**I tried a little bit of a different approach to this chapter, I felt like mixing things up hahaha. I hope you all like it! (:
To the best of my knowledge, the rest of the guys were going out tonight which was fine by me because I needed a night to myself. Mark would probably go out for a drink with the team so I’d get to be alone in the room which is nice sometimes. It’d give me a chance to relax and clear my head which I needed desperately. Most of the guys weren’t really talking to me that much anyway, so it was already like I was on my own. It didn’t bother me though, I knew it’d all blow over in a few days and we’d be back to goofing around, like always. I just couldn’t understand why I was being painted as the villain? If anything, I was only trying to protect Geno. Well, that’s what I told everyone else. In truth, I was trying to ruin any relationship Riley had with Geno or Max because I was jealous and selfish. That’s basically what it came down to, me trying to get the best of both worlds. I thought that once Max and Geno both left her, I’d be the shoulder to cry on. Needless to say, my plan backfired and her relationship with Max was stronger than ever. At least one Malone was happy.
Once I got back to the hotel room, I changed into some sweats and plopped down on the bed. Sure enough, Mark had gone out for a drink and the silence surrounding me was a welcome friend. I smiled to myself, enjoying the simple pleasures in life, comfortable sweats, a plush bed, and the fact that after a few years I could retire and have enough money to live on for the rest of my life. Yes, besides the fact that I didn’t have Riley and missed her terribly, life was alright. After a few minutes of laying down, letting my mind wander, I decided to venture down the hall for a bottle of soda. Before I got very far, I heard multiple voices coming out of Staalsy’s room. I figured it must be Max and Marc helping him decide what to wear. He had mentioned something earlier, while we were on the bus, about having them come over to help him pick out an outfit. God only knows why, Max looks like he dresses himself in the fucking dark. Cardigans? Really? We’re hockey players, not fifteen year old girls. I stopped a moment to listen to their conversation.
“What do you think, Max?” Jordan asked.
“They’re both fucking hideous,” he answered quickly. I laughed to myself. Even though I couldn’t stand the guy right now, he could be pretty hysterical at times. As I was thinking about this, a sound behind me made me jump. I could have sworn I was seeing things, but after I let my eyes focus, I knew my vision was spot on. Riley was at the hotel door next to mine, Max’s room, searching for a key above the doorframe. Max must have left it there for her. At once I felt my blood begin to boil as a blind fury swept through me. I clutched onto the side of the wall until the feeling passed and I was able to gain control of myself. When that moment came, I made my way back down the hall and towards her.
“Riley?” I whispered, trying not to startle her. My effort was for naught because she jumped about a foot in the air. For a moment, when she looked at me, I didn’t see any of that aggression she had been sending my way for the past couple of days. I saw the start of a friendly smile that soon turned to a frown when she realized who it was and our current situation.
“What do you want?!” she snapped, keeping her voice low. Her eyes pierced through me and I tried to remember what I had been rehearsing in my head since we started fighting in the first place.
“What are we doing here?” I answered her question with another question. She looked confused for a minute, but quickly regained her composure.
“I’m going into Max’s room. And you were leaving.” She turned her back on me and began to fumble with the key.
“Riley, I miss you.” She stopped before putting the key in the door and turned to me.
“You’re kidding me, right? After all of this shit you put me through, you have the nerve to tell me that you miss me?! Ryan…I…I can’t do this right now.” She turned back around, put the key in the door and turned the handle. She was seconds away from crossing the threshold and I had to say something to stop her.
“Don’t have sex with him. Please.” I watched as she stopped in her tracks. It was only a matter of time before she would walk inside, slam the door, and leave me standing out here. I’d be out here alone before I could count to three. One. Two. Three. Four? She was still standing there, frozen in place and it was another minute before she spoke.
“You had your chance,” she said icily. “And it never would have worked out.”
“I’m asking for another one. A second chance.”
“It doesn’t work like that. At least not with me. You made my life a living hell and you want me to forgive and forget?”
“Please, let’s try again.” She hesitated a minute, then turned to look at me.
“One, I love Max. And two, you don’t deserve me.” And with that, she walked inside and slammed the door. I stood there a minute, waiting, as if she would walk back out and say “got ya!” before running into my arms. But it didn’t happen, just like I expected and I walked quietly back to my room, without even getting my soda.
As I lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling, I actually wished Mark was there. He would offer me a distraction from my own thoughts, he might save me from myself. I could hear my heart beat drumming steadily in my ear and that noise alone was enough to drive me up the wall. When I heard the door click open, I sprang to my feet, happy to see another human who could tolerate me.
“Eaton! Where were you?” I asked as he came inside and rummaged through his bag.
“You knew where I was, down at the hotel bar with the rest of the guys. I just came up to get my American Express. We were playing a few hands of poker, I lost, this next round’s on me.”
“Oh.” I was completely disappointed that he wasn’t here to stay and it must have showed on my face.
“Hey man, why don’t you join us? I’ll even buy your cheap ass a drink.” He grinned at me while waiting for my response. Before I had time to answer him, we heard a dull, rhythmic thudding coming from the other side of the wall. “Ha! Sounds like someone’s getting lucky tonight.” Mark turned to the wall and banged on it with the hand that wasn’t holding the credit card. “Yeah Max!” He turned back to me and continued our other conversation. “Now, I know you don’t wanna listen to that all night. So, get dressed and meet me downstairs.” I agreed only to get him off my back, but in reality he was right. I really didn’t want to hear that all night. I got dressed at lightning speed and made my way down towards the bar. As I passed Max’s room, I prayed to God that maybe, just maybe, she’d be thinking of me. I knew it was a long shot so as I headed towards the elevators I wished that it was me in that room instead of Max.
Chapter Six - Tied Together
8 years ago