Episode 670: The A TeamAdria had managed one fortifying glass of wine, and had successfully avoided her parents for a full half hour since her arrival at the garden party, but eventually they found her and Ryley. Her moment of truth had arrived.
First, her mom, then her dad hugged her. "How are things?" Her mom asked.
Adria swallowed hard and her husband, standing behind her, squeezed her arm in support. "Um, so that part I told you Iíd won, it fell through."
"Youíll get the next one," her mom said, strangely okay with her daughterís failure, not even suggesting Adria pursue a steadier line of work.
Her dad was even more of a surprise with his encouraging words. "That production wonít stand a chance without you," he said.
"They wonít stand a chance without me, either," a voice snarled behind Adriaís back.
She turned and found herself face to face with her former director. He didnít appear any happier to see her than she was to see him, which begged the question, "What are you doing here?"
Her elation from her parentsí unexpected support slipped away. She didnít want them to know how the part had fallen through; she didnít want their suspicions confirmed that her choice of career sometimes had a seedy side they should worry about. But her parents looked as angry to see Dustin as her husband did. It appeared that they knew her talent hadnít won her the part, sheíd only landed the role for superficial reasons she had no control over. It was humiliating.
"If you donít leave right now," her dad addressed Dustin in a low voice, "Iíll have you thrown out."
"How did he get in here in the first place?" Her mom demanded of her baffled assistant.
"Iím going," Dustin said. "I just wanted to thank all of you for having me fired after I put in months of prep work on this play."
"Who had you fired?" Adria asked as her husband pulled her in closer to him.
"Itís the least you deserve for what you did to our daughter," her dad insisted.
"I didnít do anything," Dustin insisted right back. "I told you that when you two," he gestured at Ryley and Adriaís dad, "strong-armed me in my office."
"They strong-armed you? They had you fired?" Adria turned in her husbandís arms and frowned at him. "I told you not to do anything, and by anything, I most definitely meant not to team up with my dad."