Previously on Move– Read Chapter 16 HERE
Catch up from the beginning HERE
Liam sits in his office staring at a mound of paperwork in front of him. As his phone rings for the third time, the name “Mum” flashing across it. He scoffs ignoring it as he picks it up and tosses it in his side draw.
Liam sets to making calls and answering emails as time passes him by. Anne comes in.
“Mr. Whitmore, it’s 8:30, I’m going to head out.”
“Oh, I must have completely lost track of time. My apologies Anne, please have a good night. Thank you for staying so late, I will certainly make sure you are compensated for your time.”
“Thank you sir. If I may suggest…you really should go home yourself. You seem exhausted. This will all be here tomorrow.”
Liam’s face falls.
“I’ve overstepped, I’m so sorry sir.”
“Oh no, no it’s not that Anne. Come on you and I are a team, you could never offend me. You know me better than that. I just know that you’re right, is all.”
“Oh, ok.” Anne says with a smile. “Try to take some time to relax, you deserve it.”
“Thank you Anne, I appreciate you saying that,” Liam says with a nod.
“Good night sir,” Anne says with a smile.
“Good night,” Liam says as she leaves.
Liam sits at his desk as he sighs, his phone buzzing in his draw.
He stands up looking out at the skyline. The sun had long set into a hue of colors that you couldn’t recreate if you tried.
There’s a knock on his door as it creaks open, “Hi,” Aria says.
Liam freezes, knowing her voice well.
He turns, their eyes meeting instantly.
“I tried calling you first but-“
His phone buzzes in his desk.
“I’m sorry, I was getting an insane amount of calls from my mum, so I just kind of shoved it in a draw. Out of sight, out of mind.”
“I tried the office phone too…”
“Anne transfers the calls to voicemail before she leaves.”
“Ah.” Aria says nodding as her eyes fall to her fidgeting hands.
“You must have really wanted to talk to me. I mean it just seems like you went through a lot of trouble to find me.”
“Yea I just um- I felt bad, about what I said. I shouldn’t have been so harsh.”
“No, its ok, you were right.”
“Still, it was out of line. I mean we don’t know each other long enough or well enough for me to judge your choices. So I just wanted to say, that I’m sorry.”
“Apology accepted. It was unnecessary, but I do appreciate it.”
Aria looks up at him as she nods.
“Is that all you came to tell me?”
“I don’t know, I guess that depends.” she says shrugging.
“Depends on what?” he asks loosening his tie a bit as his heart begins to beat quicker. He coughs, nervously.
“On whether or not your explanation is worth a second chance. It occurred to me that my cousins and I may have been making some of our own judgements about you too. And I don’t think that’s fair. So if you still want a chance to explain, I’m all ears.” she says with a small smile.
Liam let’s out a sigh of relief as he walks over to her, cupping her face, he places a kiss on her lips.
Aria responds quicker than she would have liked, her arms wrapping around his neck, his hands cupping under her thighs as he lifts her up onto his desk.
Things get rather heated as Liam slides his hands up her legs, landing under her dress on her thighs.
Just then, the office door swings open, the janitor walks in, startling them.
“Oh, Edgar. Hello.” Liam says straitening his tie as Aria jumps down from the desk, fixing her dress.
“My apologies sir, I thought you had left, please, as you were.” he says smiling as he exits he gives Liam a thumbs up.
Liam closes his eyes and shakes his head, clearly embarrassed.
Aria laughs as Liam joins in.
“Dirty old man, that Edgar.” Aria says looking after his retreating figure as he puts his headphones on, whistling to his current playlist.
“The worst,” Liam says laughing as he reaches for Aria, placing his hands on her waist and squeezing her sides as his eyes flicker a certain heat.
“Although I do think that might have been a sign that we are moving too quick, too soon, once again. I did say IF your explanation was good enough. And I have yet to actually hear one,” Aria says raising her eyebrows in expectation, as she smiles.
“I am terribly sorry love, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful. I just saw you and I couldn’t help myself,” he says in a sexy whisper, as his hands slide down over her backside.
“Clearly,” she says removing his hands as he laughs.
“Shall we go for a walk, I’m not good in confined spaces around you,” he says looking at her with a smirk.
“Yes, a walk is good,” she says nodding, a small smile creeping onto her lips.
“Lead the way,” he says holding his hand out.
Aria smiles as she begins to walk away, his eyes glance her over. She turns quickly back toward him, and notices. “Excuse you? I saw that,” she says with a gasp.
Liam blushes. “Can you blame me?”
Aria narrows her eyes at him, as she reaches past him, she grazes him with her chest accidently, and he freezes, he inhales sharply. Trying to fight all impulse.
“I forgot my bag,” she says waving it, as she strings it onto her shoulder and exits the room.
Liam lets out a chuckle as he follows after her sauntering curvy figure, a smirk on his lips.
They get on the elevator and Liam looks at her.
“Stop it.” she says a smirk hiding under her stern face.
“What, love?” he asks innocently.
“Stop looking at me like that, and hands where I can see them,” she says pointing as he holds up both hands with a fake serious face.
The elevator doors close.
Aria and Liam walk along as they pass city street vendors and people hustling about.
Liam eyes her discreetly, he gently takes her hand, lacing his fingers through hers.
Aria looks down, slightly shocked.
“Why Liam Whitmore I do believe we’re in public,” she says in a playful, yet condescending tone.
Liam pulls her to him, “I do believe we’ve already almost had very public sex, this is nothing,” he says kissing her passionately.
A bystander snaps a picture that goes unnoticed by the doting new “couple.”
Aria feels her knees going, as she forces herself to pull away.
“Liam,” she says her voice low and uncertain.
“I’m sorry, love,” he whispers giving her some distance.
“Maybe we should go get something to eat, ya know put a table between us.” she says with a little laugh.
“We could always just end up sitting on the same side of the table, you know love?”
“We could. But we won’t. Because I still haven’t heard any kind of explanation from you.”
“Right,” he says sullenly.
Aria smirks as she points to a small restaurant nearby.
Liam sits across from Aria in silence. His eyes downcast.
Aria looks at him confused.
“I’m sorry. I don’t understand you Liam. You say you want a chance to explain and here I am giving you one. Your last one, by the way. And you still have nothing to say?”
“Aria, my family is complicated…”
“No. Ok. That’s not what I wanna hear. I don’t want to hear about your mom or the business and what they want from you. I want to hear about what you want.”
“It’s difficult. I guess I’ve never really been asked that question,” Liam says his eye brows scrunching together.
“Well I’m asking. Try. Think.”
“Aria I-” he says at a loss for words.
“You know what, this was a mistake,” she says getting up.
“No Aria, wait, please,” he says grabbing her hand.
Aria instantly feels a spark.
She looks at him and walks around and sits next to him.
“Look. It was very clear to me, very early on, that I was attracted to you. When we are together, it is extremely overwhelming. You make me feel…a lot of things,” she says with a small sexy laugh. “I know that if we were to just base this thing on physical attraction and sexual desires, we’d score 10/10. Do you agree?”
“Absolutely,” he says his eyes glistening the same familiar heat.
“But-that’s not enough for me. I need to know that the man that I’m with can talk to me and can listen and hear me too. I get that you were raised a certain way. But in order for this to work I need you to talk to me. And be honest about what you want. From life, from me. Because I’m telling you right now, if I’m just some experiment to you…”
“You are not an experiment. I swear to you, Aria. I care for you…deeply,” he says starring into her eyes as he cups her face.
“I care for you too,” she says with a small smile.
Liam sighs as he goes to lean in, and then stops.
“May I kiss you?” he asks.
Aria laughs, rolling her eyes, “Shut up,” she says pulling him into a kiss. “You really don’t know how relationships work, do you?” she asks with a laugh, her lips still grazing his.
“Clearly not.” he shakes his head as he laughs.
“What do you want?” she whispers.
“You.” he whispers back, pulling her into a kiss, “All of you, your heart, your mind.”
Aria looks up at him as she waits for the next, she arches her eyebrow, “my body?” she asks with sass.
“When the time is right, yes, your body too. Hell yes,” he says with a smirk as she laughs and leans into his lips again.
“And what about your mother…what do we do about her?” Aria asks.
“She doesn’t get a say in who I spend my time with, not anymore.”
“Are you going to tell her that?”
“I mean I think my mum is starting to gather that from the hundreds of unanswered phone calls and me calling her a monster at the ball.”
“You called her a monster?” Aria says her eyes wide.
“Well she is, I’m just so sorry that it took her hurting you for me to realize that.”
“So you did…stick up for me?” Aria says pouting as she cups his face, placing a kiss on his lips.
“Well I tried to, but she’s a shark and wanted me to still fall in line and smile for pictures. Which I did. And I’m sorry for that Aria. I know I should have done more, I should have fought harder. But I want you to know that from now on I will. Even if it means never talking to her again.”
“Liam. You could never do that.”
“Yes I could. For you. For us. I could. I will.” he says grabbing her hand and lifting it to his lips as he places a kiss on it.
“I would never want you to,” Aria says her voice low, her eyes soft.
Liam looks at her confused.
“You fighting with your mother is not what I want. I just want you to stand up for yourself. Tell her what you want. She obviously loves you, eventually she’ll come around.”
“I don’t know about that, she and my sister, haven’t spoken in years.”
“That’s your fear isn’t it? That you’re the only glue still holding your family together?”
Liam looks down at their hands. He falls silent.
“Hey…talk to me,” She says tightening her grip on his hand as she strokes his chest with her other, trying to comfort him.
“You really just get in there, don’t you, love? Right into people’s souls?”
“What can I say, it’s a gift.” she smiles draping an arm around his shoulders as she cups his neck with her hand.
“I want to talk to you. But it’s not exactly easy for me, Aria. I mean I haven’t said these words out loud. Ever.” he says looking at her.
“Ok, I can understand that. And given the fact that we don’t know each other that well yet, I can see you being hesitant about telling me all your deepest darkest secrets.”
“It’s not that. It’s not you. In fact, you are the only person I feel has ever actually asked me what I want. And I am so grateful to you for that. I just, I guess I just worry that once I admit these truths to you, I will finally have to admit them to myself.”
“Is that such a bad thing, though? I mean when we run from things, and we don’t take the time to deal with them and work through them, we just end up living half a life. We just keep running. I don’t want that for you. Or for us.”
“You are something special, aren’t you?” he says leaning into kiss her.
Aria smiles as she wipes lipstick from his lips.
“How about I start…” Aria says. Liam nods.
“I feel like you and I really have something here. But I’m scared. Because right now, I am supposed to be spending ever free second I have working towards my dream. And ever since I met you, I have been easily distracted. And I’m not blaming you. I want to be with you. But I also fear that you could easily walk away at any point and you’d be fine. But I could lose everything. This is my last shot. And I was risking that to figure out what we are, because I believe you’re worth it. I want it all. A career, a partner, a life of love. But I do worry that what if things change. What if this thing fizzles out as quickly as it started?”
Liam looks at her, and his eyes fill.
“Aria, I-” he stops looking down as he sighs.
Aria smiles simply up at him as she takes his hands in hers.
“Take your time, I’m not going anywhere,” she says softly.
“I can’t make you believe me. I can only tell you my truth. And the truth is…I’ve never felt this way about anyone. Ever. My heart explodes every time I see you or hear your voice. I just want to be with you, (he says pulling her into a sweet kiss), every minute. I don’t know what the future holds, I can’t promise you everything will be perfect. But I can promise you, that I will do whatever I can to make this- us, work. I just want us to have the time to see how we’d be together. I promise to always fight for you, to be more open and tell you what I want and how I feel. I promise to be honest. And I promise to fall crazy, head over heels in love with you.” he says smiling down at her.
Aria smiles brightly as she pulls him into a kiss. Liam wrapping his arms tightly around her waist as he sighs into her lips.
He pulls away for a minute, “I want you to know. I will respect your dream. When you need to rehearse, I will not get in your way. I can tell how much this showcase means to you. I would never want to jeopardize that for you.”
Aria looks up at him “Thank you,” she says stroking his face gently, before kissing him sweetly.
Liam looks at her, “Thank you, love.” he says cupping her face and leaning into another kiss.
A bystander snaps a picture, unknown to the new couple.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for the images used in my edits or otherwise.*