As promised, this one is a continuation to the last one and it's from Ronan's point of view. Clearly it would belong with the second novel, RED and jumps eight years into the future (from where RED left off). You can check out the first part to the story here: Ronan: It's Always Her...
Listen to "Close To You" by Rihanna on repeat while reading to get the full experience:
Ronan: It’s Always Her (Continued)
There she was. Sitting across from me in an expensive restaurant in Los Angeles just talking away. She had a smile painted across her face as she spoke and her red hair was now dyed blonde; a new look is what she called it. She looked beautiful…even more beautiful than I could remember. Adulthood looked good on her and it was clear that she was far from that high school girl who broke my heart way back when.
She went on about her idea for the photoshoot she wanted to collaborate with me on. For the most part it sounded like a good idea but I couldn’t really tell you because I wasn’t listening much. I just kept thinking about how she was the most beautiful girl in the room…in the world. Just a few days ago I was with a gorgeous model in my bedroom and now here I am with my high school lover and thinking about just how unattractive that model was compared to her. She has no idea.
“Enough about work,” I interrupted her as I reached across the table and grabbed her hands. Her nails were painted black and her skin was smooth. “How have you been, Peyton?”
She gave me a smirk before answering, it was almost a blush. “I’ve been great, actually. I’m in a really good place and things just keep getting better. I never thought I’d say that but…here I am,” she replied.
“That’s good. You seem really happy,” I responded with a little disappointment in my tone. I was happy that she was happy but there was a part of me that wanted her to confess that she missed me. I wanted her to say that she still needed me even though we’ve been apart for eight years.
“Before coming here I got to spend time with Mason and the rest of the family. The kids are getting so big…they’re not even kids anymore. Can you believe that?!” she asked. “Lila’s going to be starting college soon!”
Lila’s her baby cousin. Mason is her dad’s first cousin who took her in after both her parents died while she was still a baby. For her, his kids are basically her little sister and brothers.
“That’s crazy. Time really does fly. Who would’ve thought we’d be here? A lot has happened,” I said taking on a slightly tighter grip onto her hands.
“It really has. I can’t even keep up anymore,” she basically mumbled.
Before I could say another word the waiter came and interrupted us asking if we were ready to order. She wasn’t sure what she wanted so I ordered for the both of us. I told her not to worry she’ll love it and she responded with a “you always knew me so well.”
We talked more over dinner, mostly about work and how I would make her vision come to life. She loved my input and told me this is why I’m her go to person for things like this. We make a great team. If only she knew what that truly means to me. It’s crazy how she was the one to hurt me so I let her go but I’m the one longing for her again. Most people will say I’m insane but they’re obviously the ones who never met Peyton Hayley Giordano.
She suggested we go back to my condo where I have an in house studio. She wanted to get a visual of how things will be set up. Of course I wouldn’t object to it. She’s always welcomed in my home. Aside from being my ex she’s also one of my oldest friends. Nothing will ever change that.
We walked inside together and I offered her a drink. She declined. All she wanted was for me to show her to the studio so I did.
“I have an idea,” she announced.
I lifted my head to look at her, letting her know she had my attention. “What is it?” I asked.
“Let’s do things a little differently. I want a photoshoot tonight. Just on a whim kind of thing. All natural,” she replied.
“Okay. Let me get my camera set up,” I said about to walk out of the room before she stopped me.
“Here’s the catch!” she said staring at me biting her bottom lip.
“Go on,” I urged curiously.
“I want to be nude. Nothing covered. All natural, like I said. No retouches, nothing but my natural self.”
I was speechless. “Peyton-“
“I wanted a shoot like this for a while and I could’ve asked anyone but I wanted you to do it. I mean, who better than you? You’ve already seen the package.”
“That was years ago,” I replied. “It’s different now.”
“Are you seeing someone?” she asked.
“No. Not really,” I responded quickly.
“Then what’s the problem?”
The problem was I was still in love with her and seeing her that naked will definitely send me over the edge. I couldn’t tell her that though.
“I’ll go get my camera.”
When I came back she started to undress slowly. I watched her take off every piece of clothing and I wanted to forget about the photoshoot. I just wanted her.
“Ready?” I asked not able to take my eyes off of her.
“As ready as I can be,” she said pushing her newly blonde hair out of her face.
We took shots on the bed, the shower, my balcony…almost everywhere. Not once did she feel uncomfortable. The photos came out beautiful. She was just about to start putting her clothes back on when I said something to get her attention.
“What if I didn’t want you to put those back on just yet?” I asked boldly.
She stopped and stared for a bit so I walked closer to her. She didn’t make a move. She seemed shocked.
“Roe, what are you saying?” she asked as I ran my fingers up and down her arm. I always loved the softness of her skin.
“I’m saying that I still have feelings for you and I can’t let you leave me tonight…not like this.”
“Roe-I don’t think-“
I cut her off with a kiss. She pulled back but before she could interrupt I kissed her again. This time she let it happen. She let her panties drop out of her hands and wrapped her arms around my waist. I guess this was happening on my balcony in the middle of the night. Let’s just hope paparazzi didn’t follow us here…
Don't forget to pick up your copy of RED and the rest of the series here: A Tragic Heart Series