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I’ve loved Ryson for as long as I can remember. He stole my heart on set when we were teenagers and hasn’t let it go since. It hasn’t always been easy being Hollywood’s hottest couple, but it’s always been worth it.
I never thought that anything could come between us. I never imagined a scenario where Ryson and I wouldn’t be together…. but here we are; living out my worst nightmare. And in the public eye, no less.
Everyone wants a piece of me, but all I want is him.
In an industry where love seems destined to be torn apart, how could I have ever thought we’d survive?
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THE LUCKIEST GIRL
“Rysonnnn!” I shouted at the top of my lungs from the depths of our master bathroom, knowing full well that he wouldn’t be able to hear me.
It wasn’t that our house in Malibu was insanely large as much as it was that our bedroom was at the very far end, and if you were anywhere else in the house, you might as well have been on a different block.
I waited a few seconds for a response, and when none came, I rushed over and pressed the intercom button. “Ryson?”
After months of not being able to hear each other if one of us was in the bedroom, we decided to put in an intercom system. I’d fought against it at first, feeling like it was far too pretentious, but it was one of my favorite features now. No matter where Ryson was in the house, he couldn’t escape me. One press of the button, and he was at my whim. I loved this damn intercom.
“What’s up, babe?” he responded immediately.
“Can you come here, please? It’s a fashion emergency.”
I heard him laugh before the intercom crackled, and the sound of his footsteps pounding against the wood floor in the distance quickly grew louder with his approach.
“Your knight in shining armor is here, milady.”
Turning around slowly, I lifted my long blonde hair from my back. “Can you zip me up, please?”
“This is your emergency?” He chuckled. When I didn’t respond, his lips found their way to my exposed skin, and his fingers ran down my spine. “I’d rather unzip you.”
“I know you would, but they’ll be here any second.” I tried to swat at his shoulder but failed as he twisted out of my reach.
His fingertips grazed up my back as the zipper followed. Slowly. Seductively. “You look beautiful,” he said as his fingers came to an abrupt stop.
I turned around to face him, my cheeks flushed with warmth from his touch. Even after all this time, Ryson still got to me, still made me feel like I was a teenager all over again. “Thank you.”
“Anything for you.” He leaned down and placed a sweet kiss on my lips, and my body instinctively pressed up against his, his hands holding me tightly in place.
“I love you,” I said as I looked into his dark brown eyes. Eyes that I had memorized, every fleck of color etched into my brain.
“And I love you,” he said back, and I held my breath, waiting for his next words. I knew they’d come. “Forever.” He kissed me once more, and I relaxed against him. “Forever, Quinn,” he reinforced, breaking the kiss.
“And then some.” I smiled softly as the doorbell rang.
Ryson placed a final kiss on my forehead. “I’ll go get it. You look amazing, babe.”
“Thank you. I’ll be out in a second.” I turned around and faced the mirror one last time, running my hands down the length of my multicolored sundress.
Ryson and I had been inseparable since the night he showed up at my trailer on set after a tumultuous year.
My parents had been concerned at first, fearing that we were far too young to be so serious. They were convinced that he was going to not only break my heart, but also decimate it. But after a year and a half of dating, they admitted to me that they’d never met anyone quite like Ryson and that if he was the one for me, they understood and fully supported us. They said it was the way he looked at me; like I’d hung the moon, the way he treated me, the way he talked to me, and the way he loved me. Both of my parents had claimed they’d never seen anything like it and that love was love, no matter when we first found it.
It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. To be fair, it would have haunted me if my parents hadn’t approved of Ryson, but it wouldn’t have stopped me from being with him. He was a risk worth taking, a challenge worth accepting, a battle worth fighting. That boy had loved me with a ferocity I was certain no one else ever would. And he loved me even harder now that he was a man. I was the luckiest woman on the planet, and I damn well knew it.
The sound of voices drifted my way, but I couldn’t tell if it was my actress and best friend Paige and her boyfriend, Tatum, or if it was our other close friends, rock-god-turned-actor Walker Rhodes and his talent agent girlfriend, Madison. It didn’t matter as I finalized highlighting my cheeks and scooted out of the bathroom.
With all six of our lives being intertwined the way that they were, I’d had the idea to host a dinner party for a more intimate gathering. Every time we all got together, it was usually for an industry event, and while we mingled and networked, we rarely saw each other one-on-one. I’d decided that we didn’t get to spend enough quality time together. Thankfully, they’d all agreed. Or maybe they simply knew better than to disagree with me. I wouldn’t have let up until I got my way, and they all knew it.