She’s now sitting next to me in the passenger side, wringing her hands back and forth. Her skin is as smooth as cream, with a smattering of freckles along her cheeks. Her eyes a dark brown, and her hair that is slowly slipping out of its bun is dirty blonde in color with wisps of gold shot through, as if it was kissed by the sun.
“Everly, if this is too much for you, I’ll still work on your car, get it back up and running. I won’t ask a thing. I promise,” I tell her holding my hands up in the air at the red light we’re stopped at.
“Well it kinda is. I mean you’re doing too much. You barely know me and, I don’t know, I just don’t want you to feel like you have to do this,” she responds looking down at her lap.
“Sweetheart, look at me,” I say to her. The light is still red, and I’m grateful as fuck, because she needs to hear this. I’m basically a stranger to her, but I can tell she’s not used to accepting help.
When she looks back towards me, I can see the trepidation in her eyes, “I swear to you, this is not a burden. You are not a burden. Maybe this is the start of a great friendship.” I say to her and I truly believe it.
My attention returns back to the road, with the tow truck behind me the whole way to my house. It only takes another ten minutes, and I’m pulled along the curb of my home and out of the truck letting the driver know to back it into my garage. Once her car is in there, then, I’ll pull my truck in the driveway.
I’m back to the passenger side of my truck in a flash to help ease Everly out of the truck. My hand in hers, guiding her down the side step until she’s firmly planted on the ground. I find myself easing her into my body, thinking she’ll be reluctant towards me, thankful as hell that she isn’t.
We make our way to the driver as he’s writing the bill, without thinking he hands me the bill, and I fish out my wallet to hand him the cash.
“Liam,” she exclaims giving me a mystified look.
“Give me a second, promise,” I tell her as I pay the guy. He’s no sooner paid and then he’s on the road. I turn to Everly, handing her the receipt knowing she’ll want to pay me back as much as I don’t want her too. I heard her mumbling earlier about how she’s working to go to school.
“Here, you pay me back when you can. I don’t want you stressed, but if you feel the need to pay me back, you can make payments or something.”
“Damn it, Liam. You barely know me and you’re just offering all of this stuff. I don’t even know how to feel about it, let alone know what to do about it,” she puffs.
“Take it in stride. I was where you were before, needed a lending hand, but not having anyone there to help. Let me help, at least until your car is back to working order, and you’re not having to worry about it breaking down at any given moment,” I tell her as I look deep into her eyes, eyes that I’m now seeing are as green as the grass I once saw in Iceland.
“Okay, okay. Promise I’m paying you back for the tow truck tomorrow, when I get back into town,” she says, finally agreeing.
Liam walks me into the garage where my car is now sitting, looking completely out of place in his immaculate residence. He walks up behind me when I’m just kind of lost in my own thoughts, “I’m going to order a pizza. Want to stay and eat some with me?”
My stomach takes that exact time to growl something agonizingly loud, I guess that kind of answers that question. “Can I at least pay half?” I ask him.
“Yeah, Everly. You can pay half,” he grumbles as he starts walking towards the door that leads inside the house. He turns around and says, “You coming?”
I raise my eyebrows, wondering for the hundredth time if I’m doing the right thing. I mean I know who Liam is just by hearing things from working in the diner, how he left when he was right out of high school. He stayed with his uncle until graduation and then went down to the local recruiting office and signed up for the Navy. It wasn’t long after he was in the Navy that he became a SEAL. The townspeople said he was a decorated SEAL, that he was going to make it a career. That all changed when he came home with an injury, medically discharging him as soon as they deemed him unfit for the SEALS. It changed his whole future.