October 18, 2019, 03:52:38 AM

Author Topic: Just a Shot in the Dark Pt.2  (Read 183 times)

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Offline Riley Savell

Just a Shot in the Dark Pt.2
« on: December 08, 2018, 08:39:51 AM »
They stood on the stoop, her eyes locked on his face as she felt her fingers fidget against his; holding a breath she wasn’t aware she was holding, his words finally brought her the relief of an exhale.

“I’m not trying to wake up in the middle of the night with my bed spinning, Riley. You better give me a map or something to try and navigate this place.” he said as he felt her arm go back down his and lock hands with him again. He curled his fingers around her as she face him and asked him if he thought she was spoiled. It was hard to meet her eyes facing her like this, her face was so bright and full of life despite her pain. He glanced down at his feet and then looked back up to her.

“I don’t think you’re spoiled. I think you’ve been through too much to be spoiled, you know? I think you know what it’s like to struggle and to hurt. Even if it isn’t monetarily. There’s poor people who are happy and there’s rich people who are sad. You’ve been through too much to be spoiled.” And he took a hand and brushed the side of her face.

“I just feel a little intimidated is all, it has nothing to do with you. But having a driver and pulling up to this house. I feel comfortable around you, obviously but all of this. It’s just crazy to me.” He motioned as she fumbled with the keys. “I’m just simple is all. You dress so nice and you, I don’t know. You look so perfect.” He smiled at her. “But I know you’re not spoiled. I’m probably more spoiled than you, honestly?”

“When you were an athlete like me growing up, you got away with anything. Got given whatever grades you wanted. Coaches and everyone else bent over backwards to help you out. I was so scared of the real world because of that, you know? It’s why I started wrestling. I just went back to what I knew. Wrestling was the first thing I ever really worked for.”

She turned her cheek slightly into his touch and smiled, squeezing his hand softly at his words. The slightly nervous air about him, not being used to the things she took for granted only made him all the more endearing to her, he wasn’t at all the kind of person she was used to being around and maybe that’s what made his presence comforting.

“I think I’d be more shocked if you were comfortable with it, all of this it isn’t really the kind of life most people live. But all the grandeur, the driver, the houses... it’s not substance, like you said. Rich people can be miserable and when they are, they throw money at their problems.”

She started to lead him through the house, skipping several rooms to take him to the back lounge area, it was where she spent most of her time in the house, her favorite room. When they arrived at it, it was more simple than most of the rooms, a large corner sofa set up against the back wall, some childhood photos and mementoes scattered about and a large tv on the opposing wall.

“You felt like you were coddled because of all that? Like you weren’t really prepared for how life if outside of all that maybe? Is that why you hired smokey? Something familiar in it all?” Aside from making Spencer work  for her to hurt Kenzie, she had never had a manager, making her own way and forging a path for herself had always been her goal.

“I don’t think you give yourself enough credit, you work hard. A lot harder than people even realise maybe... you shouldn’t discount that, a lot of people look for an easy road to the top and you haven’t. You’ve worked hard to be where you are and regardless of where you come from...” She smiled up at him before pulling him down to the couch with her almost on instinct curling back in close against him and resting her cheek to his shoulder for a moment. “It’s obvious how much things means to you, the things you said about your grandmother... that’s the kind of love some people never know in their lives. You’re just now figuring out how to live for yourself and maybe some people don’t like irl but I find it admirable.”

Cosmo didn’t care about any of the rooms, mostly he only cared about Riley and her company. While his eyes trailed around a few times. They always found her face instead, looking into her eyes with a smile. As they walked into the lounge area, he was on his own for a moment. Letting go of her he explored some of the pictures she had. Picking them up and laughing at how funny some of them were. Looking intently at the ones of her and her family. Finally he sat it down and turned back to face her.

“Yeah, I need a coach. You know? I respond to that sort of stuff. I’ve always had a firm hand to tell me where to go and what to do. Smokey is a bit…” he chuckled. “Extreme. And I know while he sees dollar signs with me, he’s also in it for what is best. But yes. I did it to have that coach on the sideline that I can look to every now and then for some sort of guidance. But boy do I drive that man crazy.” Cosmo laughed again.

“And sometimes, yeah. I wonder if I would be here if I wasn’t… Cosmo Cooper, you know? Like what if I hadn’t had the name? What if I was just some dude on my teams growing up instead of the star. What if I wasn’t the star athlete the whole town adored? I guess I can be thankful for it in a way, but the older I get the more I realize how uncomfortable it all is. To know that sometimes hard work may not cut it. It’s not something I have to worry about now.”

With a tumble he was down on the couch with her, and now he was back home. Feeling her cheek to his shoulder, he brought his arm around her back and let his hand play with a stray hair of hers. Pulling his knees up on the couch and nearly to his chest. “And now Valor is bringing me to be… the guy.” He said as he brushed her hair with his hands, leaning back slightly at an angle. “And… I don’t know. It feels like high school all over again. I’ve never been brought into a place and the sole reason is because I am… who I am. Is that because of my hard work other places? I don’t know, but it’s something I’m struggling to come to terms with.”

As he got comfortable on the couch she shifted slightly to do the same, resting her hand against his chest and tilting her head to glance up at him as he spoke.

“All you can do, really. Is work hard enough that it doesn’t matter why you are where you are, if it’s the name or not... because you’re able to back it up. You’ll never be able to control how other people see you, if it’s name value or work ethic, all you can focus on is, how do you see yourself? Do you think you’re working hard enough, are you proud f what you’re doing? If the answer to that is yes, then it doesn’t matter why you get the spots you get.”

Exhaling slowly she relaxed again, being close to him seemed to have that effect, like she didn’t need to be so tense and proper all the time, a relief to her muscles; her whole body feeling the soothing effect of that relaxation.

“I know right now, things are all over the place for you and you’re not sure where you fit, but what I said to you when we first started talking is still true. Just be true to yourself Cosmo, you can’t live for other people. You don’t have to give them all you are, it’s okay to hold some of it back... just don’t live for their expectations.” Tilting her head a little more so she could look into his face full, she smiled and nodded at her own words. “What’s the sense in working this hard and not having what you want out of it? Nobody is doing that work for you.”

Looking down at her, he couldn’t help but to smile when she looked up at him. He playfully blocked her face with his hand so she couldn’t smile up at him and then removed it and went back to playing with her hair with his hand. The other propped him up on the couch.

“You always know what to say. I always feel like I’m a bumbling idiot when I’m talking to you about this stuff, and yet you just say it so… easy.” He said as he closed his eyes and leaned his face down on the top of her head. Taking in her scent and giving her another hug with the hand that was draped around her now.

“I hope with everything in me you find whatever it is you’re looking for. In this business, and in life. That’s all I can hope.” He let go of the embrace but stayed wrapped up in her. His hand going back to playing with her hair idly. Feeling her body relax against his, he wanted her to lay there forever against him. Just bringing her that comfort was enough for him. He dropped his hand from her hair to her shoulders where he worked his fingers along there next, pressing gently to release the tension.

“I’m so glad I met you, I’m happy you didn’t give up on me, Riley.”

When he blocked her face with his hand she faked shock, laughing softly with a shake of her head. The feel of the hug, the warmth of him wrapped around her drew another happy sigh from her, closing her own eyes for a moment, just taking the feeling in.

“I’ve always been a talker I guess, it’s the listening part I tend to trip up on...” She was usually terrible at reading cues from people, it was part of why she wasn’t very social. She didn’t grow up in an affectionate home filled with warm embraces and the experience had greatly stunted her ability to read others when it came to body language.

“I.., have no idea what I’m looking for. I just want to be happy, it sounds really simple, but it’s not, is it? Not really, being happy, finding someone who understands you, it’s practically impossible...” The touch to her shoulders, his gentle rubbing had her closing her eyes again, almost melting under his touch.

“I’m glad I met you too... and I won’t ever give up, not on you same as I won’t myself, that’s what I want for you, for you to not give up on yourself. To see there’s light at the end if the tunnel... and that you’re not walking the tracks alone.”

“Sometimes I guess we don’t know what we are looking for until we find it? But you’re persistent enough that I think you’ll find. And if I can help you? All the better. I guess we gotta’ stick together now, right?” He said with a small smile. Seeing how she was enjoying his touch, he brought his free hand up to trace along her shoulders and the back of her neck. Leaning his head down onto hers as they sat in the quiet room and just enjoyed the other’s company.

“I didn’t really see what you were talking about until, like. I’m here. And… I don’t know. i see what you’re talking about now, I guess. I see that it’s going to be okay.” Partly because being with her felt so right. They had met before, but not in the capacity of being alone now. Guard down. Not in front of anyone so they didn’t have to play parts.

“Yeah, finding someone who understands you…” he trailed off and and heaved a sigh. His chest rising and falling, her head right along with it because thats where she had chosen to lay it. “Very impossible.”

Both of his hands went to her shoulders as he lightly worked the skin underneath his fingers, helping her relax.

She shivered ever so slightly, a barely noticeable movement, a deep sigh as she rolled her shoulders back under his touch, leaning into him entirely now and dropping the hand that was resting on his chest for her arm to wrap around his middle, turning her cheek flat against his chest.

“Hmm.” She paused for a second, almost forgetting her thoughts entirely; no one had been this close, this tactile without it being for the sake of something else in so long, she’d almost forgotten what it felt like, just the quiet, soothing existence of another person. “What do you want? Like, in the whole grand scheme of life I mean; aside from professional goals, where’s the happiness you’re chasing? Because you are absolutely right, you’re stuck with me now... if I can help you be happy, that’d make me happy I think.”

As his fingers worked against her skin, her own fingers starts to softly move at his side, lightly tracing along the line of his muscles on thar far side, her fingertips dancing over the fabric of his shirt.

“Wanting to be understood is... the most basic of desires, we all have them and sometimes, the people who seem too opposite are the ones to get it, I’ll admit before we started talking, I’d never have believed that I could connect with you like this, connect on a level I haven’t with anyone in so long I’d actually forgotten what this felt like...”

“Honestly?” With that, he stretched one leg out on the couch, the other folded underneath him and then stretched out on the other side of her. His fingers worked into her skin on her shoulders and then then dropped around her neck and chest as he leaned back on the couch and looked up at the ceiling as he held her.

“I want to leave this business better than I found it. I to leave a legacy to where people are better wrestler and companies are better because they had me in them. That’s what I want out of this whole thing. People forget champions, Riley. They forget title reigns. But they don’t forget people who leave that type of impact. The type where someone right now breaking into the business wants to be the next Cosmo… that’s what I want.”

He sighed as he brushed his fingers around her collarbone, looking back down at her. Taking in the scent of her hair again. “As for like… life? I don’t know. An RV and just travel all the time? I’ve had my roots set in Cali for so long… I don’t know much else. I don’t want this to sound… bad. But once my grandma is gone… I don’t have anything left there… but you know what I’d really like to do? Be a high school coach somewhere. I’ve always wanted to do that, but you kinda have to be a teacher too and I don’t think my grades qualified me for that,” he chuckled.

“Yeah…” He held her tightly. “I don’t know. I chased other things to try and… fix all this going on. This is what I wanted though. I was just scared, Riley. That whatever happened, it would end poorly and just lead to more problems… I’m glad I came. Because I don’t think that is going to be an issue now. I ran for nothing.”

Shifting a little to curve her body comfortably against his she smiled, opening one eye only at first a squinting kind of wink before eventually opening both eyes.

“A legacy. I mean, everyone wants that right? It’s why we’re all seeing who can shout the loudest or be the best, or worst... I think that’s reasonable and probably more realistic for you than a lot of people. See, I know that you can’t see this right now, but people still look up to you and they’re still going to. Harnessing that and make it into something real is the secret...” Trailing off she allowed herself a few moments to just enjoy his touch the feel of him this close to her, the touch of their bodies against one another. Biting into her bottom lip with a small smile she nods some, her head moving against his chest when she does.

“I get it, I can’t settle anywhere for long. Maybe that’s what the whole property thing is. I’m used to a certain kind of life, but I haven’t found anywhere I want to live it... it makes for a nice vacation option for my friends too I guess? But travelling, when it’s not for work, it’s a way to just leave things behind.”

She turns slightly so she can look up at him, not just her head but angling her whole body differently, able to wrap her arm around him in a tight hug as she looks into his face.

“It doesn’t... sound bad, I get what you mean. It’s the only tie you have, a strong one that means everything to you, but without it? You’re free to go anywhere and be anything. That’s all.” Dropping her head gently back against his chest with a small sigh, she draws her hand back across the other side of his chest, her finger drawing random but concentric circles on his skin through his shirt. “It’s... fuck honestly it’s terrifying how comfortable, how safe, this all feels. It’s like you’re just, I don’t know, some force that lifts all the weight I’m carrying, a little reprieve from playing a part other people want to see me play... but I’m not going anywhere as much as all of this, the closeness the... talking, actually vocalising things I’ve never said allowed, scares me. I’d rather be right here and terrified than without this.”

“Wow that is…” he swallowed hard as she shifted to face him, and he kept his arms wrapped around her. It was hard for him to put into words how she had just made him feel with that last statement. Instead he just hugged her again and planted a gentle kiss at the top of her head and then put his cheek against the top of her head as he closed his eyes. “That’s probably the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me.”

“Since our first conversation I knew that you were carrying a lot around. I don’t know, I just picked up on the energy. I’m really into that stuff, you know? I just knew there was more to you than a Villain. And just the fact that I do something like that for you… I don’t know, it makes me feel… different?”

He wasn’t as eloquent as her, but he hoped that she understood what he meant.

“I guess we can just… be scareD shitless together? Just like this.” His fingers worked along her collarbone as he held her. Idly looking to the side as he smiled softly. “I’m already dreading when we have to part. We’ve only been together for a few hours.” He laughed again.

She laughed softly, not in a humoured way but in an almost coy way, a hint of pink at her cheeks as she settled her head back against his chest, getting comfortable, her hand drawing up and down his arm that he held her with, her eyes watching her own fingers move.

“That’s all we can really hope for, to help each other to not, not let outside shit pollute this because if I help you, in any small way, then I couldn’t give anything close to a fuck what other people say. You, giving me something to hold onto, something tangible that doesn’t feel like the rest of that mess? It makes you feel different because you are.” Pausing she drew in a breath and bit at her bottom lip, her hand coming to rest still on his arm.

“Different... special. I don’t think you quite see who you’re going to be yet, but I saw it in you from the first time we spoke, not a Boy Scout, not a hero. You have the potential to do incredible things, all you have to learn to do is trust yourself, your instincts... and that’s not going to happen overnight but.” She tilted her head back to look up into his face again. “I plan on being there when that all falls into place for you, even if I’m exactly what everyone else says. Just some pretty girl playing the part of a wrestler til someone breaks me, or some super rookie who’s going to burn out over a few months, years if I’m lucky... even if all of that is true, and I still get to see you live out your potential? I think I could be okay with it.”

Frowning slightly, returning her head back to the spot on his chest she found most comfortable, she lightly drew her nails back up his arm, a soft sensation, barely a scratch. “It’d suck, I don’t want to be some warning story to young wrestlers. But I could live with it... and in the meantime, being scared shitless together actually sounds pretty nice. Just, no clock watching, I don’t want to think about leaving until I have to.”

“Sorry, it’s just a nasty little habit of mine. Always worried about where I’ve got to be next… but I won’t worry about it. Not right now, especially.” He said, watching her face and then watching her fingernails work up and down his arm as both of his continued to hold her tightly into his chest.

“Well, no matter what happens to either of us in this crazy business. It somehow made us find each other. It has a funny way of doing that sometimes. And if my career ended tomorrow? This would probably top my list of memorable things. I didn’t even have this… I didn’t even have this when I had a relationship, you know? And I get it. It can’t always be this way, we’re both busy…” He clicked his tongue.

“Again, clock watching. I know.” He brought one of his hands up from the folded position around her upper body and brushed some of the hair from her face as she looked up to him with that smile. He closed his eyes because he wanted to take a mental image of that look when he needed it.

“Something stuck with me when you told me about Gavin and why you kissed him or whatever. You know? The first time we talked,” he continued to brush her hair as he looked down at her. “Chasing something real. That haunted me, I think it was the reason I ended up breaking it off with Leela. It wasn’t real—it was what people wanted for us.” He playfully pulled some hair into her face after brushing it away.

“And I was scared about what real felt like anymore because it had been so long since I felt it. But from the time you told me that, I just couldn’t get you out of my mind, about how you were ‘real’ for me, because you didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear but what I needed to hear.” He twisted a strand of her hair in his finger. “I wanted to wait to tell you that to your face.”

Bringing her other hand up she propped it on his chest and against her cheek, allowing herself to tilt her head t a comfortable angle that kept hr eyes on his face, his movements, her other hand dropping back to his chest beside it as she angled herself more, somehow finding just enough room to move in a little closer against him.

“We’ll Find the moments, the pauses in between being busy where we can just be quiet. And comfortable... as time goes on the moments, they’ll be easier to find and existing, coexisting even, in a more natural way even without those moments? It’ll come... I can’t think of a single reason why I would turn away time with you, that’s all it really is, taking time to mean what we say.”

She blushed, more than the little flush of pink before, but w full blush at his words, fluttering her lashes as he played with her hair and biting into her bottom lip, trying to soothe the warmth that had hit her cheeks with a smile.

“I think if I’d told anyone else that truth, they would have taken it to mean something else... but you just, understood. It’s very possible to love someone and not be true to yourself, to not be real. When we love someone, we want to be the best for them and, that can turn us into people we don’t even recognise... change, for the right reasons can be good. But denying yourself for someone else’s happiness?” Leaning up for s brief second she kissed his cheek, a half second kiss, lighter than anything, just a simple expression to resound with her next point. “It wouldn’t have been fair, for you to keep lying to yourself and her. You love her, part of you will always love her, but being IN love, being who you want to be within that love? Neither of us had that..”

  “And for a long time, it was tough for me to come to terms with that, you know?” He dropped his hands again. Keeping his chin at her head as he continued to caress wherever his hands and fingers were at the time. Looking forward until she looked up at him, and then he would meet her eyes whenever possible.

“I thought that loving her should be enough, you know? That I should somehow work through it because o-m-g, love. But that just… I don’t know. Until you put that into perspective for me. I didn’t understand. Everyone is screaming LeeMo and they’re buying merch with our name on it but they don’t understand how far apart we really are. When the curtain closed and the lights went down…” He shook his head and looked back down to her.

“I just know… I want this. More than anything. I just want Riley. In an empty room with nothing on. I just want to be able to feel this way all the time now, you know? And this is all I want in the world.”

When she kissed his cheek, he closed his eyes. No matter how light it was, it seemed to spread more warmth throughout him. Leaving his eyes closed he nodded a few times and then opened his eyes back to hers with a smile.

“That’s kinda how that works isn’t it? The more other people tell you how in love you are, the more you force yourself to buy into it. You two had an entire world built around a fucking hashtag, I can’t imagine that really, in her quiet moments leela was happy either, you were just the one brave enough to say it.” A small smile pulled at her lips again, lifting the mood a little with her teasing tone. “Nothing? And here I was going to trade off converting you to a Christmas lover with watching Moana... I think I’ve watched it maybe once, but if you don’t want to do anythinggggg....”

She laughed, the end of her nose wrinkling with it and burying her face in against his chest, the natural flow of conversation only making her all the more comfortable with him, in the back of her mind she was clock watching too; it’d only been a few hours but knowing how different things can be, can feel just a few hours removed, she didn’t want to lose this feeling ever.

“This. Exactly this feeling right now. It’s all I want... however and whenever, no matter how fleeting the moments. I want all of them, exactly this way.”

“It is, and seeing me continuing to wrestle without that annoying ass hashtag beside it, I don’t know. I think she got bitter more than anything else. And I can’t blame her for that, you know. We are competitive people, in this business. And I am away from this business. It’s nice to see your friends succeed but deep down don’t we all say… why can’t that be me? And I think when I left her behind she… just got tired of it.”

Cosmo heaved another sigh. “But that’s life. Things happen, and you move on… but like you said. I never thought in a million years that… well, this is was going to happen.” He laughed. “As soon as I saw you I just thought that I was going to hold you and not let you go until you had to leave again. I can’t explain it. And so I haven’t let you go since I laid eyes on you…”

“And I don’t want to.” He leaned his face down onto her head again and closed his eyes. Then they snapped open as he got her in a playful headlock with the way they were laying. “I know you’re not trying to hold Moana above my head right now. I know not,” he said as he let go of her and then rested his arms back over her shoulders. “And I don’t have to be separated from you watching Moana. But I guess we should also eat… or at least I should eat. Later though. I need to hear more about Moana.”

“But seriously…” he lifted her chin towards him and looked into her eyes. “I’m going to give you this feeling. From now on. Every chance that I get. I promise you. Because it’s what you’ve always deserved. Whether you think so or not.”

“Nobody can blame her, it’s like I said to you before. Grief. We all deal with it differently and any form of loss brings grief, you know how hard that struggle is, you struggled with your own after the relationship ended... she’s just, finding her feet again and a lot of that frustration is going t be aimed at you, it’s just important that you remember she doesn’t really Want to hurt you, I can guarantee that...” As he sighed she gently ran a finger just under his jawline, tracing the edge of his chin before dropping her hand again.

“You move on, you evolve, you find other things that make you happy. Like this. Like not letting go... so don’t, I don’t want you to either.” She let it a squeak of surprise when he caught her in the headlock, as he let go and dropped his arms back to her shoulders, she reached up and locked their fingers together with her free hand, squeezing softly again. “We can totally watch it, just be glad I don’t know the songs or I’d torture you with my fucking awful voice all the way through...”

She flashed him a smile, shaking her head a little.

“I DO eat, I know it doesn’t look like it, I just only eat clean... it’s a weird habit of mine, I know we’re supposed to be all about bulking up and shit but I just; it’s not even about the modelling, I do that for the confidence boost sure, but I just like feeling as though my body is running on the best possible fuel, which is why I haven’t tried like, really any fast food since I was a kid...”

She had started off teasing but veered off into explaining herself, an old habit, her figure was something that was usually targeted by literally every opponent. Even friends would make jokes and commentators liked to take her weight announcements to extremes... she laughed it off but it irritated her, mostly because she worked hard to look like she did and being punished for that seemed ridiculous in her mind “Rant over, oops.”

She gave him a bashful smile but his lifting her chin to meet her eyes caught her breath, as he made her that promise she forgot everything she was going to say. Her breath catching and for the first time she had no words.

“Uh...” She faltered, blushing again and shook her head slightly. It wasn’t like her to struggle to find the right words to express herself but something about his earnest tone and those words, words she had wanted to hear without knowing it “Sorry I don’t, usually have nothing to say but you just...”

 “You don’t have to say anything…” he took his finger and pressed it gently to her lips and then smiled as he removed it. “I was dumb for trying to run from this when I felt a connection. I was dumb for running to your friend and whoever else I could trying to fin a connection when it was right here in front of me the entire time. We do dumb things when we feel pain.” He put his head to hers again.

“I know all of that bothered you, and I can’t take it back. But I can be here for you now. And I’m not running away from this anymore.” He kept his face turned to hers. “You are something else, Riley. Something different. Something… I’ve never met before. And more importantly, something real. And I’m not letting that go.” It was his turn to press his lips to her, this time her forehead as he let his lips linger there for a moment before he chuckled.

“I’m sure your voice isn’t thaaaat bad. It can’t be any worse than this hair, right?” He said jokingly as a smirk crossed his lips as he pulled a few strands up. In all honesty, he was beautiful. But he couldn’t help but to pick at her some. “And your ass. Don’t forget your ass. It needs work too.”

“Me... turning you on to Ashleigh was an asshole thing to do. I felt like I needed to test you, or something, I don’t know... I didn’t want to be just a hook up that helped you feel better for a few fleeting minutes... I knew it was what you needed but yeah, my best friend? That wasn’t my brightest moment.”

She chuckles softly and shakes her head, sighing heavily as she lets a little more of the truth slip out. “I honestly didn’t think I’d care... until I did. I’ve never been like that, ever, I don’t care what people do. But I just... yeah I don’t have words for it, I just hated every damn second of it. But you don’t need to apologise, you were working out your pain and I was working out mine... it led us here right?” The touch of his lips to forehead made her grin, she held her hand half over her face to hide it, feeling a little stupid but not really caring.

“I can’t believe you just said that!” Faking annoyance she batted his hand away from her hair and jut out her bottom lip, pouting like a child does, quivering her bottom lip with a soft sniff, having crafted the dramatic reaction perfectly. “My ass is already ten times better than it was! How daaaaaareeeeee yoooouuuuuu!”

Nodding some, he understood. Blinking slowly he lowered his head again.

“I figured. I’m glad you told me that though, because I was so fucking confused, Riley. You don’t even know… I was confused you set me up with her after we talked. I was confused when you got mad about me talking about like I did. It was a rough time… but I’m glad you explained it to me, cause it makes sense… and I don’t care now. It happened. Obviously I was able to move on from that very quickly because of the circumstances. I just didn’t want it to be something we dwell over, you know?” As his hand was smacked away from her hair he laughed and let it fall to her shoulder as she brought her lip out in a pout.

“Oh my God, I know you’re not pouting at me right now. Do not bring out the pout face, because I will not admit that you have better hair. Not now, not in a million years. It’s a bit now. It’ll live forever. As long as I have a say in the matter.” He flipped his own hair in his face and let it fall down in her face.

“Is your hair intimidated right now? Is it? And as for your ass, I would say ten times better is pushing it a tad, don’t you think?”

She nodded slightly, the whole thing with Ashleigh had been her pushing him away, just like he had tried to do with her. Feeling that connection so fast, before anything that happened in these past few weeks had happened, it really was terrifying and it’d had taken her some time to come to accept how she felt.

“I warned you I’m difficult, I guess that was me just doing the same thing you did, trying to push you away... and then feeling worse for it. But you’re right, it’s not something to dwell on, more a learning experience for both of us.”

She huffed gently to blow his hair up out of her face, wriggling just a little to get in a better position, pushing up and leaning her free hand against the couch to almost loom over him with a scowl, her bottom lip still pushed out into a pout.

“Okay the hair is one thing, because your hair is fucking amazing, but you don’t get to insult my ass! I worked hard to actually have an ass, do you even know how flat it was before? No! You don’t! See, just rude, so rude...” She was laughing too much to keep going, shaking her head adamantly. “Coming into my spooky haunted house and insulting my ass like you own the place!”

“I understand. I’m not going to sit here all high and mighty and act like I’ve not randomly hooked up before—because I have. But only have the whole Leela ordeal because I was so fucked up in the head. I know I don’t owe you an explanation or anything. But I would gave never sought just that with you. It was just… different with you. I think you understand how I feel now, because I got to show you and not awkwardly stand backstage with you…” He took her hand into his again and rubbed his thumb along the back of it.

“And look, Riley. You got all these thirsty ass guys in your notifications. You’re feeling real good about your ass. I gotta’ bring you back down, okay? Keep the water level. Can’t get too high or too low. Now if someone gets on there and calls you a flat ass? Then I’ll tell you how nice of an ass you have. That’s how this works. I won’t have it anyway other way.”

Cosmo didn’t know what time of night it was. He didn’t really know what time he had landed. In fact he had forgotten all about it being with her in that room in their own little world. Laughing, smiling. “And I won’t tell anyone you called my hair amazing. Your secret is safe with me. As long as you don’t tell people that your hair absolutely smells amazing, and much better than mine…” He said with a smile and then poked at her pouty lip.

“And that I’m just thankful to be spending the evening with the most beautiful woman in wrestling. But that is an entirely different point, okay?”

She nodded slightly, leaning back down into him and leaving her arm lying across his chest as she got comfortable again. “I do, know it now... I questioned it at first, I wasn’t sure if you felt the same connection and like you said, we haven’t had a chance Til now to spend this time together, to feel what the other one is feeling...” Tracing her hand up and down his chest she smiled, laughing a little.

“You’re a lot better at the talking thing than you think; you just have this way of saying exactly the right amount, I always run over, say too much but you, you just know exactly the right amount to say and it’s comforting, I don’t feel like I’m wondering what you’re thinking... it’s nice.” Laughing again at his measure of keeping her level, she nodded her head, cuddling into him now and letting out a relaxed sigh. He knew she didn’t Really take compliments well, she couldn’t help but smile at his thought process.

“Oh you’re going to be the defender of my ego huh? Make sure it doesn’t get too big, but pick me back up when I’m low? I think that’s alright actually... I’m so used to people either wanting to do one or the other, I’m not here with you because I want you tell me everything I want to hear...” She blushed again at his compliment, hiding her face against his chest with another laugh and shaking her head. “I, am definitely not that... there are way too many beautiful women in this sport for you to call me that... I’ll take the hair compliment though, cause you owe me that one!”

Looking back up at him she sighs, shaking her head and biting into her bottom lip.

“Whatever happens, this doesn’t change... who we are, together away from the bullshit? That doesn’t change, I won’t let it, I didn’t give up on you when you tried to force it and I won’t give up on you if others do either... nobody is going to change this, okay? That’s a deal we need to make, away from the cameras, away from everyone else, when we’re here when we have our moments, it all melts away.” She turned her head to kiss against his chest, more for her own comfort than his, cuddling in close and squeezing the hand of hers he held with another sigh. “I’m perfectly fine being the bad guy, it’s my role... I’ve earned it, just not with you.”

Feeling her nuzzle and kiss into his chest, he brought a hand up to the back of her head and gently scratched there a few times underneath her hair and on her scalp as looked down at her from where he leaned back on the couch.

“You know, other people I’ve hung out with since the break up… I’ve had to tell them. I’m not looking to… get anything more out of it than just hanging out. I just want to go out and meet new people—and I have. But, I can’t… I can’t say that with you. Because this is exactly what I want, all the time, every time.”

He felt exhausted and that he had just ran from Santa Rosa to New York and then just fell in her arms, and maybe that is exactly how mentally draining things had been for him. Closing his eyes he dropped his head to lean against hers again.

“I won’t let it change this. No matter what happens. When the cameras are off and we are alone, this is what it is. However we want to portray it outside of these walls? It doesn’t have anything to do with here… “ He brought the hand he was holding up and kissed it. Pressing his lips to her skin as his eyes followed hers. “To me, you’re just Riley. Not a bad guy or a good guy. You’re just Riley. And this time together is all mine, and I am all yours.” He lowered her hand with a smile.

A soft breath left her lips as she closed her eyes, a small happy sound coming from her as she cuddles back down into him, finding absolute comfort in the moment as his lips touched her hand.

“Worrying about outside, that can come later, when we have some kind idea of what this is, beyond it just being you know. This, what we want... what I want... for now it’s not anyone’s business, or everyone’s, I don’t care. Not right now.” She stifled a small yawn, having not really slept from when she spoke to him the night before and the warm, comforting feeling creeping through her whole being in his presence.

“I should care, it’s not really that I don’t. This right here, I care more about it than anything else I just mean, I don’t care what anyone else thinks or has to say, because it’s not for them... I’ve done the whole public eye thing and so have you. And lets be honest...” She looked up to him, her eyes sparkling a little from the warmth in her now.

“Nobody would like it, you’re... you out there and while you see me. More clearly than anyone has ever, fuck do you see me... they don’t and I only want to be this, who I am, for you.”

Cosmo chuckled, because it was true. He sure as hell didn’t know what to call it. It was… happened. And he looked down at her and played with her hair again. Unable to keep his hands away from her as he held her. Feeling her lean into him. He lifted both of his knees up so she sat between them. Almost giving her a safe haven on the couch.

“I’m so glad that you don’t know what to call it, because I don’t either. I am tired of labels and hashtags and trying to force feelings into a little box with a name on it. I just want to.. feel. And that’s what I want. I just want to feel something. And I haven’t felt this, what I’m feeling with you in a long, long time. It’s… just crazy. I don’t know how else to put it…”

He could tell she was tired, could tell how relax she was. His hands went from around her shoulders and neck to her sides where he pulled her close to him and laid back on the arm of the couch.  "And I get it. I get that people will have shit to say, but they would if I stayed with Leela, they did when I broke up with Leela, and as long as I have this? Then I don't care what they say. I really don't.."

His fingers brushed her sides. “Why don’t you try and get some rest? We don’t have to talk.”

Smiling she lifted one of his hands, slowly kissing each fingertip before wrapping her fingers up with his, holding his hand against her cheek and closing her eyes with a small nod.

“They can talk, let them... nothing could ruin this, whatever this is, this feeling...” Her other hand resting clean against his chest, her body turning to be curled up against him as she nodded again. “I just don’t want to waste any of our time, it’s too short as it is... if I fall asleep then you have to promise to be right here when I wake up, because otherwise I’m not sure I’m going to believe any of this happened.”

“You’re not wasting time. You have to sleep, I’m not clock watching but I for see a long travel day for you tomorrow, so I want you to rest… while you’re relaxed and while you’re comfortable. And I am going to be right here in this spot when you wake up in the morning. I’m not moving.” He chuckled.

“I could wake up with you in my arms tomorrow and probably still believe none of this ever happened. I’m still kinda in shock, honestly.” He had never felt magnetized to one person before like this. Not even Leela when they first had met. His lips went back to her forehead, then her cheek. Playfully, he covered her eyes with his hand. “You don’t have to sleep, just let your eyes rest at least.”

 She laughed a little, her hand grabbing his and holding back to her cheek again, closing her eyes at his behest. “Okay, just a little rest... I’m not leaving tomorrow until I have to. You’re stuck with me for as much time as I can possibly stretch out of it.” She yawned again, not hiding it this time and cuddling in just that few inches closer with a small sigh.

“Can figure out, after tomorrow... after. I just want to enjoy every second of this, even if I’m resting my eyes.” She said the last three words in a playful sing song way.

“We will have all the time in the world for this, but agreed. Let’s just enjoy every second and not take it for granted. We both know how seconds get away so quickly now…”

He realized how tired he was, all the energy he had gone into making her feel comfortable, and loved, and wanted. He leaned his head over on the side of the couch and closed his eyes for a moment, feeling comfortable with her in his arms.  “You’re kinda cute when you’re sleepy, by the way.” He opened one eye and looked down at her with her sing-song voice. He shook his head. “Not like, too cute though.”

She made a soft grumble at his sing songy teasing, her hand giving his chest a gentle tap as she smiled.

“Mmm well just remember, I’m twice as dangerous asleep as I am awake... and I know all the secret doors in these house, so if you’re too mouthy I’m gonna let them get you.” She tapped his chest again with a tired smile now.

“All the seconds, holding onto them all.”