Sex (Hollywood Love Book 4)

By: Jillian Dodd

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18TH

Asher Vineyards — Sonoma County

ARIELA





The beautiful and meaningful wedding I planned for Keatyn and Aiden in under three weeks was perfection. In every event I have ever done, there is always some kind of crisis—the officiant gets stuck in traffic, the cake gets cracked, the bride’s dress won’t zip, there’s a bird in the ballroom, the best man faints at the altar, a guest has too much to drink. I even had one event that was interrupted by near hurricane-force winds. But not this wedding. It was flawless. The pinnacle of my career.

Soon I’ll be helping Asher Vineyards develop the perfect on-site wedding venue as well as planning events for many of tonight’s guests, but for now, I’m going to bask in the beauty of it.

As Aiden surprises Keatyn with a vintage Ferris wheel that he bought and refurbished just for their wedding, I tick off the last box on my massive To Do list for tonight then find Riley in the crowd just as Aiden yells out, “TRIPLETS, EVERYONE! WE’RE HAVING TRIPLETS!”

Everyone cheers. Based on the look on Keatyn’s face, I’m pretty sure Aiden totally just let the cat out of the bag, and I doubt she was ready for the world to know. I smile, though, happy for them.

“Triplets,” Riley says to Dallas, shaking his head. “How crazy is that?”

“It’s pretty crazy,” I say from behind him.

He turns around, a grin on his face. As the best man, he’s wearing a classic black tuxedo and looks ridiculously handsome. “The wedding has been incredible. You did an amazing job,” he says. “Keatyn couldn’t be happier.”

“And what about you?” I dare to ask.

“Logan told me that making this wedding perfect wasn’t just for Keatyn—that you wanted to show all of us that you were sorry.”

“Mostly you,” I say softly. “So, my duties are officially done for the night,” It’s well after midnight. “Would you like to dance, Riley?”

“I would,” he replies, pulling me into his arms and swaying to the music.

“So tonight’s supposed to be the big night,” I say, my stomach suddenly filled with butterflies. After going to Eastbrooke’s Homecoming last weekend, I thought we’d put the past behind us. But I gave him the note. The note I was supposed to have given him on graduation day that explained what I had to do. Why I had to go to Princeton and not come to California with him. I thought if he read it, he would understand my decision back then. But all it did was piss him off. I know I can’t push things with him. I have to earn back his trust. “But I meant what I said about us not needing to decide anything yet.”

“Let’s go talk somewhere in private.” He leads me off the dance floor, stopping to grab some champagne on the way to his room.

If he were going to tell me to get the hell out of his life, I don’t think he’d bring champagne, and for the first time tonight I relax.

He pops the bottle and pours us each a glass. “Explain why you didn’t send me the letter. I need to understand why you didn’t fight for us.”

I take a seat on the bed and take a deep breath, not wanting to relive what was the worst day of my life again, but knowing I have to for him. “I cried most of the way home. As we were pulling into our driveway, my dad finally spoke. He asked me if I told you. I said yes, and that’s when I noticed I was still clutching the note in my hand. I told my dad that I had written you a letter but forgot to give it to you, so he asked what I was going to do with it. If I would send it. I checked my phone for the millionth time, but upon seeing nothing from you, I told him that I didn’t know what I was going to do, but that I was surprised you hadn’t called me. My dad smiled and said that the reason you hadn’t is because he was right. That you didn’t care about me. I decided I would keep the note on my desk for three days, and if I hadn’t heard from you, I would throw it away and try to forget about you.”

“But you didn’t,” he says softly.

“No, I couldn’t do either. That’s what I don’t think you understand, Riley. You weren’t the only one who was devastated.”