25 October 2011

The Reluctant Millie Bright

Chapter Six
Sunnier Skies

"We have eight hours or so before we land in St. Lucia.  Why don't you start from the beginning and tell me how you obtained those?"  Liam said leaning towards Millie, his gaze diverted to the scars on her person. 

She may be comfortably seated but opening up was a different story. 

"It depends on what you want to know," Millie said, trying to skirt around the subject.

"Let's not be coy here Millie.  I want to know the truth," Liam said.

"But why? You never cared about the truth when I went to see you.  And all of a sudden, you want to be my new best friend." Millie said sarcastically as she avoided his gaze and stared out the window.

"When did you come to see me?" Liam said puzzled.

Millie laughed.  It wasn't funny.  She had to laugh because life was an obstacle.  A mess.  She laughed because what else could she say, or do.  She laughed because, maybe this was fate's cruel joke.  She couldn't stop laughing.

Liam looked worried, confused even.  He just didn't understand anything and Millie was coming across completely out of character which was scaring him, "I don't think this is a funny situation."

"Oh, but it is," Millie laughed, "It is."

"Enlighten me, because I don't find it very funny," Liam scowled.

"Well, it's funny because after all that's happened- now you're concerned... now you want to know... when, quite frankly, there is not much to know. That is what is funny," Millie smiled.  She was probably coming across as a complete lunatic but she just didn't care.

"Millie, you're speaking in riddles.  What on earth are you talking about?" Liam asked. 

"What am I talking about? What on earth are you talking about?" Millie said.

Liam looked at the woman who was sitting in front of him.  Not only was she being difficult, there was sadness in her eyes and he didn't like it one bit.  It was sunny outside and they hadn't incurred any turbulence.  He could play this game if he had to, they were going to be in the air for eight hours, there was no escape-unless you called escape, the bedroom on the other side of where they were sitting but he tried not to think about that.  He couldn't.  How could he think about sleeping with her when it was obvious that those scars were disturbing him.

"What? Don't want to answer my questions? Don't like being interrogated?"  Millie asked.

"I don't mind answering questions, if I have answers to them Millie," Liam said, taking a sip of his water, "I can see your reluctance in answering my questions leaves me with the assumption that whatever led to those scars was something pretty horrific, something you don't want to deal with. Not with me perhaps, not now, maybe not ever but I'm worried about, I really am.  Whether you choose to believe me or not," Liam said looking Millie in the eye.

There was another silence. A silence that seemed to stretch.  A silence that was both meaningful and full of anxiety.  Liam could feel the vulnerability emanating from Millie, he wanted to help her.  Understand her, if only she would let him in.  When he looked up at her, her eyes watered. 

"The day I came to see you at your apartment, it was the day you were flying out on location, do you remember?" Millie asked.  Her face looked solemn, which made his insides go funny.

"Yeah, I do," he responded, "What about that day?"

"I stood in your apartment urging you to listen to me because I had something to tell you.  You wanted to talk once you touched down on the other side and I needed to tell you in person but you just didn't care about me or our baby. You just cared about getting out of New York and on a plane far away from me!" Millie's voice rose but she stopped to take a breathe.

"I do care about you Millie, that's why I offered to call you when I touched down. I'm sorry I couldn't listen to you there and then, I had to be somewhere," Liam said and it suddenly dawned on him, "Baby?"

Millie ignored his last question, she just wasn't ready to touch on that just yet.  She had to get whatever guilt, anger out of the way, "Yes, it was obvious back then that your work took priority over me. Your girlfriend?!"

"Millie you got it all wrong," Liam began but he was shut down by Millie's fury.

"No, you got it wrong!" She pointed at him, "I found out I was pregnant that very morning and in my utter joy and absolute happiness I thought I would share it with you because we made this life inside of me. Sure I was a little nervous to tell you, you only ever told me once that you deeply cared for me... never that you loved me.  But on that hunch, I thought,  if he's only mentioned once that he cares for me then it must mean he loves me.  But how stupid and naive was I?  I wanted to tell you then, because it made me happy and I hoped it would make you happy too but life doesn't work that way for me.  It never did, when it came to you.  When push came to shove, I thought maybe you would have changed, you would let me in or that there would be a place for me somewhere in your hectic life but that day, pretty much told me everything.  And when you finished on location, I thought I would hear from you but I didn't and that was pretty much the nail on the coffin."

"Millie please... listen to me... I was an arsehole back then.  I admit, I was too caught up in my work and I apologise but you should have told me, you should have tried harder," He was met with a slap.

"Don't you fucking dare turn this on me you arsehole, don't you fucking dare!" there were daggers in Millie's eyes, "I tried to tell you but you kept telling me that we'd talk after you landed... that wasn't good enough for me."

"So what happened to our baby then?" Liam asked.

"I was five months along when I was attacked,"  Millie said, wiping the tear that rolled down her cheek, "I was so tired being on my feet for so long that my boss sent me home.  I didn't want to because I needed the money but he said, 'I was no good to him, if I was asleep on my feet' - so he sent me home.  It was cold and I didn't have enough money for a taxi or a bus, so I walked it.  I walked and walked and then I was cornered. There was no one around.  I gave up my belongings willingly and then, they must have thought I had something in my jacket because of my bump. I tried to close my jacket because I was cold but I don't remember much after that... it was kind of hazy after that.  I remember waking up in a pool of blood and someone reassuring me that everything was going to be alright.  I think I blacked out then.  I later found myself in a hospital bed and was told by the physician, the doctor that I had lost her. I had lost my baby girl," Millie said, her head in her hands as all the grief, the guilt ran through her.

Liam unbuckled his seat belt and brought Millie into his arms, she didn't push him away.  She cried even harder into him and he hugged her, for dear life.  It was a shock to the system, hell, it was more then a shock.  Whilst he had been living his life with numerous film projects, she had been struggling to support herself and what, because of his pig-headiness.  His greed, his selfishness.  He couldn't forgive himself.  His Millie was far from being alright, she was a mess.  He need only hear her crying to know that she hadn't gotten over the traumatic experience and the loss of their child.  If he had just stayed and listened to her, they would be going on holidays with their daughter. He would never forgive himself.  He wanted to jam his fist into the wall or smash his head against it.  He was angry more with himself then Millie.  How could he be mad at her?  She had done her duty by trying to tell him but he was a fool for not listening.  God, he would make it up to her, he would spend his life trying to make it up to her.  And as he was comforting her, he already knew that he would. -

The pilot spoke through the intercom to tell them that they had landed in beautiful tropical Saint Lucia.  Millie had fallen asleep in Liam's arms after crying.  He nudged her gently and she woke up, the look on her eyes reminded him of a baby.  She looked so innocent, so vulnerable and something inside of him kick started.  The feeling in the pit of his stomach was unfamiliar, "We're here Millie."

"Here?" she said dazed.

"Saint Lucia, remember?" he whispered.

She nodded, "How long do I have to stay here?"

He was taken aback by her question, she wanted to be rid of his company already.  He was disappointed, he hoped that they could re-patch where they left off, he wasn't going to push her as she was like glass in his rough hands.  He was going to give her a choice and they would take each day as it comes, ignoring her question he touched her face, "Let's take it each day as it comes, if you hate it here, you can take the jet back home."

She somehow nodded, reluctant but willing to take a teeny weeny bit chance on him.


Millie had taken a shower and dried her hair, slipped into a tea dress and flip flops.  The weather was tropical hot, she wanted to wear a bikini but her body as well as her confidence wasn't the same after the attack and losing Lucy.  She had decided to call her daughter Lucy, because she wanted to keep Liam in the frame.  If it was only the letter 'L'.  When Liam had driven them from the airport to his massive hilly mountain mansion over looking the azul sea, he had said that St Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse, the first French colonizers.  What a coincidence.  She wasn't about to share that, she didn't want to think that there could be a future for them, because how could there be.

She walked out onto the balcony where a table full of fresh fruit and food were laid out, her stomach grumbled, only realising now that she hadn't eaten anything on the flight and hadn't had breakfast.  She was famished.

"Don't be a stranger, help yourself," came the voice behind her.  She spun around and saw him leaning again the door, clad in khaki linen shorts and a white polo shirt, "You must be starving."

"Thanks," she sat down and helped herself.

"You can take today to get settled, to sleep.  If you want I can show you around, there's an infinity pool downstairs or a gym?" She could tell he was walking around eggshells around her.

"You don't have to do that, y'know," she said looking at him.

"Do what?" he asked.

"Try to be extra nice to me, walking on eggshells around me," she said, tucking into some guava.

He walked towards her and sat down, he waited for both her hands before he took them in his and she had a startled expression written all over her face, "I don't want to hurt you anymore Millie.  I am such an idiot, a dick.  I've been thinking, whatever I said, I did. I'm so sorry. I don't know what to do.  Please, just let me make it up to you. I want to share your pain, I want to be there for you. Just... just take each day with me...and I promise you, I won't ever..."

"Please let's not talk about this... I just want to be someone other then me for the day or days or however long.  Coming out to you, telling you has been a relief.  I just want to move on," Millie said.

Liam nodded in understanding, "Of course, take however long you need. I'll be here for you."

"As my friend, I hope," Millie smiled.

Liam didn't like the word 'friend' but he was willing to take it and perhaps in time, persuade her differently.

24 October 2011

The Reluctant Millie Bright

Chapter Five

Liam found Millie sitting on the bench by the door.  He'd almost ran past her, heading outside.  She looked distant.  She hadn't even noticed he had walked up to her, until he sat down next to her.  She was shivering, he took off his tuxedo jacket and planted it around her shoulders.  She leaned against him and drew her closer to him.  Pulling out his phone, he called his driver.  And shortly after that, she was ensconced in his arms in the back of the limo.  She didn't say anything.  But she didn't need to, she was obviously tired from the night out.  By the time they arrived in front of the hotel, she'd fallen asleep in his arms.  He didn't have the heart to wake her up, so he carried her into the hotel and up to his penthouse suite.  Once there, he went straight to the bedroom and laid her on top of the bed.  She had gone out like a light.  He wanted her to be comfortable, so he risked undressing her.  Thankfully the dress was easy to coax her out of but as he was peeling the garment away, he noticed a scar from her abdomen disappearing out into her underwear.  He also noticed other faint scars.  They hadn't been there before, he'd remembered their love sessions, some had been crazy sexy and others had been slow and sensual.  In those times, he had devoured every part of her body and now he stood, puzzled at these markings on her body.  Where did they come from? Grabbing the duvet cover, he covered her and left the room. 

The following day, Millie woke up and discovered she only had her underwear on underneath the duvet.  Her heart doubled in speed as she tried to determine whether Liam had seen the scars.  Every time she looked at them, she was reminded of the joy and then the utter terror of it all.  The attack. Lying in bed and being told of her loss and then having to piece her life back together, by herself.  She had always been by herself but with the loss of her child, she felt even more alone then ever before.  It had been a year and a half and she was still trying to piece everything together.  It was a slow process and one in which she thought she had been making progress on, until he came back into her life and now she was lying in a bed in his suite. She got up and went into the bathroom to shower.  After a few minutes, she was dressed in jeans and a jumper and she headed straight out, bag in tow.

Liam looked up from his laptop as Millie walked out already dressed for the day.  He also noticed her hand luggage and came to the assumption she was leaving him.  Well she better think again.  

"Where do you think you're going?" It wasn't meant to sound demanding but some how it had.

"I'm leaving," Millie said.

"I can see that.  But what I really want to know is why?" Liam stood up from behind the desk and strode towards her.

"I don't have to answer to you, not anymore," Millie said with confidence.

"Fine, at least answer one question and then I'll let you go," Liam said, folding his arms, "What are those scars on your body?  I don't recall seeing them before."

Millie stood frozen to the spot.  So, he had seen them.  She was an idiot to think that he hadn't, almost wishing that he'd ignored them.  How could anyone not notice them, they were grotesque.  Souvenirs from a horrific time, she was trying to get past.  She met his question with silence.

"It's okay, we can talk whilst we take the jet," Liam said walking towards her and taking her luggage from her grip.

"The jet?" Millie said, confusion written all over her face.

"Yes, the jet.  We're going to my holiday home in St. Lucia.  Whatever you need to tell me, I prefer it we didn't have all this craziness interfering. We better get going, our transportation is outside."

And with that announcement, Millie could do nothing but follow.

17 October 2011

The Reluctant Millie Bright

Chapter Four

Liam knocked on the door and strode in.  Millie was sitting on the bed cross legged reading the paper.  It was mid-afternoon and she was wearing black pants and a t-shirt that made her look like a genie from Aladdin's lamp. They had been holed up in the suite for a day and a half now.  Millie mostly occupying the bedroom and Liam in the lounge.  They would convene for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the lounge area but spoke very little to each other.  It started to grate on Liam's nerves, he would pretend to read various manuscripts sent to him but he was secretly watching her, observing her.  She on the other hand, ignored him.  Even when she spoke on her cell phone, did she perk up a bit but when he tried to make conversation, she would knock him down.  That was going to change tonight.  Tonight they were going to a charity fundraiser together and the two boxes in his hands would be what she would wear.  He put the boxes down on the bed and saw her eyes settle on them.

"What's that?" she asked, looking straight at him.

"Open up and see," he taunted.

"Trying to buy me off I see.  Thought you would be a bit more smoother then that," she remarked, "I don't want it."

"That's fine, you can go as you are," he said leaving for the door.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

He turned around and folded his arms, "I'm glad I managed to muster some enthusiasm from you."

"Stop trying to suss me out Liam, I don't like it," she said annoyed.

"What else am I to do? If you won't even talk to me? I have to resort in trying to figure you out. What happened to the Millie I knew back in New York, huh?" Liam wondered.

Millie was quiet, she knew the answer to that but she wasn't going to ever admit it to him.

"Just be ready for seven o'clock please," Liam said and he strode out.

Through the course of the day, Millie tried to ignore the boxes but she was curious.  Curious to see what were in them, curious to know what the big deal about this fundraiser was and curious about Liam.  She was bored being couped up in this suite with him and tired of fighting him, but it had to be done, to ensure she wouldn't go down that road again.  At five thirty, her curiosity got the better of her and she slid the lids off, pulled back the tissue paper and pulled out the garment.  It was beautiful to look at and even beautiful to touch.  The colour of her shoes corresponded with the embroidered jewels around the bodice and the shoulder of her gown.  She indulged herself and took a peek at the label; Marchesa.  She was going to throw caution to the wind this evening, she was going to have a bloody good time.  When was she ever going to wear a dress like this again? She strode into the en suite bathroom and began preparations.


Liam looked at his watch, it was five past seven and there was still no movement from the room.  He had been dressed on time in a dark black tuxedo by one of his favourite tailors on Saville Row.  The limo was waiting downstairs to take them to the charity gala.  He took another sip of champagne, he wasn't big on champagne but he needed to do something to occupy his time whilst he waited for her.  He looked up as the twin doors opened and she walked out, stealing the breathe from him.  She was beautiful in the dress, her hair she wore bunched up to one side and her make-up was simple, understated.  He just stood there like a lemming staring at her.  Every word imaginable went through his head right there and then; beautiful, stunning, sexy, gorgeous.  He walked up to her and kissed her, she was a willing participate this time around, as he could feel her arms engage around his neck.  God, he was seriously aroused just tasting her, touching her.  If he didn't have to go to this gala, he would be peeling this bit of fabric off her and making sweet love to her. 

"We have to get going I'm afraid," he said looking down at her regrettably.  Her lips were swollen from his kiss and her eyes had the look of molten lust written all over them, "I'm making a speech tonight and I can't be late."  She nodded, understanding and he took her hand in his and led her out into the lift.

They walked through the entrance to a multitude of flash bulbs, Liam reassured her that it was for the publicity of the new wing and nothing to do with the A-list crowd that would be attending.  He guided her towards the centre where Hartley Armstrong and his wife were standing.  Frieda was wearing a black strapless dress of lace and her hand was in the crook of her husband's arm. She spun around when she saw them and smiled. Liam made introductions, not introducing Millie as a girlfriend or a friend and didn't care what assumptions they made of Millie as long as they were good ones. 

"It's lovely to meet you Millie, I can't say I've heard an awful lot about you from Liam but assuming what's written in the papers lately is true, you've definitely caught the catch of the day," Frieda snapped.

"You shouldn't believe everything you read in the papers, most of it's rubbish, written purely for entertainment purposes.  You of all people should know," Millie snapped back.  There was no way she was going to be putting up with snarky comments especially from an A-Lister.

"Ooh she's a catty one Liam, better then all those push overs you were seeing before," Freida commented.

"Just ignore her Millie, I do," Liam whispered in her ear, "Come on, let's go and sit down for dinner," he glided her away and found their table, which was one of the tables nearer the stage.  He pulled out her seat and she sat down, careful not to crease her dress, "Did I tell you that you look beautiful tonight, it must have skipped my brain when I lost consciousness just staring at you." He was rewarded with a blush.

"What is your speech about tonight?" she asked, changing the subject subtly.

"That we should always invest in the children, the children are our tomorrow, they should have the best possible medical care and regard.  We should always be there for them regardless," Liam said.

Millie looked around, noting her surroundings.  She shouldn't have asked, why did she ask? She willed herself not to cry, nor to laugh in his face.  What insanity she was feeling right now.  How ludicrous this was all turning out to be.

"Are you alright?" he asked, sensing something was not quite right.

"Fine, I'm just fine... taking in my surroundings that's all," she lied but she was curious to know why it was so important to him that he invest in this, "What's so important about this charity then others?" She watched him, he shut off and when she thought he wasn't going to say anything he spoke quietly.

"I had a younger brother but he died when he was six after developing a rare form of Lymphoma, cancer of the immune system, because we were poor, we didn't have enough money and we couldn't get him the medical attention he needed.  He died and I've been a firm campaigner for him, in memory of him," Liam said, "It was my fault that he died."

"It's not your fault Liam, these things happen," Millie began but she was cut off sharply.

"No, these things do not happen Millie.  If I had had the money...," Liam began.

Millie reached out to him, "You were a boy yourself Liam, how could you even begin to think this was your fault. Please don't blame yourself, what about your parents?"

"My dad ran out on us when the going got tough and my mother, well she turned to the bottle," he said.

"I'm so sorry Liam," Millie said, threading her fingers through his.  Millie's secret lay heavy on her shoulders.  He could never find out.  She kissed him then, couldn't care about what others thought.  She could only think to comfort him.  The shuffling of people going to their tables, broke the magic of the kiss and she pulled away from him but she didn't let go of his hands.  The next few hours, they drank and  they ate and they got to know each other, without the pressure of  it all.  When it came to Liam making his speech, the butterflies in Millie's stomach were doing somersaults.  She was proud of him, more then proud.  She listened attentively to what he was saying and how he was saying it and there was the Liam she knew back in New York.  The sensitive, caring Liam.  There was an applause and he asked that everyone dig deep inside their pockets and contribute as much as they could for the cause.  He came back down  and Millie stood up and kissed him, he kissed her back slowly and as they were about to take their seats, he was being greeted by various people, dignitaries and diplomats, keen to contribute as much money as possible.  Millie excused herself and made her way to the ladies toilets.

Millie stared at her reflection in the mirror, shaking herself out of her haze. She reapplied her lipstick when she saw Frieda enter, except she had a wardrobe change and was now sporting a gold sequined dress, "Beautiful dress Frieda," Millie mustered.

Frieda looked up and smiled, "Got the wrong twin sister.  I'm Frederica.  You must be Millie, I've heard so much about you from her.  You've got her knickers in a twist and I like you already," she held out her hand, and smiled warmly towards her, "It's lovely to finally meet you."

"I'm sorry, you must get that all the time," Millie apologised.

"I'm used to it, between you and me... I'm the nicer one out of the two of us.  I do apologise about my sister, she can be a bit of a drama queen.  I thought, considering as she's a mother now, she would have calmed down a bit but she has her moments," Frederica smiled, "Artie's great though, he puts her in her place without making her feel bad, which is a great skill to have. You're here with Liam, right?" She said squeezing some lotion into her hands.

"Yes, that's right," Millie replied.

"That makes sense," Frederica smiled back.

"What makes sense?" Millie asked.

"That you would be the envy of all the single or not so single women here, he's quite a catch, well from what I've heard but you two make a great looking couple," Frederica offered.

"Oh, but we're not a couple," Millie tried to explain.

"Really? I've seen the way he looks at you and I don't think friends look at each other like that.  He kinda looks like he wants to jump your bones," Frederica quipped, "Don't worry, from what I heard from Artie, the guy hasn't seen anyone in a long time, not since he was in New York anyway, says there was someone serious there but Liam's always been married to his work, but obviously now that he's found you, things are about to change."

"Who are you here with?"  Millie asked, enjoying the conversation between the two of them.

"I'm with my husband Jack, I'll have to introduce him to you some time," Millie watched as Frederica became a different woman as she spoke happily about her husband, "It's not very often we get to have a night on the town. I love getting dressed up in a floor length gown and it's an even better excuse to see Jack in a black tie.  He's usually wearing our babies puke or overalls and working over a saw."

"Over a saw?"  Millie asked confused.

"Oh yeah, he's a carpenter, great with his hands if you know what I mean," Frederica smiled, "Are you ready?  Come on, I'll introduce you to him."

After he was congratulated by numerous society figures, acquaintances and friends, he joined Artie and Jack at the bar.

"Great speech," Jack shook his hand.

"Thanks.  How's Fred? I haven't seen her tonight,"  Liam said.

Jack pointed behind Liam, "There she is and it looks like she's got your date in tow too."

Frederica joined Jack but steered Millie towards him, "Jack, I want you to meet Millie.  I just bumped into her in the toilets.  Millie, this is my husband Jack."

They both shook hands.

"So, you're the lady who's managed to tame our Liam, eh?" Jack quipped.

"I wouldn't call it taming, we're just friends," Millie said.

"Sure, is that what they're calling it these days "friends?" You must be pretty neat friends to be kissing," Jack teased.

Liam scowled, "Leave it guys,"

"Getting touchy are we Liam?" Artie joined in the fun.

"You're going to frighten her away," Liam said through clenched teeth.

"Looks like she's about to bolt for the door," Jack laughed, looking in the direction of Millie.

"You'll have to ignore the guys Millie, they're trying to wind Liam up," Frederica rolled her eyes, "Jack, you owe me a slow dance."

"There's my cue guys, gotta dance with the Mrs," Jack said as he glided Frederica to the dance floor.

"Going to find Frieda, she's probably chewing some poor person's ear, she doesn't go out very often, so she's probably making up for lost time.  If you'll excuse me," he charmingly joked and winked at Millie as he disappeared through the crowd.

Liam turned to Millie, "Would you like to dance?"

Millie looked at him and then to the dance floor, "I don't dance."

"Seriously?" Liam said, his arm clamping around her waist, whilst the other took hold of her hand and he spun her around on the spot.  She weighed next to nothing, as he spun her around towards the dance floor and watched her face light up in glee.  He put her back on the floor and glided her around the floor, "You seem to be doing a fine job of it."

Millie nodded and stared at her feet. A few minutes later the dance was over and Liam whispered into her ear, "Would you like to call it a night?"

Millie's eyes shot up, "It's too early, I would very much like to dance some more."

"My wish is my command," he smiled, as he drew her close and spun her around the room.


Millie sat the next few dances out, she watched as Liam danced with one of the elderly women sponsors around the ballroom and realised her resolve was breaking down. The ice no longer a barrier, was melting, making way for the fire that was obviously still between them.  Her eyes could not leave him.  When she stepped out of the room earlier this evening, he had simply stared at her which made her nervous, self conscious, she wondered whether she was wearing it wrong or that her hair wasn't best suited and then when he kissed her.  She wanted nothing more then for him to rip her clothes off and make mad passionate reckless love but of course, he broke off.  Some lame excuse to get to the function on time.  That was what she felt earlier but it all changed when he confided in her about his brother and it all changed.  Everything she had grown to dislike about him, somehow miraculously disappeared and her heart reached out to him and she wanted nothing but to comfort him, share his pain.  To take care of him. Their relationship in New York was lust fueled, raw and utter madness but then of course, she started to notice the cracks.  Could she ever get past the cracks to have a more for filling relationship? What the hell was wrong with her, what if all this was just a ploy to pass time whilst he was here in London.  What if what he wanted, wasn't what she wanted, what then?  A million other questions swirled through her mind.  She was living in her fantasy world, gone away with the fairies- that had been her downfall from the beginning. She touched her stomach and suddenly couldn't breathe, she was desperate for air, for space... anywhere but here.  As she watched Liam twirling around the dance floor, she realised she couldn't stay here any longer, she had to go.

Liam spun Mrs Hillier around the dance floor until she refused another dance, it was mean of course but he was aching to be beside Millie.  He missed her, how crazy was that? He missed her and she was in the same bloody room as him.  God, he couldn't get the taste of her out of his system, nor the feel of her as he worked the ball room.  The way her dress clung to her and the skirts swayed when he spun her around his arms.  What the hell was wrong with him? You'd think he was a love struck fool by the way his thoughts were going.  As Mrs Hillier thanked him for the dance, he spun around to where Millie was sitting and realised she wasn't sitting there any longer.  She must have slipped off to the toilets again.  He would wait for her.  He was making his way to the guys, when Frieda tapped him on the shoulder.

"What's up Frieda?" he asked lazily.

"I just wanted to let you know that your girl just ran out of here and into the throng of paparazzi outside," she stated.

Liam didn't have to think twice before he shot out the way she left. 

The Reluctant Millie Bright

Chapter Three

Millie loaded the dish washer, it was fast approaching nine o'clock- breakfast time and she had started her shift three hours ago. Her colleague Sam and deputy manager had called at quarter to five and begged her to come in and help her open up the restaurant for the breakfast shift.  She wouldn't have minded if it weren't for the late night she had last night as she was really struggling to keep her eyes open, let alone keep the smile pasted across her face.  They owed her big time.  Another day off down the drain and for what?  Colleagues who were obviously burning the candle at both ends again, struggling to get out of bed from an alcohol fueled night.  Well, at least they had a life and a reason - when was the last time she kicked back with friends and did that?  She couldn't really remember. How sad was that?

"You look like hell," Sam said strolling in through the double doors into the kitchen where Millie was standing. Sam was a beautiful Filipino with long black hair, brown eyes and curves in all the right places, she had a perky personality to boot, God only knew why she was in this place serving people when she could be on the catwalks of Milan doing a far easier job for better money.

"Thanks, I feel it... how are you?" Millie asked, touching her greasy hair she had put up in a ponytail this morning, in her haste to get to work on time.

"I'm great, another day, another dollar... glad to have a job if you know what I mean, I swear this economic climate is not getting any better, seriously people are getting laid off left right and center.  Just have to learn to roll with the punches.  Have you always wanted to be a waitress or were you meant to do bigger and better things?" Sam could ramble for Britain, but a moment in her company was never dull.

"I was meant to do bigger and better things but it didn't so much as work out... bad timing I guess... but anyway, I gather you didn't wake up one morning and think, 'I want to be a waitress' did you?"

"Hell no, this job is to pay my way through nursing school... long hours both here and at school, I know in the end, it'll all be worth it.  I just have to think outside the box, to the bigger picture you know," Sam smiled.

"Why are you so positive?" Millie asked.

"Because I've had too much drama in my life to not be. We make our own destiny and I don't want to live a crappy one, I don't want that and I certainly don't want that for my future kids, I want to be able to accomplish more then I'm capable of, life's too short and if I have to do this for a while, so be it... at least in the future, I know I can afford to live comfortably. Anyway thanks for coming in at such short notice but you're relieved of your duties, you can head off home and have some shuteye. The gang's just arrived, thank God!"

"Yes, home I go," Millie smiled.

"Have a good day then, see you soon, okay?" Sam beamed and loaded the dish washer.

Millie couldn't be bothered to change out of her waitress uniform.  She simply grabbed her bag and walked out by the back entrance.  It was a fairly cloudy day with the sun trying to break through the clouds. On days like this, she would go for a stroll or a walk in the park, but she felt too tired. Fatigued.  She felt like a zombie, that's what she felt like, the walking dead.   She walked out onto the road, not noticing the van coming towards her.  She tried to keep her eyes open- yet she felt like she was sleep walking with her eyes closed.  Somewhere in her dream-like-haze, she thought she could hear someone calling her name and the voice, she instantly recognized.  It was Liam's.  She opened her eyes and saw the van only meters away from her, she felt like a deer caught in the headlights, trapped, she froze.

She didn't feel the full brunt of someone tugging her away from the road, until she hit the pavement.  By then, she was alert, awake and she was staring up into the eyes of a very angry Liam.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" he said clearly shaken but pissed off.

"Get off me will you," she managed to find her voice, shaking him off and attempting to get up.

"I just saved your life! If you had stood there any longer you would have been spam or whatever the fuck is left over when someone is run over, shit!" he almost wanted to scream.  He helped her up to her feet but that was a bad idea, her legs were reduced to jelly and she fell straight back into his arms and the involuntary shaking increased, "Crap, you're in shock," he tilted her face to his but noticed her eyes were drifting closed, "Millie, baby, stay with me, you're just in a bit of shock. Millie."  He looked about him and shouted for an ambulance.  People were vastly gathering, curious at the scene unfolding and some even noticed who he was, but at this very moment, he didn't give a fuck.  His only concern was getting to Millie. And getting her some place safe and away from prying eyes.

He had woken up early and had headed to her apartment, his impatience running thin when he realised she wasn't at home- that she had most likely gone to work and he had to high tail it back to central London to the restaurant.  It was only when he was on his bike in another lane that he saw her walk straight into oncoming traffic that his heart leapt into his mouth and he was shaking with fear, he tried weaving out of traffic, tried calling out her name as loud as he could and by some miracle she opened her eyes.  What the hell had she been doing with her eyes closed in the first place?  It was like he was witnessing her suicide.  The traffic in his lane was finally moving and he made an illegal turn and noticed her frozen to the spot.  From the moment he disposed of his bike and flinging himself in the path of the van to getting her to the safety of the pavement felt like someone had pressed slow motion on the remote.  His fear had materialised into anger but he couldn't help it, she brought out things in him that had laid dormant for so long and he was not about to let her go.


Millie opened her eyes and noticed straight away she wasn't in her bed and this wasn't her apartment.  The bed she was sleeping in was huge, fit for a king or queen and she could clearly see that the thread count was Egyptian and there were tons of pillows everywhere.  She was sleeping in a nest of fluffy pillows.  What was even more horrifying was her state of undress.  She was wearing cotton white jammies, that were clearly not hers by a long shot. She sat up straight and stared at the clock, it was late on a Thursday morning.  She got out of bed, completely unconscious of the way she looked and opened the door and walked out into the lounge area and the realisation hit her fast, she was in a hotel room, not any hotel room but the penthouse suite.  She saw Liam sitting on one of the armchairs, his profile told her that he was deep in thought, that he wore black framed glasses and that he was clearly reading a manuscript, or what looked like a manuscript. Since when did Liam wear glasses?  As if sensing her presence, he looked up and set it down.

"You're up! How are you feeling?" he said, his concern obvious. 

Millie felt awkward, standing in front of him in just shorts and a white tee, "Okay.  How long was I out?" 

"A couple of hours, the doctor said you needed to rest..." he began but was interrupted. 

"Why am I here then? Why aren't I at my flat?" 

"Because your flat and every surrounding area is a campsite.  It's a media circus at the moment.  People are curious to know who the woman I saved is and what my relationship is with you,"  Liam said, standing up and walking towards her, dumping a couple of papers in front of her with her face on the front cover, "There's your proof."

Words and sentences sprung up from the papers; how did they find out where she worked? Oh yes, her uniform gave that away.  They also located her flat and there were several witness reports of Liam diving out from no where to rescue her from the oncoming van.  Which reminded her of work, as if sensing her distress, Liam spoke up, "I spoke to Sam at the restaurant and told her you won't be back until things have calmed down...indefinitely,"

"You have no right to do that!" Millie spat out. 

"I have every right, you almost got yourself killed! Going back to work would be jeopardising your safety as well as the safety of others. I will not have that on my watch.  Now that the media have discovered who you are, where you work and where you take residence, I am not about to disregard your safety for your pride Millie," he expressed. 

"How am I meant to pay my rent, my bills. My job is my livelihood!"  Millie wanted to scream it out. 

"Don't worry, your flat is being taken care of..." he began. 

"I don't want your money!" Millie said with gusto. 

"And that's fine, but whether you like it or not, you're going to have to stick with me or would you like me to feed you to the wolves?"  Liam grinned. 

"Stick with you? Isn't that going to drum up even more speculation?" Millie asked 

"I don't care Millie, I don't care what garbage they come up with... I'm used to this circus, this frenzy.  My only concern is that you're safe and from harm's way," Liam offered.

He cared, he still cared for her.  She didn't know how to take that.  Sure, it was nice to know Liam Blake still cared for her but it also frightened her, she would rather be fed to the wolves then spend any more time in his company.  She was just as much to blame then anything, if only she had looked where she was going, she would be asleep in her own bed, in her own flat and this crazy surreality would be a stupid dream.

"Look, let's not beat around the bush Millie... I can obviously see you're tormented to be in my company, so I'll make this easier for you and I'll tell it to you straight. I want you, I have never wanted a woman as much as I want you now.  Now tell me you want me too?"  Liam said sitting in front of her.

Millie hesitated, she couldn't afford to put her feelings on the line again, "As far as I'm concerned, what we had together in the past was in the past, let's not waste time rehashing it."  And with that, she stood up and headed back into the bedroom where she locked the door behind her.

14 October 2011

The Reluctant Millie Bright

Chapter Two

After picking up a few goodies from the shops, Liam found himself standing on the doorstep of a five bedroom townhouse in Chelsea. Thankfully, the cover of darkness shielded him away from being recognised by any passerby.  It was a warm evening and though he had been looking forward to catching up with his friend of many years tonight, a friend in which he had started out in the biz with- his thoughts were still on Millie.  Since seeing her today at the restaurant, it seemed as if everything they had shared today and in the past was coming back full force and in bright technicolour.  The last time he had seen her, she had given him an ultimatum, at his penthouse. And he could remember every word spoken during that one last heated conversation.

Liam was racing around his apartment, shoving clothes into his duffel bag as he checked his wrist watch, he had under an hour to get his shit together and somehow make it to JFK to join the director and some of the cast to jet out on location for his next film project.  He turned around to see Millie standing anxiously by the door.

"How long have you been standing there?" he asked, half looking at her and half deciding what else he should bring to the shoot.

"Not long," she replied, curling and uncurling her fingers, "Where are you going?"

"I have to be at the airport soon- what's up?" he asked, grabbing his jacket and remembering his passport in the drawer of his desk.

"We need to talk," she  said, "And it can't wait."

"It's going to Millie, I'm in a rush as you can see,"  he replied.

"I can see... but this can't wait,"

"Look, I'll promise to call you when I land in Australia okay? I just can't talk now," he exhaled.

"If I'm important enough to you... then you will at least hear me out." 

"You are important to me Mills, but so is my career... I really don't have the time now... your timing is impeccable though... I will promise to call you, as soon as I land and we can talk about whatever is on your mind okay?"

"So, what? You're going to push me to the side yet again?" 

"Yet again? What are you talking about?" he stopped fumbling with his stuff, to question her.

"You heard me, again I'm sidelined for your precious career... sometimes I don't even know why I bother for you," she announced.

"I don't side line you Mills," he said frustrated.

"Yes you do and don't you forget it," she was counting off her fingers now, "One, there was the surprise I planned for the both of us but you called me last minute to say you had to do re-shoots for the film you were working on; two, you were meant to accompany me to a Christmas party but yet again, the subject of work came up and three, it was my birthday and I wanted you to be there but guess what..."

"I hear you loud and clear Millie, you don't have to spell it out for me!"

"I damn well am spelling it out for you, because you don't know and you continue to do this," she yelled, "All you care about is your fabulous career."

"That's not true," he interjected.

"It is true and I'm fed up with it, I'm fed up of being second place..." Millie said, as she touched her temple and started hyperventilating.  Her face was devoid of colour and she staggered to the nearest seat, the sofa.

Liam stood his ground, not at all helping her. A couple of minutes ticked by, Liam stared at her and then at his wrist watch.  He was fuming.

"What is it?" it came out, barely a whisper.

"What is what? I haven't got time for this Millie..."  he said through clenched teeth.

"Yes, I know you have to go to the airport and catch your flight and do what you do best, acting I suppose, because you never even give a second thought to me- is it me or is it your career?"  she looked at him, hoping, but he didn't have time for this, grabbing his duffel bag, he headed for the door, "If you can't even tell me to my face that you're choosing your career, then you won't ever see me again."

"Don't be like this Mills, we can talk about it but I really have to go," he said opening the door.

"Then this really is goodbye,"  she said, picking herself up from the sofa and heading past him and down the stairs.

He tried calling her back but she wouldn't stop and he heard the front door slam behind her.

The door opened and standing there was his good mate Artie, that's what he liked to be called but he was known to the world as Hartley Armstrong, heartthrob and bachelor but now he was a family man, a father and a husband.  They hugged and Liam walked into the expanse of their hallway. The overhead chandelier twinkling, creating reflections of crystal on the walls surrounding, the wrap around staircase and the ornate table in the middle with a large Chinese vase full of fresh flowers.  This was understated luxury and wealth. 

"How you doing mate?" Artie asked, showing him the way to the living area.

"Good, seems fatherhood is agreeing with you," Liam noted.

"Yeah, I'd have to say so.  Life never held much meaning until those two bundle of joys came into the picture," Artie replied with a grin.

"Did you say two?" Liam said.

"Yeah, we weren't quite expecting it either but as twins run in Frieda's family, y'know," Artie smiled.

"So, when do I get to meet Frieda?" Liam asked as Artie pointed to the woman standing holding the baby.

She walked towards her husband and handed him the snoozing baby, a baby girl and shook Liam's hand.

"I'm Frieda- Artie's told me all about you, he speaks very fondly of you,"  Frieda said politely. 

"I should hope so, it's nice to meet you," Liam smiled.  He had heard a lot about Frieda St Claire-Armstrong, from the tabloids from hearsay, that she was hard to work with, demanding and manipulative but she didn't seem like that at all, well on first impressions anyway.

"So, Artie tells me you're here on business, promoting your latest film?" Frieda said, opening up conversation.

Liam sat in an armchair opposite her and Artie, there were refreshments laid out on the table for them but Liam really wanted to wind down and have a slug of whisky instead, maybe that could wait till later.  He watched as Artie rocked the little baby in his arms and the loving glances from his wife, "Yeah, I've worked with Woody Allen before, so we're pretty solid on the whole actor-director relationship, great cast too, so I couldn't pass it down."

"Artie tells me you're in London for a bit, do you have any plans?" Frieda asked.

"Yeah, I love London, haven't been here in a while so we'll see how it goes," Liam replied.

"We'll? You have a girlfriend here?" she said inquisitively.

"You'll have to excuse my wife, she's a bit inquisitive,"  Artie laughed and grinned at his wife.

"If that's your way of saying I'm a nosey Parker, I would have thrown this pillow at you, but as you're holding Harley, I'll get you back," Frieda said teasingly.

Liam noted the exchange between the two, it was intimate and somehow sickly sweet but he enjoyed their banter.

"So, do you have a girlfriend here?" she repeated.

"Liam doesn't do girlfriends... he's married to his work, always has been," Artie smiled, "Isn't that right Liam?"

"You're not painting me in the greatest light are you mate? Two can play at that game, I have a few stories on him, that I'm sure he hasn't told you about," Liam joked, leaning forward to sip some tea.

"I'm intrigued, do tell," she smiled warmly towards him.

"Well, there was this one time, we were in this bar in Vegas and there was this stripper..." Liam began and before he knew it, Artie had walked towards him and literally dumped the baby into his arms.

"Make yourself useful, old boy," sitting back next to his wife.

Liam cradled the baby girl in his arms, she was awake now and she was staring straight at him, "Aren't you a pretty girl," he whispered and was rewarded with a smile.

"I think she's far more then pretty," Artie smiled.

Liam looked up at him and shook his head, "Fishing for compliments, I don't know."  He turned his attention back to Harley, who was now gurgling at him. 

"Actually, whilst I've got you here Liam, we wanted to invite you to Harley and Flynn's Christening next  Saturday, we hope you can make it?  And we wanted to also ask you, if you could be a god parent to both of them," Artie asked.

Liam looked up surprised and then looked back down at Harley, "I would love to, really would."

"Great, I hope you can bring your girlfriend," Frieda winked.


Millie sat down with a cup of tea on the sofa of her small flat,  she had managed to unpack with speedy efficiency, partly to do with trying to distract herself from the events that had happened merely hours ago.  It was late and thankfully she didn't have to get up too early tomorrow. A day off, a rest.  The TV was on but she wasn't paying any attention to it, lost in her circulating thoughts again.  Seeing Liam today, being kissed by Liam today, only brought back a multitude of memories she just couldn't escape.  The man in which she had fallen in love with so long ago, thought of as being her future- oh she was so wrong, disturbed by her naivety.  The grief of such a union, made it hard for her to breathe.  She  had trained herself on survival, in the coming months after their break-up, she had dismissed every billboard, every commercial, every tabloid and every release of his film as fiction, it had been planted there to test her. She would look but then she would ignore it and she would resume as normal. 
No doubt he would be back before she could say the words, I hate you - but did she really hate him?  She was overwhelmed, disheartened, still hurting and she was brought back to the time when she first met him. Their first meeting, crystal clear. 

"Seriously Camilla, you have to come out- I brought you a ticket so you can't not go," her next door neighbour Devon said. 

Devon was her friendly next door neighbour, who recently became a good friend.  She did a lot of travelling for work and Millie had offered to water her plants and feed her two cats. Right now Devon was waving two tickets for the after party of the film she had wrapped up. 

"I don't have anything to wear Dev, honestly, I can't just turn up to an after party wearing my PJ's can I?" Millie said stoutly.

"Oh God, Camilla you're so stubborn... we're practically the same size, you can borrow one of my dresses.  Come on over and we can get dolled up together," Devon said, strutting out of Millie's apartment and back into her own.

A few hours later, they hitched a yellow taxi and made their way to one of the most exclusive night spots the city had to offer, surpassing the queue of wannabes, they strode right in. They went straight to the bar to order some cocktails, Millie looked around and noticed a few faces she saw on TV and film. She wasn't fazed or starstruck- these events weren't really her thing, but she didn't want to let Devon down, especially on a film she was particularly proud of.  Millie tugged down the red dress, lent to her by her friend.

"You really ought to stop fidgeting in that dress Camilla, honestly, it's called a mini dress for a reason and no yanking down is gonna make it any more longer, you'll probably end up stretching the fabric,"  Devon rolled her eyes.

"That's the bloody point Dev, I didn't want to wear this dress in the first place," Millie replied.

"But you're here now and you look stunning, even if you can't see it... they obviously see it..." Devon said her eyes conveying the crowd. 

"Thanks for the reminder," Millie said, "Please don't call me Camilla, it makes me sound old and boring."

"Oops, sorry I forgot about that," Devon smiled as she handed Millie a Cosmopolitan and took a sip of hers. 

Devon worked the room like she was the hostess with the mostess, everyone came to talk to her and even though she introduced her to most people, Millie felt left out.  Devon was talking to some producers when Millie excused herself and headed towards the bar,  passing a group of men, she immediately felt the cold liquid seep through the fabric of her dress.  Great, she hated the mini dress because it was short but now she hated it even more because the front of her dress, looked like she had been stabbed in the front conveying an unruly dark red wet patch.  She looked around for Devon but she couldn't find her anywhere- and she really couldn't be bothered to search for her, even to tell her she was leaving.  She would grab a taxi and text her to let her know she got home okay.

She was making her way out of the club and onto the street and was on the look out for a cab. 

"A beautiful girl like you, shouldn't be standing here on your own," came the velvety voice. 

Though the voice was velvety there was definitely an undercurrent of arrogance beneath the stellar voice, she turned around and saw him.  He was at least six foot, wearing a pristine grey suit with a white open collared shirt and his hair, looked like he'd just woken up, which only conjured an image of him climbing out of bed after having a bit of a work out. 

"Thank you for your concern, but I'm a big girl and I can take care of myself," she replied back, looking towards the road for any taxi's. 

"Did you have a bit of an accident then?" he asked, querying her dress. 

"It's a bit of water, no biggie, it'll dry off eventually," she said, steering her attention back to the road. 

"Where you going?" he asked. 

She looked at him and then ignored him. 

"Did you hear me?" he asked softly. 

"Oh yes, I heard you loud and clear," Millie acknowledged. 

"So, why didn't you answer me?" 

"Because I chose not to," finally a yellow cab, it pulled up in front of her and she got in and before she could close the door, he was only inches away from her face.

"Wait!" he said, holding the door, "Have dinner with me?"

"I don't know you," Millie said, trying to close the door. 

"Exactly, so that's why you'll have dinner with me... right now, scooch over," he said, opening the door. 

"You're kidding me right?" Millie said un-moving. 

There was honking of cars behind them, "You either get in or out, I ain't got all day here," the New Jersey taxi driver said with impatience. 

Millie moved over.  Liam closed the door and leaned towards the taxi driver and gave him an address. 

"I always get my way eventually," he smirked.

"Yes, A is for Arrogance, B is for Bravado, C is for Clueless because you are completely Clueless in Seattle aren't you? So sure of yourself... big shot actor, you think you can get about any girl... with the right line right? You are sadly mistaken," Millie said, staring outside the window. 

"Well, that was a first... a first knock back... I think I like you even more now..." Liam said. 

"You don't even know me, to like me and before you even think about it... I'm not some challenge you can conquer, perhaps if you treat women with respect then you might actually not come off as a total dick!" Millie said. 

"Whoa, hang on a minute... I respect you," he began. 

"Really? And respecting me was forcing me to go out to dinner, a dinner I choose not to participate in. Wow, even more clueless then I thought." 

"Feisty little thing aren't you?" he said. 

"Stop, the cab!" she about yelled, the cab screeched to a halt and she was out of the cab before he even had a chance to blink. She was getting into another cab on the other side of the road and she was gone. 

Millie stood up and walked the short distance to the kitchen and set her cup in the sink, she stared outside the window- the memories tortured her. She had moved cities to escape them but running away lost it's pzazz, especially as the the shadows followed.  She had to get a grip, pull herself together.  She was made of sterner, stronger stuff.  So what if Liam Blake was a man, a man she had loved... there was no way in hell, she was going to fall in love with him again. Men were dicks, they all were and Liam Blake was no exception. 

The Reluctant Millie Bright

Chapter One
London Premiere

London always reminded Liam of New York. The two cities shared a cosmopolitan avant-garde personality, with its bustling streets, theatre and musical productions to the individuality of the people going about their day. Tourists seen milling around recognizable landmarks like Buckingham Palace and London Bridge, taking keepsake photographs and soaking in the culture of London, that most Londoners took for granted. But London always felt like home despite living in a penthouse apartment in Manhattan. Liam was in London for work and he wanted to get this portion of the day over and done with. He was itching to discover more of the city.

The screaming could be heard two blocks away as Liam sat in the back of the limousine. The traffic was just as bad here, as it was in New York but he didn’t mind. He was used to waiting. It was a warm summer’s evening in the West End and he was dressed smartly in a designer navy suit and a crisp white shirt, his fingers tapping along to the song that was being played on the radio. He took a deep breathe as he finally joined the multitude of cars weaving their way towards the premiere, other actors, showbiz personalities, the lot. When the limousine door opened he was immediately engulfed in a wave of hysteria, his actions becoming mechanical as he began smiling and waving towards the crowds. He worked his way around the crowd, as he had done a number of times before. He smiled and made small talk with a number of his fans, whilst blocking out the noise and chants emanating from every corner until someone stood out from the crowd. Someone he hadn’t seen in a long time and someone who he couldn’t forget.

Millie crouched down and smiled at the little toddler at the table, as she put a packet of coloured pencils and paper in front of him. She received a toothy smile in return and proceeded taking the order from around the table. It had been a long shift, a day where everyone had called in sick to appreciate the warm weather, away from work. She cleared the plates from a corresponding table and went straight to the kitchen. Her feet were aching and she could not wait to get back home to her flat and unpack. She looked at the clock on the kitchen wall, she had around two and a half hours left of her shift to do, which should go pretty quickly considering the ongoing premiere had brought an influx of people to the restaurant. The sound of the bell broke her out of her reverie and she grabbed the plates of food and made her way to table six where the toddler with the toothy smile sat with his family.

By the time she finished, she swapped her waitress uniform for a pair of denim jeans and a cardigan and clocked out. The crowds had since dispersed and she noticed that the families had since gone and were replaced by couples over candlelight. She walked out of the restaurant by the back entrance when she stopped mid-step. Her heartbeat accelerated at full speed much like the motorcycle he was leaning up against. He was casually dressed in jeans and a green jumper, his black leather jacket draped across the seat of his motorcycle and he was wearing a devilish grin.

“Hello Millie, funny seeing you here,” he stated.

“What do you want?” Millie asked, taken aback by the surprise meeting.

“I thought it was pretty clear what I want. Did you miss me?” he replied, as he walked towards her. Millie wanted to head back into the restaurant but the door had closed behind her. She could try to dodge out of his way but he felt like a force, a brick wall she couldn’t move past. He was in front of her, before she had a chance to even move. His steely grey gaze pinning her to the spot like a trapped animal, he towered over her and she suddenly felt suffocated. He took a strand of her hair and caressed it between his fingers,

“I much preferred your brown hair but red I can work with,” letting the strand of hair fall back into place.

“You’re obviously not here to comment on my hair Liam. What I needn’t to say, I’ve already said. So if you will excuse me I have to be on my way,” Millie said defiantly, trying to push past him but failing miserably. He grabbed a hold of her arm when the sound of yelling interrupted them both. He could already hear an array of voices screaming his name and could only contemplate that he’d been seen. Before Millie could even react, he was shoving a spare helmet towards her and ordering her to get on the bike. She knew of his fame and what it could do.

“Get on the bike Millie!” Liam said through clenched teeth.

She did as she was told and got on behind him. She had no choice but to hold tight to him as he maneuvered the bike out of the street and zoomed away from the on-coming crowd. The tantalizing smell of his aftershave lingered and made her insides go funny and the feel of his abs made her go weak in the knees. And she was thankful that she was sitting and not standing at that moment. She had forgotten what it had felt like to be on the back of his motorcycle, clinging to him as he executed every turn, as he cranked up the speed. He was good at a number of other things too but she willed herself not to think about those things, those memories had to stay buried. Thankfully he couldn’t’t see what his reappearance was doing to her, as she tried to focus on what his reappearance meant.

Millie felt the motorcycle slow and looked up and noticed he had parked on a side road. Her side road.

“But how did you-?” she barely had a chance to finish her sentence before he interrupted her.

“Let’s get inside, I don’t want to have a conversation out here,” he dismissed her as he strode towards her front door.

Millie walked straight into the living room and headed for the kitchen, she wanted as much space between them as possible but she felt as if the four walls were closing in on her. She went straight to the fridge and opened it; there was a pint of milk sitting on the shelf and nothing else. She hadn’t planned on visitors and she had forgotten where she had packed the tea bags, not that that mattered. She needed something to do with her hands. Just as she turned around, he was leaning against the door frame, his arms folded and she could see the contours of his biceps through his jumper and steered her gaze away. His penetrative gaze making her feel vulnerable. How could he possibly do this to her after so many years?

“Can I get you a drink? Something to eat? I could order pizza…” she said nervously.

“I think we’re past the niceties Millie, don’t you think?” he paused, “I didn’t wait this long to have a cup of tea, what I really want to know is the truth.”

The truth. Could Millie go down that road again, after she spent so long working at moving on? It had been a long time ago. It had been a chapter in her past she had wanted to leave buried.

He moved around her flat, his frame making everything look that much smaller. He looked at the bland walls and opened the lids of a few of her unpacked boxes, “Suddenly you’ve lost the will to talk- now that is a surprise Millie. I remember a time way back, when talking was all we did and some, surely you remember the times when we didn’t talk at all and all we did was- how shall I say it- consummate.”

That earned him a slap, not before his hand caught her arm and he watched as daggers formed in her very eyes. There was the feisty Millie Bright he knew, “Now, now, you don’t want to go down that road again.”

“You spineless-,” she began, but was silenced by his lips as they crushed down on hers. He held her, restraining her and he could clearly feel her reluctant at the simpleness of a kiss.  She managed to push him away from her and their intimate touch, their connection was broken, "You can't deny there's still something between us."

Liam knew right then and there, that he had to have Millie again- whatever the means, he would get her in his bed again.  He watched her, she was leaning against the kitchen counter top, her eyes transfixed on something behind him, the colour drained from her face.  There was sadness in those eyes and it stirred something deep inside him.  Something was not right and he didn't like it one bit. He made a move towards her and she flinched, as if he had struck her. 

"I don't feel like talking right now Liam," she said, a look of distance in her eyes.

"We'll talk Millie," he began but was interrupted by her monotone voice.

"Yes, we will... soon but not right now.  I'd like you to leave,"  Millie said walking like a robot towards the front door and opening it. He tried to make a move towards her but she stepped back, as if his touch would burn her, "Don't touch me."

"What's the matter with you Millie? I won't hurt you," he began. His attempt was useless, he felt inadequate standing in front of her.  His instincts were telling him, something was wrong and he had to get to the bottom of it, but Millie was unresponsive.  She treated him like a stranger. 

"Just go please," she said avoiding his gaze.

"Just because I'm going, doesn't mean, I'm going to forget about this," he interjected before he stepped out and saw the door close firmly behind him. 

Millie leaned against the door and crumpled down to the floor, just when she thought she was making headway, her past was coming back to haunt her, in the form of Liam Blake.