Friday, January 30, 2009

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Coasting Down Memory Lane;
Chapter Twenty-Seven.

“You’re never home!” Sidney had shouted at Riley one day when she arrived home at 2:30am. She was working two shows for the time being while the company searched immensely for another sports analyst. She was also doing some written work for a newspaper that showed interest in her and offered a safety net in case things didn’t work out in the end at Sports Guide.

After a month of long hours spent everywhere but home, many stressful cases of writer’s block, and continual bickering with the one she loved Riley was drained. She felt as if everything she’d put so much effort and care into would crumble in front of her own eyes at the wrong word said or the wrong action. To make matters even worse, the Penguins were in a slump and out of a playoff spot. Luckily they’d showed some signs of turning around in the past few games but Sidney still had his frustrations and doubts and did not always keep them where they belonged: on the ice.

There’d been hateful things said, tears shed, and even some things thrown when one of their disputes had heated up. Still, Sidney and Riley tried their damndest to plough through their disagreements and frustrations and remain together – where deep down, they were they’re happiest.

There was one way Riley had found ways to keep her temperament intact and even relax, a little. Her friend, co-worker, therapist at times, peacekeeper, and saviour Brett Sharpe was her only sense of sanity. He’d made her laugh when she’d thought of strangling others, helped her finish articles on time when she was up to her ears in them, sat quietly and listened while she spilled her fears, stresses and problems, held her back when she set after an intern who’d rubbed her the wrong way, and offered her a drink when she’d really needed one. He was one of the reasons why she kept going back to work extra hours when they’d asked her, she enjoyed his company.

One morning in early February Riley awoke to the sound of her alarm. Looking outside she saw that it had snowed, yet again. She rolled out of bed trying to be quiet so she wouldn’t wake Sidney. She frowned when she realized that it was still dark outside, that’s depressing, she thought.

After her shower she wandered towards the kitchen to get some coffee. Soon after Sidney emerged from their room showered and dressed. “Morning,” he mumbled as he made a beeline for the coffee machine. “So, what time did you get home last night or should I say early this morning?” he asked in a sour tone.

Here he goes again, she mused, we can’t even have a nice breakfast. “Early this morning,” she said. “I got home at about one.” Anger flashed across his features. Riley tried to hide her smile by taking a gulp of her hot coffee.

He walked over to her and took the mug of coffee out of her hand and placed it on the counter. “You’re going to wear yourself out – No, I’m not finished,” he said as she opened her mouth to protest. “I also miss you; we never spend any time together anymore.” Moving in closer, Sidney leaned down to kiss Riley sweetly on the lips. His arms wrapped around her waist and her arms flew up behind his neck, he was just about to deepen the kiss when a horn honked from the driveway. Sidney cursed while Riley laughed, kissed him one more time and left.

“How’s everything?” Brett asked once Riley climbed into his truck.

“Everything’s good, how about you?”

“Good, good.” Brett was quiet for a moment while they were stopped at a red light. “So, you’re only doing one show today?”

“Yeah, it’s such an oddity.”

When they arrived at the TV studio Riley was told right away that Cheryl wanted to speak with her. I swear if they ask me to fill in for more people I’m going to go insane, Riley thought on the way to the producer’s office. The door was open but Cheryl was facing the other way, so Riley knocked and took a few steps forward, hesitantly.

“Miss Jacobs,” Cheryl greeted politely.

“Mrs. Namara,” she replied sweetly.

“How are you this morning, Riley?”

“I’m good, thank you, how are you?” Riley answered, biting her lip to stifle a yawn.

“Oh, I’m good. Don’t worry I wanted to speak with you because I have good news,” Cheryl added quickly when she saw nervousness in Riley’s eyes. “One, I’ve found people who will take over the extra shows you’ve been so graciously covering. And two, my niece just moved back into the city – she just graduated from university – and has agreed to write for you. So now all you have to do is read it, isn’t that great?” Cheryl said, excitedly. “You’re one of my best journalists I’ve ever had so I figured that you would deserve this more than anyone – but don’t tell them that.”

Riley stood there, frozen and silent. She had so many thoughts running through her, so many things she wanted to say. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This meant her hours would be shortened and she could spend more time with Sidney. No, I want to write and research! I don’t want people doing it for me… She’d picked a career in journalism because she loved to write not sit in front of a camera and look pretty.

“Thank you so much, Mrs. Namara.” Riley said when she could finally find her voice.

“You’re welcome!” Cheryl said in a sing-song tone. “Ah, well, I shouldn’t take up any more of your time; I believe you have a show to film?” She said looking at her watch.

“Yes. Uh, thanks again.”

“It’s my pleasure, like I said before, you deserve it.”

The rest of the day passed without much excitement, a laugh here and there but nothing to tell others. Riley was able to leave at 4:00pm. She wore a smile the whole time while Brett drove her back to her house. He pulled up in front of Riley’s driveway. “That’s a nice vehicle you got there,” he nodded towards Sidney’s Range Rover. “Why don’t you drive yourself?” Brett joked.

Even though Riley didn’t care too much for small talk at the moment, she was too excited to tell Sidney about her day, it was hard to not smile at Brett. “It’s not mine,” she grinned. “It’s my boyfriend’s.”

She expected to see his smile fade when she mentioned that she had a boyfriend and was pleasantly surprised when it didn't. He cared for her, a lot, but as a good friend and co-worker. “Ah, well, tell him I approve of his taste in cars. Anyway, see you later, Rye.” She waved and he drove off.

When Riley walked in she was expecting to hear the TV on since Sidney was home. She laughed when she saw him come barrelling down the stairs. “Keep your coat on, we’re going out.” He slowed his pace as he approached Riley. He placed his hands firmly on her waist and she on his. He gave her an innocent kiss for a few seconds then deepened it. He pulled away a moment later and gazed into her eyes. “You’re beautiful,” he murmured. “Come on, let’s go!”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chapter Twenty-Six

It's a short chapter, I know. The reason for it is that I've got an idea for this story and right now I'm leading up to it and well, I don't want to have one ridiculously long chapter. Trust me, I've had plently of time to think about where I want this story to go and I've also started a new story which is not Sid-related and not posted. It's the only thing I could do to keep my sanity - I've been sick for the past week with the flu and you can only watch so many talkshows before you lose your mind.
Anyway, enjoy chapter twenty-six! :]


Coasting Down Memory Lane;
Chapter Twenty-Six.

The dog had serious injuries that would take time to heal. He had several broken bones, a stab wound, and he hadn’t eaten in two full days. Hearing this news made Riley sick to her stomach, she couldn’t believe that someone could do such a thing to a innocent animal. The disgust quickly transformed into pure outrage.

“You can pick him up in two weeks, but you’ll have to be very careful with him and he needs to be on a special diet…” The woman at the front desk of the vet’s office said.

A few days later Riley and Kaylan were sitting in Riley’s living room watching TV and talking about the weekend when Sidney walked in the door. He seemed to be in a good mood which stunned Riley a bit because they had only won one of the three games on that road trip; he must’ve been happy to just be home.

Kaylan and Riley told him about the abused dog and how Riley felt towards it. She gushed over how adorable the puppy was even though she thought that he might not have much time left. She then sheepishly admitted that she had adopted the dog.

Sidney’s response to Riley’s news was as expected; he laughed.

The days continued to pass by at a quick pace and Sidney was away a lot on road trips and Riley was forever at the station working on upcoming shows. To make matters worse, Bandit, the dog that Riley had saved was not taking well to his new lifestyle.

One night Sidney was out at a players’ meeting at the arena and Riley was at home relaxing. This was one of their rare chances to be together this month and Sidney was told the other day that this meeting needed to be attended by everyone. He promised to be back by 9 o’clock and no later.

Just then Riley’s cell phone started ringing.


“Hi, Miss Jacobs?” a voice asked.

“Yes it is. May I ask who’s speaking?” Riley replied tiredly. The past few weeks had been very exhausting for her at work.

“Sorry to bother you at this time but I was informed that we need you to be here to film some more shows and we need you to host another TV show, seeing as the expected anchor did not show.”

“Right now?” Riley asked, trying to suppress a groan.

“Yes, I’m very sorry to disturb you at this time but it is needed and much appreciated,” the woman replied.

“All right, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

After hanging up Riley then rushed to find a pen and paper to leave Sidney a note explaining why he would come home to an empty house.

The station called and they need me to do some filming and apparently I will be doing another show, too. I’m sorry about this, love. I know its bad timing but I can’t do anything about it. They didn’t mention how long I would be there so all I can say is don’t wait up if I’m not back soon.
I love you.

With that, she left.

This type of thing continued for the next few weeks. Except that Sidney was home a lot of the time Riley was working and vice versa. Even though the relationship between Riley and Sidney was strong, their time apart due to work was taking a toll on their tempers and inevitably their relationship.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Chapter Twenty-Five

Coasting Down Memory Lane;
Chapter Twenty-five.

The weeks had flown by so quickly that it might leave some dazed. Christmas with the families had been wonderful. Everyone cracked up when Riley had handed Sidney a top-of-the-line GPS system with specific locations all ready programmed in. Another round of laughter erupted when Sidney had mentioned to Riley that he booked two spots for an all-day spa and she asked if he would be accompanying her. He made it very clear that she could bring anyone she wanted with her – except him, of course – suggesting Kaylan and topping it off by rolling his eyes.

New Years had been interesting as well. Both families, the Crosbys and Jacobs’, stayed until the third of January. When it came to the countdown and the obvious kiss everyone crowded together in a large party room that was rented and decorated for this occasion. They kicked the New Year off all together; the Jacobs’, the Crosbys, the Lemieuxs, and the entire Pittsburgh Penguins hockey organization – and their families, too.

Sidney pulled Riley closer to him, if that was even possible, when the countdown hit five and continued all the way down to ‘Happy New Year!’ With his hand on the small of her back and Riley on her tip toes the two were lost in their own world as they shared their first kiss of the New Year.

One chilly morning in late January Riley was getting her coat on and trying to find her keys as she was making her way out the door on her way to work. Sidney had already left for the morning skate; he had to arrive earlier than everyone else because he had three interviews to do beforehand. Riley turned around after locking the front door and was instantly hit in the face with the bitter cold winter weather. She rushed over to her car with her arms wrapped tightly against her chest, holding her coat tightly shut.

Once in her car she stuck the key in the ignition anxiously waiting to hear the wonderful sound of her car’s engine roaring to life. That didn’t happen. In fact, nothing happened at all. Throwing the driver’s side door open, jumping out, and slamming it shut Riley hurried to get inside her warm house. “Stupid piece of junk...” she muttered.

She waited in her living room tapping her foot at the speed of light. A few minutes later she saw a big black SUV pull up in her driveway and honk its horn. She was out the door in a flash.

“Really Marc, thank you so much for this,” she said sweetly as she climbed in to his massive vehicle.

“It’s my pleasure,” he replied in that adorable accent of his.

“We were coming this way anyway,” Max said with a smile.

“Oh well, I appreciate it no matter what,” she said politely.

“So, where exactly are you going anyway?” Max asked, eyeing her from head to toe.

“To work,” she said with a laugh.

“Dressed like that? No wonder you got the job,” he smirked.

“Excuse me? I got the job because of my journalistic work.”

“Max, she’s on TV every morning. She has to look good,” Ryan Whitney intervened shaking his head.

“Yeah but… Sid’s a lucky man.” Max said.

Once Marc and the guys dropped Riley off at the studio she walked right in and immediately texted Sidney. ‘I’m going to need a ride after work. I’ll explain later.’ A few minutes later she received a text back, surprised that it was from Sidney. After all he should be doing an interview. ‘All right, I’ll come get you after practice.’ After reading that she laughed a bit to herself, thinking that he probably snuck his phone in to the interview and was quickly texting away while the reporter looked in another direction. ‘Thank you. Love you <3’ she wrote back quickly. ‘Love you too, more than you’ll ever know’ he wrote back.

A few more days passed and Riley was keen on getting a new car since she had lost all hope in ever reviving her Mustang. After searching the internet for days she finally found a car that caught her attention, the 2009 Volvo XC60. One problem though, it would not be available in the United States until March. So she continued to look for something that she could at least settle for. That was when she came across the 2007 Jeep Patriot.

After deciding that the Jeep would do she and Sidney set out several days later to lease this vehicle. Test driving it was interesting; Riley tried to see how fast she could get the Jeep to go – Sidney flipped. They were told that they could pick up the car in a few days.

“Okay, seriously, I cannot wait until you can finally drive yourself to work again,” Sidney spat one morning while on the way to the station with Riley.

“Oh that is real mature, Sidney.” Riley fired back.

“You’re music is absolutely dreadful,” he said, shaking his head while glaring out the windshield.

“It is not!” Riley gasped.

“Yeah, it really is,”

“And what would you prefer?” Riley glowered at him.

“Anything but this,” he said, motioning his hand towards the car’s speakers.

“Fine, how about this then,” Riley said as she changed the CD that was currently in the stereo.



“This is worse,” he said as he reached over to turn the music off.

She smacked his hand away. He whipped his head around to glare at her.

“What is this?” Sidney asked in a calmer tone.

“’She Left Me’ by Go:Audio. And before it was ‘If You Run’ by You Me At Six.” Riley answered.

The day that Riley got her Jeep she was practically glowing. She had deeply missed not being able to drive herself anywhere since she didn’t have a working car and Sidney wouldn’t let her drive his Range Rover. She had made sure to bring along her collection of CDs. She put in a random disk without looking and burst out laughing as soon as the music started. Sidney stared at her like she was crazy.

“Can I ask what is so funny?” he finally asked after watching her laugh for a good solid minute.

“Do you remember Matt Camalleeri?” Riley asked, still laughing.

“Um, no?” Sidney looked at her, bewildered. “Oh! Wait, the kid who was obsessed with snowboarding and skateboarding?”

“Yeah, him,” she had calmed down but she still had a huge smile lighting up her face. “Well when he tried to teach me how to snowboard he played this song over and over again and he kept saying, ‘this song just makes you better’

“Anyway, it didn’t. I sucked out loud. Seriously, I don’t know how people do it; their feet are basically locked in to the board and you’re going downhill at a terrifying speed. But he believed so deeply that the song would make me a better snowboarder that now this song just cracks me up.” Riley finished with a quiet laugh.

“What song is it?”

“‘How We Do’ by Mount Sims.”

The days that had once flown by were now slowing down to an unbearable pace. Maybe it only seemed that way to Riley because Sidney was gone on a four day road trip. He called whenever he could but Riley still felt like it wasn’t enough. Of course she’d never tell him this because, a) it would make him feel bad about his career that he loves so much, and b) it would make her sound needy and dependent on a man, something she worked so hard against.

So to pass the time one night, Riley went out for a late night drive. She took some back roads and such mainly to avoid the downtown part. While she was driving and signing along to her music she saw something lying on the side of the road. Her gut was warning her to keep on going and to not get out but she did the opposite.

Getting out gave her a closer and clearer view on the mysterious figure that now looked to be dead on the side of the road. It was a small, innocent puppy. Immediately tears welled up in her eyes as she ran over to the poor animal. With her hand just inches from the body she hesitated wondering if it would be safe to touch it. It was too dark for her to see much of anything so she ran over to her car to get a flashlight and a blanket.

As she approached the puppy again, this time with a source of light, she gasped aloud; the poor dog that looked to be a young Rottweiler that had been kicked numerous times and maybe even stabbed. Instinctively, she unfolded the blanket and began to wrap it around the abused dog when its head shot up but didn’t have enough strength or energy to bite.

Riley rushed to get the dog in her Jeep and then raced to the nearest animal hospital. As she drove down the dark side road she wondered how many places would be open late on a Thursday night. She also wondered if the dog would even live long enough for a professional to examine it.