Episode 1044: BlameAvalon locked the front door and flipped the sign to closed. She walked behind the bar and poured coffee. She fixed Xavier’s without asking him how he wanted it. She remembered.
Xavier smiled as she slid the cup his way. “Thank you.”
“What color of gift wrap do you think Tansy would like to go with her new journal and pens? Yellow to match the bumblebee buzzing across the cover?” Ava stopped a few feet to the right behind the checkout counter.
“Really, like I said, you don’t have to go to all this trouble.” Xavier carried his coffee over, leaning his side against the checkout counter.
“It’s no trouble,” Avalon insisted. “Granted, I haven’t spent as much time with my niece as I probably should, I do know she’s a nice kid, it’s my pleasure to contribute to something that might brighten her day. Besides, I kind of love gift wrapping, it’s fun, which I know is weird, but what can I say, it’s no surprise a bookstore is my ideal job.”
Xavier nodded. “I remember looking under out Christmas tree and thinking compared to your masterpieces, the gifts I was giving you looked like a three year old wrapped them.”
They shared a laugh. Xavier knew he shouldn’t read anything into that or how she’d prepared his coffee or stayed late as a favor to him rather than rushing home to her husband. None of that mean she had residual feelings for him beyond friendship. But spending time alone with Avalon like this, it sure brought back a rush of his own residual feelings for her.
“I should probably go,” he said. “You really don’t need to wrap that, it’s okay.”
“It won’t take more than a few minutes,” Ava said. She pulled yellow floral paper and a matching bow from a drawer. “Just enjoy your coffee, this won’t take long and it’ll look extra pretty for Tansy.”
As Ava placed scissors and a roll of tape on the counter, she grimaced and said, “oh, I’m not keeping you from something am I?”
“No, no, it’s fine,” he said. “I just didn’t want to put you out, but if you’re good with this, I’ll stay.”
Again, he knew that she was simply worried she’d delayed his plans and his his heart was probably just playing tricks on him to think there might be something loaded in her asking if she was keeping him from someone. There couldn’t be anything to that. She was with Sebastian. She’d made that clear.
Ava measured out the paper for Tansy’s gift and gaze fixed on her task, asked, “how are things with you and Lucy?”
“Oh.” That pause. It didn’t mean it pained her to say Lucy’s name, she could’ve just forgotten it, she barely knew Lucy.
“It’s, we’re friends, something else, I don’t know really.” May as well be honest see how Avalon reacted.
“Maybe you should pursue someone else.” Ava glanced at him with a concerned expression. “I just think you deserve a full life and if Lucy doesn’t want that with you, find someone who does. You’re so fond of Tansy, you would be a great dad.” Her eyes took on a glossy sheen. “I’ll never forgive myself if you miss out on that experience.”
Xavier shook his head. “Why would that be your fault? It’s my fault that I walked away from the one woman who maybe could have convinced me I could have that life. If I’m never a dad, that’s on me, and maybe my own dad, but not you.”