Nine

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A/N: It may be kind of odd for me to include Sam's backstory here but it's important for the next chapters. While this story is mostly about Liam, it's important to remember that he had a life with his friends before Evie. This is his story and she's a part of it, but his chosen family (Sam and Ash and Audrey Rose) are a bigger part.

[SAM 13] [Language triggers]

He sat and watched his brothers wrestle out in the yard. He didn't like to play with them anymore, they were mean. Inside his sister went on and on about her latest purchase from the mall on the phone. He didn't like her very much either.

Up the stairs and in his room, he went and sat on his bed in the closet. Emmett said he'd break his arm if Sam didn't move all his stuff to there.

Bored he pulled out the sports magazines that the General always wanted him to read. A boring hockey one, a mind numbing football one. He liked to look at the boys though.

"There you are little shit." Jack opened the closet and scowled. "The General's home, what are you doing?"

"Nothing, leave me alone."

"You can't fucking talk to me like that." He snatched up the magazines and glared. It was open to an ad for rugby cups. He scoffed and grinned "You little fag."

Jack grabbed him by his ear and pulled him down the stairs.

"Stop it Jack, please! Don't tell the general." He sobbed.

"Sir, this one was looking at the boys in this magazine." Jack threw him to the ground. The aforementioned magazine smacked the back of his head.

Sam's father snatched it up and looked at his youngest son. Sam winced when the General's boot connected with his ribs.

"I called it! I knew he was a twink." Kitty cackled behind her phone screen.

"Is this true boy?"

"I don't know, Sir." He hung his head. He really didn't.

"Yes or no!"

"I don't know!" Sam scrambled to his feet and tried to run back to the closet. His brothers grabbed him and plucked him off the ground.

"No son of mine will be a filthy homosexual." The general seethed. "It's the shed for you. For a week."

"No! Let me go!" He kicked and screamed.

"It's either that or I'll roll you in the rug and burn you to warm the house." The General howled with laughter. "Bring me a beer Kitty."

In the rickety old shed, his brothers locked Sam inside. He sprang to his feet and banged on the walls. It was dark in the shed and dirty and cold. He hated the shed. Sam cried and cried and when he was done he dug up the little jar he'd buried there months ago.

He couldn't stay anymore. His mom ran away and he could too. An odd assortment of fives and ones filled the little jar.

As soon as he was let out of the shed he'd run away.

***

[Liam]

I slip out of her room in the chilly morning. Walking out to get my bike, I pray for someone to run me over.

What the hell was I thinking? Friends? It just popped into my mind and I said it. Isn't that what you do when you break up? It's either awkward forever or you become friends.

Oh wait. Same fucking thing.

How was I supposed to know? I've never had an actual girlfriend. None of us have. I sit for a moment on the curb. I wanted her so badly last night. It was late, we were emotional. Fear spikes in my heart, was that our last kiss?

I see red as I drive home and wonder if I've possibly fucked it up more than before. She's not mad at me, but Evie still isn't with me.

I slam the front door open and start smashing shit. Plates, cups, you name it. Fuck. This is not what I want. It's what she wants I think.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Sam yells coming down the stairs.

"It's over. She's not mine anymore." I say. My best friend stares at me with mild concern.

"Evie?"

"Who the fuck else!"

"Calm down, Liam. Hey," Sam grabs my shoulders and takes the mug out of my hand before I can send it to ceramic hell with the other dishes.

"I was so confused. I just blurted it out. We're just friends now. And she acted like she wanted it that way. Asking for one last night together." I can't stop the shaking as I voice my sorrow.

He holds onto me tightly and tells me to let it all out. The same way he'd done when my mom died. "Get yourself together Liam. What's done is done. She wouldn't have wanted this."

"I don't know what I'm gonna do."

"I'll tell you what you're gonna do. If she wants to be friends, be her friend. Respect how she feels about it. If you want her in your life it sounds like this is how it's going to be."

I step back and nod. He grins in solidarity and yawns. Sam's hair is all splayed on one side and he runs a hand through it.

"Can we go back upstairs now? It's like 5 in the morning."

"Yeah."

We walk together up the stairs and I smile. I had a good life before Evie was my girlfriend. It's not the end of the world. And I call Audrey Rose dramatic.

"Thanks."

"Anytime, man. FYI you're buying new dishes this weekend."

He opens his door and yawns again.

"What was that about?" I hear Ollie's sleepy voice. I groan of course he slept over. And of course I woke them up.

"Nothing, just had to help my brother out. Move over."

"Come here."

"Wait. Liam stop snooping! Close the god damn door freak." He chuckles.

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