Okay, so he was bored. Riley had to admit – if only to himself – that being filthy rich wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. Oh, the apartment overlooking New York was neat. The Ferrari was a dream on wheels. And the chicks... well, what good did it do to be rich if it didn't help you get laid but...
The apartment was the problem. The Ferrari was the problem. They seemed to attract a certain sort of female he never felt at ease with. All he had wanted was to find a girl. Any girl, really, but preferably a pretty one. Not too butch. One that would laugh at his jokes, put up with his sarcasm, and... and not fall for his friends. Friend.
Ben was a great friend, really, but there had always been the problem that he was tall, good-looking, broody, and passionate – if not a little obsessive about his Quest. The great Quest that had brought them together in the first place. Anyway, the problem was that any girl they met would end up falling for *him* yet not getting anywhere with him because of the said obsession.
Until Abby, sorry, Abigail Chase. As obsessive about her field, bookish but spunky. By her sheer determination she made Ben notice her as a woman. It's not like Riley wanted her to himself, oh no, too scary by far. But still.
Ben solved the riddle, found the treasure, got the girl and the palace, worked on the treasure, sending bits of it to all corners of the globe, and... and then, somewhere during that first year, he decided he'd rather have the villain instead of the girl. Bet there was a story there. Riley wasn't sure he ever wanted to hear it. It was enough to have witnessed Ben's new quest to get Ian out of prison. They had both learned it was good to be rich and influential, every now and then.
Whatever. Abby hardly shed any tears, too busy cataloguing the Treasure (when she spoke of it you could hear the capitalisation), and writing intellectual papers on the new discoveries and their significance to their views of history.
It didn't even seem to bother her to be working with Ben. Those two... *things* and *ideas* meant more to them than people. Not so for Riley. He missed their adventure, the closeness and friendship they'd shared, even though the danger had not always been fun, and the others seemed content with the payoff - the treasure itself.
But back to his current gripe.
In the months that followed the discovery, Riley had gotten lots of girls. They dug the car, the designer clothes, the expensive presents. Had he just wanted sex with no ties that would have been cool, but he longed for feelings, conversations, shared laughter... and an IQ a little higher than that of a Bratz doll would have been nice, too.
Laughter was there - unfortunately, they laughed *at* him because he did not feel at home in his expensive clothes or fashionable apartment. His latest fling, Nicole, laughed dutifully at his jokes, but also at his tastes and habits.
"God, you're such a geek!"
It was said in as unbitchy way as one could, for she was a kind-hearted little blonde, but it still drove one thing home. He would never find his dream girl while driving his Ferrari.
And he missed Ben. When your best friend started dating it couldn't help but change things. Especially when, you know, his lover used to shoot bullets at you. The other bit, the guy bit, didn't really bother him. Some of his closest friends, and all that. But Ben was busy being in a relationship when he wasn't busy going through the Templar treasure.
And, quite frankly, Riley was bored with cataloguing gold piece after gold piece. This devastatingly important document and the next. Still, he *had* volunteered because his free time hadn't been any better with too much money to spend and too many women willing to help him spend it. Even Abigail's distracted commentary while they worked was better. And man, was *that* sad.