She clenched her thighs together, the sensation deep within her core was skyrocketing. The excitement, the fear, the anticipation, it was everything.
Alec had joined the vip table once again but Siena was still leaning against the wall where he left her. It wasn’t long before Sarah skipped over and announced they were all going home.
That was enough fun for one night, Siena shouldn’t even have been drinking in the first place. She was the youngest one there.
The drive back to the apartment was a daze, Siena didn’t even realise that the group had stopped outside a twenty four hour cafe and had gotten coffees. The smell was strong and Siena turned her face in disgust.
“It will sober you up.” Millie giggled, she found it all very entertaining, but her main goal for the night was to go home with Asher’s hot driver.
Sarah held her coffee and blew into it earning it to splash against her face, she winced at the pain. Of course Asher had to witness her little embarrassing moment and she blushed under the dim street light.
Once everyone was back in the car it wasn’t long before the group was snoring. Asher sat at the front with Alec. After glancing around to see everyone was sleeping he turned to Alec.
“Your friends with Siena’s cousin right?”
“Yes why?” Alec asked.
“Was just wondering how you both know each other. You’re quite protective of her.”
Alec stayed silent but Asher could see the muscles in his jaw clenching.
“You can drop me home last driver.” Millie purred from the seat behind. Asher chuckled under his breath at his flirty friend.
“Millie, you came to Asher’s apartment in my car.” Jackson snapped. “You’re going home the same way.”
“I’m sure the driver won’t mind dropping me home Jackson, saves you having to go out of your way.” She spoke through gritted teeth, scowling at her friend. Jackson shook his head and mouthed the word no.
Millie slumped down into her seat startling Sarah who woke up with a loud shriek. Soon the whole car was awake, laughing at her. Shortly after the car stopped outside the apartment.
Millie and Jackson went their separate ways before Sarah stumbled out of the car and began walking away from the apartment. Siena had managed to fall back asleep in the car.
“Where are you going?” Asher called out to Sarah.
“Home! Where else?”
“It’s 2am. Let me take you home.”
“No I’ll manage thank you.”
“Sarah. You can’t go home on your own at this hour.” Asher warned, his tone serious.
Sarah half wanted to punch him in the face, from acting like she didn't exist to wanting to make sure she got home alright. What was his deal? After what happened at the club, she knew he was right.
“Fine.” She sighed.
“Alec get Siena to her room. I’ll make sure Sarah gets home.” Asher shouted from across the street. Alec already had Siena sleeping in his arms. With a simple nod, he made his way into the apartment. Asher trusted Alec with Siena, since they knew each other and he was a friend of the family.
Alec wasted no time getting Siena into the lobby, Tony froze the moment he saw them.
“Should she have been drinking?” Tony questioned, his brows furrowed.
Alec smirked at his good friend as he walked past him towards the elevator. Siena mumbled something under her breath, before he lowered her onto her bed.
“Alec?” Her sweet voice called, her eyes still closed, a hint of a smile across her full lips.
Alec smiled before sighing, he sat beside her, watching, observing. After a minute he stood up and whispered in her ear.
“I’m not good for you tesoro.” Within seconds he was gone.
Sarah sat awkwardly next to Asher in the taxi, they had almost reached her house.
“Uh... thanks for...”
“It’s fine. If I hadn’t been drinking tonight I could have dropped you in my car.” Asher interrupted.
The taxi stopped outside Sarah’s house and she started to fiddle with her bag, looking for her purse and keys.
“Don’t worry, I got this.” Asher spoke, watching her.
“No, I’d like to pay for my own cab fair thank you very much.” She insisted, giving the cab driver a note.
Asher couldn’t help smile at her, she was definitely stubborn. Two things he knew about her now, clumsy and stubborn.
“I’ll see you around Sarah.” He smiled.
Sarah scoffed as she waved goodbye, she wanted to roll her eyes. She knew after this night, she probably wasn’t going to see Asher for a very long time.
Ahia! (Ouch) Siena woke up to a pounding headache, she reached for her temples whilst spotting the glass of water next to her. She drunk it as quick as she could.
Oh God. What did she do last night? She couldn’t remember anything. Did she do something stupid? “Dio mio.” She groaned, standing out of bed. Her velvet dress still clung to her body like a second skin.
She stripped off immediately, making her way to the shower. After a long steaming watery massage, she walked into her bedroom and let out a sigh. Her brows furrowed as her eyes focused on something on her bed, a box.
Siena inched closer to it. Was it there the whole time? Tightening her towel around her chest, she sat beside the box and slowly started to open it.
Her lips parted as she looked inside, her eyes focusing on the dark leather book. She reached out to pick it up, her fingers trailing down the binding. This was the most beautiful sketchbook she had ever seen, each page was thick and almost canvas like. She held it to her chest as the tears rolled down her cheeks, this was breathtaking, it was everything, it was truly special.
She picked up the note inside the box.
With love on your birthday - A x
“Asher.” She whispered, she must have forgotten to open this one. Her heart went out to him and she couldn’t deny that he had in fact given her everything. She was convinced the man was an angel God sent down to her. She knew she had to thank him, and reciprocate what he had shown her.
She walked out of her room to an empty apartment, Asher must have already left for work. Some of the balloons and steamers had fallen to the ground and Siena got busy doing what she did best.
By the evening Siena was cooking steak with potatoes. She wanted everything perfect for when Asher arrived. She smiled as she thought of him, lighting a candelabra on the dining table.
As soon as she heard him walk through the door she leapt towards him, throwing her arms around his tall frame. He stumbled back, chuckling.
“Woah, what did I miss?”
“Thank you Asher. You’ve made all my dreams come true.” She choked, still holding onto him. She lifted her head to look into his curious ocean eyes.
“Siena. I’ve told you before. I want you to be happy.”
Siena nodded, for a brief moment she stayed this way. Holding him. When she finally let go, he shrugged out of his coat and furrowed his brows towards the dining table. Lined with candles and a beautiful candelabra sat in the middle. Two steaming full plates.
“Siena! To what do I owe this pleasure?” He grinned.
“Are you forgetting it’s my job?” Siena chuckled. “Besides, this is nothing compared to what you have done for me.”
“Can we let that go. It’s not much, Siena you don’t owe me anything. Okay?” Asher smiled, his eyes twinkling before the candlelight.
“Okay.” Siena whispered.
She spent most of the night sketching in her new sketchbook, new inspirations, new ideas, new designs. She was in her element, her eyes sparkling with joy and determination.
Siena was ready for this new chapter in her life, one where she would take control, one where she would be happy, where she would strive for her goals and accomplish them.
The cold breeze whipped around Siena as she hailed down a cab, her new khaki coat wrapped around her like a blanket. Her heart was racing but delightfully, she couldn’t wait to get into the city, to walk into college on her first day.
It wasn’t long before she stood before the gates of the university. She had arranged to meet Sarah here five minutes ago, she made sure she was at least forty minutes early for her class.
“Welcome to college girl!” Sarah yelled from behind, holding two coffees in each hand. Her hair up high in a ponytail.
She reached Siena passing her a coffee, grinning from ear to ear.
“Don’t mention it. How are you feeling?”
“I feel... nervous but.” Siena paused and smiled, her hair flying around her. Her green eyes dancing around her surroundings.
“So grateful.” She continued.
“Well after your first class, you have to meet me for lunch. Meet me here, I’ll introduce you to my friends.”
“Okay.” Siena grinned, before they went their separate ways. Siena walked towards the textiles building, a slight spring in her step.
She recognised the building where she had her meeting with Julia and walked into it, making her way to the reception.
“Hi, my name is Siena Romana. I’m supposed to start my classes today.”
“Siena... Romana.” The older rounder lady repeated, as if talking to herself whilst she looked through some files.
“Here you are sweetie pie, this has your timetable and everything else you need, including your pass to access the grounds.”
“So your day consists of two classes, one theory and one practical. Each class is two hours long with a small break in between them and also lunch.”
“Sounds perfect.” Siena breathed, unable to hide her excitement.
“Okay then sweetie. Your first class is down the hall to your right and your second class is the same way just to your left.”
Siena thanked the lady before making her way to her first class, she still had fifteen minutes to start. The classroom was large and bright, huge rectangular tables sat in rows. The room had much art equipment all displayed at the side of the room with easels and endless amount of paper in different sizes.
Siena sat down in the first seat she made eye contact with and finished off her coffee before throwing it into the dustbin.
It wasn’t long before more students began to appear, Siena suddenly felt nervous. The other students were sure to look at her as they walked in, taking their seats.
Siena didn’t notice the seat next to her pull out, only to be filled with a guy.
“Hey girl, I’m Andy!” He winked.
“Hi.” She smiled. Her dimples making an appearance. “I’m Siena.”
“Nice to meet you Siena.” He smiled before pulling out some of his artwork from the huge folder in his hands. Most of the students carried these massive folders and Siena felt scared that she was missing something.
“Morning class.” Julia spoke, her strong voice echoing through the large room.
“Please continue with your projects. - but before you do, I would like to introduce Siena, our newest student.”
All eyes flickered over to Siena, she smiled awkwardly.
“Siena come and see me at the front so I can explain the project.”
Siena stood and met Julia, who passed her one of the folders with a handle.
“All your artwork goes into this folder from now on Siena. Your project is to design an outfit that brings out your personality.” Julia watched Siena’s eyes twinkle with impatience, it seems she wanted to start straight away.
“Of course the rest of the class have had a head start but I’m sure you’ll catch up in no time. So get designing.”
“Yes Mrs Walsh.” Siena replied before bouncing back to her seat.
Andy watched her with curious eyes as he held his pencil in his hand.
“Why do I get the feeling that your designs are gonna be insane girl?”
Siena chuckled. “I don’t know about that.”
“Ooo is that a slight accent. So sexy girl, where are you from?”
“I grew up in Italy and moved here when I was about 9 or 10.”
“No shit?” Andy grinned. “I’ve always wanted to bag myself an Italian stallion.” He winked.
Siena giggled again and the time spent in her first class flew by. Andy made it a lot more fun, Siena learned that he wanted to own his own brand of clothes and chain of stores. She admired his big dreams just as she admired her own.
She had managed to draw some rough sketches and had an idea in her mind for an outfit. Julia kept reminding the class that the design had to show off personality and also tell a story.
Soon Siena stood waiting for Sarah, her big folder in her hand. Her fingers gripping it so tightly that nothing could snatch it from her, not even the harsh wind.
“Hey!” Sarah yelled. Walking over to Siena with two other girls by her side.
One of the girls that Sarah was with gave a polite smile whilst the other’s lips formed into a thin line.
“Seems like you’re getting looks from all the guys already.” Sarah admitted, looking around. Siena blushed as she noticed the few looks she was getting but paid no attention to them. Just another part of the whole college experience.
“This is Emma and Tory.”
Emma grinned and came forward to give Siena a side hug whilst Tory waved with a more serious expression on her face. It didn’t go unnoticed by Siena who tried to ignore it.
“Right girls... let’s lunch.” Sarah insisted, licking her lips.
The practical class was amazing and so hands on. Siena was behind a sewing machine learning all the basics. She knew some things, but managed to brush up on everything she knew.
The room was large like the first, fabrics and mannequins everywhere. Large tables and machines. Needles and endless amount of thread. Siena knew she could create something breathtaking here as soon as she walked in.
Andy sat next to Siena again, cracking one joke after another. Siena wanted to become perfect at using all the equipment, especially since soon after designing her outfit. She would be making it, in this very room. Some of the other students had already started.
Siena couldn’t wait to tell Asher all about her day but she didn’t want to admit that there was someone else on her mind. He had been there all day, at the back of her head.
A few blanks from her birthday night had started to come back to Siena. Those silver eyes piercing through her soul, as much as she tried, she couldn’t shake off the feeling of wanting to see him. Though she knew it wasn’t right.
The last person Siena needed to be tangled with right now was Alec Marino.
Asher sat on the couch, his head buried in paperwork. He loved his job, he loved designing buildings but he missed how he started out. Designing homes for families, that’s what he loved.
His first project that he ever completed was a house for a young family. Sometimes he drives past it to remind himself of how he started and how far he’s come. His family were filthy rich but Asher always wanted to provide for himself.
The second house Asher designed was for a girl called Kate, her family were gifting her this home and they were friends of his parents. After finishing that home, he had fallen in love.
Love. He scoffed, that shit didn’t exist. He thought of Siena and could never imagine her doing something like what Kate did. Siena had been so nice to him. He thought back to their candlelit dinner, how beautiful she looked.
He couldn’t deny that maybe he did feel something towards her, as much as he tried to fight it. He didn’t want to fall for her, but her innocence and beauty was all too much for him. He wanted to spoil her, that much he knew. Maybe Siena was the one.
He knew there was a lot of mumble jumble in his mind right now. Especially since another fiery haired girl kept popping up in his head but he hardly knew her. Imagining himself with Siena made more sense, yes she was young but he thought she was mature for her age.
Asher’s head fell back and he closed his eyes. Why were girls so complicated? His phone rang beside him.
“Asher does the 16th work for you?”
“Huh? For what?”
“Your birthday gala of course!” Angela snapped.
“Oh don’t sound too excited my dear son! We only throw you one each year.”
“Maybe not this year mom.”
“Nonsense. We have to throw you one.”
Asher sighed, he knew there was no persuading his mom. Once she set her mind on something, that was it.
“Fine. Yes 16th is fine.”
“Good. Leave it to me. Bye dear.”
Asher stood to make himself a cup of coffee, he knew he’d probably need a date to attend his party with.
The question was, who did he want by his side?
The sound of the door rattling broke his train of thought.
“Asher!” Siena ran in, bouncing up and down with a huge folder in her hand.
“It. Was. Amazing!” She screamed.
Asher smiled, watching as she danced around the room. He couldn’t remember if he ever saw her look this free and happy.
“I’m going to practice some sketches in my new sketchbook.” She winked towards Asher.
“That’s great.” He grinned. “Did they give you one at college?”
“What. No!” She chuckled, taking it out of her room. “Remember?” She asked, waving the leather in his face with a smile on her face.
“I’m confused.” He chuckled.
“You didn’t get me this?” She asked, her smile leaving her lips.
“No Siena, though I wish I thought of getting you that.” He admitted, throwing her a lopsided smile.
“So anyway my mom throws me this birthday gala every year and I was thinking.” He paused and cleared his throat. “I was wondering whether you would accompany me... as... my date?”
The room became silent, nothing but the hush sounds of the TV playing. Asher couldn’t believe he asked her, but he did. Siena was a breath of fresh air in his life right now and perhaps he needed to focus on her.
“I... would love to.” Siena replied, throwing Asher a kind smile before she retreated to her room.
Her eyes began to gloss over, she held her sketchbook to her chest tightly as she stared out of the window. The setting sun shone through, casting hues of gold around her room.
Siena took a deep breath, realisation dawning on her. She picked out the scrunched up note from her dustbin.