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 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-

2016 Memory Jar Review

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!!!!

I cannot believe it is already 2017.

 

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My camera year is wrong…should say 2016, ignore that mishap. :/

 

As I sat down on New Year’s Eve to sift through my memory jar- a bandwagon that I finally hopped on two years ago- I was amazed at how little I felt like I did, because of how quickly I felt the year had flown by. It was a blur for me. But as I dove into these colored pieces of paper, the many memories came flooding back….and a lot actually happened. It’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in the holiday bit at the end of the year, that we forget all the memories we made throughout the year.

So here are some of my most favorite memories- (in no particular order!)

 

*My 2016 Highlights*

 

Took my god daughter to see Trolls- “Sophie’s big girl movie date”- Trolls, went to a diner, and saw the Christmas Lights with my family.

 

Had a little Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere Party but… RIP Glenn still heartbroken: / haven’t watched an episode since then, but my party looked awesome. Read my post HERE!

twd-viewing-party

Celebrated my grandmother’s 83rd birthday with a whole bunch of family.

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I made a few job changes and had to bounce around a bit, which was a bit difficult but finally found a place where I am happy for now, it was for the better- I’m building a work family and have made some great friends. Read my post on “adulting” HERE!

Finished two short story series-On The Run & Love Conflicted (-premiered in 2015 but carried over into 2016)

Official full cast photo movie poster

Started a brand new series- Welcome Home (-first chapter premiered in 2016, rest will be continued in 2017)

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My best friend Roe got engaged!!!!

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Went on a massive family trip to Great Wolf Lodge and had a blast! (vlog will eventually get edited!)-Read my post HERE!

great-wolf-lodge

Why does my camera have the wrong year? How do I fix that?

Sophia Bush retweeted my tweet and my phone blew up….

sophia-bush-retweets

My brother got married and he and his wife bought a house.

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I entered one of my scripts into a writing contest! (although nothing came of it, it was a huge leap that I took, and I was really proud of myself for facing that fear.)

I got free movie passes for covering a story in my local theater, my best friend Jenny and I saw Finding Dory in 3D…because why not?

I’ve realized that I can overcome my anxiety on my own, but the help that I have received has been a gift I will continue to utilize.

My best friend and I finally saw Bethany Joy Lenz in concert and WE MET HER! #LifeGoal –Read my post HERE!

bethany-joy-lenz

Fuller House seasons 1& 2 are killin’ the game #NetflixIsDangerous

fuller-house

I went for bridesmaid’s dresses for my friend Jenny’s wedding-I was asked to be her maid of honor last year.

bridesmaids-dresses

I went on The Polar Express with my god daughter and other family members. (vlog will eventually get edited!)

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I worked for a summer camp, and my kids made some really great story books for my creative writing class.

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I hosted a Gilmore girls: A Year in the Life- Netflix revival….viewing party- Read my post HERE!

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I got a vlog up on my YouTube channel, and have been vlogging more, but editing has been a slow process. I WILL GET THERE!

I finally got to pretend to be a YouTube vlogger and did a Mini “Vlogmas” from Dec. 23-Dec. 31 into 2017 (Stay Tuned!)

My brother and I started to shoot the first installment of our zombie short, but it got halted because…. #WeddingCraziness #BridalShowerCraziness

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michelleleighwrites turned 3!!!!!!! Read my post HERE! (It’s turning 4 in a WEEK!!!!!!)

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 Justin Timberlake released new music & a video – Can’t Stop The Feeling! (he also produced the soundtrack to Trolls (What a beautiful, fun loving film, highly recommend seeing it!). Read my fangirl report HERE!

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Valentine’s Day Girls Nite In with my girls.

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Celebrated my Aunt Mary’s birthday  with some dinner at her favorite Mexican restaurant and had some Pepsi- her favorite drink. Love you Aunt Mary, Miss you!

aunt-mary

Bruno Mars new album, listening to it as I write. So obsessed! #24KMagic #Chunky #ThatsWhatILike #VersaceOnTheFloor #Finesse LISTEN

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Rocked some obnoxious Christmas Lights for the holidays. #BestDecisionOfMyLife #5BucksWellSpent #ShoutOutToStrangerThings

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Received some handmade Christmas cards from my students.

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30th Birthdays Celebrations- We hosted a big family dinner for my sister in law and went on an AC family trip for my brother.

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Family BBQ’s!!! #Cousins

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Best Friend Weekend. – Even at 25, my best friend and I still keep our sleepover tradition going. It started off going to the Zumba class that my best friend teaches, then we had some dinner at her house (BBQ chicken my fav at their house hold-like old times), next we watched our favorite tv show One Tree Hill until 4 AM, Went for breakfast the next morning, got manicures, and shopped a bit. It was so nostalgic and it was just what we needed. #BestFriendMiniWeekend #RoshellWeekend

That Zumba class tho-I had been trying to get to one, forever!

Britney’s back bitches! #GLORY album is just….EPIC! Read my post HERE!

glory

Rainbows.

Pineapple float- #SOTRENDY

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Took my mom to see the Radio City Spring Spectacular- it was her mother’s day gift and it felt really great to be able to do that for her. What a brilliant show. Visually stunning!

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Got hooked on Murder Mystery 13 Part Series American Gothic- so damn good! #SHOUTOUTTOBETHANYJOYLENZ

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Started Stranger Things #NetflixIsDangerous

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Attended my best friend’s engagement party.

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Continued with the annual chop.

 

Dressed up in Hawaiian theme attire for my cousin’s birthday party.- Read my post HERE!

hawaiian

Finally got to rock the yellow, red, blue look I’ve wanted to try for forever! Read my post HERE!

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After the chop, had to try out some new hair do’s – Reverse Space buns.

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Marina Squerciati answered my tweet, (cuz we’re besties) ;). #thathashtagtho

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My parents treated me to a massive birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant. Got my big gold number balloons too! #BlackAndGold #Family #Friends Read my post HERE!

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That TWD finale tho. #WHOISIT? Read my feels HERE!

whoisit

Started an unintentional tradition of taking massive group family photos/selfies.

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Bridal expos with my bestie. #MaidofHonor #OnCall

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My cousins from Florida surprised us with a quick visit!

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Curvy Barbies (and other body shapes and sizes) are a thing! #FINALLY #Variety

Read my post HERE!

curvy-barbies

 

That *NSYNC picture. #reunion #myheart

 

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Met our newest family member! My god daughter is a big sister!

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Started watching a few new tv series- This Is Us (I have to catch up, I’m so behind) and Shades of Blue.

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*****

Damn a lot can happen in a year. I am grateful for the blessings 2016 has given me. Of course it wasn’t all marshmallows and honey all the time, but I still fought through obstacles and made beautiful memories. Cheers to 2017, may it be beautiful and happy and healthy for all of you, filled with love and inspiration and success. See you soon friends!

*Most images are my own.*

-<3-