Coasting Down Memory Lane;
Riley woke up the next morning wrapped up in Sidney’s protective grasp. They had a few minutes to spare before getting up and starting a busy day so she just laid there in his arms, feeling completely safe and happy.
“Morning beautiful,” he said as he kissed the top of her head.
“Morning,” she said as he pulled her on top of him.
“What time is it?” he asked after a couple of minutes had gone by.
“Eight forty-five,” Riley replied, rolling off of Sidney so she could get ready.
“I hate mornings…” she heard Sidney mumble just before she closed the bathroom room door to take a shower.
They sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast completely silent. It was a content silence though. Mornings like this were normally quiet, for many reasons. Sidney was usually preparing for practice, Riley was planning out her day, and they were still half asleep. The only conversation that was really made was when Sidney asked Riley if she was going to practice and she replied with a simple, “Yup.”
As they were cleaning up the phone rang and Sidney ran to it, picking it up like if it got to the third ring it would explode.
“Apparently I am going into the office today instead of going to watch you guys practice.” Riley said as she hung up the phone.
“But you were just there…” Sidney said with a confused tone evident in his voice.
“I know, but Paul obviously has other plans instead.”
They made plans that instead of carpooling together to the arena like they had planned, they would take their own cars and when Riley could leave the office she would head over to the Mellon. They both had to be at there at 11:00am and no later. “Seriously we need to leave now…” Riley whined as Sidney pinned her up against his silver Range Rover. He refused to do what Riley had said and continued to press himself up against her and kiss her hungrily. “People are going to start staring,” Riley said as she tried to push Sidney off of her. “So?” he smirked. “So, I don’t want my picture plastered all over the news for macking on Sidney ‘The Next One’ Crosby.” He pulled away and stared at her. “Would it be such a problem if people knew about us?” he asked seriously. “You know how I feel about that Sid…” Riley said as she walked towards her car. “No I don’t. I don’t understand why it would be such a problem if people knew.” He said looking slightly hurt. “Your teammates know, Mario knows, close friends know. People know, just not everybody.” Riley said as she put her bag in her car. Sidney just looked at her with an expression like he was expecting more of a reason. “Look, we’ll talk about it later. But for now, we’re both going to be late if we don’t leave.” She said as she got into her car.
Riley walked into the tall office building with a great deal of butterflies in the pit of her stomach. Paul usually never called anyone in for a brief meeting; he wasn’t that kind of boss. But as soon as the elevator doors opened to the fourth floor she wiped her nervous expression right off her face and replaced it with a happy, confident one.
“Miss Jacobs,” Paul said in a strictly business tone.
“Good morning, Mr. Patterson.” Riley replied, trying her best to sound confident.
“Please, have a seat.” He said motioning towards the empty chair. Riley sat down as nervousness overtook all of her emotions.
“Now,” Paul started in a stern tone, “I am going to keep this short and sweet,” he said looking directly into Riley’s eyes. “I have heard from some people that all of your work that I thought was spectacular isn’t as great as I was led to believe,” he finished off in the same strict tone.
“What do you mean?” Riley asked, trying to cover her nervousness.
“What I mean is that I found out that you plagiarized the information about the Penguins, therefore, your services as Montgomery-Review are no longer needed.” He said with a stone cold expression to match his monotone voice.
“Wh- what? I- I never copied it, I wrote it all. What?” Riley stuttered. She couldn’t believe what this man had just said.
“Don’t argue with me Miss Jacobs. I saw with my own eyes someone with the exact same work as you and I hired him myself before I hired you,” he said, his patience decreasing at a rapid pace.
“But I thought no one else worked with the Penguins but me,” she said as tears began to cloud her vision. She would not cry though, she had to show her strength.
Just then there was a knock on the door but Riley just looked straight and ignored it. Paul on the other hand instantly changed his tone from stone cold to joyful. “Ah, Mr. Orson, how are you?” The other man, Mr. Orson, replied but Riley was too lost in her own thoughts to pay much attention. “You’re free to leave Miss Jacobs. But on your way out please hand over the materials the company supplied you with to Leslie at the front desk will you, your replacement will need it.” Paul said suddenly sweetly from the door. Riley mumbled a ‘yeah’ from her seat.
It took Riley a minute or two to recollect her thoughts before she got up. As she turned around her jaw dropped when she saw who was standing in the doorway with a huge smile on his face. “Cooper?”