RED THIRST

parental-advisory-explicit-lyrics

Due to sexual content.

 

DREAM CASTING –

red thirstClara smiles as she catches her reflection in her vanity mirror. Smoothing out her fitted black velvet dress. She presses her bright red lips together making a smacking sound.
“Tonight, is definitely going to be a night to remember,” she says glancing at her clock which reads 12:30 AM in bright bold red. 

**3 HOURS LATER 3:30 AM**

Her eyes flutter open and instantly Clara is met with Black. Darkness. Small Space.
As Clara’s eyes are trying to adjust to her surroundings, she tries to move and realizes she can’t.
Both her hands and feet are bound by thick tape. She makes a move to scream but soon she feels tape is also plastered across her mouth.
Humming. Clara now hears humming. Moving. She’s moving.
Where am I? She thinks.
Her heart begins to pound quicker and quicker as the panic sets in. Beads of sweat pooling at the nape of her neck as goosebumps form.
She finally comes to the terrifying conclusion that she is in the trunk of a car, going God knows where, with God knows who.

**1:30 AM**

Clara hops out of a red taxi cab and spots the big red electric sign illuminating her destination- THIRST it reads. She smirks as she rushes over to grab a space on the long line, her spiky gold studded red heels clacking along on the sidewalk- a missing person’s poster plastered to the grown as she walks over it unknowingly.
As Clara takes her place in line, she takes a look around. Another missing person’s poster. This one she notices. Young men and women crowd the line, dressed all in black, the women all sporting bright red lipstick. Clara feels satisfied with her choice in wardrobe for the night. Suddenly Clara feels the eyes of those around her all shifting toward her. It feels like everyone is watching her. Do I smell or something? She thinks.
Clara steps up to the bouncer, and hands him her ID. Taking it he glances at her, then back at the ID.
“You’re a newbie, huh? he asks, his voice husky, his dark eyes staring into her with a fierce fire.
“I’ve never been here before, so, yea I guess,” she says skeptically.
“Are you here alone?” he asks his eyes flickering a deep dark brown as they wander over her.
“No I’m meeting up with some friends, not that it’s any of your business,” Clara answers getting annoyed.
The bouncer laughs, as a smirk is put in place.
“You and your friends are in for a real treat, Enjoy!” He says handing her back her ID and unclipping the red velvet entry rope-letting her in.
Clara takes her ID quickly and rushes into the bar, to escape not only the brisk fall breeze, but also the creepy bouncer.
The minute Clara steps foot into the bar, she realizes its standing room only, the lights flicker and suddenly her stomach flips. It’s just your nerves Clara. You always get a little wigged out when you’re in big crowds. The gang should be here any minute.
In the midst of her rambling thoughts a face comes into view. “Hi, I’m Ivy, are you here for the ceremony?” the pale, red headed girl with bright fire red lipstick asks. Her face invading her personal space a little too much.
Clara steps back instantaneously, as her brow furrows, “Ceremony…what ceremony?”
Ivy notices her confusion and laughs a laugh that kind of made Clara’s hair stand up on her arms.
“You must be a newbie… I mean new.” Ivy says her eyes scanning over Clara.
What is with this place, she thinks as she gives a small forced smile before making her way through the crowd towards the bar.
As she pushes through the sea of darkness, the red lights strung above flicker once again. As it seems all eyes turn to make Clara their focus, once again.
Clara suddenly feels very uncomfortable. She scans the room for her friends, but there is no sign of them anywhere. 
She checks her cell phone quickly. No sign of any messages.
I guess they’re running late, she thinks. You’re being paranoid Clara, relax. Have a drink. 
The bartender comes over. “Who needs a drink?” he yells over the crowd.
Clara raises her hand pushing her way closer.
“What’ll it be?” he asks his dark brown eyes locking onto hers.
“Um, I’ll have a Bloody Mary,” She says her eyes taking in his handsome chiseled features.
“Ok, do you want- O, A, B, AB, I may be able to scrounge up some O negative in the freezer if you prefer that?”
“I’m sorry?” Clara says her confusion growing along with her nerves.
The bartender’s gorgeous, tanned face falls.
“Have you ever been here before?” he asks.
“No.” Clara says uneasily.
The bartender leans in closer to her and whispers.
“Do you know what this place is?”
“A bar?” Clara asks with a small flirtatious laugh as she flips her hair behind her shoulder, leaning closer to the cute bartender.
“You should really get out of here. It’s not the place for someone like you,” he says his voice hoarse yet heightened, his brown eyes stern.
“You don’t even know me,” Clara bites back getting frustrated.
“Maybe not, but I can tell you’re a newbie and if I can so can the rest of them. I’m just saying you’ve been warned.”
Clara looks at him, her nerves spiking up again. She checks her phone. Nothing.
The bartender notices. “Oh that’s another thing, no cell service.”
Clara’s stomach knots, “What?” she says her eyes looking up into his.
“Oh what, you think they’d make it easy for you to call for help?” he asks. Clara’s eyes fill with fear.
And as if on cue. The lights go out and Clara suddenly feels hands wrap around her mouth and waist and pull her off into darkness.
She tries to fight it, but the strength of her opponent was overpowering, her nerves distracting her causing her to drive herself into a panic.

**4:00 AM**

Clara is wiggling and moaning in the trunk of a car as she feels the car suddenly come to a short stop.
Clara begins to panic as she hears the driver’s door creak open, feet shuffling through what sounds like gravel.
A hand pulls on the latch of the trunk, it opens and her panic begins to kick into full drive.
As the trunk opens fully the bartender’s face is backlit by a nearby street lamp.
Clara’s eyes go wide as her chest begins to tighten, her vision blurring. She’s about to faint again.
“Hey, hey, hey,” he says seeing her starting to go, as he lifts her out of the trunk.
He places her in the passenger’s seat, sitting her upright, he reaches for a water bottle in the back seat. He pours some on her face, gently slapping her cheeks.
“Hey, hey, wake up,” he says, pulling the tape off her lips carefully.
Clara comes to and sees his concerned face, and begins to scream, “HELP! SOMEONE HELP ME!”
“Shh, Shhh, they may hear you!” He says nervously checking his surroundings.
“Who? What are you talking about? Where am I? Why did you take me?” she says hysterically.
“If I didn’t they would have bled you dry,” he says reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a pocket knife.
Clara sees it and her body stiffens, her breath catching in her throat.
He flips it open and making eye contact with her, he kneels down and cuts the tape on her feet and then her hands.
Clara breathes a sigh of relief momentarily, as she rubs her wrists.
“I’m not going to hurt you, I just wanted to help you.”
“Why the hell did you tape me up and throw me in a trunk then!” she says looking at him, fire in her eyes.
“I had to make it look convincing. Otherwise they would know and they would still come after you.”
“Who? What is that place?”
The bartender takes out his phone and hands it to her.
“Play the video,” he says.
Clara looks up at him, confused. She gets out of the car and hits play. Her first reaction is one of pure horror as she covers her mouth.
On the screen you see people in hooded red velvet cloaks, in a candlelit room, chanting. As a line of blindfolded people stand, waiting for instructions. All dressed in black. The main countess, removes her hood as Clara sees her face, “Ivy,” she whispers.
“I saw her set her sights on you the minute you walked in. I knew after that, we didn’t have much time before the lights went out.”
Clara’s eyes meet his for a brief moment, and she could see the worry in his eyes. Her nerves begin to fade just slightly. She continues watching the video.
“Welcome, to our weekly induction ceremony. We trust you’ll have a bloody good time,” she says cackling, as she glances at her fellow cloaked servants, with a small smirk, they take it as their signal. Each rushing toward a blindfolded member and sinking their fangs into their necks as their chosen prey scream. Others pulling their blindfolds off and running for dear life.
“No one will hear you,” the Countess sings, cackling loudly, watching them scatter like cockroaches. She rushes toward her newest victim.
Red. Red everywhere.
Clara stops the video and covers her mouth, her eyes welling up.
“Is this, is this real?” she asks staring into his eyes willing some answers.
“Yes.”
“So what, they’re vampires?” She asks.
“No. It’s a cult. They’re a group of psychos who are obsessed with  the idea of vampires and do everything to simulate the vampire life. Including sucking other people’s blood.”
“And what… it’s just allowed. I mean why hasn’t anyone ever reported this place?” She asks completely overwhelmed.
“There hasn’t been anyone who survived long enough to do so.”
“What about you, are you like them?”
“NO. I just bartend. I’m completely human. And I like it that way.”
“So then why haven’t you reported them!”
“Because we have an agreement, I keep my mouth shut, pour the drinks, get paid, and they let me live.”
“Why would you take this job knowing what this place was all about?”
“When I came to interview for the job, I didn’t know what it was going to be. I took the job under false pretenses. And once I got here and found out what this was, there was no way out for me.”
“So after all this time, why help me?”
“I don’t know. I just felt like I needed to. I’ve been so scared to do anything before. But tonight I could see that you were scared and I wanted to help.”
“Well, I’m really glad you did, thank you.”
He gives her a small smile.
“How did you get this video?”
“Ivy sent it to me, to show me what could happen to me if I don’t obey by her rules.”
“But this is proof. Right here. We need to take this to the police.”
“They’ll call it a prank and not give two shits. And even if they did try to do anything, there’s so many followers, it would just regroup and start over, somewhere else. It won’t be long before they find out it was me who leaked the video, and they’ll come after me. And I won’t be able to protect you. They’ve sought you out already. You’ve been targeted.”
“Targeted?”
“She expects you as her prey, in her mind you’re a done deal. Precious blood.”
“Won’t they know you’re gone?”
“They think I’m bringing you to the red cottage.”
“What’s that?” Clara says her eyes scanning her surroundings. Not a cottage in sight, just an empty gravel parking lot, dimly lit by a few scattered street lights.
“It’s this secret place she reserves for her sacred prey.”
“Who?”
“Ivy, she’s pure poison. She’s the countess, she’s the one who started this whole thing. And she loves newbie blood. By newbie- they mean someone who is completely unaware of the true meaning behind this facade of a bar.”
“Newbie. So that’s why everyone was calling me that. I felt like everyone’s eyes were following me. I thought I was going crazy.”
“You’re not crazy, they were all watching you, waiting, sniffing you out, luring you into their trap.”
“Sniffing?”
“Oh yea, newbies carry a certain scent, apparently.”
“They really believe this shit?”
“That’s a cult for you.”
“This is insane.” *Clara feels her vision starting to blur.* “I I I feel like I’m gonna faint again,” she says reaching for him.
“Ok, hey, ok, you’re ok, take a seat,” he says grabbing her hands and guiding her back to the car. “Just breathe ok, nice and slow. In, and out. Look at me, Focus.” He says.
In that moment Clara was so grateful for this man she’s never met before. He saved her life and she didn’t even know his name.
“I’m sorry, I tend to faint when my nerves are set into over drive.”
“It’s ok, I figured that when you passed out before I put you in the trunk. Sorry about that by the way, I had to make it look believable. It’s been my job to take care of the chosen one and unfortunately that includes duct tape and a trunk.”
“I’d gladly take the trunk any day, if it means staying the hell away from those freaks. I’m Clara, by the way.” She says steadying her breathing.
“Nice to meet you Clara, I’m Christian,” he says smiling, his teeth perfectly pearly white, he extends his muscular arm, as she shakes his hand. His grip firm. His palms soft, but clammy.
“So you’ve done this before, this red cottage thing?”
“I’ve only worked here for a month. So, I’ve only had to do it twice. And both times, the chosen have proven worthy to join the cult, so they are now members, and no longer hunted prey. That’s the whole game. Kind of cat and mouse. Somehow they can sniff out the special ones. The rest just get used as blood bags, like you saw in the video. The chosen get taken to the red cottage, where Ivy preps them. She decides if they are worthy to join or be bled dry. Even though her senses are usually spot on, when it comes to true newbies, she says it can go either way and she needs to be sure if they are really ready for the vampire life.”
“And how does she decide that?”
“She gives you this test. Asks bizarre questions, tastes your blood. If it’s sweet you die because she knows she’ll enjoy taking your blood, if it’s bitter you get to live. So any precious prey that end up here, they better prey their blood is bitter.”
“What?”
“Does that even surprise you at this point, after everything you’ve seen?”
“This is inhumane. I have no words. These people are demented. I’m completely confused. I don’t know what the hell any of this really means.”
“Join the club. It’s not something anyone should ever have to know.”
“So what do we do now? What happens when they find out you didn’t bring me to the red cottage?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think that far ahead.”
“So they can be coming after us, any minute!”
“We’re a few miles out, that’ll buy us time.”
“My friends, oh my god, I was supposed to meet my friends! What if they’re still there? I have to go back!”
“Are you insane!? Have you not been listening to me? Ivy will kill you,” he says grabbing her shoulders.
“Not if I play along.”
“You can’t fake bitter blood Clara.”
“No, but I can lure her away from her followers. Think about it without them, she’s just some red head with fake fangs and a cloak. I can take her.”
“You think so, you faint at every sign of danger.”
“I can do this, I have to. We have to put a stop to these freaks.”
“I don’t like this Clara. I don’t want you alone with her.”
“I won’t be, you’ll be with me, right? Ya know just in case I need back up,” she says with a nervous laugh.
“This is not funny.”
“I have to try. My friends are newbies too. I can’t let her hurt them. And you shouldn’t either. Now I know you saved my life. And I am so grateful to you. I am. But you’ve sat on this job, knowing about their world for a month. Knowing people have died.”
“I’m not proud of it Clara, believe me,” he says looking away in shame.
“I do believe you,” she says taking his hand in hers. Christian’s eyes flick up instantly to meet Clara’s. “Before you didn’t have someone willing to help you. It’s different now. I’m here and together, we can take this whole freak show down. But I can’t do it alone.” Christian stares at her for a beat, he sighs. 
“Ok…here’s what we can do…” 

**5:00 AM**

Christian stands above a seated, tied up Clara. Her legs taped together, her hands taped in front of her, resting in her lap. Candles lit amongst red silk curtains, and red velvet carpet.
Christian bends down to grab more tape, as he hears a car pull up, the headlights beaming past the small window in the corner of the dimly lit small cottage.
“She’s here,” he says turning to Clara as he rips another piece of tape holding up to her mouth. “I’m sorry but, I have to make her think you’ve been this way since I took you.”
Clara nods. Panic setting in.
Christian notices, he leans in and kisses her bright red lips, his free hand cupping her face, as Clara’s mind spins her lips follow his, her heart beat quickening.
“I won’t let her hurt you,” he says kissing her once more, before placing the tape across her mouth.
Christian stands as the door to the cottage flies open revealing a blood stained Ivy.
“Well well, we meet again,” she says walking in, her cloak draping across the floor as she saunters around Clara, breathing her in.
She leans down, placing her hands upon Clara’s shoulders, whispering in her ear, “My you smell good.”
Clara winces, pulling away.
“Did you tell her the rules Christian?”
“Yes Countess,” he says bowing and taking a knee.
Clara’s eyes widen at his obedience to this woman of hell.
Suddenly Clara begins to feel dizzy, her mind begins turning, thoughts flying through her head.
Did I just get played? Was this the plan all along, to lure me here and gain my trust? What do I really know about this Christian guy? Why the hell did I believe him? Why because he’s gorgeous? I just made the biggest mistake of my life. Clara begins to fade.
“Good, now, shall we get started,” Ivy says cackling as she turns to get the materials to start her personal ceremony,” Christian makes a swift move and reaches behind his back, he pulls out a gun and shoots Ivy in the back, the ringing pierces through Clara’s ears as she jolts. Ivy’s body goes limp, falling to the ground, blood pooling out of her.
Christian leans down, and feels for a pulse. He pulls out a walkie and speaks into it, “This is agent Christian Clark. I’m requesting an ambulance for a deceased female, and immediate back up at the old broken down parking lot in Fort Falcon. Also send units to the bar THIRST- address 166 6th street. Proceed with caution, subjects are armed, and dangerous.”
Christian rushes over to Clara’s side, her eyes are wide, her mind foggy.
“Hey, I’m sorry, I’m sorry you had to see that. Are you ok?” he says peeling the tape off her mouth and cutting her free. She sits there in a state of shock.
“Clara? Clara, hey, can you hear me?” he says holstering his gun and grabbing her face in his hands.
“You’re not blinking at all. Clara. Clara. Hey. You can hear me, I know you can. Hey come on back Clara. Come back to me. Clara. Clara, blink for me. Clara.”
Clara blinks and focuses her vision on Christian.
“You’re a cop?” she says completely confused.
“Yes.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I was under cover. I couldn’t risk it. I didn’t know if you were a part of it, or just a ploy to draw me out. I had to be sure you were telling the truth too.”
“So you lied, when you said that the police wouldn’t care.”
“Yes. I had to.”
“What about the two other newbies who joined the cult? The ones that you said you had to take here?”
“Also undercover agents. They’re working from the inside too. See I was only able to see certain aspects of the cult, they do things I had no clue about, we needed people to really infiltrate. The three of us had to really pull some major cons in this whole thing.”
“I can only imagine. So why have you waited so long to do this? Why not just bring Ivy in when she brought the first agent back here?”
“We had to gather more evidence.”
“That video wasn’t evidence enough.”
“Unfortunately no, with all the technology available online, kids these days can alter anything. They would have dismissed that video as a prank. We needed a witness. We needed you.”
“Me?”
“Well we didn’t seek you out personally, you just kind of happened to be in the right place at the right time. And you were actually someone who agreed that this place was a total freak show and needed to be destroyed. A few months ago, we started noticing a lot of people were going missing in the area. No sign, nothing. Other than the link that THIRST was the last place they were known to be. So we started investigating. When I got wind of what this place was. I knew I had to play it smart, give it time, build a case, and get inside the minds of these freaks. As much as I hated it, I wanted justice for all the lives they stole.”
“Did you find any of the missing people?”
“A few, unfortunately it was a little too late for some- they were killed, but many had joined the cult. I don’t know if it was because they wanted to or if it was strictly out of fear. That’s why we put two agents on the inside.”
“I feel like I’m going to throw up,” Clara says pacing as she grabs her stomach.
“Clara.”
“I need to call my friends. I lost my phone, can I-”
“Of course,” he says reaching into his pocket and handing it to her.
Their hands graze each other’s and Clara ignores it turning away as she dials. Christian’s eyes flicker to her, his eyes wondering her curvy body in her fitted black velvet dress. Her toned legs pace the cottage carpet, as her red spike heels scuff it up.
Christian coughs and looks away, giving her some privacy.
“Hello? Betty? Betty oh my god, where are you, are you ok?” Clara says frantically.
A blonde girl and some friends are being escorted by police out of the bar, “Clara, oh my god, are you ok? I’ve been trying to call you!”
“Yes, I’m ok, I’ve been trying to call you, are you with everyone else? Is everyone ok?”
“Yes, we’re all here, we’re ok too, but I swear you wouldn’t believe what just happened.”
“Trust me, I think I know a little more than you think, I’m on my way.”
“Can you take me back to my friends, they’re at the bar.”
“I really think you should go to the hospital.”
“She didn’t get the chance to hurt me. I’m fine, thanks to you.”
“Clara, I’ve lost track of how many times you’ve suffered panic attacks and fainted tonight.”
“Well excuse me, I’ve been scared out of my mind, what with getting tied and thrown into a trunk and brought to a vampire’s lair.”
“You’ve been through one hell of a mess, all the more reason to get checked out.”
“I will, after I meet up with my friends. Please. I just need to get out of here,” she says looking at Ivy’s lifeless body sitting in a crimson pool.
Christian hears sirens in the distance, they make their way closer. Soon the door opens to reveal paramedics and other police officers.
“Agent Clark, I’m Officer Megan Mullins, we’ll take it from here, why don’t you get this girl home.”
“Thank you,” Christian reaches out to shake her hand. “Come on let’s get you out of this hell hole,” he says taking Clara by the hand, and leading her out.

****
The ride went on silently, until Christian finally spoke.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“I don’t really know how to answer that question,” she answers her eyes watching the streets pass by as she stares out the window.
“Fair enough,” he says pulling up to the bar, ambulances, officers in blue, detectives, witnesses, suspects hauled off in cuffs, create a scene of madness.
It all moves in slow motion before Clara’s eyes. Christian parks his car and hops out, slapping a police light on his hood. Walking around he opens Clara’s door as she sits in shock.
“Clara. Clara?”
“CLARA!” Betty looks from the inside of a nearby ambulance, she comes running.
Clara is kicked out of her haunting memories when she hears her friend’s voice.
“Betty!” she yells, hopping up, and rushing over to hug her.

**A FEW MONTHS LATER**

Clara enters her apartment, setting her keys and purse down on her side table, as she flips through the mail she just brought up.
Her cell phone rings, and she glances at the unfamiliar number, “Hello?”
“Clara?”
“Who’s calling?”
“Clara, this is agent Christian Clark. I’m afraid it’s that time, we’re going to need you to testify in court on the THIRST case.”
“I can’t say I haven’t been expecting your call.”
“Would you be free for a cup of coffee one day, I can prep you on what to say?”
“I think that would be very helpful, thank you. I’m free now, I can come meet you.”
“Um sure, yea that works, just text me the place,” he says sitting at his desk at the police station. He looks at his cup of coffee and drops it into the trash.
“Ok, will do. See you soon.”
“See you then,” he says smiling.

****

Christian sits in a small cozy coffee shop, as he waits for the beautiful brunette to saunter back into his life.
Clara walks into the shop and scans the room, her eyes clocking on Christian’s. He smiles waving her over, she makes her way toward him.
“Agent Clark,” she says with a sweet smile.
“Clara, hey, how are you?” he asks, standing to hug her.
Clara hugs him tightly, as they both linger for a beat, taking each other in.
“I’m ok, I’m really good actually,” she says they both take their seats opposite each other.
“Good. I’m glad. You look great.”
“Thank you, so do you,” she says smiling.
“So I know that I haven’t checked in much since-”
“Stop, Christian. Please. You saved my life. God knows what could have happened if you weren’t there. I know you’re an agent, out there busy saving the world,” she says smiling brightly at the gorgeous man before her.
God he is still so gorgeous, she thinks.
Christian smiles back, God she is still breathtaking, he thinks.
“You wanna take a walk?” Clara says.
“Sure, I’ll grab us some coffee and meet you out front.”
“Thanks,” she says heading towards the exit.

****

“So full disclosure?” Clara asks.
“Of course.” Christian says as they walk along the streets.
“I’m really happy you called.”
“Yea?”
“Yea, I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about you and that kiss,” she says staring at the coffee in her hands.
Christian stops in his tracks and looks at her.
“Full disclosure?” he asks.
“Of course.” She says stopping and facing him.
“I didn’t check in sooner, because I felt like I couldn’t. When I kissed you, I knew I felt something for you. I knew I wanted to know you the minute I saw you. I knew I wanted you in ways that would be unprofessional for an agent to want his lead witness in his case, so I kept my distance.”
“So what changed your mind?”
“It’s no longer, my case.”
“What?”                                                                                                           

“Officer Megan Mullins, did me a favor, and took it off my hands.”
“So you saying you needed me to testify and that you can prep me were all what- just excuses to see me again?” she says her eyes narrowing, a smirk playing on her lips.
“Not exactly, I mean, kind of. Yes I wanted to see you again and I saw this as my in. But I don’t need you to testify, Megan does. But yes I can still help prep you, if you’d like.”
“Sure, my place is just a few blocks from here, we can go there.”
“Ok, lead the way,” Christian says gesturing.

****
Clara unlocks her apartment door and steps aside, letting Christian in.
“Nice place,” he says walking in.
“Thank you, here let me take your coat,” she says hanging hers up on a nearby coat rack, as he hands her his.
“So I was thinking we can just go over the details of that night and write them down, then from there come up with a statement of some kind. Then I’ll just put you through the ringer, asking you all the questions I think they’ll ask you-”
“Christian.” She says her voice cutting through his last few words.
“Yea?”
“Do you honestly think, I brought you here, for legal advice?”
“I-” he stops and looks at her, a smile forming on both of their lips, as she walks toward him.
He quickly pulls her by the waist, letting his lips crash onto hers.
Clara’s hands cup his face, as she walks them backward forward her bed room.
Unbuttoning and tossing each other’s shirts.
They fall back onto her white cotton bed spread, as Christian’s kissing becomes deeper and deeper each time, an urgency playing on his lips.
He pulls away and looks at her, his eyes flickering with a deep desire.
She smiles pulling him to her and kissing him forcefully as he grips her hips. Kissing her once more, he playfully bites her lower lip, a little blood escaping.
Clara winces, with a slight laugh, Christian pulls away from her, “Sorry about that love, let me get that for you,” he says kissing her again, as he licks the blood off her lower lip.
Clara’s brow furrows for a bit, but she is soon enough distracted by his lips traveling to her neck. Christian’s lips dance along her jugular vein. His kissing becoming quicker, more forceful, harder, the sucking beginning to hurt. Bruise.
Clara starts to stir uncomfortably.
“Christian, Christian, Stop.” But he doesn’t.
She pushes him off her and screams, as his fangs come into clear view, in one swift move he sinks them into her neck, her blood covering her crisp white bed sheets.

**ONE YEAR LATER**

Clara jolts awake, and looks to see a concerned Christian in bed beside her.
“Don’t tell me- the nightmare, where I turn into a vampire during sex?”
“Ugh, yes,” she laughs covering her face, a large diamond ring shining in the moonlight on her left hand.
Christian starts to laugh.
“It’s been nearly two years. I’ve testified. We won. Everything is back to normal. It should be over. Why am I still having bizarre dreams, and more importantly why is it always you killing me? I don’t understand it, your the only person who makes me feel 100% safe. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
“Babe, you know what your therapist said, you went through a bizarre traumatic experience. The details are all mangled in your mind, it’s going to take time to work through all that. You can’t rush it. And remember your fears may be unrealistic, but they are valid. You once said there was a point where you wondered if you could trust me. I mean that’s understandable, we barely knew each other. You didn’t really have reason to believe me.”
“Well I’m so glad that I did,” she says smiling over at him.
“Yea?” he says smiling.
“Yea, because then I wouldn’t be engaged to the sexiest, smartest agent New York has ever seen,” she says pulling the blankets over as she climbs on top of him, straddling him.
“Oh really?” he says his hands sliding up her sides, causing her sexy red lingerie night gown to lift ever so slightly.
“Mm Hmm.” She says smiling, as his hands slide further around her waist.
Smirking, Christian sits up and kisses her.
He flips her over hovering on top of her, “I love you so much, and I can’t wait to make you my wife,” he says, placing a passionate kiss on her lips, her arms circling around his back. Christian adjusts meeting Clara’s body, moving her closer to him. Then as she lets out a breathy sigh, he places a kiss on her lips, his hands gripping her thighs.
Christian pulls away looking at Clara.
“What?” she asks.
“I vant to suck your blood,” he says in an exaggerated count Dracula cartoon voice as he jokingly bites her neck between fits of laughter.
Clara starts to laugh and shoo him off.
“I hate you,” she says giggling, as he stops and starts placing sweet kisses along her neck.
“You love me,” he says looking down at her, as he kisses her lips once more, sweetly.
Clara kisses him back.
“I do love you, you fool” she says in between all the many kisses that followed.              

“So are you gonna put on those spiky red heels you know I like so much?” he asks with a smirk.                                                                                                                                                      

“I think that could be arranged,” she says smiling.
Christian’s hands glide across her body, as Clara’s hands circle the nape of his neck, her ring glistening into the night and the rest of their lives.

 

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

 

Happy Belated Halloween!

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Video Update

There are often so many areas of life we feel we need to be good at all the time. And often times we struggle trying to make that happen. It’s impossible. You can do anything but not everything. You can be anything, but you can’t be everything, to everyone, all the time. If you try to, you will break.

As the summer comes to an end, the self-bashing comes for not doing half of the things I wanted to. Summer is kind of like New Year’s Eve in that way, don’t you think? We make so many promises to ourselves and then life happens.

I’ve been really thinking about my relationship with video and film making. And because of this, I’ve learned a few things. I wanted to get really real with myself about this topic.
To back track just a bit, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree. I studied Mass Communications with a concentration in Film and Broadcasting. The dream-the goal- to write for television. And yet when I look at all the video projects I’ve actually finished…the total number is not many. Many unfinished scripts/ideas for scripts collecting dust too!

Back in college, I had to do a few projects- one was a music video which I did for The Civil War’s Poison & Wine and the other was a concept video which was about throwing away stereotypes- it was very abstract and I titled it “Tearing Down The Label Makers.” It’s crazy because I feel like the message holds even more relevance today. Then I worked on my thesis which as you may know was a documentary about a day/or days in the life of my Grandmother who had been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. I did two versions of that for two separate classes- one was the full version, and one was an abridged trailer version entitled Vai Com Deus.

“Poison & Wine” Video Shoot-

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“Tearing Down The Label Makers” Video Shoot-

Tearing Down the Label Makers

Neither the music video nor the concept video have been uploaded to YouTube, although considering these two were my very first video projects I am still very proud of how they came out and the messages behind them. I’m seriously considering sharing them. Providing the actors give their permission for me to do so, actually I’m pretty sure I had them all sign release forms!

During my college years I also attempted to shoot a script I wrote called Dumb Luck. A lot of time and production went into that but, it never got finished and the footage has been difficult to revive since my college computer died on me and I’ve gotten a new one. I am hoping to revive that and get that up, it’s super raw,  and you can definitely tell I was just starting out but the story is juicy. We only got to shoot the montage sequence. But a few years ago I shared the script, if you’d like to read that…click HERE.

“Dumb Luck” Prop Pictures

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“Vai Com Deus” process-

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Since I graduated I’ve done a few little side projects that are actually finished- I shot a yoga video for my cousin, a poetry video for MLW- to name a few and a couple of vlogs. The vlogs are less planned and less cinematic of course.

Yoga Video Shoot (Behind the Scenes) (this is not available to watch,  even though she was happy with the result-the video was for a school assignment and my cousin didn’t want it uploaded.)

“Secret” Society Video Shoot/Vlogs (Behind the Scenes)

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Then there are more video attempts- there are bits of footage shot for a zombie horror short that my brother and I had been working on. We even got as far as building a timeline of the clips in editing, but then…life. Life came in, things got busy, I got distracted and something else needed my attention.

“Inhumane” process- (Behind the Scenes)

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Its 4 years now since I graduated and it seems that every time I get close to the idea of shooting something- I may do well for a brief time but then cue the rut.

The other day I was going through some old paperwork and things, trying to organize my room and I came across some old scripts and video treatments/storyboards. Both were horror related. One was the zombie short titled Inhumane, the other titled Head Over Heels (which I think would be a bad ass Halloween upload). And when I see these scripts and how the planning process was beginning it makes me want to get back into video. But then I hit a wall and the reality sinks in. There’s just no realistic way. For the past-I want to say 2 years- I have been well involved/invested in the engagements, weddings, bridal/baby showers of many people that are very close to me. And I have had to really dedicate my time and my funds to them. When I think about doing something short/simple- I think how I don’t have the actors, or the equipment, to do so.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, my brother is a photographer and he has a lot of equipment that I’ve used in the past. But I’m very weird about using it, mostly because he’s very particular about it, lol. And I get nervous I’ll do something wrong! And so because of that I am very weird about asking him for help. I feel like it’s a burden, especially now that he is newly married and he and his wife are expecting their first child. Even though he has been hounding me to get back into shooting Inhumane, I know he simply doesn’t have the time, we don’t have the people, and quite honestly there are just so many other things I’d love to shoot instead. #HeadOverHeels #MysteriousAttractionTeaser

I also don’t have the best sound equipment or the best editing software either so it’s kind of like a million things weighing against me. I think about how people would perceive the work I put out. “Didn’t she go to school for film and video? This sucks!” That’s how I feel they would judge it. Along with all the other worries, I fear I may not be good enough at it.

I know this may seem like I’m complaining and I’m not. I don’t want pity. I understand that life is fast paced and ever changing. I love being asked to be part of special moments in people’s lives. People who mean the world to me. But sometimes when everything seems to happen all at once it can be very overwhelming. And we all know that I can get overwhelmed pretty easily and my anxiety definitely tends to spike a lot more when too much change is happening.

I just think that in life you often have to prioritize and these things in my life have been coming one after the other and they need special attention. I’m the type of person who really wants to show up for you on your special day/during your special time. My relationships with my family and friends are everything to me. And so I give 150% every time. (Or at least I really try too!)

With my bank accountant taking some serious hits over the past few years, lol-so has my time management skills. I can multi task…sure…just ask my computer- I can have 8 different tabs open at once and hit all of them. But I can’t say with absolute confidence that I can multi task well all the time. I just end up overwhelming myself and needing to narrow things down. Focus on one thing at a time. Rightfully so…no? I mean how much wedding/baby events/day to day responsibilities can one girl take at once? Ya know? It’s a lot. But thankfully, thank god it’s mostly beautiful, happy stuff, all deserving of celebration. I will always be grateful for that.

Needless to say I know there are ways around this funk I’ve created for myself. I know that fear of inadequacy, lack of funds and time are a huge part of why video has taken a back seat. But I want to try and make some solutions to these problems.

Dear Michelle,

ACTORS ask people I know/ research sites that can help find actors willing to participate for low funds or pizza! Haha. Asking people you know, can be difficult, it doesn’t always work out. My film and video professor used to always tell us to have a plan B because people aren’t always reliable and it can break your heart when a project falls through the cracks. This I know first hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked family or friends to be apart of shorts and they cancelled on me because of work or life in general got in the way. It happens, I get it. But creatively, it’s heart breaking. Another thing to consider when filming is to keep the shorts abstract- quick cuts- simple images-

Avant Garde it- experimental film, experimental cinema- a mode of filmmaking that rigorously re-evaluates cinematic conventions and explores non-narrative forms and alternatives to traditional narratives or methods of working.

TIME make time- plain and simple. Plan it out, and stick to a schedule.

SPACE/LOCATION keep it local, go where you know- use people’s homes, lol.

FUNDS keep things simple/super low budget- use house hold items.

EQUIPMENT use equipment you have, or ask to borrow equipment in advance.

EDITING SOFTWARE use what you have and make it work.

FEAR“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.” -A Cinderella Story. Your never going to not be fearful of new challenges. You just have to decide how bad you want it, and be brave enough to just do it, to hell with what people think! 

When you’re just starting out, or easing back into something Don’t Expect Perfection! If things are a little janky, it’s ok, it’s better to shoot footage than not try at all. And Vlogs do count. I’ve noticed I like vlogging when I have some cool things to do, I just have to get better at the editing turn around. Mini Vlogmas is still only partially edited. :/ As is the Gender Reveal Party Vlog for my brother and sister in law and a Family Trip Vlog to Great Wolf Lodge we took last Summer. I also shot a bunch of footage of a Polar Express Trip and my best friend’s engagement night. Really got to get back to editing!!!!

*Current Update– Since I last scheduled this post (which was a while ago back in the Summer when I was what I like to call bulk blogging) I have edited my butt off and have finished editing Vlogmas, The Gender Reveal, The Great Wolf Lodge Trip and The Engagement. I however am torn as to whether or not I should post them on YouTube/link them on this blog. I know have alluded to the fact that I would post them, I’ve mentioned it in many blog posts [including the Vlogmas announcement], however I am not the only person in them and I don’t know if others would appreciate their images being out on the internet. I know- why announce Vlogmas, take forever to edit them, and then never post them. The truth is I did do a small Vlogmas, and I did edit them, but I don’t feel 100% comfortable sharing videos of my family. I may just keep them as home movies for me, and my friends and family. But I am excited that I got so many of them done. That’s a win for me!

When things start to settle down on the wedding/baby front, I will start to save up for some new equipment. In the mean time, I just have to do it. Pick up the camera I do have and shoot something. Stop worrying about how crappy it might turn out and just dive in. I know I’ll feel better once I do. And the excitement and natural high of doing something I love will come back. I just need to do and stop second guessing, stop making excuses and just use the time I do have for myself wisely.

The reason for this long winded post is because I needed it. Sometimes you need to reflect on all the ways you let life pass you by in order to make you realize that you need to try a little harder to make your dreams come true. Be a bulldozer – and plow through the writer’s block, through the lack of inspiration, through the Summer Blues, through the funk that I’ve been in, and just go for it!

So here’s hoping to change my mind set! Wish me luck. No Scratch that- Wish me determination!

 

*All images and videos are my own.*

-<3-

 

Move- Chapter 10

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 9 HERE

Aria and Liam burst into Liam’s place, kissing, as they bump into a nearby potted plant, knocking it over. It shatters, but doesn’t make them miss a beat.

Liam’s hands cupping her face, deepening each kiss as Aria pushes the door shut.

Reaching for his jacket, she maneuvers it off as it falls to the floor. Liam’s hands circle her waist, but stay put as Aria reaches for his tie- loosening it and tossing it off.

“Aria?” he whispers.

“Shh, we’ve had this date with each other from the beginning,” she says smiling as she covers his lips with hers again, starting to unbutton his crisp white shirt.

Hitting a tough button, Aria breaks their kiss. Sighing in frustration, she rips the shirt open, buttons flying everywhere.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, this was probably so expensive,” she says looking around on the floor.

Liam pulls her back to him, “Do I look upset,” he says kissing her.

She laughs against his lips as her hands stroke his chest.

Aria pulls away to look up at him, for a beat, his kind eyes stare back waiting for her move.

She smiles, as she un-clips her black wrap around dress letting it fall open.

Liam’s eyes glance over her toned figure, as her lacey black lingerie set hugs her curves perfectly.

He lets out the breath he’s been holding in since he met her, “Wow,” he says coughing shyly looking away, as Aria looks after him with a small shy laugh.

Liam pulls her to him, placing a sweet, yet intense kiss on her lips, but soon pulling away he cups her face, staring at her.

“As much as I want to do this love, I don’t think it’s the best order of events.”

Aria looks up at him, confused, stepping back, and away from him.

Liam sighs.

“Please don’t miss understand. I like you. I really really like you. And I want this. I want you, so much that I don’t want to jeopardize it by moving too fast too quick. So before we let this go this far, I’d like to at least take you to dinner first,” he says smiling.

Aria sighs and starts laughing as she closes her dress and refastens it.

“Oh, right. Of course, that makes sense,” she says smiling. “I’m sorry I was pretty aggressive there,” she says with a laugh. “I’m sorry if I came on too strong.”

“Trust me love, I didn’t mind,” he says grinning down at her. “I was quite unprofessional with you from the start,” he smirks sheepishly.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Aria looks at him as they make their way to the kitchen.

“What would you say?”

“I would say that…we both probably….maybe…sort of…knew there was a spark there when we first met and then the universe kind of just kept throwing us together- it was hard to deny it.”

Liam looks at her and laughs.

“What?”

“I may have orchestrated a few of those run-ins we had.”

Aria looks up at him in shock.

“Wait…what? How?”

“I may have kept tabs on you.”

Aria gasps, “Wait…Did you Facebook stalk me?”

“More than I’d like to admit,” he says avoiding her eyes, as he grabs a few things from the fridge. Aria sits across from him at his kitchen island.

“Oh my gosh, well, now I’m flattered,” she says laughing as her cheeks blush.

“Really your not creeped out?” he says laughing as he begins chopping some vegetables.

“Well…that depends,” she says smiling.

“On?”

“On how many of these run-ins you actually orchestrated?”

“Oh boy…”

“All of them?”

“No…but most.”

“Which ones, come on, I need specifics here.”

“And let you think that we are anything but fate in human form, no thank you love.” he says smirking.

Aria walks over to him, coming up behind him, she circles her arms around him, her hands on his chest. 

Liam laughs.

“Please,” she says kissing his shoulder.

Liam turns in her arms and cups her face, “You fight dirty,” he says smirking.

Aria laughs, reaching up to kiss him, he accepts it with a smile.

“Fine, don’t tell me,” she laughs, kissing him once more, she walks away from him. “I really should be going, anyway.”

Liam looks after her, “Aria.”

Aria turns, “Would you like to join me for dinner?”

She smiles at him, “I would love to but I have a class to teach tonight and then I really need to get to the studio and work on my routine.”

Liam nods his understanding, but she can tell the sadness on his face.

“What about lunch tomorrow? I can come by the office.”

Liam smiles, “That would be perfect.”

“Ok I will see you tomorrow, then,” she leans over and gives him a kiss. “Bye,” she smiles and begins walking toward the door.

“Don’t worry I’ll tell Marco you say bye,” he says walking after her with a smirk playing on his lips.

Aria turns around, “Oh, ok,” she says laughing, “So your the jealous type?”

Liam walks over to her, his arms circling her waist.

“Only when it comes to you,” he says looking at her deeply.

Aria pulls him into a long kiss.

“Stay,” he whispers pleading with her.

“I can’t,” she says frowning, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she places a quick peck on his lips and walks away.

Liam grabs her hand pulling her back to him, as he kisses her again, his feelings for her pouring out of him.

Aria looks up at him, her head in a fog for a beat.

“My driver is downstairs, let him take you.”

“No that’s really ok, I-“

Liam kisses her again, as Aria’s response is cut short.

“Ok,” she says looking up at him with a laugh.

He laughs, and opens up the door for her.

Grabbing her bag she walks out, and turns to face him.

“I had a really nice time,” she says smiling at him.

“Me too, love,” he says smiling brightly.

Aria waves and walks off.

Liam shuts the door, starring at it for a beat. He smiles to himself as he exhales deeply, running his hand through his hair. He walks back to his kitchen to continue making dinner.

***

Aria steps out of Liam’s black sleek car, and walks into the Gym.

Upon entering the locker room, she’s bombarded by questions from her girl squad.

“Where the hell have you been?” Yolanda says quickly with worry.

“Yoyo, I’m fine. I’m sorry, I got caught up.”

Molly and Allie exchange looks.

“Your still in your work clothes…” Molly says.

“I know, I have to change,” she says grabbing her work out clothes from her gym bag and un-doing her dress.

“Well well isn’t that set a little sexy for the work place, were you looking for a certain someone to see it?” Molly says coyly.

Aria laughs as she pulls on her clothes.

“Let’s just say I didn’t have to hope at all, it kind of just happened,” she smirks throws her stuff into her locker and closes it, walking off.

The four girls all look at each other, their mouths open as they rush after her into the gym.

The gym is already full of excited ladies ready to work out.

“I’m sorry WHAT?” Allie says excitedly.

“Did you guys have sex? Oh my gosh was it amazing? Is he like ya know…?” Molly says rambling.

“Oh ew,” Layla says her younger age showing.

Yolanda looks worried, “Please tell me you were safe?”

“Of course we were,” Aria says spinning around.

The girls all freeze.

“Because we didn’t have sex.”

Yolanda sighs of relief, “So where were you?”

“Aw, let down,” Molly says under her breath.

“I was with Liam and don’t get me wrong, we were well on our way to…but then he put the brakes on.”

“Wait I’m sorry HE stopped you?” Allie says.

“Yea, he said that he didn’t want to rush things.”

“Is he some kind of male robot, or something, because I feel like that never happens. If a guy gets a girl willing to have sex with him, he’s having sex with her. Case closed,” Molly says.

“Ok not every guy is like that,” Allie says.

“Oh please your only saying that cause your boyfriend Colin is as perfect as they come.”

“Maybe,” Allie says smiling.

“Liam is different too, I can tell. He’s a man, not a guy, not a boy. He’s a man, he knows what he wants.”

“And apparently, that’s you,” Molly says smiling.

“Oh so it’s back to Liam now,” Layla says laughing.

“Well considering I don’t work for him anymore…yea,” she says smiling.

“Wait when you text us to meet you here, I just assumed you were filling in again, did they offer you a full time position?” Allie asks excitedly.

“Yes!”

“Wooo! Yes girl! Congrats!” she says hugging her as all the girls join in.

“Ok, I really gotta get this class started, full details later” she says smiling, standing at the front of the class, pressing play on the radio.

As the music bursts through the room, bouncing off the walls, Aria begins doing the moves and calling them out as her class follows enthusiastically.

***

Liam finishes loading his dish washer and closes it, looks down at his floor and sees all the buttons scattered. He has a flashback of he and Aria during their intense moment and lets out a laugh, grabbing a broom, he begins to sweep them up.

***

Aria exits the gym, girls in tote.

“Guys, I really have to get to the studio to practice,” she says walking to the street and holding up her hand to hail a cab.

“Um hello you promised us details,” Allie says.

“And you will get them, just not now,” she says laughing.

“Your gonna make us wait?” Molly says whining.

“I will call you later and fill you all in, I promise,” she says walking over to give each of them a hug as a cab pulls up.

Aria gets to Yolanda and sees the worry etched in her facial features.

“Yoyo I’m fine. Nothing happened. And even if it would have happened, I know what I have to do to keep myself safe, ok. You don’t have to worry about me.”

“Ugh yes I do,” she says hugging her. “Don’t make it too late.”

“I won’t, bye girls,” she says getting in the cab.

***

Aria’s body is sweating as she finishes her routine she looks in the mirror and smiles.

“We’re getting there,” she says to herself.

Her phone lights up and she walks over to check it, taking a sip of water.

She opens her Facebook app and sees Molly tagged her in a picture, the caption reading… “Work it girl.” #BESTZumbaInstructorAround #TakeHerClass #FullTimeInstructor

Aria looks at the picture, her body shining, fierce expression and a perfect view of her curves.

Aria smiles as she screen shots it and types out a message.

***

Liam stands at his canvas painting, his cell phone goes off. He smirks when he sees the message is from Aria- the same post from Molly with an added message that reads- “Just in case you didn’t see it on Facebook, here’s how my class went.”

He smirks looks over the picture, and sends a text back that reads-

That’s one hell of a view, love.

***

Aria reads it and blushes, responding-

I miss you. Is that weird to say?

***

Liam smiles, responding-

Well if it is, then I guess we’re both weirdos.

***

Aria smiles and dials Liam’s number.

He smiles seeing her name flash across his screen.

“Hello?”

“Is that your way of saying you miss me too.”

“Well, nothing gets by you, love.”

Aria laughs.

“How’s the rehearsing going?”

“Good, I should be wrapping up and heading home soon. I think I’m actually making some progress.”

“That’s fantastic.” (he pauses, thinking)

“Liam are you still there?”

“Come here.”

“What?” she says confused.

“My driver can be there to get you in 15 minutes, come back here, spend the night with me.”

“I thought we agreed that maybe we were moving too fast.”

“We don’t have to do anything. I just- I’d really like to spend more time with you. It’d be nice to fall asleep with you in my arms.”

Aria sighs, her smile bright.

“15 minutes, huh?”

“I’ll see you soon, love.” he says smiling as he hangs up.

Aria looks at her phone, her heart beating quickly.

She dials another number.

“Hello?”

“Yoyo, I have to tell you something. And you can’t freak out.”

“What?”

“I’m spending the night at Liam’s.”

“Aria…”

“I said not to freak out!”

“I’m not freaking out, I just feel like you say one thing and do another. You barely know this guy.”

“I know that. But it doesn’t feel that way. I feel like he’s been meant for me my whole life. We just fit. It just feels natural.”

“Aria are you sure about this?”

“I’m positive, I feel safe with him,”

“Fine. Your a grown woman, but you keep your phone on, and you let me know when you get there and you come home early tomorrow morning. I’m talking sun up, so are you. Please can you do that and save my sanity?”

“Yes of course. I love you yoyo.”

“I love you too, you pain in my ass. Please please please BE SAFE.”

“Nothings going to happen. I’m just going to spend time with him.”

“Right.”

“I’m serious. He’s not like that.”

“I hope your right, because if I don’t hear from you, I’m calling the cops on his ass!”

“Deal.” Aria says laughing. “And yo, can you just do me one favor…”

“Oh you are pushing it now, babe.”

“I’m sorry. I know.”

“What is it?” Yolanda says sighing and rolling her eyes as she stands folding clothes at home.

“Just please tell the girls, I’ll have to explain everything tomorrow.”

“Fine, but you owe us.”

“Dinner on me,” she says smiling and hanging up, a text from Liam pops up-

Car’s outside. Can’t wait to see you.

Aria smiles brightly rushing out.

***

Aria steps onto Liam’s penthouse floor and sees him waiting at the door with a bright smile on his face.

She smiles.

“Hello love.”

“Hi,” she says kissing him. “I’m sorry I’m a sweaty mess, I must look gross,” she says laughing.

“You could never,” he says cupping her face and kissing her again.

He takes her hand and leads her in.

“I’m really glad your here.” he says smiling at her.

“Me too.”

“Are you hungry?”

“I’m starving,” she laughs

“Let me heat you up some leftovers.” he says walking to the kitchen.

“Um, do you mind if I take a quick shower?”

“No of course not, do you need any clothes to change into?”

“Um no I keep some extras with me at the gym so just point me toward the bathroom and I’m good.”

Liam smiles and leads the way.

Aria walks into his crisp white porcelain bathroom, the shower is huge and it just glistens with cleanliness.

“Now this is a bathroom!” she says seeing it.

Liam laughs.

“Towels are in the cabinet over there, and soap and everything is in that one.”

“Thank you,” she says smiling, “I’ll be quick.”

“Take your time, I’ll go heat up that food.”

“Thank you,” she whispers, standing on her tippy toes and kissing him.

Liam walks out as Aria closes the door, she reaches for her cellphone-

“Hello? Hey Yoyo I’m here, I’m alive. Don’t worry. Ok? (she laughs) I love you, good night.”

Liam overhears and laughs.

***

Aria emerges from the bathroom all clean and cozy in a long sleeved thin hoodie and leggings, her hair long and damp.

Liam smiles as he places a plate of food on the table for her.

Aria sits.

“Wow this looks amazing, I didn’t know you cook, but of course you cook,” she says shaking her head with a smile.

Why are you so perfect, she thinks.

“Taste it first” he says with a laugh.

Aria takes a bite, “Oh my god,” she says closing her eyes. “This is amazing.”

“Yea?”

“So good, what is it?”

“It’s grilled chicken in a red wine sauce, my sister makes it even better.”

“Mmm, how is Sky, I didn’t see her at the gym tonight,” Aria says taking another bite.

“She’s good, she had a gig with her band. But I did tell her how you are teaching Zumba full time, it enlisted quite the squeal. I’d say she’s looking forward to it.” he says smiling as he leans across from her.

Aria laughs, “She’s a really sweet girl, I’m happy I got to meet her.”

“Me too, she’s probably the only sane person in my family.”

“Oh boy!” Aria says laughing.

“Do you want a glass of wine with that?” Liam asks.

“Sure, thank you.”

Liam walks to the cabinet pulling two glasses and sets to pouring the wine. He hands her a glass, with the company of a big smile.

“What?” Aria asks.

“Cheers to us,” he says clinking his glass into hers.

“Cheers to us,” she repeats taking a sip, a smile playing on her lips.

***

Liam and Aria sit on the couch, his arm draped over her and her body snuggled into his as the tv hums in the background.

Liam looks over at her, and she notices.

“What?”

“I just can’t believe your here,” he says sheepishly, his arm pulling her tighter into him.

“Aw,” she says smiling as she nuzzles closer to him. “There’s no where else I’d rather be,” she says kissing his cheek.

Liam looks at her lovingly, cups her face, and places a sweet kiss on her lips.

The two part and stare at each other for a beat, before simultaneously diving into another, more heated kiss.

Aria leans back on the couch, pulling Liam with her, and they continue to kiss, her legs and arms wrapping around him.

“I thought we said we wouldn’t do this,” he says in between kisses, his voice breathy.

“We’re not, we’re just kissing, that’s allowed right?” she says before placing another kiss on his lips.

“I like the way you think,” he says kissing her back.

“Yea?”

“Yea, I can kiss you all night.”

Aria smiles pulling him back to her lips as one of his hands cradle her head and one circles her waist, their lips barely parting for long.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

*I do not take credit for the images used in my edits or other wise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move- Chapter 9

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 8 HERE

Meet Marco

 

Aria walks into work and sits at her desk, Marco smirks and walks over.

“Good Morning,” he says handing her a cup of coffee.

Aria smiles, “Oh. Thank you.”

Marco watches her as she sits at her desk settling in for her day’s work.

Liam emerges from his office with a to go cup of coffee in his hand, he notices Aria sipping on one already and turns swiftly placing it back in his office, upon turning back around he catches Marco’s eyes on Aria.

He cocks his head slightly and coughs.

Marco’s head shoots up.

“Morning Boss,” he says finding his seat quickly.

“Morning,” Liam says rather short.

Aria suddenly stills upon hearing his voice. She feels uncomfortable, she’s never seen anyone be afraid of Liam let alone Liam be short with anyone. Not knowing whether to turn around and make eye contact with him or not. Has she done something to offend him?

“Aria, Good Morning,” he says his tone different. Happy. His eyes wanting and waiting to see the flicker of gold reflected in her chocolate brown eyes.

An internal sigh of relief, the tension falling, Aria turns in her seat with a smile.

“Good Morning, Mr. Whitmore,” she says.

Liam notices she’s wearing a fitted black dress. Although work appropriate, she’s showing the slightest bit on cleavage, which was just enough to drive Liam crazy.

“Is there anything specific you’d like me to work on today, or is it just the usual?”

He goes blank for a second as his eyes say glued to her.

Aria notices and looks away slightly nervous.

Liam snaps back to reality, “I’m sorry what was that?” he asks mentally kicking himself for losing his control around her.

“Is there anything specific you’d like me to work on today?”

“Um oh, yes I have a meeting today with one of the artists we spoke with yesterday. I’d love for you to come along, if that’s something your interested in?” he asks hopeful to be able to spend some time alone with her outside the office.

“I would love to, yes, thank you.”

“Great, I figured since you were the one who she spoke with mostly, having you there would be wildly beneficial.”

“Sounds perfect, what time should I be ready for?”

“We’ll take her to coffee, so let’s say around 3:30?”

“Ok great.”

“Ok,” Liam smiles, “why don’t you come into my office I’ll prep you for the meeting.”

“Oh right, yes, absolutely,” she says standing and walking into his office as she ponders the idea that, the last sentence he said could be taken so out of context if her friends were here to hear it. Molly would have a field day with it.

Aria closes the door behind her and takes a seat.

“Ok so, the first thing you need to know is that we want her to feel as comfortable as possible. So we want to get to know her, ask questions, but keep them light. Artists need to know that we care about what they’re doing.”

“I completely understand,” Aria says nodding.

“Of course you do, you are an artist yourself, after all,” he says with a grin.

“That grin should be illegal,” she says.

Liam’s eyes flicker as his gaze on Aria becomes stronger.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I said that out loud,” Aria says horrified as she turns a shade of red. “I just meant that…oh hell, you have a nice smile,” she says laughing.

“Flattery will get you everywhere, love,” he says laughing.

Aria covers her face, her heart beat quickens, her mind and body soaking in the sexual tension.

“Two weeks, right?” Liam says fidgeting with his tie, is eyes staring at her, not wavering.

“A day less, actually.” Aria says fidgeting in her seat, her legs tan and glistening.

Liam coughs, reaching for his glass of water.

“We should probably continue talking about the artist,” Aria says as she talks with her hands.

“Yes.”

“I printed a bunch of samples of her art, to have on hand. They are in a folder in the right side of your desk, in the top drawer.”

Liam smiles as he reaches for it.

“Wow she really has talent,” Liam says sifting through them.

“Doesn’t she?” Aria says happily. “Oh and she sent a link to a video of some of her pieces actually being created, she kind of walks us through the process, it’s incredible. Here let me just pull it up for you,” she says walking around his desk.

Aria leans over the computer as she clicks away, inches away from Liam, he takes the scent of her perfume in as he can’t help but get lost being so close to her.

“Ok so here,” she says playing the video.

The artist stands in the middle of an art studio, she throws paint at a blank canvas, as it splashes against the white back ground- A rainbow of colors.

“Wow,” Liam says mesmerized.

“Isn’t it amazing, it seems so random, but somehow it’s art, ya know?” Aria says leaning closely to the screen and unknowingly brushes against Liam.

Liam stills as his eyes glance at her, her blouse low, he can see her lacey black bra underneath.

He inhales sharply and straightens his posture, causing Aria to pull back and realize their close proximity.

“Oh what do I know, I don’t paint.” she says laughing and walking away toward her seat.

Liam catches her hand and pulls her back toward him swiftly, and she bumps into his toned figure. His gaze intense, his hands grip her waist as his lips crash onto hers. Aria loses all bets as she wraps her arms around his neck, propping herself up on the desk, as Liam helps her. His lips find her neck, as his hands grip her thighs while they slide up her dress.

Aria sits, starring in space.

“Aria? Did you hear me, love?”

“I’m sorry, what?” she says coming out of her scandalous daydream, her body overheated.

“I said we have to leave for the meeting in just a few, any other questions?”

“Oh, oh no, I’m good. I’m just gonna need a minute…(she says shifting in her seat) to ya know um…freshen up,” she says standing up and rushing out.

Liam smirks, looking after her.

“Less than two weeks,” he whispers to himself.

***

Aria rushes into the bathroom. Her chest heavy.

Trying to steady her breathing, Aria paces.

“Come on Aria, get your shit together,” she leans against the sink, and stares at her reflection.

“You can not be having feelings like this, he is your boss,” she says to herself her hands in her hair.

“Oh my god,” she says covering her face, breathing deeply.

Aria walks over to the napkin dispenser and grabbing one she taps it against her chest, her forehead and then makes her way into the nearest stall.

***

Aria and Liam stand in the elevator, in silence.

Fifty Shades of Grey…seriously why is that the only thought in my head right now, Aria thinks.

Liam’s cell phone rings.

Thank god, Aria thinks.

He reaches into his pocket and answers, “Hello?”

“Hello Mum.”

“Yes… I know you called earlier. Yes she did give me the message, I just haven’t gotten the chance to get back to you,” he says looking over at Aria, who winces and covers her face.

“I’m sorry,” she whispers.

Liam smirks and waves his hand dismissing her worry.

“Mum, I’m actually on my way to a very important meeting. I’ll call you later, honest.”

“Good bye Mum, talk soon,” he says hanging up.

Aria looks at him and scrunches her nose, Liam chuckles as his smile beams.

“Oh my god, I am so sorry! I forget to tell you, it was in between prepping and you had stepped out and then when you came back we started talking about some of the other emails we got and it just got lost in the mess of my brain. I’m so sorry, your mother must hate me,” Aria says rambling.

“Hey hey hey, (he says laughing and grabbing her hands) it’s okay, really it was an honest mistake. My mum calls so much it’d be impossible not to forget at least one. She’ll live, trust me.”

Aria stills, her hands tightening around his, he has this way of calming her.

Aria sighs, “Thank you,” she says smiling.

Liam smiles as he brings her hands to his lips, he places a kiss on one.

Aria’s entire body freezes, as just her eyes follow his moves.

Ok is he serious, this man is a total freakin’ prince, she thinks.

“Don’t mention it, love,” he says smiling.

The elevator ding signals they’ve reached the lobby floor and the doors open.

Liam lets her hands go, “Let’s go crush this meeting, shall we?” he says glancing over at her as he straightens his tie. He steps out of the elevator as Aria attempts to put one foot in front of the other and follow.

***

Aria and Liam walk along the streets of Manhattan, smoothies in hand.

“So that went well, right? I mean did I do okay in there?”

“It went very well, You did very well. The offer for us to curate her work and get it into a museum is on the table and we’ll see what she says.”

“Do you think it’s weird she didn’t accept it right away. I just feel like it’s such an amazing opportunity.”

“Well artists sometimes take some extra time to null over possibilities when it comes to making a big decision involving their careers and their craft. You should know a little thing or two about that, no?” he says playing coy as he sips his smoothie, looking away.

“Ugh, ok, touché,” she says laughing and hitting him in the arm.

Liam laughs, “how’s the routine coming along?”

“It’s coming…slowly…but it’s coming.” she says sighing.

“I’m sure you will get there, love,” he says smiling.

“I have to.”

Liam watches her as the moment stills. There is definitely more to that.

“So what about you…have you thought about handing over some of those pesky book keeping duties to someone else, so you can be more involved in the art process?”

“I haven’t found much time these days,” he says smiling faintly.

“Well you should make time. I saw your eyes in there when she was talking about how much her art means to her, you just lit up.”

“Maybe that was just because I was sitting next to you,” he says smirking playfully.

“Mr. Whitmore?” she says smirking.

“Hey technically we aren’t in the office, so…” he says smirking.

“And your changing the subject.”

“It’s always been a bit of a soft spot for me, talking about art.”

“Why?”

“Why do you dance?”

Aria gives him a look, he mirrors it.

“Ok. fine, I’ll go first. I dance because at one point it was all I had. Sometimes it still kind of feels that way. My parents died when I was 5 and I got put into the foster system. All my family lived in Puerto Rico and they weren’t able to come here. Let alone have the money to send for me and have another mouth to feed.  So I stayed in foster care and was adopted, pretty quickly by a really nice family. But they were pretty strapped for cash too, so life was hard all around. And I just remember my foster mom always playing Spanish music in the house, the same songs I remember hearing as a kid with my real parents and it just made me feel safe. Like a bit of me, was still me. Ya know? I would sit in my room and just dance, all the time. When I was sad. When I was happy. It just became my escape. And when I was old enough to support myself I joined the academy. My foster parents were older in age, and they passed a few years ago, about a few months after I started at the academy, actually.  So my two cousins came in from Puerto Rico. I never got to meet them until just a few years ago. But we would write each other, and they wanted to come to New York and I needed roommates so it kind of all worked out.”

“Wow.”

“Sorry you asked?”

“No not at all. In fact it makes me find you even more amazing than I already do.”

Aria smiles, and strokes his arm, “Your turn, why do you…like art?”

Liam and Aria continue to walk heading toward a nearby park.

“Ugh, what a loaded question. I just think there’s more to the world than what we see. The feelings we feel can be instantly understood by the lyric of a song, or the stroke of color in a painting.”

“Amen to that.” Aria says glancing over at him and smiling.

“I love that you get it, most people’s eyes glaze over whenever I try to explain it.”

“That’s because there’s more you need to say but you don’t wanna say it. And I won’t push you. But I don’t think the question is so much about what you have to say, as it is about why you won’t say it.”

“Ah your probably right about that one, love” he says laughing and looking away. “Your very wise you know that?” he says smirking at her.

“Yes of course,” she says shrugging and laughing.

“That laugh should be illegal,” he says smirking at her.

Aria glares at him, “You don’t make this easy,” she says laughing and rolling her eyes.

“You don’t either,” he says smiling at her as his eyes drift to her chest.

Aria notices.

“Liam.” she says laughing nervously as she moves away from him. Things getting to chummy with her boss.

“Thank you for all your hard work today, I think it’s safe to say that you definitely sold her,” Liam says returning to business.

“Oh no problem, glad I could help.”

“I’ll have to treat you to dinner sometime, ya know, as a thank you.”

“Oh…um…” she sits puzzled.

“What?” he says looking her over, trying to read her.

“No it just kinda sounded like you were asking me out,” she says laughing.

“Oh that’s crazy,” he says laughing.

“Oh I know right, I’m sorry,” she says laughing quickly.

“Crazy enough to be true though, love,” he says looking at her with his crystal blue eyes.

Aria stands frozen.

“And just in case there’s any confusion love, that was me flirting with you,” he says cocking his head and walking off, leaving a stunned Aria standing there.

Her phone rings;

“Hello? Hi. Oh! Oh of course. That sounds great. I would love to. Yes see you tonight. Thank you so much, bye.”

Aria smiles as she hangs up her phone.

“Hey!” Aria yells after him.

Liam turns.

Aria rushes over to him.

“I just got an offer to teach Zumba full time at the gym, so I’m really sorry, but I guess I’m gonna have to quit,” she says laughing.

Liam looks at her, his eyes wondering, trying to see if she’s thinking what he’s thinking.

“I’m not sorry,” he says as Aria smiles and grabs his face, his hands circling her waist, as their lips collide.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move- Chapter 8

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 7 HERE

Mum

Aria hears a knock at her door.

“Come in,” she says sitting up.

Yolanda peeks her head in, “Hey, you ok?”

“Yea. Just internally freaking out a bit, I start work tomorrow and I just don’t know if I should act like the kiss never happened or get the awkwardness out of the way.”

“Hmm, I get what your saying…it’s kind of a tough spot,” Yolanda says coming in and sitting on the edge of Aria’s bed.

“And I know, I put myself in it. I know it was not my finest moment.”

“Maybe not,” Yolanda says laughing.

“What do you think I should do?”

“I think you just need to rip off the Band-Aid.  Acknowledge that the kiss happened and then just move on right past it. Maybe you’ll be able to establish a professional relationship. Acting like it didn’t happen…well I saw the kiss there’s no denying that you were both very invested,” she says laughing.

Aria smiles.

“You really are starting to catch feelings here aren’t you?” Yolanda asks trying to read her.

“I don’t know. I mean I barely know him. But when we kissed it was just…Oh it was really good.” Aria says her smile beaming.

“Best you ever had?”

“Oh definitely.” Aria says with a laugh.

Yolanda laughs along with her cousin as the room falls silent and Aria’s demeanor suddenly dulls.

“What is it?”

“As much as I would love to explore this new prospect, and I really really would love to kiss him again. I just can’t let myself get wrapped up in something that’s going to take my attention away from the showcase. I’ve already had to slack off a bit, because I’ve been needing to find work to pay for the academy.”

“You know that I can always help you…”

“Yoyo stop it, ok. I love you, but you have to stop taking care of everyone, you already have your sister to take care of you don’t need me mooching off of you anymore.”

“Hey, you are just as much my sister as Layla is. We’re all family, and I know that if roles were reversed you’d do the same for me.”

“Of course.”

“Ok so, the offer stands, if you ever need anything, you come to me. Deal?”

“Deal.”

Aria smiles and she hugs her cousin.

A knock is heard at the door again, as Layla pops her head in.

“There you guys are,” she says bouncing in and jumping on top of them, as they both laugh and groan.

“So are you ready for your first day of work with the sexy millionaire?”

Aria just covers her face as the girls laugh.

“Your gonna be just fine, just remember, rip off the Band-Aid.” Yolanda says.

***

Aria anxiously stands in the elevator as she watches the numbers increase. Her stomach twirling in knots.

Liam stands in his office as he prepares his work to do list. He glances at the clock, Aria’s first day starts in just a few short minutes.

His palms begin to sweat, his heart begins to beat faster as he hears the elevator ding and her heels click on the titled floor.

He stands, buttoning his jacket he walks to meet her at her desk.

“Aria, good morning,” he says unable to stifle the grin spreading across his face.

“Good morning, Mr. Whitmore,” she says smiling slightly, very reserved.

Liam notices, his eyes glance around the rest of the floor as other employees are hard at work tapping away at their computers, answering phone calls, and settling into the day’s busy routine.

“Aria why don’t you come into my office, there are some things we should discuss before we get started.”

“Ok,” she says weary as she walks past him, he smells her Lavender perfume.

“Have a seat, please,” he says as he closes the door behind him.

Aria notices and suddenly she is very aware of the fact that she and Liam are alone. She decides to jump into a normalized work related topic to cut the tension.

“So I did fill out all the forms you had requested. I know I faxed them to you, but I have hard copies as well in case you…” she says rummaging through her work bag.

“Aria…”

Aria stops and looks up at him, as he takes a seat across from her.

“Aria I-“

“Your gonna talk about the kiss, aren’t you?” Aria says biting her lower lip as she looks away nervously.

“We don’t have to…” he says backing off as his eyes glue it’s glare to her lips for a beat

“No, we should. We should talk about it, Rip the Band-Aid off,” Aria says with a laugh.

“Ok, good. Yea that’s what I was thinking too,” he says with a smile. 

“Ok well I just want you to know that, I’m not the kind of girl that will sleep her way up the job ladder.”

“Oh gosh, I didn’t think you were.”

“Ok good.” she says glad to hear that.

“And I’m not the kind of boss who pursues his employees.”

“I figured as much.”

“Ok good,” he says letting out a sigh of relief.

“I am sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable.”

“No, Liam, please you didn’t. I kissed you too, it was a mutual thing.”

Liam smiles at the realization, but also at the fact that she used his first name.

“But- none of that changes the fact that we did kiss, and even though I really enjoyed it-” Aria says pausing as her eyes lock onto his.

“I really enjoyed it too,” Liam says glaring back.

“It shouldn’t have happened. I’m your employee and your my boss and I wouldn’t want that to compromise my job here or yours.”

“I understand and I completely agree, it shouldn’t have happened.”

“Ok so can we just act like it never did.”

“If that’s what you want.”

“Ok good, so we will just be our professional selves and I will get to work,” Aria says as she stands.

“Yes, let me show you how to work the phones,” he says walking her out.

***

Aria sits at her desk as she sifts through some emails, forwarding the important ones to Liam. Her phone rings.

“Hello Whitmore Ink, Aria speaking, how may I help you?”

“Where’s Anne?” a very stern, female voice responds.

“Anne is on vacation at the moment, I am filling in for her while she’s away. Can I ask who’s speaking?”

“This is Gertrude Whitmore, Liam’s mum, put me through at once.”

“Oh, um, yes of course, please hold.”

“I do not hold-” she begins to say as Aria flicks a switch.

Liam sits at his desk running his hands through his hair as he stares at his computer screen trying to scrunch sales numbers.

Aria’s voice gracefully comes through his phone. He smiles, loving the fact that she is there.

“Mr. Whitmore, I have your mother on line 1, she sounds rather urgent.”

Liam smirks, knowingly.

“Aria love my mother always sounds urgent, I’ll take it, thank you.”

Liam picks up his phone.

“Mum, how are you?”

“Who is this Aria? Why does she not know how to do her bloody job. How hard is it to press a few buttons.”

Gertrude sits in her regal home office as she admires her manicure while spewing insults.

“Mother, retract please, she’s new and she’s doing quite well.”

“Well please do remind her, I do not hold. Not ever.”

“Yes mum,” he says rolling his eyes.

***

Aria knocks on Liam’s door.

“Come in,” he says looking up as Aria walks in shutting the door behind her.

“I am so sorry about your Mom, I didn’t know who she was and then I didn’t know if you were busy, so I-“

“Aria, it’s ok,” he says laughing and standing up. “Really, she is a handful, just ask my sister.”

Aria smiles, standing there awkwardly.

“Ok, well I’m sorry again, I should get back to work,” she says starting to walk away.

“Aria,” (she turns toward him) “you’re doing great,” he says smiling.

“Thank you,” she says closing her eyes with a sigh, she smiles.

“Why don’t you take a break, go grab some lunch?”

“Oh I wasn’t sure what time-“

“Whenever you feel you need to,” he says with a smile.

“Oh ok, um well then in that case, I guess I will take my lunch break now,” she says smiling.

Liam nods with a smile.

“Can I get you anything?”

“No thank you love, I have quite a lot of work on my hands, I’ll be working through lunch.”

“Oh, ok well, I’ll see you.”

Liam smiles as Aria exits.

***

Aria comes back from her lunch break, placing her bag on her chair, she looks toward Liam’s office as she hears his voice through the door, its raised, he sounds upset, and agitated. A side she has yet to see on him.

She sits down and listens.

“Hey, your Aria right?”

Aria looks over to her right as a young man leans over from his cubicle.

“Yea, yes,” she says turning toward him.

“Cool, I’m Marco,” he says with a smirk and sparkle in his eye.

 Rising from his seat and extending his hand, Aria shakes it and smiles back.

Liam walks out of his office and notices, he watches as his jealousy spikes. 

“Nice to have you on board, let me know if you need anything.”

“Oh thank you,” she says smiling.

“Aria.”

Aria jumps slightly not knowing Liam was behind her.

“Yes,” she says turning.

“Do you have the emails you forwarded me today, it appears my computer crashed and IT is unavailable at the moment.”

“Oh of course,” she says bringing the sent list up, “here you go, they’re all there,” she says getting up and allowing him to sit.

“Thank you,” he says taking the seat.

***

Aria shuts her computer off and grabs her bag, she knocks on Liam’s door, before popping her head in.

“Heading out?” Liam says with a smile.

“Yea if that’s alright?” she says scrunching her nose.

Liam smiles looking down for a beat. How adorable, he thinks.

“Aria you put in your hours and then some, thank you for all your hard work today and for letting me take over your desk for part of the day.”

“Hey the show must go on, right?”

“That’s right,” he says smirking.

“Good night,” she says smiling.

“Good night,” he says looking after her, as she leaves his eyes falling upon her curves.

Aria turns back quickly as she catches his gaze, his eyes shoot up quickly. They both ignore it.

“Are you ok, you seem super stressed.”

Liam sighs, “I’ve been crunching numbers all day, trying to put together the spreadsheet for the sales we’ve received over the past month, and with the technological debacle, I am just now getting to follow up on the emails we sent out earlier to those artists.”

“It can’t wait til tomorrow?”

“Money never sleeps, after all that’s what this company is all about.”

“Ooo Liam Whitmore I think your sarcasm is showing,” she says with a smile.

Liam laughs.

Aria takes the chair across from him and slides it next to him.

“What are you doing?”

“I am going to help you.”

“Aria, love thank you, but you really don’t need to.”

“Don’t worry you don’t have to pay me,” she says laughing.

Liam laughs, “I’m not worried about that.”

“Well then what are you worried about?”

“I’m worried about being here alone with you,” he says avoiding her eyes.

Aria stills as she looks away.

“Oh.”

“I know that I said that we could just forget it happened but-“

“Liam we have to, ok, it’s not a good idea to mix business with pleasure.”

“You called me Liam.”

“Mr. Whitmore.” she says correcting herself.

Liam looks up at Aria, the air thick between them, their lips inches apart.

“Oh I forgot,” Aria says hopping up, Liam gets startled leaning back in his chair.

Aria walks over to Liam’s small refrigerator in the corner of his office and takes out a plastic take out container and a drink.

“Here,” she says placing it on his desk in front of him.

“What’s this?”

“I asked the barista what you usually get, and brought it back for you, just in case you didn’t get to eat, I completely forgot I put it in here for you, ya know technology debacle and all, ” she says laughing.

“You are a lifesaver, I’m starving, thank you,” he says smiling.

“Ok, scoot,” she says waving her hands, “you eat, I’ll get started on these e-mails,” she says taking his seat.

Liam looks at her in disbelief, he shakes his head, as his eyes stay on her, admiring her.

Two weeks, two weeks, and then you can go for it, he thinks as he turns his attention to the sandwich in front of him.

***

Aria walks into the studio, showing her student pass to the security guard he gives her the key.

She turns the lights on as her reflection stares at her through the wall of mirrors. She tosses her hair in a bun and walks over to the radio, cueing up a song.

ready-giphy[1]

Aria let’s her body feel the music, trying not to overthink her movements.

As the words cause sensuality in her body, Aria replays the glances Liam and she shared over the course of the day.

Aria stops, her heart fluttering at the thought.

“This is going to be the longest two weeks of my life,” she whispers to herself as she walks over to the radio switching the song.

Aria begins to arc some moves together.

***

Liam walks into his home as he throws his jacket, tie, and suitcase to the side, he walks into his bedroom, throwing on some sweats and a t-shirt.

He walks over to the corner of his living room, where the blank canvas stands. Walking to his closet he takes out some paint, and paint brushes and propping himself on a stool, he begins to paint, long strokes, small strokes, brightly colored lines.

tumblr_n2pgy3X4BC1sl9zbwo2_250[1]

Liam smiles to himself and Aria floats through his mind almost leading his hand.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

*I do not take credit for any images, or gifs used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move- Chapter 7

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 6 HERE

meet sky

“Cheers, to our newly employed girl, Ari we know your gonna crush it, like you always do!” Yolanda says, holding up her wine glass as Aria smiles clinking glasses with the members of her girl squad- Yolanda, Layla, Allie, and Molly.

“It’s only temporary, but thank you,” Aria says with a smile.

“Hey, if Whitmore knows what’s good for him, he’ll never let you go,” Yolanda says proudly.

Allie and Molly exchange glances.

“I agree,” Molly says her response laced with knowing.

Aria gives Molly a look.

The girls sit on the floor of the apartment amongst pizza and junk food as Gilmore Girls plays in the background on Netflix.

So I have to ask, how the hell are you going to concentrate on your job when your boss is so hot!” Layla says.

Allie and Molly exchange knowing smirks once again as Aria’s eyes widen.

“How do you know he’s hot?”

“Uh, hello, it’s called google,” Layla says with a sarcastic tone and face to match as she lets out a giggle.

All the girls look at Aria expectantly.

Aria sighs.

“Ok fine! Yes, Liam Whitmore is hot, and I’ll admit I am attracted to him. Very attracted. Ok there I said it.”

Yolanda smirks, as she looks on, taking a sip of her wine in silence.

“Oh dear god, thank you!” Molly yells. “Finally!”

“Seriously it’s about time,” Allie says smiling.

“But-” Aria says forcefully.

“No but, why but?” Molly says pouting.

“He is my boss, and I have to remain professional.”

“Only in the office,” Molly says jokingly.

All the girls laugh.

“You guys stop it, ok. I’m actually really regretting taking this position now.”

“What position?” Molly says her eyebrow raising.

Aria gives her a look.

Molly laughs, “What? I’m just messing with you.”

“Yea and your not helping,” Aria says squatting her with a nearby throw pillow.

“You already took the position, and if you ask me you should take all the positions he wants to put you in,” Allie says taking a bite of her slice of pizza.

Layla and Molly laugh as Aria gasps.

“Stop! Ok what is it that you can’t comprehend? He. is. my. boss.”

“And he. wants. you. Seriously how do you not see that?” Molly says sipping her wine.

Aria throws herself back into a stack of pillows, in defeat, rolling her eyes.

I’m sorry how do you know he’s into her?” Layla asks confused.

“They met at an event we were catering, and he swooped in and defended her when Lucifer Lee tried to boss her around and since then they just continuously find themselves in the same place at the time- several times actually.”

“Wait a minute, like when?”

“Oh she didn’t mention that she ran into him on her little walk the other night…”

“Oh you mean when I was waiting up for you for hours?” Layla says giving Aria the eye.

“Mm hmm, he bought her ice cream, walked her home.”

Layla gasps.

“Oh don’t forget the part where, he told her that she has a hot body,” Allie says smiling brightly.

“What?” Layla says shrieking.

“He didn’t say it like that…” Aria says trying to normalize the comment that made her stomach flutter when Liam said it.

“How’d he say it?” Layla questions, obviously intrigued.

“He may have compared my body to art…in some way, I don’t really remember….”

The ladies all laugh and gasp in joy, “Yea you don’t remember, my ass!” Allie says smirking.

Layla slaps her cousin in the knee, “How could you not tell Yoyo and I about this guy?”

“Oh don’t feel bad, I didn’t know about him either,” Allie says with a huff.

“And I only knew because I just happened to be working with her that day, this one likes to keep secrets!”

“It’s not a secret it’s just not a big deal. I didn’t feel like I had to broadcast anything. Oh my gosh, now you guys have me all anxious and nervous, what if I can’t work with him…”

Aria looks at Yolanda as she sits there silently watching, taking it all in.

“Why are you so quiet?”

“I don’t have anything to say, You’re an adult, it’s your choice.”

“Are you mad?”

“No.”

“Yoyo, your the smart, older cousin, you’ve got your shit together, tell me what you think? Do you think taking this job was a mistake knowing I’m attracted to my boss?”

Everyone looks at Yolanda with pleading eyes.

“I think you might be reading too much into things right now. The job is temporary. You need the money, he has a job open. It’s as simple as that. You’ve only just met him. Can I see someone falling for you, a curvy, smart, fun, soulful Latina of course. Can I see you falling for a gorgeous, rich, successful man, absolutely. But you need to not let all that get in the way of doing your job. I’m not telling you that if you have feelings for him that you shouldn’t go for it, I just think there’s a time and a place. Give it the two weeks. Feel him out. If he starts to pursue you, then once the two weeks are up and you find other work you can go for it. But I would remain professional while you are still his employee. Guys with high rank like Liam, can get into a lot of trouble if they get caught messing around with an employee, and you could get a bad rep. We don’t want that. The job world is hard enough.”

Aria smiles, “Finally, some good advice.”

“Hey!” the others say as they all laugh and throw pillows at Aria, Aria laughs as she gives her cousin Yolanda a hug, “Thank you,” she whispers. “Anytime babe.”

Aria’s cell phone rings.

“Huh it’s the gym,” she says answering.

“Hello?…Oh, um….sure, Yea I’d love to, yea I can be there in like 15 minutes. No problem. See you soon. They asked me to cover tonight’s Zumba class, what do you guys say you feel like shaking your asses?”

“Hell yes!” Molly says as they all jump up and start to gather their stuff to leave.

***

Liam walks into his house, he flips on the light to reveal a gorgeously decorated room. Full of crimson, and burnt orange hues, wooden tones, and tons of art pieces dancing on the walls.

Dropping his suitcase on the end table, he walks into his kitchen and opens his refrigerator, grabbing some things out to make dinner.

Liam stops as a moment with Aria pops into his head.

“Why is it your last shot?”
“The academy is pretty expensive and so is Manhattan rent. And I’m not exactly in my prime…”
Liam’s brow furrows as he smirks, confused. Aria smiles and clarifies.
“As a dancer 28 is considered old to break into the industry.”
“Ah…well if your body isn’t considered a work of art, I don’t know what is,” Liam says and then mentally kicks himself when he realizes the words he thought were actually voiced out loud.
Aria freezes and looks up at him. Instant blush.
“I’m sorry, that was forward of me. I just meant you seem to work at your craft, often. It shows. I am sure you deserve this shot, along with many others.”
“Thank you,” Aria says licking her ice cream cone to stop it from dripping.
Liam looks at her, studying her movements, he spots a bit of ice cream on her lower lip and instinctively reaches over and wipes it off with his thumb, licking his thumb after.
Aria gets caught off guard, as does Liam.

I feel like I’ve known her for years, things feel so natural, Liam thinks, as he rolls up his sleeves and unties his tie removing it and tossing it to the side. His cell phone rings distracting him from his thoughts of Aria’s perfection. 

“Hello?”

“Hey Ev-, Good, just got home from work. What about you?”

“Oh that sounds fun, yea I can meet you after, yes, sounds good. Ok see you then. Bye.”

Liam puts his stuff back in the fridge and grabs his keys heading back out.

As he does we see an easel hosting a blank canvas in the corner of the living room.

*** 

Liam walks through the streets as people fuss about in the busy city life, he looks up at the sky as the colors swirl.

He gets a text-

Evelyn: Hey so sorry bugga–my class is just ending, I’ll be on my way in a jiff.

Liam smiles and texts back a reply: Patiently waiting, you owe me a mint chocolate chip though.

Evelyn: Fair enough.

Liam smiles as he sits on a nearby bench.

He scrolls through Aria’s Facebook as a video catches his eye.

Aria is tagged by her friend Molly.

Liam plays the video, Aria shouts out Zumba moves as she does them, her hips shaking and her body glistening, her passion for dance- evident. She is as sexy and as talented as he imagined her to be. And yes, he has imagined.

The video caption reads…

Impromptu Zumba class tonight? Yes, please. My girl Ari killing it as instructor, as usual. #ThatLatinButtTho #ItsJustNotFair 😉

Liam laughs out loud as he watches Aria his eyes sparkle, his heart beating rather fast.

***

Aria and Company start to leave the gym as they do they see one of Aria’s most enthusiastic customers.

“Hey again!” she says “Awesome class, like seriously, so damn good.”

“Thanks so much! I’m so glad your liking it!”

“Love it! But I was surprised to see you teaching tonight?”

“Oh yea, I was asked to cover for someone.”

“Well I think they should make you full time, I come 3 times a week and I have to say, you have everyone buzzing, your the best.”

The girls all smile.

Aria laughs, “Oh my god, really? That’s amazing, thanks so much, you just made my night!”

The girl laughs, “I’m Sky,” she says shaking her hand.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Aria says beaming.

The ladies chat as they walk out of the gym.

“So ladies, drinks on me?” Yolanda says.

“Well yes your the only one of us with a job right now so…” Layla says nudging her sister as the girls laugh.

“Sky…wanna join us, there’s a bar just around the corner?” Aria asks as they walk the streets passing the food trucks.”

“Oh I would love to, but I’m actually meeting my b-“

Liam rounds a corner as he begins connecting the dots.

“Oh there he is-Liam!” Sky says running over and hugging him tightly.

Aria notices and her heart freezes in her chest. Liam seems happy to see this mystery woman.

“Holy shit,” Molly says, as Allie nudges her.

“Sorry,” Molly whispers as she rubs Aria’s back.

“We should go,” Aria says wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible.

Aria goes to walk away.

“Aria,” she hears him call.

“Mr. Whitmore, is that you, wow what a small world,” she says trying to act aloof.

“Wait a minute, you two know each other?” Sky asks confused.

“I’m going to be filling in for his secretary while she’s away-starting Monday.”

“No way- Anne finally took a vacation! Good for her! That lady never rests. ”

Aria looks up at them, her jealousy creeping in.

“Aria, Evelyn is my baby sister.”

Aria’s head pops up.

“Wait who’s Evelyn?”

Sky raises her hand.

“That’d be me. Sky is my stage name, and I think it’s just cooler, so I kind of stick to it.”

“Stage name, what are you a stripper?” Molly says.

Aria and all the girls look at her in shock and dismay.

“Oh my god did I say that out loud? I’m so sorry.”

“Hey, it’s cool, just know, we prefer to be called exotic dancers,” Sky says.

“Oh, ok.” Aria says nonchalantly.

Liam lets out a laugh.

“She’s kidding.”

“Your faces were awesome though, thank you for that. But I am kidding, I’m in a band.”

Aria lets out a laugh.

“Oh my gosh, I was going to say Liam is the most polished and respectable guy I’ve ever met, how could his sister be a stripper?”

Although Aria did notice the rolled up sleeves, and the open collar.

Sky laughs, as she sees the flicker in Liam’s eyes as he watches Aria speak.

“So why don’t we all head to that bar that you guys were talking about, drinks on my big brother here, since he’s rich and everything.”

“Oh we couldn’t-” Aria begins to say.

“Sure, let’s do it,” Liam says not taking his eyes off of Aria’s.

Molly jumps in.

“Yes Let’s.” She says ushering Aria along toward the bar before she tries to rush off.

The girls all rush along.

Sky nudges Liam, he smirks as he followers the group.

***

“I have to say this is such a trip, I was just telling Liam how there’s this new Zumba instructor who rocks and little did we know you would be working with him!”

“Yea, I didn’t know you taught Zumba, that’s great,” Liam says with a smile.

“Yea I just started, it’s only once a week, but tonight I was covering for someone.”

“Super happy about that by the way” Sky says coming over with a tray and handing everyone a beer.

“Seriously though, you are fantastic, I swear. Liam, you should see her, she can really move.”

Aria coughs, feeling uncomfortable.

“I’m sure she can,” he says smirking as he takes a sip of his beer, his eyes finding Aria’s for a beat.

The ladies all take notice.

Liam’s phone rings.

“Excuse me ladies,” he says “Hi Mum,” he says walking away.

“Oh gosh, It’s mum, ugh.” she says taking a chug of her beer and rolling her eyes.

“You don’t get along with your mom?” Aria asks.

“Nope. She’s a bit…old fashioned. I love music. Always have. But musicians don’t make a steady living, so I was basically disowned. I came to New York on my own, and then Liam convinced mum to let him open up a Whitmore Ink here so he can help me find my way. He’s always been my life line.”

“That’s so sweet.”

“Yea. I just wish I could do the same for him. I know the job kills him, he’s not happy. But he’s too sweet to tell mum to shove it up her- HEY!” Sky says as Liam comes walking back over.

“Let me guess, my sister here is bashing our mum…”

Aria and the ladies look around trying to avoid his gaze.

“She’s not exactly the most nurturing, wouldn’t you say?” Sky says sipping her beer.

“No she’s not,” Liam says sipping his own beer.

“Oh hell, shots?” Molly says looking around.

“Yes please.” Aria says rather quickly.

***

Aria and Liam sit alone in a booth at the back of the bar, just talking and laughing. Liam sits next to Aria his arm draped over the back of the booth.

bar

Sky and the other ladies play a game of pool, across the room.

Sky looks over.

“Wow, they are getting rather chummy, aren’t they?” she says smiling.

“One can only hope,” Molly says.

“So you think Aria fancy’s Liam?”

“Fancy? Sure. Yea. I think she fancies him.” Allie says laughing.

“Good because I think he really fancies her. I have not seen bugga, smile like that in… years.”

“Bugga?” Layla and Yolanda ask.

“My nick name for him, when I was a little girl. I couldn’t say brother, so I’d say bugga, I don’t know don’t ask. It just kinda stuck.”

“That is the cutest thing!” Allie says.

***

“So your sister is really something.” Aria says laughing.

“Oh yea. She’s a bit of a pistol. But she’s always danced to the beat of her own drum, never let anyone stop her. Not anything. I’ve always admired her for that.”

“Well it seems like she adores you. She was telling us how you took Whitmore Ink to New York to keep an eye on her and help her out after-“

“After our mum disowned her?”

“She may have used that word.” Aria says scrunching her nose. Liam dies just a bit.  

“I’d like to say that it’s exaggerated but, sadly it’s not. Evelyn hasn’t spoken to or seen our mum is about 3 years.”

“Wow that’s so terrible. That must put you in such an awkward position.”

“Holidays are bizarre to say the least.” Liam says laughing.

“I’m sorry. You deserve better,” Aria says placing her hand over his.

Liam laces his fingers with hers.

Aria looks down at their hands and then up at Liam as their eyes lock.

They both lean into a kiss, as Liam cups her face.

Molly’s mouth drops as the other ladies notice and theirs follow suit.

“Yes!” Molly says throwing her hands up in the air.

“Well this is going to be interesting,” Yolanda says taking a sip of her beer.

Aria pulls away her eyes heavy.

“Wow.” she says unfiltered.

“Wow.” Liam says unable to come up with a different word at the moment.

“I should probably get going,” Aria says starting to get up.

“Yea me too,” He says not moving.

“Excuse me.”

first kiss

Liam is in a daze, so Aria sits back down as they sit side by side in silence.

Simultaneously they turn to each other leaning in once more, Liam cups her face and kisses her as she accepts willingly.

Allie grabs Molly’s arm as they both gasp.

“Get it girl,” Layla says smiling.

Sky smiles brightly.

“Well that went rather nicely.”

Aria’s hands lay on Liam’s chest, one rounding the nape of his neck.

She gets lost and so does Liam as his hand lays on her thigh.

As if a light bulb goes off in her mind, Aria pulls away.

“Good Night,” she says abruptly.

Liam breaks out of his gaze and stands moving to the side to let Aria through.

“Ladies,” she calls out waving them toward the door as she rushes out.

The girls all rush after her, as Sky saunters over to Liam.

“Well well…”

“That was stupid.” he says, covering his mouth, the stress starting to settle in.

“That was stupid.” Aria says as she speed walks in the direction of the loft.

“Was it though?” Molly says.

“Yes.”

“Was it though?” Sky asks Liam.

“Yes, because now I’ve made her uncomfortable. She technically is my employee.”

“Well if you ask me, your “employee” only felt uncomfortable because she probably feels something for you too.”

“Oh come on, you can’t say you didn’t feel anything,” Layla says.

“Of course I felt something. That’s why that was so stupid. He’s my boss.”

“What happened to letting the two weeks go by before the exchanging of saliva?” Yolanda asks in her motherly way.

“I don’t know I had every intention of doing that. I didn’t think I’d be seeing him tonight, let alone kissing him. Hence I look like a gym rat. I have no idea, what came over me, it was just like we were in this weird bubble, it was just the two of us and we just felt so close. I feel so comfortable around him. He’s easy to talk to and I just feel like things happened really out of the blue, but when they did happen it was like why haven’t we been doing this our whole lives. I don’t know it felt like such natural behavior to be kissing him.”

“Aw like it was meant to be.” Molly says grabbing her arm and hugging it.

“And now I have to act professional around him for two weeks? That’s going to be impossible, I’m so stupid!” Aria says covering her face.

“You really think she feels something?” Liam asks Sky.

“You are my big brother and I love you for so many reasons, but your naiveté is not one of them. Do you ever notice women falling all over you? I’ll give you a clue,  it happens often.”

“Yea maybe because they hear my name and dollar signs cross their minds.”

“So you think Aria is after your money?”

“No, god no. Are you kidding me, I had to fight that girl just to let me offer her a job. And even then she insisted I still interview her first.”

“She seems like a force to be reckoned with, love her! And dear old mum is gonna hate her. Which if you ask me is a HUGE bonus.”

“Why do you think she’ll hate her? Aria is lovely.”

“Are you kidding me? You really are blind when it comes to mum aren’t you? You and I know that Aria is amazing, yes. But mum has a one track mind. You bring that creative, ethnic beauty with a body to mum and she will have your head on a platter in a second. Not to mention the “different worlds” “wrong side of the tracks,” “gold digger” clichés she’d be sure to throw at you.

“She really is ancient in her way of thinking.”

“Welcome to the dark side, bugga, your gonna love it,” she says clinking her shot into one that sits in front of him, come on, go on, you need that.”

Liam shakes his head but knocks the shot back wincing.

Later that night Aria lays in bed.

She thinks of her kiss with Liam, her eyes close as she relives it.

Opening her eyes, Aria grabs her chest, “Shit, I’m in trouble,” she says covering her face as a smile slightly crosses her lips.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

*I do not take credit for any  images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move- Chapter 6

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 5 HERE

america ferrara_yolanda

Liam sits at his desk gazing out the window, the sky painted in orange and red amidst a setting sun. Lost in color, and fantasies of Aria.

Anne’s voice pops in on his phone intercom-

“Mr. Whitmore I have an Aria Lenz on line 1 for you.”

Liam jolts up knocking his pencil holder over spilling them onto his desk.

“Sir, are you alright?” Anne asks with concern.

Liam Whitmore is always the picture perfect display of poised and polished.  

“Yes, Anne, I am just fine, just a clumsy moment. Please put Ms. Lenz straight through.”

***

Aria stands in the middle of her bed room, phone to ear, pacing, as she bites on her nail.

 

***

“Yes, Sir.”

Liam clears his throat, loosening his tie, he gives himself a beat before pressing the button to answer line 1.

“Aria, I’m so glad you called, how are you?”

“Hi, I’m well thank you, and yourself?” she says rolling her eyes at herself for sounding like a child trying to play adult.

“I’m well thank you,” he says smirking, “So what can I do for you, love?”

“If you’re still looking for a temp, I would be interested in interviewing with you, if you have the time.”

“I am still looking for a temp, but there’s really no interview necessary. I trust that you can do the job just fine.”

“Oh, well are you sure? I mean I’ve had a lot of jobs since I moved to the city and secretary has never been one of them. I wouldn’t want you to take a chance on me and then regret it later.”

“Aria…I could never regret anything that concerns you. You will do just fine, I promise you.”

Aria’s heart begins to flutter.

Liam can sense Aria’s hesitation even over the phone.

“I’ll tell you what…why don’t you come in later today and we can go through what the position requires and then you can decide from there.”

“I don’t want to trouble you anymore than I already have.”

“Aria I offered, ok you do not need to worry, love. Is 3:30 ok for you?”

Aria checks the clock, 12:33, ok less than 3 hours to get cute, she thinks.

“Sure, that’s perfect, I will see you then.”

“Alright, see you soon, love.”

“Ok thank you, bye.”

“Bye,” he says hanging up, a smirk playing on his lips.

Aria squeals rushing into her room.

Liam presses a button on his phone, “Anne can you come in here for one moment, please?”

Anne walks in seconds later, “Mr. Whitmore,” she says with a smile.

“I think you need a vacation, don’t you?”

“I’m sorry?”

“You work too hard, tirelessly, really, you deserve a break. How about Paris, 2 weeks on me, you can bring anyone you want?”

“Sir all due respect, but are you kidding me?”

“I don’t kid about vacation,” he says with a smile.

“Are you sure you can afford me being away, the buyer’s market is hectic right now.”

“I’ll hire a temp while you’re away, not to worry.”

“Oh my gosh, well then yes! I would love to see Paris!” Anne says squealing.

“Good, better go home and pack! I’ll take care of the tickets.”

Anne looks at him in shock.

“Yes! Thank you sir, thank you!” she screams and rushes off.

Liam smiles as his plan begins to fall into place.

 

***

 

Aria looks at her reflection in the mirror, smoothing out her black pencil skirt.

She makes a face as she rips her blouse off her body, displaying her toned abs and lacey white bra. She tosses the blouse on her bed and shuffles through her closet.

“Ugh! (she huffs) Yolanda!” she yells.

Yolanda her cousin and second roommate strolls in eating the left over tacos from last night.

“Yea, babe?” she says in between bites.

“Good huh?” Aria says noticing.

“So good,” she mumbles. “So what’s with all the huffing,” she says wiping her mouth with a napkin.

“Do you have any cute-professional tops, I can borrow? I have an interview in like an hour and nothing in my closet is working!”

“Yea, I should have something, hang on,” she says walking back out.

A few minutes later she comes in with a cute fitted sleeveless silk blouse.

“Perfect! Thank you thank you, your the best!” Aria says taking the hanger and kissing her cousin on the cheek.

“No problem,” Yolanda says smiling, “So what’s the job?”

“Secretary…at this art buying company, or something like that?”

“Are you talking about Whitmore Ink?”

“Uh, yea, that sounds about right, (she says putting the blouse on over a tank top) I am interviewing with Liam Whitmore…so…”

“Ah, he’s a hottie.”

Aria looks at her cousin, with a puzzled expression.

“You know him?” she says feeling slightly territorial all of a sudden.

“Um no. I just know of him. He’s sponsored some of our hospital fundraisers in the past, and I’ve seen him at functions, he’s super cute, and seems really sweet.”

“Hmm.”

Yolanda looks at her cousin with suspicion.

Aria sits on her bed as she slips on her trusty black pumps.

She stands up and checks her reflection in the mirror once again.

“Do you know how old he is?” Aria asks trying to act nonchalant.

“30 ish,  (thinks for a beat) 32 actually. He usually has to give a speech at the events, and I remember someone mentioning his age in his introduction. Why?” she says smiling.

“No reason, just curious. That’s kinda young to be running an entire business.”

“It’s a family business, so…”

“Right…”

“What’s with you?”

“Nothing.”

“You’re acting funny?”

“No I’m not, I’m just nervous. You know I haven’t been on an interview in a while and I really need this job so…”

“You’re gonna be great!”

“Ok be honest, how do I look, professional enough?”

“Yes, you look great.” Yolanda says smiling.

Aria looks around and grabs a cardigan and throws it on.

“Are you insane it’s like 90 degrees out! You don’t need that.”

“Um, I just want to look polished,” she says buttoning it a bit.

“You look great, go kill it. We’ll celebrate later, I actually have the night off.”

“Oh, yes, Netflix and junk food?”

“Deal.” Yolanda smiles, smacking her cousin’s butt as she leaves for her interview. “Be careful!” she yells after her.

“You too! Love you!”

“Love you!” Yolanda yells back.

 

***

 

Liam sits at his desk, his eyes glued to the clock- 3:20 PM.

His heart begins to beat quickly, at just the idea of seeing her again.

Aria steps onto the elevator her nerves kicking in.

She fixes herself as the elevator climbs each floor.

The elevator doors open and she steps out onto a modernly dressed floor, brightly colored art pieces line the walls. Abstract pieces.

She smiles as Liam rounds the corner.

“Mr. Whitmore, hello.”

“Hi Aria, I was just coming to meet you. Follow me, my office is right this way,” he says with a bright smile.

Aria follows him as her heart begins to beat quicker.

Liam reaches his office door and opening the door he steps aside to let Aria in first.

Aria walks past him, and as she does, he gets hit with the scent of her perfume.

Easy Whitmore, keep it professional, he thinks.   

“Please have a seat,” he says rounding the corner of his desk and sitting opposite her.

Aria takes a seat.

He is gorgeous, she thinks. Letting her eyes drift to his lips as he smiles. I bet he’s a good kisser, she thinks. Whoa. Stay professional. Pay attention Aria!  Think non-flirtatious thoughts. Ok. Work. Money. Business. Bills. Many many bills. You have to pay your bills so you don’t get kicked out on your ass and watch your dream die.

“So…” Liam says with a smile, unbuttoning his suit jacket and folding his hands on top of his desk.

“So…” Aria replies with a little laugh still trying to shake the sexual tension she feels creeping in.

Aria begins to fidget as she pulls at the hem of her skirt. Why didn’t I just wear pants, she says kicking herself.

Liam notices her movements, as his eyes glance over her body, landing on her toned, tanned legs. Why couldn’t she wear pants? he thinks.

He shakes his thoughts as he realizes neither of them have spoken much.

“Let’s just jump into it, shall we?” he says smiling.

“Yes, of course.”

“Ok so basically what my secretary is in charge of doing is handling all calls and appointments that come through. There are at times, some paperwork regarding artists releasing their work and things like that. You can just forward that to me, and I’ll take care of it. You’ll get a company e-mail and password of course.”

“Ok, well how am I supposed to know whether or not you want to take the call or the appointment?”

Liam smiles.

“I’m sorry was that a stupid question?” she says mentally kicking herself.

“No, it’s not. Unfortunately there are times that I will neglect to take a call, on account of a conflicting commitment- or if I’m in a meeting, or if it’s a telemarketer trying to sell us something,” he says laughing, “trust me it’ll be easier once you are out there in the midst of it. Mostly the calls you get will be from people who have already done business with us, and if that’s the case, you can just put them through, or schedule an appointment.”

“Ok that sounds like something I can do.”

“I have no doubt that you’ll pick it up, in no time.”

“Ok well what if an artist calls, like someone new, unestablished.”

“Good question. We usually don’t take new clients right off the bat. We do schedule appointments with them, they should provide us with a resume and should come prepared with a portfolio. Those are my favorite meetings to take quite honestly. I really enjoy meeting the artists behind the paintings, or sculptures.”

“Okay, good to know. Sounds amazing.”

“It really is, I’d love to have you sit in on a meeting, if your ever interested.”

“That sounds great, I would like that.” Aria says with a smile.

“Sometimes the artists may e-mail you too, and in that case, you can just tell them what they need to provide and then forward that to me.”

“Okay, should I be aware of any fancy computer software?” Aria asks.

“There may be some data that needs to be put into our company data base,  but it’s a really easy software, that I will show you how to use, if need be.”

 “Okay, thank you,” she says smiling and looking around nervously.

Can I really work alongside this man everyday? And remain professional? Even if it is just for 2 weeks. I feel like I can’t breath, she thinks.

“Aria, I’m not worried, you shouldn’t be either.”

“I just don’t want to mess up, or stress you out even more. An assistant is supposed to make your life easier.”

He looks at her and smiles.

“I’m not like your old boss, I actually care about my employees. So listen I get that your new, and you’ve been completely honest about the fact that you’ve never been a secretary before, and I am still choosing to hire you. So don’t worry, ok, if your not sure about something, ask me, my door is always open.”

And so are my arms, he thinks.

Aria let’s out a sigh or relief.

“Wow, I didn’t know what it’d be like to actually have a boss that believes in me,” she says smiling and letting out a little laugh.

Liam smiles.

“So does that mean you’ll take the job?” he asks.

“Yes, I would love to,” Aria says smiling.

“Ok then, great, glad to have you on board,” he says standing and reaching out his hand to her.

“Thank you, Mr. Whitmore,” she says shaking his hand.

“Call me Li-“

“All due resect but I can’t call you Liam, here. I would just feel too weird. After all you are my boss, right?”

“I suppose so, but I try to keep things relaxed here,” he says mentally kicking himself for putting an ethical barrier between them.

“Ok well I will try then,” says smiling as they continue to shake hands.

Noticing, they both let go simultaneously with a laugh.

“Well it was a pleasure, I’ll notify HR that you’ll be joining us and they’ll be emailing you some forms to fill out, I’ll you see Monday?”

“Yes, absolutely, thank you so much.”

“Thank you.”

Aria smiles and turns to head out, “Here I’ll walk you out,” he says following her.

Aria passes the assistant desk and pauses.

“Will this be…”

“Yes, this will be your desk. On Monday I’ll show you how to work the phones, don’t worry,” he says smiling.

“Thank you, see you Monday,” she says waving as she steps into the elevator.

Liam waves as the elevator doors close.

Aria exhales as she leans against the wall, her heart pounding.

“Oh gosh, Aria what have you gotten yourself into?” she mumbles to herself.

Liam stares at the closed doors, his body tightening and breaking into a sweat.

Let’s see you pull this whole professional vibe off Whitmore, he thinks walking back to his office as he runs a hand through his hair, his heart beating quickly.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

*I do not take credit for images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-