Twenty Six

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[Liam]

Sure enough, we walk in after the bell rings and take our seats beside each other at our table. Miss Baker raises a brow at us but turns back to the whiteboard nonplussed.

I feel giddy like a little kid at a carnival. And her hand in mine makes me feel like a boy holding a girls hand for the first time.

Mia glances at us with a scowl, it's clear what her opinion of me is.

Good thing I don't give a fuck. I glare right back.

When Evie let's go of my hand to take notes and I sigh sadly. Before I would have beaten myself up over these emotions. How dare I? Liam Davis, Rose King, feel something for someone so. . . Fragile.

It makes me want to reach out and cup her cheek. Something tells me she'd be less than pleased though.

I spend the whole class period marveling at how wonderful my girlfriend is. The ringing of the bell surprises me so much I nearly fall out of my chair.

The whole day went on like that. She was my beautiful distraction. When the bell rang for the end of the day I sat in my chair for a bit. I was so far gone I didn't even notice Evie come into the room.

"Come on loverboy." She smiles and laughs, shaking me from my stupor.

I do as she says. Taking her hand in mine once again and walking her to her locker. I hold her bag while she switches things out.

I lean against the neighboring one and send menacing glares to every guy who looks at her.

"Can you hand me my water bottle?" She asks.

Distractedly I do hand it to her, focusing in I see her taking her medicine. It makes me happy for some reason. All I did was hand her her water bottle but I was a little part of her routine today.

I told you it would work out mom. I think with a smile.

"Liam?" She cocks her head. "What's up you're looking at me weird."

I snap out of it. "Nothing, just thinking about how we stood here a few months ago."

"I think I vaguely recall. Maybe you could jog my memory?"

"Very funny," I push her gently into the locker and bring my hand to her chin. "What was it I said? I'll give you anything if you do this for me?"

"Anything?" She breathes.

"Anything at all, Princess."

I softly press my lips against hers. A sweet kiss, nothing like the one we shared that day.

However, just like that day, Brandon.

He turns down the hall and whoops. "Evie get your hands off my player! Davis, on the field!"

I disentangle from her and grin. "Yes, unhand me temptress."

"Never."

"See you after practice?"

"Definitely."

Out on the field, I waved to her in the stands. She sat there doing her homework with Sam by her side. The blizzard had passed and I feel great too so back to practice it is.

"Now that the damn blizzard is behind us we can start the fricking season!" Coach huffs. "Walker, warm your team up."

Brandon gives us a lap and I run it with ease. The foreign feeling of the stick in my hand worries me though.

"You got this Liam, cradle it like this." Ollie comes up beside me after stretches and sprints.

Right. I do as he shows me and it gets easier to run without the ball falling out of my stick. Passing and catching is difficult but I get better with each drill.

After practice we break it out, some guys head to the locker rooms, others straight to their cars. I lay down on the field and catch my breath.

"Boo." Evie pokes her head into my field of vision.

"Hey you." I smile.

"Mia's coming over tonight, I thought we'd invite Ollie and Sam too."

"Good idea." I stand and embrace her, just being near her make my head spin.

"Have you heard from Ash?"

I stiffen. "Ugh no actually. He'll be back soon I'm sure."

"Alright. I just know Camille is worried and I am too. Poor Audrey Rose is surely confused also."

"Everything will be okay. The worst is behind us. Emmett is gone and we have no secrets anymore. All that's left is to simply be together."

Do I really believe that?

"You're right," on tiptoe she kisses my nose. "We still have three months of school. Let's enjoy it."

I tell her to wait for me and run into the locker room.

I quickly put my stuff back in my locker.

"Looking good out there Davis." One of them says. I say thank you.

"It's great, I mean I love him man. Who would have thought? I mean Sam Milligan. And he loves me back. It's been a crazy year but I'm glad to be out and with someone so amazing."

Ollie.

"I'm happy for you man. I was really surprised when you came out I won't lie, but I can tell you're happy. And I love to see it."

Brandon.

They're talking about Sam. I realize as I sit and take off my cleats, that we spend a lot of time together. Our two friend groups sorta merged into one, but they were separate once. There are things Ollie would never confide in me, I wasn't Brandon, I didn't pretend to me either.

Same way I'd never tell Boston the same things I'd tell Sam or Ash. Was I taking up too much of Evie's time? When was the last time she went and just hung out with her old group? Or even with just her girlfriends?

I shake my head. I trust her, she'd tell me if she needed or wanted space. I'd do the same. Though if I'm being honest, space is the last thing I want when it comes to her.

"Oh hey guys," I walk over to where I heard Brandon and Ollie talking, pretending that I hadn't. "Evie was talking about all getting together tonight. I'm not sure if you guys are down but I thought I'd throw it out there."

They look up at me, Ollie smiles. "Sam is meeting my parents tonight. So we'll have to skip."

"And I was going to take Mia out for food quick before we go home. Although if you'll be over maybe we'd better not." Brandon narrows his eyes.

"Very funny, Walker. I'm not going to do anything you know. Take her out, don't worry about us. We'll probably just bake cookies or something."

We leave the locker room together and part ways. Evie stands up with Sam when she sees us. They hug each other goodbye and I smile.

"Ready to go?" I ask.

"You bet."

I hand her her helmet and put my own on. I'll never get tired of feeling her hands snake around my waist and hold on tight.

"Let's go home."

I didn't feel the need to tell her that I was already there. As long as she was with me.

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