After I'd dried off enough, I let down my hair, grabbed my phone, and went into the house, shivering as the air conditioning hit me. The large TV was on, and the volume was so quiet I could barely even hear it.
His father didn't seem to be watching. He sat on the couch, one arm draping over the back of it, and gazed at the empty coffee table in front of him. The angle of his body and his fitted t-shirt showed off his toned muscles. His jeans fit him perfectly, and I lingered quietly, staring at him. God, he was so fucking hot.
My need to talk to him was unbearable, but I can't. He's Peyton's father. I couldn't ask him for advice on what I should do now, could I? Clenching the towel tighter around my shoulders, I made my way into the spare bedroom where I changed.
After I shut the door, my disappointment slowed my pace down. I dropped my phone next to the stack of clothes and sighed. What was I going to do? Wait for Peyton to call me? We're basically over. I told him we were done.
There was a soft knock on the door. "Riley?"
My heart dropped to my feet but I kept calm. "Yeah?"
"I... need to say something. Can I come in?"
I clenched onto the towel even tighter. I haven't even started to change and he'd just seen me in a bathing suit minutes ago, but that had been beside the pool. It was dumb, but I felt more exposed now that I was outside. "Yeah."
He stepped into the room, shut the door behind him, and when he faced me, his shoulders fell. Whatever he was about to say, it seems very serious.
"What is it?"
"I shouldn't be saying this, and it's not my business, but Peyton..." he scowled. "You should break up with him."
It took him for what felt like a lifetime to finally say something. The silence was killing me.
"Because, I've watched the way he treats you, and it's not right. He's at a point in his life where he's extremely selfish and he won't get any better. Not for a while." Dr. Lowery's expression was blank. "Not until he learns to stop taking things for granted, and I'm speaking from experience. When I was his age, I was the same way."
It was a lot to process, and I swallowed nervously. It was hard to think about him. Maybe the lemonade was drugged.
I opened my mouth to tell him I broke up with him 10 minutes ago, but he kept talking.
"I know this all sounds terrible. What kind of father am I, telling you to break up with him?" He shook his head at his own question. "I don't want to see either of you get hurt, but I think that's going to happen, no matter what you do. I'm probably going to walk out of this room regretting I said any of this, but I want to clarify, this is on him, not you."
He sighed before continuing.
"Riley, you're a great girl and you honestly, deserve more than what Peyton can gave you."
His face changed into flat out embarrassment and his shoulders stiffened. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said anything."
"No, wait," I said as he turned toward the door. "I just broke up with him."
"You did? Why?"
"For the same reason as you. We're two different people now, not liked how we used to be." My dropped gaze looked up at him to meet his eyes. "I'm not sure the new me likes the new him."
"I get it," he seemed genuine saying it. There wasn't any anger or defensiveness in his eyes. It looked almost like relief. "I grew up a lot when I was in school. I did stupid shit until I figured out how to be an adult, and I'm assuming that's where he is."
"Figuring it out?"
I simply shrugged. "I don't know what I did to prevent the relationship from working."
He looked at me as if I was being dumb. "Don't do that. This isn't your fault. Things don't work out sometimes, that's just how life is."
I took a deep breath. It was weird to talk about this with him, but it felt good at the same time. It was nice to hear I wasn't to blame. He was always so good at knowing what to say, and with that in mind, I grew more sad. "It sucks. I feel like I broke up with you too."
Shit, did I just say that out loud?!
His eyes went wide.
"I mean," I stuttered, "because we won't see each other after this again. Like, do we say goodbye?"
I'd been a huge part of Peyton's life. There were so many photos of us all over the house. We did almost everything together. I wasn't overly upset but I shook the thought of tears away. "Is it weird to say I'll miss you?"
His face was heartbreaking, and the tone of his voice matched his face. "No, not at all. I'm going to miss you too."
As I processed what he just said, he moved toward me, his arms wide open for a hug. I let his arms wrap around me, feeling his toned chest against mine. If he didn't care my bathing suit was still damp, I suppose neither did I.
He felt so warm and comforting.
His arms wrapped tighter, holding me, and it brought on another thought of crying. I didn't want to change things. I didn't want this part to be over. I shut my eyes, pushing away the tears as his hand ran down my hair. How long would he hold me like this?
His warm hand was on the small of my back, the contact leaving me breathless. He moved, changing the position as if settling me into him, pleasure suddenly arousing. It was followed by shame. All he was doing was offering advice and comfort. This was the most inappropriate time to get turned on.
I wanted to get even closer to him as I softly inhaled the smell of his cologne. His muscles under my hands tensed, like whatever was happening, he felt it too.
His hand in my hair moved, and he cupped the side of my face, drawing me back enough so he could look into my eyes. The way he looked at me, sucked the last air left in my body. Every nerve tingled.
His stare was intense. He wanted to do something very bad and naughty.
His hand reached under my cheek, and his stare slid down to my lips. I knew we were in trouble but I wanted it to happen. I tilted my chin up to slowly move my lips closer to his. As soon as he realized what I was trying to do, his lips crashed into mine.