Aria gasped. That voice seemed eerily familiar, like she had heard it before a long time ago. She turned to see his beautiful figure walking over to her. Aria couldn't say anything, she just stared at him, drinking in his beauty. At this distance, she saw his large biceps straining against the sleeve of his T-shirt and the hint of a six pack under the thin material.
"You mind if I join you? My name is Luke" He said. She nodded and he sat down next to her on the bench. This close she could smell him. He was like fresh ocean air and sandlewood.
Aria realised she was still staring, and blushed slightly. She looked down at her hands, fiddling with her fingers to hide her nervousness.
"I'm... I'm Aria" she stuttered, looking up at him through her long lashes.
"Beautiful name, almost as beautiful as the girl who bears it." He whispered.
Aria smiled, a memory flashing through her mind.
"Aria means song, my baby girl" her mother's golden voice rippled through her mind. "Your song is your power, sing and you will always be heard."
"Thanks, my mum loved music. I think she thought I'd be a singer like her." Aria said, slightly sad at the idea of not living up to what her mother's wanted for her.
"And you're not?" He said leaning towards her.
"No. I work in a restaurant in the city. I mean I play guitar and sing for the guests sometimes on a Friday night if we're not too busy. Hardly prime performance spot at The Lounge like her!"
"I'd love to hear you sing." Said Luke. He looked into her eyes intensly, as though trying to figure out a puzzle.
"Ari! Hey Aria! There you are!" A loud voice called from behind. Harper strode over to the bench and gave a disapproving look at Luke. "I've been looking for you everywhere!"
"Sorry Harps, I'll coming right back in." Aria looked back at Luke. "It was great to meet you." She was reluctant to leave him.
"I'm sure I'll be seeing you again." He said with a wink
Aria tore her gaze away from his eyes, noticing how their colour had returned to its beautiful caramel and walked back into the bar with Harper. She hoped he was right and that they would meet again.
A week later, Aria and Harper were working at the restaurant; a quaint Italian place in the centre of the city.
"Earth to Aria!" Harper called "I've been asking you for those places for 2 minutes! What's up with you lately girl? It's like your mind is somewhere else."
Aria blushed. She didn't want to admit that she had been thinking of him, tracing the shape of his strong jaw and perfect lips in her mind. She couldn't shake the memory of her birthday, the memory of him.
"Sorry Harps, here you go" she said, passing her the plate she had been wiping for the past ten minutes.
"Hey babe! We're not too busy tonight, do you want to go up and do your thing?" Aria cringed as Dean, the restaurant manager and her boss, came up behind her, resting a hand on the small of her back. He always came too close to her, touching her arm, her waist, her back. What a sleazebag! She thought to herself.
Stepping away from his touch, she forced a smile on her face. "Great, Dean. Just give me a sec to set up." She grabbed her guitar and headed to the small stage in the centre of the restaurant. Taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, she began to sing.
After playing for half an hour, she put down her guitar. Noting the customers had gone silent to listen to hear her set. Now that she had stopped, they applauded. Nodding and smiling basically she made her way back to the bar to serve drinks.
Then she felt it. The same tingle she had felt a week ago. Like the air was electric. She turned around and saw him behind her, his caramel eyes gazing down at her, a smile on his lips.
"You well and truly earn your name." He said.
She gulped. "Hi again. I... erm... can I get you a drink?" She stammered out.
"No, I'm fine, but I'd love to take you for one. When do you finish for the night?"
"In about an hour" she said gazing into his face. Suddenly she saw it turn dark and a look of anger flashed across it. A hand wrapped round her waist. Eurgh... Dean. She thought.
"Everything okay here babe?" His said, leaning just a little too close to her.
She leaned away from him, barely concealing the look of disgust on her face.
"Yes boss" she emphasised the word. "Everything is fine." She noticed Luke's hand gripping the wood of the bar top, his knuckles were white as they strained against the skin of his hand. His eyes seemed to glow a deep orange, like fire.
"Sure thing, babe. I'll be here if you need me." Dean walked away to the back of the restaurant and Aria sighed with relief.
"And that was?" Said Luke, a hard tone to his voice.
"Just my boss. He doesn't quite understand the concept of personal space."
"He's disgusting. He can't touch you like that." The anger in his voice was palpable.
"I can handle him, Luke. It's fine." Aria reassured.
Luke took in a deep, calming breath. Aria was puzzled to see the fiery glow appear to dissipate in his eyes and they returned slowly to his usual caramel brown.
"I'll pick you up in an hour." He said. With that, he turned and left the restaurant, leaving behind his gorgeous scent of sea air and sandalwood.