Her mouth met his willingly and it was better than he ever dreamed possible. She was everything that he'd fantasized, warm and sweet and she was kissing him back... Oh God, finally she was kissing him back... He was in heaven and it was all worth it... Everything he'd gone through was worth it if it meant he got to do this...If he knew this was all it would take he would've slit his wrists years ago...
"Ari! Uzi! Breakfast!" Chas's voice split the silence, disrupting the memory. Richie turned his face into his pillow, inhaling deeply, trying to catch any lingering scent of her. He sighed when he failed to do so.
He couldn't stop thinking about her, about that night. He'd tried to abide by her decision, he really had, but... Now he knew that she loved him too. That was all he'd ever wanted, to have Margot love him. Now that he knew she did... He couldn't just do nothing. He couldn't keep being secretly in love with her, he'd done it too long already.
It seemed like he'd done nothing but dream about her all his life. When he was eight and didn't know better, he'd assumed that they'd grow up and get married. By the time he was eighteen and a bit more worldly, he'd dropped the married part but still dreamed that they'd live together somehow. For awhile it looked like his dream would come true. She'd traveled with him for years when he was on the circuit; he didn't see any reason to change.
Then she'd met Raleigh and everything went straight to hell.
He couldn't understand what she saw in him at first, this man who was old enough to be their father. He'd never expected her to marry him. His whole world, all his precious fantasies had collapsed that day. He supposed that he'd gone into shock for a time; he couldn't concentrate, couldn't see anything but her. When he woke from his fugue, he'd discovered that his career was over. At that point it didn't even matter.
He'd left then, unable to bear seeing them together. She'd never know how close he came to simply throwing her over his shoulder and taking her with him. Somehow he stopped himself. Apparently Raleigh made her happy. And Richie wanted her to be happy even more than he wanted her to be with him.
He'd stayed strictly away from her, not sure what he'd do if they ever came face to face again. He'd tried to forget her but it was an impossible proposition. He'd loved her all his life. That was never going to change.
The second he got the telegram about his father he'd known his efforts had been useless. The first thought that passed through his mind wasn't fear for his father's life. Instead what he thought was "I'll get to see her again."
She came alone to pick him up as he'd requested.
And it was like he'd never been away.
Seeing her file had nearly destroyed him. He'd wanted to kill her for not telling him. He wanted to kill himself for not being there when she needed him. And he'd wanted to kill his father for driving her to it in the first place. For the first time, he understood what she saw in Raleigh. She saw Royal. God, it made him sick just thinking about it.
But that was behind them now, more or less. He supposed that none of them would ever really get over what had happened. But his father had made definite progress, for Margot's sake he hoped it would be enough. The two of them were finally starting to deal with the past.
Now it was time to think about the future.
Now that he knew she loved him, his dreams of a house with space for her typewriter and his trophies didn't seem so unattainable. She could write while he... well he'd find something to do, and at night...
If he had his way, she'd never look at anyone but him ever again.
All he had to do was convince her to give him a chance.