It’s a week before the conference and Arianna still failed to tell Malachi about it. She had second, third, and fourth thoughts about going. It all came back to the fact that she really has feelings for Shane. It was something about him. It was everything about him that made Arianna’s whole mood change. He softened her. He made her feel that there could actually be someone out there that could make her happy instead of being with someone
that should make her happy but is failing. She hadn’t noticed the difference until she’d met Shane.
They went to Pierre’s Chateau, a French restaurant in town and she loved it.
“I really enjoy the time we spend together Ari.”
“Me too,” Arianna whispered fighting the quiver he sent down her spine. She loved how he called her Ari. It was beautiful. It made her feel so special like she meant something to him. It was just a nickname but to her it meant so much more than that.
“So, I know I’m bringing this up pretty much every day but you have to tell him.”
“I know. I will.”
“Tonight. Please.” Shane begged. Who was he kidding? What was he thinking with her? Why did he want her so bad knowing that she had a man? A father for her son? This was bad. He couldn’t fight it though. She was the perfect amount of everything. Her Confidence, intelligence, style, and sexiness all made him feel as if she was too good to pass on. Sure she was taken but if her man was treating her right at home would she be out with another man almost every day?
At this point Shane knew he was justifying something inherently wrong. She was taken and he was actively volunteering to be her side piece. But he wanted her. Even though he shouldn’t.
“Ok Shane. I get your point.” Arianna looked at him, admiringly.
“You’re beautiful,” he said capturing her eyes with his.
“You’re not so bad to look at yourself.” She smiled and sipped her water. “I love this.”
“This place is beautiful. Only the best for a queen such as yourself.”
Arianna blushed, “Thank you, but I was referring to being with you.”
He licked his lips. “The first time I saw you, I knew you were special.”
“Oh yeah? How did you know that?” She asked with her eyes glued to his.
“Because, the first time I laid my eyes on you, everyone else in the room disappeared.” He grabbed her hand and kissed it.
“Seriously? You expect me to believe that? It sounds like a line.” She laughed.
“I’m a grown man. I don’t need lines. I want something special with you. I know I’m a little older but I’m really hoping you decide to give me a chance.
“That’s why I’m being so honest with you.”
“I don’t know.”
He kissed her hand again sending a chill down her spine. “You’re in control.”
Arianna left that date feeling like she was dreaming. She drove back to work in silence. Shane and her always left separately and came back separately. They didn’t want to be part of the gossip.
She had never felt this way about anyone as far back as she could remember. It was strong and it was getting stronger by the day.
He was on her mind and she felt little guilt for the Shane fantasies that invaded her mind and left her body on the edge of an explosion. In one they were in a hotel and she had him handcuffed to the bed while she did very inappropriate things to him. In another she got married and lived in a mansion with him.
She stepped back into the office and Cayla greeted her at the door.
“Hey Cayla, what’s up?” Arianna asked
Cayla’s eyes bulged.
“What’s wrong with you girl?” Arianna asked.
“Um… Malachi came here looking for you.”
“Ok…? Why do you look like you’re about to have a heart attack?”
“I told him I thought the two of you were together.”
“What? Why would you think that?”
“The way you come back from those lunches I thought — but I understand now,” she said nonchalantly.
“Understand what?” Arianna asked puzzled.
“You’re having an affair.” She shrieked with laughter. “Ooh girl, with who?”
“Shh! Why would say that so loud? And it’s not true.”
“Well you should’ve told me, I would’ve covered for you but I didn’t know.”
Arianna shook it off. Damn she promised Shane she would tell Malachi about this conference. If he was already suspicious because she was missing for her lunch break, surely he wouldn’t believe the lies about the conference.
Arianna pulled into her driveway and sighed. She walked in the house cheerfully, smiling, hoping it hid her nervousness. She figured a little energy may help with the lie. “Malachi! Where are you? I have great news!” She closed the door behind her saying a quick prayer that this would work.
Malachi walked into the living room, “What news?” He asked curiously.
“I’m going to the Spring Conference. Somebody was fired and I’m the replacement. That’s nice right?”
Arianna asked trying hard not to break eye contact but remain sincere.
“When did you find this out?”
“Today. My boss called me into an emergency meeting today around 12 and asked if I would come with her.”
“Oh that’s nice babe. Congratulations.” He hugged her.
“Well that’s good news. I actually came by your job today to surprise you with lunch and Cayla, I think her name was, told me that you were out with me. I thought that seemed weird.”
“Yes, Cayla is not the smartest cookie. But we do normally have lunch together and I had to push my lunch back. I wish you would’ve waited I would’ve had a late lunch with you,” she lied.
“Maybe next time,” Malachi offered. “How long will you be gone?”
“Four days and I’ll be back. It’s next Thursday. I’m excited. This could be my chance to network with other lawyers and maybe even get a raise.”
“Ok.” He sounded suspicious to Arianna but he didn’t say anything so she let it go. Lying was hard. It took a lot out of her.