"Asha, you're going to give the poor guy a heart attack if you carry on."
Liam gave me a half-amused once over. I'd made a real effort, both to look good and to look like I'd given about half the effort I actually had done.
"You really think I look okay?" I checked anxiously in the mirror again, seeing both of our reflections looking back. Liam was dressed in a smart shirt and jeans, his hair even tidied a little. I'd opted for shorts, a band t-shirt and ankle boots. My hair was loose, bangles encircled one wrist and I'd slung my habitual studded belt low over my hips.
"Knockout darling." Liam replied cheekily. I elbowed him gently in the stomach, smiling finally.
"Thanks for this Liam." I turned slightly to hug him. "This means a lot."
"I know." His simple reply was comforting enough as he left me to make the finishing touches to my makeup. I could hear him letting Cody, Cancer and Ryan in, telling him that I would be down in a moment, offering beer or "alternatives" and generally being a perfect host. I smiled ruefully as I could hear Rayn's excitement and decided to save Liam before he was asked to perform again.
"Hey." I gave a shy smile as Cody's eyebrows disappeared into his hairline. Liam gave a chuckle as even Cancer gave an appreciative glance.
"Hey indeed." He seemed a little stunned but recovered enough to smile back at me as I crossed the room to sit next to him. Rayn bounced into the room, happily chattering about Liam's performance earlier.
"He hasn't stopped talking about it since you left." Cody murmured to me, earning himself a laugh. He grinned, looking even more attractive.
"I guess Aria is already there?" I addressed my question mainly to Cancer, who had been glaring at Liam, who in turn had been carefully avoiding the stare.
"Yeah." He continued to glare at Liam. Rayn, blissfully unaware of this, settled happily next to Cancer as Liam excused himself to get more drinks.
We passed a short time attempting to encourage Cancer to relax a little, but eventually gave up, using the approaching performance as an excuse to leave earlier than was strictly necessary. Cody and I walked a little apart from the others, talking quietly and inevitably making each other laugh. After a while, he took my hand hesitantly. I smiled brightly at him as our fingers twined together, feeling myself blush a little like a teenager on a first date. He laughed gently as we approached the big top. We had good seats, Cody and I behind the others. We talked quietly, under the swelling current of human voices. For once, I was glad of my sharpened hearing and as the main lights dimmed, I put my head on Cody's shoulder, humming quietly when he put his arm around my shoulders.
When Aria came onto the stage, our little group nearly doubled the volume of the applause. As a true performer, she stuck to her form, giving an incredible performance. It was only after she allowed herself to smile in our direction. We left with everyone else, smiling proudly as they all heaped praise on our friend. Cody took my hand as we let the others go ahead to the performer's side. Grinning, I led Cody off into the darkness, the sounds and lights of the circus dimming a little. He followed, a similar grin on his face. Under the unecessary shade of a tree, I turned and faced him, my arms finding their way gently around his neck.
"I really enjoyed tonight." We shared another smile. Cody voiced his assent, making a comment about how talented Aria was. I teased him a little before he bent his head, capturing my lips with his, pulling my hips against his.
After a while, we broke apart, breathless. "Someone enjoyed that." I teased him a little, seeing him blush in the darkness.
"I wanted to do that all evening." He confessed, his voice slightly husky.
"Same here." I replied in a low voice before pulling him closer to kiss him again.