank you." I whispered appreciatively. No words could actually express the gratitude I held for him. He could have easily let me be and allow me to struggle up the remaining stairs and doors that would stop my progress. Instead, he had (on his own will) decide to aid me in my troubles.
I couldn't thank him enough.
"You're welcome." He replied, before turning to his left and down the stairs. I stood there in silence, wondering if he would come back and ask me for my name, or anything. But no, he had disappeared and it wasn't until James punched me in the shoulder when I finally snapped out of it.
"Since when were you guys friends?" he laughed, grabbing the water bottle on the top shelf of my locker. He handed it to me as I shoved it into my bag.
"Since never." I shrugged, shutting the door. "I was limping up the stairs and he just automatically turned to help me with my extra books. He doesn't even know who I am, which is why it surprises me."
"Hmm." He sighed, tapping his chin in mock thought. "Maybe, Manser's finally coming out of his shell. Maybe, he wants to be a part of society again."
I punched him in the arm as he walked into his classroom, his laughter ringing down the hallways.
The next day I made my usual route up the desolate staircase. Except this time, I wasn't the only one to walk up. I looked to my right to see an unfamiliar guy walking besides me. "You." He said quietly. His voice was somewhat raspy, as if he had yelled to much (or smoked a few packs too many).
I looked at him oddly, but reached around to him to grip the railing to my right. Seeing my handicap, the guy quickly moved around me to my left so I could move without trouble. "Yeah." I shrugged, hobbling uncomfortably up the stairs. For some reason, the pain in my knee was greater than yesterday's, as I squirmed under the other guy's scrutinizing eyes. I never functioned properly under inspection… "Can I help you with something?"
"Rafe." I stumbled as I heard his voice again. I looked up and saw Liam standing next to who I now knew as Rafe. Liam remained calm and collected, but there was an annoyed looking creeping on his face. "What are you doing?"
"Curiosity." Rafe said, glancing back at me. "When was the last time you talked with a girl?"
Liam sighed, and ran a hand through his dark hair. It left it unruly, but it looked perfect on him. My breath hitched slightly as his eyes focused on me. It wasn't an unknown fact to me that I was attracted to him, more so than he was to me (obviously). This sudden attention was baffling, but who was I to complain? I'd wanted him to see me at least once before graduation, and now it was happening.
"Not now, Rafe." He said. "If you were so interested, you could've asked me yesterday during fifth block. Plus, she's injured." He jerked his head in my direction. "If you actually cared, you would've helped her carry her stuff. It's the last you could've done."
With that said, Liam continued down the stairs to my disappointment. Whoever this Rafe person was, he had ruined any chance of me walking with Liam again. But I felt my books being plucked from my hold as Rafe continued walking in front of me. He strolled at a slow pace, being sure not to get too far ahead of me. After thanking him for holding the door open for me, I quickly looked at him.
He had black hair which stood about an inch above his head. He was considerably tanned for this time of the year, and had quite a strong build. He must have caught me looking, for his green eyes locked with my own. I blushed and looked down, an effect that seemed to take place only talking with this group of people. "We're best friends." He answered for me, as if understanding the question in my mind. "He hasn't talked with girls ever since middle school which was why it was such a shock when I saw the two of you walking together through the science wing. He shouldn't be surprised I noticed and questioned."
I nodded at his explanation. How could I have never noticed him before? If Rafe was in fact his best friend, how come I never saw him walking besides Liam before? "I just transferred here this week." Rafe suddenly said as I did a double take. "I used to attend Chapel Hill Preparatory. Liam convinced my parents that I hated it there, which I honestly did. So, I'm finally here."
I was speechless as I gaped at him. I must have stopped walking, for he nudged me lightly with his shoulder. Picking up my stature, I paused in front of my locker without seeing James next to me. "How the hell did you know what I wanted to ask you?" I muttered, swiftly opening my locker.
Rafe let out a laugh, a gentle laugh which still contained hints of his raspy voice in it. "It wasn't that difficult." He handed me my Physics books as I threw it in. "The confusion on your face was evident. Plus, who wouldn't be curious about the almighty Liam Manser?"
I shut my locker and turned to him. Leaning my shoulder against the metal wall, I crossed my arms. "Question. Since you seem to be a little more open than Liam." He scoffed incredulously, but allowed me to continue. "Does he know my name?"
It was silent for a moment, before he gave me the dreaded answer. "No." he shook his head. "Liam stopped focusing on girls a while ago. If a girl isn't sitting around him during class, then he wouldn't know her name. Have you ever had a class with him?"
When I told him that I hadn't, Rafe let out a sigh. "Well, to tell you the truth, that's why he doesn't know. Don't expect him to ever know, either. If you ever had your hopes up, you should probably stop. It won't work." He paused for a moment, glancing down at his cell phone for the time. "You seem like a nice enough girl. I don't want you to get hurt by him. Even if he doesn't try, it still happens. I can't stop you, but…" I looked at him, wanting him to continue. "God, the female persuasion." He muttered, letting out a low chuckle. "Don't tell me that I didn't warn you."
He walked away, brushing my shoulder gently with his own as he walked down the same stairs Liam had the previous day. And again, he left me to think over everything by myself.
Apparently, my gimping around the school without proper support resulted in me further damaging my knee. Now, I was forced to wear a real brace and not just a few ace bandages. I found it even more difficult to walk as I literally jumped up the stairs with my right foot dragging behind me. At the rate I was going at, I knew I would be late for band. But hell, Hawthorne couldn't be mad at me for being injured.
I looked down to be cautious of where the steps were. Knowing my luck, I'd trip on my own feet and break another bone. Suddenly, a pair of Adidas sneakers appeared on the step in front of me. Startled, I glanced up to see those dark blue eyes staring me down. He reached and grabbed my books from me and used his other free arm to hold onto my upper arm. I instantly stiffened as the contact sent an electrical spark through my entire system.
Liam must have noticed this for he quickly pulled back, to my disappointment. I continued to stumble my way up the stairs as he stood beside me. His hand was in front of his body, ready to catch me in case I fell backwards and plummeted down to my death. Fortunately, I managed to make my way to the top without further injury as I limped to the door. I tried to pull it open while walking through, but that didn't exactly work out so well. In the end, he ended up holding it for me as I ambled through not quite as gracefully as him.
Eyes were focused on us again as he walked with me down the hall. I must have looked like a fool with him in my presence. Physically, Liam never made errors. His actions were precise and articulate, while I just looked like a bumbling drunk following his footsteps. He must have noted my discomfort, for he glanced at me from the side. I tried to keep my eyes straightforward, but I couldn't help but look back at him.
His eyes were questioning, yet indifferent as I stopped. I opened my mouth to talk, but he quickly shook his head. I didn't really know how to respond to that. His eyes were fixated on me as he began to speak. "Don't." he said so deeply and quietly, I leaned in further to hear his words. "I know what you're going to ask. Don't ask it."
He continued walking away, as I tried to keep up. His shoulders were tense and square, but I soon saw them loosen up. Liam turned around, and waited for me to catch up to him. When I was within hearing range of him, his fingers gracefully touched my elbow, urging me to walk on.
Reaching my locker, we went through the tradition of him handing me the books, me throwing it in, before he disappeared down the stairs again. I would stand there for a few seconds before walking into the closest classroom for a set of elevator keys. But the entire time, I couldn't get him out of my mind. Without him even knowing it, he was haunting my dreams constantly. He was always there as my imagination carried us to another world.
But it was only a dream, my imagination… what should I expect?
The next few weeks went by in a blur. I would come out of my Physics room and walk up the same empty staircase. Halfway, Liam would quietly meet me and take my books out of my hands as I limped up the stairs. When we reached my locker, it would be deathly silent between us as I packed away my belongings.
That was all our encounters ever amounted to. To me, it was disappointing how I couldn't take our… "friendship" to the stage of talking. Actually, it was ridiculous. We never spoke more than ten words to each other or looked at the other.
By now, the semester was over so I no longer had Physics. Not only that, but I was officially off my stupid brace. I was free to walk, run, skip and climb as I pleased. But both of these factors combined together into one great disaster for me. Knowing my luck, I would never pass by Liam again in that staircase. My one semester class of Physics was officially over, as was whatever class he had. Unless through a stroke of extreme luck, I wouldn't be passing him in the halls anymore.
Secondly, I was capable of holding my own books. Even if luck was on my side for the semester, there was no reason for him to walk with me to my locker. I could walk perfectly on two feet without the aid of outside people.
It really was a pity.
So now as I walked through the science wing after fourth block on the first day of the second semester, I kept my eyes open. For this entire day, I hadn't seen Liam anywhere, not even during lunch when I occasionally saw him over the past few years. This was basically my last chance of seeing him and nothing was going my way.
I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket as I groaned. It wasn't even a text; what inconsiderate person was calling me in the middle of the school day. Fully knowing that any teacher would take away my phone for using it in between classes, I bent my head down and pulled the speaker up to my ears. My hair flowed freely over the device as I greeted the caller.
"Jenna." James's voice crackled over the speaker. "Pam, Kirsten and I are watching National Treasure today after school. Are you coming?"
"James, why the hell are you calling? Couldn't you have just texted?" I hissed, staring down at the ground as I walked. "But yeah, sure I can go." I added hastily, not wanting to come off as a bitch.
"Tsk." He replied. "Not everyone has unlimited texting like you. Some unfortunate people in this world don't have that opportunity."
I opened my mouth to shoot back a retort, but I suddenly slammed straight into someone's chest. Fearing a teacher, I shoved my phone back into my pocket and looked up at the blockade. Knowing my luck, Liam Manser stared down at me. A small smile graced his lip before he released my arms. I hadn't even realized he was holding onto me until he apologized for doing so.
"It's okay. I wasn't watching where I was going." I whispered and stepped around him. I don't even know what brought me to do that. It had been my day long dream to just run into him, just once. But I never wanted to physically do it. I wanted to be able to see him from a distance, walking in the opposite direction of me so I could take in his physique.
But actually slamming into him? That wasn't how I expected our encounter. I knew I was a clumsy girl, but embarrassing myself like this was not how I envisioned everything.
I could feel his eyes follow me out of the hallway, but I paid no attention. After all, since when was I to care about a guy who didn't even know my name?
It was only healthy to my mental state if I avoided that hallway from that day on. I had to make sure I never saw him again. Sure, his entire existence was addicting, but I needed to stay away from him. His entire being was engrained into my mind and he was all I could think about during school.
Surely that was an issue…
But now instead of that familiar flawless face amongst the crowd of students, I saw the one and only Rafe. I still didn't know what his last name was after our first meeting. After all, I never spoke with him again after those final ten minutes. His black hair was no longer as unruly and now swept to the side. His eyes shone brightly as he walked down the hallway with… a cigarette between his lips.
He didn't recognize me as I passed by his side. I couldn't help but follow his figure. The cigarette bounced lazily in his mouth, though unlit. Other teachers saw it but said nothing. This probably was not the first time and most likely had given up on reprimanding him on an issue he would pay no attention to.
I shook my head and walked into the band room. Most of the students were already in there setting up their instruments and mingling with other sections. Mr. Grant was sitting in the conductor's chair staring as I walked down the stairs into the general area. I retrieved my clarinet from the lockers in the back as I weaved through the chaos of chairs thrown about.
I greeted a few of my friends as I sat down next to Pam Florence in the front row. "Hey." I said, placing the case on my lap. Just as I was about to set up the clarinet, my phone beeped once, indicating an incoming text message. I looked up and Grant was no longer sitting in his seat. I pulled out my phone, noting the blocked number.
Lower atrium, Snapple machine. 1:30. Be there.
I sighed and put my phone away. The clock currently said 1:10. Whoever this was actually followed the fifteen minute rule our school instated in order to keep students from leaving the building during the disastrous times between classes. "Jenna." Pam suddenly said, turning to face me. "What's going on?"
I stared at her in bewilderment. "What are you talking about?" I asked in retaliation.
Pam rolled her eyes at me, laying a hand on my shoulder. "Jens…" she sighed. "You've been my best friend for I don't even know how long. I know you well enough to know something's going on. Asides from that, what the hell is going on between you and Liam Manser?" The last part she had dropped her voice down to a whisper.
Her question was the same one circulating around the entire school. Any topic concerning Liam was hot gossip. After all, he was the most sought after (and unattainable) guy in the entire district. If any eavesdroppers heard our conversation, no doubt my response would spread like wildfire through the grapevine.
"Someone just texted me." I sighed, giving in to her probing. I pulled out my cellphone and showed it to her. Not letting her speak, I continued. "I'm still debating whether I should go, 'cause it might be a wrong number. Yet, a small nagging part of me is telling me I should. And secondly." I dropped my voice to less than a whisper. "Nothing's going on between us. I was injured from my fall down the stairs and Liam saw me as a damsel in distress. He just carried my stuff to my locker and he barely said anything, so we're not exactly friends." I said, placing emphasis on the third to last and last words.
Pam scoffed, placing her clarinet sideways across her lap. "Sure. Then what about that Rafe kid, Liam's best friend who just moved here?"
I threw my arms into the air in exasperation. Had I not recently explained everything to her? "That was weeks ago!" I hissed. "I only talked with him once for less than three minutes and now, he doesn't even know who I am. In fact, Liam and Rafe both have no idea what my name is. So ultimately, what matters?"
At that moment, Mr. Grant raised his right arm, indicating for the Wind Ensemble to be quiet. For the first time ever, I was glad to not talk to Pam at the 1:20 mark. Silently, we sat through his announcements as I constantly looked up at the dragging time. Finally, he began the warm-up chords with the circle of fourths just when the clock hit 1:29.
I placed my clarinet down on my chair and cast Pam a look. She nodded at me as I walked away. I didn't even know why I was going to meet this stranger. What if I showed up and it was just some random guy I had never met before? God, I might as well just try to pull it off as 'I'm going to the bathroom. Shut up'.
I grabbed the green plastic hall pass from its place and walked up the ramp towards the exit. My steps began weaker as my knees shook with anticipation. My right knee was still susceptible to extreme pains, and I knew my nerves would be the end of my walking capabilities. Less than a minute later, I found myself in the lower atrium. It was completely empty.
I scanned the vicinity and saw no one by the Snapple machine, not even the usual security guard. I let out a huff and diverted my path towards the girls' bathroom. But before I could take a step in that direction, I heard a door slam shut from across the atrium. I spun around and saw him walking towards me. I suddenly stopped breathing as my heart began beating erratically. God, I hated how he could do this to me even though he had no idea who the hell I was.
The Gods truly do despise me.
His eyes landed on me for a split second as he halted. I blushed under his scrutiny before I turned away. Maybe he wasn't actually here to meet me, maybe he wasn't the person who had left me a text message. There was a huge possibility that we just happened to meet by fate (again).
My brain was beginning to melt under the intense thinking as I shook my head. I had to leave, now, before the situation got out of hand. I spun around and began to head back towards the band room. But before I could get anywhere, Liam spoke so quietly I almost couldn't hear him.
I faced him again, his blue eyes drilling holes into me. "How did you get my number?" I whispered, not moving from my spot.
"Your friend, James, gave it to me. He's in my Anatomy class." Liam responded, while taking a step closer to me. "Why'd you walk away so quickly when you ran into me yesterday after fourth block?"
I stared past his shoulder, unwilling to be sucked into those trance-like eyes of his. I couldn't bring myself to explain the situation to Liam. The truth was that I needed him out of my life. My feelings for him were developing far too fast for my liking. But how could I explain that to him? I couldn't like him, he was the most emotionally available guy I knew in the entire world. Even if I had a chance (which was doubtful), there were hundreds of other guys who would be a better choice.
But deep inside, I knew I wouldn't give those guys a moment of my life. Simply because they weren't Liam Manser.
"I…" I paused slightly, backing away from him slowly. If he was confused by my actions, he definitely didn't show it. He stood there, a foot away from me, as I blindly grasped for an excuse, any excuse, without revealing the truth to my physical response. "Liam. Why?"
His blue eyes suddenly turned hard as he took a large step towards me. He forcefully (but not brutally) pushed me against the vending machine so I couldn't move anywhere. "I told you not to ask that question." He said huskily, his lips gently brushing against my ear. I was slowly melting because of the closeness of his perfect body. Had my right arm not been gripping his shoulder, I would've collapsed.
"And why is it?" I responded just as quietly.
He let out a stiff hiss, but didn't move. "There's a lot you don't know about me, Jenna." Anything he said after that went in one ear and out the other. He had just said my name, he knew who I was. That was all I ever needed in life, him acknowledging my existence. Maybe life wasn't so hopeless after all. "I'd like to keep it that way."
Anyone walking into the atrium would've taken our position in the wrong way. My hand was clasped tightly to his shoulder, as was his gripping my waist flush to his body. His head was bent close to my ear, giving us the appearance of an intimate couple. But it actually wasn't.
Seeing Liam like this was far different from my own expectations. I had always viewed him as one of those quiet guys who don't make more drama than absolutely necessary. He also didn't appeal to me as one of those who went for the close touching when it came to confrontations such as this. But apparently, I was completely wrong.
"Liam, you ought to know." I managed to say through my own conflicts. My mind was telling me to shut up and stop talking at that instant. I knew I had to keep going, though. No one could stop me from saying what I had to say, not even if it meant destroying whatever connection I had with Liam. After all, we never had much of a friendship, so even if I did manage to ruin it, what difference could it possibly make?
"Think before you speak." He interrupted, before falling silent. It was as if he didn't want me to say whatever I had on my mind. But I was already on the road to accomplishing this feat. I couldn't have him pull me back, not when I had already gone this far, mentally.
"No." I retorted. "You have this effect on me, and back then, I couldn't place my finger on it. In my eyes, you were the most perfect guy I had ever seen in my life. You were always such a mystery to me, I couldn't figure you out. Then all of a sudden, you helped me carry my books after I got injured." I sighed, remembering those silent moments we shared. "It showed me a different side of you, a side that was willing to help even if always tried to pull yourself from society."
"Jenna-" he began, but I quickly cut him off.
"Shut up, Liam." I told him. "But I've finally figured it out." I took in a deep breath and shut my eyes. I could do it, I knew I could. After all, I've had a full… five… minutes to think about it. "All this… it's my fault. You know why? Because I've managed to somehow fucking fall in love with you. You of all people." I sighed, and continued speaking. "I had an attraction towards you, I knew it. But I knew nothing would ever happen, yet I let it all fall out of proportion. So now, you can go on without me in your life. It's not like you haven't been able to succeed. It was nice knowing you in the meantime though." I added, before tearing myself out of his grasp.
With the green pass in my left hand, I dragged it against the wall as I walked down the ramp towards the band room again. I half wanted him to come after me, but I knew it wasn't in his system to do that. He wasn't a hopeless romantic. In fact, I could see him playing with girls of all ages when he was in college. He couldn't care less about the feelings of the female race.
It was over.
Desperation was one hell of a book. I've never been particularly fond of Stephen King as an author, but this book truly made me think otherwise. I was lying on my stomach, as my legs crossed in the air. At page ninety-seven, a minimum of three people had already died and I was honestly loving it.
After Steve Ames had picked up Cynthia Smith from the side of the road, I was physically incapable of putting down the book. I honestly was entranced by the book. Was Cynthia another pawn in the cop's game? Or was she going to be a victim… oh the suspense.
Just as I was about to flip the page, a knock echoed through my room. I turned around and squawked unattractively when I saw him standing in my doorway. I had tried so hard to get his image out of my mind after our final encounter in the lower atrium two weeks ago. I went out of my way to avoid his path in the hallways, and luckily never had any courses together. But yet, there was a part within me which was aching from his absence.
But the most important thing was that I had managed to get all my feelings off my chest. The ball was in his court now, he could take it or leave it. I supposed that was why he was in my room… closure.
"How did you know where I lived and who the hell let you in?" What started as mere curiosity came out as hostility. I covered my mouth with my palm, wanting to take back the bitter connotation.
But if Liam was offended, he showed nothing. He walked into my room and quietly shut the door behind him. "Your friend Pam gave me a ride to your house." He replied, sinking down on the bed next to me. I was still lying on my stomach, my open book in front of my face. "And your younger brother let me in without question."
I rolled my eyes. Bryan. He was a moron. If Jack the Ripper appeared the doorstep, he would let him in after offering a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Bryan never asked questions, which I could tell would be his ultimate downfall.
"Why are you here?" I asked, throwing my book aside onto my bookshelf across the room.
"Never ask me why. There's never a why. Everything we do is by impulse. The person committing the action doesn't know, no one does. Only their counterpart knows. Keep that in mind."
"Liam… I don't understand you." I said, struggling to re-word my phrase. Now, apparently Liam was a philosophical guy who did in depth thinking. What should I expect next? He's actually a brain surgeon teaching anatomy at Yale? Who knows…
"No one does." He suddenly grinned, his eyes following the contours of my body and down my legs. Only then did I become conscious of my appearance. I realized I was wearing a pair of Christmas boxers I had bought from Rite-Aid and this year's marching band shirt. God, I must be hideous next to this god. "That's why I chose to come. I don't know why I did, but a part of my body told me I should, because apparently there's something I have to tell you."
He suddenly fell silent as he stared at me. His eyes pulled me into his world, a world where only the two of us existed. As if he was ever imagining that. If anything, in his idealistic world, I wouldn't exist because of my previous love confession.
Oh God, had I really done that?
"Listen." I sighed, running a hand through my light brown hair. "If this is about two weeks ago in the atrium, you can forget about it. You don't need to rub it in my face. You don't like me in the same way I do, and you don't know why. You can't. You won't tell me why. Whatever the fuck the reason is, I don't need to hear it." I rambled, watching my hands tremble under the pressure.
I really needed to learn how to shut up sometimes.
"I don't know what it is about you…" he replied, his deep voice washing over my senses. I instantly calmed down at the sound of his voice, which was honestly quite pathetic. "But you make me just… oh fuck it." He suddenly growled, before lifting his right hand.
What came next honestly threw me off guard. His index finger gently pushed my chin up to face him. His left hand softly gripped my arm as he pushed me into a sitting position. "There's something about you that I can't place. I felt a natural urge to help you when you couldn't get up the stairs by yourself. I could've easily left you to fend for yourself. Why else do you think Rafe suddenly approached you the next day? He knew what was happening from that point. I don't talk to girls unless I know something's going to happen in the near future."
What the? Was he actually proclaiming… no way.
"Wait." I said, but Liam quickly cut me off.
His lips were soft against mine as my heart shot up into my throat. I took in a deep breath through my nose when I realized my airway was suddenly cut off. Oh God, he was kissing me. Liam Manser was kissing me, Jenna Reinart, grade A band geek. I thought this was all a dream until I managed to wound my arms around his neck and play with the soft hair at the nape of his neck.
His hands held me at my hips, as he tilted his face slightly to ease the comfort. I was so engulfed in the kiss, I couldn't hold back anymore. I pushed myself against his body, feeling his heart race at the same speed as my own. His soft tongue gracefully skimmed across my bottom lip as I willingly parted my lips. The feeling of his tongue in my mouth was all that was needed to make me realize that I was doing the impossible. Unable to restrain myself, I openly moaned into his lips as his hold tightened on me.
That was when it dawned upon me. I shouldn't be doing this, no. No. Liam wasn't capable of holding onto any girl for more than a week. If he did talk with any girl and date them, he soon realized that this girl wasn't for him and re-entered his seclusion. I couldn't do it. I tore my lips away from his, managing to put an inch of distance between us. "No." I whispered, as Liam brushed his lips against my cheek. "We can't." I managed to gasp out as he bit down on my ear lobe. "You don't date."
"I don't." he verified, causing my heart to shatter at that moment. My predictions had come true. Being with Liam would only destroy me. Why had I not listened to myself earlier before I had fallen in love? Oh, curse my stupidity.
"Then what the hell makes you think you can do this to me?" I spat, trying to pull myself away. I tried to cover up my disappointment with anger, but the tears threatening to spill were about to destroy my mask. "Just because you're Liam Manser doesn't mean you can go about breaking a girl's heart by kissing them like you just did with me."
"So you're saying you liked it?"
"What are you saying, Manser?"
"I'm saying, you enjoyed it. Am I not right?"
"You really know how to be an asshole. And here I was, thinking you were one of the few guys who still had a sense of chivalry left in their blood."
"Shut up, Reinart. Just let me kiss you again, damn it."
"Why? So you can just break my heart a third time?"
Liam was quiet for the few seconds after our brief back and forth. But after my final comment, he didn't say a word. I knew I had stepped over the line of his emotional capacity, but I couldn't let him stomp over me like this. Though I had ultimately fallen in love with the senior, I wouldn't let him know he still had the upper hand in the situation.
"Jenna, get this right." He suddenly hissed, his perfect face still without blemish. "You want to know why I avoided all those girls? Because of you. That's right." He added, after seeing my expression. "Six years ago, you sat across from me during History. You'd always be drawing something, I never knew what. You never talked to me, or any of the others at the table. In fact, I don't think you ever said anything during those two marking periods. That's when you caught my interest.
"Then this year, I saw you in marching band as the drum major. What can I say? Seeing you in a dress really gets to me."
"So, wait." I stopped him in disbelief. "This entire time, you've… liked me?"
Liam laughed aloud. "Yeah. Why else do you think I jumped so quickly at the opportunity to help you? Why did I tell Rafe to fuck off? Because he knew I liked you, why else? I just couldn't have you knowing. In fact, I was about ready to let it wear off by itself, but I couldn't stop. I wanted to tell you that day in the atrium, but…" he drifted off, obviously going back to our encounter. I blushed as his eyes focused on me again. "Your confession through me off course." He whispered. "Now… Jenna."
But before he could continue, I had already thrown myself at him. His arms instantly went around my waist as he fervently kissed my lips. As I kissed him back with the same passion, I felt him smile lightly against me before Bryan came charging through the door.
I smiled at Liam as Bryan ran screaming out my door about the vulgarity of the scene. Liam didn't smile back, a placid, calm look remained plastered on his face. But the feeling of his fingers wrapping around my own was all the reassurance I ever needed.
So this was just a bunch of mindless fluff I felt like writing. There is actually a stairwell like this in our school where no one walks through it (except for myself and some freshman). Unfortunately, a Liam Manser like character doesn't exist in my life as much as I would love it. There's no real point to this one-shot except for the fact that I felt like writing it. It's just a little bit to get you happy and romantic for the holiday season. Hope you enjoyed it.
Christmas One-Shot : All I Want For Christmas...
MasterCard Theory: New Chapter One re-write (again)
Like Father, Like Son: Chapter 9 is half way done. Be patient.