Episode 533: A MistakeRyley’s hopeful eyes zeroed in on Adria as she’d feared.
"No," she blurted before he’d even had the chance to ask her to lunch. If she didn’t say it fast, she might not say it at all, and that wouldn’t be fair to him. She shouldn’t keep stringing him along, holding him back from something better.
"You’re not hungry?" He asked, worriedly eyeing her as if she was wasting away before his eyes.
She was famished. For the comfort of holding his hand across a table, for talking with him. But she couldn’t. Shouldn’t. "No."
He frowned at her, but didn’t make an about-face for the door. He simply stood there. Subjected her to his powerful eyes.
"You can’t just hover around me all afternoon," Adria said, though a big part of her would have liked that more than anything. "My boss will get mad."
"So I’ll buy something."
"That won’t make it any more professional of me to have my-" She was going to say my husband, but as much as she would always consider Ryley that, he shouldn’t go on thinking so. "If I have you hanging around, she’ll probably fire me."
"Good, you don’t belong here, Ad." He took her hand. She pulled it away.
"You’re the one who doesn’t belong here," she barely raised her voice to a whisper. "Or in my room."
Ryley sighed, but again reached for her hand. Again, with much difficulty, much twisting in her chest, she ripped her hand from his.
"If Adria doesn’t want to go to lunch with you, I’d be more than happy," Brooke, one of Adria’s co-workers volunteered. Brooke had glossy amber waves, a body built to make men go ga-ga, and major flirty, appreciative eyes for Ryley every time he walked into the store.
Adria couldn’t stand the woman, but encouraged Ryley to feel free to dine with her. She wanted him to know she was serious about his moving on without her, looking for someone else to share his life. She just hadn’t been prepared to watch it happen.