Okay, so I am so, so, so sorry about the lack of updates lately. School is over in about four days - on Tuesday - and tomorrow we start our exams. Life has been crazy but it will calm down soon. Good news though, somehow I found a ton of inspiration for this story. I've already got the next ten, fifteen, chapter planned. And trust me, it will be good.
Anyway, I'm a little late on this, but hey, we still love to hear it. I was super excited that the Pens won the Stanley Cup. They deserved it. Oh, and I cried when Sidney lifted the Cup. I think it's love. =)
Coasting Down Memory Lane;
The sun was out and shining which meant that most of the entertainment would be outside. Over the past three weeks they’d been at Sidney’s summer house, it had only rained three or four times which was staggering because usually out in the Maritimes it rained a lot.
Ben and Kim had arrived first, much to Riley’s delight. They had gawked over the house, easing the tension building in Riley’s neck considerably. The four of them talked on the front lawn for several minutes until Ben could no longer wait for a tour. Sensing some of his girlfriend’s uneasiness, Sidney sent Riley off with her brother and soon to be sister-in-law for a tour. As Riley led them into the house she cast one last glance Sidney’s way and her stomach clutched as she saw the Crosby’s car pull into the driveway.
She had given them a tour, trying to remember what all of the rooms were used for, and was making her way down the stairs when her Ben stopped her.
“Rye, what’s wrong?”
She was about to shrug it off as nothing but knew deep down that her brother could help her. He always had. “Ben,” she started. “I’ve got a little dilemma.”
He grabbed her arm and steered her into a room. “Go on,” he urged as he sat on a chair. Riley noticed that they were in the master bedroom.
“Okay.” She took a deep, relaxing breath. “So, you know Sid’s dad, Troy, right?” He nodded as she took a seat on the bed. “Well, normally we’re cool with each other but lately…” Riley trailed off as she walked away from the bed. She found that there were too many nerves bubbling in her stomach for her to sit patiently.
“Lately,” she continued. “He’s been cold and distant towards me and me only. Like, I don’t know if I did anything to upset him or something. Sid told me that he’d talk to him but that I’d have to face him and all.” She turned to stare hard out at the backyard. “I don’t know. I don’t know,” she repeated. “Maybe he just doesn’t like me.”
Ben stared at her for several long, gruelling moments. When she didn’t turn around he started to speak. He knew his sister too well to go and approach her when she was in this mood. “You think he doesn’t like you. Riley, I think you’re an idiot.”
She turned quickly, with an expression that could kill frozen on her face. “What?” The word came out quick and harsh. Her green eyes were turning a shade lighter. Her eyes always did that when she was angry. They’d go this light, insane green that could burn holes through the toughest of walls.
Ben smiled but kept his tone flat. “I said I think you’re an idiot.” Her eyes got lighter, her nostrils flared. “You’re an idiot, Rye, for thinking that he doesn’t like you. The Riley that I know would never think it, she’d go right up to them, look them straight in the eye, and demand why they were treating her the way they were. The Riley I know would never put up with anyone trying to belittle her.
“So, why have you let him?” Ben questioned as he watched the light shade her eyes had turned dim a bit.
Her expression had gone from seething to stupefy. She opened her mouth as if to speak, but closed it firmly. “I haven’t, have I? Goddamn it. He just caught me off guard, that’s all. I’ve still got my attitude. I’ve still got my spine, damn it.” She paced around the room, and Ben knew that he’d given her all the advice she’d need.
“Then now would be a good time to put it to use because I think they’re coming in here.” Her expression changed again. This time she looked slightly nervous and scared, but before Ben could say anything, she pulled herself together. She replaced a vulnerable expression with a determined one. “Go kick some ass, Rye.”
And as she strode out of the bedroom and down the stairs, he knew she would.
Sidney’s parents had arrived just as Riley had gone off with her brother and his fiancée to give them a tour. His dad had no real expression on his face but that wasn’t much of a surprise. His dad never did.
“Hey Sid,” Troy, his dad, said.
“Hi Dad, Mom, and Taylor,” Sidney said, hugging each of them.
“Hi honey,” his mom cooed. “Where’s Riley?”
Sidney watched out of the corner of his eye his dad tense up and look around. “She’s inside with Ben and Kim. She should be out soon.”
“Oh, why don’t we just go in? Taylor and I have something to tell her anyway.”
Great, Sidney thought, my mother and little sister love her, but my dad’s got something against her. So much for a simple summer…
Riley was in the kitchen getting a drink for herself when she heard the steady footsteps behind her halt. She froze as she heard someone clear their throat. She blanked her face as she turned around to face Troy Crosby.
“Would you like a drink?” Her voice was polite, her eyes were empty.
Troy merely grunted at her, watching her with his cool, calculating eyes. When he turned his back to her to walk off, Riley spoke up.
“You know, that’s no way to talk to someone.”
He turned around with a look of sheer amusement lighting up his face. “Does it bother you?”
“No, not really,” she answered nonchalantly. “I couldn’t care less if you like me or not.”
“Who said I didn’t like you?”
She thought about sitting but couldn’t. Her blood was boiling; she was ready for a fight. “Actions speak louder than words, Mr. Crosby.”
“I don’t recall demonstrating in any way that I didn’t care for you.” He went to the fridge to get a drink.
“Oh, shut up.” Riley slammed the fridge door closed before his hands could reach in. “You’ve been cold and distant from me for the past month. So here’s your chance, tell me what I did to upset you.”
Troy took a minute for himself so he could calm down. He wasn’t expecting her to react the way she had. It surprised him. “You should know very well why I treat you the way I do.”
“What?” She was angry. “What the hell does that mean?”
“It means that you’ve no real reason to question me on my actions, seeing as the answer should be quite evident to you.”
“I’ve said it before and goddamn it I’ll say it again, what the hell does that mean?” Riley could see red now. “And don’t get all grammatically correct on me; remember who the English major is here.”
“Riley, why are you here with Sid?”
“I’m on vacation with him,” she said. “Don’t try to change the subject.”
“I’m not. Why did you get a two month vacation?”
“I got one because I received a promotion. In September I’ll be working for KDKA instead of Sports Guide.” She finished off her drink. “Mr. Crosby, I fail to see what this has to do with anything.”
“It has everything to do with this particular topic. Haven’t you ever wondered why you received that promotion?”
She looked him dead in the eye, and responded. “They told me it was because I’m a good journalist and TV reporter.”
He lifted a brow. “And did you believe them?”
“Yeah,” she said at length. “Why wouldn’t I?”
“Did it ever occur to you that maybe you’re as far as you are in career not because of your talent, but because of who you’re dating?
“Think about it, Riley,” Troy continued. “Sidney is a very important person in Pittsburgh – which just so happens to be the city in which you work.”
He walked out of the kitchen, leaving Riley sitting there with an expression of complete shock.
When she heard the door close, she dropped her head in her hands.