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.