Riley and David sat across from each other in the restaurant Riley had chosen to go to. It was a small place in Chinatown. Riley hadn't said much all night and David was becoming worried. He had apologized profusely for allowing, as he put it, 'evil Jo to manipulate him'. She had smiled and said that it was okay, everything had worked out fine. That was the only thing she had said other then "Hello," and when she ordered her food. But it wasn't the fact that the normally extremely talkative girl is now silent that bothered him; it's the expression on her face, and the look in her eyes. From the bright smile she has anyone would go right ahead and assume she's very happy right now, but if you really look at her, you see there's more to it. Her beautiful eyes are clouded and you can see there is some kind of inner battle going on.
David sighed, wishing Riley would tell him what is going on. Trying to break the ice he smiled, "So, when am I going to get to meet this new/old friend of yours?"
"Actually, you already have." Riley said a little uncertainly. "Remember at the show, I introduced you to Toby Clark?" She continued when he nodded, "Well, that's my friend. We've known each other since we were two."
"Oh." A trace of jealousy sparked in his eyes. "So I guess you are gonna want to see him a lot and stuff. To catch up on what happened over the years…"
She thought a moment. "Maybe. Do you think, will it be all right…can I invite him to dinner with you, Jo, and me sometime? Will you mind? 'Cause we don't have to! It was just an idea…"
David smiled for her sake and agreed.
Whatever had been going on in Riley's mind seemed to have been resolved for the time being. Her smile brightened and she actually began to eat her food instead of just picking at it like she had been doing before. Suddenly she looked up at David, "Oh my gosh! When did you dye your hair?"
"Um, two days ago? Do you- Do you like it?" He said cautiously.
"Like it? I love it!" She gave him a sultry smile. "I think it's very sexy."
Running a hand through his now dark blue hair, David exhaled deeply. "I was so worried you wouldn't like it."
"Well, you can stop worrying because I most certainly do. I'm sorry I didn't notice it before…I've been a little preoccupied lately." Riley admitted guiltily.
"Aw don't worry about it babe." He laughed and reached across the small table, taking her hand in his. "I still love you."
Riley's face visibly paled at David's remark. "Did you just say…" she shook her head, trying to get her thoughts straight.
David winced. "I'm sorry. It just slipped. I know it's way to early for love right? Can we please just forget I said that? I'm sorry, I really am."
Riley nodded mutely, replaying the scene over and over in her mind. Love. Love was one thing Riley refused to believe in right now. As far as she was concerned, love only leads to bad things, which leads to worse things. She was not going to get sucked into that trap. Not again.
They finished eating without speaking again. David paid the check and led Riley outside, where he hailed a cab. They stayed silent the entire ride to her luxurious home. Upon reaching the penthouse, David walked her to the elevator, attempting polite conversation about how nice the restaurant had been.
At the elevator he turned to her. "Well, I guess I should get going now. I'll call you tomorrow." Riley nodded and he leaned down, kissing her quickly.
As he began to walk away, Riley called after him, "Do you want to come up? I can make some coffee…you can stay the night…"
David stared at his girlfriend. This was the first time she had invited him in for more then five minutes. With his eyes wide, he nodded and they stepped into the elevator together.
Riley yawned and stretched. She smiled. She had certainly had a very good night. She rolled over expecting to find David next to her. She was surprised to see he wasn't there but soon figured it out when she smelled food coming from down the hall. She let her nose lead the way to the kitchen. When she got there she saw David flipping pancakes. Bacon, fruit, juice, and toast were already arranged on the table.
Riley smiled and went behind him, wrapping her arms around his waste. She nuzzled into his shirt. "Good morning."
David peered over his shoulder; saw Riley looking deliriously happy, and smiled back. "Good morning to you too. Have a good night?"
"You betcha." She laughed. "We should do this more often."
"I wouldn't mind." He stacked the pancakes onto a plate and led her to the table. Pulling out a chair for her he bid her to sit.
"So chivalrous." Riley giggled.
"Anything for you, m'dear." He began to pile food on her plate.
"I didn't know you cooked." She took a tentative bite. "Mmm, this is delicious."
"I have a few surprises up my sleeve."
Riley laughed, thoroughly enjoying the meal. "You are definitely staying over more often. With food like this, you sure know the way to a girl's heart."
As he watched Riley eat, David couldn't help but think that he had mean what he said last night. He really did love Riley Thompson.
Jo tried to make sense of everything Riley had just told her. "Okay, lemme get this straight. You guys go out to dinner, you tell him 'Toby' is your friend, you FINALLY notice his hair, he says he loves you, you freak out, you go home, you two have sex, he makes you breakfast."
"Mann, why do you get to have all the fun? Where's my perfect guy?" Jo laughed, but then turned serious, "Riley, do you love David?"
"We've only been dating a little over a month! How can I know something like that this soon?"
"Riley…this is the kind of thing you just know. Now do you?"
Riley looked down at her feet, thinking. "I'm not ready for love Jo. Not now at least."
"When are you going to stop being afraid! This is so great for you. Why don't you see it? David is nothing like Rick. You know that. He isn't going to hurt you like Rick did. You just have to trust him."
"I'm not afraid of love! I just don't welcome it into my life that easy! And as for trust," Riley laughed bitterly, "How can I know who to trust anymore? Everyone is wearing some kind of mask. Everyone is hiding their true selves."
"Everyone?" Jo challenged. "Well then Riles, what are you hiding? What is behind your mask?"
Riley sighed and shook her head. "That's the purpose of the whole charade. I've worked too hard to hide all my flaws and defects to give that up now."
"You wont even tell me what your hiding?" Hurt shone in her eyes. "Riley you always cover up all your feelings. You fake happy, you fake sad, you even fake scared. How can anyone get to know you when you wont let them?"
"I-I don't know… What if people don't like the real me? I do all this for the cameras, for the company. I'm just being the person everyone wants me to be." She whispered.
"Riles, its not who they want you to be. This is who you want you to be."
A tear slid down Riley's face. "Maybe…but Jo, I just, I can't go back now. The whole world sees me as this. They won't understand a change."
"Fine. When you're at work, you can do this. But with your friends, with the guy I know you love, just be yourself. We're still gonna love you no matter what. You don't have to hide from us. As for trusting us, Riley think about this, I've known you a pretty long time now right? When have I ever done something that would lead you to believe I can't be trusted?"
She nodded, a small smile creeping onto her face. "Your right." She laughed. "I do trust you. I just, didn't want to believe it."
"Just like you do love David?"
"Now you're pushing it." Her smile grew. "But maybe, in time, I will."
Riley hummed on her way back to work. She passed by the rushing traffic, thinking about everything that had happened in the past two days. Things may have started out bad but they all seemed to straighten out by the end.
Stepping into the marketing office Riley stepped into complete chaos. Phones were ringing, people were yelling and rushing about frantically. Walking down the rows of cubicles, checking progress, Riley noticed that work was piling up. Maybe it's time to hire a few filers… Slightly confused she searched for the young girl in charge of this department of TIW Records.
Riley found Carinna on the phone. Then it hit her. Of course! Two weeks until Roxie launches her first international tour. How could I forget? She realized how much work she also had to do. Scribbling down a memo for Carinna she rushed back to her own office.
Her assistant sat at her desk trying to write down all of Riley's messages as fast as she could.
"Hey Maddi, you can go take a break, you've been working all morning." Riley smiled warmly. "I can take care of all this for now."
The intern smiled gratefully and scurried from the room.
Riley sat down at her desk and sighed. She immediately began to call back everyone that had called and double check that all the arrangements at the venues for the tour were ready.
About three hours later Roxie stormed in. "Riley!" She shrieked. "What am I going to do? My opening act canceled!"
"What? They can't do that! It's too late." Riley said frantically.
She was sobbing now, "My tour is ruined. I'm ruined. I need to have an opening act. I will not perform without an opening act. What are we going to do!"
Trying to stay calm, Riley thought up a logical way to find someone to open for Roxie. Suddenly, almost as if a light bulb had gone off, "I have an idea."
So that's it. I really hope you liked it. I'm so glad finals are over. No more school! I took my bio regents Wednesday. Hopefully I'll have more time to write and update now.
Gcsp4411- get over it jess, that story died
Lover Of Hobson- thanks for liking my story. I'll explain more Ty stuff in the next chapter I think. Please keep reading
Vanderhall- thank you for reading! I'm sorry I haven't reviewed your story in a while. I stopped reading everything for like a month and now I'm having trouble getting back on track.
Rednosebleed- heylo. Hmphla. I'm still made at you for saying everything I write is stupid…
- It depends how it ends but I may make a sequel. I'm glad you like it!
Jdashleyg- Ashley! I'm glad you liked it! Please keep reading!
Alright everyone. That's it. Please keep reading and reviewing!