Coasting Down Memory Lane;
Everything was going good; the start of the wedding planning had gone great, there were so many ideas for one wedding and Riley’s mother hadn’t caused much of a problem. She has insisted on an expensive, lavish wedding though, something Riley didn’t know if she was comfortable with. But other than that, things were moving along smoothly.
The issue about space had also been solved quite easily. Both Riley’s mother and sister opted to stay in a hotel near the apartment rather than be crammed in it. Riley also knew of her mother’s love of being pampered and waited on, something she would not get at the apartment. Eliza had left Riley alone for most of Sunday, giving her time to relax and think everything over.
So she was a little surprised Monday morning when one of her coworkers told her that there was someone out front wishing to speak with her, claiming that it was urgent. She didn’t normally get visitors but when she did it was usually Brett, and he would just walk in to her office.
Riley was buried in work and wanted to stay near her office phone because she was waiting for an important call. So she said for whoever wished to see her, to just come on back. Shock and confusion passed quickly over her face when she saw who was standing in her office threshold. But when she stood, her face was once again blank.
“Good morning,” she greeted politely, but her tone was carefully cool. “I didn’t expect to see you around here, Troy.”
“Riley,” he said with a quick nod. “I was hoping to find you at your home but word is you no longer live there.”
The townhouse, she thought, she had failed to inform him of her relocation… and so had Sidney, she realized. “Yet you still managed to find me.” She smiled but there was nothing friendly about it.
“You’re not a difficult person to find, Riley. In fact, you are quite the popular young woman here.” Troy Crosby leaned on the door frame, his eyes, just like Sidney’s, stared directly into hers.
Riley was still standing behind her desk, in the position of power, with her fingers gently grazing the polished oak surface. “I’m quite busy today and a little pressed for time… so I’ll just tell you up front: If you tracked me down to tell me that I’m no good for your son then I’m sorry to say that you wasted your time because I don’t care.
“I don’t care, Tory, if you think that I’m stupid and selfish or if you think that I’m a worthless puck bunny trying to trap your son for money and fame. And do you know why? Because I know that I’m not, I know who I am and what I’m doing, and most importantly,” she added, “I know that I’m in love with Sidney. So if you came here to tell me your opinion of me, then, Mr. Crosby, you can turn right around and walk out those doors you came in because I don’t care.”
Troy stood motionless in the doorway of her office, arms crossed, brows knit. “Powerful,” he mused, “but, Riley, I didn’t come here for that.” He took three steps into her office and looked around. “I came here to talk, to clear things up,” he sighed heavily and looked her right in the eye, “to apologize.”
Riley, taken back, cleared her throat and said in a calm, clear voice, “Well, this is a shock.”
“I have a lot to explain,” he told her.
Still not entirely convinced, Riley treaded carefully around him. “And if I’m not interested?”
Troy’s expression was pained. “Riley, please. I owe you more than just an apology. It’s almost noon; can you at least have lunch with me?”
She thought about it, long and hard. What more could he do to her? she asked herself. If it all ended badly, it wouldn’t matter because she wouldn’t care. But they were about to become family in the coming months, so giving Troy another shot could benefit everyone.
“Okay,” she said. “We can do lunch, but only for an hour—today has been crazy.”
“Great. Are we taking your car or mine?”
This time she smiled for real. “Mine, I know a great place.” Plus, she thought, if things did go badly, she could just leave him there.
Fifteen minutes later, as they were being seated, Riley cleared her throat. “Does Sid know you’re here?”
Troy, who had been intently reading the menu, looked up. “No. I’m not his favourite person at the moment.”
“Sneaky,” Riley said before placing her order.
“So I guess I don’t need to ask if you and Sid have made up, seeing from the recent announcement,” Troy began, making Riley think that she would indeed be leaving him at the restaurant.
“It hasn’t been made public yet; only close friends and family know.”
“No one has seen the rock on your finger? Wouldn’t that be all over the headlines by now?”
Riley smiled slowly, amused. “I’ve been lucky that it has been cold lately,” she said evenly, motioning towards her black gloves. “No one notices.”
“Sneaky,” Troy said, echoing her earlier words.
She laughed. “I don’t like a lot of attention, and I receive more than my fair share when I’m out with Sid, wearing his ring would only make it intensify.”
“You think that once you’re married it’s all going to go away?”
“No, but I think that it will be easier to deal with. Right now we’re keeping it quiet because we just got everything back on track. I don’t want to mess it all up again,” she told him. “We want to get the general outline of the wedding handled before we tell the world.”
“And you want to make sure that it’s for real this time, that you two will spend forever together.”
She nodded. “That’s the plan.”
Troy smiled. “I have more to discuss with you but I think I’ve taken up enough of your time already.”
Careful, she warned herself. “Why don’t you swing by the apartment later today, when I’m off work?”
“That sounds good,” he said.
Riley gave him directions to the apartment and an approximate time to arrive as she drove them both back to the studio. Riley walked into the building as Troy walked off to get to his rental car. Once inside, she sat down heavily in her leather chair. That wasn’t so bad, she mused. Maybe they could work things out later that night, just the two of them.
Just then, Riley noticed a red light blinking on her office phone. She had one new voicemail.
“Hey babe, I don’t know where you are right now but I just wanted to tell you that they rescheduled our game to three instead of seven, which means that I’ll be home for dinner tonight! I miss you tons, talk to you later. I love you, Rye.”
Or maybe they wouldn’t.