Riley liked to stay up on his laptop at nights; he had done since he was a teen. Computers were his way of escape, he could forget his life. His parents hadn't cared if he stayed up all night, as long as he wasn't getting in their way. Then Ben had rescued him from his cubicle. But habits were hard to break, and he still found himself on his laptop at nights. Ben had complained, again and again, but it was only when the two men had become lovers that Riley had stopped, because he no longer needed to escape.
All of his life Ben had been laughed at, ridiculed because of his belief of the treasure, but he hadn't given up. At first Ian had laughed, it was only after Ben had told him how much the treasure was worth that he had joined the hunt, still disbelieving. Shaw and the others joined, although rather reluctantly, out of loyalty. And then Ben met Riley, or rather Ben had rescued Riley out of his cubicle and invited him on the treasure hunt. And Riley had believed him, no questions asked. And from then on that was all that had mattered.
Two treasure hunts, a nasty break up and a family crisis had brought them even closer than they had been. At first the shared bed was for comfort– each leaning on the other for support. Then things had changed, Riley likes to say that fate gave them a final push and brought them together, Ben say's that it was always going to happen, and that fate had nothing to do with it, it was all to do with love. At this point Riley mumbles that Ben had once said he loved Abigail. Ben kisses him and then says 'Abigail who?"
At first she had been angry and bitter. How could he choose Riley over her, and then she had seen the way they looked at each other. The way Ben had fussed over Riley, and the way the independent computer genius had let him. The way Riley's face lit up when Ben entered the room. The way be defended Riley when Patrick told him he didn't deserve his son, and the way Riley had comforted Ben as he stood by his fathers graveside. And she knew that if she ever had half of what they had, she would be lucky.
They came to visit me the other day, just like I'd requested. I hadn't been prepared for what I witnessed. They walked in holding hands, Ben muttering something to Riley. When they sat down in front of me, defiant looks on their face, that's when I knew that they'd won. No more mind games, no more scams, I had no more options. I'm in prison; they're out there in the world, together, happy and in love. And although I scoffed at them, pretended that I was disgusted, a small part of me was happy for them, they'd found each other.
For Riley Christmas had always been a sad time, it only served to remind him that his family didn't care. For Ben Christmas had been a time for family and friends, a time to love and a time to give. The first Christmas Riley had spent with Ben and his family was overwhelming, he couldn't understand the warm atmosphere that seemed to fill the house. The second had been spent just the two of them, Ben had shown Riley what family meant. The third was spent in a hospital room, Riley praying desperately that Ben would awake from the coma.