Previously on Move– Read Chapter 8 HERE
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,” 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.
“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?”
“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 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.”
“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.
“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.
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.*