Sleep doesn’t come easy tonight and Ryder only manages to rest for minutes at a time. There are too many thoughts circling his mind so when the clock on his phone reads ‘7:34′ he decides it easier to just get up. There’s a notification waiting for him that peaks his interest and he finds his exhaustion evaporating quickly. It’s a text message from a number he doesn’t recognize, but he knows exactly who its from nonetheless.
‘Meet me at the Boneyard Saturday.’
It’s short and sweet and doesn’t give Ryder any insight into Evan in the slightest (and to be honest at this point, he isn’t sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.) And he’s not even sure if he should reply. There’s no doubt in his mind that he wants to see this man again, but he can’t keep Scout from lingering in his thoughts. There’s a part of him that wants to confess what happened, to try and rid himself of his bad conscience, but he knows better. Telling Scout he cheated would destroy her and Ryder isn’t sure he wants to shoulder that. It would also mean giving up his spot at MGH because there’s absolutely no way Chief Laurent would keep Ryder in his hospital after hurting his daughter in such a way. So Ryder won’t say anything, at least not for the time being.
Ryder sighs, locking his phone and decides to head downstairs to try and distract himself. He finds Julien sitting at the kitchen island enjoying some coffee. His friend looks eerily joyous this morning and its just downright strange considering how bitter Julien usually is at these hours.
“Since when are you in such a good mood this early?”
“Since I found out I finally have a one up on your shitty girlfriend.” Ryder goes rigid. ‘Oh god, he knows’. Julien must notice his expression and he elaborates.
“Ran into him on my way in.” ‘Ahh well, that explains that.’ Julien seems to also catch onto his guilt and he’s quick to scold him. “Don’t tell me you’re gonna be a little bitch about this and tell her. The last thing I need is you sucking up to her again after you were doing so well.”
“Jesus, Julien no. It’s just… God, what if she finds out? Hell, what if the Chief finds out?! He’ll kill me, what the fuck was I thinking?!” Okay, so maybe he felt really guilty about the whole thing. But the problem is, as much as he wants to regret what happened last night, he can’t. It’s the first time Ryder’s felt so… free and he wasn’t willing to give up the ecstasy that came with that just yet even if it meant that he’d be hurting someone else because of it.
“Nobody will find out as long as you keep your mouth shut. Just chill, alright?” After leaving his mug in the dishwasher, Julien moves to leave the kitchen, but before he does, he puts a reassuring hand on his friend’s shoulder. “But if you plan on keeping this fling up, watch your back. The last thing I need is getting stuck in that hellhole by myself.” ‘Oh haha, very funny’. Except it isn’t funny. Nothing about this whole thing is humorous in the slightest. Ryder’s career is on the line, the career he’s dedicated almost half of his life to, and he has to play his cards right if he wants to keep it.
“Fuck off, Julien.” Julien’s laughter rings through the hallway and Ryder’s left alone with his thoughts. Maybe Julien was right and he was just overreacting about the whole thing. It was just a fling, right? Plenty of people have flings. Hell, Julien himself has them all the time. This won’t amount to anything serious as long as Ryder sets the record straight with this guy.
So he trudges into the living room, dropping onto the couch where he finally returns Evan’s text without any more thought.
‘See you there.’
And with that, Ryder fits in a quick nap before his pager goes off.