Coasting Down Memory Lane;
After hours of laughing and drinking with friends, Riley and Sidney got back to Brett’s apartment dead tired and a little drunk at one o’clock in the morning. They had tried to be as quiet as they could in the halls but they both let out giggles when Riley fumbled for the keys.
“You know,” Sidney began, stepping out of his shoes, “this is the part where we’re supposed to have really hot, really passionate make-up sex.”
Riley slanted him a look caught between amusement and annoyance. “As tempting as that sounds, I’m way too tired for wild sex. And besides,” she added as she stripped on her way to the bedroom. “I may fall asleep and damage your ego.”
It was only the two of them in the apartment, Brett had decided to spend the night at Jamie’s since Sidney would be coming back with Riley and he had a hunch of their activities for the next little while. So to spare them all an awkward moment, he would spend the next few days with his fiancé.
“I don’t mind if you fall asleep…” Sidney trailed off.
Now dressed in grey sweatpants and a red tank top, Riley slid into the bed. “Pervert.”
“You love it.” He pulled her back against him and drifted off into a much needed sleep, her scent leading him to blissful dreams.
She woke to the arousing feel of his lips on hers, his hands stroking possessively over her lean body. She smiled into the kiss as her body quickly shook off sleep. He murmured a sound of pleasure when she climbed on top of him. She ran her hands up and down his toned, bare chest, and shuddered in delight at the feel of his strong muscles and hard abs.
The mood changed, the pace quickened as he rolled her under him and hastily lifted off her shirt.
“Oh God,” he groaned, kissing every inch of skin on her torso.
Her world was spinning, her breath hitching and her heart was pounding. How had she gone without this for an entire month? He did things to her that no other could; he drove her insane. With her eyes locked on his, Riley pulled down his boxers. She needed to feel the hard length of him.
Sidney kissed her neck and her face as she touched him in places that always seemed to ache for her. The blood was pulsating in his head but he continued to keep himself in check. He wanted to give Riley everything.
“Don’t hold back,” she panted, still looking into his eyes. In them, she saw the wild need and the restraint that somehow miraculously overpowered it. She would have none of that. If she was going to lose her mind and all feeling in her body, so was he. “Don’t you dare hold back.”
He took her advice, ripped off her pants, and plunged himself deep inside her.
When she was almost certain that she had the energy to, Riley spoke. “Wow.” Her admiring tone made Sidney smile.
“I’ll say.” He let his hand rub up and down her back in lazy strokes. She was resting her head and hand on his chest, still catching her breath. “Rye?”
She stretched and curled into him like a cat preparing for a nice nap. “Hmm?”
He was sure that she couldn’t see his face but still tried to conceal the smirk. “When did you get that tattoo?”
Her green eyes popped open. She had completely forgotten about her newest piece of artwork. But instead of coming clean with it, Riley went with the knee-jerk response. “What?”
“The tattoo,” he repeated, “on your—”
“I was drunk,” she exclaimed, cutting off his amused clarification.
She sighed and sat up. “It was on my birthday,” Riley said and began to tell him the story.
“Come on, Rye, have some fun!” Kaylan Penton shouted as she dragged Riley into the crowded bar.
“I don’t feel like having fun,” Riley protested.
Kaylan led her to a table, sat her down and then focused her bright eyes on Riley. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
“You already know about Sid and me.”
Kaylan rested her hand on Riley’s. “I know that you and Sid are no longer together. What I don’t know is why.”
Riley sighed. “I needed some space.”
Kaylan’s brows drew together in confusion. “What are you talking about? Why, Riley, would you leave your loving boyfriend when everything was going so perfectly?”
“I don’t know…”
Kaylan took a sip of the frothy drink that was placed in front of her. “What happened that you’re not telling me?”
Taking a deep breath, Riley decided it was time she open up about it all. “Sidney’s parents were over and I was in the house doing whatever while he spoke with his mom and sister. That was when I came face to face with Troy. He had been acting sour around me so I decided that it was time to finally ask him about it. Well, Troy isn’t one to shy away from letting out his thoughts. He mentioned things about my career and how I was only as far in it because of the man I was dating.” Riley let out a long sigh and closed her eyes. “That got me thinking, you know? What if I was only acknowledged because of Sid?
“At first I didn’t care but then I wondered if Troy was the only one who thought that. I focus so much on my career, so much on who I am and not enough on my boyfriend’s life. I don’t understand the sport he plays, I don’t see how it can be made as a career, I never go to his games. I mean, I ask him how everything went when he gets home because I don’t even watch. And even when he’s explaining it all to me in his hockey-speak, I’m not even paying attention. I let him ramble for a good twenty minutes while I think about my duties for the day. That makes me a—what do they call it—puck bunny, doesn’t it? I left Sid because he deserves better than that.”
Riley’s jaw dropped when Kaylan started to laugh. “What is so funny?”
“You, a puck bunny?” Kaylan’s face and tone sobered. “Sweetheart, you are the polar opposite of puck bunny. Sid knows that too. Hell, everyone does! Sure, you don’t go to his games, but that’s better than you going and being bored out of your mind. It also creates less media attention, which is something you know Sid appreciates. You focus so much on your career because it’s something you love, and something you’re good at. Rye, you are one of the most hard-working, independent, intelligent women—no, people—that I know. You couldn’t come anywhere near puck bunny if you tried.”
“Kay, I work in the media, I know how cruel it can be. If Troy decides to spread his thoughts around it’s only going to put more stress on Sid. Not to mention everyone will think that it’s true.” Riley took a sip of her drink.
Kaylan looked at her with sympathetic eyes. “Who cares what people think? Your relationship is between you and Sid only. Let everyone else believe what they want, even if it isn’t true,” Kaylan told her honestly. “Now,” she said as she straightened, “let’s finish these drinks, and the next round, and go get matching tattoos.”
With her mind being covered with an alcoholic haze, Riley responded happily. “Sounds like a plan.”
Riley kept her eyes closed even after she finished speaking. The room was silent, and she didn’t know if that was good or bad. Sidney hadn’t said a word while she told him of the night of her 23rd birthday. In fact, she realized, he had moved away from her.
Sidney had pulled on a pair of boxers and stalked over to the window while Riley was talking. He ran a hand through his hair as he watched the cars whiz by on their way to wherever. He kept quiet for a few moments once Riley finished. He had to gather all of his thoughts because right now they were buzzing around everywhere.
“You left me because of my dad?” He didn’t know how to feel about that.
“What are you… oh.” It occurred to Riley that she had never told Sidney the real reason why she left.
He turned around when she walked up behind him. Then he rested his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eye. “We’re getting married sometime next year, but I want to start a new chapter now. That new chapter is that there will be no more secrets between us anymore. We tell each other everything, okay? I’ll deal with my dad later, but right now I want for us to be 100% made up.”
She stood on her tip of her toes and kissed him. “We are.”
“Good. Now, what are we going to do for the day?”
Riley bit her lip and looked at him mischievously. “I’ve got an idea, but it would require you to lose these,” she said as she tugged on the waistband of his boxers.
“Funny,” he said with a smile, “I was thinking the same thing.”
“It looks like we’re back in synch,” Riley said a second before he lifted her and carried her back into bed.