Author Note: I meant to get this done yesterday, but stuff happened and I ended up taking my laptop a part to fix it, but hey it seems to be working now so yay! Tonight (Saturday) is your last chance to enter the fanfic giveaway on tumblr, so if you do that would be awesome. You guys rock, xoxo.
-show me the way-
"Yee-haw" Lucas hooted when he entered the barn where Zay had just ended a phone call.
Zay stared at his best friend, "Not the reaction I was expecting. Actually, I don't know what to expect."
Lucas grabbed Zay by the shoulders, "Riley is going to stay until at least after the election."
"At least?" Zay noted the way his green eyes seemed brighter than they had in a very long time. "After the election if you win or lose she's gone, she goes back to New York where she'll plan her wedding to Dave after giving him hell for getting her that cheap as shit ring."
"No" Lucas pointed to Zay as he backed away practically skipping, the smile on his face growing, "No, she is not going to marry Corn Chip Dave. He doesn't deserve her, no she's not pulled to him."
Zay rubbed his eyes with his fingers before pinching the bridge of his nose, "Okay, I'm missing something so spill."
"If Riley and I aren't together by the end of this, then we don't belong together, maybe I'm meant to be a piece of shit guy just getting blowjobs from random women and the occasional one night stand." Lucas looked around the bar, "But no; I am meant to be with Riley Matthews, she was brought back into my life for a fucking reason Zay."
"Yeah to get you elected mayor." Zay shook his head, "I called Smackle to arrange this."
"Of course, you did, but still, this is all happening for a reason Zay." Lucas ran his hand through his hair, "After all this time seeing her again, it' still there Zay, it's even more intense now, God last night I could've kissed her."
"For now," Lucas shrugged, "you didn't feel the way she claimed me in front of Dixie, that's what she did Zay. That wasn't some political move Zay, she was telling Dixie that I'm hers."
"Follow her lead" Zay warned, "Don't make a move on her first, don't scare her away. She is engaged and its Riley, even if she was claiming you in front of Dixie. Don't break her heart again."
"I would never break Riley's heart." Lucas reminded his best friend, of course he meant it, not realizing that he had in the past.
"Seriously Lucas, I will beat the living life out of you if you break her heart, if you do anything that would hurt her. This isn't a game, this is her heart and yours." Zay warned him, "This isn't about fulfilling some sex fantasy you have. If it's possible that you and Riley have a future this is about the two of you loving each other, building a life together, possibly having children together. You need to find out if that's even something the both of you want. But hey you've got until November."
Lucas nodded knowing that Zay was right, he couldn't push it, that this was so much more than anything he was used to now. Things with Riley always had been, they were more, in ways he wasn't sure he could ever describe.
Maya had just gotten off the phone with Zay and was sitting down on her couch when her phone sang with Riley's ring gone, "Hey Honey, what's up."
"I did something really stupid Maya, like really stupid. I can't even believe I did it."
Maya looked around even though she knew Charlie wasn't home she still felt the need to check, "Did you have sex with Lucas?"
"No" Riley breathed, "I um, I kind of went and staked my claim on him."
"What did you do?" Maya stood up pacing around, knowing her husband was due home any minute and he might just have Dave with him.
"We were at church, it was after the service. Lucas was mingling and talking to Dixie Carmichael, one of those girls in those pictures all those years ago, oh you should've seen the way she looked at Lucas. She looked as if given the chance she would strip him naked, dip him in chocolate and lick every inch of him."
"And you of course have never thought about doing that." Maya smirked to herself as she moved to the kitchen raking out a few items from the fridge to make a sandwich.
"Maya," Riley ignored the comment, "I moved across the social hall, slid right up to Lucas, put my arm around him and said I was his girlfriend and sticking around. Then I kissed him."
"It was good, wasn't it?" She couldn't believe after all these years these two were still such fools.
"Yes, and it was brief, part of me just wants to walk up to him and kiss him again, let whatever happens, happen."
Maya shook her head, "Have you told Dave what you're up to?"
"Not exactly, there's more Maya."
"What else could there be?"
"Well I kind of have to stick around and be his girlfriend publicly since you know it wouldn't look good if he makes his run for mayor and I run back off to New York."
Maya quickly pumped her fist in the air in joy, "So you have to stay until after the election huh, okay I'll um go by your place later today get you some more Texas friendly clothes, anything else you want me to get for you?"
Riley sighed, "I don't know, anything you see in my room you think I might need over the next few months. For sure though, please send me some of my cotton tank tops, it's getting hotter here each day."
"I will, so crazy question, what are you going to tell Dave?"
"I don't know, just that this is a complicated small town situation, that I need to be here, be hands on, and if I can get away for a weekend or a couple of days I'll come back to New York, but right now I need to be in Texas."
Maya was smirking as she finished making a sandwich, "Okay, sounds like a plan, just text me the address to send your stuff to and I'll have it sent as quickly as possible."
"Thank you, I should go see if Gigi needs help with lunch and then help Lucas with his wardrobe."
"Riley, you're playing with fire, don't get burned."
"I know what I'm doing." Riley assured her friend, "Thank you and bye."
"Bye" Maya watched as the call ended on her screen, "Yeah you'll be crying out yee-haw before you know it."
The door opened, Charlie came in with their two children following behind, but quickly running to their own room, "Maya guess who is officially going to be Dave's best man when he and Riley get married in November."
"They haven't set a date yet." Maya reminded her husband, "And she's currently busy working on a new campaign."
"Dave set a date, he talked to a wedding planner." Charlie tried to grab the sandwich and Maya swatted his hand.
"He's counting his chickens before they hatch, Riley is going to want to plan her own wedding."
"He's doing this to help her." Charlie grabbed an apple from the counter, "He knows how busy she is, and that sometimes she can't get back to New York to make the plans she needs to."
"Great he can get her a wedding band she's allergic to as well." Maya muttered.
Charlie either didn't hear her or decided to ignore it for whatever reason, "Oh, you should see his new boat Maya, it's more like a mini yacht. It's sick, it's beautiful, and it has bedrooms, so one weekend we can leave the kids with my Mom and go sailing with Dave and Riley for an overnight."
Maya stopped what she was doing, "He bought a new boat?" huh probably where the money he was going to spend on a ring went, "What did he name it?"
Charlie chuckled, "Tostitos, he thinks its good luck to name it after his favorite chips."
"I have to run an errand, actually it's for Riley." She grabbed half the sandwich, "I'll be back in a few hours."
"What does Riley need you to do?" Charlie picked up the half she left behind.
Maya grabbed her purse and was already at the door when she looked back to her husband, "She wanted me to send her a few things since she doesn't know when she'll be back in the city."
"Where the hell is she?" He took a bite of the sandwich as he watched his wife at the door.
"Riley is exactly where she needs to be." She left the apartment, wondering more and more why her best friend had ever accepted Dave's proposal in the first place, and what she could do to help her friend make the right decision about her future.
If what Zay had told her was true, right now it was possible that the only thing really holding Riley and Lucas back, was Dave being her fiancé.
An idea hit, Maya knew she would probably get yelled at for what she was about to do, but Riley needed a push, and maybe if she was lucky it would give Lucas the push as well.
"Gigi is a great cook." Riley told Lucas as they stood outside his bedroom, the air thick with nervous energy, as if she would cross the threshold and all semblance of self-control would be gone.
Lucas nodded, "She is, she's actually been pretty helpful to have around." He opened the door, "So where should we start?"
"Um, well what's an average day like for you, like what do you wear?" She stayed near the door afraid to really enter his room.
"Jeans, a t-shirt and a plaid button up over it. I usually do some work here at the ranch with our animals, and then I go check my schedule, make house calls in the morning before going to the office to see the smaller animals." He looked to her with a soft smile, "Riley, you can come in here."
"And you wore almost a full suit for church." She took a couple of steps in, his room, his sanctuary, his bed.
"Well we're not fancy like in the city." He watched her, "I have suits of course, mostly for conferences, weddings, the bachelor auction."
"If they have a good fit, you should be fine. Um ties, are they in this drawer?" Riley started to pull his sock drawer open.
"No" Lucas dashed across the room, "That's um socks."
"Oh sorry" she tried to read him, but she was sure she saw a panic wash over him, that couldn't be possible.
"Ties are in the closet, sorry if I scared you."
Riley reached up, her thumb rubbing over his chin, "You have never scared me in that way."
"In what way then have I scared you?"
She'd opened the door to this, she had to be honest with him, "The intensity of my feelings for you when we were younger, it terrified me."
"Do you love Dave with that same kind of intensity?" She couldn't, could she?
Riley was sure for a moment he was pleading, begging to know something, "Dave is different, Dave is, well Dave."
"So, you don't feel an intensity with Dave, that you feel with me?"
"You were my first Lucas, that kind of intensity doesn't exist with anyone else." She moved away feeling herself getting drawn into him as she went through the door into his bathroom. She paused for a moment when she saw the giant tub in the corner with a bay window that looked out at the property, the walk-in shower right next to the closet which she forced herself to walk into, and ignore the fantasies that were already filling her mind.
Lucas watched as she took in his bathroom, he knew it was a bit much for just him, but he would never tell a living soul this, when he had it redone a few years before he'd thought about what she might like. He hadn't thought he'd never see her again, and yet now she was in his closet studying his ties.
"These should be your go to ties for now."
"Great, wonderful." He watched her, "So about your clothes, what have you got that's appropriate for hanging out on a ranch in Texas?"
"I guess it depends on what kind of work you're going to put me to." She teased, feeling her cheeks flush.
"Well City Girl, I think if you really want to help out we could find something for you here and there. I mean you're going to have to be helping me with the campaign right, girlfriend?" He'd moved closer to her, wishing her could touch her—really touch her.
"True, but I can still cook, take some of the burden off of Gigi for a while, maybe do some laundry." She caught herself getting lost in his eyes, sure she was seeing smoldering fire of desire before she blinked, knowing how easy it would be to reach up, unbutton his shirt, expose his chest, "You know, whatever I can do to help out."
Lucas could think of a million things she could do to help, and none of them had to do with cooking, laundry, and everything with being naked in his bed, calling out his name. "You don't just have those short skirts, do you?"
"Maya is sending me some more stuff, I never had a chance to pack for Texas, I was packed for Hollywood." She licked her lips, feeling as if the closet was growing ten degrees. "What's wrong with my skirts?"
"Nothing" His voice was thick, needy as his fingers ran through her hair, tangling with her soft curls as his lips crashed down on hers and her body clung to him, feeling him lift her up, carrying her to the bed.
"Riley, Riley?" Lucas snapped her fingers "You okay?"
"Yeah I um, spaced out, it's really hot in this closet." She pushed past him sure she audibly gasped at how hard his chest, "Um the stuff Maya is sending me actually should be here tomorrow afternoon if she uses the service I asked her to."
"That will be good, if she um doesn't send you what you need Austin really isn't that far for some real shopping, I doubt you'd want to hit up the Wal-Mart."
"The Wal-Mart would be fine Lucas" She smiled, "I don't need labels, just something that fits, that I'm comfortable wearing. The only thing I'm really picky about is jewelry and only because of my allergy."
Lucas nodded, "Good to know Ri, good to know."
"That's my phone." She could hear the ringtone from down the hall, "We can finish or whatever later."
"Of course," Lucas watched her leave, he hung on the door, part of him wanting to bash his head between it and the frame.
It was great that she was staying, but what exactly was he going to do now? What could he do to show her that he was the man for her, that she was the woman for him?
Dates! He'd have to take her out to dinner one in a while, or to the movies, all sorts of things they used to do when they were really dating. People wouldn't believe they were a couple if they didn't see them together. Hell, maybe he would even take her to a scary movie so she would grab his hand, maybe that action, that touch would unlock something, anything, everything.
He pulled his phone out from his back pocket looking up movie times at the theater, he saw one he knew she would enjoy, well unless she was over her crush on Chris Evans. He went down the hall knocking gently on the door.
"Hey, what's up?" She was just putting the phone down.
"I um realized this whole people thinking you're my girlfriend thing probably works best if people see us on dates, right?"
"I guess, I mean we really can't stay here all the time, people would think we were just having sex all the time or something." Had she just said that? She wished she could understand what was coming out of her mouth around him.
Lucas had to remind himself to breathe, "Um yeah, so the new Chris Evans is playing at the Rialto tonight, and I thought we could go see it, and really be seen together."
"Not fair Lucas, you know I can't say no to a Chris Evans movie." She smiled, amazed he remembered that, he seemed to remember almost everything, except their night together. But why?
"Great, it starts at seven-twenty, so we should leave here at six-thirty."
"That's great, casual attire, jeans and t-shirts kind of thing."
"Yeah, oh a hoodie, the theatre tends to blast the AC, so I remember you get cold easily."
"That would be something I don't have with me." She shrugged.
Lucas smiled, "I've got an extra one, don't worry. We'll go after dinner, it's just you and me again tonight, Zay and Gigi are working again."
"Okay, I'm going to get some stuff done, we can make dinner in a little bit."
"Great, I'll see you in a couple of hours." He backed away, returning to his room and going into his closet.
It wasn't full, barely half way filled. Which made what he was looking for easy to find. Over the years, he'd never been able to get rid of it. He'd worn it the first few weeks he was back in Texas until his mother washed it, with it she washed away the last hint of Riley's scent, sweet and fruity. It had spent a lot of time deep in his closet, it probably didn't even fit him now.
Abigail Adams Baseball adorned the front of the hoodie in block letters. He remembered her wearing it when she would get cold on a summer night as they sat on her roof top looking for a hint of stars. She probably didn't remember it, but he did. He remembered so much that she'd probably forgotten, let first to the back of her mind as new boyfriends took over.
He gripped the hoodie in his hands, maybe she would start to remember, start to fall in love with him again.
He grabbed the one he usually wore, his old Texas A&M one that had seen better days, and he should probably replace it.
As he looked at the two of them, he wondered if she could ever love him again. If she could ever open herself up to him. No matter what happened Lucas Friar wasn't going down without a fight for Riley's heart, and he was going to prove to her that he was worth it, that he would always be worth it.