Previously on Move– Read Chapter 6 HERE
“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.
“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.”
“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?”
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.*