“I’m Liam.. Liam Marshall.” He stuck his hand out then awkwardly pulled it away realizing I couldn’t shake it. Let alone did I even want to. “And your name is..?” Liam continued. I saw Dylan’s house just a block away. It was rude of me to ignore him but I kept walking silently with him following beside me like a little kid. Liam cleared his throat still waiting for an answer.
“Listen, you don’t have have to be so rude to me. I don’t even know you and I helped you pick up your mess because you ran into me. The least you could do is say thank you! I’m being polite and what do I get in return? You ignoring me. What is your problem!? Huh? Oh wait, you won’t answer that even though I did absolutely nothing wrong. I helped you for crying out loud!” His husky voice rising in volume. I couldn’t ignore him now. I’m never mean like this. I’ve just had a crappy past few days.
“I’m sorry.. I’m not mean, really. I’m Amanda Conner. It’s nice to meet you Liam. And thank you for helping me pick everything up. I really appreciate it.” I still didn’t look over at him but I was just hoping he would believe me.
“How am I supposed to believe that you’re even moderately nice? You suck at first impressions.” He retorted. Well he didn’t believe me.
“I don’t have time for another jerk in my life. I don’t even know you, what am I saying. You’re not apart of my life. You helped me pick up this box full of junk. I’m trying to get rid of this anyways. You’ve said what you needed to so if you’re done being a prick you can go.” I snapped back. I wasn’t in the mood for this. I didn’t need some guy I barely knew make me cry. I’m sick of crying.
I heard his footsteps stop and I was slightly relieved. Just on cue they caught up with me and I sighed. He walked silently beside me for a few minutes. I felt a bit uncomfortable but not enough to break the awkward silence between the two of us. I could hear his even breathing and his footsteps against the concrete sidewalk.
“Where are you headed to?” He murmured almost silently. I could hear the sympathy dripping from every word he spoke.
“I’m dropping off this box at a... Uh.. A friends house.” My voiced cracked on the word friend and I fell silent embarrassed with myself. His voice barely audible in the wind he spoke again.
“He’s not your friend is he.” It wasn’t a question though. He knew very well, even though he had no clue who Dylan was, that he was not my friend. I didn’t reply and he spoke again. “Do you want me to carry that for you?” Directing this question to the box that was growing heavier by the second. Dylan’s house was closer now. I just had to cross the street and I would be standing right in front of it. I shook my head in response and adjusted my grip on the bottom of the box.
The two of us waited silently for the little green person to pop up signaling we could cross the street safely. He kept quiet but never left my side. We walked across the street and I stopped in front of the off-white house. Liam was blocking my path up to the front steps but at this point I was glad he had walked with me. As much as he annoyed me I was relieved he was standing there with me. With him there I wouldn’t let myself burst into the tears that so desperately wanted to flood my eyes. I haven’t looked at him once this whole time. I have no idea what this guy with the husky, stern, yet calming voice looks like.
I pulled my lips into my mouth and brushed passed Liam without another word. I could feel his eyes on my back waiting patiently for my return. All of my muscles in my body froze as soon as my foot planted itself on the first step of Dylan’s house. I took in a deep shaky breath, the cold air piercing my lungs. Barely making my way up the four uneven steps I set the box down on the doormat. I stood there for a few moments trying to force the tears back.
I took a step back and turned on my heel walking down the steps silently. I looked at the ground the whole time not wanting Liam, or anyone for that matter, to see the tears that had stained my cheeks. I stood next to his broad frame he was much taller than I was I didn’t have to look up to know that. I wiped my cheeks quickly and sniffled.
“I can walk you home if you like..” Each word he spoke laced with genuine worry for me. I nodded in response and shivered a little. I realized now that my light jacket had not provided much heat. I saw Liam shift next to me and he placed his warm coat over my shoulders. I held it tight around me gratefully.
“Thank you.” I mumbled looking at the ground as we walked side by side. His long black coat went down to my knees and smelled like fresh linen. I felt so at ease next to the stranger I had met merely half an hour ago. I looked over at his tan arms and saw goose bumps rise on his skin.
“Amanda..?” He started and I nodded to acknowledge that I was listening to him. “Why haven’t you looked at me?” His question caught me off guard and I fumbled over my words not knowing the exact reason why I hadn’t.
“I.. Well.. Honestly.. I’m not sure why..” I mumbled not sure if he could hear me clearly or not. I felt his warm fingers touch my chin lifting it up gently. I didn’t fight him.
His piercing hazel eyes looking into mine intently. His strong defined jawline clenched in worry. His dark brown hair was wind blown into a mess on top of his head. He was wearing a long sleeved thermal, the sleeves pushed up to his elbows showed off his toned arms. His full lips were pulled into a line across his face with his cheekbones set high on his face. His broad chest was stuck out making him look masculine. He was about six feet tall, a full foot taller than me. Dylan compared to Liam was a stick figure.
His hand moved its way up my jawbone settling itself on my cheek. I could see the look of anticipation in his eyes. He wanted me to say something but I had nothing to offer. His warm hand pressed against my frozen cheek sent comfort shooting through every part of me. His eyes were so intimidating but they made me feel so relaxed.. So at home. His tongue ran smoothly over his chapped lips and his thumb stroked my cheek.
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