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Episode 1085: Still In Love

Xavier came to see her to relieve his guilty conscience but watching Avalon sink from her standing position behind the desk to out of sight on the floor, he felt worse than ever about whatever part he may have played in the turmoil she felt now.

He didn’t know what else he should say or could say. He’d apologized for luring her into that kiss. He’d tried to exonerate her husband from the whole payoff thing. He’d thought by talking through these things with her she’d feel better and in turn he’d feel better, too.

Nothing about her sinking to the floor felt better.

Xavier rounded the cash desk. Ava sat pressed up against the wall, her knees pulled into her chest, her arms wrapped around her shins, her forehead resting on her knees.

Xavier joined her on the floor. He didn’t know what else to do. “I’m sorry. Again.” He lightly patted one of her hands. “I honestly didn’t come here to upset you, just the opposite.”

“I know. You’re not the issue. Not really.” Ava lifted her head. She swiped tears from her cheeks. “This isn’t about you. You don’t need to be down here on the floor with me. You don’t need to stay. This, my being a mess, it isn’t really your fault.”

“You weren’t crying until I showed up.”

“Only because I’d been working and when I’m working it distracts me from this other stuff. So I’ve been working a lot.”

They went quiet for a moment until he decided to venture forward. “About the kiss. It was selfish. It was way too late. Like you said, you’re married. I just, it was wrong, a mistake, if I was going to make a move like that, test whether you still have feelings for me, it should have happened a long time ago when you were single, when having your feelings all mixed up wouldn’t have been quite as complicated for you to process.”

“It’s not exactly what you think,” Ava said. She looked him in the eyes. “I do still have feelings for you. I probably always will. I think there are some people you’ll always be drawn to and you’re that person for me. I wholeheartedly wanted to marry you, that inclination is still there deep down. Maybe not even that deep.”

She must have read the hope plain as day in his eyes.

“But like you said, it’s too late. What we had happened a long time ago. I know Sebastian’s father played a huge role in you leaving. But you did leave. You made a choice. Eventually I had to give up on you ever coming back. I had to move on. Sebastian and I aren’t in the best place right now but I’m not giving up, I took my vows seriously, I intend to try to work through this.”

“Okay, yeah, I mean I never really expected anything else from you.” He’d hoped though. He had hoped. As wrong as that was.

“That kiss did affect me though,” she said. “But not in the sense that I’m deciding between you two, now. I made that decision a long time ago. The kiss, it just, it just made me wish that things were as simple as being able to just choose the other person who makes my insides flutter, that I could just choose something that doesn’t have me feeling so much… mistrust all the time. I feel so guilty for sometimes wishing that because I am married. I made promises. I do love him. What am I doing wishing that away?”

“You’re being human. You’re wishing things were easier sometimes like we all do,” Xavier pointed out. “It doesn’t make you a bad wife.”

“Thanks.” She sniffled and swiped at her face once more, then let her head drop to Xavier’s shoulder. He probably heard the bell over the door ring but it didn’t register, all he focused on was that he still made her insides flutter and how as wrong as it seemed, her leaning on him felt like the most natural thing.

Episode 1086: Circle The Drain

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