She heard the front door open as she held on to Ty for support.
“Nick. Hey, man, you’re late,” Zane yelled as he walked toward the front door.
Ria jerked around to look at the man walking in. It was Nicholas. Their eyes locked, and she saw the surprise in his. What she didn’t understand was the flash of anger she saw next. His attention seemed to redirect to Ty. She was still wrapped in his arms at the moment.
“What’s she doing here?” Nicholas asked. The glimpse of anger she had witnessed had been replaced with a friendlier tone, though Ria could still see the steel in his eyes.
She stepped out of Ty’s embrace and sensed him slightly relax. She wondered what that was about.
“Do you know her?” Zane asked with a strained tone.
“Yeah, she’s one of the EMTs that took me to the hospital after our fight,” Nicholas replied as he looked at her.
Zane looked back at her, as if he was trying to recall something. She felt herself getting confused. It seemed like there was something going on that she didn’t know about.
“Oh, I see.” Zane turned to her. “I thought you were a waitress?”
“I am now. I got fired from my last job,” Ria replied.
She bet she sounded like a real winner, stealing money from customers and getting fired from jobs. She wondered what these men thought of her now.
She looked down at herself. She was still wearing her work clothes from last night. A short spandex black skirt and a sleeveless, gold, shimmery wrap-tank with a deep V-neck. She hated what she had become, and the image she portrayed to others.
She looked at Nicholas and caught him staring at her.
“You still haven’t told me what she’s doing here,” Nicholas repeated to Zane, but before Zane could answer, he asked, “How did you get fired?”
Ria gaped at him. “My car wouldn’t start after work last night. When I was walking to the gas station for help, a man attacked me. Lucky for me, Ty saved me. He brought me back here to recover,” Ria said quickly. “I was waitressing at The Plaza since that’s the only place that would hire me after you complained to the administrator of the hospital about my attitude.”
Nick turned to Zane. “Where’s the guy?”
“We’ll get him,” Zane responded.
Nick nodded then turned back to Ria. “They fucking fired you?”
Ria didn’t know why he was surprised. He was a local celebrity, as the administrator had pointed out several times. Nicholas had donated time and money to the women’s wing of the hospital.
Character Q&A – Nick and Ria
Nick and Ria are at Nicolas’s gym
~Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today! I have to say, you both look so cute together, it’s funny to think that when you first met, you didn’t necessarily “Like” each other….What were your First Impressions of each other?
“I thought that Ria was sexy and cute.”
Ria smiled at Nicholas’s answer. “I thought he was an arrogant prick.”
~Ria, how are things in the career department? Where are you currently working?
“I’m currently working for the local hospital.”
~How about you Nick, get that Belt back from your Soon-to-Be Brother in Law?
“No, I’m moving up a weight division, I’m not anxious to have my arm broken again.”
~Nick, how are things with your Father and Sister, Melody? Any Sunday Family Dinners recently?
“Actually yes. My father and Melanie are doing better. He went to one of her fight’s last week.”
~Ria, how about on your end, how is your mother? Are you still involved in the Family “Business”?
“My mother is doing well.” She smiled at Nicholas. “Her and Nicholas’s father are dating. I am no longer involved in the family business.”
~Well…After all you have been through, I am happy to see you have found your HEA! Let’s end the Interview with Three Things You LOVE about each other?
“I love that Ria wants to help other’s, that she’s not shy, and that she’s my biggest fan now.”
“I love that Nicholas was never afraid to face my family, that he takes a great picture, and despite my initial reaction that he can speak Spanish.”
Cathryn Williams is the oldest and only female in a family of four children. While born on the east coast, she has lived all over the country. Her father’s job as an engineer caused the family to move throughout her entire youth. She has spent time in Texas, Idaho, and Nevada before moving back to the eastern part of the country as an adult.
It was during these early years that her love of literature began, starting with Nancy Drew and growing with the Sweet Valley High series stories. This passion grew with each book and has caused her to transition into writing her own stories. Cathryn’s inspiration stems from a diverse childhood, loving family, and oversized lapdog Scarlet. When not giving life to her characters, she enjoys traveling, marathoning TV shows, and spending time with her family.
Other books in the Stand Series