The accidential Hacker

Harriet is a struggling painter.. One day she accidentially hacks into someone computer and it turns her whole life upside down

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7. Finally meeting 1

 *Harri POV*

As I waited outside my building for him, I debated the wisdom of having lugged

the painting box down four flights of stairs, thinking that maybe I should wait for

Zac, but I was a grown woman and I did not want to start out first meeting by

asking for help. He had already done more than enough for me. Besides, he

probably had one hell of a hangover to contend with.

One canvas isn't very heavy but six large ones, all slotted into a plywood painting

case, was damn heavy, so by the time I made it down stairs, I was hot and a teeny

bit sweaty. With anyone else, that would be fine but I was meeting Mr Hollywood,

who spent his life surrounded by beautiful, nubile young women, with an army of

makeup artists and beauticians to make them look good.

Me? I was lucky if I remembered to shave my legs once week.

I had kept my outfit simple, a knee length black dress that skimmed my

figure and ankle boots. The only colour was a wide, red belt. I

thought I looked passable. I'd left my long hair down for once, normally I

wear it up so it doesn't get covered in paint.

Zac arrived in a Nissan sports car, making me rethink having accepted his offer; the box

wouldn't exactly fit in the back seat.

Still, when he got out of the car and smiled at me, I forgot to worry

"Harri?" He asked, as if he hadn't already seem my face on webcam. Or maybe he

was just puzzled by the fact that I scrubbed up pretty well.

I nodded as he rounded the car, then he bent down to kiss my cheek, making me

worry about how sweaty I was.

"You must be freezing out here without a coat." He said, it happened to be one

 of the coldest december days in LA the last decade.

"I'm fine," I smiled, hoping I didn't look like a grinning fool. "Carrying this kept

me warm".

I patted the wooden case. Although it had handles, it was five feet by four. He

looked at the box, then at my building

"What floor do you live on?"

"Top."

"You should have waited for me. I'd have helped you."

I shrugged. "Will it fit in your car?"

"Should be fine," he smiled, lifting the box and taking it to his boot. When he

opened it, I could see that not only was the boot larger and deeper than it looked

he'd put the back seat down, giving enough room to slip the box in

"You don't have to be so delicate." I said, trying to find a way to help him but he

seemed to have it covered. He was stronger than he looked at first glance.

"Everything's covered in bubble wrap and secured in polystyrene grooves."

"Still, better safe than sorry," he said, winking at me.

Once the box was in, he closed the boot and turned to me, a small smile playing

on his lips.

I didn't know what to say, nor did he, presumably, and I blushed under his

scrutiny. Then suddenly he seemed to snap out of his stupor.

"Come on, we'd better get going, in case traffic's bad.”

He followed me around to the passenger side and opened my door for me.

"Thank you for taking me," I said when he got in.

"Not a problem, darling."

As we drove away, I was lost for words, having no idea how to speak to someone

like him. It was easier over the phone where, although I knew who he was,

wasn't reminded of it every time I looked at him

We'd gone a few miles when he reached over and took my hand.

"Don't be nervous, it'll be fine," he assured me.

I'd almost forgotten about the gallery but I didn't tell him that he was the reason I

was nervous

"Thanks."

I took a deep breath and tried to reconnect with the conversational areas of my

brain. "This is a nice car.' God, could I be any more banal?

"Thanks." He smirked, which raised my ire somewhat. Was he laughing at me?

Smug git!

"How's your head this morning?" I asked

He smiled. "Yes, sorry about drunk texting you."

"It's okay, you didn't say anything out of turn."

His grimace said that he felt differently. "I called you a dalek."

"I knew what you meant," I assured him. "You don't need to worry that I'm so

offended I'm going to exterminate you."

He groaned. "And I brought my ex up. You don't do that until the third date."

"Really? I thought the rule was you weren't allowed to have sex until the third

date?"

"Is it?" he glanced at me.

"Pretty sure it is. And you're never supposed to bring up exes."

"Ever?" he asked.

 I laughed. "Only if you care what other people think. Seriously, Zac, you didn't

upset or offend me."

"Good." He flashed me a smile.

"So, now I know who you are, can you tell me what you were working on the other

week?"

"Oh why not, the cat's out of the bag anyway. Voice reshoot for the new tangled series".

He said, his eyes focused on the road.

 I couldn't help smile. "That sounds interesting, so loads of Eugene in that ?"

"Yes. And that's all I can say, so please don't ask."

I smiled. "Please tell me? Please?"

"Nope".

"Pretty please?"

"I said no darling". He mused.

"Pretty please with cherries on top?"

"No." He was trying to hide his smile

"Pretty please with chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream on top?" I made my best puppy

 dog eyes.

I kept that up until he suddenly pulled over.

"We're here?" It was too soon, I wasn't ready.

"We're here," he confirmed, pointing to a shop front a few doors down.

"Oh God."

He reached out and squeezed my hand. "Hey, you have nothing to worry about."

"You don't know that."

"No, but I have faith in you."

I began to shake.

'You've done this before, though, haven't you?" he asked.

"Yes, but I expected rejection then. This time I have hope, so it'll hurt all the more

when I'm turned down".

"You'll be fine."

"Can we go home?"

He reached out and took my other hand, turning in his seat for forcing me to turn

towards him

"Look at me." His voice was soft but there was no mistaking the command.

Slowly I raised my gaze to his and once I had, he put both my hands in one of his

and reached out with his other to cup my cheek.

"You are a bright, beautiful, talented young woman. Your work is amazing and

will speak for itself."

I nodded slightly.

"Say it back to me." Another command, but I couldn't bring myself to obey this

one. "Say it, 'my work is amazing and will speak for itself."

"My work is amazing and will speak for itself," I whispered.

"Louder."

"My work is amazing and will speak for itself."

"Louder, like you mean it".

"My work is amazing and will speak for itself!"

He grinned. "That's right. Now get the hell out of my car."

I laughed a little and nodded my thanks. He met my by the boot and got the box

out, intending to carry it for me.

"It's okay, I can take it from here," I assured him.

"But it's heavy."

"I've managed this long without you, lover boy, I think I can go a few more

minutes."

He conceded with a smug smile and handed the box over. "Go get 'em."

With a deep breath, I picked up the case and strode purposely towards the

gallery.

 

Zac was resting against the car when I came out, his long legs stretched out

before him ankles crossed. I hadn't really looked at him earlier, I had been way

to nervous, but know I let my eyes take him in.

 He was wearing light brown leather boots and dark jeans, that fit quite nicely 

on his tighs and well his ass. His dark long-sleeved T-shirt sat snuggly on his chest

and the top button was left open. On top he had a light black jacket.

I tried to keep the smile from my lips, I wanted to make him believe I'd been

rejected but my happiness could not contained.

His own smile widened when he saw me emerge empty handed and he stepped

towards me, closing the distance between us.

"Well?"

"I'm in the exhibition!" I yelled, throwing my arms around him, not even thinking

 about it.

He hugged me tightly, lifting my feet off the ground. "That's amazing! I told you that

 you could do it."

"Thank you," I sniffed

"All I did was make an introduction, you did the hard work."

I squeezed him tightly, then relaxed before I could begin to cry. I did not need my

mascara running, today of all days. He released me and before either of us could

step back, our eyes locked and our smiles faded. I was actually pretty sure he was 

about to kiss me, when I shivered.

"You must be freezing," he said, slipping his jacket off and around my shoulders.

I was a little upset that the moment was over, I think I would have frozen solid

before willingly leaving his embrace.

"But now you'll be cold."

He grinned. "There's a little bistro down the street; we can both warm up in there,

get some food, and you can tell me all about it. What do you think?"

"Sounds like a plan."

We fell into step beside one another and he took my hand. I felt as nervous as a

teenager on her first date, but it was a good kind of nervous, the exciting kind.

 Both of us tried to discreetly look at the other, each smiling when we were caught.

This whole day felt like a dream but if it was, I never wanted to wake up.

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