Chapter 16

The question hung heavily in the silence that resulted after it was asked.

Hope opened and closed her mouth several times, not a single sound passing through her lips. This was it: the turning point of their relationship.

She had an idea of what that meant but she had to know, as difficult as it was going to be.

"Where did you go then?"

Her little voice clearly betrayed her fear but Liam knew it had to be said. "To the hospital: we had our first ultrasound yesterday."

The tears started falling then. "So, she really is pregnant then?"

"Yeah. I was really scared for Steffy and the baby after she fell over the table so, I wanted to make sure they were both fine."

She wiped at her eyes. "And it was all my fault."

The tears intensified when he didn't contradict her but only avoided her gaze. Liam didn't show it but the truth was, he was angry. If it wasn't for Steffy telling him not to be too hard on the younger woman, he would have lashed out on her so scared he had been.

"What about us then?"

Liam screwed his eyebrows together. "What about us?"

"Now that you've married Steffy again and she's pregnant with your baby we're really over?"

"Us not being together is not a consequence of my marriage. Those two things are unrelated and anyway, it was over between us long before I even considered marrying Steffy!"

"Only because Rick had lied to us."

Liam shook his head in denial. "The only one Rick lied to was you: Steffy knew the truth, I knew the truth. The only one who didn't was you. You, you chose to believe your brother's lie over me."

"How did you expect me to react after learning that you'd spent the night before our wedding with her?"

"I expected you to believe me, simple as that! Do you know the difference between you and Steffy?" He didn't give her time to answer. "She takes me for who I am and doesn't expect anything from me but love. She understands and trusts me completely: there are no misunderstandings or drama between us."

"That's because people like your father and my brother don't want us together and conspire against us!"

"And if we were meant to be, we would be together in spite of all that. But that's not the case. Steffy is the one for me: we complement each other."

"This is not how it's supposed to be."

"I'm sorry, Hope. I really am but I've moved on a long time ago. I'm happily married and about to become a father. You and your family need to respect that. Steffy doesn't need the stress of you putting the blame on her for something that doesn't even exist."

The blonde continued crying silently. It was about the only thing she could do now. She had lost the love of her life for good and once again because of Steffy.

"Goodbye, Hope."

The words were said with finality, signifying the definite end of their relationship. With that said, Liam closed the door on his way out, leaving behind a heartbroken young woman.