Even as a boy, Liam was never the kind to turn to violence. The only time he ever hurt anyone physically was Pablo when they were teenagers, and he felt guilty about it for a long time after. But right now, all Liam sees is red. Pablo’s been a thorn in his side sine they were children, always showing off the gifts Harris bought him during school, making fun of Liam’s second hand clothes and weird family. The final straw was trying to flirt with Serena at Liam’s party... or so he thought.
“You god damn bastard. What the hell was going on in your mind? Serena was my fucking fiancee, why couldn’t you just leave my family alone and focus on Faye?”
“Hey I didn’t do anything.” Pablo protest. “Serena came to my house herself, crying over how your small dick doesn’t do anything for her and she felt smothered. I tried to tell her you weren’t such a bad guy but she practically tore my clothes off. No way was I going to turn her down when she’s looking at me with those pleading-”
Liam’s had enough.
Serena runs outside the moment she sees what’s going on, but at this point Liam doesn’t care.
Pablo’s older than him by a few days, but Liam’s the strongest guy in town. He’s got Pablo on the ground in a hammerlock within a few seconds. “I swear to the Watcher, Pablo if you ever come near me or my family again I won’t hesitate to put you in the hospital.”
“You can’t keep me from my daughter, you ass.”
Liam tightens his grip on Pablo’s arm painfully. “Like hell I can’t. I’m River’s father so until I say otherwise you aren’t ever coming near her. You forget Judith and Liz both work at city hall and they like me a lot better than they like you.”
He twists Pablo’s arm once again causing him to cry out in pain. Serena can’t watch anymore, bringing her hand up to her face. “Liam... please let him go. You’re hurting him.”
Liam hesitates for a moment before getting up, watching Pablo run off the property before turning back to Serena. “So?”
She smiles hopefully. “So uh... I guess that worked out?”
Liam can’t believe this.
“Are you kidding me? You just going to act like you never cheated on me? Like Pablo didn’t just throw you under the bus? When were you going to tell me about River not being my daughter? Did you really not expect me to be able to figure it out for myself sooner or later?”
“Liam I’m sorry-”
“No you aren’t! If you were sorry you would have come clean to me as soon as you cheated!”
She has no response for him.
“I have to get out of here for a while.” He sighs, turning away from her. “Tell River I’m sorry for missing her birthday party. I’ll make it up to her later.”
It’s hard for Serena to hold back her tears, but she manages to keep herself composed as she helps her little girl blow out her candles.
River as a child.
Momma helps her decorate her room with a few knick knacks Serena had “lying around” in her private basement.
The ancient wall scroll from Egypt looks particularly fresh but River’s too young to realize how weird that really is.
Once the girls are back in bed, and she’s assured her parents that Liam just had to stay late at work Serena settles onto her bed, waiting for her husband to come home. She still doesn’t know what she plans to say to him, but she hopes he’ll at least let her speak this time.
He doesn’t. As soon as he gets home and realizes she’s in their room he heads to his mom’s old room. Everything is still there exactly as it was the day she left. Down to her happy kitty pictures. He’d rather sleep here than with Serena.
The photo of Liam holding Pablo to the ground in the arm lock is quite satisfying.
I'm also very happy with how River's room turned out. Her favourite colour is yellow so I almost wanted to murder her... but I think the end result was actually quite nice.