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+)


6. Therapy

"I'm really sorry the list didn't help, and let's be honest - I really should have called to check up on them before referring them to you..." Doctor Lucille Clovers said over the phone, as I grabbed a towel from the bathroom and slipping on a pair of flip-flops headed out the door and next door to Hunter's place.

"Lucille, honestly, you did warn me. It's nobodies fault, I just wanted to let you know, I don't think I'll be calling you any time soon about sending anybody those transcripts of mine. But, It's only been a week since then and hopefully I can manage to find someone suitable and hopefully email you then?" I suggested, fitting in the key and turning it three times clock-wise.

"The best of luck to you. Ariel, I really hope your enjoying your new life in Edinburgh" Lucille said, as per usual way to geniunly for a councelor/psychologist. Smiling gently, I gave the door a huge shove opening it, before slipping in and shutting the door behind me, headed towards the pool.

"I am. Have a lovely week, hopefully we'll be in contact soon. Bye" I said, before hanging up. Setting my mobile on the dining room table beside the glass doors, I unwound the sarong from my waist wondering how on Earth had I actually come to be using Hunter's pool constantly. More like, over-using that is.


As I pushed open the glass door, I was thankful that over the first 3 days since he turned up at my door, that I'd somehow managed to have a rough time frame of the hours he didn't spend in his condo. He was obviously a hard working guy. Sitting on the edge of the pool, I pulled my hair out of it's tight bun. After picking up on work, I'd found that the pool was my own escape for some kind of 'winding down' time. When I wasn't working - I was sleeping, when I was doing neither, I was thinking of Hunter... And Heath. So wrong. I know. But I couldn't help myself, the guilt was eating away at me. Every time I snuck over to Hunter's for a swim, though, part of me wanted to bump into him, there was always another part of me that didn't want that to happen. The part of my that didn't was in the forefront (for the moment). It wasn't only thoughts of Hunter that I was pushing away... It was thoughts of Heath. I felt guilty. Guilty, that even though he was gone, I felt: Heath wouldn't want me to be with someone other than him. Slipping into the pool, I shut my eyes and allowed my body to sink into it's depths...


- December 31st, 2008 -

"Heath Miller, my man!" a voice called out. Jumping at the close, proximity of that voice, my hand lifted to my chest to cover my thundering heart as Heath steered me around to meet the curious gaze of a guy I didn't know.

"Ariel, this is my buddy Zeke, his Duke's brother" Heath informed me gently, giving my waist an encouraging squeeze, before turning to the stranger.

"Zeke, this is my fiance: Ariel" he said. The short, chubby, red-haired man stuck his hand out,

"A pleasure. Now, I know why Heath, here, didn't want us to be introduced last time" he said, giving me the biggest of smiles I'd ever seen. Unable to help myself, I smiled back,

"Last time...?" I asked, momentarily confused.

"Sure. Last March at Duke's party...?" Zeke asked, I watched as he glanced nervously at Heath before quickly shrugging.

"But, hey, no big. It was nice meeting you" he said before quickly taking off. Turning, I took a deep breath, before letting an equally big one.

"If your angry just say it" Heath said, feeling my body tense beneath his hand. He moved his hand up and down my side, as I didn't answer.

"Ariel, come on" he whispered.

"You said you had 'major exams' that month, was that a lie?" I asked, stepping away from him before walking over to the edge of the dance floor, folding my arms as I leaned against a pillar.

"It wasn't, it was an after party... Ariel!" Heath exclaimed, startled by my unexpected movement.

"Please, not here..." he whispered, reaching for me as he came by my side. I shrank away from his touch,

"'Not here', what? 'Not here' where your friend just told me you went to one of Duke's parties without me!? You know how I feel about that..." I hissed back, faking a smile as a few friends walked past.

"Nothing happened..." he tried to assure me. It wasn't working.


"Ariel!" a familiar voice called out, turning around, my arms unfolding, a smile spread across my lips as Simon Launchester (an ex-boyfriend from high school) came our way. Tall, dark and incredibly sexy, the African-American had become a basketball player for the Australian basketball team, and was always seen with a different girl on his arm.

"Well, if I never...!" I laughed, as he immitated his grandmother's wistful voice. Embracing him in a bone-crushing hug, he groaned pretending to collapse in my arms momentarily causing my laughter to increase.

"Oh, goodness!" I cried out, almost falling forward before he picked himself up. At 6'7'' the man was a giant, and a darned good looking one at that.

"Heath! Still hanging around the little princess, I see" Simon chuckled, shaking his hand. I noted Heath's automatic stiffness, he'd never really liked any of my ex-boyfriends.

"Actually we're engaged" Heath said, so loud it was almost a re-announcement. Simon raised an eyebrow before glancing down at my left-hand.

"And there she is!" he said, taking hold of my hand and lifting it up, to get a better look at the slim, golden band with a medium-sized diamond on top it.

"Your hands are beautiful, as always, soon-to-be Mrs Miller" Simon winked, brushing his lips gently across my knuckles. Laughing, I blushed instinctively my free hand going to cover my mouth.

"Would you care for a dance?" he asked, moving into an exaggerated bow, before quickly turning to Heath.

"If that's okay with you that is..." he said, his voice and expression suddenly somber. I burst out into another fit of giggles earning an annoyed glance from Heath as he muttered something along the lines of,

"Do whatever".


Sweeping me out onto the dance floor, I was instantly glad I was wearing my 6-inch, cream, Oscar de la Renta heels. My head barely reached Simon's chin, as he put his arm around my waist and drew me close enough to have my chest crushed up against his.

"Your looking lovely tonight" he mused. I watched his eyes drift to my cleavage, and raised an unamused eyebrow in reply. The lace, v-neck dress with long sleeves was a new item of clothing I'd been dying to wear and hadn't found the opportunity to wear. I knew how it looked, Simon did too. He wasn't blind.

"Okay, but seriously - you needed my help there. Poor you, being stuck with a guy who can't even read the signs" Simon said, his voice instantly harbouring his girly tone. I gave him a small glare.

"Okay, okay. But, I did do you a favour! His jealous now and when you go back he'll either be a jerk or apologize" he reminded me. Rolling my eyes, I glanced over Simon's shoulder as his hand drifted to my butt, instantly watching as Heath's eyes flashed with anger.

"Teasing isn't nice" I reminded him. Simon smiled, leaning down, and letting out a small growl in my ear causing me to giggle.

"Are you always this nice to all the girls?" I asked curiously. He sighed dramatically,

"Of course, not. Only the boys, but you - on the other hand - are the exception" he smirked, giving my butt a squeeze.


"You wouldn't mind, if I stepped in now would you?" Heath asked, his voice almost-literally coming out of no where. His hand had grasped Simon's forearm, in what looked to be a tough grip. Simon backed away lifting his hands in innocence, as he cast me a mischievous wink before disappearing in the scattering crowd. Heath's hand ran over my hip, and soon set itself on the small of my back as he drew me close, my arms reaching around his neck, to rest on his shoulders. We stood for a moment, our bodies aligned, my breasts crushed up against his chest, his hand gently pulling me closer, our thighs brushing gently as we began to sway to the music. I looked at his face, and the anguish that marred his usually happy expression, caused guilt to cut me like a knife.

"Would it make you feel better if I told you Simon was gay?" I asked gently, my voice a small whisper in his ear. His hands tensed as he pulled me closer burying his head into the crook of his neck as he took in a deep breath.

"Not really... I can't stand it when..." he murmured, before falling silent.

"Stand it when what, Heath...?" I asked gently, confused. What could have made him this upset?

"I hate it when other guys touch you. I thought it was tough when you started high school, I guess nothings really changed" he confessed, lifting his head up to face me his eyes locking with mine. I was about to reply but couldn't, momentarily stunned by the raw emotion in his eyes. Finding my voice, I looked down guiltly,

"I'm sorry, I didn't know it was like that for you. I always thought it was one-sided those days, and Simon was always just teasing... If I didn't help him back then, who would have?" I asked gently. His hand came and cupped my chin, lifting it gently and my eyes brimmed with tears as he bent forward, and kissed my lips gently.

"Ariel, don't... It's not your fault. I just love you so much" he whispered, pulling me away from the dance floor.


Walking up the stairs of his parents villa, I snuck a wary glance over my shoulder to see Simon leaning against the drinks table, lifting a glass of champagne in jest of a toast, a sly wink cast our way as a few young men and women chatted to him excitedly. Heath's hand pulled me up the rest of the stairs, and into his room, shutting the door behind us. Sitting on the edge of the bed, I watched as he leaned against the closed door shutting his eyes as if he was going to lose it. Unable to understand him, I got up and walked over to him, my hands cupping his cheeks as I forced him to look up into my eyes.

"Heath..." I whispered, leaning forward to kiss him gently. He pulled away. Nothing, could have hurt me more. Turning as he pulled away from the door, slipping away from my body, I watched as he ran his hands through his hair. My heart ached, and my sudden hurt turned to anger.

"How can I understand you, if you don't talk to me!?" I thundered, suddenly. He turned around stunned, his eyes meeting mine. Hating how he could just do that, and usually I'd forget everything, I turned and kicked the closed door in sudden anger. Ripping off my shoes, I began to pace. His hand came down on my shoulder, and I spun around lifting my hand to slap him. He caught it effectively, I hadn't moved fast enough, but it wasn't like I'd ever slapped him before.

"What's wrong?" he asked, his voice somber, his brow furrowed in confusion. I felt like screaming.

"He thinks his the only one who gets jealous!? Why should I have to feel guilty! Duke's parties aren't legendary for no reason!" my mind flew with angry excuses. None of those that left my mouth.


Wrenching my wrist from his grasp, I stalked past him to the ensuite. Opening the door, I went inside and slammed it closed after me, locking the door. I was going insane.

"Ariel!" Heath called out, knocking gently on the door. Turning on the tap, I set my hands on either side of the sink as I stared down at the water. We hardly ever fought, and in the end, I always fell apart. This time was no different. Turning off the taps, as tears cascaded from my eyes. I unzipped my dress, stepping out of it before I pulled off my under garments and stepped into the shower, before I turning on the faucet. The cold, hard, needles of water that penetrated my skin, caused me to shiver in welcome, as I turned and let my back hit the wall, sliding down, I sat on the floor of the shower, bringing my knees up to my chin as I began to cry.


I had sat there forever... Or what felt like forever. My anger and frustration had given way to a numb aching, that had me still sitting there with my eyes closed. I was so numb, I didn't even feel the water turn off, I didn't open my eyes even as a familiar, strong pair of arms wrapped me in a huge towel, lifting me from the shower. I hadn't been able to finally come to my senses, until Heath's lips gently kissed mine.

"I'm sorry..." I whispered, tears sliding down my cheeks, as I gently kissed him back.

"But you're not the only one that finds it hard sometimes." I whispered. Opening my eyes, I found my body wrapped up snugly, and being held beside him as we lay on the bed, aligned as we'd been as we'd danced down the stairs before everything had gone wrong.

"I'm sorry, okay? I won't do it again." he said, resting his forehead against mine as he ran his hands up and down my back.

"I won't either... The feelings mutual, you know." I murmured, feeling my eyes droop as I stifled a yawn.

"I won't love anyone else for as long as I live." he told me gently, pushing my wet hair out of my face as I snuggled deeper into the pillow. My heart melted.

"Till the day I die, I will always love you." I whispered back, feeling him smile against my forehead as he planted a kiss upon it.

"Leave that for the wedding, little miss" he chuckled, earning another sleepy smile.


"What if I died before you?" he asked gently. My eyes flew open to meet his. Fear, and shock seeming to take over as I told myself not to overreact.

"You're not sick are you!?" I whispered. He shook his head, soothing me as he ran his hands in circles on around my back.

"No, but if I did I'd want you to live a happy life," he whispered, his voice choking up, only the slightest bit.

"Even if it was with someone else." he said. I froze,

"You will not die before me," I informed him, tearing up.

"Even if you did, I couldn't love anyone else." I whispered, tears sliding down my cheeks. From the look on his face I could tell he regretted bringing the topic up. My thoughts flashed to my father who'd never fully moved on from my mum's passing. How could you... Move on from something so perfect.

"I'm sorry, Ariel. I'm so sorry, forgive me for bringing up such a stupid subject..." he apologized, kissing my lips as he gently smoothed his thumbs over my cheeks to wipe away the tears.

"I just... I can't imagine..." I choked up, once more, trying to continue on only to be silenced with a kiss.

"Don't worry okay, I know you're tired. Go to sleep." He instructed gently. I nodded, allowing my eyes to close as he rose from the bed, to pull the covers over me. Planting a kiss on my lips once more he seemed to be hovering. I smiled.

"I love you Ariel." He whispered.

"I love you more." I murmured in reply before falling into the awaiting oblivion.

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