“What did she mean when she said I was so vanilla?” asked Riley.
Ashe had known this was coming, that Riley would ask questions. Well, why shouldn’t he just answer her truthfully?
“It has nothing to do with your hair, petal,” he said. “Unfortunately, Catriona Marks is not known for her subtlety.”
“What does it mean, then, ‘She’s so vanilla’?” Riley asked, her voice mimicking Catriona’s words as she pulled her hand away and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“Catriona’s tastes are what might be called ‘alternative’,” explained Ashe. “In some circles, she’s better known as ‘Mistress Cat’.”
“Like a Dominatrix? How would you know that?” Riley paused, raising her hand. “No, don’t answer that, Ashe. I’m not sure I want to know.”
For a few moments, she didn’t speak. He watched her bring her hand to her mouth, her expression distraught as if a vision of Ashe and Catriona together had come to her mind unbidden. Then she turned her face toward the window, watching the snow outside as the car made its way through the streets.
“You used to date her, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“It would have been better if you’d just said she’s your ex-girlfriend,” Riley said. “She is, isn’t she? Is she the actress who discovered you?”
“Yes, she is.”
They spent the rest of the ride in silence. Ashe had much to say, but this was not the ideal place to tell Riley the things he wanted her to know about his past and the people who belonged there.