Previously on Move– Read Chapter 12 HERE
“So listen these events are usually incredibly boring…but we usually raise a lot of money for the children’s charity. So please, just…behave…and try not to make any spectacles of yourselves,” Yolanda says sternly to both Layla and Aria.
“Yoyo, relax, we’ll be the perfect dates, girl scouts honor,” Layla says as she holds up her fingers.
Yolanda makes a face, “It’s not you I’m worried about.”
Aria laughs, “What does that mean?” she asks her hands finding her hips as she gives her cousin some attitude.
“Don’t think, I don’t know why you REALLY came tonight.” Yolanda says opening the door to the event.
“I’m slightly lost here,” Layla says her eyes darting from her sister to her cousin as they walk into the lobby of the hotel hosting the event.
“Liam Whitmore…he’s the main sponsor.”
“Oh that’s right! Where have I been?” Layla says her brows furrow. “Oh this night just got good.” She adds, smiling excitedly.
“Hey, I can be professional.”
“I can.” Aria argues.
Yolanda and Aria exchange semi-angry glares.
“Ok seriously we promise, we’ll behave,” Layla says allowing her serious face to shine through in order to lessen her sister’s nerves, she ushers them into the ballroom. “Come, come,” she says with a giggle.
Yolanda, Layla and Aria waltz gracefully through the large gold doors to find the room decorated in crystals and glitter, tall white feathers in vases on each table, silk silver table clothes, and white silk chair covers.
“Wow, Yolanda, this place looks incredible,” Aria says, her long, fitted, strapless, black gown trailing behind her as her hips sway.
“Thank you very much,” Yolanda says smiling as she looks around, nodding with approval.
“Great job, Sis!” Layla says smiling as she pulls her into a hug.
“Ok well excuse me, I have to just go double check a few things, you guys can take a look around and admire my work some more, (she says smiling and starting to walk off) Don’t get into trouble while I’m gone,” she adds sternly as she points her finger at them with accusation.
“There’s practically no one even here yet, what trouble could we possibly get into?” Aria says shaking her head as she looks up seeing Liam step out of another room off to the back of the ballroom. His eyes find her instantly as they lock onto hers, a smirk forming on his lips.
Layla notices, “You were saying?” she says looking over at Aria with curious eyes.
“I’ll be right back,” Aria says floating off toward him, her eyes not moving off him.
Layla laughs and sits at a nearby table, to watch.
Suddenly a waiter comes over with a tray of glasses filled with champagne, “Ma’am” he says in an asking tone.
“Oh, yes. Why, thank you,” she says smiling and taking one, her eyes sparklingly at his smiling face. His dimples showing.
“Hello, Mr. Whitmore,” Aria says very professionally.
“Do I have to curtsy?” she says laughing.
“Ha ha, very funny, love,” he says with a chuckle.
“Sorry I couldn’t help it, you look so… official,” she says with small laugh, placing her hands on her hips as she shrugs her shoulders a little bit.
“Well you look…” (he pauses letting his eyes wander, his stare creating some heat.)
“Liam…”Aria says shifting nervously, “get there faster,” she says her cheeks beginning to blush.
“Breathtaking.” He says his eyes shooting up to meet hers.
Aria smiles, her heart pounding.
“Thank you, you look quite…dashing yourself,” she says laughing.
“Thank you,” he chuckles.
Aria stands there suddenly unknowing of her next move.
Liam smiles at her, leaning in he whispers, “So would it be too forward of me to hope that you’ll stay with me again tonight?”
Aria smiles and looks up at him, “I would love to, but-“
Aria laughs, “I don’t think that’s the best idea- for us, right now, considering what happened last night and this morning…or should I say what almost happened.”
“Fair enough, love,” he says smiling politely, but obviously saddened.
“I’m sorry,” Aria says her heart breaking.
“Don’t be. I understand. Completely.” He says smiling as he takes her hand, he lifts it to his lips, placing a kiss on it.
Aria’s smile brightens as her eyes glisten with admiration looking at the man before her.
In walks an older, silver haired woman, her wrinkles real, but perfected as odd as that may seem. Jewels dress her neck, ears, wrists and fingers, a royal blue satin gown to accompany them. Her face frozen in bitch mode, beady little eyes landing on Liam as he kisses Aria’s hand his eyes flickering a certain look she’s never quite witnessed before.
Her eyes narrow, as she barks at a nearby waiter to get her a martini-dry.
Liam whispers to Aria, “Sneak away with me for a bit, later?”
Aria smiles, “I’m supposed to behave tonight, I promised my cousin I wouldn’t start any trouble.”
“Well then, love you should’ve worn a different dress,” he says smirking.
Aria rolls her eyes with a laugh.
“After my speech, meet me on the second floor balcony? It’s usually vacant.”
Suddenly Liam stills, feeling her presence, he turns seeing her watching him.
“Liam, darling!” she yells waltzing toward them.
Liam’s face pales, Aria notices.
“Are you ok?” she asks taking one of his hands.
“Um Aria love, I will catch up with you a little later, ok?”
“Oh. Oh ok, yea,” she says confused as Liam darts off to meet the silver haired dragon. As her eyes watch him she makes her way back toward the table where Layla sits chatting up the cute waiter.
“Mum. Hello, how are you?” he says kissing her on the cheek and turning, walking her away from Aria.
“Who was that woman you were just fawning all over in public none the less!” she says her voice shrill.
“I was not fawning mother, she’s a good friend.” He says trying to stop her from interfering in his love life.
“Didn’t seem friendly to me.”
“She’s quite curvy, that one, and what is she wearing, an off the rack?”
“You know, I ran into Laura Lynn, the other day.”
Liam’s face falls, his skin beginning to boil.
“Did you mum, or did you happen to seek her out, since you were just so fond of her, despite what she did to me.”
“I beg your pardon, how dare you speak to me that way.”
“My apologies. Please excuse me, I’m quite nervous about my speech.”
“That must be it. My Liam never disobeys his dear ole mum,” she says with a petty pursed lipped pout and evil sparkling eyes.
Liam gives her a small smile, as he places a kiss on her cheek, he walks swiftly off toward the first floor balcony for some air.
Aria follows to find him standing gazing out at the skyline.
Aria places her hand on his back, he tenses.
“Hey,” she says her voice soft. “Is everything okay?”
Liam relaxes as he turns, “Ah, it’s you love, thank god,” he says smiling at her.
“What, did you think I was the silver haired dragon lady?” she says with a laugh.
Liam smiles small, “That silver dragon lady would be my mum.”
“Oh, oh my god, I’m so sorry.” She says mortified.
Liam laughs grabbing her by the waist and pulling her in toward him.
“That’s quite alright love, my own sister has called her worse,” he says looking down at her as she covers her face burying it in his chest in shame.
“Still. I’m sorry, that was rude of me. Of course she’s your mother. I should have guessed and just kept my comments to myself.”
Liam cups her face, lifting her chin with his thumb, he leans in, kissing her.
Aria’s eyes flutter closed as she begins to fall into his embrace, her arms circling around his neck, as Liam’s tightens his grip on her waist.
“Wow. Did I ever tell you, you can really kiss,” she whispers looking up at him through heavy eyelids.
“That’s not all I can do, love,” he whispers closing the distance between them once again as he leans into her, cornering her against the balcony railing, as his hands tighten around her once again.
Gertrude Whitmore catching a glimpse of her son’s indiscretion, her stern expression revealing she highly disapproves, as she begins walking swiftly toward the opened white framed glass doors.
Yolanda notices and slides into her path quickly, saving the day on the fly, “Mrs. Whitmore! Hello, I’m Yolanda Lenz, part of the planning committee for the event, it’s so lovely to meet you, why don’t I help you find your seat and get you another martini?”
Startled but oddly charmed by Yolanda’s abrupt kindness, she’s swayed away.
Finally parting their lips, Aria and Liam stare into each other’s eyes waiting for each other to make the next move.
Liam’s glare, intense, smoldering. Aria feels her knees buckle under the pressure.
“Whoa,” he says grabbing her, “Steady love,” he says with a smirk.
“That’s not so easy for me when I’m around you.” She says nervously giggling and adverting her eyes from his intense glare.
Liam sighs, kissing her again, not wanting to stop their private encounter.
Aria gently pushes him away, “We should really get back to the party…I’m sure people are looking for you,” she says glancing over his shoulder and noticing the room beginning to fill.
“The only one I want is right here.” He whispers leaning in once again.
“Liam. I promised my cousin, I wouldn’t cause any problems for her. And something tells me she wouldn’t love it if I kept the sponsor from fulfilling his rightful duties.” Aria says placing her hand on his chest, stopping him from another kiss.
“Understood,” he says releasing her from his grip and backing away. “Enjoy your night, love.”
“You too.” She says smiling.
Liam smiles at her and turns to walk back into the party now filled with many fancy dressed, wealthy guests.
“Oh! And good luck with your speech, if you get nervous you know what they say, just picture the audience in their underwear.” She says laughing.
Liam smirks, turning, “Trust me, thanks to you and that dress, I’m already there.”
Aria blushes, looking away.
“2nd floor balcony, in less than 1 hour.” He says looking at her, expectantly.
Aria nods, “2nd floor balcony.”
Liam winks as he walks back into the party, immediately being greeted by handshakes from business men. Flashes snapping and popping as photographers hustle around for the perfect shot. Suddenly Aria is very aware of Liam’s social status.
Yolanda rushes over to her, “Are you kidding me? I asked you ONE thing!”
“I know I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, we were just talking, and then he kissed me, and kept saying all these sexy things. God, he’s sexy. It wasn’t my fault. Blame him.”
“HE is not MY cousin. You are.”
“I’m sorry. But it wasn’t like anyone saw us.” Aria says pouting.
“See that’s where you’re wrong, his mother definitely saw her son groping you out here.
She was on her way to reprimand you when I intervened and managed to distract her.”
“My hero.” Aria says smiling.
“Don’t be cute, I’m mad at you, seriously Aria.”
“I’m sorry, I will be better, I promise.”
“I promise. I promise, when we meet up later, Liam and I will be more discreet about where we make out.” Aria says smiling.
“I hate you, you are so annoying,” Yolanda says smiling, “but I like seeing you so happy.”
“Thank you,” Aria says hugging her.
Yolanda rolls her eyes, “Come on, let’s get back in there before Layla drinks her weight in champagne just so she can keep talking to the cute waiter with the dimples.”
“Oh gosh, you can’t take us anywhere,” Aria says laughing, as she and Yolanda enter back into the ballroom, arms linked.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for the images used in my edits or otherwise.*