I haven't written fanfics in a while because I'm sitting for my A Levels this year, so busy busy busy all the way till December. ): But I needed to write this, because Season 4 has been ridiculously frustrating and I dare say it's the worst season yet. I really hope Season 5 doesn't lose its steam!

As much as I was all for Lannie being end game last season, the writers basically made me dislike Liam this time. But I'm not a Caleb/Annie shipper either. I'm an Austin/Annie shipper! So, this story basically revolves around Annie, Liam & Austin. This is assuming that Caleb did not appear in the series. ... And Liam/Silver never happened (*shudders*).

Please review, comments are very much appreciated!

...

There was a huge gap in Annie's heart and she'd dare say that gap was growing day by day. It was difficult for one, to endure her supposed vacation with her brother and mother without knowing for sure if Liam was alright, but to come back from Paris a fortnight ago to see him with Vanessa was just unbelievably painful. It was as though Liam had lost all feelings and connections they had with each other so quickly. At times - though the idea itself made her think she was crazy - Annie thought that maybe Liam had suffered from some kind of brain damage or memory lapse from the accident, making him forget everything he had just said and done to Annie before the tragedy. But she knew better; Liam had turned stone cold and he was shutting her out.

To add on to her problems, Bree had repeatedly warned Annie to be careful of the investigations regarding their escorting activities last week. One would think Annie could get a break when she finally acquired the inheritance money. She had stopped seeing Patrick from then on and was letting it all behind her. Though you know they say, the past will haunt you.

In order to cover up their whoring services, Austin had turned himself in instead, saying that he had burned the Kappa house down. Annie felt responsible for everyone's mistrust towards Austin, but from what Bree, Austin and herself saw, there was no other way. In fact, Annie could not see how things could have turned out differently. There was a good reason why Bree burned her own sorority house down - she needed to get rid of evidence lest the police found something that could link the two girls to prostitution. And Austin, well, he was a noble friend. The prank he made with Dixon was nowhere as serious as arson, but yet he was willing to dive and take the bullet for Annie and Bree. She has yet to thank him for that, the Wilson girl thought. She and Bree were being selfish, but Austin did not complain.

Annie was helpless. How was she to fix any of this? As much as Liam said she loved Vanessa, everyone knew it was likely just a hookup. A seemingly long hookup, that is. But it was undeniable that no one liked the idea of his new relationship. No one dared to take sides, but Liam and Annie's friends believed that they were meant for each other instead.

As Annie stared blankly into the distance as she sat by the dipping pool of Naomi's mansion, she recalled the panic and anxiety that engulfed her barely a month ago. The moment Annie and Dixon landed in Paris, her phone went all kinds of crazy with missed calls and text messages from their friends, saying that Liam had been hit in an accident. Annie swore she really did want to take the next flight back home, but the girl was nothing but rational. Instead, the two siblings both agreed that they would just shorten their trip to two weeks, when they had originally planned to be in Paris for almost a month. Still, that didn't seem enough for Liam. It was still clear in her mind like a fresh wound. Liam had told her that night they hooked up, "We have always been there for each other." But Annie felt so alone now. The one person she could count on had turned his back against her.

Nevertheless, just as how she has always been, Annie forced herself to put up a strong front whenever she was among her friends. Thus, when Silver texted her asking if she was heading down to the Offshore relaunch anytime soon, Annie felt like she had no other choice but to get herself ready for the party. Call her optimistic, but she was hoping to feel less bitter about Liam together with Vanessa by perhaps, facing the issue head-on and trying to move on while being at their relaunch. Crazy optimistic.

An hour later, a very reluctant brunette walked into the fully-packed Offshore bar. Annie was glad that the place was crowded. Less chances of bumping into them, she thought to herself. The brunette joined her friends in a corner, where Naomi, Dixon and Silver were laughing and generally having a good time. Adrianna came over to offer Annie a bottle of beer, probably knowing that this was not going to be an easy night for her. However, as tempting as it was, the Wilson daughter politely declined. She felt like she was not ready to be enjoying herself just yet. To Annie, numbing her pain was not a solution; she had to endure it even if it would kill her.

Much to Annie's annoyance, barely a few minutes later, Vanessa and Liam stood up on the mini-stage set up for the occasion. "Welcome to the Offshore, everybody! Free drinks for everyone this hour. Enjoy!" Vanessa gleefully announced into the microphone. Liam was standing beside her - like her arm candy, Annie couldn't help thinking bitterly to herself - and offering his awkward polite smile. Annie knew he was not one for crowded parties, let alone host them. But then again, a nagging voice inside her head was starting to grow louder; perhaps Vanessa had changed him and Liam liked it now. After all, he was starting to become a huge movie star and and model or whatever other titles Liam had to his name now. Annie could never have done any of that.

With all these thoughts running through her mind, Annie did not realise that she had been staring at the two hosts on stage. Not until her eyes met with Liam's, that is. If anyone else had been paying attention, they could have instantly seen the way Annie's and Liam's facial expressions changed.

"Ah, I'm gonna head outside for some air," Annie said, not really bothering to know if any of her friends heard her. Well, so much for trying to endure the pain. Only one glance and she was going to crash and burn already? Her heart stung, but Annie refused to let her tears fall or they would betray her strong facade.

As for Liam, he did not miss Annie's reaction at all. The moment he glanced to the corner of his bar, he spotted the brunette first. Liam did not know what to feel. Guilty, for trying to move on so quickly by being with Vanessa? Angry, because Annie was nowhere with him following the accident? Or that affection he had for her since more than a year ago? Without a second thought, however, Liam walked off the stage - to Vanessa's surprise, though she hid it really well - and walked out of the bar towards Annie with two beer bottles in his hands. Liam really had no plan and he was never one to approach his problems, but as it has always been, with Annie, just maybe it was worth the trouble.