For nearly two weeks, she successfully and intently avoided Scott again, as she struggled to raise her grades and restore them to her normal 4.0 status. It was Friday, four weeks following her weekend at the cabin. And it was the weekend of Valentines Day. The nausea and vomiting only seemed to get worse and she seemed to be constantly tired.
Continuing to see Dr. Watson twice a week, she was diagnosed with a severe form of post traumatic stress disorder but refused to take any kind of antidepressants. Although the sessions did seem to do some good, even in the least amount. She had been contemplating on going home for the weekend, still intending to avoid Scott through the holiday. But she decided against it.
After her final class, she stopped at the grocery store for a few items. Intending to stick to her mental list, she ended up with much more by the time she came out. As she put the groceries in her car, she was oblivious to those around her.
Suddenly someone came up from behind her, covered her eyes and whispered in her ear, “guess who?” She was instantly scared to death as she screamed and jumped away. Looking up, she barely seen the look on Scott’s face as she felt her head spinning, then passed out. Reacting quickly, Scott grabbed her before she fell and held her up against the car.
“Riley?” He said her name and brushed his hand across her face.
As she began to come to, she heard his voice and turned her head as she opened her eyes. “Scott, please don’t ever do that to me again.” She said as if she were out of breath.
“Riley, oh my God, I’m so sorry. I promise you that I will never do it again. Are you alright?”
Regaining her composure, she stood up straight and glanced at Detective Hanson, who was beside him, just as surprised. “I’ll be fine. What happened, did I pass out?”
“Yes. I’m quite concerned about you.” He said and began putting the rest of her groceries in her car. “I’m going to follow you home to make sure you’re alright.” He insisted.
She watched him in the rear view mirror as he did follow her, all the way. Getting out of his car, he helped her carry groceries in. She looked back to see Detective Hanson still in the car. She unlocked her door as Scott followed her, his arms full of plastic grocery bags. She shut the door behind him and he set the bags on the dining room table.
“Thank you, I’m fine now, you don’t have to worry.” She said as she stood behind him.
He turned towards her, his face straight. “Riley, please stop avoiding me. It’s driving me crazy.”
“Scott, I’m sorry, but I’ve told you before that I can’t give you what you want right now. It’s just not a good time in my life at this moment. Please, understand.” She said, although she didn’t completely mean it. She longed to be with Scott, but couldn’t bring herself to become intimate with him.
He reached up, grasping her by the shoulders. “I don’t believe you, Riley. I think you do want to be with me, you’re just scared. I understand that. But please don’t shut me out of your life like this.”
Drawing in a deep breath, Riley looked down and began to cry. She knew he was right. With one finger beneath her chin, he lifted her head up to look into her eyes. Seeing the tears, he wiped them away with his thumbs, then held her head with both hands as he leaned down to kiss her. Her breathing was heavy as she kissed him back.
The kiss came to an end and he looked deep into her eyes. “Riley, life goes by too fast. I want to slow it down with you for the weekend. Valentine’s day is Sunday. Come away with me, just for the weekend. It doesn’t have to be a sexual thing, I’m not concerned with that right now. I just want to be with you. Alone with you.”
“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea, Scott.” She resisted.
“Why not. I think you could use some time away. I promise it will be fun.”
Riley drew in a deep breath. “Can I think about it?”
“Yes. That’s better than a flat ‘no’.” He kissed her again. “Luke and I have to go back to the station but I will call you in an hour?” It was more of a question.
She nodded her head in agreement. He kissed her one more time before walking out her door. Minutes later, she realized she had never given him her phone number. He had already left the parking lot. But she did have his.
Putting her groceries away, she thought about his suggestion. She knew she was completely into Scott, but she also didn’t want him to disrupt her plans of revenge against the men who took her innocence. But then, she also had the intuition that it could be good to date him, keeping her informed from the legal stand point.
Making her decision, she went to her room and began packing her suitcase without notifying Scott. She made sure to pack everything she would need, then brought them to the front door. At that moment, she heard her phone ring. Not recognizing the number, she almost didn’t answer it, but did anyways.
She heard Scott’s voice. “How did you get my number?”
“I have my resources.” He answered.
“Oh yes, you’re a cop.”
“Have you given any though to my question?” He asked her.
“Yes. I’ll be waiting for you to pick me up as soon as you’re ready.”
She could hear the excitement in his voice. “Ok. I’ll run home and grab a few things. Do you think it would be alright to bring Cosmo?”
“Yes. Bring him along.”
“Ok. I’ll see you in thirty minutes. By the way, bring your bathing suit.” He said and hung up the phone.
She went into her room, grabbed her bathing suit and added it to her suitcase. She thought it was coincidental that he did show up exactly thirty minutes later. By then, she was waiting outside for him. He got out and helped her with her luggage and opened the door for her. Cosmo seemed to be just as excited to see her as Scott was. Looking into his eyes, he appeared to be quite upset about something as he came to her and put his arms around her.
“If I had kids, I’d hug them right now, and never let them go.” He said softly.
“What do you mean, Scott? Did something happen?”
“Yes. We’ve encountered the worst case of child abuse I have ever seen. A woman left her four year old son with her new boyfriend of two weeks while she went to work. After sexually and physically abusing the boy, he poured lighter fluid on his entire body, then lit him on fire. The man is now in jail, but the boy is in critical condition in the hospital. They‘re not sure if he will survive.”
“Oh my God, Scott. How could anyone do such a thing.” Riley said as tears started to fall from her eyes. He knew she was just as upset as he was. And she realized how hard his job can be at times.
“Are you hungry?” He changed the subject as he pulled out of the parking lot, trying to push Cosmo back into the back seat.
“I haven’t had dinner yet, yes, I am.”
“How about if we stop later down the road, somewhere new to us. I’ll get you what ever you want to hold you over if you want.” He said as he pulled into a gas station.
He filled his gas tank before joining her in the store. She had gathered a few items, including a rawhide bone for Cosmo. Then waited at the counter for him. She insisted on paying the bill, knowing he would insist on paying for the hotel. He still denied her contributions.
Getting back into the car, she gave Cosmo the bone, knowing it would keep him busy in the back seat. Scott pulled out of the gas station and headed out of town, in the direction of Pendleton. “So, where are you taking me?”
“I can’t tell you that. It’s a surprise.” He smiled at her as he reached over and took her hand. “But we’ll have a nice ride to get there. It’s about seventy five miles away.”
“Ok. Somewhere I know I’ve never been before.” She said as she opened a snack and began to munch on it.
Scott drove straight through Pendleton, and passed the trail head. Shortly after the sun dipped below the horizon, he stopped at a well lit restaurant that seemed to be recovering from the dinner rush that had just ripped through.
Being seated at a booth by the window, she was already craving a big juicy cheeseburger with everything on it. She told the waitress and also ordered a side of French fries to go with it. Scott responded by ordering the identical thing. After the waitress left the table, Scott watched her as she looked around the room. Looking back at him, she caught his glare.
“Thank you, Riley. For agreeing to come with me. You need the change of scenery and I need your company.”
“Thank you for suggesting it.” She responded.
He looked into her eyes for long moment before speaking. “Riley, I… I’m…” He stopped when he looked up to see the waitress bringing their drinks. Setting them on the table, the waitress smiled at them then walked away.
Scott just stared into her eyes for a moment. “Scott, you were saying?” She asked.
He reached his hand across the table to hold hers. “I forgot what I was going to say.” He lied, not sure what, exactly, he was trying to say.
“So, have they found out anything else about that kid who died in that car accident in Pendleton?” She completely changed the subject.
“Well, they discovered that his brake line had been cut with some sort of tool. Obviously someone killed him. I can’t help but wonder if it is related to their cabin fire.”
“Do they have any suspects?”
“No. Nobody seen or heard anything out of the ordinary. We have no leads.”
Thinking of the situation and the events that led up to it, a strong feeling of nausea washed over her. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath, trying to fight it. Opening her eyes, she realized Scott was watching her. “I’ll be right back.” She said as she excused herself from the booth. He saw her face turn pale and watched her walk to the bathroom. It made him feel bad, knowing how hard she was struggling with her demons.
Riley dropped to her knees before the toilet as she began to gag. She hadn’t eaten since breakfast so there was nothing to bring up. The fact didn’t make the situation any easier. She was crying with her fists clenched against the floor. When the dry heaves stopped, she got up and sat on the toilet seat, feeling angry and embarrassed. Burying her face in her hands, she sat and cried, tired of feeling ill the way she has.
Standing and walking to the sink, she looked in the mirror and seen the puffiness around her eyes. Turning on the cold water, she splashed some on her face and gathered herself before walking to the door. With her hand on the handle, she stood for a moment before opening the door and walking out. Their food arrived just as she sat down at the booth. Scott was looking at her, noting the look on her face and seeing the puffiness around her eyes. He knew she must have been crying.
After the waitress set their plates down and left the booth, Scott reached his hand across the table and laid it on hers. “Riley, you know, I’m right here if you ever need to cry on my shoulder. I will hold you tight and try to absorb your pain. I would do anything in my power to make you feel better.”
She looked up at him and merely nodded as she let one tear escape down her cheek. He got out of his seat and scooted into the seat beside her. With one arm around her, he pulled her against him and kissed the top of her head. “I want to be there for you, help you overcome this.” He said just above a whisper.
Reaching up with one hand, she slid it against his neck and up into the back of his hair. Pulling him towards her, she gave him a slight hug then loosened her grip. “Thank you, Scott. You always make me feel better.”
“Come on, let’s eat and get back on the road.” He said, releasing his hold on her but remaining beside her.
She closed her eyes and drew in a few deep breaths before picking up the cheeseburger and taking a bite. It seemed like the best burger she had ever ate as she savored the flavor. Scott watched her closely until they finished eating. She left the tip but he insisted on paying the bill. Getting back into the car, he continued in the same direction.
After another forty five minutes of driving, they came to a large town, built on an Indian reservation. Pulling into a long driveway that led to a large, well lit building, Riley was looking around. “What is this place?” She asked him.
“This is a hotel. It is a casino and it has a large indoor water park. I assume you do know how to swim?”
“Yes, of course.”
She looked at him and smiled as he pulled up into the parking lot and parked the car. Leaving Cosmo in the car, they both got out and walked into the building. Scott went to the front counter to check in. He had called earlier to make a reservation when she decided to go with him. Obtaining the room key, they walked back to the car and he pulled around to the side of the building.
“Here, you go ahead and unlock the door.” He said as he handed her the key. “I’m going to take Cosmo for a walk.”
She smiled at him and took the key, her excitement growing due to their whereabouts. She got out of the car and walked to the trunk, waiting for him to open it. “Don’t worry about the luggage, I’ll bring it in.” Scott said as he hooked the leash on Cosmo’s collar.
Looking back at him before entering the building, she opened the door and walked in. Locating the elevator, she took it to the third floor. As she opened the door, the room was cool and smelled of lavender. Leaving the door open, she went to the curtain and opened it. The view was overlooking the large water park and she studied it for a minute. Being later in the evening, she knew they would save the water park for tomorrow.
Seeing two beds, she choose the one closest to the windows and sat on it, bouncing and checking its resilience. She laid down and spread herself across it, smiling and learning that it was comfortable. Just then Scott walked in the room and unhooked Cosmo from the leash. Cosmo jumped on the bed and laid beside her.
“I think I’ve lost my dog.” Scott smiled. “He really likes you, Riley.”
She smiled and gave the dog a hug. Scott walked to the opposite side of the bed and sat down. Reaching down, he brushed some hair from her face and ran his finger down her cheek. “I’ll be right back, I’m going to get our baggage.” He said softly and stood to his feet. She watched him as he walked out of the room.
Riley got up and went to use the bathroom. Using a complimentary cup, she gave the dog a drink of water. Opening the door, she looked down the hallway to see Scott coming with his hands full. She held the door open as he came in and dropped the luggage on the bed.
Taking him by the arm, she turned him towards her. “Forget about this stuff for now, let’s go to the casino and have some fun. I just need to find an ATM.”
“Riley, just to let you know, all your expenses are paid. You don’t need to worry about contributing to this trip.”
“Scott, I think I should help, you live on a cop’s salary, how can you afford all of this?”
“Riley, don’t worry about money. I have plenty of it. You, on the other hand, are a college student without a job. I know you can’t afford it.”
“My father pays all the expenses for college and pays for my living expenses. Then he makes sure I have what I need, or want, within reason. I don’t worry about money, I have access to it whenever I need it. I don’t expect to gamble with your money.”
“Ok, fine. You gamble with your money. But I’m still paying for the hotel, and the water park.”
“Fine.” She smiled and pulled him against her for a kiss.
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer. She felt the passion in his kiss and knew his feelings for her had grown stronger. Suddenly, he pulled back and looked at her with cloudy eyes. “Come on, we’d better go.” He said and took her hand, pulling her towards the door.
She pulled back momentarily to grab her wallet and the room key. She found an ATM at the entrance of the casino, withdrawing five hundred dollars. Looking around the loud, crowded room, they decided to try their luck at the slot machines first. After spending twenty dollars, she won approximately one hundred dollars.
Gathering her winnings, they made their way to the black jack table where she found luck again. By the time they left the casino, she had gained three hundred dollars in profit but Scott lost about the same amount. It was nearly eleven when they returned to their room. Feeling somewhat hungry, she picked up the room service menu and made a last minute request just before they closed for the night.
Riley unpacked her bags to gather shampoo and other items she needed to take a shower. As she stood in the bathroom and undressed, she felt a slight degree of nervousness, knowing Scott was just on the other side of the closed door. The hot water revived her somewhat as she showered quickly. She dressed in her pajamas, consisting of a tank top and a pair of short shorts. It was her usual sleeping attire, regardless of the season.
Exiting the bathroom, she saw Scott standing with his back to her, looking out the window into the darkness. Seeing the room service had arrived, she sat at the table. “You know, I ordered some of this for you too, just in case.” She said as she began to remove the covers on the plates. She had ordered a cheeseburger with everything, along with a side of fresh pineapple and cubed cheddar cheese. Looking at her food for a moment, she took a ring of fresh pineapple and placed it on her cheeseburger. Scott had turned towards her just in time to see her do it.
Walking towards the table, he smiled and shook his head. “No, thank you, I’m not hungry.” He said and sat at the table across from her. With the remote in his hand, he flipped through the channels as she munched on her snacks. It was the first time she had ever put pineapple on her cheeseburger but she liked it. Then she thought to herself, wondering what she was doing. She never had cravings for pineapple, especially paired with cheese or a cheeseburger.
Finishing with her food, she went to the bed and laid down, suddenly feeling exhausted from the long day. Scott hooked the leash on Cosmo’s collar to take him outside before going to bed. Gone for merely ten minutes, Riley had fell asleep before he returned. Seeing her sleeping, he was quiet as he turned off the lights and the TV. Removing his shirt, pants and socks, he slowly laid down beside her in his underwear, trying not to wake her.
Laying on his side, he looked her over then, back up at her face. Her eyes were open and she was looking directly at him. With one hand, she reached up and placed it against his chest, feeling his bare skin on her hand. Sliding her hand up, she crossed his chest, shoulder and neck to let it rest against the roughness of the five o’clock shadow on his face.
In one movement, he scooted closer to her and opened his arms. She cuddled up to him with her face tucked into his neck. His arms enclosed around her and held her tightly. Breathing in long deep breaths, she breathed in his scent.
Scott pulled away to look down at her. With a long exhale, he lowered his head to hers and kissed her. His hand grabbed and tugged at her shirt then she felt his warm hand against the bare skin of her back. Drawing in a deep breath, she felt a chill down her spine that left her entire body tingling. As he continued to kiss her passionately, he slipped his hand beneath the material of her shorts and underwear and spread his fingers over the soft skin of her buttocks. Grasping a hold on her buttock, he pulled her against him. She could feel his erection. Drawing in a deep breath, she balled her fists up.
Scott pulled back and drew in a deep breath. “Ok, I think that’s enough for now.” He said, looking into her eyes.
She could tell it was taking all his power not to kiss her again. Without a word, he pulled her against him and tucked her head in under his chin. With her body still tingling and her breathing heavy, she slid her arm around his waist and pulled him tighter. After laying in that same position for some time, they both fell asleep.
During the night, she drifted into a nightmare, appearing as if she were back at the cabin. Taped to the bed, she could almost smell the urine she was forced to release on the bed. She was crying and looked up to see the three of them standing over her. She could feel their hands as they all ran them over her naked body. Looking at Chuck, he was holding the whiskey bottle and she felt it all over again as he shoved it inside her.
Riley screamed and sat straight up in bed, reaching for her crotch. Finding that her clothes were on and there was no bottle, she opened her eyes to see Scott laying beside her, looking up at her. He sat up and reached his arm across her back to softly rub it.
“Riley, are you alright? It was just a bad dream.” He said, trying to comfort her.
She closed her eyes, shook her head and started crying. “I was a virgin before that weekend happened.” She mumbled just loud enough for him to hear her.
He was silent for a moment before he spoke. “I’m sorry you had to endure that torture, Riley.”
“I had to lay in my own urine.” She mumbled again, tears streaming down her face.
He drew in a deep breath with a long exhale and wrapped his other arm around her, holding her tightly. “You’re alright now, you’re with me and I will protect you.” He tried to be strong for her.
“They shoved a whiskey bottle inside me.” She mumbled again, suddenly feeling embarrassed for revealing her dark secrets.
“Riley, tell me what I can do to help.” He said, horrified by her words.
“Just please be patient with me, Scott. I’ve been hurt, severely.” She sobbed with her head against his shoulder. “Just continue to do what you’ve already been doing.” She said, her voice uneven.
He released his grip as she laid back down. Laying back beside her, he wrapped her in his arms. Holding her tightly, he ran his fingers through the long blonde hair until she cried herself back to sleep. Scott fell back to sleep soon after.
Again, during the night, she drifted of into a dream. Feeling the rocking motion, she thought she was being raped and was alarmed at first. But then she felt herself begin to relax as she looked up and seen Scott’s face. The anger and fear suddenly turned to passion as she realized she was dreaming about having sex with Scott.
With a smile on her face, she tightened her arms around him and felt him hold her closer. Beginning to feel the intense pleasure, her breathing grew deeper. Keeping the memories of the cabin at bay, she felt overwhelmed with the pleasure that kept growing more intense. Grabbing at the bed sheets, she began to moan. Just as she reached orgasm, she opened her eyes, still feeling the extreme throbbing.
Looking up at Scott, he was looking down at her, smiling. She could feel the blood rush to her face, embarrassed and wondering if he had any idea of what her dream brought. She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to control her erratic breathing pattern.
“Good morning.” He whispered to her.
She smiled at him, still feeling embarrassed. “Good morning.”
He leaned down and kissed her. The kiss felt differently and she suddenly realized the passion she felt for him. She kissed him back with a fervor that made herself shiver. Feeling her tremble, he pulled back to look into her eyes without saying a word. She could feel the roughness of his hand as he brushed it across her face.
“How about we go find a place to eat breakfast, then we’ll come back and get dressed for the water park?” He finally spoke.
“Just as soon as I take a shower.” She said and pulled herself from his grasp as she sat on the edge of the bed. Looking down at Cosmo laying beside her, she stroked his coat.
“You just took a shower last night. We’re going to be in the water all day anyways.”
“Scott, I really feel the need to take a shower.” She said as she dug through her suitcase for some clothing.
“Ok, I’ll take a quick one too, when you’re done.”
She looked back at him and smiled as she went into the bathroom and shut the door. The entire time she was in the bathroom, she thought about the dream that woke her. Feeling as if a new sense of release had come over her, it left her smiling and in good spirits. Coming out of the bathroom, she looked at Scott and flashed him a big smile. Another strong feeling came over her that left her hands shaking and left her confused about her feelings.
He lightly kissed her on the cheek as he grabbed the clothes he already had set out and went past her, into the bathroom. Putting on her shoes, she decided to take Cosmo outside while he was in the shower. Walking Cosmo in the grass, she waited for him to relieve himself. A man walking down the sidewalk approached them. Cosmo sat at Riley’s feet and watched the man. As he grew closer to them, Cosmo began to growl at him.
“Cosmo, shh. It’s alright.” She reached down and stroked his head. The man continued, just looking at Cosmo as he passed them. After he was gone, Cosmo went on about his business.
Scott was sitting on the bed putting on his shoes as she and Cosmo came through the door. “You’re dog is very protective over me.” She said as she unhooked his leash.
“What do you mean?” Scott asked.
“Some man walked past us and Cosmo sat at my feet and growled at him.”
Scott looked at the dog then back at her. “Really?”
“Yes, why is that not like him?”
“No, he’s acting very strange around you. What is it about you, you have us both hooked.” He smiled and stood up to hug her. She merely smiled and hugged him back.
Happy about how she was feeling, with her mild nausea and feeling well rested, she relaxed in the front seat. Scott was driving as she heard a favorite song on he radio. Turning it up, she begun to sing along. Hearing her voice and her ability to sing, he stared at her, reinforcing his suspicion that he was falling in love with her. It had been some time since she felt happy enough to sing.
Reaching over, he took her hand and held it. She looked at him without ceasing to sing. Pulling into a parking spot in front of a restaurant, he waited for the song to be over before shutting off the car. “Oh my God, Riley, you should’ve been a singer.”
“Yeah, right.” She chuckled as she got out of the car.
“I’m serious. At least I thought it was beautiful.” He put his arm around her as they entered the restaurant. The room was crowded with the late breakfast rush. She ordered a double order of pancakes smothered with cream cheese and raspberries while he ordered steak and eggs. After eating, they took their time returning to the hotel, knowing it would be some time before they could get into the water, after having just eaten.
Driving through town only to familiarize himself with the town, he found a grocery store and suggested they get drinks and snacks for the hotel room. She agreed and they both went into the store together. Having another strong craving for milk, she picked up a quart and put it in the cart. The hotel room was equipped with a small refrigerator.
Spending nearly forty five minutes in the grocery store, they checked out and put the groceries in the car. Returning to the hotel, she carried the groceries and unlocked the door while he took Cosmo for a walk. By the time he returned to the room, she had found a place for the groceries and was in the bathroom changing into her bathing suit.
He gave Cosmo fresh water and dug his swimming trunks out of his suitcase. Riley was somewhat nervous as she stepped out of the bathroom wearing her bright red two piece bikini. Standing before him, she looked at him as he looked her over and flashed her a slight smile. “You really have no idea how beautiful I think you are, do you?” He said as he walked up to her.
Noticing her scar more clearly, he tilted his head and squinted his eyes as his finger barely brushed her skin from between her breasts, to her navel. “What’s this?” He asked.
Closing her eyes, she wanted to cry but held back the tears. “Just a bad memory.”
Knowing she didn’t want to talk about it, he disregarded the issue and pulled her against him. Kissing her on the forehead, he walked away and into the bathroom.
Sitting on the bed, she waited for him, pushing the memories to the back of her mind. As he came from the bathroom, she watched him take money from his wallet and tuck it into an inside pocket of his swimming trunks. She looked over his nearly naked body with his muscular build, realizing just how attractive he was. Then she noticed the scar on his chest. Walking to him, she reached up and gently touched it. “What’s this?”
“That is… the scar from where I got shot.” He said flatly.
“You were shot? When was this?” She was alarmed and suddenly worried about his profession.
“It was a few years ago, while I was conducting a routine traffic stop. I almost died from the gunshot. But I pulled through it with the will to live.”
She hugged him and whispered in his ear. “I’m so glad you survived.” Then she kissed his neck.
“What are we going to do with this?” He held up the room key that contained a small hook, changing the subject and trying to control his passion. She took it from his hand and hooked it onto the string of her bikini. He merely smiled and opened the door.
He had already paid for the water park, it was part of a package deal with the room. Walking into the large, humid room, they looked around at all of the slides and pools. “Well, which one do you want to try first? Scott asked her.
Looking around the room, she took his hand and began to lead him. “Let’s just get wet first.”
They walked into the wave pool until the water was up to her chin. The water was just below his armpits. Slipping herself under the water, she came back up, her hands stroking back her wet hair. He did the same. Reaching over, he pulled her to him to kiss her when a loud bell sounded that made her jump. They both slightly laughed and turned to see the large wall moving to create waves.
They held onto each other as the waves grew stronger and crashed against them. She was floating in his arms and she wrapped her legs around him to hold onto him. With a seriousness on his face, he looked into her eyes. “Riley, you shouldn’t do that, I’m trying extremely hard to control myself around you.”
Without saying a word, she lifted herself up to press her lips to his and pulled him tighter with her arms and legs. With her hair through his fingers, he kissed her harder. Remembering that they were not alone, she pulled back and looked around at the people, who didn’t seem to be paying attention to them. Riley looked at Scott and smiled. “Ok.” She said and released herself from him, swimming towards the shallow end. Scott drew in a deep breath and splashed at the water as he followed her out of the pool.
Choosing the tallest, longest slide first, they climbed the long stairway to the top. Her heart was already racing from the top of the slide as she started down it. It gave her a rush that left her feeling like a child again as she splashed into the pool at the bottom. Swimming to the edge of the pool, she turned to watch Scott splash into the pool. As he swam towards her, they were both smiling.
“Oh my God. Thank you, Scott, you’re right, I did need this.” She said, excited as they climbed out of the pool. Immediately they went down the same one again.
She wasn’t sure how many hours they had spent in the water park but she had grown very hungry. She was just having too much fun to be interrupted by eating. As they climbed the tall stairs, she decided they would get something to eat after one last slide down. Standing straight up at the top, she suddenly felt lightheaded and seen stars. Just as she turned to grab a hold of Scott, she passed out, hitting her head on the bricks that surrounded the opening of the slide. Landing on the slide, she slipped down it.
Scott went immediately after her. She had missed the ride but the splash into the cool water woke her immediately. She inhaled a small amount of the chlorinated water as she struggled to find the surface. Scott splashed just behind her, almost landing on her. He found his way above water to see her choking and coughing and trying to make her way to the edge of the pool.
Scott waded quickly through the water right behind her. “Riley, are you alright?” He asked as he turned her towards him.
Her eyes were dilated and appeared to look through him. There was a large bump on her forehead that was bleeding. “Someone call the ambulance.” Scott hollered as he helped her out of the pool. With her legs feeling weak, she dropped down to the hard marble floor that surrounded the pools.
“Riley?” Scott asked again, looking into her eyes.
She blinked them and looked up at him. “What happened?” She asked him as she felt the throb in her head and reached her hand up to feel the knot.
“You passed out, hit your head and fell down the slide. Are you feeling alright?”
“Not really, I feel like I’m going to get sick and I have a severe headache.” She said as she tried to get up.
“Just relax. The ambulance is coming to take you to the hospital. I think you should be seen.”
“I need somewhere to throw up.” She said as she covered her mouth still trying to get up.
He helped her up and to a trash can where she vomited only the water she had ingested. Still feeling week and dizzy, Scott helped her to a wooden bench where she could sit. Moments later, the ambulance arrived. With their flashlights and stethoscopes, they assessed her quickly. Scott asked where she was going and how to get there. Taking the room key before they took her away, he ran to his room to throw on some clothes and grab his keys.
Finding his way to the hospital, he went to the desk at the emergency room. Seeing the doctor enter her room, he waited just outside the door. Riley lay quietly on the hard bed, waiting for the doctor. “What seems to be the trouble today? It looks like you must have been at the water park.” The doctor asked as he walked up to the bed, seeing her still in her bikini.
“Yes. Apparently, I passed out and bumped my head just before going down a slide.” She softly rubbed the knot on her forehead.
He looked her over before pulling out his flashlight and shining it into her eyes. “How have you been feeling otherwise, before you passed out?” He asked.
“Actually, not well. I’ve been feeling rather ill lately. And tired. I’ve been really stressed out too, because of dealing with a traumatic incident I endured.”
“Is there any chance you could be pregnant?” He asked, still examining her.
“No. I don’t think so. Oh my God, I hope not.” She said, the thought of it sickening her more.
“Well, let me run some tests and we’ll get this figured out.” He said as he walked towards the door.
Scott walked in as the doctor was walking out. “What did he say?”
“Nothing, really. He’s going to run some tests.” It was all she said as she thought more clearly about the possibility of pregnancy. Suddenly it began to make sense. The nausea and vomiting, the extreme fatigue and hunger, the cravings, the irritability. And she realized she hadn’t had a menstral cycle since before the weekend at the cabin. Knowing the test would come back positive, she knew she had another secret to hide from Scott. And her family, at least for the time being.
Approximately fifteen minutes they waited before the lab tech came in to draw blood. It was nearly an hour later when the doctor returned to her room. Scott feeling that she needed privacy, he left the room while the doctor spoke with her.
She was not concerned with any results other than the pregnancy test. As he told her of the positive result, she was oblivious to the rest of his words. Her mind was stuck on the news that devastated her further. Her tests had produced a result that she was approximately four weeks pregnant. As she broke down in front of the doctor, tears began streaming down her face. It was concerning to the doctor and he recommended she see her family doctor as soon as possible. Leaving the room, he released her.
Scott did not come in when the doctor had left which left her in the room alone and crying. Expecting him to walk in at any time, she tried to regain her composure as to not give her new secret away. The door swung open and the nurse entered with her release papers. She quickly signed them then looked them over to discover she did have a concussion.
Leaving the room, she was directed towards the waiting room. Walking out of the emergency department, she seen Scott as he looked up at her and stood up. Walking with her out to the car he waited until they got in before saying anything.
“What did the doctor say?” He finally asked.
“I have a concussion.” She simply said, gazing straight out the windshield.
“Are you going to be alright?” He asked, seeing the flat expression on her face.
“Please, just take me somewhere to get something to eat.” She mumbled to him, fighting hard to hold back the tears that wanted to burst out.
Reaching over, he took her hand and pulled it up to his mouth to kiss it, concerned about her sudden change of mood. There was silence between them as he took her back to the hotel to get dressed. She decided to just walk down to the in house restaurant instead of leaving. She felt nauseated and starving at the same time and found it difficult to eat, regardless of her hunger. Scott observed her as they ate, noting her mood, silence and facial expressions.
As they finished eating, he left their next move up to her. “What would you like to do next? Do you want to go back to the water park or do you want to see a movie or go bowling or something else?”
“Scott, I’m so sorry I ruined you weekend.” She said, still fighting back tears.
Reaching his hand across the table, he took hers. “Riley, What are you talking about, please don’t say that. The only way you could ruin my weekend is if you were not here with me.” She looked up at him and forced a smile but he could see a new disturbance when he looked in her eyes. “Or do you just want to go back to the room and hang out?”
“Yes.” She quickly agreed and stood from the table.
He followed her to the door, stopping to pay the bill. As they walked back into the room, Scott hooked the leash on Cosmo and took him outside. Riley changed into her pajamas and laid on the bed. Knowing Scott would be gone for at least a few minutes, she broke down and began to cry again. Rolling onto her stomach, she buried her face in the pillows and screamed as loud as she could as she beat her fists on the bed.
Hearing the door open, she sat up on the side of the bed with her back facing him, wiping her tears and trying to regain her composure. Scott unhooked Cosmo and the dog came directly over to Riley and sat besides her, looking up at her. She suddenly understood his behavior. He was protecting her because she was pregnant. Reaching down to pet him with one hand, she wiped her eyes again with the other. Standing at the end of the bed, looking down at her, Scott still had the leash in his hand.
“Riley, you don’t look well, Are you alright, can I get you anything?”
Looking down at the floor, she only shook her head, failing at her attempt to hold back the tears. Sitting down beside her, he put his arm around her and lifted her face to his with one finger beneath her chin. She blinked her eyes before looking at him, causing more tears to fall.
“I don’t understand. Earlier at the water park, you were laughing and having a great time. Now, you’re in tears. What happened? What did that doctor say to you?”
“Nothing. I’m just having a relapse.” She lied in a sob and laid her head against him.
Wrapping his arms around her, he held her tightly although he had a feeling there was something more. Pulling away from him, she scooted up on the bed and laid down, curling up into a ball. She just wanted to go home, to be alone but she didn’t want to ruin his weekend or his Valentines Day any further. Closing her eyes, she wanted to wake up from this nightmare that’s caused all this devastation and pain.
He reached down and stroked her hair. “Do you think you’ll be alright for a while? I’ll be right back.”
“I’ll be fine.” She spoke in a low, feeble voice.
Standing to his feet, he leaned down to kiss her. “I’ll be right back.” He whispered again.
Grabbing the room key and his coat, he walked out the door. Hearing the door shut, she broke down and cried. A new thought had begun to run through her mind. That of suicide. Suddenly she felt ill and got up to run to the bathroom. Leaning over the toilet, she lost most of what she ate. Leaning over the tub, she turned on the water and plugged the drain.
Still feeling weak, she pulled herself off the floor and took her clothes off, leaving the bathroom door open as she stepped into the tub and slowly sat down in the hot water. Cosmo came in and laid beside the tub. As the water reached capacity, she leaned up and shut it off. Leaning back, she stretched out and tried to relax.
Hoping the bath would help her feel better, she leaned her head back but the only thought she had was slipping down into the water and disappearing forever. But then she thought about her strong spirit and her will to live when she found the strength to survive on that cold, dark Sunday night.
Then Scott crossed her mind and a chill ran down her spine. She felt a strange ache in her chest that was accompanied by a warm sensation. The tension in her body seemed to dissolve in the hot water. Feeling at ease, she fell asleep.
“Riley?” She faintly heard Scott’s voice. Then she felt the water surrounding her that was now cold. The memory of waking up in the snow crossed her mind and she jumped. Sitting up, she looked at Scott who was kneeling beside the bathtub with his hand on her shoulder. She suddenly realized she was naked in the bathtub and was instantly embarrassed.
Moving her arms, she tried to cover herself but she knew he had already seen her. He stood up and turned his back to her, holding a towel behind his back. Pulling the plug on the drain, she pulled herself up and took the towel from his hand. She put her hand on his shoulder as she stepped out of the tub.
Giving her a minute to wrap the towel around herself, he turned to her and took her hand. “Come here.”
Leading her out of the bathroom, and to the bed, he motioned for her to sit down. Feeling fairly content with just the towel, she sat down, leaned against the headboard and put up her feet. She watched him as he walked out by the door and returned with red roses, a bottle of white wine and a large box of chocolates. “I know Valentine’s Day isn’t until tomorrow, but I wanted to help you feel better today.”
“Scott…” She smiled as he walked towards the bed. Sitting beside her on the bed, he handed her the roses and placed the box of chocolates on her lap. She smelled the roses then held her arms out for a hug.
“I’m sorry it took me so long, I had to stop five places to find those roses.”
“I forgive you.” She smiled as he pulled back and looked at her.
Reaching up, he pushed her hair back, happy to see a smile on her face. She opened the box and picked out a piece of chocolate. Taking a bite, she offered Scott the rest and he opened his mouth. She pushed it in and smiled at him. After sharing a few more pieces with him, she decided it was time to get dressed. Standing up, Scott went to the bathroom to get a glass of water for the roses. She went to her suitcase to get her clean pajamas.
As she came out of the bathroom, she was feeling hungry again. But she didn’t want chocolate. She looked through the snacks they had bought but nothing seemed appealing to her. She stood in the middle of the room, looking around for any brochures for delivery. Locating the phone book, she looked in the yellow pages through the restaurants.
“What are you doing?” Scott asked as he watched her.
“I’m sorry, I’m hungry… I lost most of what I ate already.”
He stood up and came to her. “Do you want to go somewhere?”
“Not really, I just don’t feel like going anywhere. Besides, I’m already in my pajamas. I thought we could just order delivery. Are you hungry at all?”
“Not right now, but I may be later. What are you getting?”
“I don’t know. I don’t really want pizza, I’d rather have a hot Italian sub. The kind you get from a pizza shop. That sound’s so good to me right now.”
“Yeah, me too. Go ahead and order one for me.” He agreed with her as she picked up the phone to order. Pouring her a glass of wine, she hesitated before taking it. She knew she shouldn’t drink with the pregnancy but she didn’t want to have to explain this to him right now and frankly, she didn’t really care about the baby.
She ordered three of them along with a twelve piece chicken wings with buffalo sauce. Waiting the thirty minutes it took to arrive, Riley was restless. Wearing only her pajamas, she went out onto the balcony to sit in the cold darkness for approximately fifteen minutes. She tried to control her emotions as she thought about her options concerning the pregnancy. Scott slid open the door to check on her. At that point, she decided to come back in as she was starting to get cold.
Pulling the heavy comforter off the bed, he wrapped it around her, already seeing her shiver. She slid her arms around his back and pulled him against her, soaking up his warmth. He held her tight for a moment before pulling back to look in her eyes. Grasping her shirt, Scott clenched his fists, trying to control his desire as he leaned down to kiss her.
Suddenly remembering the dream that woke her this morning, she felt that same chill down her spine as her passion grew. Pulling away from his kiss, she looked into his eyes for moment before moving her arms up around his neck. With a quick jump, she wrapped her legs around his hips and kissed him again. Drawing in a deep breath, he slid his hands beneath her buttocks, holding her up as he walked towards the bed.
Putting one knee on the bed, he laid her back, lengthwise across the bed and pressed his weight against her. Looking down into her eyes, he lowered his head and kissed her again. Finding his hand tugging at her shirt, he knew it was time to stop in order to maintain his control. Just as she began to feel uncomfortable with the situation, he pulled himself off of her and stood to his feet. In one motion, he rubbed his face then ran his fingers through his hair.
“I can’t do this, Riley, I know you’re not ready yet.”
She remained on the bed in the same position and didn’t say a word. She had to agree with him. She wasn’t ready. And she was relieved that he respected her like that. Just then there was a knock on the door. Scott grabbed his wallet before opening it. As he brought the bags in and set them on the table, Riley came towards the table. She grabbed one of the sandwiches and some of the chicken wings then went to sit on the bed. Scott grabbed a sandwich and the other package of chicken wings and sat beside her on the bed.
As they ate, the both became engrossed in a movie. By the time the movie was over, Scott found her asleep, laying in his arms. Without waking her, he pulled himself out of bed and slipped on his shoes. Grabbing the leash, Cosmo automatically followed him to the door. Grabbing the room key, he looked at Riley before walking out the door.
Ten minutes he spent outside with the dog before coming back up to his room. As he quietly entered the door, he looked at Riley and saw her sleeping in the same position. He knew she had not woke up at all. Not feeling tired, he nibbled on a few pieces of chocolate as he watched the news, sitting on the other bed. It was a few hours later when he finally felt tired enough to lay beside her.
Just before dawn, Riley slipped off into a dream. Surrounded by white, she felt the pain as people began to appear. First, she saw Scott. He was holding her hand as she laid in bed. Then she saw a doctor and a nurse. Confused, she looked around and noticed she was in the hospital. Feeling intense pain again, it slowly came to her that she was having a baby.
She moaned loudly in bed as she felt the birth in her dream. Just as they whisked the baby away, she opened her eyes, out of breath with her hands clenching the bed sheets. As she looked around, she realized it was just a dream. Looking over at Scott, he was laying on his side with his head propped on his hand, looking at her.
“What was that all about?” He smiled at her.
“What do you mean?”
“You were tossing and turning and grabbing at the sheets. You were moaning really loud and breathing deeply. Was it another bad dream?”
“Yes, kind of.” She said as she pulled the covers back to get up.
Scott grasped her arm as he sat up. “Riley, I want you to know that it is ok for you to talk to me about what happened. Remember, I’ve been a cop for ten years. I’ve seen rape cases and nothing much surprises me anymore. I really want to be there for you to help you overcome this.”
Without turning to look at him, she listened and nodded her head. Getting up, she went towards the bathroom and struggled with the morning sickness she was becoming accustomed to. She brushed her teeth before coming out of the bathroom. Passing Scott as he went towards the bathroom, he merely looked in her eyes.
Gathering her clothes she quickly dressed while he was in the bathroom. Just as she pulled her jeans up over her hips, he came out of the bathroom. She looked at him as she buttoned and zipped them. “I thought maybe we could walk down to the restaurant and grab breakfast.” He said as he tucked his shirt in.
“That sounds like a good idea.” She said thinking she was feeling better than she was yesterday, after her news.
Sitting by the window over looking the water park at floor level, he observed her as she looked over the menu and ordered breakfast. She lifted her cup for a sip of coffee and looked up at Scott as the waitress walked away. He could still see that certain look in her eye that signaled pain and devastation.
Reaching both hands across the table, he took one of hers and held it. “I’ll tell you what. Let’s go back to the water park for a while. Maybe we can find that beautiful smile that you wore yesterday.”
’Thank you, Scott.” She said as she lifted his hands up and held them against her face and closed her eyes.
“Thank you for what?” He wondered.
She opened her eyes and looked at him. “Thank you for being you. For being at my doorstep that day and sending me flowers until I finally went out with you. Thank you for being someone I could trust and turn to. And thank you for being patient. And most of all, thank you for not giving up on me.”
“I couldn’t help myself. There is no way I could’ve given up. I am drawn to you like a magnet, since the day I met you. I just want you to be happy and without pain and I’ll do whatever I can to help achieve that. I just want to be with you forever.” He said and looked down to the table then back up at her as if he was suddenly nervous.
She merely smiled at him without a word then got up and came around the table to him. Pulling his chair back away from the table, she sat on his lap and planted her lips on his. He closed his arms around her, neither one of them concerned with the people around them that were watching. Pulling back to look in his eyes, he looked over her face with a seriousness in his expression.
“Oh my God, Riley. I think I’m in love with you.” He merely whispered to her.
His words took her by surprise as she just looked into his eyes, not sure what to say. Leaning down she kissed him again then pulled back and looked at him again. “Scott, we haven’t even made love yet. How can you be sure you’re in love with me?”
“Riley, I don’t have to have sex with you to know how I feel about you.” He answered her.
She leaned down and kissed him again, still blown away by his words. It seemed to change everything. She didn’t want to deviate from her plans for revenge but she suddenly felt the need to tell him everything. But she knew she couldn’t. At least not yet. Although she did feel he should know about the pregnancy still knowing he would find out eventually. She just didn’t know how to or when to tell him.
Pulling back to look in his eyes for a moment, she got up and returned to her side of the table. The echo of his words replayed in her mind over and over again. It made her more confused about her own feelings. She looked around the room trying to think of anything else to completely change her train of thought.
Scott watched her, worried about her silence after revealing something so substantial, that’s never rolled off his tongue so easy. Despite her best efforts, her mind was swirling with different thoughts about her recent and current situations. She so longed for the soothing words of her mother as her thoughts suddenly centered on her and Riley was suddenly more depressed.
With a tear in her eye, she looked up at Scott. “You would’ve loved my mother. And I can bet she would’ve loved you.”
“If she was anything like you, I’m sure I would’ve loved her too. I can tell you miss her.” He reached across the table. “And your father? Do you think he will approve of me?”
She smiled. “Yes. And my sister too.”
“Oh. You’re sister?” He asked. She never really talked about her family, other than her mother’s death.
“Yes. Aleah. And my father is Noah. Aleah is almost two years younger than me. I have only one sister, no brothers. She lives at home, with our dad.”
“You know I’m going to want to meet them, sooner or later.”
“Yes, I understand.” She said, never really thinking about it before.
They were interrupted as the waitress brought their food. Riley looked up at her and asked for a glass of milk. The waitress nodded and walked away. Riley just looked at Scott as she picked up her fork and began eating. He smiled at her then also began to eat.
“So, what do you say about returning to the water park for a while before we head back to Newport?” He asked.
She paused for a minute while she quickly thought about it. Suddenly realizing she had more to think about than herself, she knew it could potentially be dangerous to the pregnancy. But on the other hand, she didn’t care about the pregnancy. She wanted it gone, out of her and out of her head. Looking up at him, she knew he was waiting for an answer. “Ok.” She finally said.
Returning to the room, Scott grabbed the leash and hooked it on Cosmo’s collar. “We’ll be right back.” He said as she watched him walk out the door.
While he was gone, she walked throughout the room and the bathroom, gathering all of her things to not leave anything behind. She also gathered his items and laid them on the bed. Then she changed into her bathing suit. With his words still ringing in her ears, she turned to see the door open and Scott walk in. He unhooked the leash then went to the bathroom to change.
She was standing, looking out the window when he came out of the bathroom. She turned to see him putting his things into the suitcase. Together, they checked the room and finished packing, each leaving an outfit out to change into when they were done swimming. Scott took all their luggage, and the dog, to the car as Riley waited in the lobby for him. He checked out of the hotel room before they entered the water park.
For the long hours they were there, Riley found herself having a great time, although there were still thoughts in the front of her mind. Before leaving, they took a ride together down the river that circles the entire park. Holding hands in the current, they managed to stay together. Riley was feeling both exhausted and hungry after the intense excitement.
Retrieving their clothes from a locker, they went into separate bathrooms to change. Scott came out first and waited for Riley. As she changed her clothes, that same feeling came over her. She was dizzy and weak but she managed to finish. Walking out of the bathroom, she moved her hand along the wall as the feeling still lingered.
Scott came towards her as she stood, still leaning against the wall. Sliding one arm behind her, he reached up with the other and brushed her cheek, seeing the look on her face. “Come on, we’ll go get something to eat.”
Pulling herself together, she smiled and took his hand as he led her out of the building. Riley breathed in the cold, fresh air for a few minutes while Scott took Cosmo for a quick walk. On the edge of town, he stopped at a restaurant. Sitting across from her at the table, he studied her face and seen how exhausted she was with the dark puffiness below her eyes. Believing it was caused more by the demons inside her rather than the excitement of the weekend, he was right.
Her main thought was trying to figure out how to tell Scott about the pregnancy. She stared out the window looking at nothing as Scott watched her. It left him wondering what else he could do to help her. After a quiet early dinner, they left the restaurant. There was still silence between them while Scott drove straight back to Newport. By then, he was worried by her silence.
Pulling into her parking lot, he got out with her and gathered her luggage out of the trunk. Then carried it to her apartment. After she unlocked the door and turned on the light, he followed her inside and kicked the door shut. Putting her items down in the middle of the floor, he turned towards her. She had a frown on her face as she knew she needed to tell him now. But it made her nervous.
In two large strides, he was to her, wrapping his arms around her. “Riley, I don’t want to go. I don’t want to leave your side.”
Closing her eyes, tears fell down her cheeks as he leaned down to kiss her. Although she was much more comfortable and relieved to be home, she had strong, mixed emotions that were tumbling inside her head. The more he kissed her, the more she wanted him to. He made her feel ways that she had never felt before.
Drawing her closer to him, his hands roamed over her back. With little effort, he reached down and picked her up, carrying her to the couch. Pulling his mouth from hers only for a moment, he laid her down on the couch then kissed her again as he pressed his weight against her. With her arms above her head, he interlaced his fingers into hers as his lips moved to her neck.
Her body was tingling again and she could feel the goose bumps as a chill rushed across her skin. Drawing in a deep breath, she was gritting her teeth, feeling like she may lose control as his lips brushed across her chest just above the line of her shirt collar.
Suddenly feeling like her hands were restrained by his, she began having flashbacks of the events of the cabin. She opened her eyes to see him, trying to fight back memories. Gradually, the passion turned to anguish, then to anger as she knew the cabin still had a strong hold on her.
With tears in her eyes, she fought as long as she could until it overwhelmed her. “Scott…” She whispered to him but he was not deterred. She clenched her hands around his as hard as she could as she began drawing in deeper breaths. “Scott…” She said again, louder.
Lifting his head, he looked up at her and seen the tears in her eyes. He knew he had gone too far. Pulling himself off of her, he stood with his back towards her for a moment, rubbing his face. She sat up as he turned around.
“I’m sorry, Riley. I should go now.” He said and started towards the door.
She stood up and grasps his arm, pulling him to turn towards her. “Scott…” She swallowed hard. “I need to tell you something.”
He turned towards her fully and she knew she had his full attention. Suddenly unsure, she turned her back and took a few steps away from him. A moment later, she turned back towards him. “You know how you think that you have most of the pieces of your life picked up, when something comes along and smashes them into more, tinier pieces?”
He crossed his arms and looked at her, nodding. “Yes. What are you trying to say, Riley?”
“I’m pregnant, Scott.” She could barely get the words out of her mouth.
Still looking at her, he squinted his eyes and leaned his head back while he drew in a deep breath. “Ok…” He said, seeing the expression on her face. “Riley…” He stepped towards her. “That doesn’t change anything about how I feel about you. Whatever you decide to do, I will support your decision.”
She cried harder and laid her head against his chest as he wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly. “Do you want me to stay with you again tonight?” He whispered to her.
“No, I need to be alone for now. I have a really big decision to make.”
He leaned back and placed one finger under her chin to lift her head up and face him. “Riley, you know you don’t have to make that decision alone. That is a big decision that could change your life. I just know I want to be part of your life too.”
Looking up at him, she wasn’t sure how that could possibly happen right now. She had an agenda that she needed to carry out first and foremost. “Look, I still think I need to be alone, at least for the night.” She leaned up and kissed him. “Thank you for the weekend, it was definitely helpful and enlightening.”
He planted his lips on hers for a long kiss before he pulled away and walked out her door without another word. It took everything in his power to leave her but he knew that’s what she wanted. At least for now.