Ordinary World Soap Opera
An Online Soap Opera

Episode 1084: Set Me Free

“Thank you for coming,” Ava said, very much meaning it. The turnouts for events at the store were a help to the bottom-line, they were the one area where shops like hers could offer something online retailers couldn’t in the same way and it seemed to be inspiring loyalty in her customers. She now had solid numbers who she considered regulars which made for a lot less day-to-day stress about keeping the store open.

Still, Avalon never stopped searching for improvements, she was constantly working on new ideas. She intended to jot down a few more only a customer approached her and said, “this has been my favorite discussion yet, such a good choice for the book club, she’s an amazing author.”

“Have you read any of her backlist titles? There are several I’ve loved even more than this newest one.”

Ava ended up selling three novels to the voracious reader. After she rang up the sale and finished a little further book chat with the woman, Ava found herself with only a few minutes of quiet to contemplate her new ideas before the bell over the door jingled again.

“Hi,” Xavier said, ducking his head slightly and shoving his hands into his jeans pockets as he made his way to the cash counter Ava stood behind.

“Hey,” she said, her heart pitter-pattering in a way she didn’t like. “I’m married still and I intend to stay that way so if you’re here to make some kind of play for me, you’re several years too late.”

Xavier held up a hand. “I shouldn’t have kissed you. You did kiss me back, still it crossed a line you wouldn’t have chosen to cross if I hadn’t swept you up with me. I’m sorry about that, in the moment it seemed important to put my cards on the table. I won’t do that again.”

“There are other ways to put your cards on the table like saying things that I don’t want to hear right now.” She should have been more final about it she realized, right now wasn’t firm enough. Why had she said right now? She shook her head. “I-”

“I’m not here to plead my case, believe it or not I’m here to plead Sebastian’s case.”


He ducked his head for a moment. “I’ve been feeling guilty about the kiss, that maybe combined with the attempted payoff, it’s hurt your marriage. Sebastian told me as much.”

Her pitter-pattering heart began to thunder. “He knows you kissed me?”

“No. I didn’t tell him and I won’t. I just, I realize the kiss probably didn’t help, especially now that you have doubts about Sebastian.”

“I don’t doubt him.” That’s what she said. It wasn’t necessarily what she felt.

“He feels like you do doubt him, he feels like your marriage is on the brink.”

“It’s not.” Again, her words weren’t necessarily what she felt.

“Tell him that. He’s so desperate that he asked me to convince you that he wasn’t involved with the payoff. I think I believe him. But I’m not telling you that for him. I don’t care about him. I care about you and if you still love the guy, I don’t want a kiss or a possibly wrong accusation to get in the way of your happiness.”

Episode 1085: Still In Love

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