A/N: I'm not the biggest fan of Bold and the Beautiful but this story line got me back to the show. Honestly, I never thought Bill Spencer could have a son but I praise the writers they had the courage to write this very touching and interesting plot twist into the show. Bill and Liam have great chemistry and I had a lot of fun writing this one shot.
And, seriously, we need more fanfics here.
"The pictures of the judge in the highest court can be put into the next issue. I know he's not gonna love it but Justin's got it all under control. It's not our fault his wife cannot keep her husband satisfied. "
Liam merely grunted at that while scanning a rough version of the said piece of article. Bill raised his eyebrows; the kid would usually be bringing up the ethical side of their work.
Maybe he was finally learning something.
"Also, the Forresters are having another fashion show but I'm sure you already know that, seeing that you're so tightly committed to that little missus of yours. I figured you could go there and do the story. And remember to keep a track of everything that's-"
Liam was still stuck on the same page with his eyes unmoving. Now the man was sure his son was lost in his own head; unless he had suddenly become dyslexic.
"Hey," Bill snapped his fingers, raising his voice. "Earth to Liam, come back here at once."
The young man turned his eyes to his father, shaking his head to clear it out.
"Sorry, I think I blacked out for a bit."
Bill Spencer sat up straighter in his chair, setting the papers in his hands onto the table.
"Are you sure you're alright enough to work, son?"
The question was met with a frustrated growl: "Dad, you've been asking me that same question for two weeks now!"
"Well, I'm sorry if you're well-being is important to me."
"If you're so worried, just call Ramon and he can tell you the same thing I'm telling you right now," Liam got up from his chair and leaned over the desk until his face was just inches away from his father's: "I'm fine."
The staring contest could have literally gone till the end of the world. While Liam was like his mother in many ways, there was at least one thing he had inherited from his father: perseverance.
And Bill was proud of that.
Deciding that this was a battle he could very well just lose, Bill leaned back in his chair and stared at his lap. Liam slumped back into his chair, fed up with the conversation.
"You're not well, Liam."
Two pairs of eyes, dark ones full of determination and power, the younger ones filled with confusion and sorrow, met each other.
"I don't blame you. Ever since that witch came into our lives everything has been going downhill. The paternity test, you almost getting killed in that explosion, I mean, it shocked me too! I'm the one that has everything in control: I'm the puppet master of this city and I just can't keep that… bitch in control."
Obviously distressed by the situation he was in, Dollar Bill stood up from his chair and marched to the window, admiring the beautiful sight of the daytime Los Angeles. Part of him was glad he couldn't see the beach house Amber Moore was staying in. It took all his patience to stay in the same room with the woman for one minute.
"It's not Amber I'm thinking about," came a weak reply, a reply Bill hadn't been expecting.
The man turned back to face his son, his face demanding an explanation, and a good one at that. Liam sighed and rubbed his face with his hand, trying to put his thoughts into words.
"It's just that- with me being the father of Amber's baby," he started slowly, praying with his eyes, his father would let him talk without interruptions. "It just has brought so many questions into my head about everything, about my life and about-" he paused, as if his lips had forgotten how to pronounce the following word, "my mother."
Mother. Kelly Hopkins. Bill lowered his gaze as memories filled his head. Beautiful, smart Kelly whom he could thank for the miracle that was sitting in front of him.
"For some odd reason, I don't even want to know why; I keep imagining my mom and Amber together. I mean, the situation is the same."
Fire lit in Bill Spencer's eyes, his face turned so angry he seemed to grow a whole foot taller.
"Do not ever compare your mother to that whore!" He raged while pointing an accusing finger at his son.
"Hey, don't think I like having thoughts like these but it is the same thing."
"There is nothing same about them."
"They're both pregnant to a heir of a business empire, unmarried and-"
"WILLIAM SPENCER!" In an instant, Bill had grabbed the arms of the boy's chair and was breathing like a bull after seeing red. "Now you listen to me," He spoke in a low voice, trying to keep his temper. "Amber is not pregnant to you; this is all just a scheme to get into our money. I don't know how but I'm gonna find out how she did it, and let me tell you, it ain't gonna be pretty. Second, Amber is nothing but lazy white trash while as your mother was a hard-working, intelligent woman who always thought of others before herself."
They were quiet for a moment, Bill investigating his son with his eyes; the young man didn't know where to look. His eyes moved back and forth the wall, his hands and the floor, obviously uneasy with the situation.
"You still hold her in that high a regard?"
After a moment's hesitation, Bill decided this was something he could give the boy. He nodded, his voice steady: "She was my first love."
Liam couldn't help giving a small snort at the Great Bill Spencer using a word as sappy as 'love'. But the next thing that came out his mouth was a lot more serious, something that had been bothering him all his life, something he had never gotten an answer for.
"If you were so much in love like you claim, why did she never tell you about me?"
Bill was no idiot, he knew question had to be coming someday despite the fact that they had discussed the subject before.
"I don't know."
It was only half the truth and Liam knew it.
"I'm not blaming anyone, dad, I just want the truth. I can handle it."
Now, you can't, son, Bill thought in his mind as he let go of the chair and walked back to the window, briefly glancing at the picture of his own father, Bill Spencer Senior. You can't handle the truth about your grandfather, about your family history. It's my burden to bear; I don't want you to share it.
"We were young, Liam, just like you and Hope. We had fun, I don't regret those days, but we went our separate ways, we had different goals in life."
"Did you ever try to contact her?"
He had to search his memory for those past days, search his feelings for an answer.
"I can't remember."
"You can't re-!"
"Liam, stop it! It's in the past, it doesn't matter."
"It matters to me!" The boy stood up, not daring to go past the desk, the borderline between the two of them. "Dad, she must have known you were my father. I mean, she named me after you! There must have been a reason mom kept us apart. Why didn't she tell you?"
Because I'm a mess no one can handle.
"Maybe she thought you would have a happy life without me. Liam, I'm not gonna lie to you: I'm not a perfect person. My father messed me up big time, hell, I don't know how to act around people."
The man turned around, giving his son a look full of bitterness.
"I'm a brilliant business man, I can read people like open books but about emotions, bonds people have with each other- I know nothing about those. I don't know when to comfort or when to be stern, I don't know when to say words of encouragement or when to act indifferent. I have always been like that and I always will be."
Liam felt a lump in his throat; he never quite knew how to handle his father when he was being emotional.
"So you're saying it is a good thing we didn't meet until recently."
"I don't know," The man shook his head. "Do you I regret not being a part of your life? Yes, I do, but would you have wanted me to be a part of your life?"
The lump was suddenly gone and the boy found his strength again. "Of course, I would have, you're my father!"
"Had I been a part of your life, you wouldn't be you."
Liam had to blink at that in confusion; the way his father had said the line made him feel uneasy. With steady pace, Bill crossed the distance between them. Locking his eyes with Liam's, he set his hands on his son's shoulders, he spoke with gentler tone than ever in the conversation.
"You wouldn't be this incredibly smart, kind-hearted, honest person whom is loved by everyone. You wouldn't have the naivety you have now and you wouldn't be there to bring me new perspective. This kid that means the world to me, he wouldn't exist."
Taken by the moment, Liam had to lower his gaze to the floor. Liam never met his grandfather and his father never really spoke about him- as a person that was. All he heard were stories about a man who created the empire he would someday be running, man who was scheming and ambitious. He could tell his father had deep scars about the way Bill Spencer Senior had treated his offspring, the lack of time and respect he had for his children. His father was not a perfect man, like he had stated, but he could tell he was trying very hard to not repeat the mistakes he had fallen the victim to.
And he respected him for that.
"So you're saying, I should just stop worrying about the past and focus on this moment."
"And your future," Bill nodded smiling, pleased that his son was finally starting to see the reason. "Liam, you should stop worrying about things you can't solve. Kelly had her reasons and we should pay respect to her memory, not try to make her the bad guy."
"I'm not but- you understand me, don't you?" The young man asked, worry in his eyes.
"Of course! I would act the same way in your situation."
"It's just that, so many things have been happening in my life during these past couple of years and I'm still recovering from all the changes and then this drama just keeps finding me and thoughts just keep swirling in my head and making me sick and-"
"Liam, Liam, Liam," Bill grabbed his son's shoulders tighter, ending the ramble and the boy's agitated gestures. "It's okay, you don't need to apologize. Just give yourself some time, okay. I'm sure everything will turn out just fine for you."
If I have anything to do with it, the man thought, his brain already forming a scheme.
At long last, Liam nodded, not saying another word. He had not gotten the answers he was looking for, but hey, it wasn't like his life had been a bed of roses so he might just accept this setback as well.
Satisfied with the obedience, Bill clapped his hands once and walked back to his desk.
"Now, how about some lunch?"
Glancing at his wrist watch, Liam couldn't help a smile.
"Dad, it's barely noon, and besides, don't you have some work to do?"
"This company works with my schedule, son," the man just stated like it was the most obvious fact in the world. "Besides, you're still recovering and Ramon insisted you rest enough and don't skip meals for work."
"With your schedule, I'll still be recovering two years later," the young man rolled his eyes.
"Liam, I'm trying to be nice here. You need to help me."
The boy raised his hands in mock defense and backed off chuckling: "Okay, I'll go tell Allison."
"I'll be with you in a minute."
The door to his office closed and Bill Spencer was left alone in his thoughts. Picking up his cellphone from the desk, his eyes scanned the many framed pictures, each one of the people who had affected his life. The most precious of them had their place on the window sill, both to guard him and to show a bit of his soul to the visitor, if they looked hard enough. Only one had its place on the wall, the spot his eyes didn't meet unless his mind decided so. Bill Spencer Senior's hard face taunted him, showing the path he so wanted to avoid.
There was only one cure for it.
Sitting down on his chair, he opened the lowest drawer and picked up another picture, frame much older than in the other ones, colors had faded with time. Smiling eyes and bright dreams from decades ago still refused to leave him.
"Thank you," his voice was filled with sincerity. "Thank you for not letting him win."
Thank you for keeping Liam safe for 20 years.