Previously on Move– Read Chapter 29 HERE
Catch up from the beginning HERE
A Month Later
Aria stands in front of a painting of a beautiful woman. Caramel complexion, golden eyes, a red flowy dress, painted as if it’s whipping in the breeze. Her expression one of ease, yet determination in her craft. Arms and legs shaded and toned. A flower gently planted in her hair. Sexual, Sensual, Spiritual. All wrapped in this one being.
She stares at it in awe. Her golden brown eyes fall on the card posted to the side of the art work. Artist- Anonymous.
“Aria,” he says. And she immediately knows his voice.
She slowly turns and gives him a small smile.
“Liam,” she says.
“I’m surprised to see you here, Lov-” he says and stopping himself before finishing his word of adoration for her.
Aria looks away obviously uncomfortable, her hands folding in front of her chest.
“Sorry, habit,” he says smirking that sexy smirk.
Damn it, Aria thinks as her heart beat quickens just being near him.
Aria smiles simply. Poker face she thinks.
“You look…amazing,” he says his eyes looking her over, as she notices he can see her fidget under his gaze.
“So do you,” she says her eyes meeting his.
“Aria. I-” he begins to say.
“Look Liam, I don’t think I can do this, I’m gonna go, Congratulations on the new business,” she says turning away. Liam catches her hand. She freezes at the feel of his touch.
“You can’t what? You can’t talk to me?” he says not letting her off that easy.
“Look, we just don’t belong together, and we need to both just accept that and move on,” she says looking away from his intense glare.
“Oh you mean like you did with Marco?” he asks his jaw tightening at the mere thought of her with another man.
Aria looks at him, “That’s not…you don’t know what you’re talking about,” she says shaking her head at him and huffing.
“Aria we weren’t even broken up a week before you slept with him.” He says his eyes burning into hers.
Aria pulls her hand away from his, her eyes flickering a mixture of anger and offense.
“This conversation is over,” she says turning on her heel quickly, as she struts off.
Liam follows quickly after, his determination clear.
“Aria…. Hey…” he says yelling after her.
“You have no idea, what you’re talking about. I never slept with Marco. Maybe you should get your facts straight.” She says placing her hands on his chest and pushing him away.
Liam grabs her hands, holding them against him.
“You didn’t?” he says, his heart melting.
“Do you honestly think I could do that to you, to us? You and I…you meant more to me than that. I couldn’t just hop into bed with someone after what we had. And it sucks that you don’t know that.” She says rolling her eyes and pulling away from him.
“Hey,” he says pulling her back toward him, so close that they are breathing in the same air. “I’m sorry, I overheard people at the office saying how they knew he had a crush on you, and how he had been wanting to ask you out. I guess I just…I let my mind wander. Besides what am I supposed to think when you leave in the middle of the night after we have sex and you leave me a good bye note. I mean really love?” he says annoyed and not caring if he uses his sweet pet name for her.
“You know what Liam that just goes to show that you and I, we don’t know each other. And clearly we don’t trust each other,” she says glaring at him.
Her words hit Liam hard. “You don’t mean that,” he says wrapping his arms around her waist, as he leans in inches from her lips.
“Liam…don’t” she says her eyes flickering up to meet his.
“Would you stop me?” he says staring right into her soul.
Aria stills, she couldn’t move even if she wanted to. He wasn’t letting her go.
“Let’s find out,” he says brushing his lips against hers gently, and then kissing her passionately once he felt her relax into his arms.
Aria wraps her arms around his neck as Liam tightens his grip around her, his hands gripping her hips.
Suddenly Aria pulls away.
“Stop. What are we doing?” she says covering her mouth.
“Aria, I love you, ok, that hasn’t changed. Whatever issues there are between us, we can work them out.”
“I’m not sure that we can, Liam. All we do is go in circles. And nothing ever gets solved. It’s exhausting. I can’t do it anymore.”
“You don’t even wanna try? Do you not love me, anymore, is that it?”
Aria looks up at him, tears in her eyes.
“This isn’t about that.”
“I need to know Aria. Do you still love me?”
“I do love you. But our issues are bigger than you think. Liam you and I are from two entirely different worlds. You are used to having everything go your way, and everyone worshipping at your feet. I am used to the opposite. I’ve really had to work hard for what I have. And I’m not saying that you haven’t, but I need you to acknowledge your privilege. You grew up in a wealthy family. Money opens doors Liam. And I’m not trying to judge you for that, but that’s not how I live my life.”
“You’re acting like I throw money at everything Aria, that’s not fair. Since the day I met you, I’ve always respected you.”
“I know you called in a favor for the showcase, Jennifer Lopez was never scheduled to show,” she blurts out.
Liam stills, “Aria, let me explain…” he says reaching for her as his eyes soften and his voice drops.
“So what was it? Did you not have faith that I could get an offer on my own?”
“Of course not. I think you are incredibly talented. I just wanted to help increase your chances. I knew how much this all meant to you, how much Jennifer meant to you and I just-” He says as he sees the pain in her eyes.
“You know part of me thinks that maybe you’re ashamed of me. That maybe you agree with your mother and the rest of high profile society. That maybe you don’t necessarily think I’m cut out to be your wife the way that I am.”
“Aria…that could not be further from the truth. I adore you. I love you. All of you. Everything about you. I wouldn’t wanna change you, ever. How could you even think that?” he says heartbroken.
Aria shrugs her shoulders.
“Look somewhere deep down, we both knew this thing had an expiration date.”
Liam laughs sarcastically, “Really? So every night that we made love and we’d exchange I love yous, that didn’t mean anything to you?” he says glaring at her.
“It fizzled. Liam. Ok. Just get over it.” She says.
“No. It hasn’t. It never will. And that’s why you’re pulling away. Because you’re scared. No I’m sorry, petrified.” He says his hands on his hips, challenging her. Pushing her into an emotional corner.
Aria looks at him, her eyes beginning to tear up.
“I get that this is a lot. I get that we are different. That you’re scared. I get scared sometimes too. Do you think I went to that event expecting to fall in love? This whole thing has made me into a completely different person. In the best possible way. I never expected to ever feel like this about someone. This connected. This in awe. You are everything I never knew I needed. And that is scary. Because I know when you love someone as much as I love you, there’s always that fear that now there’s something to lose. But Aria when I weigh it all out, the scariest thing I can think of, is not being with you. Because whether you want to believe it or not, you are the love of my life.”
Aria looks away, tears spilling onto her cheeks.
“Liam I just-”
“It’s ok, you don’t have to say anything right now. Take your time,” he says lifting her hand and placing an engagement ring in the center of her palm. “Call me when you’re ready to talk,” he says as he gives her a sweet kiss on the cheek before walking towards his little office in the back of the gallery.
Aria stands dumbfounded as she stares at the ring in her hand.
Aria walks into the art gallery. Late one night. Just before closing.
Liam spots her instantly as he excuses himself from the last few visitors lingering around.
“Good evening,” he says rather professionally, but a slight smirk on his face.
“Hi, do you have a second to talk?” she asks.
“For you? Always.” He says cocking his head toward the back room, as he leads the way, Aria follows.
Liam sits at the wooden desk, as he gestures to Aria, “Have a seat.”
Aria smiles and sits across from him.
“So what did you want to talk about? Is there a painting you’re interested in?” he says with a smile.
“This is all very business-y.” Aria says waving her hand between the two of them.
“Well, I know how you don’t like mixing business with pleasure, so I just assume you were here for a painting,” he says rubbing his hands together. A hint of a smirk playing on his lips.
“Don’t mess with me, Whitmore,” she says narrowing her gaze at him.
Liam laughs, “Oh see now I’m offended, you didn’t see anything that you liked?”
Aria gives him a sassy, annoyed look.
“I was talking about the art work, what did you think I meant?” he says with a smile.
Aria rolls her eyes rather dramatically and looks away with a huff.
“Hey,” he says his voice softening as he leans forward, “Just talk to me.”
“You know what, now that you mention it, there is a painting that I would like to inquire about.”
“Hmm, really?” Liam says with a smile, “Well by all means, lead the way.”
Aria walks ahead as Liam watches her hips sway, she calls over her shoulder, “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing?” she says as Liam chuckles and follows.
Aria and Liam stand in front of that same painting of the woman in red. By this time the gallery has fully emptied and Liam’s Coworker had left a note saying that she locked the door behind her.
“Look at this painting. Look at those colors. She’s such wonder. She’s so free and empowered. I wish I could dance like that. I wish I could just be half as mesmerizing as she is.”
Liam looks over at her, his eyes flickering a look of pure love, “You are.”
“Liam…you don’t have to-” she starts.
“I’m not. I’m just telling you the truth. The girl in the painting, she’s you.”
“What?” Aria says confused.
“You’re my muse.” He says smiling and shrugging.
“Wait you…you painted this?” she says looking at him in awe.
“Yea…” he says his voice above a whisper.
“Liam…it’s breathtaking. Honestly, I haven’t stopped thinking about it,” she says looking at the painting.
“Funny…the whole reason I started painting again was because I couldn’t stop thinking about you. Seeing you dance, watching your face light up, because you were doing something you loved, something you are so completely meant to do. You just sparked something in me. That, and you know you’ve got quite the body, love. I definitely had fun watching you from afar,” he says giving her that sexy smirk of his as his eyes glance her over.
“Hmm, isn’t that something stalkers usually say?” she says pursing her lips as she places her hands on her hips.
“Can I kiss you yet?” he asks breathlessly as he reaches for her.
Aria smiles and nods as Liam sighs, pulling her into a kiss.
“I love you so much, and I just wanna be with you,” Aria says looking up at him.
“I love you too, so much, so so much” he says cupping her face and kissing her again.
Aria smiles against his lips as they continue to kiss, each one more intense then the next.
“Take me home,” she whispers her hands sliding from his neck down to rest on his chest. Their eyes locked in a heated glare.
“You read my mind, love,” he says as he grabs her hand and pulls her toward the back door that leads to the parking area where his car waits.
“Wait…” he says stopping and turning toward her, “You promise me that this is it right? We’re really doing this? You and me? Forever? Because I can’t keep losing you,” he asks cupping her face in his hands as he stares into her eyes.
“Forever,” Aria says as she leans in and presses her lips against his.
“Where’s that ring?” he whispers against her lips.
Aria pulls away and smiles as she reaches for the thin chain around her neck, she unclips it and slides off the ring handing it to him.
Liam stares at her his eyes filling, he smiles, as he kneels down on one knee.
“Aria, you are my everything. I cannot imagine my life without you. You ignite a light in me that I didn’t even know I had. I love you with everything I have, and I just want the chance to make you as happy as you’ve made me. Will you marry me?”
“Yes,” Aria says as the tears spring from her eyes, Liam’s smile is beaming. He slides the ring on her finger as it glistens in the florescent lights.
Aria cups his face as she pulls him up into a kiss.
Aria sits still on her and Liam’s marriage bed. Her left hand glistening a diamond ring and matching band. Her eyes land on their wedding photo on her nightstand.
Their wedding was planned rather quickly, it was simple, yet beautiful, with just a few close friends and family. Gertrude even attended and managed to muster up her congratulations. But there is still a long way to go in mending family fences. Evelyn “Sky” was the bigger person and started the conversation.
Aria’s bags are all packed and set by the door. Suddenly she feels unable to leave. Her heart heavy, her mind hazy.
But how can I leave for a year? We just got married? She thinks.
As if he could hear her inner thoughts Liam comes into the room, a small smile on his lips.
“Hey you, you about ready?” he asks and then his smiles turns to a look of concern when he sees the tears building in her eyes.
“Hey hey, Aria, love, what is it?” he says walking over to her as he kneels before her.
“I don’t feel right about this? About leaving you for a year. Seriously what was I thinking saying yes to this? We JUST got married,” she says standing up in frustration.
“Hey…we talked about this. You agreed to this before we got married. And it’s okay. We’re gonna be okay.”
“What if you resent me later for it?”
“That’s never going to happen.” He says shaking his head.
“What if you meet someone else when I’m gone and you realize she’s…?” she says, her eyes avoiding his.
“That’s NEVER gonna happen,” he says glaring at her sternly as he takes her hands in his. “Aria, we’re married. You’re my wife. The love of my life. This is forever.”
“Being away from you is definitely not my ideal situation. But we’ll find a way to make it work. Like we always do….together.” he says, his voice low, his stare gentle.
Aria’s eyes soften as she melts into his arms.
“I love you,” she says hugging him tightly.
“I love you too,” he says smiling as he kisses her forehead. “And you know…there are a few things that you’re forgetting…” he says peering down at her.
Aria looks up at him expectantly, a puzzled expression on her face.
“Phone sex and frequent flyer miles, love.” He says with a sexy grin.
Aria throws her head back with a laugh.
“Absolutely,” she says raising her eyebrows and pulling him into a kiss.
3 Months Later…
Aria throws a pillow at her dance mate as she laughs.
There’s a knock at the door, “I’ll get it,” Aria says getting off the bed and reaching for the hotel door.
Aria’s face falls in shock as a smiling Liam leans against the hall way wall. A duffle bag at his feet.
“Liam!” she screams jumping into his arms.
Her dance mate peeks her head out from the closet.
“As in hot husband Liam?” she asks, hanging up her dance gear and joining them.
“Yes, in the flesh!” Aria says happily turning to him as she places her hands on his chest, “What are you doing here?”
“I had some downtime this month from the art gallery, so I figured, it’s been way too long since I’ve seen my wife in person.”
Aria pouts, her heart melting.
“Are you surprised?” he asks his smile big and bright.
“Yes, and I’m so incredibly happy!” she says doing a little dance.
Liam laughs as his eyes flicker a sign of all the love he has for her.
Aria turns to her roommate, “Hey…Monica, do you mind…”
“Leaving, so you guys can get it on? Yea I’m already gone,” she says laughing as she exits the room, closing the door behind her.
“Thank you!” Aria calls after her. She smiles once the door closes. Turning swiftly on her heel she faces Liam.
Sighing dramatically, they both fall into a passionate kiss as they frantically start to undress each other.
“I’ve missed you,” Aria says breathlessly against his lips as hotel sheets wrap them in their own private oasis.
“I’ve missed you too, my love. So much,” he says cupping her face in his hands and kissing her deeply. As if he was making up for all the time they’ve spent apart. Their bodies move together in perfect unison.
Liam reaches his hand for hers as he intertwines them above their heads, his wedding band glistening on his left hand. As her rings match the glisten with a sparkle of their own upon her hand as it grips his neck.
Aria and Liam lay on the hotel couch before a crackling fire. Wrapped up in comfy white hotel robes.
“So you’ve been over to see Yolanda, yes?” Aria asks looking over at Liam as she takes a sip of her wine.
“Yes. I stop by at least once a week,” he says nodding with a smile.
“How is she feeling? Any morning sickness?”
“Don’t you talk to her every day?” he says with a laugh.
“Yes, but I just wanna make sure she’s not downplaying things because she knows if she needs me, I’ll be there…”
“Aria, baby. She is doing really well. No morning sickness. But love you’re forgetting something. Both you and Yolanda, have husbands now.” He says with a smile.
“Ugh, baby I know. I love you, and I am so grateful I bumped into you that day at that catering event,” she says with a laugh as she cups his face. “But…it was just Me, Yolanda and Layla for a while and they were really my only family. Before I met you, they were the ones that got me through everything. I guess I just want to make sure that they know I would drop everything for them, the same way they always did for me.”
“They know. Don’t worry, they know.” Liam says with a sweet smile as he lifts her hand to place a kiss on it.
“And how’s Layla? I know she got her own place. Is it as cute as the pictures she sent? Did you hang those shelves for her? And-”
“Mounted the TV, put together her futon, made sure her locks were secure and that all of her smoke detectors had batteries….yes,” Liam says smiling at his wife as he lists all his brother in law duties.
Aria pouts, “I’m being a nag, aren’t I?”
“No, I know you worry about your family, but baby, I’ve got them. They’re my family now too, love,” he says looking at her in a way that gives her butterflies still til this day.
“Ugh,” she says grabbing his face into her hands, “God, I love you,” she says giving his a sweet kiss on his lips.
Liam smiles against her lips, “I love you too,” he whispers. “So…while we’re on the subject of family…I was just wondering…when do you wanna start making some little ones of our own?” he asks his eyes full of wonder.
“Hmm,” Aria says making a surprised yet intrigued expression. “I don’t know. I mean, I feel like my career is just finally taking off…”
“Do you not want to have kids?” Liam asks, his eyes casting down.
“Of course I do. I just don’t think I have a timeline in mind for that yet. But we can definitely start talking about it.” She says with a smile.
“Mmm how about we table that conversation for now. We can revisit it after the tour ends.”
“Hey, I didn’t mean to upset you, I do want a family with you,” she says cupping his face in her hands.
“Well good.” He says with a chuckle. “Now, how about I just kiss you until I have to leave?” he smirks covering her lips with his as he pulls the rope on her robe.
Aria moans in agreement as she wraps her body around his once more.
Their love continuing to grow with each kiss, each breath, each movement.
A love story…that has only just begun.
*I do not take credit for the images used in my edits or otherwise.*