Life for Ariel was going pretty well. She was now an adult, she had a new job that she was starting to really like and there was a potential new guy on the horizon (ok she hadn’t actually spoken to him but that was only a matter of time). But during her jog one morning she past by part of her old life and couldn’t help but wonder what might have been.
She wasn’t planning on stopping, part of her hoped Joe wouldn’t be home after she had decided to knock. She needed to get some closer. That way she could truly move forward.
She told Joe how she had loved him and how she’d be lying if she said she didn’t think about him sometimes. But she understood they were only high school sweethearts. He was never her true love.
“I wish things had turned out different Ariel. I did love you but I was stupid and I have to live with that for the rest of my life. I’m sorry for hurting you. I know your answer will probably be no but I still want you in my life. Even if it’s only as a friend.”
Joe was right Ariel’s answer was no. She was starting a new chapter in her life and there was no room for old flames or ex best friends.
This new chapter did require money though. A rookie cop made very little money and the inheritance Sebastian and Ariel had gotten once their parents left was starting to run out. That meant Ariel had to spend more time tending to the garden. It was there best source of income thanks to the years of love it’s seen.
Meanwhile Sebastian was entertaining inside. He was loving being a bachelor. His favorite part was all the new friends he was making.
His newest playmate was Darien. They had met at a hot yoga class that Sebastian was trying out. Sebastian didn’t care for the sweating but he did like the number of shirtless guys.
Darien wasn’t just a student of hot yoga he was the instructor. Sebastian was hoping the next time the two got hot and sweaty it would be in his bedroom.
There was only one problem with that scenario, Sebastian wasn’t 100% sure Darien was gay.
But Sebastian figured if anyone could turn him it would be him. At the very least he would have fun trying.
It seemed like Darien was interested in a gorgeous redhead with the last name Blanc. Only the one he wanted to get to know better had boobs.
Ariel was shocked when Darien started flirting with her in the kitchen. It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested, Darien was cute. But she would never go after a guy her brother was interested in. She decided to tell Sebastian what had happened. She hoped he wouldn’t be mad at her.
“Go for it! Obviously he’s not my type if your his type sis. You need a little fun, and if the moves he was pulling at class is any indication he’s a ton of fun!”
After getting Sebastian’s blessing and changing out of her wet bathing suit, Ariel was ready to see if Darien was someone she wanted to see more of.
The night was going well. Darien was sweet and funny. Ariel was starting to get her hopes up about the potential of this relationship.
Then Darien started to show the real Darien.
“You know what I hate more the anything…aliens. They are the worst. In fact a few friends and I go alien hunting once a month. Last month I bagged one this big.”
Having a father who was an alien and being half alien herself it didn’t take Ariel long to show Darien the door.
Ariel couldn’t help but feel frustrated. She had never really done the whole dating thing. Were these the kind of guys out there?
Ariel was still pondering about the quality of guys out there when she went to work in the morning. That all went away when she saw him. Maybe today she’d actually learn his name.
Ariel was a bit distracted during the day. All she could think about was what she was going to say to the cute cop. She didn’t even notice that the guy she was booking for breaking and entering was full on hitting on her.
“What do you say I take you out for a drink when I get out of here. You only have to wait 3 to 5 years.”
Ariel was finally done with all the bookings for the day. She pleased to find someone waiting for her when she got back to her desk.
“Hi I’m so sorry I didn’t introduce myself the other day. That was so rude of me I hope you can forgive me. My name is Eric and I’m super excited to be working with you.”
Ariel did her best to act normal and not spaz out. She wasn’t very successful. Fortunately Eric didn’t seem to mind.
The rest of the day was a blur. Ariel just replayed her and Eric’s meeting over and over again. The ding from a text message was the only thing that woke her from her daydreaming.
NANCY: Going for drinks with some of the new recruits. Dective McDreamy may be there. You should come 😉
Drinks with the cutest guy she had ever met how could Ariel say no to that.
Unfortunately Eric wasn’t at the bar with the rest of the squad. Ariel was a little bummed but decided to not let it ruin her night. She like the girls from the office and looked forward to getting to know them better.
She was thrilled when about an hour after she had arrived in walked Eric.
She was even more thrilled when he suggested they move to a table, just the two of them.
“I’m kind of new to Willow Creek so I don’t know many people. It’s one of the reasons I became a cop. You really get to know the neighborhood and the people in it walking the beat.”
Eric went on and on about how much he was looking forward to discovering Willow Creek. Ariel hoped that she would be one of the things he was planning on getting to know better.
Learning about Eric was great but when the dj started to play her jam, Cake By the Ocean, she couldn’t sit still.
Eric opted out of dancing. He seemed to be enjoying watching much more.
Everyone had stayed out a little too late the night before. The next day at the office they all decided to take it easy and busy themselves with paperwork.
Ariel however was finding it hard to concentrate on her work. She kept thinking about what a great time she had had last night and the person responsible for that.
Eric and Ariel started to spend a lot of time together. They ate lunch together.
Worked out together.
It wasn’t just at work. The two met up regularly for coffee and just to talk.
Ariel was loving all the time she was spending with Eric but all of it was just as friends. She still couldn’t tell if he had romantic feelings for her. She was too scared of being rejected to find out.
Sebastian noticed his sister spending a lot of time away from the house. He knew that it had to be a guy that was the reason. But she hadn’t said a word to him. So every morning at breakfast he grilled her about the mystery guy.
“I promise you’ll be the first person I tell when I’m dating someone new. I’ve just been spending time with a new friend that’s all it is.”
But we all know that Ariel wished for more with Eric. So when he invited her over to his place for dinner she couldn’t help but get her hopes up. Maybe he was finally going to admit that he liked her just as much as she liked him, fingers crossed.
Eric lived in a studio apartment on the other side of town. His place looked like the quintessential bachelor pad which made Ariel very happy.
Dinner wasn’t ready yet so Eric suggested they sit on the couch and get more comfortable. Ariel was thinking this was a good start to the night.
“I know this may sound crazy but I feel like I’ve known you a lot longer then a few weeks. I don’t have many friends, I’ve been burned a few times. But with you I feel so at ease, like we were meant to be in each others lives, you know?”
Before Eric had a chance to answer the oven’s timer went off. He excused himself to check on the food. Ariel was a bit discouraged, she felt like she was finally going to find out how Eric felt about her. But she remembered they had the whole night ahead of them. Since dinner was almost ready she decided to clean up.
That’s when she noticed something she had seen when she first arrived. Hanging on Eric’s wall was a picture of him and her ex best friend Vanessa. Eric knew Vanessa?
“Eric, this girl in this picture how do you know her?”
“You mean Vanessa….she’s my fiance. Wait do you know her? How crazy is that, such a small world.”
Eric went on to explain that Vanessa was the reason he had moved to Willow Creek. After they had gotten engaged he knew he’d have to move here to be with his wife. He went on to tell Ariel about how they met and fell in love but Ariel was barely listening. She told Eric that she wasn’t feeling well and needed to go home.
Back home Ariel did the only thing that calmed her down. She went for a swim.
How is it possible that this was happening again. Ariel was so close to happiness and Vanessa somehow came in a took that away, again.
Will Ariel continue her friendship with Eric or will it be too hard to see him knowing who his heart truly belongs to.