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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5. Restless Nights

The next fews days were spent worrying about my reactions to Hunter, who I'd only met once. How could I, a woman who woke up that day crying for her dead husband, feel even the slightest attraction, to a man she hardly knew? Guilt had immediately taken over after the tele-conference with Riley and Colin, and as time went by, no matter what I did that day... And the next... and the next... Nothing seemed to take my mind off my thoughts of the man. I'd even - some how - caught myself pondering what could have occurred had I taken up his offer for dinner. It was clear to say (well, for me to say), I desperately needed help. Finding that help, however, was not easy as I was soon finding Lucille's list was proving to be less than promising. I'd decided that the list was useless, after only 4 unsuccessful attempts when I found myself in the 'expertise' of number 5 on the list: Doctor Malcolm Greenway...

 

- 7:47 pm | 29th January 2013 -

"My best piece of advice is to just go for it. Jump in the 'sack' - so to speak - and after, you'll realize: it was all in your head and his out of your system..." he said, after 3 minutes and 32 seconds of me speaking. I sat opposite him, completely flabbergasted. Closing my gaping mouth, I'd turned to the window trying not to lose it.

"How the heck did this loony-toon end up on that darned list!?" I asked myself silently.

"And you really think that'll be it?" I asked, adding a false hint of hope in my voice, though really, I was crying out in frustration (mentally, of course).

"Defiantly... You must have been with one or two men since your husband died, am I correct?" he asked. I turned to him eyes narrowed as I watched him scribble undecipherably on a page in his notebook. I was thanking God, that very moment, that I hadn't sent one of those 5 emails I'd drafted to send after my first session with the counselor asking to send my transcripts.

 

My day had started at the top of the list. The first name on the list had been: Margaret Pickleston, she had been a former counselor who'd changed professions, after deciding she didn't like her job. I'll just say, getting my tea-leaves read wasn't exactly what I had been looking for. The second, was a counselor of the name Peter Thestle, who's 'practice' was situated above the local pub only a few streets away from his terrace. I'd been lucky enough to catch him whilst taking his evening shot of tequila before taking in a patient, whilst standing in front of the front desk where his 'secretary' seemed thoroughly engrossed in her conversation over the 'politics of wearing plastic during events' (not exactly the most appealing conversation to be listening to, I can tell you that.) To say the two following up that one were any better would be an out-right-lie. That's why when I found out the next two had also changed professions, to take up nude-modelling, I'd decided that number 5: Malcolm Greenway - was my last chance at finding someone who wasn't insane.

 

Still staring at Doctor Greenway when he looked up, I watched his expression change from one of almost happiness, to one of shock.

"You haven't slept with anybody since your husbands death..." he said, his mouth moving slowly as if his brain were even slower (which in my opinion was a definite issue.)

"Nope." I said, watching as he sat back in his seat looking quite baffled.

"Well, that is awkward...!" he exclaimed, staring off into space. Grabbing my bag, I stood up smiling.

"I'm sorry Doctor Greenway, but I just don't think this is going to work. It was nice meeting you." I said, heading to the door. I watched him sitting on the seat, still staring off into the distance, and deciding it was best to just leave, I opened the door and left.

-     -     -     -     -

 

Apart from giving up, I'd spending that night unable to sleep, before spending the entire next day filling the condo with the necessities. Groceries, toiletries, a few new clothes... Lying in bed 17 hours later in bed, unable to sleep once more I found my eyes were glued to the ceiling, itching to be closed. Yet I couldn't. Couldn't do a lot of things, it seemed, which I usually found quite easy: find a counselor, close my eyes, go to sleep... Not without my mind drifting back to Heath, and the guilt I felt sitting in the bottom of my stomach. A knock at the door shocked me out of my trance-like-state. Throwing off the covers, and padding to the door, I flung it open not even thinking to check who it was before coming face to face with the man who caused all this havoc. Hunter.

"Oh, hi..." he said, his eyes momentarily dropping to my chest. Looking down, I took in the sight of my body barely covered in the black, lace nightie I'd donned. It had been a gift from Diana from last Christmas. One of the many 'personal' gifts she had given me, in hopes to catch me a man. Knowing if I had actually been asleep before he knocked on my door, that I would have instantly blushed caused me to lift my eyes back to his slowly. Due to the lack of sleep, my senses had thankfully dropped a whole lot  - meaning: there wasn't much chance of me blushing any time soon.

"Hi." I replied.

 

We stood there for what felt like forever, eyes locked and neither of us moving an inch, before he lifted his hand to run it from the back of his head to the front, his strong fingers moving through his thick mane of hair. I tried not to groan. It seemed even if I was tired beyond relief, that I still felt some kind of attraction to this ridiculously handsome man even it were just admiring how ridiculously good looking he was.

"Oh, sorry..." he said, seeming to hear something behind me.

"You have company..." his face looked crestfallen for a moment. Raising my eyebrow, I opened the door further to reveal a pretty empty condo.

"So, what did you knock on my door for?" I asked, folding my arms across my chest, and leaning against the door frame. Digging his hands in his pockets, I watched as his eyes roamed the hallway as if looking for something. My guess? It was an excuse, he was looking for.

"I just forgot to let you know, you can come swim in my pool any time you want. I'll even give you a key." he blurted out. Momentarily stunned, I blinked. Twice.

"Your pool?" I asked, confused.

 

Walking over to his door, I watched as he unlocked the door and pushed it open. To say his condo wasn't more than incredibly fancy would be an understatement. It was crazy-awesome. The same shaped hallway as my own, gave way to dark coloured walls lit up by blue fluorescent lamps, that only highlighted the 50 metre swimming pool he had situated in the middle of the condo. Literally. Where in my condo there was a huge space for a living room and dining room, this guy, had a fully functional pool. The softest hum of the pool's filter caught my ear, and before I knew it I was walking towards it, a glass wall separating it from the kitchen, and landing area that led to the master bedroom. Pushing open one of the doors, I stepped into the pool room, my eyes practically swimming in the depths of the crystal blue waters, lit up also by the lights that were installed in the walls of the pool underneath the water.

"You know, cause they don't really have swimming centres here in England... You, Australian's love to swim. Right?" his voice shocked me out of my trance. I jumped a few millimetres, my hand instantly running itself through the tangle of curls atop my head, my eyes snapping to him then back to the pool as if I'd just woken up.

"Yeah, I haven't swum in ages..." I said slowly,

"Not since Heath died." I thought to myself.

"Well your welcome to come here and use the pool." he said. Looking at him, I took in the hard, handsome panes of his face: the broad jaw, the smoking hot eyes, those luscious lips... He was a master safe, practically handing me the key.

"Are you sure it's a good idea?" I asked suddenly, almost shocking myself as I asked the question. He glanced at the pool, then at me before a sly smile crossed his lips. He nodded,

"I'm sure." he said, holding out the key.

 

Slowly taking it, I headed out the glass door behind him, and back to my open door, staring at the key wondering what the hell had just happened.

"And I'm serious when I meant any time..." his voice echoed through the hallway as I walked inside my door. Turning around I met his darkened stare, as he leaned casually against his door frame. I bit my lower lip glancing down at the key before setting it on the hallway table beside me.

"How do you know I won't drown in your pool?" I asked slyly. Just testing him - you know - defiantly not flirting with him.

"I'm pretty good at CPR." he smirked.

"Feel free to watch over me then." I'd almost spat out before catching my tongue.

"Really!?" I thought to myself, some what disgusted with my almost-reply.

"Well, I'm off. Thanks and good night." I said, grabbing the door handle almost instantly and beginning to close the door.

"Sweet dreams Ariel." his voice slipped through the door, before it closed with a click. Resting my forehead against the door, I forced my sore eyes shut and took a deep, shaky breath.

"Sweet dreams my foot." I muttered.

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