Moving On

Ariel Miller lost both the love of her life and their child in a horrific crash in 2010. 3 years have passed since then, and she moves from her one room apartment in Sydney - the city that holds too many memories - to a condo on Dublin Street, Edinburgh. Now at 24 years old, she finds herself falling deeper and deeper into the pain of remembering those she lost that day... She also finds herself having a dangerous attraction to the handsome man that lives across the hall.

At 28 years old Hugh Evans (AKA Hunter) finds himself tired of dating women who only want his money. He soon finds himself enchanted by the polite graces of the new woman across the hall. He is astounded by her beauty and modesty, but also her ability to ignore his advances towards her. Always up for the challenge he decides to break down the barriers she has set up and really try to get to know her.

A story of healing, forgiving and learning how to love again...

Warning: Mature Audiences (Ages 16+)

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11. Cray-Cray Diana

She arrived the next day. Early morning, and in true Diana style brought with her: 6 of the largest Louis Vuitton suitcases I'd ever seen. I gaped, staring at the sight of them, the brightest of pinks a stark contrast against the neutral colours that donned the hallway walls.

"I'm here!" Diana screeched, was accompanied by the immediate rushing through the barely opened door, before enveloping me in a bone-crushing hug. My arms clung desperately to her back as she began to swing me from side to side in her arms.

"Ah, D-Diana, your crushing me!" I squeaked, wincing as she lifted me up before setting me back down. Stepping back, I watched as she took in my appearance of crinkled, flannel pajamas, a messy, top-knot bun, and good old potato sacks for eye bags. I took in the sight of her glossy black hair pulled up into a pony-tail, her stunning cocoa brown skin glistening as healthy as ever her wide green eyes as wide as they'd ever been, and the lashes that framed them impossibly long. She was one of those women you'd probably wish didn't exist because they reminded you of how flawed your own appearance was. Not that it made her a terrible person. She was known for her gorgeous looks, big personality, big green eyes, and most of all: her big heart.

 

"You're hideous." she declared, with a sniff as she turned away from me, her eyes sweeping over the condo. Her usual inappropriate use of exaggeration causing me to smile. A soft, warm smile took over her lips before she turned to me, a twinkle in her eye as she glanced down my outfit her eyes locking on my collar bone. Glancing down, I blushed instantly my hands instantly moving to bring the top buttons of my top closed, though unfortunately I wasn't fast enough. Her hands snapping out to hold them still. She lifted her eyes to mine, a devious hint changing her smile completely.

"Sexy lingerie honey. Where's 'Mister Pool'?" she drawled, raising her eyebrows comically. I smiled back confidently, not shying away though my cheeks were still stained pink.

"For your information, Diana, his next door." I announced. Her eyes snapped to the hall behind me, letting go she stalked down towards the hallway pausing as she stuck her head out - Ostrich style - before turning to face me, hands on hips.

"Well, that won't do it will it?" she asked. I blinked, stunned.

"What?" I asked, my voice coming out impossibly slow, but before I knew it she was coming back up towards me and kicking over one of her suitcases she bent down, her tight, red dress riding so high-up I had to avert my gaze before I heard: a quick zip, a smack on the floorboards, and her huff as she stood straight back up. Turning, my eyes widened at the sight of way to many skimpy bikinis lined up neatly inside one huge suitcase.

"What is that?" I exclaimed, slowly starting to remember how Diana's brain worked,

"Oh, please no..." I thought, my hand rising to clasp the tiny necklace around my neck, my eyes still glued on the open suit case.

"Exactly what it looks like. Your new bikini wardrobe... Some of them are mine, of course, but the majority are yours." she announced.

"Whatever for?" I asked, mentally kicking myself after for sounding so old-fashioned. Looking up at her, I felt a momentary flash of panic at the evil smile on her lips.

"Why, for phase one of mission: 'Seducing Mister Pool'." she announced. Taking a deep breath, I allowed my eyes to slide shut. Something told me, I'd be going along with this 'phase', and the thought itself excited me more than it scared me. Not a good sign.

 

*          *          *         *         *

 

Hours later, I found myself standing outside Hunter's door. The fact he hadn't returned the day before to return the spare key he'd given me - or for any other reason for that matter - was still lingering in the foreground of my mind as I lifted my fist to knock.

"Stop!" Diana hissed from behind me. My hand paused a millimeter from the door, my heart pounding loudly in my ears as I turned around to glare at her. There she was, the 'little schemer'... Peeking out from inside my condo, Diana held the door open enough to poke her head out. A pair of cat-eye, glasses sitting atop the crown of her head as she motioned for me to come back to her, her hand waving about as she silently mouthed undecipherable words. Walking towards her, the sound of my white, 6-inch heels echoed throughout the hallway as I walked towards her.

"Don't walk loudly!" she hissed, causing my smile to tighten. Stopping a few inches from the door, she opened the door wider nodding to my hands, by my side. Lifting my hands, I grunted slightly as she handed me the biggest roast chicken I'd ever seen in my life.

"Where the hell did she get this?" I thought in bewilderment before her hands shoving me almost toppled me over.

"Hey!" I snapped suddenly before wincing at the echo of my voice sounding down the hallway.

"Stop being a baby, and get over there, remember knock lightly, and your left side is better, more boob." she hissed.

"Thanks for reminding me..." I grumbled turning around with the chicken, and heading towards the door. I swung the chicken over to my right hip, balancing it as I lifted my hand to knock, whilst trying not to ponder on what Hunter would think when he saw me in a ridiculously small bikini covered up by a see-through white summer dress. If that wasn't bad enough he'd see the gorgeous pair, 6-inch, white stilettos. Luckily, my attention was starting to turn more towards how heavy the roast was getting.

 

Knocking lightly, I stifled a grunt as I lugged the roast up, and back down to rest on my hip, both hands holding the pot that held it. Waiting for a few seconds, I started counting to ten...

"His not answering." I said nonchalantly, not caring how loud my voice echoed throughout the hallway even when I was speaking at a normal volume.

"Shh... Try again." Diana ordered. Lifting my hand again, I paused... And knocked again, lightly. Instantly dropping my hand once I'd knocked, down to hold the pot I let out a groan at the weight of the chicken.

"What the hell is this stuffed with?" I thought, to preoccupied with lugging the roast that I didn't notice the door before me open.

"Can I help you?" an unfamiliar voice asked. Looking before me I had to glance down to meet the curious, yet undeniably gorgeous grey eyes of a woman probably about Hunter's age standing before me with a towel around her waist, her bikini still wet from the pool.

"Uh, hi..." I started, lugging the roast a little higher up on my hip.

"This is Ariel, Hunter's girlfriend, and I'm her best-friend, future maid-of-honor Diana." Diana's prim 'we-own-this' voice sounded from beside me. Nearly dropping the chicken I cast the stranger a small smile before edging past her, and heading towards Hunter's kitchen.

"So your my girlfriend now, huh?" a familiar sexy, deep voice sounded. I jumped at it's close proximity, just in time for Hunter to take hold of my burden, as I looked up into his dark, amused eyes that seemed to be locked on me.

"Ariel, nice to see you." he murmured, his voice almost a gentle caress as his eyes raked over me.

"Nice seeing you too..." I replied, both mesmerized, and stupefied. So much, so, that I'd forgotton the fact a woman barely clad in a towel had answered the door. Thank god, Diana's voice brought me back to reality.

"They've been going out for a few weeks now since Ariel moved here, isn't that right Hunter?" Diana's voice shocked us both. Turning I watched as Hunter met Diana's furious glare.

"Shit," I mentally pinched myself,

"We're not even going out yet, and she's already pissed at him."

 

"Ariel, this is my sister Thalia." Hunter said, his voice so low it could have grated gravel. A shiver ran up my spine for reasons unknown. Okay, maybe - not quite so 'unknown.'

"I've been dying to meet this girl Hunter won't talk about, it's nice to finally meet you," Thalia said. Looking at her again this time I didn't rush past her but took in the sight of her short-cropped, messy dark brown, nearly black hair. Her grey eyes shun out against her fair, ivory-white skin, the grey of her bikini matching the her eyes.

"A sister wasn't something Hunter has mentioned either." I admitted, giving her a small smile before freezing as her nose twitched. Watching the transformation of her face from happy, to down right furious, I shrank back against Hunter's chest not knowing how the hell I'd somehow put myself in the line of fire.

"You didn't tell her about me...?" she asked Hunter calmly. Watching as she raised an almost haughty looking eyebrow, I glanced over her shoulder to exchange glances with Diana who was busy doing the 'cuckoo' motion with her finger, as she quickly then pretended to twist her hair, when Thalia spun around.

"How about her? How did she know about 'this' before me?" Thalia thundered.

"As I said: future maid-of-honor." Diana mused airily. Almost as if she'd just doused the fire with a few litres of petrol, I bit my lower lip as she glared at Hunter before huffing, and stomping off towards the doors to the pool.

 

"She's a bit extreme..." Hunter edged out, sounding a little embarrassed as I turned around to slump against the island bench.

"You mean she has extreme PMS, don't worry, we know. We're women too, remember?" Diana decided to pipe up before hopping atop the bench, crossing her legs, and snatching the fruit bowl only to earn a glare from me, and a bewildered stare from Hunter.

"Oh right, nice to finally meet you..." Diana added, after chewing, and swallowing the biggest handful of grapes I'd ever seen in one go.

"I'm Diana." she said, holding her hand out to Hunter. Shaking her hand, I watched Hunter's face slightly stunned as they shook hands, and then Diana went back to eating. I almost thought he had survived, before he turned around, and began shaking his hand in the air like it was a dead fish (probably trying to get the blood circulation going.)

"Vice-grip was her nickname in high school." I decided to inform him, earning a cheeky grin from Hunter as he tried not to laugh, and a swat on shoulder with Diana's perfectly manicured hand.

"Stop embarrassing me. I'm off to get a cozzie, you two don't wait up." she announced, slipping off the bench and running out the apartment door, slamming it closed on the way.

"Wasn't she wearing a swim suit?" Hunter asked confused,

"Exactly." I muttered, not quite understanding how I could handle Diana's craziness.

 

"So you're looking nice..." Hunter said, obviously trying to make conversation. Looking down at my Diana-fied get-up, I sighed, looking up to give him a sly smile.

"Like what you see?" I asked, mentally kicking myself as I did so.

"When have you starting sounding like such a...?" I asked myself, blushing almost immediately. Biting down on my lower lip, I couldn't help but watch as his eyes locked on my teeth as I began to pull my lip through them.

"You know, you do that a lot." he said, his voice so low I barely heard it. My heart stopped.

"What?" I asked, slightly nervous. What the hell had he picked up on?

"Bite your lip when your nervous." he stated, same tone, same spark in his eye...

"I do that. Why, do you have a problem with it?" I asked, slightly put off by the fact I was probably sounding like a meany.

"Of course, I do..." he said, nearing me.

"Well, it's my body. I can do whatever..." I began to snap, eyes snapping to his suddenly, before he reached forward, and brought me towards him slowly. Tilting my head back, I was momentarily stunned as he kissed me gently, before pulling back slightly.

"My only problem is it's undeniably sexy." he informed me. Still stunned, I blinked. Realizing my hands had bunched up against his chest during our kiss, I opened them up only to feel his heart beat beneath my fingers as I stared back at him silently.

"Shit." a high pitched voice cracked behind us. Spinning around, I felt my face flame red as Diana set her hands on her hips.

"I missed it... Okay. How about I go grab the camera, and we can do a re-do?" she asked. Groaning, I let my face drop into my hands as I died inside.

"Missed what?" Hunter asked, completely oblivious.

"Your guys first real kiss. Now get back in that position, and mama's gonna go get the camera." she announced. Looking up to watch as Diana escaped back out the door, slamming it closed in the process, I then turned to see Hunter looking at me stunned.

"She wanted to take a photo, that's how she is." I stated. He continued to stare for a few moments before his brow creased.

"That's fine, I was just wondering how she got in. Did you give her your key?" he asked.

"What? But I haven't gotten it back from you..." I said, just in time to hear the click of the door. We watched in silence as the door opened up, and Diana returned with her camera, a smile on her face, and my key in her hand.

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