"Oh, it was wonderful to have you here, honey." Kathy mumbled into Riley's shoulder as she held her in a tight embrace. The woman's hand rubbed smoothly on the brunette's back, soothing and reassuring her that they wouldn't forget her once she left. "This past week has been such a blessing."
"I'm glad I came down to see you guys, too." She said, hugging just as tightly back. A sudden breeze swept hot air across the porch they all stood on, reminding her that this wasn't the home she was used to. California's breezes were normally chillier thanks to the Bay.
She would definitely miss them, but she was beginning to get homesick. She missed the craziness of San Francisco and it's many unique people. One unique group of people in particular.
Kathy squeezed a bit harder, just for good measure, and Jim stepped closer with a shake of his head. But Riley could tell he wasn't actually upset. He just liked to pretend sometimes.
"Jesus, Kathy, you hold any tighter and she'll snap in half. Besides, I haven't gotten a chance to hug our niece goodbye yet."
Her aunt reluctantly stepped back and gave her husband a dry stare. "I'm sure she can handle a little tough love, Jim. And you're impatient as always."
"Go on, now, it's my turn." He shooed her to the side with a grin, taking the opportunity to envelope Riley in a tight hug of his own. "We're thankful to have you down here, kiddo. Me especially. And you better promise to come back for a holiday or two in the future."
"I definitely will!" She said into his chest, her arms wrapped around his back. She relished both of their warm hugs for a bit longer, before stepping away.
Kathy began to fret again, as she had been for the past hour. Seemed all that motherly instinct was overflowing and had nowhere else to go. "Now, give us a call when you get to the airport, and when you land in San Francisco. I don't care how late it may be, you can text or call."
"I will." She promised with a nod and a rueful smile. They were just worried about her leaving now that they'd met her for the first time. To have her taken away after just meeting her would be tragic. It was more for them than for her. She glanced at her phone to check the time, and her eyes widened to see that she was running a little behind. Perhaps the goodbyes had taken a bit longer than anticipated. "But it looks like I'm running late, so I'd better get out of here."
"We both love you, kiddo." Jim added as she began backing away from the porch.
"Love you too!" She called.
They both watched as she walked down the driveway to her rental car, which was parked about halfway up. She rounded around to the driver's side, opening the door and sliding inside easily. Tossing her purse in the passenger seat, the brunette dug out her keys and started up the engine. It purred to life comfortably.
When she shoved it into reverse to back out, she glanced over at the porch, seeing both Jim and Kathy waving to her in farewell. She returned the gesture, smiling widely.
Once onto the street, she threw it into drive and started down the street towards the main road, weaving in and out of the trees of the neighborhood. It looked just as gorgeous as when she'd arrived.
Riley had already checked out of the hotel that morning, all of her stuff in the back seat of the car. So her only stop before the airport would be a gas station to fill up before turning in the rental. Thankfully, she remembered seeing one not too far from the airport when leaving it the first time. She'd have to pick up the pace a bit if she wanted to make it by the time she was comfortable with. It would still be early for her flight, but when it came to something important like a flight, she liked to be at least an hour early. Just to be safe.
The traffic wasn't that bad driving back. It was a Wednesday after all. Not too many travelers in the middle of the week like this. She was willing to bet San Francisco would still be packed when she arrived, but then again, it was almost always busy.
The brunette thought about turning on some music, but decided she liked the silence, save for the dull hum of the car as it drove along the road. It gave her time to reflect on her trip.
Wanting to keep her arrival home a surprise, Riley hadn't told anyone that she was coming back that day. As far as they were concerned, she still had a day or so left of her trip, and she'd be back on Friday. It wasn't exactly a lie, per se, she just wanted to see the expression on Wrench's face—or mask, depending on the scenario—when she stepped through the door and he wasn't expecting it. How excited would he be? Did he really miss her that much?
As she stepped off the plane and walked through the gate into the San Francisco airport, she took a deep breath of the familiar scent of the air and smiled. It was good to be home. She'd missed the bay and the sun and the people and the-
Another passenger bumped into her shoulder from behind, interrupting her appreciation of having come back, and she sent an irritated glare his way. The guy didn't even look at her, too busy talking on a cellphone and pulling a rolling suitcase. Prick.
Ok, so maybe she didn't miss everything about San Francisco.
Figuring that she was little more than an obstruction, just standing there looking around in the middle of the open room filled with people, Riley got a better grip on her suitcase and headed towards the exit.
Of course, she made it a point of stopping by the closest Chinese food establishment there was. Georgia just didn't do Chinese like San Francisco did, and boy, had she missed that. Eyes nearly rolling to the back of her head from the magnificent taste, Riley relished the sweet and savory taste of the teriyaki over the chicken and rice, scarfing it down in record time.
Grabbing her car from the airport parking lot and paying the $145 parking fee with a whole lot of grumbling—seriously, how did airports justify charging $20 per day just to park a car?—the brunette started her drive back home.
Ah, yes. The god-awful traffic. Another thing she hadn't missed. Her drive home was slow, as the traffic heading away from the airport was busy. But it gave her a great, long view of the bay as she drove. That was a plus.
All of the familiar streets and buildings were a welcome sight. It was relieving to be back in the place that she actually knew where things were. Being in an unfamiliar city for long periods was a bit disorienting. Even for trips to a Walmart or something. Her sense of direction and destination was non-existent there. Here, everything was familiar and exactly where she knew it would be. Comforting.
As she rounded the corner and her apartment complex came into sight, the irritation from the slow drive and her long hours of driving finally melted away, a wide smile splitting her face and a sense of relief falling on her shoulders. Home. God, it was amazing to be home. Nowhere in the world like it.
Her car drove around the small lot and parked in her usual spot. With a twist of her wrist the engine was shut off, and she just sat there a moment. Wow. What a glanced at her suitcase in the back seat, and finally exited out the driver's side door. Retrieving her stuff, she shut and locked her car, walking towards the stairs to her apartment.
"Pants?" She called into the empty space as soon as she walked inside, and she was met with a distant meow down the hallway. By the time the door closed behind her, her beloved feline came running from down the hallway, observing her as she entered.
"Oh, I've missed you little buddy!" She said, dropping her things and leaning down to her knees. "Come here!" She encouraged with her arms reaching out towards him. This time around, he wasn't scared, and came to her side immediately.
Riley spent the next ten minutes or so just sitting on the floor, loving on Pants with no restraint. He seemed to appreciate it, but still warily looked at her from time to time. You're late, that expression said. Were you abandoning me to die?
"I know, I know. I didn't expect to be gone so long, but I'm home now. Everything's alright."
Sure it is, he communicated with a flick of his tail as she pet him.
"How about some food, huh?" She offered, and he was immediately up and running towards the fridge. She smiled, happy to have her best friend back again.
Hey, is Wrench at his garage right now? Or is he with you?
Marcus frowned down at the message, but typed out a response anyway. The question just seemed a bit out of place, considering Riley was out of state.
Pretty sure he's at his place. Why?
I'm actually back in town early. Just arrived this afternoon! :) But I want to surprise him. Didn't want to accidentally bump into him before I want him to know.
Awesome, welcome back! Sitara will be glad to hear that. I think she mentioned having a few ideas for some exposure ops. But anyway, you can deal with that later. He should be at his garage unless he wandered off on his own without telling someone.
Thanks! I'm sure I'll see you guys later today or tomorrow. :)
Marcus put away his phone, focusing once more on the drone that was flying beside a sabotaged phone box high above him. It was best to leave her and Wrench with some space for the rest of the day. He wasn't keen on walking into something he'd rather not see.
It would have been easiest to sneak in via the large, garage doors, but both were currently closed. Riley was lucky that Wrench liked playing music over the speakers though, because it masked the sound of the side door opening. She cracked it an inch, hoping that he wasn't looking in this general direction when she did so. Hearing the thrashing of some heavy metal music overhead, she was confident that he hadn't heard a sound over all that screaming. She couldn't see anything in the inch of space available to her, so she pushed it open a bit more. Then a bit more. Then a little bit more until she was shuffling inside in a half crouch.
One of the large, rolling cork boards was between her and Wrench, who stood with his back facing her. He was working on something at one of the tables, nodding his head along to the music playing overhead. At this angle, she wasn't able to see the eyes of his mask, which could help determine if he noticed someone sneaking their way into his garage.
She held the knob open while she slid the door closed, hoping it would scrape against the metal framing. She grit her teeth when it stuck for a moment, and she had to push with a bit more effort for it to go in all the way. Apparently the door was just slightly misaligned and didn't close completely perfect. Damn. She whipped her head around and saw that Wrench hadn't changed behavior, so he probably hadn't noticed.
She tip-toed her way behind the cork board, for once thankful that Wrench was a bit of a junk hoarder. Her legs would have normally stuck out the bottom, as the board itself was raised up high, but a large pile of boxes now sat in front of it, giving her good cover.
Daring a peek around the edge, she watched as Wrench tinkered with what appeared to be a bomb? of some sort on the table. It was small, even smaller pieces littered around it. Wrench was busy screwing something into place, posture indicating he was concentrating hard. At this distance, she could hear him humming to the music. Cute, she thought with a smile, deciding to watch him for just a second in his natural habitat.
Suddenly, he began to turn around, and she whipped her head back around the cork board, hoping he hadn't seen the movement. Wrench acted as if nothing had caught his interest or surprise, so she assumed she was safe. Now she just had to wait for an ideal opportunity to strike.
Wrench listened intently, his back to the smoke grenade he was currently putting together, as Riley tried to ninja her way towards him without garnering his attention. It had been difficult not to give away that he'd caught onto what she was trying to do when he'd heard the garage's side door shut, but it was funny to see her try.
There was a light feeling in his chest, elation at knowing she was home, but he tried suppressing it as much as he could, not wanting those damned hearts to display over his mask. That would give it all away, and he wanted this little game to go on a bit longer. How long would it take her to actually try?
Wrench returned back to his little project on the table, his back once again turned to her. She smiled, gaining the confidence that she could be quiet enough not to alert him with her shoes. Rising from her crouch, she tip-toed around the cork board and slowly came up behind him.
The distance between them lessened. 5 feet. Then 3. Riley was just about ready to jump forward when Wrench whirled around hastily. Startled, Riley let out a yelp and tried leaping backwards, but he'd grabbed her by the waist and spun her around with him, placing her back against the table.
He made a few tsk-ing noises with his mouth, shaking his head slowly. "Once again, you have much to learn, young padawan." He said in obvious amusement, the X's of his mask flashing to a quick wink, before maintaining his happy expression.
"Oh, come on!" She cried out, crossing her arms in front of her in a pout. "There's no way you saw me."
"Maybe I did." Was his cryptic response.
"Nuh uh. I was careful."
"A magician never reveals his secrets." Wrench added in an accented voice, twiddling his fingers for dramatic effect.
"How." She demanded with a smile she couldn't shake, poking him in the chest, and noticing that his hands hadn't moved from her hips. They squeezed affectionately. "How did you know I was here? Did Marcus tell you?"
"Uh, no?" He tilted his head in confusion, eyes flashing question marks, before returning to normal.
"Damnit, tell me! I need to know!" She chuckled, failing to keep up the mock anger at having been caught.
He laughed too, enjoying her struggle. "Does it even really matter?"
"Yes! I need to know how to do better for next time."
"Oho, so there'll be a next time? Guess I'll just have to watch my back from now on." He promised with another wink, and she threw her head back.
"Ugh, you're ridiculous."
"I sure am," he said proudly, releasing one side of her hip so he could reach up and take off his mask, blue eyes narrowed as he grinned, "but you knew that from the start."
Riley hummed and stared up into his face, smiling gently. "Maybe so…" She felt him place the mask on the table behind her, before his hand returned to her waist. Her arms, which had remained crossed up to that point, unwound themselves and snaked around his neck. Inadvertently pulling them closer together.
She wasn't sure which one leaned in first to meet the other, but they both ended up with closed eyes and their lips moving slowly against each other in a familiar rhythm. Dragging the hood down from his head unconsciously, her fingers moved to card through his blonde hair. She heard him let slip a tiny sigh, hands gripping her tighter as he pulled her closer to his chest.
"I missed having you here." He muttered against her lips quietly, before stealing any chance of a reply by kissing her again. She tugged playfully at his hair, making him let out a tiny moan of pleasure.
"I missed being here." She eventually said, raw and breathless, before the words were forgotten in the feeling of being together again. Had it really been a week since she'd last gotten to do this? Damn.
Seconds felt longer, and the kiss grew more intense with each one that ticked by. Somewhere in the back of her head, she registered that the music still played overhead. The hands at her hip slowly drifted upwards, cradling her from the back tenderly but with a fierceness that communicated just how much he'd missed her. And as he tasted her with increasing insistency, his lips and tongue urging her to follow his lead, Riley was beginning to think she'd been stupid for leaving him behind at all. If this is what she'd been missing this whole week, well…she'd think twice before doing so again.
Her ass was pushed harder into the edge of the table as he crushed her against it, and she let out a sound of both pain and pleasure. Wrench took that as encouragement, seeing as she didn't push him away, and suddenly broke their lip lock.
Wrench's arm swiped across the table behind her, sending all the junk he'd been working on to the ground in a metallic clatter. Then, his strong arms grabbed her by the legs and hoisted her up on the table.
"What are-" She started to protest, but was cut off by his lips snatching up her own again. Getting the hint, Riley opened her legs a bit wider to accommodate his hips as he stepped closer. They wrapped around his waist and held him there, and she shivered as he ran his hands along the underside of her jean-clad thighs, securing her place against him.
Her lungs quickly running out of oxygen to breathe, she pulled back and greedily panted. Wrench's forehead rested on hers, their eyes still closed, as they recovered. She could feel his hot breath on her face.
Breaking the moment they'd created, a loud blaring song began to play from behind Wrench. He sighed in irritation, moving one of his hands on her legs to grab whatever was causing the sound. Riley opened her eyes to see he was holding his phone in his hands, staring at the caller ID.
"Nice fucking timing, Ray…" He muttered darkly, still out of breath. The brunette smiled, grabbing his phone out of his hands and swiped at the 'ignore call' button before he could answer it.
"I've waited a week to see you. Ray can wait a few more minutes. Right now, you're all mine until I get a proper welcome back." She claimed with a mischievous glint in her eyes. Seeing the heat rise in his own, she took a grip of his spiked vest and dragged him back to meet her lips.
Wrench cradled her face with both hands, claiming her mouth as his and eliciting a rush of pleasure through Riley's body. A shiver ran down her spine in anticipation, and she let loose her own sigh of pleasure. There was a growing hardness in Wrench's pants right where her center met his, which only spurned her further. She was curious to see if he was willing to go that far with her, or if he'd stop. Because she certainly was willing.
The phone, which sat beside her on the table, buzzed and began playing Wrench's ringtone again. He made no move to pick it up, fingers dragging themselves backwards into her hair, angling her head just as he wanted it in an attractively desperate kiss. As if he expected her to turn to dust in his arms if he didn't.
Without opening her eyes Riley's hand scrambled around beside her for the phone, swiping blindly where the ignore button should be. The phone was silenced, and she returned her hands to his vest. Tired of feeling the hardness of the spikes against her chest she pushed at the shoulders of the garment, and he reluctantly released her to let it fall to the floor. She ran her fingers down the front of his hoodie in excitement, wishing there wasn't anything blocking her access to his bare chest. She wanted to feel over his tattoos and watch him shudder from the sensation.
Again, the phone rang, and again she ignored the call, obediently lifting her head when Wrench pulled down on her hair gently. His lips traveled from her own down to her jaw, then latched onto her pulse on the flesh of her neck, sucking and licking and kissing. Riley hummed and let out a gasp, encouraging him further with her sounds of pleasure.
Riley's ears were assaulted by that annoying ringtone again, and it seemed Wrench was fed up with hearing it too. He growled against her neck and straightened, grabbing the device with a muttered "For fuck's sake…"
Wrench swiped to answer the call and aggressively brought it to his ear. His tone was still breathless as he spoke. "You'd better have a damn good reason for interrupting me right now."
Being so close to Wrench's face, Riley could hear Ray's reply from the speaker. "Not meanin' to cock-block you or anything amigo, but you did promise to get me that smoke grenade. I'm waitin' on you to get this done."
She watched the hacker glance down at the floor where he'd swept all of the stuff off the table. Riley smiled with amusement, leaning forward to gently kiss his cheek. "Give me an hour?" Wrench negotiated, but Ray sighed heavily on the other end.
"I don't have time to sit around hopin' you decide to do it."
"I've already promised I will. Give me an hour."
"Stop thinking with your dick and get your ass in gear. This is time sensitive! I told you, I'm helping out a former business partner get out of a tough spot, remember?"
His eyes rolled, but she could see he knew this was important. Riley was still wrapped around him, and she smiled at him sadistically, leaning forward again to graze her teeth against his neck gently, giving him a taste of what he'd done to her.
She watched his eyes flutter and he let out a sigh, but still retained an even tone when he spoke to Ray. "Alright, alright…20 minutes. I'll have it done."
"Much appreciated." Ray grumbled on the other end before hanging up. Wrench tossed his phone back on the table and leaned forward to bite Riley's ear, who'd continued showering his neck with nips and kisses. She gasped, and he chuckled.
"Keep that up and you'll regret it." He promised quietly against her ear. Riley relented and leaned back away from him, giving him an innocent smile, but he wasn't buying it. He could see her lips were swollen from being kissed so much, which only boosted his own ego.
"I don't think I would." She replied cheekily, before going in for one last quick kiss. "But your 20 minutes are ticking down. You'd better start working on that thing for Ray."
He didn't need the reminder, but it helped to get his head straight. Bringing up Ray was a great way to put a cold damper on his tented pants. As much as it still ached down there, knowing the older hacker would be here in half an hour was a great incentive to calm his raging hormones.
He sighed again, but stepped back away from her when she relaxed her legs' grip around his waist. She hopped down from the table and stooped to help him pick up the forgotten pieces that he'd tossed to the ground carelessly. Wrench also put his spiked vest back on, grabbing it from the floor where it had fallen.
"Can I watch?" She asked after they'd found all of the components, dragging the closest metal chair over and plopping it down beside where he was working. Wrench, who'd put his mask on in an effort to prevent him from giving into the urge to just start kissing her again, flashed his happy expression. It was nice to have her back home.
"Of course!"ns 22.214.171.124da2