Episode 601: Gray MatterRyley flew out of his chair. He raced around the corner of the desk, grabbing Adria’s elbow, steadying her. All she’d done was rise from the seat where she’d just finished a last minute cram session with him. It wasn’t as if she’d undergone any major physical exertion. Yet she wobbled up on her two feet as if she’d just barely completed a marathon.
"Are you okay?" He held on to her slender arm. "You’re trembling."
"You have that affect on me." She tried to smile. It was far more feeble than flirty.
He frowned at her.
"I’m fine," she insisted.
Ryley smoothed a hand over her hair. Normally it was smooth all over but tonight it was a mess, as if she’d spent the previous twenty-four hours tossing and turning. Her tired eyes confirmed it. "You look like you’re going to faint."
"Don’t worry." Addie touched his chest. It almost distracted him. Almost.
"It wouldn’t be the first time you’ve gotten yourself so worked up in this classroom that-"
"It’s normal to be nervous. Everyone who walks in here tonight will be nervous."
"The difference being they can walk."
"I can walk." To prove it, she just barely made it to her desk three rows deep into the classroom. "See."
Ryley slammed a hand through his hair. He unleashed a sigh so freaked and frustrated that it sounded like a groan. "No test should mean so much to anyone that it makes them sick."
"We’ve talked about this," she said.
"You haven’t listened."
"Neither have you." Adria wagged her head at him. "You don’t get it, Ryley. One day you’ll wake up and I won’t be as pretty as you think I am right now. Then what will you have?"
"I’ll still have the most beautiful wife in the world. A woman who’s smart, with a heart even more beautiful than the rest of her, and the finest acting talent I’ve ever-"
"You’ll have an idiot you can’t even talk to!" It seemed like she wanted to rise out of her chair to emphasize her words. However, in Adria’s frail state she couldn’t summon the stamina to do so.
His wife couldn’t stand up, she was that stressed, and for no good reason! "I already have an idiot I can’t talk to!"
Adria nodded. "I’m trying to fix that."
Ryley threw up his hands.