Loser in Love
I lay on my bed staring at the ring I so impulsively bought for Riley. Did I make a stupid decision? Tucker seems to think so, considering Riley and I aren't even dating. We have seen each other since my slip of the tongue at the restaurant when I accidently told her that I loved her, but we haven't actually talked about the incident itself.
We need to talk about it. I know she doesn't want to, and I sure as heck don't, but something needs to be said about it. If she isn't going to bring it up then I might have too. I shut the ring box and open it again. It's the most beautiful ring I have ever seen and it belongs to the most beautiful woman in the world.
I drag myself out of bed. Tucker is feeding Emma for Ben. I have to babysit tonight because Tucker has a date and Ben has to work. Maybe I could convince Riley to come over and watch Emma with me. It would give us a chance to talk.
I give Emma a bath and put fresh clothes on her. While I am thinking about what to do, Emma reaches for Riley's ring which I left on the table. I pick up the baby and the ring.
"That's for Riley. Your Uncle Danny has two special girls in his life, princess," I kiss the top of Emma's head. She giggles. I poke her in the nose and take the ring back. Only, Riley is in my life just as a friend.
I stare at the ring for a long time after Emma takes her nap. The spectacular cut of the diamond, the immaculate shine of the sapphires. I am entranced by it, almost obsessed. As I stare into it deeply, I think hard of Riley and the butterflies flap wildly in my stomach.
I grab my phone and the dial the number from memory. Riley's voice sounds angelic on the other line. I bite my hand to force back the pleasure I feel in hearing her voice. She agrees to come over. I straighten up the place. It's not like she hasn't seen our messy apartment a dozen times, this time is different. I spray an air freshener that smells like cookies and then sit on the couch anticipating her to just walk in.
Riley is wearing shorts and T-shirt that is a little too big for her. She's barefoot since she only had to walk downstairs. She comes in and sits down beside me on the couch. I get up to check on Emma for a moment.
Emma is sound asleep in her bed. I smile at her and push anything that could harm her in her sleep out of the way. I give her a sweet kiss and turn the light off. I rejoin Riley in the living room. She is staring at something in a box. Oh no.
"Danny, what's this?"
I swallow a lump that has formed in the back of my throat. Now is the time to have the conversation we have both been avoiding. Now is the time to tell her how I feel. No more secrets.
"It's a ring."
You're a stupid idiot.
"I can see that. This is the ring I tried on the store, the one I told my cousin about. He went to get it but someone had bought it. Why do you have this?"
There was a tone in her voice that stabbed at me like knives. I don't know whether I should sit or stand to explain what I have kept hidden for ten years. Since she is standing, I decide to do the same.
"Remember at the restaurant when I said I loved you and you walked away?"
I can't help but notice a slight blush on her face.
"You remember when you pretended to be married to Ben and I told you I was in love with you?"
"Yes, Danny, what's going on?"
"I meant it, both times. I meant everything. When I said I wanted to date you, I didn't mean a fake date. When I said I was in love with you, I wasn't acting. When I told you I loved you, I was serious. When we were at the ring store and I said I wanted to buy you that ring, I meant it. I love you, Riley. I have always loved you—since high school, maybe longer. I want to be with you."
Riley is speechless. Her mouth which was hanging open flies shut. She tosses the ring at me and slams the door on her way out. I knew I stood no chance against Ben, but I never thought the pain of a door slammed in my face would hurt so much.
I collapse on the couch in a haze. The room spins as I begin to sob uncontrollably. I bury my face in my hands and sob like I just had my heart wrenched out of my chest. Suddenly I feel tiny arms around me, and I think it may be Tucker, until I see look up and see Riley as a teary blur.
"I thought you left?"
"I forgot something."
Riley lifts my chin and kisses me. The feeling is so intense my toes curl like a teenage girl. I put my hands on Riley's face and kiss back. I stop, and stare into her eyes.
"I love you."
"Shut up and kiss me."
I don't need to be told twice. But I stop again and look for my ring. Riley sits beside me on the couch and holds out her hand in anticipation. I cry as I slide the ring onto her finger.
"I want you to have this. I'm not proposing—well, yes I am, in a way—I want you to have this as a token of my love for you."
"You're such a sap."
"So you accept it?"
"What do you think?"
"I have to tell Emma."
"Wait until she wakes up."
I finally have my dream girl. She loves me. I love her. Oh, wait. I guess someone has to tell Ben, Tucker, and my mom and dad. I kiss Riley and smile at her while she admires my ring. Best decision I ever made. Maybe diamonds are a guy's best friend too. I will never admit to saying that.
Thank you all so much for reading my story. I am going to do the prequel next which is untitled at the moment, probably something you'll recognize like "Loser in Love: High school Days" or something like that. Thank you for staying with my story all these weeks. I love you all. You are my amazing "Baby Daddy" Fans!
What is with the Ship Tease on the show? Come on, we have already established Danny is in love with Riley. Get them together already. Damn.
BY THE WAY SEASON 2 IS OFFICIAL! CAN I GET A HECK YEAH?