“Hey,” Riley said. Someone had attempted to control his black curls with a haircut since I'd last seen him. He'd gotten taller too. Why was everyone taller than me apart from Diane?
“What are you doing here?” I asked, crossing my arms and ignoring the jittery feelings of my body. “It's not the blue moon yet,” I added.
“Both Jamie and Karl go to Hertfordshire uni. Our dad ran into yours and decided we might as well come here and start setting up tents before the others head down,” Riley shrugged. Brilliant, I think about William all day, and I got Riley instead. I tried not to think about the various complications that came with his constant presence near my house. I couldn't tell by his expression if he was annoyed or pleased by the course of events. “You're getting a tattoo?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow. I'd forgotten where I'd been before. I couldn't help my face flushing at his skeptical tone. As if I couldn't do something like that, I wasn't that much of a goody-two-shoes.
“I'm here with Diane,” I explained.
“Think she'll mind if I drag you away?” he asked, a grin forming on his lips. I shoved my hands in my pockets and willed my werewolf soul to not respond. It was pretty difficult, if not impossible.
“Just because you're here, doesn't mean we should hang out,” I said, keeping my tone calm. I tried to imagine acting like dad. Based on Riley's raised eyebrow, I hadn't pulled it off.
“Okay, fine. We'll just avoid each other the whole of the blue moon,” Riley said, sarcasm dripping from his words as he rolled his eyes. I decided not to reply, I could still hope. “At least come get a coffee with me. I want to know how the hell you got your dad to accept you,” he added. Oh, right. He must've been shocked when he came back to the house and learned I was still there. I sent Diane a text saying where I was, though I skipped the who with.
“Let's go then,” I muttered, not even bothering to hide my annoyance. Riley at least remembered me enough to know it was Starbucks. Before I could say a word he left the table to order drinks. When he returned there was a small smile on his face and he gave me my drink.
“Well done, you can remember the simple things,” I muttered. Riley snorted at the comment and drank some of his coffee. Apparently scornful comments weren't going to make him leave faster. I could feel the bond now, like a physical chord tugging me. I continued to ignore it.
“So, what happened? 'Cause last I checked you were a lone wolf,” Riley asked.
“Dad didn't kick me out because I was gay,” I explained. “He was worried what would happen during the blue moon.”
“Makes sense,” Riley shrugged. “So why the hell are you back? The moment my dad finds out something is going to happen. You have to know that.”
“I don't care. I'm tired of hiding,” I replied. “Aren't you?” I added. Riley flushed at the comment and looked away, his eyes angry.
“I'm not like you,” he murmured. “So I don't need to hide.”
“Yes you do. Being bi just means you only have to hide half of the time,” I pointed out.
“Exactly,” Riley said, glancing back at me. “There's no reason I can't keep living as I have been. Unless you're planning to out me,” he added, rolling his eyes.
“You know I wouldn't do that,” I said, refusing to match his sarcasm. He grimaced at my serious tone and looked out the window. His mane of black hair hid a lot of his face, but I could still make out the dark, azure shade of his eyes as he watched the people passing by. I could feel the memories tugging. I remember he had a similar expression like that this when we were watching the sea. The creak of a chair being pushed yanked me back to reality. The couple giggled as they left their table and the shop, the man's arm swung lazily over the woman's shoulder. I envied the ease with which they acted around each other. William and I had to be careful when in public.
“So what is there to do around here?” Riley asked, adding emphasis very obviously. I rolled my eyes at him.