Arianna watched the sunset, indulging in the moment. She realized that she and Shane shared more than just lunch. They shared an interest in people, politics, and much of the World. Sure he was fine but he was so much more than just his looks. They shared common goals and pasts. He was a companion intellectually. He was really something special.
“So I’ve been thinking. The conference is coming up and I wanted to know if you would go with me?” Shane blurted out uncomfortably.
“What? A conference?” Arianna panicked. She had known the attraction was mutual but they had never crossed the line. This would definitely change things between them. Was she ready for that next step? Was she really ready to get rid of Malachi and try to be happy with someone else?
“Yeah, with some partners. It’s a couple hundred miles away. I really mean no disrespect by it. I just want to get to know you better.”
“You’re serious?” Arianna looked alarmed, “You know I can’t just spend a week with you, I have a kid, and a boyfriend, whom I live with!”
“Why are you angry with me? I’m just trying to give us some time to see if we should pursue what’s between us.”
“Us? That’s ridiculous.” Arianna lied.
“You can’t deny that you feel it too.”
“You don’t know what I’m capable of feeling.” She was stubborn.
He really wanted her to reconsider. “Just take a couple days to think about it.”
“No. I’m not easy. You can’t just tell me you’re interested then ask me to sleep with you in the next sentence.”
“I never said we would sleep together. It’s a two bedroom suite. I just want to get to know you. I swear.”
“Swearing? Quite the gentleman’s promise.” She couldn’t help but to laugh, lightening the mood between them.
He laughed too, then grabbed her hands and stared into her eyes. Arianna’s body was convincing her that she was close to fulfilling her desires of Shane and everything that would come along with that.
“Give me a couple days to think about it.”
“Ok,” he answered sincerely.
Arianna considered going to the conference with him. He was right. There are many things they can’t do because she has to come home every night. The conference is for four days and will be out of town. It’s perfect.
On the way home from work she stopped to see her parents.
“So what is this conference for?” Her mother asked suspiciously.
“It’s for the partners. My boss invited me last minute. Someone else was supposed to go but they were fired. I can’t say I feel bad for them.”
“And why isn’t Malachi coming with you?”
“He has to work.”
“What are you going to tell him when he asks you?”
“Spouses aren’t invited and he does have to work.”
“Girl who do you think you’re fooling? You’re lying through your teeth and to your mom? Shame on you.”
“Mom, I’m not lying.”
“Mm hm,” Her mom appeared doubtful.
“Can you watch Carter?”
“So you can cheat on your little boyfriend?”
“Mom, it’s not cheating. It’s work.”
“You’re really sticking to that story? Sure, I’ll watch my grandbaby. You need to remember that whatever’s done in the dark will come to light.”
“Thank you mama and I know.”
“If you knew, you wouldn’t be doing this. You better hope Malachi believe it more than me.”
“Thanks mama. I’ll call you with the details.”
Her mom’s warning bothered her deep down. I mean she could always stick with the lie no matter what but she wasn’t good at lying and she really didn’t know where she stood with Malachi. Their relationship was rocky. The jealousy was becoming too much for Arianna. It’s crazy.
She wanted out. She wanted Malachi to care about her happiness instead of only his. He had some great qualities but all in all, she didn’t like the way he treated her.
She grabbed Carter from daycare and the weight of it felt confining. She and Malachi have been together for a little over three years. Carter’s only five and the weight of leaving the only father he’s ever really had, made her feel she was two tons.
It was definitely something to think about. It isn’t like she’s never cheated before. She just hadn’t considered leaving before.
The thought of being able to date who she wanted and have weekends of peace where she doesn’t have to fight with Malachi.
The last thing Arianna had to do was tell Malachi about the last minute trip and that Carter would not be staying with him but she really wanted to go.
She was excited by everything. She felt bad for spending a week with another man. Especially since she definitely wanted to do some very physical things to him.
He made her feel things that Malachi had been lacking for some time now.
She pulled into the driveway hesitantly. She was trying to prepare herself to lie better than she did to her mom.