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-

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move- Chapter 5

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 4 HERE

 
Aria stands in a mirrored room, with high ceilings.

Surrounding her are women in athletic tank tops and leggings.

She walks to the front of the crowd.

“Hello ladies! Welcome. My name is Aria and this is my first class teaching Zumba, but I love to dance. I love to move. And Zumba above all else is about moving. So no matter what, even if you need to modify the moves, go at your own pace, and just keep moving!” she smiles as she presses play on her radio.

Allie and Molly stand front row and center as they follow along with Aria’s moves, the rest of the class trying to keep up. Aria instantly gets lost in the music as she effortlessly moves.

***

“Keep those legs up ladies! You’re doing great!” Aria yells midway through her class.
Her curvy, toned frame bouncing along to the beat, beads of sweat gathering on her forehead and neck.

***

“Thank you so much ladies! You were all on fire, I hope you had a good time!” she says smiling brightly.

The ladies all cheer and clap as they begin to collect their belongings- filing out.

A woman comes up to Aria as she grabs a sip of water, and wipes her face with a towel.

“Excuse me, Aria?”

“Hi,” She smiles at the young woman.

“I just wanted to say your class was amazing! I’ve never worked my ass off so hard and had so much fun at the same time.”

“Oh well thanks so much. I’m so glad to hear that!”

“Do you have a schedule of nights that you’ll be here?”

“Um, right now it’s just on Tuesdays, but I can definitely keep you posted,” Aria says smiling brightly.

“Ok awesome, I’ll see you next week!”

“Yes! Great! See you then!”

“Bye,” the woman says waving as Aria waves in return.

Allie and Molly walk over with smiles.

“Killer class, I feel my butt just getting more bootylicious by the second,” Molly says doing a little flirtatious jig. “Seriously that was better than any of the other classes we’ve ever taken here.”

Aria laughs.

“Truth,” Allie says pointing her finger at Aria.

“Thank you,” She says smiling at her support system.

“Did I not tell you, you’d be perfect for this?” Allie says smiling.

“Yes you did. I’m so happy that they asked me to teach, but it’s still only one night a week, my savings account isn’t going to last much longer. I have to find a second job with more hours, like now,” Aria says as she and her girls walk out of the gym and into Manhattan nightlife.

“So where are we going?” Molly says dancing her way down the street as people pass by with looks of confusion.

Allie and Aria laugh.

“I don’t know about you guys but I am a sweaty mess, all I wanna do is go home, shower, eat and crash.”

“Should we pick up tacos on the way?” Allie says.

“Tacos? What… aren’t you ladies worried about our figures,” Molly says faking seriousness.

The girls look at each other and erupt in laughter as they walk over the nearby taco truck.

“Yea, because I got this big Latin ass just from dancing,” Aria says sarcastically.

“You are blessed,” Molly says looking at her own slimmer bottom, causing the girls to laugh.

***

Aria walks into her dimly lit apartment ready to collapse.

Her cousin and roommate Layla stumbles out from her bedroom, “I smell tacos.”

Aria laughs and holds up the bag shaking it.

Layla rushes over.

“Did you get me one?”

“But of course,” Aria says sitting down at their kitchen island; Layla joining her.

“Where’s Yolanda?”

“She took a late shift at the hospital.”

“She’s been doing that a lot lately, huh?”

“Rent’s not cheap in Manhattan.”

“I know, she’s really been carrying us for the past few weeks.”

“You know Yoyo, she’s always gotta be taking care of someone.”

“No wonder she became a nurse,” Aria says laughing and taking a bite of her taco.

***

Aria places the rest of the food in the fridge with a post it note on the fridge door.

Yoyo,

Sorry we missed you. Tacos on me. Thanks for always taking care of us. Job hunting bright and early tomorrow morning.

Love you,
Ari  ❤

Aria stands in the middle of her kitchen, Layla kisses her cheek and starts to walk back toward her room.

“Hey Lay, I’m gonna just go take a walk.”

“It’s a little late, no?”

“I won’t be long.”

“You want me to go with you?”

“No go back to sleep, I just need to clear my head,” she says smiling.

“Ok well, I’m not going to be able to sleep til I know your back. Take your phone.”

“Ok,” Aria says laughing as she grabs her purse and heads out the door.

“Don’t be long- it’s late.” Layla yells after her.

***

Aria walks the darkened streets, her eyes glazing over her surroundings. People walking their dogs, couples sharing food truck meals, New York City really is the city that never sleeps, she thinks.

Aria decides to take a stroll through the park. She finds herself on a park bench just sitting there in silence staring up at the sky and the few stars that managed to break through the bright city lights.

Joggers squishing by her- one by one.

“Aria?”

Aria’s head springs forward, and an athletically dressed Liam comes into view.

“Mr. Whitmore, Hi. I was a little spaced out there, I’m sorry” she says laughing.

Is there an award for cutest laugh ever? He thinks.

“Aria, love, how many times are we going to need to run into each other, before you realize you can call me Liam?” he says laughing as he removes his headphones.

“Oh,” she says smiling.

“What brings you out so late?”

“Nothing really,” she says shrugging and looking away, the weight of the world on her mind.

“Really? Because you seemed like you were pretty lost in your thoughts there.”

“I suppose your right,” Aria says with a smile.

“Do you want to talk about it, I’ve been told I’m a pretty good listener.”

“Oh, that’s ok, I don’t want to disturb your…what are you doing here?” she says out of sorts and mentally kicking herself for looking like a total gym rat.

“I was going for a jog, I usually try to go every night, because it helps me to calm my brain down just enough to allow myself to sleep a wink,” he says smirking.

“Does it work?”

“Sometimes.” He smiles.

Aria nods and looks down at her hands, lost in thought.

Liam notices.

Aria? How bought some ice cream?”

“It’s like midnight?” she says laughing.”

“Oh don’t worry the truck will still be there, it always is.”

“Really?”

“Mm hmm, come on,” he says cocking his head toward the direction of the ice cream truck.

“You’re serious?” she says looking up at him with a smile.

“Oh I don’t joke about ice cream, love.”

Aria gives him a side eye and then laughing she stands up and joins him.

“Ok, you sold me. Lead the way,” she says as he smiles brightly.

***

Liam grabs the ice cream cones from the ice cream truck lady and hands the chocolate one with rainbow sprinkles to Aria as he takes a lick of his vanilla with chocolate sprinkles.

“Thank you,” she smiles taking a lick of hers.

Liam gestures to the nearby table and chairs as Aria follows and sits down.

“So what’s on your mind?”

“Ugh,” Aria smiles looking away.

“I’m prying. I’m sorry.” Liam says kindly, not wanting to chase her off.

Aria locks eyes with him.

“No, you’re not. You’ve been nothing but a total sweetheart. I’m sorry I’m just…overwhelmed. I have this big showcase coming up at my dance academy and it’s kind of a huge deal for me. I have to choreograph an entire performance and it’s kind of my last big shot for dance companies to see my work.”

“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. Why does this suddenly feel like normal behavior for them?

Damn, he thinks. Damn, she thinks, a tingle running through her.

They lock eyes and then both shake it off.

“So do you have anything so far…for the showcase?”

“Just 5 different starts to 5 different routines. I just can’t nail anything down. I don’t know what these companies are looking for.”

“Maybe that’s the problem, you’re trying to do a routine based on what you think they want to see, instead of just doing your own thing.”

“You’re probably right, I just can’t seem to get out of my head.”

“Oh, don’t I know the feeling,” Liam says with a laugh as he tosses their garbage in the nearby trash.

Aria smiles her thanks.

“I can imagine. Your line of work probably gets pretty stressful for you.”

Liam nods, smiling.

“So what’s been keeping you up at night?” Aria says.

They lock eyes and suddenly the former sentence is laced with sexuality.

Liam looks down with a laugh.

You have no idea, love, he thinks.

Aria notices, “I meant with your job, you seem to be running your troubles away. And being that you were kind enough to buy me ice cream AND let me vent to you, the least I can do is lend you an ear,” she says laughing nervously as she thanks god for the smooth recovery.

“There are parts of my job that I just adore. I love art, I love finding new artists that we get to show to the world, I love this city, I love the energy. But then there’s a huge part that I just…hate. The crunching numbers, and dealing with stogy old businesses man who wouldn’t know art if it hit them between the eyes, or worse the young guys that just want to party their savings away at strip clubs and on expensive vacations. ”

“The corporate monster, rears its ugly head.”

“Art and money…sometimes they just-”

“Don’t mix? Yea, I completely understand.”

Liam nods.

“So have you ever thought about changing your job, I mean there has to be a way where you could be more involved in the artistic side of things? I mean if that’s truly where your heart lies.”

“It is and I’ve thought about it a lot, and I would love to. But the business is a family business, it’s been around for years, my father ran it, his father before him, and so on, and so forth. My father recently passed so I am next at the helm, and the only son, so the pressure is on me to deliver.”

“I’m so sorry, that sounds incredibly difficult.”

“Some days are easy,” he says smiling up at her.

Aria smiles back.

“I have to say it’s weird seeing you in something other than a suit!” she says laughing.

“I know, contrary to popular belief I do own other clothes,” he says laughing.

“Good, comfort suits you,” she says smiling up at him.

“Thank you, I guess I’m trying to take your advice, and- what is it that you said-loosen up,” he says laughing as she smiles locking eyes with him.

Aria’s phone begins to ring.

“Oh I’m sorry it’s my cousin, I should get this.”

“Sure.” He smiles.

“Hello, hi yes I know, I’m sorry, I know. Ok yes, I’ll be home soon, ok bye,” Aria says standing up, Liam following suit.

“Sorry I should get going, I live with my two cousins and well one of them is home waiting up for me, because she knew it was kinda late. I know that might sound silly or childish, but we kinda look out for each other, we’re all each other has, so…”

“I don’t think that’s childish or silly at all, love.”

Aria smiles.

“Thank you for a really- unexpected, but really nice night,” she says smiling up at him.

“It was my pleasure,” Liam says smirking.

“Good night,” she says shyly as she begins to walk away.

Liam feels an intense rush of heavy energy as she passes him, his chest tightening, as his eyes follow her body, he doesn’t want her to leave.

“Aria.”

Aria’s heart skips a beat at the sound of his voice as she turns, not waiting to leave.

“Can I walk you home? It’s late.”

“I would like that.” She says smiling.

Liam beams on the inside as they begin their walk.

***

Aria and Liam stand in front of Aria’s apartment building- she’s fidgeting. He notices.

“Thank you so much for tonight, Liam,” she says smiling up at him.

“You called me Liam,” he says smirking brightly.

“Oh my god, I did, I’m so sorry!” she says covering her face.

“Stop it, It’s ok, I told you to. That is my name, ya know,” he says laughing as he pulls her hands from her face and down to her side.

Their eyes lock as Aria’s butterflies grow and her skin crawls with electric energy.

Liam lets go, coughing away his nerves and distancing himself.

“Good night, Mr. Whitmore,” Aria says sexier and more flirtatious then she intended to.

Liam feels a flutter in his stomach as his eyes flicker, mirroring the same flirtation.

“You pierce my heart, love,” he says smirking holding his chest jokingly.

Aria laughs as she walks up her stoop stairs to her door.

“Call me if you need a job. I know the whole 2 week temp gig may not be that appealing, but we can always find you something more stable. It’s a big company, love.”

“I may just take you up on that,” Aria says shocking even herself.

“I look forward to it,” he says smirking.

“Good night, again.” She says unlocking her door.

“Good night.” He says walking off into the night wearing the biggest grin on his face and his heart.

Aria walks off the elevator to her loft apartment, as she walks in, she leans against her door and just stands there for a beat thinking, she closes her eyes and inhales deeply, followed by a deep exhale.

“Shit,” she says to herself.

Liam walks into his home, and tosses his workout bag to the side. In a complete daze he floats to his fridge to grab a Gatorade.

Taking a sip he sits on his couch, pondering his luck tonight.

I didn’t even have to plan that run in, maybe the universe is on my side, he thinks.

My god, she just gets more beautiful every time I see her. Even in sweats, she’s flawless. That body, my god.

The thoughts that followed were a bit scandalous for a man of Liam’s polish and “prestige” to entertain…or at least to admit to entertaining.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

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

-<3-

Move- Chapter 3

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 2 HERE

Liam sits at his desk, clicking about on his computer.

His screen reads… City Sky Caterers recent status update.

City Sky Caterers will be catering a business mixture tonight at Hilton Hotel @ 8PM

All Manhattan businesses invited!

Liam’s eyes sparkle as his lips curve into a smirk.

***

Meet Molly

Aria rushes into a fancy hotel, straightening her white button down and black pencil skirt. 

Mr. Lee watches her enter. He arrogantly checks his watch.

“Your lucky Lenz. This time,” he says coldly.

Aria stops and glances his way, as workers shuffle about setting up for yet another big Manhattan event.

“Is there something you’d like to say?”

Aria glares at him.

“Because it’d be a shame if you lost your job. How on earth will you pay for those dance classes you’ve been taking? Although I don’t suppose they’re working considering what a klutz you are… how could you possibly know how to dance?” he chuckles under his breath.

Aria’s glare intensifies.

“Nothing to say? No? That’s what I thought,” he says turning on his heel.

“You are such a dick,” Aria says loudly, her hands on her hips, chin held high, feet firm.

The whole room stills. Silence. All eyes on Aria then suddenly darting between her and Mr. Lee. Her friends all fearing what comes next.

What did you say to me?” he says turning toward her, his hands clenching into fists, the vein on his temple becoming more prominent by the second.

“Did I stutter?” Aria asks with gleaming confidence.

A gasp escapes a co-worker named Molly’s lips involuntarily as she watches.

Mr. Lee’s eyes narrow, as he bares his teeth like a wolf, the war between he and Aria just beginning. How dare she undermine his power!

“You’re fi-“

“No YOU are done talking to me that way. You think your better than me? Why because you were once a preppy youth with a trust fund, a little rich boy on a power trip. And then what? You got too old to actually do anything with your life. Your shit stinks just like the rest of us. I dare you to try lasting even one second in my shoes, in any of our shoes. It’s not easy going after your dream. It takes everything you have. But you don’t have the balls you measly little excuse for a man. So you come in here everyday and try to feel better about yourself by ordering people around. Well no more.”

Aria unties her apron, dropping it at his feet.

“I quit,” she says walking out swiftly.

For the first time ever- Mr. Lee is stunned speechless.

A few of Aria’s co-worker friends drop their aprons too.

“Yea if she’s out, I’m out, she’s the only reason this job was borderline bearable,” Molly says heading for the exit.

“Me too,” Kevin says.

“Wait for me!” Blake calls following suit.

Waitresses, waiters, dish cleaners, cooks all filing out after Aria.

Aria steps outside the hotel and exhales the breath she’s been holding in since she started working for that horrible man. She hears footsteps coming up behind her.

She turns being greeted by her co-workers.

“That. Was. Awesome,” Molly says with a smile.

“You guys, what did you do?” Aria asks with concern.

“We quit,” Blake says.

Aria’s eyes go wide.

“I appreciate you all backing me up, but you didn’t have to lose your income too!”

“Oh please, Aria you are the only reason we all would come to work. You made it tolerable and now that your gone, there’s no reason to stay,” Molly says.

“Really?”

“Yea, we all love you. You leave, we leave,” Kevin says.

“Aw you guys!” she says hugging them.

“So now what do we do now that we’re all unemployed?” Blake says.

“Get drunk?” Aria says with a laugh and a shrug of her shoulders.

“Hell yes!” Kevin says, as they all laugh and turn to head in the direction of the nearest bar.

A black sleek car pulls up as a familiar face steps out, buttoning his suit jacket.

Aria locks eyes with Liam.

“Aria?” he says with a smile.

“Mr. Whitmore. Good evening,” she says her eyes avoiding his.

“Evening love. Are you working tonight’s event?”

Aria looks at her coworkers.

“Not anymore,” she says with a small smile.

“Oh?”

“We all kind of just quit,” she says still avoiding his eyes.

“Yea she called our boss a dick and then threw her apron at him,” Blake blurts out.

Liam’s eyes widen.

“It was slightly less aggressive than it sounds,” Aria says laughing.

That laugh, Liam thinks.

“Well I’ve met your boss, my bet is, (Liam leans in and whispers) he deserved it. Have a good night, love,” Liam says suavely as he walks past them toward the hotel entrance.

Molly’s eyes flow from his retreating figure and over to Aria.

“Oh my god,” she mouths.

Aria rolls her eyes.

“Mr. Whitmore!” Molly calls out.

“What are you doing?” Aria whispers to her, grabbing her hand.

“Shh,” Molly says squatting Aria away. “Half the staff quit, this event is going to suck, why don’t you just come join us for a drink instead, help us celebrate our freedom!”

“Um-” Liam ponders, wanting to say yes but unsure if it would be awkward for Aria.

“Molly. I’m sure Mr. Whitmore has better things to do.”

This is my shot, she needs to know I’m interested, he thinks.

“Well considering my plans just literally walked out the door, I guess I could go for a drink.”

Molly gives Aria a look of satisfaction.

“Right this way,” Molly says gesturing.

Liam smiles walking, as the guys introduce themselves to him, he shakes their hands, internally sizing each of them up. Are these two competition, he thinks.

Molly admires Liam’s build, getting lost for a beat.

Aria waves her hand in front of Molly’s line of vision. She snaps back.

“How do you know him?”

“He was at the last event…he helped me out with Lee.”

“He’s the business billionaire who came to your rescue. The one who actually got Lucifer Lee to apologize to you?”

“Yup. But let’s be clear about something I didn’t need rescuing.”

Molly rolls her eyes.

“Oh my god he could rescue me all he wants. He is hot!”

“Really, You think so?” Aria says following Molly as they try and catch up to the guys.

“You don’t?” Molly says making a face of confusion.

Aria ponders as she walks.

***

 

The gang walks into the bar.

Molly pulls Liam’s hand toward the counter, Aria shakes her head. Shameless, she thinks.

Liam glances back at Aria who chats with Kevin and Blake.

“Are we drinking here, or what?” Molly screams.

Aria laughs as she walks over.

“I’ll have a beer,” Aria tells the bartender.

“Make that two,” Blake says walking over to join.

“Three,” Kevin yells from the corner where he plays an old fashioned arcade game.

“Three beers it is,” the bartender says.

“Mr. Whitmore?” Aria says turning toward him.

“Aria, I think you can call me Liam now, love,” he says laughing.

“Ok Liam. (she lets out a small laugh) What would you like?” she says smiling.

Liam’s heart beat quickens. That smile. Those lips, he thinks. His eyes flicker from her glossy plump lips back up to her brown sparking eyes. Molly notices.

“Uh, beer’s good,” Liam says trying to snap out of it.

“Make that 4 Bobby,” Aria says smiling at the Bartender.

“You got it,” Bobby says popping off another beer cap and handing her the bottles.

Aria hands out the beers, her hand grazing Liam’s as she hands him his.

Molly holds up her fruity Malibu By Breeze in hand, signaling a toast. A smirk dancing on her lips as she clearly has caught onto the fact that Liam has ulterior motives.

“Cheers, to unemployment. May god be with us all!” Aria says raising her beer.

“Long live the job hunt!” Blake shouts as their drinks clink.

“Excuse me, I need to borrow Aria for just a second, enjoy the testosterone.” Molly says dragging Aria to the side. Aria starts to sip her beer, waiting for Molly to say whatever crazy thing she feels she needs to say, right at this very moment.

“Well well well, I do believe Mr. Whitmore is rather soft on you, Ms. Lenz.”

“What?” Aria says nearly spitting out her sip of beer.

“He’s soft on you.”

“Soft? What are you from the 1940’s?”

“Fine…I think he wants to bang your brains out… happy?”

“Ew, really Mol, why so vulgar?”

“Welcome to 2017.”

Aria rolls her eyes.

“You’re out of your mind.”

“Aria. I’m serious the way he’s been eyeing you, he wants you.”

“No he doesn’t, stop it.”

“Fine, don’t believe me,” Molly says walking off, “You know I’m right!” she calls as she heads back to the bar.

Aria leans against the nearby pool table, sipping her beer in contemplation.

There’s no way, a guy like Liam Whitmore is interested in me. No. Way.

Liam notices her alone and walks over.

“Are you okay, love?”

“Yea,” she smiles.

“Are you worried?”

“Yea,” she smiles again locking eyes with him.

“Look, I know that this may not be the ideal job opportunity… but my secretary is going on vacation for two weeks, I could use a temp. Maybe it’ll buy you some time while you look for something else.”

“Oh my gosh, really? You would do that?”

“Sure,” he smiles excited to be able to make her even the slightest bit happy.

“Liam. I couldn’t ask you to do that.”

“You didn’t-pretty sure I offered,” he smirks.

Aria looks up at him. The tension thick. The body language and proximity close.

Their hands touch as they both lean against the pool table. Aria notices and moves it away quickly.

“Just think about it. The offer will be there if you want it,” he says reaching into his suit pocket and handing her a business card.

“Thank you,” Aria says smiling and taking it.

Liam melts. There’s that award winning smile again, he thinks.

Aria looks at him again.

“Forgive me, but if you’re going to hangout with us, this tie has to go,” she says reaching up and untying it for him.

Liam’s eyes lock on hers.

“You’re gonna have to learn how to loosen up a little,” She says smiling and loosening his collar up. “There much better.”

Liam smirks, his heart beating out of his chest. He’s doing everything in his power not to grab her and just kiss her.

“Dually noted, love,” he whispers leaning in a little.

Aria feels her stomach tighten as butterflies flutter about.

Liam’s phone begins to ring interrupting their sexually charged moment.

He internally sighs and looks at the phone.

“I’m sorry love, I’ve got to take this, excuse me,” he says walking to the side.

Molly rushes over.

“Oh my god,” her eyes smiling “What did he say…did he ask you out?”

“No. He offered me a job.”

“A job? Ew. That’s no fun.”

Little did either of them know how wrong Molly would be.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

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

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Mother/Daughter Day!

Since I’ve been working and having my own money for the past few years. I have started a little tradition. I get my mom play tickets for Mother’s Day and I get them for usually sometime in June and we kick off our Summer season with a fun little Mother/Daughter Day out.

Last year I took her to see the Radio City Spring Spectacular. And it was absolutely amazing. My mom and I always say there’s all these things in New York City we have yet to experience and so this is my way of making a little dent in our extensive wish list.

So this year we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this past weekend. We enjoyed it! There were some really cool production tricks used and some of the sets were just absolutely stunning. The acting was amazing too! I loved the beginning and the ending, but there were some parts in the middle where I felt like they strayed away from the storyline of the original film. That film was a childhood favorite in my house, my brother and I loved it! So it’s original roots hold dear to my heart, and when they modernized some of the characters and the story up a bit, it didn’t sit right with me at first. Something about nostalgia. Ugh! You can’t mess with my nostalgia.  But it was still a great show, a fun experience and a really fun thing to be able to treat my mom too.

 

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After the play, we went to have some lunch at Olive Garden, my mom had never been, so we thought hey why not, let’s do it! #Breadsticks

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I got the Margherita Chicken-Grilled chicken breasts topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto and a lemon garlic sauce. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini. 

 

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My mom got the Shrimp Scampi– Shrimp sautéed in a garlic sauce, tossed with asparagus, tomatoes, and angel hair pasta. 

 

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For drinksLeft: I got a Non-alcoholic Strawberry-Passion Fruit Limonata (because I was taking some allergy medicine and didn’t feel like drinking much.) -A refreshing mix of lemonade, sparkling water, strawberries and passion fruit.  Right: My mom got the Green Apple Moscato Sangria (because she knew I wanted to try it!)-A blend of chilled Moscato, granny smith green apple and a splash of pineapple juice.  

 

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For dessert: We shared Zeppoli-Soft, traditional Italian doughnuts dusted with powdered sugar, served with chocolate sauce for dipping. 

 

My crappy cell phone pics, do not even do this meal justice. Everything was so DELICIOUS! We had such a great day together! Fun, Food, and Family.

Cheers to next time, Love you, Mom.  ❤

 

*All images are my own.*

-<3-

Move – Chapter 1

Colors stroke gently onto a white canvas, a hand holding the paintbrush with just the right about of force.

Up. Down. Side to side.

Blue. Yellow. Red. Green. Orange.

Long strokes. Short strokes.

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As the colors blend into fabric of the same shades displayed. Chiffon rippling about in swift, sensual movement.

Aria lets the music lead her every move, pointing her toes and hands alike, her skirt her dancing accessory. Elongating her frame. Her hair whipping back and forth, beads of sweat crawling along her forehead and neck.

She rolls her hips as she hits the last beat with a sharp move.

dancing

Looking up at her reflection she lets out a laugh and walks over to where her water bottle and towel lay.

****

Liam stares outside his office window.

Liam at work

He shifts his pen from finger to finger. His gaze steady. Lost in the New York City skyline.

Liam’s secretary peeks her head in.

“Mr. Whitmore?”

“Yes?”  He says snapping out of it and standing. He buttons his suit jacket.

“The event starts in just a few short hours. I’ve got your tux ready. Would you like to change now?”

“Yes, thank you Anne.”

She smiles simply, flashing a perfect smile.  As she brings in his tux, hanging it on the edge of the door molding.

She then places a bag on the floor near his desk.

“Your shoes, sir.”

“I can always count on you,” He says with a small, flirtatious smile.

She smiles brightly as she stands politely waiting for any other instructions.

“Can I ask you a question Anne?”

“Of course, sir.”

Turning back toward his office view, Liam says- “What do you see?”

“I don’t quite know what you mean, sir?”

His eyes shift toward her and he smirks.

“Looking out this window right here, what do you see?”

Anne looks in front of her, and gives herself a beat. Gathering her thoughts.

“I guess- I see- city life. Busy. Busy. Busy- city life.”

“That’s true but that’s all below the surface. Straight across. Baby blue skies, with a peachy pink. Cotton candy white clouds. The sun beaming through, just before night sets in. There’s still this mixture of soft amber, fire red, and citrus orange. I see hope. Hope that below the commercial bluster, there’s still actually substance somewhere in this world.”

Anne looks over at him, as he appears lost in thought.

“I guess that’s one way to look at it,” she says a bit thrown by his in-depth interpretation.

Liam smiles and snaps out of his daze once again.

“I suppose so,” He laughs. “Thank you Anne. The suit will be all.”

“If you need anything else, please do tell me, sir.”

“I’m quite fine. Thank you.”

Anne nods and exits the room.

Liam looks back at the sky, pondering.

****

A FEW HOURS LATER…

Liam Whitmore waltzes into yet another swanky New York Business Mixer.

His hair sandy and blonde with some hits of red-slightly messy but neatly styled, his beard in the form of a light scruff. Ocean blue eyes glide across the room, taking everything in. Owning his black, crisp, perfectly tailored tux, Liam walks in further. Silver blue hues from the disco lights cast a glow on everything, the music rises. The energy is electric.

Aria rushes into the kitchen, her appearance clearly in disarray.

“Please tell me he doesn’t know I’m late,” she says to a female co-worker.

She makes a wincing face, as Aria can already feel what is in store for her, she turns slightly on her heel, as she finishes tying her apron around her waist.

Her boss stands there with his arms crossed, his stance dominant, overcompensating for his shortness.

“Late again Lenz. Surprise, Surprise.”

“Mr. Lee, I am so sorry, I lost track of time…I was at school-”

“Excuses. Get out there and serve the champagne.”

Aria lowers her head and grabs a nearby tray of glasses and a bottle of the finest champagne and heads toward the ballroom.

Passing by Liam, Aria walks the room, her black and white uniform somehow appearing slightly more put together then when she first arrived.

With a silver tray in her hand she walks up to guest after honorable guest to ask if they’d like a glass of champagne.

As she turns her back, Liam walks past again.

The room is cast in a sea of suits and pencil skirts.

Something Liam didn’t quite understand.

Is this a work function or a party? He wondered.

From the center of the room, the DJ speaks into the microphone-

“Ladies and Gentleman it is time to, kick off your heels, hang up your hats and feel the beat. Please welcome the sexiest women in the game- The Crystal Queens!”

Liam’s eyes glance to the center of the room as three toned women find their positions and strike a pose. As the beat is lifted they begin to sway to the music, their dresses whipping and swirling about, moving with them.

Aria’s eyes become transfixed as she involuntarily begins swaying along in the audience. Her hips moving side to side.

Her intense glare; a burning determination. A passion for dance. Liam looks over as his eyes freeze. Taking in her curves as his eyes glance over her. His pulse quickens, as he loosens his tie slightly.

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Aria salsas in her place as she holds onto her tray, the champagne spilling over the sides.

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Aria makes a sharp move with her hips, swinging around quickly, she crashes into a hard toned chest. 

She gasps as the champagne glasses fall off the tray- breaking, champagne spilling everywhere.

Aria shrieks and turns, meeting the bluest eyes she’s ever seen.

“Oh! I am- so sorry,” she says trying to compose herself.

“No worries, love.” Liam says in his British accent as he steadies her.

Liam smirks as he stares into Aria’s rich chocolate brown eyes.

Her knees buckle and Liam steadies her once again.

Standing in each other’s embrace, their gaze holding.

love glare

Mr. Lee- the stark little man that he is, rushes over, an instant mug on his face.

“What have you done now? Go get a broom and clean this up! You are such a klutz!”

Aria breaks from her trance.

 “Yes sir,” she says starting to rush off.

Liam instinctively reaches for her arm, gently stopping her.

The touch igniting a spark that sends a shiver up Aria’s spine and a shock to Liam’s heart.

“It was my fault mate, I bummed into her. No need to treat a lady that way.”

The man cowers.

“Of course Mr. Whitmore, my apologies.”

“I’m not the one you should be apologizing to,” Liam says stepping back.

Mr. Lee forces a fake grin, “My apologies.”

Aria smiles plainly.

“Now please, a broom. Before someone gets hurt.”

Aria nods as her boss walks away.

Aria’s eyes lift meeting Liam’s.

“Thank you, you didn’t have to do that.”

“I don’t think he should have spoken to you that way, it was an accident.”

“Unfortunately I’ve already gotten used to it,” she says shrugging.

“That is quite unfortunate. Beautiful girl like you, should be cared for with the utmost respect,” he says his lips curving into a smile.

“Thank you. That’s very kind of you to say,” she says blushing as she tucks a piece of her hazelnut colored hair behind her ear, her eyes avoiding his.

Liam holds out his hand.

“I’m Liam.”

Aria takes his hand in hers, shaking it gently.

“Aria,” she says smiling.

“Pleasure to meet you Aria.”

“Likewise,” She smiles.

Their gaze holds.

“I better get that broom, I can’t afford another strike with the boss,” she says with a laugh.

Liam nods, not letting go of her hand.

Aria looks up at him.

Their eyes locked for what seems like an eternity.

He feels her pull her hand, and he realizes, “Oh, sorry love.” He says shaking his head as he laughs he lets her hand go.

She smiles.

“Thank you again”, she says giving him a small wave as she walks off.

Liam’s eyes were transfixed the rest of the night, wherever Aria went they followed. Any move she made, he knew about it. He enjoyed her movements, even the most simplistic ones, like chatting with a co-worker, sipping a glass of water…the way she spoke, he could tell she was an animated storyteller. He was already annoyed by other men speaking to her, even if it was just to get a glass of champagne refilled. Aria was too busy trying not to knock anything else over to even notice that she had captivated an audience.

 

That night Liam lay awake in bed.

Her smiling face flashes in his mind., her hips swaying, the feel of her hand in his, and the quickening of his heart when they spent their brief moments together.

He smiles to himself.

****

THE NEXT MORNING…

Aria runs around her apartment half-dressed and in a frantic hurry, as she grabs a pair of jeans shifting them up her legs and over her curvy bottom.

Her cell phone rings.

“Hello!”

“Hey I’m downstairs,” her best friend Allie says from her car.

“I’m coming right down, of course I didn’t hear my alarm, and overslept.”

“Don’t sweat it, I’ll get us there on time.”

Aria smiles.

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Aria and Allie walk into the dance studio.

Dropping her dance bag to the side, Aria takes her place in the room full of people.

A tall lean woman walks to the front of the room, and presses play on the radio. Aria and Allie stand on the dance floor, awaiting the beat to move them.

The instructor calls out- 5,6,7,8 and begins to dance and Aria follows. Her movements appearing almost effortless.

****

Liam walks into his office with two coffees in hand, as he passes Anne’s desk, and hands her one.

“Thank you Mr. Whitmore,” She gives him a gentle smile, her eyes sparkling.

“Eh, we’ve been through this! That’s my father’s name. Liam, call me Liam- Anne, please.”

“All due respect but, I can’t do that, sir,” she says smiling with a little giggle.

“Sure you can,” he says smiling as he walks into his office.

He glances up at a painting on the wall, and smiles to himself.

Sitting at his desk, typing away, he stops abruptly and sighs.

A knock is heard on his door.

“Come in,” he calls.

“Mr. Whitmore, would you like your lunch delivered, or will you be stepping out today?”

“Hmm. I’m probably going to have to work through lunch.”

“So Panera bread…you’re usual?”

“Yes please. Thank you.”

Anne smiles, going to turn away.

“Um Anne, do you happen to know who catered last night’s event?”

“Um…I believe it was City Sky Caterers.”

“Ok, thank you.”

Anne smiles and closes the door as she exits.

Liam types City Sky Caterers into his search bar.

He clicks through the catering website and comes up empty.

He sees – Like Us on Facebook and gets a light bulb idea.

Clicking on their Facebook page, he clicks through their pictures.

And instantly her smile stands out as he sees her posing in a picture with her co-workers.

Her name tagged as Aria Lenz. He clicks on it, opening to her private page.

aria lenz facebook

“Well- hello Ms. Lenz,” he says his lips curling into a smile, he loosens his tie, leaning back in his seat, admiring her.

He reaches over to his work phone, and presses a button.

“Mr. Whitmore?” He hears Anne’s voice come through the intercom.

“I’ve changed my mind, I think I will step out for lunch.”

“Ok sir, no problem.”

 

 

YAYYYY, new short story series…”Move” coming your way!

I hope you enjoy and read along!

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

-<3-

Welcome Home-Author’s Commentary

DISCLAIMER: Welcome Home is not a real motion picture nor does it have a soundtrack coming out. This is just me living in my fictional happy writer’s world. Where I pretend and where I run the show. Haha. Back in college whenever I would hand in a script or be working with already written material/feature film scenes, my professor would ask me who I would have play the characters, where would it take place, what location? And so I think that kind of stuck with me, because as I write each of my short story series here on this blog, I want to include those aspects and give you a visual experience. Mysterious Attraction was my first shot at it, A Broken Heart For Christmas, and Love Conflicted followed, and most recently On The Run.

As a kid I used to say “Make Pretend” all the time. Make Pretend you’re a princess who slays dragons. Make pretend you’re a ballerina who bull rides. Make pretend you’re writing a screenplay and you get to pick the actors, and release a soundtrack and commentary that people have been anxiously awaiting. The options could be endless. So let’s “Make Pretend.” Enjoy!

I just re-read Welcome Home, in preparation for this post, and I have to admit, I was really happy with this short story series. It felt more structured and concise.

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Background:

Welcome Home premiered on Thursday, December 15th, 2016. It was a small string of random thoughts and characters I just had to get out! The story continued pretty consistently until Thursday, March 16th. Overall the story was featured on Thursdays here on michelle leigh writes for a span of about 3 months.

OFFICAL FULL CAST PROMOTIONAL PHOTO RELEASED 😉

Cast poster

 

Dream Casting:

Melanie Evans portrayed by Shantel VanSanten

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I fell in love with Shantel when she played Quinn James on One Tree Hill. I think she had this purity about her acting and she is such a natural beauty. She also does sassy comedy really well too. I really thought she would bring someone like my character Melanie to life.

Oliver King portrayed by Jason Thompson

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I don’t know where to start with this guy. I adore him. I fell in love with Jason when he played Dr. Patrick Drake alongside love interest Dr. Robin Scorpio (Turned Drake) on General Hospital. He is such a brilliant actor, I am still flabbergasted that he hasn’t won an Emmy yet. He puts his heart out there and he is so believable. Put him in a scene with anyone and you can see how he elevates the material in his acting choices. How he interacts with them, and uses his body language to convey a believable relationship. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve rewatched him and Kimberly McCullough’s (Robin) many scenes together from General Hospital as they displayed quite the love story. So freaking amazing!

Supporting Roles:

Cassie portrayed by Hilary Duff

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Hilary Duff, what can I say? Loved her since Lizzie McGuire. And that show basically shaped my childhood. She was one of my idols growing up. And she holds such a special place in my heart. She has grown into such an incredible feisty actress and you can tell that she’s done so in a really classy way. The way she handles the more mature topics of life on her new hit show Younger with comedy and sass, is just so damn good. So I knew that she could be the perfect face for Cassie- the sassy, bold, tell it like it is best friend. You know me and how my best friend roles are always sassy!

Dave portrayed by Derek Hough

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I had Duff in my head and I knew Cassie would soon need a love interest too and in pairing her with someone, Hough seemed like such perfect fit visually. I love Derek Hough, I have swooned over him on Dancing with the Stars so many times. I’m sad he’s not on this season. He is such a huge talent and inspiration. I would love to see him featured in more films throughout his career! Hey Derek- I’ll have my people call your people! 😉

Molly King portrayed by Brooklyn Rae Silzer

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This kind of happened by accident. If you know Jason Thompson as Patrick Drake, then you know that he and Robin have a daughter named Emma. Brooklyn plays the role of Emma. And when it came to editing pictures of a child with Thompson and Van Santen, I just thought it seemed completely obvious to have Brooklyn be viewed as Melanie and Oliver’s daughter Molly. She is such big talent! She is sassy and sweet and is sure to grow up to be a huge name! Just like McCullough did! She started her career as a kid on General Hospital.

Aspects I Really Liked:

Reading it back, I was really happy with the way there was some foreshadowing and reveals throughout the story’s unfolding.

For example…

Throughout the whole first few chapters you don’t know what happened between Melanie and Oliver. We never know why they broke up. We know they were engaged, we know they had a past and that they haven’t really seen or spoken to each other in a few years. I like how it keeps you guessing, until he says it- they loss their baby.

I also like how you don’t really know if she’s pregnant again, you expect it, but then she looks at the test and cries at the end of the chapter which can make it go either way. And then at the beginning of the following chapter we start with a funeral type scene and it makes you think she lost another child. Soon you find out it was a flashback to Cody’s memorial. And then we time jump into a new life with Melanie and Oliver and their new baby girl.

I think the foreshadowing worked nicely and kept the suspense going. I’ve said it many times, I write these short story series as if they were a movie, and so these types of foreshadowing, flashbacks, jump cuts would work well I think.

I also thought that I was able to portray bits of their lives, pasts, careers, etc, throughout the story. So often I feel like you have to give it all in the beginning, but I realized that doesn’t work either. You have to disperse the information little by little, when needed. So what I tried to do this series is implement backstory when it made most sense. For example, through conversations we find out that Melanie is a writer and Oliver is a photographer. Melanie’s writing has suffered since her tragedy so we don’t see her writing. Oliver is said to be snapping pictures now and then. I don’t think these things have to be super prominent as long as there are mentions, we get the gist. The story is bigger than this.

We also find out how they met in college through Oliver’s best man and Melanie’s maid of honor speeches. I really love that story Oliver tells, it serves a lot of purpose to the story, and to the relationships within it- Cassie/Dave and Oliver/Melanie. I love love love it! You can just see the scene of how they all met play out in your head.

I really love how we finally get the story of how Melanie and Oliver broke up, as she reads the first passage of her book “Operation Forever,” at her first book signing. We never really knew how she left, and this was my way of answering that question without actually having to force a flashback. Her book title, is a bit of an Easter egg and ode to their little discussion when they got engaged.

“I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel real, ya know. To be this in love.” She says smiling brightly up at him through watery eyes.

“Yea I know the feeling. I guess we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that we’re stuck with each other, forever. It’s all a part of my evil plan.”

“Ah, I see. Operation forever.”

“Something like that. But I’m sure we could think of a better name than that.”

“What- why I like it.”

“Well if you like it, then I like it.”

Flashbacks however are utilized when needed, and they are brought on by familiar moments-déjà vu, or scenery from her home town. The first Chapter we see her have a flashback to she and Oliver in their own apartment, engaged, during happier times. And it is brought on by watching her reflection as she puts on some lip-gloss- a menial task she’s done many times in front of him as he would watch and admire.

Then throughout her home coming she is catapulted into many memories, memories she’s tried to stay away from. She sees their names carved in her front porch, and remembers the first time he told her he loved her and that he wants to be with her forever. At home in her living room, in front of the fireplace, she has a flashback of them making love, walking through town she sits in the gazebo and remembers when he asked her to marry him. All of these things make her feel and in turn make us feel because we see how much these two people love each other. And how painful it is for them to not be together. But I also really love that these flashbacks were placed well, within reason, and were brought on by her familiar surroundings.

Through more conversations we see how close they really wore, how they had the same friends, how her family took him in and welcomed him on school breaks, how he knew her bedroom pretty well and they “broke some house rules” every now and then as teens. 😉 Oliver even makes mention to the fact that he will “crawl into her window” at night if he has too, which makes us realize this was something he may or may not have done as a young teen in love. Oliver bakes her, her favorite sugar cookies and knows her obsession with New Kids On The Block. He knows her mom’s cooking and how they go all out for holidays. There is so much history there between these two and you don’t have to see their whole relationship to know that.

“What?”  “Nothing.”

This is something I revisit this dialogue exchange a lot throughout the story, and their relationship. A lot of the times it’s Melanie who catches Oliver watching her and says What? And in turn he says Nothing. It’s a bit of a flirtation and a cute game for them. And it resurfaces a few times between them. Even at the end, when it’s reversed and Oliver realizes how annoying it can actually be. Lol.

Timeline:

Speaking of Holidays, I think I was inspired by them when I wrote this. I had written a good portion of the first chapter or so, before I posted and so I was in a family holiday mood. So I took that inspiration and the holidays kind of built my timeline. We Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. There are certainly time jumps in here too, but I think that’s only natural, for this kind of coming home, and coming into your own skin story. We need to jump around so we can see the characters grow and learn to better themselves.

Slideshow Feature:

I also think utilizing the slideshow feature in the last chapter was my way of showing their lives together and the things you missed. (Yes, I know some of my edits are super crappy and bad, but I tried, haha.) This tactic helped me fill in some blanks. In my head I just saw the scene playing as if it were in a movie- a time jump and then a happy family at home, as you see pictures of their lives together dress their walls. Their child growing throughout the years along with their love. Notice most of the pictures look professional, because you know Oliver King was like Um excuse I will be taking all my daughter’s professional pictures, thank you. Haha. Did you spot those Paris pics? – Another little Easter egg to show he actually took her like he wanted to.

“God I’ve missed this town.” Oliver says smiling looking around.

“Missed it? I thought that you were living here?”

“I was. For a long time. I still have a place here. But work kinda takes me all around nowadays. I’m kind of a nomad.”

“I see. Traveling must be nice though.”

“It is. It’s really amazing Mel. I’ve been to Ireland, Italy, and France, I stayed at this little bed and breakfast in Paris, the couple that ran it were two of the sweetest people, and every morning they would make me blueberry waffles, sausage and bacon. And my room, it overlooked this little lake, it was breathtaking. You would have loved it.”

“I’m sure I would have,” she says smiling up at him.

“Maybe one of these days, you’ll let me take you there.”

“Maybe.” She says looking away, fidgeting with the cup in her hands.

“Always forgetting your gloves.” He says noticing and smirking at her.

Within the slideshow we also see an image of Baby Boy Cody’s sonogram which means he is still part of them and their family which was important for me to show, because that loss was such a big part of their lives, their love and this story. And I love that they each have Cody tattoos, they got separately, to honor their son. It shows they think alike.

Love Scenes:

I back tracked and looked at what I wrote for my last short story series- On The Run, and when it came to writing love scenes, this is what I wrote… [One of these days, I won’t blush while writing a love scene. I won’t hide in a corner shielding my computer screen from curious eyes. I won’t feel ashamed of what I’m writing. I find that when I write a love scene, I continuously edit myself. What if a family member of mine reads this? Oh my god what will they think? The people in my life have a certain perspective of me. I’m a pretty reserved personality, and so writing these scenes would be something they wouldn’t even think I do, or can do. So there’s a barrier there for sure and I feel like I need to work on being more free and not so constrained and worried about what people will think. If anything hopefully they can just realize that what I’m trying to do by writing these scenes, is to craft a beautiful love story.] In many ways this still applies, I need to work on this and I definitely still edited myself a lot this series. I had written much more juicer material, but I wanted it to read with a certain tenderness and I felt that would get lost in the lust factor, so I edited it. However, I do still think I am getting better at writing love scenes, because even reading the love scene back today, I was surprised I left certain things in. With that being said though, I still think it reads the way I wanted it to be read, a couple so in love they can’t contain it. I don’t think it reached a trashy point.

Themes:

Coming Home/Finding Home, Family, Friendship, Hope, Loyalty, Heart, Unconditional Love, Forever, Fear, Creativity, Soulmates, Heart vs. Head, Overcoming Obstacles, Tragedy.

As you read this series any of these themes can pop into your mind, Melanie is so torn. She has the whole world at her feet, family and friends waiting to support her, her dream career in her grasp, a man so in love with her he’d wait forever for her, but yet the heartache of losing her child years ago force her into a stubborn isolation. She had a lot of soul searching to do, that unfortunately she needed to do on her own.

Oliver is her ray of light, her hope, he loves her unconditionally and he is not willing to let her sit in that dark black hole of isolation for too long. However, you can see that he knows how he has to play this. He can’t just pounce. She’s already used to running, and she will continue if anyone makes any sudden movements. So you see him pull back here and there. He knows when she needs to walk away. And it baffles Melanie that he could be that understanding. He’s pretty perfect. But not without his faults, he is human. There are moments where you see him falter. We see him not be so understanding, but in the same breath he takes on the blame, so that she doesn’t have to, and even then Melanie pulls away because she can’t comprehend his unwavering love.

It isn’t until he backs off completely that she realizes she needs him. When she finds out she is pregnant with another one of their children. And when she actually chooses to include him in what is going on. Once she finally admits she needs him not only to him, but to herself, the whole story kind of becomes well rounded. Things are full circle and all the stress is forgotten as they embark on their journey together. Because he was never going to give up on her, he just needed her to come to him.

the gang

Friendship is always a factor in my stories, there are always the supporting roles- the best friends, because I think our main characters need somewhere to go and vent. I think I would have liked to explore some more conversations between Oliver and Dave. Now that I think about it I’m sure Oliver would vent at times. How could he not! Melanie drove him crazy! And Dave was part of the whole reason why Melanie and Oliver met in the first place, he knew their story. I think friendship is always such a strong consistent theme in my stories, because it’s a strong theme in my life. I have a core group of friends who I go to with everything. I have a best friend, I’ve known since kindergarten, hence the childhood best friend inspiration. #CassieAndMelanie.

Character Building:

I feel like it’s easy to relate to both Oliver and Melanie. There’s a push and pull between them. They have so much love and attraction between them. And unlike my last short story series On The Run, these two didn’t just meet, they’ve known each other for many years. They have a really heavy past and they know things about each other that form a very sexy, real, loyal bond.

It’s easy to hate on Melanie, I think. She left. She ran. And continues to do so for the better part of the series. She wasn’t there for the man she loved. When he obviously continuously put her first. It’s definitely a frustrating concept. She even lets Oliver think they are getting back together after what happened between them on Christmas. But there is this really complex nature about her that I hope is displayed to the audience. I wanted her to be conflicted. She didn’t run because of Oliver, she ran because of herself. Because she wasn’t herself. Because she was worried she wouldn’t be able to give him what he deserved; a family. She knows what she’s doing, she knows she’s hurting him- she admits it, but she can’t help it, because of the pain that weighs on her heart.

So in that sense, I feel like you can put yourself in her shoes, and understand why she has been acting the way she has. It’s not that she doesn’t love him. She does, but she’s caught between that and her pain. She pushes him away because she can’t handle reliving it.

Oliver has a really beautiful evolution I think. I really love his character. And I think if this were ever made into a real short film, Jason Thompson would kill this role! There’s this intense vulnerability in Oliver. He loves with everything in him. He’s made up his mind about Melanie a long time ago, it’s just he’s waiting to make his moves.

“You’re my forever, plain and simple.”

He lets her run, he lets her have her time. But he is always there if she needs him… when she needs him. And after years he still held onto that love and that loyalty. As I said he seems pretty perfect, but he’s not without his faults. And eventually he reaches a point where he tells Melanie that he can’t do it anymore, but even though she believes it, he knows it was just another tactic on his part. A heat of the moment type of thing.

“You’ve been kind of distant today, I guess I understand, but I have to admit, I am surprised.”

“I’ve learned to let you come to me. I figured if I kept my distance long enough you might miss me,” he says smiling.

Oliver has a lighter heart, he tries to make Melanie smile, and remember the good. He doesn’t dwell on the negative. With that being said, it’s not that Melanie’s miscarriage didn’t affect him. It did, but he chose to take his pain into his own hands and get the help he needed, and in doing so he was able to understand things from Melanie’s perspective. He even states that he knows it’s more difficult for a woman, she physically experiences the loss. Oliver remains strong and lets her lean on him, and that’s why we never see exactly how he handled it, but we know what he had to do to handle it. The story isn’t about his pain, it’s about theirs and how he will love her through hers no matter how much she pushes him away or how long he has to wait.

The main themes of love, hope, loyalty, friendship stem from everything these two people in love have between them. It’s everything they are. It’s a forever love story that can withstand all the pain and distance life throws their way. It’s a story about coming home, finding home, not just in a place, but in someone else’s heart.

Description/Imagery:

In my last Author’s Commentary (which was for On The Run), I wrote BE MORE DESCRIPTIVE! And reading Welcome Home back, I feel like I listened. The story is set mostly during the holiday season in a small town in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You get a feel for the holidays by the scenery description of her childhood home and her walks through town.

What Needs Work:

I can always work on description, even though I’m improving. Timeline, is always tricky for me. I feel like you can get lost in time jumps and life events, and school years, and misjudge years. But hopefully I did ok, in this one. I will keep better track of this next time! As well as continue to learn about writing effective love scenes that fit the love between two charcters.

Final Comments:

I’m really proud of this short story. I think it was more thought out, and paced nicely. It ran here on michelle leigh writes for 3 months, and my posting schedule was pretty consistent. I feel like it was the most consistent of any of the short stories I’ve written. Let’s dive in and show you what I mean…

Chapter 1- posted on Thursday, Dec. 15th, 2016

Chapter 2- posted on Thursday, Jan. 5th, 2017

Chapter 3- posted on Thursday, Jan. 12th, 2017

Chapter 4- posted on Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2017

Chapter 5- posted on Thursday, Jan. 26th, 2017

Chapter 6- posted on Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 7- posted on Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2017

Chapter 8- posted on Thursday, Mar. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 9- posted on Thursday, Mar. 16th, 2017

I kept to posting on Thursday, this way to allow other categories time on my blog and not saturate it with one thing. I posted consistently one chapter a week for the better part of the series, give or take a few which even then the longest break was no more than 3 weeks.

In other words, I think I’m slowly conquering the dreaded hiatus drama! Hallelujah!

So there you have it, my in depth Author’s Commentary.

Welcome Home Says Goodbye.

JK…Stay Tuned for a separate Soundtrack post…COMING SOON!

Thank you for reading!

Catch up on Welcome Home from the beginning HERE

And get a sneak peek at my next short story series HERE

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

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethany Joy Lenz Concert (+ VLOG!)

So I thought I’d give this concert vlog thing another whirl. Let’s see how we do.

Last Thursday, on July 28th my best friend and I went to see Bethany Joy Lenz in concert. To say we have waited for this for along time would be an understatement.

We have been fans of Joy since her One Tree Hill days. As many of you may know Joy is best known for her role as Haley James Scott on the hit teen drama. And as our obsession with the show grew so did our admiration for Joy and her undeniable talent.

She is without a doubt one of my greatest and longest running inspirations. She hasn’t ever really been on tour in New York- well since the One Tree Hill Tour that my best friend and I tried to get tickets for but failed, (I wasn’t the ticket savvy queen I am now.) I have never been able to see Joy live. So back in April when she posted a concert poster, I freaked out when I saw a New York date and swooped up two tickets for me and my best friend to give her as part of her birthday gift!

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Outfit of the Day + Hair & Makeup

The concert was held at Highline Ballroom in New York City. And it was probably the coolest concert venue I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. It is so cozy, the lights are dim, there is a ground floor and a mezzanine level. The ground floor had some tables and booths but were reserved seating and the rest was standing room only.

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Me and my friend are grandmas with big ole purses so we wanted to catch a good seat, so we rushed up to the mezzanine level and grabbed ourselves a nice little booth perfect for the two of us overlooking the stage. At the candlelit table you were asked to order a minimum of $10, however the ballroom comes fully stocked with a dinner and drinks menu.

We ordered two glasses of rose (oh so fancy), some mushroom sliders, butter lettuce salad with grilled chicken and fries. Everything was delicious. Not to mention that our floor had it’s own bathrooms too! So everything we needed was at our finger tips! We even ran into some family friends which we were able to share our fangirl experience with. The whole night was amazing, the show, the venue. It was such a great time and the ambiance gave off great vibes. Intimate shows are so much more soul satisfying. Artists talk more, they tell you stories. It’s beautiful. And you don’t have to deal with a crazy, loud, crowded concert hall.

We watched the whole show in sheer awe of what was actually happening. Sometimes I literally would just scream or make this face at my best friend-

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-because I just didn’t know what else to do, I was that excited. When you experience something you’ve always wanted to, you kind of lose yourself. I certainly felt like I was living an out of body experience at times throughout that night.

Joy was amazing; she sang an array if folk/country/soulful songs. Some I knew, some I hadn’t heard, but either way it was moving and she is pure talent.

setlist

Joy released that night’s set list via a post on instagram. *”Dance with me” is one of my favorites!

I had a mission that day-to vlog my experience. I love to take pictures and video, I love to document my life, so that I can look back on things and remember. I’m extremely sentimental. However, as I literally sat there trying to record every song, I felt like I was watching the concert through a screen. This concert that I had waited so long to see, this person who I have in some sense idolized for over a decade. How could I let myself not be in this moment.

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So as those thoughts crept into my mind, Joy said the thing I needed to hear. In the video you will see how she explains how technology has gotten to all of us, including herself. So at her shows she asks for her audience to put their phones and cameras down and to just “Be Here With Us.” I did my best to do so, I’m only human and I certainly filmed and took my pictures, but there was a chuck of time between when she asked to when the “phone song” came on that I had definite moments where I was able to disconnect from the digital and relish in the present moment, and take in the whole world of wonder that was around me. Something that is so difficult for this generation to do.

So let’s get into the fact that WE MET BETHANY JOY LENZ. I have to be honest, it wasn’t planned. When I had bought the tickets there was the option for a meet and greet, but it was quite expensive. I internally hoped that there would be an alternate way to swing a meeting because the venue was on the smaller, more intimate side. I must have had some good vibes swinging that night, because the minute I went down to check on the merchandise and memorabilia being sold, I was told that something was already sold out. I looked at the girl behind the table and asked “Oh no what did you already sell out of?” She said they just got word they could sell more polaroids. I asked her what she meant, when she told me that for $35 you could meet Joy after the show and take a polaroid picture with her and she would sign it. I was dumbfounded for a hot second. Is this real life? Is this opportunity literally within my grasp?

“Do you take credit cards?” I asked quickly.

“Yes!” she replied excitedly.

“Oh my god, Ok, I’ll take two,” I say whipping my credit card out and handing it over.

“My best friend is upstairs and she’s going to freak out when I tell her.”

So I rush up stairs, internally freaking out and sit across from my best friend.

“Oh my god you’re gonna die when I tell you what just happened?”

“Oh my god, did you meet her?”

“No, but we’re going to.”

As I told her the whole rundown, she streaked and hugged me.

This was going to happen.

After the show, we waited online to meet Joy, we strategically placed ourselves toward the end of the line, so that there wouldn’t be people rushing us off quickly. The audience was quite the mix, but there were teens there. A lot of teens. The way I describe it – “the Netflix generation.” You know the girls who fangirl over One Tree Hill, but didn’t actually live through it while it was on the air. Waiting week to week for new episodes, or waiting for winter hiatus and summer breaks to pass while we waited to find out if Haley and Nathan would get back together. It was safe to say that we were the old ones in the crowd and you know what it was beautifully nostalgic. I chatted with the littles and told them to breathe and stay calm. We joked and it certainly made the time pass nicely.

When it came our time to meet Joy, I was strangely at ease. Considering I balled my eyes out when I met Sophia Bush years ago, I’d say my behavior while meeting Joy was a major improvement. I guess I just realized that she’s a human being made of skin and bones just like the rest of us. I guess I’m growing up.  

She gave us hugs and we took our pictures.

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I turned to her and told her that we had been waiting to see her in concert for years and when I finally saw she was going to be in New York, I knew we had to go. And that the show was so amazing.

She smiled saying “Thank you so much.”

After we posed for our pictures she signed our polaroids and we made our exit, but not before I turned to say bye and blew her a kiss. Haha. In hide sight, it was kind of weird and awkward, she didn’t exactly reciprocate. Haha. The thing is it’s kind of a reflect for me, to blow a  kiss to a friend when I’m saying goodbye. I do it all the time, and I clearly felt like she and I were besties so it just fit. 😉 And just like that a childhood dream came true.

Anyway you know what they say…”Never meet your idols, because it’ll never measure up to what you have in your heard.” That may be true. The meeting was quick, and Joy certainly seemed exhausted and kind of ready to fall asleep. But she still stuck it out and met all of us, posed for pictures and signed autographs, it was a pretty sweet deal. And she was still her sweet self. The rest is just me overanalyzing. Haha. Until next time, Joy. Until next time.

*All photo/video content (excluding the set list pic, concert poster, and Zac Efron gif) belong to me and my best friend. *

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Before That Summer- Part 3

Before that summer

Read Part 2 HERE

Bailey looks in her mirror for the hundredth time, examining her outfit, fixing and primping herself.

Keegan stands by the door watching her, with a grin.

“You look amazing. Can we go already?”

Bailey looks up startled.

“Ugh, yes. I’ve basically tried on everything in my closet. Let me just grab my purse.”

Bailey and Keegan walk downstairs where her mom and dad are loading peach cobblers into a big box.

Bailey inhales deeply.

“It’s officially carnival season. I cannot wait to have a piece of your cobbler, mom!”

Her mom smiles and she hands her dad the box, as he takes it to the wagon outside.

“You girls can go on ahead, I know you don’t want your parents messing up your night.”

Keegan and Bailey exchange looks and laughs.

“Mom, it’s ok, we can wait. I haven’t been home in months, it’ll be nice for all of us to walk over together.”

“Hunny it’s ok really, dad and I have to set the booth up anyway.”

“You don’t want any help with that?” Keegan asks.

“We’ve got it covered, go!”

“Ok!” Keegan says grabbing Bailey’s hand and rushing toward the door.

“Wha- Keeg!” Bailey says looking back at her mom.

“Shhh. The quicker we get out, the longer you’ll have to spend with Cow boy Romeo.”

“Ah. I like the way you think.”

“It’s all up here. Master plans.” She says pointing to her head.

They walk along the dusty road, as the town fills with folks on their way to the carnival.

“Bye girls.”

“See ya out there dad.” Keegan says linking her arm with Bailey.

“Do you really think I look ok, should I go change,” Bailey says tugging once again at her daisy dukes.

“Oh please, you’re a walking dukes or hazard fantasy. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t pass out.”

“But do I look slutty?”

Keegan gives Bailey a look.

“Are you kidding me, we all wear denim shorts in the summer, besides pretty sure those are mine. So if you’re a slut so am I,” she laughs.

“Keeg!”

“I’m kidding! You look great. Dad wouldn’t have let us out of the house if we looked…inappropriate.”

“Yea you’re probably right.”

“I am right,” she says smiling as they reach the town square.

Bailey looks around trying to spot Jimmy.

The smell of BBQ and Everdale’s Famous Sweet Cherry Pie waft through the air.

Red and Pink tents fill the scene. Hearts and roses dawn each booth.

Old Donny Fonny in a cupid costume. What a sight.

And carnival rides and games fill each free space.  

Young girls in flowy skirts or sundresses paired with cowgirl boots lace arms with boys in cowboy hats and blue jeans.

“So, any sightings yet?”

“No. I guess we should have been a bit more specific.”

“Well don’t worry, you’ll find him. If you need me, I will be flirting with Hester- the Ferris Wheel guy.”

“Ohhhh?” Bailey says questioningly.

“Yea. It’s a thing. We’re in the earlier stages, but I think he’s secretly in love with me,” she says flipping her hair and walking off.

Bailey watches with a laugh.

“Damn country girl, Jessica Simpson ain’t got nothing on you.”

Bailey smiles to herself, turning around she’s greeted by his bright smile and sparkling eyes.

 “Do you approve?”

“Sure. But I gotta think that if I’m thinking some not so pure thoughts right about now, some other guys may be doing the same.”

“Well lucky for you, I hadn’t noticed. You being the only one I have eyes for and all.”

She wraps her arms around his neck as he pulls her in by the waist, they fall into a kiss.

Jimmy pulls away and looks down at her.

“Come with me,” he says pulling her by the hand and walking out of the town square.

“What-where are we going? The carnival is this way, baby.” She says pointing in the opposite direction.

Jimmy stops and kisses her again, this time quickly.

“Just, trust me.”

“Ok. Fine. By we better be back-”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get you back in time for the fireworks,” Jimmy says smiling at her.

“You know me so well,” she teases.

Jimmy smirks and leads her toward the end of the road.

After a few minutes of walking, they reach their destination.

Bailey stops and looks at him; “The high school. Why are we back here?”

“Just trust me,” Jimmy says leading her toward the side doors, he pushes them open, pulling her inside.

“Oh my gosh, what are you doing? You’re going to get us into trouble.”

“Have you ever not been safe with me?”

Bailey looks at him with a soft smile and pulls him to her initiating another kiss.

Jimmy’s hands wrap around her pulling her closer to him, as a smile plays on his lips.

Bailey’s arms wrap around his neck as Jimmy leans her up against a nearby wall of lockers.

Bailey pulls away.

“Is this why you brought me here?” she says flirtatiously.

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“No. But it’s definitely a bonus,” he smirks taking her hand and walking her down the hall.

They walk into the gym and Jimmy looks at her, he sits on one of the benches of the bleachers. The bench.

Bailey’s whole body stiffens as she uncomfortably looks away.

Jimmy looks down at the bleacher, and pats the seat next to him with his hand.

“Will you sit down, please?” he says his voice a pleading whisper.

“Why? So we could ruin a perfectly good reunion by hashing up the most painful moment of my life.”

“I thought it was what you needed. I thought in some way it was what you wanted. That maybe you were trying to spare my feelings, by not ending things yourself. I’m sorry. If I could take it back I would. I’ve come here so many times since you’ve been gone, since we’ve been apart, replaying that moment in my mind over and over again. Just wanting to change it, wanting to fix it. Now that your here I think we have a chance to rewrite history. A chance to give this bench a new memory, a happy memory. So please… sit down.”

“Jimmy I-.”

He reaches for her hand and she looks at him. Their spark is undeniable. She never could fight  with him for very long. Him and his damn blue eyes.

Bailey sighs and sits next to him. Her body still stiff and tense.

Jimmy turns to her and she follows suit. He grabs one of her hands in his, bringing it to his lips, he kisses it. As he places his other hand on her thigh, rubbing it, trying to calm her obvious nerves.

She inhales deeply and lets out a sigh, looking up at him.

“Jimmy, I love you. I love your mind and your heart. And I know that you were trying to do what you thought was best. But it wasn’t best. Not for you, and not for me. You didn’t let me choose, you just assumed that I wouldn’t make room for you- the man I am madly in love with-in my new life. So if we are looking to move forward, I need you to promise me that you will never do that to me again.”

Jimmy looks at her, and cupping her face he leans in and whispers, “I promise,” followed by a soft kiss planted on her lips.

“There’s a lot to figure out though, I mean I’m home for the summer, but in the fall, I will be  back in New York.”

“I know.”

“Do you think we could make long distance work?”

“You know it’s funny you should ask that. On the subject of me promising you things, I actually have something to add to your list.”

“Do you?” Bailey says looking at her with a puzzled face.

“Yes.”

“Ok. What is it?”

“I love you Bailey. I have loved you ever since that very first day we met in pre-k and you lent me your glue stick. It was kind of a sign, huh? That somehow you’d always stick with me.”

Bailey lets out a small giggle.

“And I know that I just may have lost some cool points by saying that, but it’s the truth. Your eyes and your face and your body have been burned in my brain. I have never not been in love with you. I have never let a day go by these past few months without thinking about you, or wanting to call you and hear your voice. And I know you have big dreams and we got a lot to figure out, but I just thought that you know people go their whole lives searching for what we got. Searching for someone to love. Well lucky me, I found my one and only when I was about 3. And I can’t be foolish with you again, I can’t let you go. So I just thought that maybe we could figure the future out together.”

He takes Bailey’s hand and stands up in front of her.

“Jimmy- what are on earth are you doing?”

He kneels down on one knee and reaches for the tiny box in his jean pocket.

“Bailey Ray, will you marry me?”

Bailey stares at him, frozen in time.

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“Bailey, baby, did you hear me?”

“What?” she says in a daze, her hands shaking.

“Well I- I just asked you to marry me, in case you missed it,” he laughs nervously.

“Jimmy, I don’t know what to say. I’m just so taken back.” She says grabbing her chest.

Fireworks boom outside, as Bailey’s eyes look in the direction of the gym windows.

Jimmy follows her gaze, he looks down at the ring and closes the box, standing up he puts the box back in his pocket.

“Come on, let’s get you outside for the firework show,” he says reaching for her hand.

She snaps back to reality and stands up, following his lead. The looks of sadness and confusion shown on each of their faces.

They emerge from the side entrance of the school and start their walk back up the road towards the town square.

The pair continue to hold hands, but the silence between them is deafening.

Bailey’s stomach is in knots, this isn’t how this moment was supposed to go for them.

She holts and Jimmy looks back at her.

As town goers pass by heading into the town square. Some grabbing their goodies from the carnival booths.

The fire work display is lighting up the sky with all colors of the rainbow and little kids and adults “ooh and ah.”

“Can we talk about what just happened?” she says.

“You said no,” he whispers sounding defeated.

“I didn’t say no. I didn’t even get to give you an answer.”

“Well…I gotta be honest Bailey it wasn’t looking good.”

“And here comes the part of the story where you just write your own ending. It must be exhausting always knowing what other people are thinking or going to do or say. I mean how can you ever hear yourself think?”

“You’re mad? At me. For asking you to MARRY me?”

“No. I’m annoyed that you just don’t give me a minute to just be. You know me, you know that I’m not a hasty person. I never have been. My not giving you an answer was just me being surprised and in awe of a beautiful man kneeling down on one knee holding that beautiful ring.”

“Really? You weren’t internally freaking out?”

“Ok maybe slightly. But any 18 year old girl, in my position would. It’s just that I’m still trying to find myself. Trying to figure out who I’m going to be and what I want to do with my life. College is a start sure, but it’s a long road. I have no doubt that I love you. And I know for sure that I want you in my life in a big way. Marrying you is definitely on my to do list, but we’re so young. Does it have to be right now? Can I say yes and wear your ring but can we hold off on the wedding planning? Is that ok? Is that something you’d be willing to do?”

Jimmy looks up at her. He sighs of relief.

“That’s more than ok. It’ll give me time to save up for our wedding. I’m sure that’ll take a while anyway,” he laughs.

Bailey looks up at him, her eyes sparkling.

“So…You’re saying yes?”

Bailey shrugs her shoulders and a sweet smile plays on her lips.

Jimmy smiles brightly as he reaches for the box in his pocket.

“Wait! Pause.” Bailey says throwing up her hands.

Jimmy looks on confused.

Bailey smirks and grabs his hand pulling him back toward the school.

As their walking turns into sprinting, Bailey pushes through the doors and makes her way into the gym. She sits on the bench and looks up and him.

“Ok. Play.”

Jimmy smiles down at her and laughs.

“Hey you wanted to rewrite history, so that’s what we are going to do.”

Jimmy smiles and knees down on one knee, taking her hand.

“Will you marry me?” he asks staring up into her eyes.

“Yes,” she says as he slides the ring on her finger, “Ah!” she gasps.

 Standing up, they meet in a kiss, as he lifts her in his arms and spins her around.

************************************************************************

-A Few Months Later, The End of Summer-

Bailey is in her room packing up her suitcase.

She pauses and looks at her ring, she smiles as she looks at the picture of she and Jimmy from their high school graduation sitting on her night stand. She picks it up and places it in her suitcase.

“Hey, you ready, he’s outside.” Keegan says standing in the doorway.

Bailey scans her room, she closes her suitcase and zippers it.

“Yup!”

***********************************************************************

Bailey’s dad grabs her suitcase and heads outside as her mom gives her a cooler packed with homemade goodies.

Bailey walks outside to find Jimmy leaning against his pickup, packed with all his stuff and her stuff.

“Hey you,” he says.

Bailey hands the cooler off to her dad, who places it in the trunk as she rushes into Jimmy’s arms, hugging him tightly.

“You about ready?” he asks.

“Yea. Are you?”

Jimmy nods with a big smile.

Capture 3

Bailey and Jimmy turn toward their families and town friends. They all hug and say their goodbyes and give their well wishes.

Keegan and Hester-the Ferris Wheel guy hold hands as Jimmy and Bailey pile into the pickup.

“Bye!” everyone shouts.

“Bye!” Jimmy and Bailey shout in unison as they wave, Jimmy starts the truck and they set off onto the road.

“Be careful, drive safe,” Bailey hears her mom say.

“Call us when you get there,” her dad says.

“Let me know when you decide to start wedding planning!” Keegan yells.

Jimmy and Bailey look over at each other and share a laugh.

“There’s a big world out there, there’s more than you think. We’ve lived here our whole lives and it’ll always be home, but there’s so much more beyond Everdale. And I can’t wait to show you,” Bailey says excitedly.

Jimmy looks over at her and puts his hand on her knee. At a red light, he leans over and kisses her.

“I love you,” he says.

“I love you,” she replies with a smile.

“So how stoked are you to be moving into our own apartment?” she says.

“Well I mean that depends?” he says his gaze forward and steady.

“On what?” she says her tone elevated and curious.

“On whether or not we get to sleep in the same bed.”

Bailey gasps.

“Jimmy, you dog!”

“What- I like to cuddle,” he says laughing.

“Yea sure,” she huffs with a laugh.

“Yes ma’am,” he nods.

“So if I let you sleep in my bed, cuddling- that’s all you wanna do?”

Jimmy looks over at her.

“No. That’s not all I wanna do.”

She smiles.

He pulls over to the side of the road, and leans over to her, she smiles as their lips meet.

Unbuckling her seat belt, Bailey climbs over to Jimmy as he smiles he reclines his chair slightly and she laughs as they continue to kiss.

In between kisses, Bailey says “Wait, don’t we have to be at the new apartment by tomorrow afternoon, we have a long drive.”

“We can be a little late, we can just say we suddenly hit traffic.”

“Bite your tongue,” she slaps him on the shoulder as she kisses him.

“That’s your job,” Jimmy smirks teasing another kiss.

“Hmmm, making out in your pickup while you spit out sexual innuendos- just like old times.”

“Mmm Hmm. I’m glad this old pickup is coming with us, it’ll be nice to bring a little bit of old to mix in with the new.”

“Agreed, now shut up and kiss me,” Bailey says as Jimmy looks at her they laugh and fall back in the seat, kissing. Bailey’s leather brown boot hits the car horn and the honk sounds.

They gasp in uncontrollable laughter as they look over at each other.

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“You ready?” he says nodding back to the open road.

“More than ever,” she says kissing his cheek and leaning back up in the passenger’s seat.

Jimmy straightens his driver’s seat and puts his seat belt on as Bailey follows.

“So where did we land on the whole bed issue?”

Bailey laughs and glares over at him.

Jimmy laughs and glances back over at her.

“In all seriousness though, you know how much I love you, right? he asks his eyes gleaming.

“I do, cause I love you just the same,” she smiles reaching over and squeezing his shoulder.

“Good. Let’s go meet our new home.” He says grabbing that her hand and kissing it. He peels out onto the road again.

“I am so in love with how that sounds.”

Jimmy and Bailey smile at each other as they drive along.

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-The End.-

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

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before That Summer-Part 2

Before that summer

Read Part 1 HERE

Bailey looks out her plane window as she sees the blue sky and white fluffy clouds, her mind is racing and full of possibilities.

Could Jimmy actually want to get back together?

Her life hasn’t been the same without him.

Even the miles in between them, hasn’t changed the fact that she loves him. Loves him more than she could ever fully put into words. More than bees love honey, more than horses love hay. She’s a country girl, she would know.

“We will be landing shortly in Oklahoma. Please remain in your seats and fasten your seat belts,” the pilot says, his voice echoing over the speaker.

Suddenly Bailey’s heart begins to race, she looks down at her twitching and sweaty palms.

***********************************************************************

Bailey steps off the plane, her brown cowgirl boots clicking against the white tiled floor. She makes her way toward baggage claim, as she approaches she sees the smiling faces of her mom, dad and older sister Keegan waiting with her bags.

Her face lights up as she rushes over.

“Welcome Home!” Keegan screams.

“Hi!” Bailey screams running into the open arms of her family as they fall into a group hug.

“I’ve missed you all so much! It’s so good to be home.”

“We’ve missed you too, you’re not allowed to go back, sorry,” Keegan says in mock seriousness.

Bailey lets out a sweet laugh. Keegan has always been more than a sister to her, but a best friend.

“By the way. Word around town is a certain someone is rather excited to see this little blonde bombshell back home in Everdale,” Keegan whispers, wrapping her arm around her sister’s shoulders and walking off with her toward the exit.

Bailey smiles to herself as her heart flutters at the thought of seeing Jimmy after all this time.

************************************************************************

The ride from the airport creates an anxiousness within Bailey, as they drive past the sign for Everdale, her stomach fills with butterflies.

What will she say? What will he say? Will it be awkward? Or just like old times?

“So shall we take the scenic route for old times’ sake?” her father asks looking up at her through the review mirror with a smile.

Suddenly Bailey is jolted from her racing thoughts of Jimmy and brought back to reality.

“Absolutely,” she says looking out the window as familiar storefronts and houses come into view.

She sees Jimmy’s old pickup truck alongside Frank’s Fix It a mechanics shop where he works. Bailey’s heart beat quickens.

“Hey dad, um… can we stop here for just a second?”

Her dad and mom exchange sweet knowing looks. With a slight nod from her mom, her dad pulls the car over to a stop.

“You’re not going to waste any time are you?” Keegan says smiling over at her younger sister, proudly.

“Not a minute,” she says hopping out of the car and walking toward the garage.

She saunters in noticing the muscular arm behind the hood of an old Chevy.

“Hey cowboy,” she says.

Jimmy straightens up behind the hood of the car, he’d know that voice anywhere.

Closing the hood quickly, his eyes meet hers.

She smiles seeing his face, and the rest of his body covered in dirt and grease, evidence of a hard day at work.

He rushes over to her and pulls her into a hug, lifting her up slightly.

She squeals and hugs him back tightly.

Setting her down, he cups her face and stares into her eyes.

“You’re home. You’re really home.”

“I told you, you’d be my first stop. I don’t break promises,” she smiles.

He gives her his knowing look, and as he’s about to lean in for a kiss, the owner Frank comes in from the back of the shop with a car part. He spots Bailey.

“Why little Ms. Bailey, I heard you were coming home, but now I finally believe it! How are you cupcake?”

“Hi Frank, I’m good. How are you? Business seems to be well.”

“Well you know them cowboys and their cars, always racing them and getting into trouble. Come over and give old Frank a hug.”

Bailey and Jimmy untangle from each other and Bailey makes her way over to Frank to be greeted with a bear hug.

“I’ll give you two a minute. He’s off at 5, just so you know.” Frank says raising his eyebrow, smiling, he walks off to the back again.

“Subtlety…there’s a shortage in this town,” Jimmy says looking down, feeling his nerves kick into overdrive.

“Always was.”

Jimmy and Bailey laugh.

 “Hi,” she says turning back toward him.

“Hi,” he says walking over to her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

He remembers he’s a mess and pulls back. Bailey looks on confused.

“Sorry. I’m a bit of a filthy mess,” he laughs.

“That’s ok. I think it’s kinda sexy.” She smiles looking up at him, as she reaches for his hand, her fingers lacing through his.

Jimmy sighs, his heart pounding.

“Oh girl, don’t say things like that to me,” he says looking down at their hands.

Bailey smiles and inching toward him she pulls him to her by his white t-shirt.

“Where were we?” she says.

Jimmy smiles at her, but pulls away.

“What is with you?” she laughs.

Bailey’s heart begins to sink, as the wheels in her anxious little mind turn and turn spinning into confusion.

“Are you seeing someone else?” Bailey says coming to a new realization.  

Capture 2

Jimmy looks at her sternly.

“Oh my god, you are. Your- seeing someone else. Its Casey Fields isn’t it? God, she’s always had a thing for you. It was only a matter of time I guess…as soon as I left I’m sure she just couldn’t wait to sink her claws into you.”

“Hey, stop it,” Jimmy says with a laugh as his hands grab her shoulders, cutting into her overthinking-rambling session.

Bailey looks up at him, with worried eyes.

“I am not seeing anyone else. I never could,” Jimmy says. “No one’s claws are getting anywhere near me, well …unless they’re yours of course,” he says his eyebrow raising up.

Bailey looks at him, a blush creeping onto her cheeks.

“Oh my god, then why are you letting me hit crazy overload? You know my wheels turn a mile a minute. You have to shut it down quickly.”

“Hey you jumped to conclusions first little Miss,” he smirks taking her hands in his.

“Maybe so. So why is it that a guy like you, doesn’t wanna kiss a girl like me?” she says her eyes smiling up at him.

“I’ve waited a long time to see you face to face. I just want it to be perfect. Not while I’m covered in car grease,” he says laughing.

“Ah ok. I mean, I get it. I probably still have plane hair and I- didn’t think this through. I just, we were driving through town and I saw your car and I just didn’t really have time to think, I just kinda went for it, well because I miss you. And I wanted to see you and-”

Jimmy watches her in rapid dialogue mode, as he laughs, he sighs, and rolls his eyes, grabbing her face, he kisses her.

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Catching her off guard Bailey falls into it, as her hands wrap over his.

Pulling away Jimmy smiles at the mystical look on Bailey’s face.

Her eyes flutter open.

“Wow. That was so much better than I remember it. I mean of course I remember you always being a good kisser. I just meant that ya know this was just-”

Jimmy laughs again and pulls her into another kiss.

Bailey melts into his arms, feeling like everything is finally right in her world.

“Anybody ever tell you, you talk too much,” he says with a smirk.

“That was always our problem.”

“It’s not a problem,” he smiles, kissing her quickly one more time.

“Ok!” she laughs, slightly out of breath. “I should probably go, my family is waiting for me. And you have to get back to work. But I’ll see you later? For the carnival?”

“I’ll be there with bells on.”

“I’ll be the one in these leather brown boots,” she says pointing to her feet.

“Oh I noticed. Throw on your daisy dukes, and you may just have to sweep me up off the floor.”

“I’ll bring a broom,” she smiles and winks at him as she turns on her heel, her skirt ruffling in the breeze.

Jimmy looks after her, his eyes transfixed, his heart pounding, his knees buckling.

She always had a way of blowing into his world and changing everything, in the best possible way.

To be continued…

Working on Part 3 as we speak (posts this week are intended to stick to the Monday/Thursday schedule)

AND

**BIG NEWS after that I am going to be giving my other short story series

On The Run

some much needed attention.

ontherunposter

Catch up on the series from the beginning HERE

I’M BACK! 😀 #TakeThatWritersBlock

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

-<3-