Always a knight
A Little Over One Year Later…
Riley lay on her bed with the text book open in front of her. A knock came on the door of her small room and relief of a brief study break came over her.
“Come in,” She said sitting up on the bed and stretching.
“Hey, Riles,” Cheryl said opening the door and sitting on the bed beside her.
“So I don’t want to do this, but Aaron and I were talking about having our own place. Since my names the one on the lease I was wondering if you’d mind moving out. Aaron want's to turn this room into his gaming room... You can have I dunno… a month or so to find a new place, no rush,” Cheryl said looking down at her hands.
“I knew this was coming. It’s okay, Cheryl. I understand, you two have been dating a while now,” Riley said squeezing her best friends’ hand.
“Hey, but to make it up to you… I know you have Wednesday’s off so I signed us up for a class. It’s kick-boxing! I already paid for you. I figure I’ll pay for you so that we have to hang out every Wednesday. I don’t want to lose you as a friend,” Cheryl said with a shrug, “Plus the owner of the Dojo is really hot! I hear he’s single, too.”
“Yeah, I’m not into hot guys. Chris ruined that for me. Now I’m only looking for a nice guy. One who brings flowers and holds hands. I have yet to find one, though,” Riley said with a shrug, “Kickboxing does sound like fun, though.”
“Plus you get to hang out with me and get a good workout in,” Cheryl said hugging Riley, “Chris was so yesterday anyway, right?”
“Yeah, but I’ve never had someone stomp so hard on my heart,” Riley replied, “So tomorrow night?”
“See you there,” Cheryl said getting up and leaving the room. Riley returned her attention to the book in front of her. She glanced up in the mirror and saw the scar on her shoulder. Learning to fight is probably a good idea. The way Evan had taken out the thief was amazing, of course he was well trained in martial arts though, I mean a black belt better be well trained, she thought. She shook her head and went back to studying.
After a day of school Riley was ready to get out some of that pent up energy. She changed into some work-out clothes and met Cheryl in the living room. They had been sharing a two-bedroom apartment for a little over a year now. Riley would miss sharing the place with her best friend. They headed out to a business complex. The dojo was surrounded by stores. It was small but the place was packed. Riley walked in laughing at a joke Cheryl had told. She looked up at the teacher and figured he was the reason why this class was so popular. He had black hair and green eyes. Cheryl nudged Riley and nodded her head while wiggling her eyebrows. Riley laughed and put an arm around her. Riley and Cheryl were running late for the class so they quickly put their stuff down on the side and joined in to the stretching.
Cheryl said something that made Riley laugh, but then Riley felt a strange prickling, like someone was watching her. Riley spread her legs out and bent down to touch the mat, feeling the stretch at the back of her thighs. She looked up to see if someone was watching her and saw him standing in the office doorway. He stood leaning against the door jam. Riley would have fallen over if she wasn't already on the ground, her jaw dropped. He had grown his hair out and it made him look so sexy. He was looking straight at her and Riley instantly remembered him. Evan, with his warm brown eyes like hot cocoa on a cold winter day. Evan blinked and then smiled. Riley was dazzled by his smile. She shook her head and took a deep breath, laughing to herself. She had been so entranced by him she forgot to breathe.
Cheryl hit her leg and she realized they had changed positions. Riley looked forward and tried to concentrate on the teacher, but kept glancing over to see if he was still there. He joined the teacher and told him he would help him show techniques. The teacher, whose name turned out to be Matt; showed them a few ways to throw punches. He had the women doing jabs, hooks, and upper cuts. They paired up with gloves and pads to practice hitting something. Riley was surprised they had belts and tournaments for women’s kickboxing. Cheryl thought it would be fun to eventually get into a tournament. As Riley was practicing the punches on Cheryl, Evan walked up behind her.
“Hi,” Cheryl said smiling. Riley looked at her curiously.
“Hi,” Evan’s deep voice rumbled from behind her. Riley jumped and turned.
“H-hey, Ev. How have you been?” Riley asked blushing. Oh, why am I blushing, it’s just Evan, Riley thought embarrassed by herself.
“Ev?” Cheryl asked.
“Oh, Cheryl, this is Evan, Evan this is Cheryl my roommate and BFF,” Riley said introducing them.
“Hi, Cheryl,” He said waving at her and then turned to Riley, “Let me show you something, princess.”
Evan had her make her stance and then straightened her arm, and showing her how to hit harder and more precise. When he finished Riley watched him move on to another group. She could tell that they were flirting with him as well.
“Is that the Evan?” Cheryl asked following Riley’s gaze, “The one that was your knight in shining armor?”
“The one and only,” Riley said fanning herself. She brought her attention back to the class. Cheryl laughed at her. Riley had a hard time focusing on the teacher with Evan hovering around her. When the class ended Riley and Cheryl grabbed their things.
“Riley, can we talk?” Evan asked.
“Uhm… yeah, sure,” Riley said looking at Cheryl.
“I have to get back to the apartment. I have a test tomorrow. Can you give her a ride?” Cheryl asked him. Riley shook her head and mouthed ‘no’ at Cheryl.
“Yeah, I can give her a ride. I’m not doing anything after this. Matt can close up for me,” Evan said with a shrug. He ran his hand through his golden locks and smiled at Riley.
“Okay, let’s go out for some coffee or something,” Riley said with a shrug, “As long as you don’t mind me all stinky.”
Evan laughed, “Geez, princesses never sweat, they just perspire.”
“I’m not much of a princess,” Riley said with a laugh. She waved to Cheryl as Cheryl left.
“Of course you are Princess Rose,” Evan said taking her hand and kissing it.
“I can’t believe you remember that,” Riley said shaking her head.
“You are hard to forget, princess,” Evan said looking into her eyes.
“The names still Riley,” she said with a laugh. Evan laughed and put his arm around her he led her out to a Porsche in the parking lot. He opened the passenger side door and helped her in. They went to a nearby Diner and found a seat. Riley ordered coffee and Evan ordered a cheeseburger.
“How have you been Riley? We missed you last summer,” Evan said smiling at her.
“Oh, I’ve been super busy. I’ve got two jobs right now, going to college full time, and my BFF just told me to find a new place so I'll be apartment hunting in my spare time, which is very little. Ugh! Sorry, I don’t mean to pawn my stress on you,” Riley said shaking her head.
“No boyfriend then?” Evan asked, “I thought you’d be almost married by now.”
Riley laughed, “I don’t have time for a boyfriend. I barely have any time for myself.”
The waitress smiled seductively at Evan as she brought their drinks and his food.
“I see you grew your hair out and it’s working for you,” Riley said winking playfully, “Geez, half the girls in that class were drooling over you.”
“Yeah, I guess I ought to thank you for that... Do you want to rent a room at my place?” Evan asked looking at his food. Riley took a second glance at him.
“What?” she asked not sure if she heard him right.
“I have been so busy lately, and I could use a cook-slash-maid, if you’re willing to… do that. I mean I'd pay you for helping out around the place,” Evan said looking up at her hesitantly.
“I don’t know, we all know how well that worked out last time,” Riley replied sitting back in the booth, chewing her lip in thought. She could feel her heart race. It would really help her out to have a place to stay, and any place of his is probably much nicer than any apartment she could find.
“It’s just that, I have a six bedroom house, and it’s so quiet when I get home. It’s just me there. I would love to just have someone there with me. Not with me-with me, but like just there to take up some space. I’d also love to eat a home-cooked meal every now and then. Take out every night is going to kill me. You wouldn’t have to cook every night, just, I don’t know, four times a week? I’ll pay you $200 a week and you don’t have to pay for room or food. I’ll even give you a scholarship,” Evan said looking hopefully at Riley, and then quickly down at his burger. He seemed nervous about asking her.
“Are you serious, Evan?” Riley asked her mouth turned down in a frown as she picked up her mug of coffee, “I haven’t seen you in over a year. You know I could have become a serial killer or something.”
“You haven’t changed that much, please Riley? And you can kill all the cereal you want. I don't care much about cereal,” Evan replied with a smirk. Riley looked into his warm brown eyes and knew that he meant every word. Her heart melted as she remembered the way he had looked on the plane coming back, his eyes like honey in the sunlight. She wasn’t sure if it was his need to be a savior, or if he actually wanted a roommate. The offer was too good to pass up though. Plus the fact that she was very attracted to him didn’t hurt. She was still hesitant to work for another rich guy, but how could she say no to someone who risked his life for her. Well for her purse, but if he were there she was sure he would have stopped the thief from cutting her.
“Alright, Evan. I’ll move in with you, as long as you don’t go all bloodthirsty tyrant on me,” Riley said shaking her head, “I could really use the break from working like eighty hours a week and going to school, I get sick all the time and still have to work, do my homework, and go to school... Please don’t make me regret this though.”
“Chris was an ass to you,” Evan replied taking her hand in his, “I would never be such a dick. You don’t even have to keep the house that clean. I have a maid that comes once a week, just the dishes and such. I mostly just hate coming home to an empty house.”
“I think I’ll have to make you sign a contract saying that you will never refer to me as a slave though,” Riley said sipping her coffee. Evan pulled out a pen and wrote on a napkin and handed it to her.
I will never, ever refer to Riley as a slave! Just as a Princess.
Riley laughed and looked at Evan, shaking her head. The guys were always good for a laugh. He smiled and shrugged.
“What? I’m so used to calling you Princess I’d have a hard time stopping,” Evan said taking another bite of his burger, “Do you want to stay at my house tonight or go back to your place?”
“You know, I think I’ll stay with you tonight. I just have to go by the house and grab some clothes and my car. I have a class at ten, then I’m in school till four and then it’s off to the coffee shop. I’ll be putting in a two week notice but I imagine they’ll let me go right away. We're all fighting for hours right now. My tutoring job will probably make me wait the full two weeks though,” Riley said with a shrug, “Truthfully Cheryl and Aaron can be a bit... noisy at night.”
“Do you want me to get your stuff for you tomorrow, then?” Evan asked.
“Oh, I should be able to get the rest of it on Saturday. I just need clothes really, right?” Riley asked.
“Yeah, you can stay in the bed room next to mine. It has everything in there. You know; bed, dresser, that kind of stuff. All the rooms have their own bathroom, too,” Evan replied, “Are you bringing your bed from the old place? I could store it in the garage, I guess. I’d assume you’d want the king size that’s already in there. At least I hope you do. It’s heavy and I’d rather not have to take it out.”
Riley laughed, “Yeah, that’s fine.”
She sat and watched Evan finish his burger. She couldn’t believe how lucky she was to run into him at just the right moment. She took a sip of the overly bitter coffee and looked at him. He hadn’t changed that much. He was still funny and nice. His hair was longer, which only made him sexier than he was before. Bad Riley, I can’t think like that, she thought, what would happen if this deal fell through because I fell for him the way I did Chris?