Riley stared out the rain splattered window of his rather bland and boring Washington, DC apartment at 3 AM in a fixed trance. After finding "the treasure of all treasures" 6 months earlier, life seemed to be a whirlwind of excitment, fame, and fortune. Although he claimed to have only received a miniscule portion of the Knights Templar fortune(one half of one percent to be exact), he knew it was more than plenty. He was launched into the typical celebrity scene, becoming a mega millionaire literally overnight. The parties were indulgant, every drink was intoxicating, the VIP rooms were exquisite, and the women were beautiful. But after the legal limit and countless party invitations, everything became a blur. Nothing seemed plausible or feasible. He was seemingly doomed to roam the life that was all too typical and the future that was all too inevitable.

The blonde haired, blue eyed date earlier was beautiful, gorgeous even. She was in some movie, or two, he remembered. But he couldn't remember which ones. She seemed substanceless. She knew everything there was to know about hair, nails, skin, and fashion.

"So, what school did you go to?" Riley asked, hoping for an intelligent conversation to come out of the seemingly obvious and simple question.

"...Rossington High School" She replied simply, smiling her million dollar smile. Riley nodded without emotion, further mentally smacking himself for his false sense of hope. A moment of silence passed before she spoke again. "Did you see Angelina Jolie's dress the other night at the movie premiere!? God, it was hideous"

Riley had since vowed to not call her again, in fear of being bombarded with trivial facts about celebrities and related topics. Besides, he was the one left to pay the entire $150 bill. That was ridiculous. She's got money to spend, she can pay for her half he thought to himself.

Riley was taken from his trance when his cell phone started vibrating on the coffee table beside him. He picked it up, rolling his eyes once he noticed who was culprit. He faked a yawn as he carefully answered the call.

"Oh please, Riley, we both know you were wide awake," said the voice before Riley could say "Hello?"

"And how would you know, Ben? It's not like you know what my typical sleeping patterns are," Riley retorted.

"Well, whenever you stay over here, you stare at the TV until the clock chimes 5 AM. Then you typically don't wake up until around 2 that afternoon." Ben paused expecting some pathetic attempt at a sarcastic remark from Riley, but continued when it didn't come. "Speaking of typical, how was your date?"

Riley scrunched his eyebrows in confusion. "How did you know I had a date?"

"I have nearly unlimited resources"

"You're starting to sound alot like Ian, you know. It's scaring me." Ben laughed lightly.

"Everything scares you, Riley"

"Does not," Riley replied childishly.

"Ok, whatever. Now, tell me about this date"

"What about it? I barely remember it."

"It was that bad?"

"It was worse" Ben winced at his friends remark.

"How bad was it?"

" was about as bad as..." Riley paused trying to think of the best ending to the simile he had created. He then sputtered out the first thing that came to mind. "Green bean casserole"

"Hey, I like green bean casserole," Ben replied defensively. Riley rolled his eyes.

"You know what I mean, you freak."

"How am I a freak?"

"You like green bean casserole," Riley replied simply.

"At least I don't date airhead bimbos" Riley raised an eyebrow at his friends smartass remark.

"Touché" He mumbled. "So why did you really call?"

"Did she have anything interesting to say?" Ben asked, ignoring Riley's question completely.

"Um...I don't really remember, but I doubt it" Riley heard Ben chuckling in the background.

"Has she traveled anywhere of interest?"

"Well, if you find the Fashion Institute of California interesting, sure," Riley replied dryly. Ben let out another burst of laughter.

"So I see. What was her name?" Ben waited for a typical name to make its way over the phone line connection, but it didn't seem to come. "Riley?"

"Yeah, I'm here..." Riley trailed off seeming preoccupied with hard thinking.

"You don't even remember her name?" Ben asked in utter surprise.

"Hey! I do so!" Riley paused trying his hardest think of her name.

"...Then what was it?"

"Uh...well was something like..." Riley quickly looked around his dark apartment for some clue to her name. He turned on the tv to a news segment on Britney Spears and her new husband.


"Huh? Oh, right. It was...Britney" He replied, sighing in relief.

"Right..." Ben said, hardly believing what Riley had said.

"So why did really call, Ben?"

"Well, you see, Abigail and I are hosting my family's annual reunion this year."

"In that big ol' mansion of yours?"

"It's not a mansion, it's a manor" Ben retorted, stressing the less than obvious difference.

"So what? Why are you telling me about this? I'm not a Gates...or a conspiracy theorist for that matter"


"What!?" Ben rolled his eyes in frustration.

"We...well..." Ben stuttered, trying to find the right words to say.

"Just say it, Ben, you want me to come and be a part of the madness that is the Gates family legacy," Riley replied smugly, smirking to himself. Ben rolled his eyes, once again.

"Will you just come, Riley? And please...please please please try to be normal for once?" Ben begged.

"What does that mean?"

"It means what it sounds like it means"

"But it sounds like you mean that it means that...," Ben cocked an eyebrow in confusion as to what his friend was trying to get at. "I'm confused," Riley ended simply.

"That's nothing new," Ben mumbled.

"So, why is my normal self, not so...normal?"

"Well, you're a computer programmer, or were, am I right?"

"Yeah..." Riley replied slowly.

"And nearly everyone in my family are historians"

"Ah, so I'm the odd man out"

"In a sense, yeah"

"But that can be seen as a good thing"

"...In what way?"

"In the way that I'll be the most interesting, unique person there" Riley smirked as his genius thinking. "People will be dying to talk to me"

"Don't count on it" Riley's confidence fell immediately.

"Why do you have to do that?"

"Do what?" Ben asked dumbly.

"Be so mean to me" Riley's childish woes once again became apparent.

"Take it like a man, Riley!" Ben replied in a husky voice.

"Yeah, yeah. So, what's wrong with my regular, not so 'normal', self?" Riley asked curiously.

"Well, you're just a, ok?"

"I am not!" Riley replied childishly.

"And you would know, how?"

"...I don't know?"

"That's right, you wouldn't know. So just come to the party this afternoon and act decent."

"How crazy is this going to be?"

"Well...about 50 people will be there" Riley's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "So pretty crazy, I expect"

"Holy lord, I'm going to die"

"And you'll be the only non-Gates there, so...try to blend in or something. The party starts at 3, so don't be late. We're a little persnickety about that stuff"

"Ok," Riley said, making a mental note to himself to make his final will.

"Ok, see you then I guess. Bye." Ben hung up before Riley could force in a quick goodbye. He hung up his phone, setting it back down on the coffee table, and he went back to staring out the rain soaked window.

A day with the Gates. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. There was bound to be a Gates that wasn't involved with history in some way, shape, or form. And if there wasn't, then Riley was bound to have an utterly horrible time mingling amongst them, feeling like a complete idiot. He knew everything there was to know about computers and other tid bits about the rest of the technological world, but hardly anything about history. He knew he was going to get ripped to shreds at this Gates family reunion and was not looking forward to it.

"The opening of the Smithsonian portion of the Knights Templar treasure exhibit was attended by the best of the best of Hollywood and, of course Benjamin Gates, Abigail Chase, and Riley Poole, the discoverers of the biggest treasure known to modern man," said a voice from the TV.

Riley turned to the TV and rolled his eyes in annoyance. He reached for the remote and quickly shut it off before it could elaborate anymore on the story. This is getting ridiculous Riley thought to himself as he he headed to his bedroom at the end of the short hallway on the other side of his apartment.