Episode 487: Save TonightHaving the anniversary of the night they’d met, their first night together, on New Year’s Eve, made it easy on a guy to remember when to buy a gift, when to tell her how much he loved her. Not that he didn’t tell her so everyday, whether with words, his hands, or his lips.
Especially these days.
"Penny for your thoughts," his radiant fiancée, Adria, said, seated across from him during an intimate candlelit dinner in their apartment, the city, still done up for the holiday season sparkling outside the window. Her mouth curled into one of her beautiful smiles. "I’d offer more, but pennies are pretty much all I have left of my wedding money after trying so hard to get this play up and running; make it the best thing anyone’s ever seen."
Namely her parents. This play was as much, if not more about winning their approval for the woman she really was, as about following her artistic passion.
"I was just thinking about you," Ryley said.
"Why do you seem so dreary then?" Adria asked, and immediately answered her own question with a frown. "This is you worrying about my parents again, isn’t it?" She reached out, touched his hand. "Really, you don’t have to; it’s going to work out."
"They think they’re attending a wedding in a couple weeks," he reminded her. "That was almost the entire focus at Christmas dinner." Partly because there was clearly tension between Katherine and Phillip Marques that had them rarely speaking directly to one another, and partly because Sebastian had made other Christmas plans, and Justine was banished, leaving Adria their only child in attendance. But mostly, the wedding had been the focus, because a marriage to a man in finance was so much more respectable in the Marques’ eyes than any of their children’s other choices.
"We are getting married this year. And besides, the shock will wear off the moment the play starts," she insisted, and reached for his hand. "It’s really good, and I’m really good in it, you said so yourself at rehearsals." She beamed at him. He liked knowing he’d been responsible for her beaming. And she truly had been great. He just seriously doubted her parents would see it that way. "So can you please stop dwelling on the negative and just enjoy our anniversary?"
Ryley nodded, squeezed her hand back, and absorbed those beams of light coming off her. Happy to stop thinking doom and gloom, to focus on her smile, memorize the exact curl of her lips, the sparkle in her eyes. Once her parents found out she was going against their wishes, was still acting, had used their money to bankroll her passion project, once they banished her as harshly as they had her sister, he didn’t know how long he might have to live without seeing her smile again.