"Twenty questions," Ashe said softly as Riley snuggled against him, both of them facing the window. More than twenty-four hours since they both stumbled into her apartment after a beautiful night out on the town, it was drizzling. Water trails made their way down the window panes, casting shadows across their bodies lying on the bed.
Riley didn't have to glance at the clock to know that dawn was approaching. They'd fallen asleep after the third time making love–the third time of crying out his name as she came, her voice growing hoarser with each gasp, each moan, each breath that left her lips. Her body was spent, though her spirits soared every time he touched her, kissed her, and pulled her toward him. She loved the way he looked at her when he made love to her, the way he buried his face in her hair, his fingers interlaced with hers that told Riley he was really there, and he was really seeing her.
He was baring her.
"Can we just start with five?" Riley asked. "I'm usually the one who asks the questions."
"Why are you afraid of being asked similar questions you had no problems asking me?"
"I just prefer to ask them."
"Don't you think that's unfair?" His voice grew lower, teasing.
"Yes, it is."
"I don't understand."
"Because I've made my mistakes, and I don't want to be judged because of them."
"Do you believe falling in love is a mistake?" he asked.
"Only when there's no guarantee that it'll last forever."
"Nothing lasts forever, Riley. But would you have wanted the last...relationship to last forever?"
She sighed. "You ask hard questions, Ashe."
"Please answer the question, Riley. Would you prefer that relationship to last forever? Gareth?"
"In hindsight, no," she replied. "He would have betrayed me anyway. If not in L.A., then right here in New York. Or anywhere for that matter."
"You're uncomfortable," Ashe said. "Would you want me to stop asking questions?"
Riley turned to face him, marveling at the color of his eyes. So blue, darkening whenever he frowned. She shook her head. "It's only fair that you get to ask the questions."
"Even if it makes you uncomfortable?"
"Maybe it's time for me to stop feeling too comfortable," Riley replied as she turned to lay on her back. Ashe still had his arm around her, his other hand supporting his head. "I've been hiding from the truth for so long. If not drugs, then I did it by working too much. And I still do."
"What are you afraid of?"
"The truth–the awful, ugly truth that people hide behind their lies, their smiles," she replied. "So sometimes, I don't even try asking the questions that need to be asked. I'm afraid that I'd find out the truth and it'll hurt. And I'm afraid of being alone."
"But you're not alone. So many people love you."
"Then why do I feel lonely?"
"Are you feeling lonely now?" Ashe asked, frowning.
Riley shook her head, forcing a smile before sighing. This was exactly what she feared. The truth. But she might as well say it for in the morning, he'd be gone, and he'd probably forget all about her.
"No, right now I'm fine. But when you go–and you will go–then I will feel lonely. But I'll be okay," she said, looking up at him, serious now. "Any more questions?"
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Loving Ashe - Book 1 of the Celebrity SeriesRomance
Twenty-three year old Riley Eames is still haunted by the heartbreak from three years ago. After the unexpected encounter with rising Hollywood star Ashe Hunter, will she finally open up or will her heart stay tormented by the past? *** After bei...