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   Chapter 1 Prologue

Beyond Reasonable Doubt By magbmara Characters: 7690

Updated: 2019-03-28 13:05


"Uncle Marco, where is Francesca and Alejandro?" She was on her way back to the garden when Frankie heard the voice that she was waiting for all evening. Liam. She felt her heart beat thrice as fast as she peeked at the door to the receiving area where her parents and Godparents were standing. Her 16th birthday is finally complete.

She was frozen in place as she watched him and his sister Luna hug her father, Marco and her mother, Alessandra. She got back to her senses when she heard her her mother's response.

"They're at the garden. Go on and join them." She pretended to come in from the garden and went straight to the new arrivals. Soon enough, her twin brother is right beside her and they went straight to their Godparents, Lance and Cassie to greet them. They met Luna and Liam along the way and they hugged each other just like they normally do on occasions.

"Hey, princess, Happy Birthday!" Liam handed her a small box wrapped in gold and red ribbon. When Liam pulled her for another hug and kissed her cheek, she almost fainted.

"Thank you." She stammered as he smiled and stared at her. Her trance was broken by his brother who almost pushed her out of the way to catch Liam's attention.

"Where's my gift, Bro?" Alejandro, her twin brother shook hands with Liam. They have this weird handshake that only the two of them knows about.

"Here you go. I designed a new game just for you." He gave her brother a flash disk and they bumped fists.

"Cool! Come on, Frankie."

She playfully pushed her brother then gave Luna a hug and a knowing glance. They giggled before they approached their parents.

"They grew up too fast. They're even taller than me!" Cassie exclaimed and Lance just laughed as he teased his wife. "Babe, everyone is taller than you." Liam's father earned a slap on the arm as they banter playfully.

"Sometimes, I feel old when I look at the four of them." Frankie had to roll her eyes at her Dad's remarks. He doesn't even look old. He and her mother doesn't even age a little.

"You are old. See how many gray hairs I found on your head the other night?" She almost gagged when she saw her parents kissing in front of them.

"Eeew! Mom, Dad, enough with the PDA! Our friends are looking at you." Francesca said as she greeted her Godparents by kissing their cheeks. Liam who was just behind her laughed. She closed her eyes to enjoy the sound of his laughter.

"They always do that. Too cheesy. . ." Alejandro whispered to Luna after he hugged his Godparents.

"Don't worry, Mama and Papa are just like them." Luna rolled her eyes and Alejandro smiled.

"Kids, go back to your guests."

They were almost dismissed when she remembered one thing.

"Dad, will you please tell Uncle Denaris to quit staring at our guy friends? It's pretty creepy."

Alex just shook her head as Marco just waved his hand at Francesca.

"He's only protecting all of you. Go on. . . have fun."

"Fine." It took too much self-control not to stomp her feet. She had to prove that she is no longer a child who throw tantrums each time she would not get what she wants.

The four of them went back to the garden where the party is happening. Luna went ahead as she saw their classmates and friends laughing at one of the tables. While Frankie went to the far side of the garden behind a tall statue which was hidden from other people's view. She wanted to pause for a while and admire the decorations that she designed. She helped her mother prepare for the party. The yellow and blue pin lights, the glittery but rock and roll themed stage where a band was playing looked hip and classy. She even chose the blue and gold tablecloths and table wares. Even the guitar and ballet shoes ice sculpture was her idea as well as the small dancing fountain at the middle. She asked her

parents to install one just for the party.

"You really have nice taste. I heard from Aunt Alex that you helped conceptualize the decorations and party theme. Who would have known classic ballet and rock and roll would jive." She almost dropped the small box that she was holding when she heard him approach her. He was too close for comfort and her hand trembled with the way his breath fanned her neck as he whispered to her. "You look pretty in your dress, by the way." He playfully bumped her shoulder with his. She was not prepared so she almost fell. It's a good thing his reflexes kicked in and he pulled her towards him. He was holding her bare back with her chest pressed to him. With her high heels, he was just taller by a few inches and their nose almost touching. She looked at his worried face while his minty breath invades her nostrils, adding to the dizzying effect of having him near her.

"Princess, are you okay? You look pale." Frankie tried to utter a yes but she couldn't speak. There was something with the way he was holding her and how their bodies were pressed together. She acted on impulse.

Frankie tilted her head and kissed him. The graze of her mouth on Liam's soft lips immobilized him. She didn't know how to kiss properly so she tried to imitate what she see's in movies and from her parents. He did not let go of her hold on her back or backed away from her body. He just stood there and let her kiss him. She could feel her heart beat erratically as she tried to deepen the kiss by teasing his lips with her tongue. The sensation of tasting Liam's lips and feeling it with her tongue felt like heaven for Frankie. When her arms wound towards his neck, and she tried to press his back to the statue beside them, that's when he snapped out of the trance and gently pushed her away.

"Where did you learn that?" His voice was hoarse and he had to clear his throat twice before he asked her again. He was holding her hands which seemed to turned from hot to cold in just a span of seconds.

"How many men or boys have you kissed?" She frowned and bowed her head. His tone softened as he tilted her chin so that she would look at him. "Answer me, princess." He looked worried and Frankie didn't know what he was thinking.

"Just you." She saw something flash in his eyes but it was just for a fleeting second.

"Good. Let's keep it that way." He pulled her closer to him then led her to lean on the statue. He looked around and when he was sure that there were no one around, he pressed his forehead to hers. "Your father, Denaris and my father will kill me for doing this. But what the heck, it's your 16th birthday and this will be our secret." He whispered before he cupped her face and captured her lips.

Kissing an unmoving Liam was bliss for Frankie, but with him kissing her as passionately as what she always imagined was heaven. She couldn't keep the moan that escaped her lips as she felt him explore her mouth with his tongue while his hand caressed her bare back. She kissed him back and weaved her hands on his silky hair. They kissed for what seemed like eternity, before she heard her name being called by the party host.

"You're a good kisser for a first timer." He smiled at her and then kissed her nose. She smiled back and dispelled the idea that being four years her senior made him a more experienced kisser.

"You're not bad yourself."

"Happy Birthday, princess. They're calling you. I'll stay here for a while." He gave her another short kiss before caressing her cheeks. There was something in his eyes that she could not fathom. Was it regret or sadness? She ignored it and smiled as she waved at him before going back to the party.

After that night, everything changed. She was dethroned from being his princess to just plain Francesca, a family friend.

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