THE SCENE: Shawn and Riley have now been involved for several months and he’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable with his growing feelings for her, and reflects on how it all started, and how far they’ve come from where they began. She’s come to meet him at The Four Seasons for one of their periodic hook-ups but it’s clear to him now that the time he spends with her is far more than that:
In the elevator, they were finally alone. When Riley turned to face him with her chin slightly raised, he leaned in to kiss her, feeling himself grow hard as her tongue met his. She placed one cool hand on the back of his neck and the other gripped the collar of his shirt. They kissed until they heard the ping of the elevator, and the doors opened on his floor. As they walked down the hallway, Riley reached over and laced her fingers through his.
After their first night together when he’d left for Baltimore he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her. The way she’d walked out on him had been a first. Women never walked out on him – they often had to be shown the door, in fact. But Riley, even after talking about how amazing their chemistry was, had left without a backward glance. For the two weeks following, thinking about that, and about her, became an itch he couldn’t scratch.
No matter what he did, the itch didn’t go away. And the more he thought about her, the less it was about ego. He remembered sitting up in bed, Riley astride him so it was difficult to see where he ended and she began; her arms locked about his neck, and his face between her breasts. She had trembled from the intensity of it, her breath soft and ragged, brushing the shell of his ears. He remembered how later she laughed at something he’d said, throwing her head back, completely herself and unconcerned about how she might look, but how she looked was beautiful, her face flushed and almost glowing in the dim light. He remembered her dark, intense eyes fixed on his while they moved in unison, like she wanted to see right through to his very soul.
Most of all, he remembered feeling like he was making love to her; even though they’d just met, nothing about what they did could be called fucking. So he wanted to test his memory – had it really been that good?
So finally he gave in and called her. The Boys and Girls Club had invited him to come to a rally so he had a reason to be in New York that would pass muster, even with Brendan who was a stern gatekeeper for his time.
Shawn remembered the sound of her voice when she realized he was on the other end – the little trill of pleasure that she tried to conceal. They talked for a few minutes about the scheduled release of the article she’d done on him. She told him that her editor had liked it so much he’d decided to make it the feature. He told her he would be in town and offered to do a photo shoot for them then.
“I’ll pass that message on to our folks here,” she said. “But I wouldn’t be the person who’d set that up,” she added.
“I want to see you,” he said simply.
There were a few beats of silence, which he struggled not to fill with words of persuasion. If they were going to do this, she would have to meet him halfway.
“Okay,” she said finally. “Yes.”
That second time, when they met, she was almost shy. She’d come to his suite at the W and seemed not to know whether to hug him, kiss him or shake his hand. He’d cleared up that confusion right away.