The thing was that she hadn't upset him, not in the least, but what had started as teasing as gotten out of hand, and he felt horrible for having embarrassed her in the first place. He wasn't stupid enough to not recognize the fact that she was close to tears, which was almost as bad as crying, and he went to her, looking as full of remorse as he felt, reaching to take her hands in his. "I'm sorry, Liv. I'm an idiot. I just got carried away. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
Her hands slid into his for a brief moment as she turned, pushing her way into his arms with a shake of her head. "No, I'm sorry," she murmured softly. "I spoiled things, and everything was really good, and I ..." Drawing in a slow breath, she tipped her head back to look up at him. "It was a lovely surprise, as well," she said quietly, her lips curving in a guilty smile. "I'm just not very good at this."
He furrowed his brows down at her, arms wrapping around her as she found her way there, heart heavy with guilt and remorse. "Not very good at what?" he asked, confused, wanting to understand. Relationships? It was him who wasn't very good at that, who'd never managed to maintain a lasting relationship with anyone for long without screwing things up.
"Being a girlfriend." One thing you could always count on Liv for was total honesty, no matter how silly she felt actually saying something. One shoulder rose and fell lightly, the guilt easing out of her smile as his embrace reassured her that she hadn't done any irreparable damage. "I should clean up, that wine will stain the carpet."
He wasn't budging, making no move to let her out of his arms, stained carpet or not. He only sighed and pulled her closer. The party was obviously over, and that was fine, but he didn't want it to end on a sour note. "I'm not very good at this either," he admitted quietly, resting his forehead against hers. "I've screwed up every relationship I've ever been in." Case in point - Lucy.
Unaware that Lucy was lingering in the doorway, waiting patiently for the right moment to interject and take her leave, Liv tightened her arms about Johnny's waist, gazing into his eyes tenderly as he spoke. "I'm too sensitive," she said finally, her voice very soft as she admitted to this. "I always think everything is my fault. And I don't get angry, I get upset. Which isn't fair on you. I really don't burst into tears over every little thing, I promise."
And since she was baring her soul, it was only fair that he bared his in return. "I've got a big mouth. I get carried away and say and do stupid things I don't mean without thinking. And I've got a temper, but I'd never intentionally hurt you, Liv. I promise." Blue eyes pleaded with her to believe him, unaware that Lucy was in the doorway eavesdropping.
"Oh, no, I know that!" Untangling one hand from his back, Liv curled her palm to his hot cheek, rising on her toes to brush a gentle kiss to his lips. "I just know I'm not making it easy for you, and I really don't want you to feel like you have to be a certain way or I'm going to cry all over you. I promise, Johnny, I will get better at this. And I really am very sorry I spoiled the evening."
He smiled down at her, at the tender touch to his cheek and the kiss to his lips. "You didn't spoil anything, Liv. Promise. And I love you just the way you are, so stop worrying." He brushed a gentle kiss to the tip of her nose, his fingers linked at the small of her back.
Reassured as only Johnny could, Liv relaxed in his arms, the tension in her smile melting away until she was once again warm and careless of consequences, nuzzling close to him. "I love you back," she whispered against his lips, but whatever tender moment there might have been was rather abruptly derailed by Lucy flinging her arms around them both and planting loud kisses on first Johnny's cheek and then her sisters.
"Well, I love your front and your back," she grinned to him. "But not as much as hers."
Johnny smiled, Liv's declaration of love reassuring him and chasing all the guilt and worries away. He pressed his lips to hers, warm and gentle, and then abruptly felt another pair of arms wrapping around them both. He smirked, remembering he'd left Lucy in the other room to make a phone call, chuckling with amusement when she teased them both. "I love you both." He smooched both their cheeks, first Lucy, then Liv. "And I'm lucky to have you."
"Well, as much as I love you, I'm going to have to do the love you and leave you think," Lucy smiled, ruffling Johnny's hair. Somehow, she managed to insinuate herself between them to wrap Liv up in a warm hug, murmuring another thank you for her birthday present before releasing her little sister.
As Liv stepped away, warm and smiling at her sister's antics, Lucy flung her arms around Johnny to murmur her goodbye to him. "Thank you for my mug," she grinned against his ear, kissing his cheek as she stepped back, one hand rising to tweak his nose. "And I expect to have at least one more slice of that cake saved for me, so watch it, everlast."
"Wait..." He overheard the murmuring of thanks to her sister. "I know what you got Liv, but what did Liv get you?" he asked, gesturing from one to the other with a hand, since Lucy had broken up their snuggle. Johnny blinked as Lucy was suddenly and unexpectedly hugging him. He smiled, brushing her hand away at the tweaking. "I'll try not to gorge myself," he teased back, smirking.
"Oh, I'm just going to see my favourite band in the history of forever," Lucy told him, offering nothing more in explanation as she winked, tweaking Liv's nose again before she turned away, her belongings already wrapped over her arm. "Okay, lovelies, I've got to dash. If you really love me, you'll hope that I'm not about to get bled on by an old woman who can't look after her varicose veins."
Liv snorted with laughter, moving to follow her sister into the hallway and to the front door. "You have such a way with words, Luce."
Johnny chuckled at Lucy's parting remarks. "Just read the mug, Luce." He at least tried to be encouraging, not wanting to think too hard about the visual she had painted with her words. It was too gross. He let the two of them have a private moment while he went about cleaning up the mess, starting with the spilled wine.