Something had to give. Riley knew it. He was afraid of losing Akira, and that would beyond suck. The guy was the first person Riley had ever dated that actually cared deeply and didn’t play games. He sighed. It wasn’t like he didn’t care deeply about Akira. It was he didn’t like commitments. Riley’s bigender status made relationships beyond complicated. Thus far, Akira was dealing, but what if he stopped? Riley bit his lower lip. Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic. He grabbed the edge of the sink to steady himself.
“Riles, are you ever gonna be done in there?” his boyfriend called through the bathroom door.
At least that’s what they acted like… boyfriends? Boyfriend-girlfriend? Dating? Partners? Something! Riley narrowed his eyes, glancing in the mirror. He didn’t like labels, but it frustrated Akira to no end. He whined about it, and he was probably justified. Riley wasn’t the easiest person to be with, but he appreciated Akira trying. I should try too. Maybe the label thing wouldn’t be so bad. Akira had been begging to take Riley out in public on a date for a long time. They spent all their time at Akira’s penthouse or at Riley’s apartment, but they rarely ventured outside. He liked the quiet cuddle sessions on the couch that turned into makeout sessions that turned into… I’m probably not being fair, Riley sighed, and did one last hair flip.
“Coming,” he walked over and unlocked the door.
“Hey, you smell great,” Akira said softly as he pecked Riley’s cheek. “What is that? Aftershave?”
“It’s just tea tree oil and sandalwood,” Riley shrugged.
“I like just tea tree oil and sandalwood,” Akira grinned. “I happen to go crazy for it.”
“Really?” Riley frowned. “Better than my honey and rose perfume?”
“You’d smell great in anything, babe,” Akira assured.
“How about stinky garbage?” Riley scoffed.
“Now would you really go roll around in the trash?” Akira smirked.
“No,” Riley shook his head and laughed. “You’re right. I’m just grumpy today.”
“Why?” Akira quirked a brow.
Riley couldn’t stop staring at Akira’s jawline. The guy was an absolute masterpiece and he could pull off the whole sexy five o’clock shadow like it was gravy. Even when he wasn’t with Akira, he was thinking about him, dreaming about him, counting down the minutes until he could be in his manly arms again. Riley sighed. What am I waiting for?
“Pull out your phone,” Riley said.
“Why?” Akira wondered, though he retrieved his cell from his jacket pocket.
“Because we’re going to sync our calendars. Between your celebrity gigs and karaoke sessions and my bookstore hours and meetings with my agent and writing, we never have time to go out,” Riley replied. “We need to find a date night.”
“Really?” Akira looked excited, his dark eyes widening in an adorable way.
“Yes, really,” Riley grinned and punched Akira’s shoulder playfully. “Scratch that. Cancel anything you have tonight and let’s make it the whole deal! Dress up, grab dinner at a fancy schmansy restaurant, maybe rent a town car and drive out to the spot with the swans in Myshuno Meadows with champagne.”
“No backing out?”
“No rescheduling? An honest to goodness date?”
“Yeah, and I’ll even throw in the fancy caviar,” Riley quipped.
Akira grimaced. “I hate that stuff.”
“Then chocolates,” Riley said, putting his arm around Akira. “I know you love those divine Simdor chocolates.”
“You’re on,” Akira said, whipping around and planting a deep kiss on Riley’s mouth.
Riley didn’t care if he had to blow his entire paycheck on Akira tonight. He planned to make every second count from the dinner reservations as Chez Llama in a cozy little corner to the theater tickets to Swan Lake, box seats, to the champagne and chocolates in the town car so they could drive to that sweet little spot where the swans glided at night on the Sound because Akira deserved the best. As he skipped back from the corner bus stop, Riley decided to stop at the flower vendor. Why not? he shrugged, handing over the last of his Simoleons. Might as well go for broke. Valensim’s Day only came once a year, and it had already passed. Riley was determined to make up for all his months of hesitating. He just hoped his top hat and tails weren’t too dusty in the back of his closet.
“Come on, let’s have a look at you,” Riley said.
Now it was his turn to be on the other side of the bathroom door.
“I’m just not sure about the colors,” Akira sighed loudly.
“I’m sure you look fantastic!” Riley reassured. “And you can’t be more over the top than me.”
“I don’t know,” Akira hesitated.
“Come on,” Riley leaned against the karaoke machine that Akira bought for his apartment. “Don’t make me sing lullabies to myself to occupy my time.”
Akira emerged dressed in a grey suit jacket over jeans, a neon yellow tie with a white button down, and hot pink socks with his black leather shoes. He gasped when he saw Riley standing tall with his red knee-length coat and top hat.
“Wowza! You look hot!”
Riley offered a gentlemanly bow. “Why thank you, kind sir.”
Akira giggled. “Not too much then?” he straightened his tie.
“I like it crooked,” Riley said quietly.
He plucked a single red rose, stem trimmed of thorns, from the microphone slot on the far edge of the karaoke machine. Seeing Akira’s eyes light up, he knew he made the right call. Akira was a sucker for the romance stuff. Riley loved making his beau happy.
“Wow? For me?” his voice choked with emotion. “No one’s ever gotten me a flower before. Not even high school prom.”
“Hot damn! Akira, you are worth it!” Riley exclaimed.
“Wait right here,” Akira said, excitedly as he ran back in the bathroom like a little kid.
When he returned, he was holding a matching crimson rose.
“You’re worth it too, Riley,” Akira said.
Riley’s eyes grew wide. “How… how… how…” he stammered.
“I went to that vendor in Thymes Square, the one staffed by the lady with the funny little gap in her teeth…” Akira started.
“… the one who is always feeding the pigeons when she’s on break…” Riley finished. “Me too.” He swallowed hard.
“I love you, Riles,” Akira confessed. “And I’ve been in love with you since the moment you got all shy and tomato-like in the face in the karaoke bar.”
“And I want you to know I’ll be by your side, whether you’re gay or straight or bi… a girl… a guy… I don’t care. As long as you want me.”
A tear pricked Riley’s eye corner, and he sighed contently.
This guy is the real deal. I’ve never been so happy. I don’t know why I was so hesitant to commit. Akira’s the one.
“Be mine, Valentine?” Akira said, his voice wobbly.
Riley grinned from ear to ear, and clasped his hands. “I’ll be more than that. Will you, Akira Kibo, be my boyfriend?”
Akira’s immediate response was to move in and begin kissing Riley’s neck. Riley was so caught off guard that he began giggling, especially as Akira’s lips tickled his skin.
“I’ll… take… that… as a… yes…” he said, gasping for breath as Akira wrapped his arms around Riley’s waist and tugged him close for a full kiss.
“Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for you to say that?” he whispered.
“Forever… and a day…” Riley rolled his eyes teasingly.
Akira groaned and leaned in to kiss Riley more deeply.
“Sto…p… it…” Riley sighed, even though he didn’t want it to end. He looked at his wrist. “We’ll miss our dinner reservation.”
“Then let’s miss our dinner reservation,” Akira pulled back, cupping Riley’s chin. “I want you, boyfriend…” he puckered his forehead. “…or is it girlfriend?”
“Call me whatever,” Riley jumped into Akira’s arms. “I’m yours.”
Author Notes: Thanks for reading. It’s been a long time since I cycled around to Riley and Akira, and I was shocked that they weren’t dating yet. I’ll admit I controlled Akira only so far as to place him in Riley’s apartment and then I let those two do their thing. 🙂 This chapter featured simscognito‘s Riley Cognito and game-generated townie, Akira Kibo.