05 | REAL LIFE

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It had only been two weeks and Riley was still calling Sebastian on the phone at every meal time just to make sure he ate, and in the evening (for him) to make sure the last voice he heard was her own

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It had only been two weeks and Riley was still calling Sebastian on the phone at every meal time just to make sure he ate, and in the evening (for him) to make sure the last voice he heard was her own. It wasn't out of being able to control what was going on in her life but rather to reassure herself that he was okay. If he was okay then she was okay and nothing could change that.

She was now currently on the phone with after he had called her at 3am, his local time, asking her to email over some files that he had left on his home laptop.

"You really should have prepared this presentation before you flew out," she playfully scolded him, already lying in bed and his laptop sitting on her lip.

"I'm sorry that I'm distracted so often by the most beautiful woman in the world that I can't make space for the second most important thing to me," he replied on the other end, Riley rolling her eyes in response.

"So if your job which you love is the second most important thing, what's first? Oh, wait, don't tell me! It's your mother's cheese pasties."

"No, they're actually third. They once tied with my job but then I love my job a little too much."

"I wish I could argue against that but I wouldn't lie to you," she joked, biting her tongue as she listened to him laugh on the other end.

"Well, the one thing that I love a whole lot more than my job and is the most important thing in my life is you, Riley Harper Parkinson."

She grinned, now biting her lip, the task she had been given completely out of her mind now. "I don't think I heard you correctly, there seems to be a problem with the connection. Could you repeat what you said?"

"I said," he lowered his voice and she could tell that he was smiling on the other end. "I love you a whole lot more than my job and you're the most important thing in my life right now, Riley Matthias to be."

"Well, guess what," she started, remembering why he called in the first place and using it as the perfect opportunity to mess with him. She knew he was waiting for her to say something equally soppy and cheesy to him, but she was one to play games. "I can't find your file anywhere."

"I thought you were good with technology," he replied after sighing heavily, Riley grinning to herself with amusement. "Well, whatever you labelled it, it's not where you last put it. Hold on, I'll search every file." She told him, humming softly whilst she did as she said. "See, you didn't save it to your work file, you ass, you saved it to the downloads folder."

"Okay, Miss IT, no need to shame the CEO of Matthias Industries over the phone," Sebastian joked, making her laugh softly. "Okay, I'm making too much noise now so just email it to my work mail and message me when it's sent over. Love you, bye"

"Okay, I'll call you in like twelve hours. Love you, bye." She bid him farewell, hanging up then setting the phone aside as she began the process of emailing him the file. The only reason he didn't have it was because he liked to have two separate laptops. One for home, which was the one Riley was using currently, and one for work, which is what he had with him in Rome. Sometimes he worked across both laptops and would end up leaving important files on the home laptop. Which would then leave Riley to send them over to him at ridiculous times of the day.

She opened his emails and did the task effortlessly, ready to pick up her phone to let him know that she sent it when an email came through. Usually she ignored them, glancing at the contact them moving on to something else. This time she was intrigued, the sender being his PA who she often mocked for her poor grammar and ridiculous lack of manners. She figured she'd internally mock her by reading what poorly phrased sentences she'd sent to Sebastian.

This was one of those moments, however, that Riley really wished had just done what she normally did and ignored the email. But of course she didn't because she thought she'd end up laughing so hard she almost cried. The last part about crying was true, but not from laughing.

From: ellen.goodwin@mindustries.org
Subject: Important Meeting

Good evening, Sir,

I can't wait to see you tomorrow after your meeting. I've already booked a hotel room for the night, the honeymoon suite to be precise, just for us. I know you've been wanting to get away for a while so I thought I'd make your business trip slightly more relaxing.

Meet me outside my hotel room once you've finished and refreshed.

Thinking of you x

Ellen Goodwin
Personal Assistant at Matthias Industries

Riley took a moment and blinked her disbelieving eyes, her fingers now doing another stupid thing. She went through every other exchange they had, seeing most had been archived and each one worse and sometimes more explicit than the other. She went back to the first one and marked it as unread so that Sebastian wouldn't know it was opened then she closed the emails and shut the laptop, setting it aside.

It took her a while to do anything else, just staring at her phone that was now buzzing with messages from him asking if she'd done it yet and if she needed him to call again to walk her through it. She wanted to cry, she wanted to scream and throw his laptop out and take his things and set them on fire. Heck, she wanted to set herself on fire. But she didn't do any of those things. Instead she picked up her phone and replied to him.

It's been sent, my love. Had trouble with the WiFi, that's all x.

She then opened another chat, knowing that her shaking hands couldn't keep this information to herself. Perhaps she was just dreaming and that she'd wake up tomorrow morning and her fiancé would have already had his presentation with him and she just imagined his call because she missed him and then imagined the email because she was afraid of losing him. She really hoped that was the case.

Can you come over? I need you. Like, now.

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