Authors: Holly Hood
We could have had sex, and we didn’t.
One part of me is happy that Ryker didn’t push for sex at that moment. The other part of me wishes he would have gone for it.
I roll over on the guest bed in Sophie’s apartment and check my account balance from my phone. I still have money and I am thankful. I guess my dad isn’t as hardcore as he wants me to think he is.
Sophie enters the room in a t-shirt and crawls into bed with me. “Good morning.”
“Morning, Sophie.” She crosses her legs, sitting Indian style and works on the bowl of cereal in her hands.
“I had an amazing night with Monty.” She tilts her head. “He is a pretty interesting man. Very successful and he is single.”
I nod. “I’m happy for you.”
“I also saw Ryker at the end of the night.” She licks her lips, chewing thoughtfully. “I still believe the connection is there between you two. Ryker said so himself.”
“He did not,” I say. I want to hear every juicy detail.
“Ryker told me to remind you of your date today.” She eyes me, her blue eyes sparkling with amusement. “He wants you.”
“Yeah well, he can have me,” I admit.
Sophie sets her bowl on the nightstand and drops down on the bed. “You two would be very cute together.”
“Thanks, but I don’t think it will be anything more than a fling before he moves on to the next state.” And I don’t think that bothers me. Any connection with Ryker is better than none at all, so if we meet up occasionally and make up for lost time, that’s fine by me. We’re two consenting adults, capable of making our own decisions with no strings attached.
“That’s a good way to look at it.” She studies a lock of her hair. “I sleep with men all the time and I am completely fine.”
“That’s yet to be determined,” I smirk. ”We’re not kids anymore. We’re adults with adult problems. I can handle whatever it is that happens tonight.”
“Even if he wants to fuck you?” Sophie raises an eyebrow, looking at me. “And even if he leaves for a very long time?”
“Yes.” I sigh. “It’s not like I don’t have a life here. I’m starting a new job tomorrow, headed down a new path in life. I have this under control.”
I take a little over an hour to get ready. I do my hair, paint my nails, and make sure my legs are shaved before I pick the perfect outfit for dinner with Ryker. I wear my favorite bracelet and apply lip gloss. When I’m done getting ready for Ryker I send him a text letting him know that I’m ready for our night out.
I sit on the bar stool in Sophie’s kitchen scribbling on one of her notebooks and just when I think I am about to lose my mind having to wait for Ryker to show up the doorbell rings. I look at Sophie; she jumps up and throws the door open.
“Ryker, so very nice to see you.” She throws her arms around him giving him a hug and asks him to come inside.
“Nice place, Sophie.” He takes in Sophie’s high-end apartment.
“So, where are the two of you going tonight for dinner?” Sophie asks settling into her couch.
Ryker looks at me. “Wherever she wants to go.”
This makes me smile. He’s making me feel very important. Just like old times.
“Well, she likes to eat just about anything. So I can’t see you ruining this.” Sophie smirks.
I shake my head. “You are such a jerk sometimes. You know that, right?”
We say goodbye to Sophie and head out of her apartment.
“You look nice,” Ryker says, admiring my silver dress and black belt.
“So do you,” I point out.
His black slacks and gray shirt make him look more like a man and less casual. I’ve never seen Ryker so formal, and I like it.
“Are you surprised?” he teases. “I know you’re used to the baseball hats and skater shoes.”
“Yes. But this is nice too.” I touch his face, and he kisses me--something I’m not expecting.
I pull away and smile. “I can’t believe after four years you’re back here and taking me to dinner.”
He holds the door for me. I look around the parking lot trying to guess what car he drives.
He grabs me by the waist. “It’s the red one with the black stripe.”
I smirk. “Flashy.”
He even opens the car door for me, letting me climb in before he goes around to get in on the driver’s side.
“I have a few places in mind for dinner,” he tells me, closing his door. He twists around in his seat and pulls a bouquet of wild flowers from his back seat. “These are for you.”
I look at him. “You brought me flowers?”
“Well, I bought flowers for you. I just didn’t want to show up at the door with them. Seemed rather cheesy. But it also seemed rude not to, so I settled on throwing them in the back seat. It’s a happy medium.”
I bite down on my lip. Ryker watches me. “Don’t bite too hard. I don’t think I’m done kissing you.”
He chooses a fancy steakhouse for our dinner date. And I like his choice even though I’m not as interested in eating as I am in playing catch up with Ryker.
As soon as we hit the parking lot, I don’t think there is a person here who doesn’t know who Ryker is. I feel bad that I never knew he was anything more than just Ryker Sosa, the boy I knew in high school.
“I can’t believe I’ve been so out of the loop about your career.” If I just paid more attention to the sporting world, I might have known Ryker was alive and well all these years.
“I’m not holding it against you.” He touches the small of my back leading me through the doors. “It’s refreshing. I get tired of everyone wanting to hang out with me because I’m a celebrity.”
The wait for our seats is only seconds.
“Right this way,” the waiter says, walking us through the restaurant. Everyone’s eyes are on the two of us. Ryker is kind enough to acknowledge each person who waves or says hello.
The waiter opens the big wooden doors to the great room, and I look around. The entire room is empty except for a single table in the center, covered with a white linen tablecloth and lit candles in the middle.
He pulls out my seat for me and Ryker takes his own.
“What can I start you off with?” he asks us.
Ryker looks to me for an answer, but I shrug my shoulders, unsure on what to do.
“How about a bottle of wine?” He looks at me. “I’m more a beer guy, but sometimes it’s fun to do things fancy.”
I nod my head in agreement. “Sounds good to me.”
“Give me your best bottle,” he says.
I watch the waiter leave. He closes the doors behind him, leaving us alone in the big room. “This is nice.”
“Glad you think so.” He lifts his menu.
I study my menu. I don’t have an appetite, but I am going to order something even if I have to take it home in a doggy bag.
When I look back up from my menu, Ryker is looking at me, and he doesn’t turn away to hide the fact.
“Four years I have been waiting to say what I need to say to you now.”
I swallow. I know this is the moment. So I just nod my head and wait for whatever it is he has to say.
“The night we crashed was the worst night of my life.”
I drop my head; hearing those words deeply saddens me.
“I thought I killed you, Sav. I don’t know how to say I am sorry for putting you through that.”
I shake my head. “You don’t have to apologize.”
“I might not have caused the accident, but I feel responsible.”
“What happened?” I’m not talking about the accident. I’m talking about the four years he went away. “How come you just left?”
Ryker looks away. I can see he’s debating if he should tell me; something is bothering him. I’m not sure.
“I broke a lot of bones. I even had a pretty bad head injury. But when I came out of a coma—“
“You were in a coma?” I can’t believe I never knew that.
“Yes.” He nods his head. “That’s not the important part. I didn’t leave because I wanted to. They made me.”
“Who?” I ask.
“My parents. Your parents. They all thought it was for the best. They didn’t want to give me a chance to ruin your life any more than I already did, and I was okay with that.” He runs a hand across his chin. “I could have killed you.”
“But you didn’t.” Now I feel angry. “Why didn’t you ever call me and tell me that you were okay?”
“It just seemed pointless. And your parents were pissed.” He takes a drink of his water. “But I wasn’t drinking, on drugs or anything. It was just an accident.”
I never thought it was anything but that. ”I never thought it wasn’t an accident. And I’m angry that my parents stripped you of your life here and our friendship.”
Ryker touches my hand before I can pull away. “I’m not telling you this because I want you to blame your parents. I’m telling you because it did bother me. And because you did matter to me.”
I look away.
“And you still matter to me.” I look back up. “It’s been four years.”
“Four years of feeling like I lost a really important person to me.” The door opens, and the waiter comes back into the room.
I pull away from Ryker and focus on the bottle of wine. It all feels so unfair.
“Enjoy,” the waiter says. I pick up my wine glass and bring it to my lips. He said what kind of wine it was, but I wasn’t listening because all I want to do is run home to my parents and scream at them for ruining his life--making a choice for him that didn’t need to be made.
Ryker watches me finish off my wine. “Are you supposed to drink it that fast?”
I shrug. “I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about wine.”
“What do you want to talk about?”
He nods. “I can see that.”
“You were happy here. You were supposed to be here.” With me. He was a good friend. A friend that I needed and was glad to have in my life.
“Let’s not do this. Let’s just enjoy the time we have.”
“Because you’re leaving.” I lick my lips. “You’re famous now and you have a whole new life.”
“I like my life, Sav.”
“Well, I don’t.” I cross my arms. I’m acting like a baby. And I don’t care if that is an issue with anyone. I have a right to be angry.
“Let’s eat and then get out of here,” Ryker says.
I shut my mouth and go along with it.
“This is where you’re staying?” I look around at the luxury suite. “This is incredible.”
He nods in agreement. “There’s a hot tub on the balcony.”
We both smirk. Ryker’s livin’ the good life.
I look out the huge window overlooking the city. It’s breathtaking. “What does it feel like?”
“What does what feel like?”
I turn around. He comes closer. ”What does it feel like to be such a big deal?”
He looks down at me, concentrating on my mouth. “How about you tell me what it feels like.”
He presses himself against me, his lips searing into mine. I kiss him, and he presses me against the glass.
It feels amazing. I grab his hair pulling him closer.
I watch as he slides my dress away from my shoulder, and kisses me there. And then he looks at me. “Why didn’t we do this years ago?”
I slip my fingers through his hair. “Because you were dating a cheerleader.”
He helps me out of my dress, and I slip my shoes off.
“And you were dating some asshole.”
I stand there in my bra and panties waiting for him to make the next move. He takes his shirt off and throws it over the fancy leather chair. He undoes his pants and drops them on the floor, revealing his nicely toned body. He climbs into the big bed in the middle of the room.
“Believe me, I remember.” I climb onto the bed and look at him. He lays back on the pillows, hands behind his head. He’s looking at me, too. Admiring our nearly naked bodies seems so normal and natural.
“Whatever happened to that guy?”
“I like to think he got fat and bald,” I smirk, drawing my arms around my legs. “It makes me feel better.” I feel better thinking of him that way.
“I bet he did.” He tugs me by the ankle. “Lay down with me.”
I do, and we stare up at the ceiling. “I could get used to this life. Too bad I don’t know how to skateboard.”
Ryker laughs. “I work my ass off, asshole. I don’t just ride around on a skateboard.”
He takes my hand, playing with my fingers and lacing his with mine.
“Well, I am doing very big things with myself, too.” I roll to my side facing him, running my fingers down his arm. “I’m making a difference in the world. I’m feeding the homeless.”
“That’s awesome, Sav.” He thumbs my bottom lip and looks at me. “I think we should hang out again when I come back to town.”
I nod. “When will that be?”
“In three months.” He raises an eyebrow. “What’s that face?”
“That’s a long time.”
“Are you saying I’m not worth the wait?” He pushes my shoulder laying me down on my back and climbs on top of me.
I look up at him. “I’m saying, that’s a long time.”
“Maybe I should give you a reason to look forward to me coming back.” He slides down and loops two fingers between my underwear and hip bones, making me shudder.
“That reason feels amazing already.” And he takes my underwear off.
He tosses them over his shoulder and smiles at me. I can’t believe I am about to have sex with Ryker.
He pulls his boxers down, and I’m not disappointed in what I see. I want his dick inside of me. I want to connect with him in a way we were never able to before.
I spread my legs—waiting--and reach for him. He climbs on top of me settling between them. His messy dark hair hangs down against his face as he runs his nose against my cheek, breathing me in. He kisses me gently and pushes my legs open wider. His hands are gliding up my body. He knows just how to touch me, just what to do.
He sucks at my lower lip. “Are you ready for this?”
I nod. “Of course I am,” I murmur against his mouth.
He takes hold of my face, his hand on each side of my head and pushes inside of me. He kisses me deeply. We move like two people who want nothing more than to feel the connection they’ve been denied for so long.
He was never perfect; he made mistakes when we were in high school, but that never mattered to me because he always treated me good. He made me happy. I think he could still make me happy. I know I am happy right now, the way he is thrusting inside of me. I grab his ass and beg him to go harder. He doesn’t disappoint and speeds up, hammering into me.
“I like this reason,” I tell him, my mouth on his ear. He grows even harder, igniting more than just pleasure. It’s more than just a physical connection--it’s a satisfaction in giving myself to him—like no other sexual experience has ever made me feel.
I roll over, and he plants one kiss after another down my spine before he re-enters me from behind. I grind against him. “God, Ryker.” It all feels so good, and he makes me come. Loudly. I don’t want it to stop, so I move faster and harder against him.
“Shit,” he gasps pulling out. “Those hips.”
He snaps off the condom and pumps his dick. “Lay down.”
I do what he says, and watch as he strokes himself until he comes. He groans and drops down beside me on the bed, satisfied. “Fuck me.”
I laugh. “I just did.”
We’re both out of breath. Sex with Ryker is good—really good. “Why did you pull out?” I ask.
“It’s just a bad habit.”
“Why is it a bad habit?”
“There are a lot of girls out there who would love nothing more than to fuck me over.”
He doesn’t need to say anymore. I know what he means. “Maybe you shouldn’t fuck so many girls.”
“I probably shouldn’t, but I get bored.” He laughs and I slap him. “I’m kidding.”
“Come here.” He extends an arm, and I settle into it. “I could get used to fucking you.” He kisses me on the cheek.
I pull back looking into his gorgeous brown eyes. “Is that supposed to be romantic?”
“I’m playing with you.” He drops his chin down on the top of my head and sighs. ”Do you want to see me again?”
I trace a finger down the fine hairs on his chest and follow them to his happy trail. He’s still hard and probably willing to go for round two. “Yes, I want to see you again.”
“Don’t forget you said so.” He presses a kiss into my temple.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means when I show up in town to take you out again you better not say no.” He kisses me slipping me tongue, a smile showing itself on his adorable face.
“I would never tell you no.” I meet up with his tongue, the same pang of desire taking its rightful spot in my stomach. He pulls me against him. “Why would you think I would tell you no?”
He pulls away long enough to give me an answer. “Because you’re Savy. And I have been down this road too many times to count.”
“So, you think I am like every other girl you have dated?” I let him kiss me again. “I’m not like every other girl you dated.”
“No.” He shakes his head. Grasping my chin, he keeps me still and kisses me again. ”You’re nothing like anyone I ever dated. And I’m not stupid, I know other people will see that. And I’m not always around.”
“I don’t care.”
“You say that now.”
“I’ll say it in a few months,” I insist. “I’m not looking to get serious with some guy. There has to be something there.” Ever since the breakup and accident I haven’t been able to get close to anyone again. And I don’t see that changing now or anytime soon. So there’s nothing for Ryker to worry about; I will still be the same girl when he comes back.
“I miss this,” he says.
“You miss what?”
“You being your stubborn self. I knew back then that you were special, and I know it now. I know a lot about you, Sav.”
I scoff. “You only know what I let you know.”
He kisses my shoulder and leaves it at that.