What He Knew: A Loving Ashe Short Story

Events in this short story occur during Ashe and Riley’s holiday vacation in Yorkshire.  Follows right after Kiss Here, Mr. Hunter.

He loved watching her, from the way she looked in awe at the view before her during their third hike across the Yorkshire Dales to the moment she’d then catch him watching her, lowering her eyes for a brief moment before looking up at him with a sly smile.

“You’re looking at me again when you should be looking over there, Mister Hunter,” Riley Eames said, pointing to one of the Kisdon Force waterfalls along their hike in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They’d started their walk early that morning with a small group of hikers in the village of Keld, then to East Gill Force as it entered the River Swale and then east to Kisdon Force waterfalls, surrounded by woodland that Ashe told her included his namesake, ashe, as well as elm and rowan trees.  Though Ashe wasn’t a tourist – he grew up in nearby Reeth – Riley was a New Yorker, and it was her first time visiting England.

“But I’ve done this hike many times before, petal,” Ashe reasoned, as he took her hand and tilted his head towards the trail again. “The car’s this way. You do want your foot massage, right?”

“You bet your gorgeous ass I do!” Riley said, laughing as she let go of his hand and hurried down the trail in front of him. She made him promise that he’d give her a foot rub that morning, and she was going to hold him to it, no matter what happened. Neither rain, sleet nor the Yorkshire cold was going to stop her from getting her foot rub.

Not that Ashe minded at all. He actually loved rubbing Riley’s feet, feeling her melt in his hands and hearing her purr contentedly like a cat against the pillows. He couldn’t do it longer than ten minutes per foot, though, not if he wanted her awake for the rest of the evening when he’d make love to her. Any longer than ten minutes per foot, and she was out like a light – and snoring, too.

He even loved to listen to her snore – softly, he assured her when she woke herself up with a snort one night – especially when she was exhausted. But then, Ashe loved everything about her – so much that sometimes it frightened him.

He had never felt like this before with anyone, not even when he was much younger and thought himself enamored with the most popular girl at school. He couldn’t even remember her name now. Was it Rebecca? Tawny? Stella?

It didn’t matter. He’d been a gawky teenager then, all arms and legs with a nose that seemed too big for his face – till the rest of his face caught up with his nose and these days, magazines described him as having a Roman nose, while some called it aquiline. Yet others simply said he was perfect.

Right now, though, the only perfect thing that mattered to Ashe Hunter stood in front of him. She was shifting her weight from one foot and then the other, challenging him with an arched eyebrow for he’d slowed his pace and she had been forced to stop and wait for him till he caught up with her.

“Are you watching me instead of hiking?” Riley Eames asked again, her hands on her hips.

“What if I am? Is there anything wrong with that?” he asked. “We’re in God’s country, petal, and I’m looking at one of God’s perfect creations.”

She blushed beneath his gaze but turned her attention to another waterfall in the distance, this one dropping 33 feet in two cascades, the sound of water against rock lulling them into silence for a few moments. While Ashe and Riley had originally started their hike with a group of travelers, most of them from London, they’d ended up walking way ahead of them while the team took their time taking pictures. But now, the group had finally caught up with them and closing the distance fast.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Riley said. “No wonder you love coming back home.”

“Aye, I do,” Ashe murmured, stepping closer towards her and pulling her woolen cap lower over her ears. He knew that if he touched her pert nose with his finger, it would feel cold. “And I love coming home to you, too.”

“Are you getting horny again?” she asked playfully, tugging at his jacket. “Because here we are in the freezing cold and you’re looking at me like you are.”

“Who said anything about horny? I’m just admiring the view,” Ashe said, dipping his head lower and kissing her lips, which, as he guessed, were cold, too. There were other words for horny, but for some reason, Riley loved saying it to him. It always made him chuckle. “Why? Are you horny, petal, because we can take care of that right here. What do you think? Should we try it?”

“In this freezing cold? Hell, no!” she exclaimed, pausing before continuing. “I wonder if anyone has ever filmed, like, sex scenes in a place like this? Do you think it’s possible?”

“Anything is possible,” Ashe said, winking at her, “though I’m afraid they’d all freeze their bums off first.”

“Or worse, their di-“ Ashe covered her mouth with his hand as their hiking companions walked past them, greeting them cheerily with how doo and ay yup though Riley said the word anyway, muffled against his hand, “-would fall off!”

“We’ll catch up with ye,” Ashe called out to the hikers before letting Riley go and watching her laugh heartily as if her job of embarrassing him was a complete success.

“You’re blushing! I can’t believe it!” she said, laughing so hard that she was bending over, her knees held together till she stopped laughing. Then she straightened and looked around. “Crap, I need to pee.”

“You’ll pay for that,” Ashe said as Riley hurried down the trail after the rest of hikers, her brisk walk back betraying her impatience at returning to their car – or a bathroom. Besides, it was also cold. Somehow, the tough New Yorker who could get out of bed in the middle of a blizzard and make her way to the Library Cafe to blend cappuccinos for waiting patrons was no match for the winds that whipped across the Yorkshire Dales, especially during Christmas – at least not yet.

Anticipating the cold like the local boy that he was, Ashe had made sure they dressed warmly for their six-mile walk that morning, complete with woolen scarves and gloves, and a hat.

“One should never be hiking around the Dales without a proper hat, dear.” Even his mother got in on the act just before they left the house that morning, handing Riley a lined woolen hat she had knit especially for her, with flaps that covered her ears. It Riley look even more adorable than she already was.

“You knit this from your own sheep?” Riley had asked her, her blue eyes wide. Everything about his parents’ farm had charmed her, from the people who lived in the century-old home to the barn, even the sheep that dotted the rolling hills before her. She even volunteered to shovel manure – just to try it out – though Ashe put a stop to that immediately. Nothing charming about manure, petal. Let’s say you did but didn’t.

“Aye, and spun in the grease ’tis, but washed very well, so you won’t have all that lanolin all over ye,” the older woman told Riley.

“I don’t even care if I don’t know what spun in the grease means, but…thank you!” Riley said as she threw her arms around Felicity Hunter’s neck and Ashe felt his throat tighten and his chest swell.

Aye, he was sure of it now, Ashe thought as he blew air through his lips, catching his own father watching him carefully from the kitchen. Ashe Hunter had never felt like this for anyone before.

To Riley’s relief, they found the bathrooms at the tea house where everyone else in their group waited for them. And after sitting with the hikers they’d met along the trail, drinking their tea and exchanging stories about Yorkshire and other hikes they suggested Ashe should take his girl, they headed back home. But if Riley thought home was where his parents would have prepared a hearty dinner of Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, and gravy, she was wrong.

Ashe drove her to a manor house hotel where he’d booked the largest suite, complete with a quaint view of the village streets, a king-sized bed, a large ensuite bathroom with his and hers sinks, and a claw foot bath. Apparently, no one called it a tub in Yorkshire, Riley learned, just bath. Just like no one called the couch a couch or a sofa, but a settee. It was just a few of the things she was slowly learning every day, and Ashe loved how she simply appreciated everything with childlike glee. He also loved how easily she got along with his family, including Rowan, his 5-year old niece, who loved her and had already threatened to climb into Riley’s suitcase en route to New York.

After a leisurely bath where Ashe did rub her feet briefly, promising to give her an extended foot rub later in bed, they had dinner of savory steak and mushroom pudding – which in Yorkshire Riley learned meant a meat pie – paired with mashed potatoes and vegetables, accompanied by a rich Syrah Ashe had requested shipped from Rhone.

They’d even dressed up for the occasion, him in a suit by Ermenegildo Zegna and her in a dress by an up and coming New York designer. Riley always insisted on keeping it local – which meant New York.  And with the Library Cafe, where she worked and was soon to be full owner, getting attention in social media because Ashe had become a regular there (and why shouldn’t he? He lived four blocks away, and he was also dating the head barista), it also meant that Riley got unsolicited gifts from people, like jewelry they hoped she’d get photographed wearing with Ashe on one of their walks along Washington Square Park, or in the meatpacking district where they were members of the Whitney Museum of Modern Art and where sometimes they took walks along the High Line.

As luck would have it, one of her regular customers was a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and had created two dresses for Riley that complimented her full figure.  Riley was more than willing to wear them over the latest trends any day.

“You didn’t have to do this,” Riley said as the food was cleared from their table and Ashe leaned forward, gazing at her. “I would have been happy at your house with everybody talking over everyone else. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, in case you’ve forgotten and I’m sure there’s a lot to do around the house.”

“But you’re my guest, Riley, and I wanted to surprise you. That way your memory of visiting Yorkshire for the holidays with me and my noisy family won’t be limited to falling off that tiny bed last night.  You woke everybody up.”

“At least I don’t have a concussion,” she grinned.

“And I’m glad you don’t,” Ashe said, reaching for her hand across the table and holding it. “That was a loud thump.”

“That thump was my butt hitting the floor.”

“I’m sorry. Would you want me to rub it later?”

She giggled. “Yes, please – and my feet.”

“Ah, yes, your feet,” Ashe murmured. He gazed at her for a few moments, studying the way her eyes looked darker in the flickering light of the candles and the way she pursed her full pink lips as she watched him watching her.

“What do you see when you look at me like that?” she asked, her brow furrowing. “You look at me like you’re afraid I’ll disappear-“

“Because I am,” Ashe said. What he also saw was his present and his future – all wrapped up in her eyes – though he wasn’t about to tell her that just yet. “I’m also in love with you, Riley-I-am, and have been since we first met.”

“You’re only saying that because I had no idea that you were this famous actor, and I’m sure your ego must have been crushed,” she said, giggling.

“You’re right, I was crushed that you didn’t recognize me – NOT.  But not as crushed as the moment I realized you were in that elevator to see someone else, though luckily, you changed your mind.”

The smile on Riley’s face faded, and she gazed at him thoughtfully. She’d been on her way to see her ex-boyfriend, Hollywood heartthrob Gareth Roman, who had left her for a career in Hollywood and conveniently forgot about her until that night when he asked her to come by the hotel – for old times’ sake. It had been a booty call, nothing more, and she should have known better than to go to the hotel at all. But somehow, Riley never stepped out of the elevator to go to Gareth’s room.

Instead, she must have tripped something in the electrical wiring on the vintage elevator with her constant pressing of the Open and Close buttons that when Ashe finally stepped into the elevator with her, it stalled on the between the floors. Sometimes, Ashe found himself wondering what would have happened if it had been someone else in that elevator, someone who knew who he was – a fan maybe. But he didn’t have to think about that possibility because the only thing that happened was that he got stuck with a barista named Riley Eames, and he fell in love with her without even knowing it.

“The universe always finds a way, doesn’t it?” Riley said, her words bringing Ashe back to the present. “I was stuck with ghosts from the past that night, and so were you.”

And he indeed had been stuck in the past then. He was still grieving the loss of his younger sister, Hazel, who had died from pneumonia shortly after being in remission from the blood cancer that she’d been fighting for years. Dragged back six months later into the promotional vehicle that was Sentience, his breakthrough movie which also starred Riley’s ex-boyfriend, the elevator had been his respite then, after eight hours of non-stop interviews, photo and video shoots.

“And here we are,” Riley whispered, “hopefully both of us in the present now, though my present means a sore butt and sore feet-“

“-and my present is you.”

Riley blushed and laughed, lowering her gaze as Ashe continued to watch her.  “You always know what to say.”

“I only say what’s true,” Ashe murmured, bringing her hand to his lips and watching her blush even more till she giggled, noticing how some of the diners were watching them.  It came with the territory, the fame that came with his Hollywood success, Ashe thought, but Riley seemed to take it all in stride.

It was why he loved her. Riley was unaffected, charming and authentic, everything his business wasn’t; where behind the toothy grins and confident handshakes were backstabbing managers just waiting for their chance to tear him down. He’d just let one go – his manager of five years, Collette Williams – and already she was busy telling people willing to listen that Ashe Hunter wasn’t who he pretended to be, and that the real Ashe Hunter would be revealed in due time.

Hollywood’s golden boy is no golden boy, she’d been quoted as saying when word got out that she no longer represented him.

And so Ashe sought solace in Riley’s blue eyes, and sanctuary in her arms long after he left behind the glitter of Hollywood outside his door. It was why he brought her home with him to meet his parents.  It was too soon, some of his friends told him, but to Ashe, it felt right.

For sometimes, a man just knew.

Ashe didn’t kiss her yet the moment they entered their suite, though they held hands the entire time they walked from the restaurant. Instead, he helped Riley undress first, lowering the zipper of her dress and letting her slip out of it, still wearing her high heels.

Dressed in matching black bra and panties, she looked delectable, and Ashe had to force himself to bring his gaze upwards, towards her face and her sky-blue eyes. That way, he wouldn’t ravish her right then and there, because surely that’s what the primal part of him wanted.

“Why don’t you sit on the bed and I’ll give you a foot rub in a minute?”

Like a magic word uttered while rubbing an enchanted lamp, Riley’s face lit up, and she hopped onto the middle of the bed, high heels still on and waited for him. As Ashe stood along the edge of the bed by her feet, he watched her lean back on her elbows.   

“I’d love to make love to you right now with those killer shoes on,” he said, loosening his tie and slipping it from around his collar.  “Remember when you wore those boots?”

She eyed him suspiciously.  “But you can’t give me a foot rub with them on now, can you?”

Ashe shrugged off his jacket and set it on the back of the settee. He’d forgotten to set his phone on Silent, and so it had been vibrating in his pocket all through dinner.  With New York eight hours behind them, he was sure it was one of his staff probably wanting his opinion over some schedule commitment for the coming year.  “No, I’m afraid not, petal.”

“Because I won’t let you get out of your promise of giving me a foot rub, Mister Hunter.  So if you’re trying to get out of it – and I know a part of you,” her gaze drifted lower, at his erection straining against his trousers, “would prefer you did – then you’re in for a surprise, because I’m not letting you get out of this one.  And not even if you tell me that you need some sort of relief from that six-mile hike we did today.”

“You drive a hard bargain, Miss Eames.”

She pouted. “That’s because I love my foot rubs – from you.”

Ashe chuckled. Her determination was sexy as hell, and if his cock ever had its way, he’d have ravished her right then and there, Louboutins and all, his persuasion skills bound to make her forget all about the foot rub. But no, a promise was a promise, and Ashe had no intentions of breaking any promise made.

“You worry too much, Riley-I-Am,” he said, undoing his belt and tossing it over the settee next to his jacket. Leaving the top two buttons of his shirt open, he raised Riley’s left ankle and slowly undid the strap of her Louboutins, before letting it drop onto the floor. With his left hand cradling the back of her ankle, he began his foot massage with the flat of his thumb pressed firmly along the sole of her foot. His reflexologist once told him that it represented the solar plexus.

Solar plexus or not, it might as well be a Wi-Fi hotspot or a G-spot as far as Riley was concerned for she moaned and fell back against the middle of the bed, her arms flung to her sides. “Oh. My. God. Ashe, that feels so good!”

She looked absolutely gorgeous lying half-naked in the middle of the king-sized bed, the sounds of her sighs filling the room. Goosebumps arose from her flesh as Ashe kneaded her foot with his hands, deciding to start with her toes before moving down to the rest of her foot. He held each toe between his thumb and index finger and circled it (“from the joint! Not the tip!” as his reflexologist had taught him when he last asked for pointers) before gently tugging each one, complete with a snapping sound created by his own fingers (also a tip from his reflexologist).

“Maybe if this acting gig doesn’t work out, you could be a foot rubber,” Riley said, saying the last word with emphasis that it emerged as rub-berrr, with the deliberate rolling of the r’s at the end.

“Are you drunk?”

“I might as well be,” she said, giggling. “But I only really had two glasses of wine.”

As he continued rubbing her feet, sitting down on the edge of the bed this time with her foot resting on his lap, Ashe couldn’t help but smile. Though she never believed it herself, Riley looked amazing. Her blonde hair spread about the pillows like a halo, she closed her eyes as she savored the movements of his fingers. God, how badly he wanted her, he thought, forcing himself to pay attention to the task at hand.

He had wanted nothing more than to make love to her the moment they reached their suite and seeing her move her hips the way she did as he rubbed her feet made him even harder. But even as his own body cried out for relief, Ashe felt another sensation wash over him with every sigh of contentment that emerged from Riley’s lips.

What had once always been about him – for him – had changed somehow in a blink of an eye. Right now, life was all about her.

And why shouldn’t it be?  She deserved it.

Yet for as long as Ashe could remember, life had always been about him and the pursuit of his own happiness and success. Sure, he’d been known to put his sister’s welfare ahead of his own years earlier, but that had been because Hazel was sick and he wanted nothing more than to take care of her. Before that, Ashe had to admit that he’d been a selfish prick, so used to being the center of everyone’s world. He’d been spoiled, groomed to be the one everyone looked up to. The older son – the only son – destined to carry the Hunter name through history, while his younger sister had barely been allowed to do anything on her own. But with her gone, Ashe knew that he was back to being the center of attention again. Worse, he knew he’d paid a high price for it all – the fame, the money, the attention.

His phone buzzed again, tucked in his jacket pocket now slung over the back of the settee, but Ashe ignored it. He’d get to it later, he told himself, his thoughts returning to Riley, who was dangerously close to falling asleep if she wasn’t asleep already.

What price would he pay now, he wondered, knowing that the woman before him had his heart and soon, his soul. Thus it was a cleansing that he felt then, like the never-ending rush of the water along a river, smoothening what was once jagged rocks beneath the surface. Like him – damaged inside – yet made whole by the love of a woman who had no idea just how much the thought of leaving her for more than a day tormented him.

By the time Ashe undid the straps of her right shoe, Riley was just about lost to the world. She wore the look of a contented cat, a soft smile playing on her lips and her eyes closed, and as Ashe continued to rub her right foot, he knew there would be no lovemaking tonight, not unless he wanted someone unconscious to make love to. So when he was finished, he gently pulled the covers from under her and tucked her in, before walking to the settee to retrieve his phone and finally silence it for the night.

I heard you’re in town with your latest pet. We had 5 years together and not once did I get to meet your parents. Merry-

Ashe couldn’t read any further, turning off his phone before he could continue reading the holiday greeting, no matter how meaningful it had been intended. He wondered how she got his new phone number, but then it would have been easy, considering they still had mutual friends in the business.

No fucking way are you going to ruin this, Cat, Ashe thought as he tossed his phone onto the settee, his gaze returning to the woman sleeping in his bed. Like Riley said during dinner, they were in the present now, and as far as Ashe was concerned, there was no room for ghosts from his past – not even the ones responsible for creating the successful man that he’d become.

Ashe felt the bed shift at around two that morning when Riley sat up. She mumbled something about needing to brush her teeth before slipping out of bed and stumbling to the bathroom. Outside, he heard the winds whisper against the windows, and he imagined seeing the woodlands sway with the breeze. Ee by gum, but he was tired. That six-mile hike did leave him exhausted after all.

But if Ashe had any plans of falling asleep, Riley had another idea the moment she crawled back into bed – and this time she was naked, her breasts brushing up against his side as she wrapped her arms around him.

“Are you awake?”

“I am now,” he murmured.

“I’m horny,” she whispered in his ear, her leg draped over his own.

“Really?” Ashe turned his head to face her, feeling her lips against his mouth, soft and warm. “And what do you suggest we do about that, petal? You being…horny, and all?”

“This.” Her hand drifted down his torso, and she moaned her approval at his nakedness, even more, when her hand found him already hard against her palm.

“And what do you suggest we do with…that?” he asked, his breath emerging in a hiss when she ran her hand along the length of him, polishing the head with her palm before gliding back down.

“Well…” she bit her bottom lip, her confidence seeming to flag just as Ashe pulled her towards him, kissing her deeply, tasting mint and lavender as his tongue slipped between her teeth. For a few moments, they just kissed, hungry kisses long overdue since that morning.

When he let go, she was out of breath, her hand still stroking him. Ashe felt her breath against his face, her excitement building to a crescendo just as he tugged on her nipple clip and she gasped. His hand moved lower, finding her wet for him.

“So what do you suggest we do…about this?” he asked.

“I want you to-“ she paused, and Ashe could see her face color in the semi-darkness. She’d become self-conscious again, like a flower filmed in full bloom before the footage reversed, its petals closing up again.

“Say it,” he whispered against her mouth. “Say the things you want me to do to you – or I’m going to bed.”

“You’re bad,” she said, pouting, though Ashe saw the corners of her mouth lift a moment later, her confidence and her playfulness returning.

“It’s just the way you like me, petal, and you know you love it. Besides, it’s just us in this room, and I want you bared to me – all of you,” he murmured before pulling her face towards his in another crushing kiss.

Though it had only been three months since they started seeing each other, Riley knew what turned him on just as much as Ashe knew how to make her scream for more, make her toes curl and drive her mad in wanting more. It was another thing he loved about her – her innocence in bed, the fact that she’d only been with one other man since he came along, and her passion for experiencing new things.

She had much to learn about the other things that turned him on, but for that, Ashe was in no hurry. The one thing she knew at least, was that he liked hearing her say the words – naughty words, dirty words, words that made her bite her lower lip at the mere thought of saying them – along with act itself. It was a slow, deliberate seduction that turned them both on – the letting go and then holding back – like a dance between them meant to tease till they couldn’t take any more but rush headlong to the release that awaited them.

Maybe it started with the long distance calls they made to each other when he had to go to L.A. for his meetings, and when, during one FaceTime session, she turned off the lights, and he heard everything she did to get herself off with her fingers – in the dark. Since then, it was all about the sounds they made whenever they were apart – him speaking in his deep voice that reminded Riley of melted chocolate drizzled on skin, and her whispering the naughty things she wanted him to do to her.

And so Riley murmured the words in his ear first before her mouth trailed lower down Ashe’s neck and then his chest, her tongue swirling lazily along one nipple and then the other, her whispers alternating with kisses on his skin, as her tongue and teeth marked him in places no one could see. And all that, while she continued to stroke his hard length with her hand, daring him to lose himself with the torment of her mouth, her tongue, her hands – for, after all, she was a fast learner.

And in the semi-darkness, with Riley’s hair splayed softly against the front of his thighs, Ashe lost himself then, till he gathered her hair in his hands and watched her take him into her mouth, slowly, deliberately, her tongue tracing circles along his smooth skin, making sure he was watching her for he’d finally reached out to switch on the bedside lamp. Her eyes, he thought, he could lose himself in her eyes as her full lips circled him and teased him, her tongue and her mouth driving him to hell and back till he could no longer stand it.

“Ride me, petal.”

Riley’s gaze never left him as she straddled him, not even when she slowly lowered herself onto him. She gasped as Ashe slowly lifted his own hips to meet her, filling her completely in one smooth stroke even though he knew he wasn’t fully seated in her. He couldn’t.

“Are you alright?” His voice was a hoarse whisper as he pulled her face closer, watching her eyes, now shut from the intensity of the sensations engulfing her, her breaths coming in short bursts. Ashe was big – such was the anatomical gift that got him noticed in the first movie he did where he had a full frontal scene before anyone even noticed his acting skills – and sometimes Ashe knew he could hurt her if he weren’t gentle. But Riley only licked her lips and nodded.

“You feel so good,” she gasped.

“Hold on,” Ashe murmured as he began to move under her, controlling himself the best he could as her hands rested against his broad chest for balance. The sound of her moans filled the room as she moved with him, matching every one of his own movements with her own. When she began circling her hips, Ashe paused and caught his breath, and this time, he shut his eyes and hissed, feeling the sensations course through him. It was intoxicating, feeling her wrap around him, and he knew that he had to take control or lose himself to the release that threatened to rush through him.

Once more, Ashe told her to hold on, and as Riley wrapped her legs around him, in one swift move and still holding her, he sat up and rolled Riley onto her back on the bed. Burying his face in her hair and neck, Ashe began to move in and out of her, loving the feel of her soft curves molding perfectly against the chiseled and lean edges that defined everything about him and the image he’d created for the public to see. His mouth sought her lips, his tongue yearning to taste her, feeling the thrumming of her body as her release began to build, her heels digging into his buttocks, driving him to move faster, harder, deeper with each stroke.

When she came, Ashe felt Riley shudder beneath him, her body trembling as wave after wave of her orgasm claimed her. Her nails dug into the skin of his shoulders as he sucked her neck, no longer caring if anyone would see the marks on her skin in the morning, the day before Christmas. And as her nails raked across his skin, her cries filling the room, Ashe ignored the pain.  The rush of his own release claimed him as he rode that precipice as high he could and then let go, for Ashe knew she was there to catch him.

Afterward, as Riley lay in his arms with her face nuzzled against his chest, Ashe told her in a hoarse whisper the one thing he’d always wanted to say to her that day. It didn’t matter that he’d told her in so many unspoken ways before that moment, from the flowers he picked along the trail, the kisses he planted on her cold nose or the way he looked at her like she was about to disappear from his life the next moment. This time, he spoke the words.

“I love you, Riley Eames, with all of my being,” Ashe whispered even though he knew from the way she began to snore softly against his chest that she was fast asleep. But Ashe didn’t mind, not when he knew just how much she meant to him.

For sometimes, a man just knew.

If you’d like to be notified when Book 2 of the Celebrity Trilogy, Loving Riley, is going to be released, please subscribe to Liz’s newsletter.

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