Episode 650: Candy"I am so proud of you," Ryley’s wife told him for what seemed like the millionth time that night as she slipped her arms around his waist and slid her hands up inside his suit jacket. Her hands, and her pride in him, felt nice, particularly as they stood in the middle of a cocktail party, which wasn’t the kind of thing Ryley really enjoyed. He’d rather be alone with his wife.
"It’s not a big deal," he said.
"You’ve been promoted and they’re throwing a party for you, that’s a huge deal," Adria grinned at him, "don’t downplay it."
"It’s always best to listen to your wife." Winchester, one of Ryley’s colleagues, clapped him on the shoulder and chuckled. "That’s especially true if you’re married to a scientist like I am." He turned to Adria. "What is it you do, I mean, aside from looking so beautiful?"
It had been the question of the night. And it irritated the hell out of Ryley. Why did everyone insist on defining themselves by what they did, instead of by who they were? It seemed like everyone he and Adria talked to insisted on reeling off they and their spouse’s accomplishments, then they complimented Adria on her looks, apparently thinking that was all there was to her.
Adria had yet to do anything to dissuade them of that notion. "Being professional arm candy for my husband takes up a lot of my time," Adria joked, and each time she did everyone laughed, except Ryley.
Finally reaching the point where he couldn’t take it anymore, Ryley excused them and pulled Adria outside. "We are not doing this again," he told her. "You are not going to cut yourself down and feel bad about yourself because you don’t work in an office. You are an awesome actress. Just because the auditions haven’t worked out lately, it doesn’t mean they never will. It doesn’t mean all you are is arm candy. I’ve never seen you that way, and I never will."
"I know. I was just playing to my audience. These people are like my parents, they wouldn’t get it, they’d make a face and it would be a drag for both of us when this should be a good night for you." Adria kissed him. "I wanted you to have a good night because I am so proud of you for doing so well in this world yet being nothing like them, just loving me no matter what."