Summary: Gordon Conway has loved Bella Riley since he first saw her and now Bella knows she needs something different in her life. Could that something different be the son of her father's old rival.
Author's Note: So, here's the new story. Some slight differences, for one, we start in the summer. For another, I'm going to be really playing up the Romeo and Juliet angle (Sooo easy) so each chapter is going to start with a quote from the play or one of the many interpretations (ie West Side Story, like this one!) Anyway, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing
There's something due any day
I will know right away
Soon as it shows
It may come cannonballing out of the sky
Gleam in it's eye
Bright as a rose!
Who knows? – Tony West Side Story Act I, Scene II
Annabelle Leigh Riley was a mess. She was sitting in a diner, whimpering into a chocolate shake. She'd started doing this often enough, going to different places to cry. She couldn't cry at her house because there was always someone around to check on her. She didn't like her family knowing how upset she was. They didn't need to know how it had broken her in two when her ex boyfriend, Eddie Cole had begged her to forgive him and take him back and she just couldn't do it. They didn't even know about that night.
Gordon Conway was going about his usual business of clearing the tables when he noticed she was sitting there, wiping her eyes with a napkin. Bella Riley. He'd fallen head over heals in love with her the first time he saw her, in the hallway at school when he was fourteen years old. He'd spoken to her two times. Once when they were freshmen, she'd asked him what time it was. Another time, last year, after a particularly pathetic performance by the Eden Hall football team, for which he was the quarterback, she'd shouted, "you'll get them next time!" But he was pretty sure it was only because she was a cheerleader and gunning for homecoming queen at the time. (She'd won.)
"Who are you staring at Gordie?" His grandmother Casey, who managed this place, and had for years walked over.
"Uh, I think I know her," he said. "From school."
"You get off in five minutes," Casey shrugged, "go say hello, I'll let you off early and not dock your pay."
"Grandma, I know her," he laughed, "she doesn't know me." Casey looked at him. "Her name's Bella Riley."
"Oh, the girl you wouldn't stop talking about your freshman year," she nodded. "I remember her now. She seems upset. Could probably use someone to talk to."
"Right," he laughed and took off his apron. "You won't stop bothering me about this, will you?" She shook her head and he walked over. "Hi."
"Oh," she said looking at him, and wiping her eyes. "I'm sorry, am I bothering people? I can go!"
"No," he said, "no, I um," she looked at him.
"Do I know you?" She asked. He smiled. "You're in my grade right? You go to Eden Hall?"
"Uh, yeah," he nodded. "I'm Gordon, Gordon Conway. You're Bella Riley."
"Oh my God!" She said. "Oh God, I suck! I should totally know you, you're the goddamn quarterback!" He laughed.
"Yeah," he said, "but the way we play, I don't blame you for blocking it out." She smiled softly. "Are you OK?"
"God, I'm such a mess," she shook her head, "I'm sorry. I broke up with my boyfriend and I've been some kind of pathetic wreck ever since."
"Yeah, I heard about you and Cole." He said. She nodded. "Is he still with your cousin?"
"No, that's over," she sighed. "Thank God." He nodded.
"Do you want to talk about it?" He asked. "I'm a fresh set of ears."
"Don't you have to work?" She asked.
"I just got off," he said. She cocked her head. "Really. And I'm a busboy and you're the only one here, so there's not much to bus." She smiled.
"There's really not a lot to tell." She said. "I was pretty close to being over it, and then on prom night he showed up at my house and said he wanted me back, I mean, he practically begged." She said. "I told him I didn't want…" she drifted off. Gordon was trying not to smile at that thought of Eddie Cole begging for anything. The guy was such an entitled prick. "So now I go to random places to cry about it because his parents are my parents' best friends, and my house is always full of people and I hate talking about it." He nodded. "So, yeah, there's that. How's your summer been?" He laughed.
"I'll get you a cup of coffee," he said. She looked at him. "I'd get you a drink, but there's no booze here and my grandma's the manager, so she knows we're underage." She laughed. He walked over to the counter and Casey smiled at him. "Can I get two cups of coffee please?"
"Sure," she said. "So, how's it going?"
"She broke up with her boyfriend, which explains the whimpering," he said. Casey nodded and handed him the two cups.
"Are you going to ask her out?" She asked.
"Um, yeah, that's something I'll tell my grandma," he rolled his eyes.
"Fresh," she pointed at him as he walked away and sat down.
"Thanks," Bella said, carefully putting a packet of sugar in and stirring it. "I really don't understand why you're being so nice."
"Guess I can't resist a damsel in distress," he smiled. She laughed. "Plus you know, you have to stand there and suffer with us on field every Friday. I owe you something."
"Yeah," she grimaced, "you guys do kind of suck." He shrugged.
"It doesn't help that we have to fight for the money for new equipment because all the donation money is for the hockey team," he grumbled. She looked at him wide eyed. "Oh, right, sorry, that's your dad's money right?"
"More like my grandpa's," she said. "But still, I'm not used to hearing people complain about how well the hockey team is treated. It can't be all bad for you, your dad is the coach."
"Yeah," he said, "there's that." They were quiet for a minute. "This is going to sound random, do you want to go out sometime?" She looked at him.
"You want to go out with me?" She said. He mistook her surprise and hesitation as disgust.
"I mean, I guess," he mumbled. "Sorry, you probably don't want,"
"Oh, no!" She said, "it's not that. You're sweet, and cute, I just," she sighed, "it would be complicated."
"Because of Cole?" He frowned.
"No," she said. "Well, sort of, but not really. Really, it's just, well, my parents."
"Your parents decide who you go out with?" He asked.
"Kind of," she sighed, "they have these rules, about dating, for all three of us, and well, my father's really protective of me." He nodded. "I could ask though."
"Ask?" He said.
"I mean, it's not like they don't know your parents," she started to rationalize. "They lived with my Aunt Tammy after all, and," she looked at him. "Do you have a pen?"
"Uh yeah," he said and handed her one and she grabbed a napkin and scribbled down her number. "What are you doing?"
"Call me tomorrow OK?" She said. "I have to talk to my parents, and I swear it's not an excuse, ask anyone. Ask your sister!"
"My," he looked at her, "Connie?" She nodded. "So you couldn't remember who I was but you remember my adopted sister?"
"It came back," she shrugged. "I should go. Thanks for the coffee and for listening. You really are sweet." She stood up and walked out, flipping her hair over her shoulder. He blinked and then got up and walked over to the counter.
"And?" Casey raised her eyebrows.
"I got her phone number," he said. "But she said she needs to talk to her parents."
"Mm, those Rileys always were strange," she laughed.
"Hey guys," Anne Callins said bouncing in to her living room where her twin brother Cal and their friend Hunter Nichols were sitting watching TV. "Check it out!" She turned around and slid the jean jacket she was wearing off of her shoulders to reveal a small rose tattoo.
"You got a tattoo?" Hunter said and stood up. Anne nodded. "That is awesome!"
"Mom's going to kill you," Cal said. Anne rolled her eyes.
"Can you stop playing the good son for like five seconds and just tell me how cool it looks," she said. Cal smiled.
"It does look cool," he nodded. "Did you tell Kevin?" Hunter and Anne shared a look and then looked down. Cal had broken their unwritten rule to never bring up Anne's boyfriend Kevin Reed around Hunter.
"No," she said. "I thought I'd surprise him when I go see him next week."
"Oh, you're going to Boston next week?" Hunter said. She nodded. "My mom and I are driving up to wait out the rest of the summer at her parent's Nantucket place, but we're stopping in Boston to see them first. We could drive you."
"That would be great," she said. "Just you and your mom? Is your dad going?"
"No," Hunter said. "Not right away, he's going to the Hamptons with my Uncle Grant first." Cal and Anne both nodded. They both knew that Hunter was lying, or at least repeating a lie. Liam Nichols was probably going to the Hamptons, but it wasn't likely that he was going with his brother. He was probably going with the mysterious blonde woman that Hunter and Anne had spotted him with at the Palace hotel at Christmas time, and that Hunter's mother Bonnie pathologically ignored.
"So what?" Cal said. "You two go to Massachusetts and leave me here by myself? That sucks."
"You could go to Maine or Connecticut," Anne said. "Trina or Elisa would want to see you."
"Trina is in Chicago," Cal said. "And all Elisa would do is make me dissect that damn apology letter that Eddie sent her again."
"Ugh, she makes you do that too?" Hunter groaned. "She called me last night at like 3 AM to talk about it." Anne frowned. "What?"
"She hasn't called me about it!" Anne said. "I'm a girl!" The guys looked at her. "Technically."
"Hunter is more of a girl than you are," Cal said. "Your answer would have been, 'you should have had sex with him while you still had the chance.' Which honestly isn't helpful, to anyone." Hunter nodded.
"I hate you both so much," Anne said stomping up the stairs to her bedroom.
So, that's where we're starting. Review and we'll see where it goes!