13 - Alex/ Avery

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The last person he expected to see at poker night was there. She seemed relaxed, but he could tell the antic of the crowd was a bit much. Megan was in a good mood and he imagined the wine helped. Everyone in the room knew that Peter was a very lucky man. He hadn't been for a long time but he was now.

He held back mentioning that he'd seen her over at Higgins. He was surprised that she was there, but the car confirmed it. He was intrigued that her husband would come to Maine and she'd take him to a different beach. He typically never went home during the day, but he needed some invoices.

Akex was not proud of what he did, but he spied on them. He had binoculars to see the view from the widow's walk and he used them to see what they were doing. To him, they looked deep in conversation and for a couple that had been apart almost two weeks, they weren't touching. If he had a woman who looked like her, he would touch her constantly, just like Megan and Peter. Still, he wasn't one to speculate, but as far as he knew Rick still hadn't met his son-in-law.

Saturday night was date night. Julia looked very pretty and suggested a restaurant on the waterfront. They could walk from her apartment. When she ordered her second glass of wine, he thought of Megan the night before and smiled.

"What are you smiling about?" she asked.

"Oh, the wife at my poker game had a bit too much wine last night. Let's just say, she was in a good mood," he explained.

"I like when you laugh. You can be really serious," she said teasingly.

"I like it when you tease," he laughed.

They had a good time together. The evening had a different feel to it and he wasn't sure why. He really enjoyed himself and as they walked out of the restaurant, he had his arm around her. They felt like a real couple and he wondered if they were turning heads.

Julia waved to two couples at another table and walked over to them. She quickly introduced him to two of the partners at her firm. She referred to him as Alex, not as her boyfriend which was fine with him.

Once on the street, he pulled her close and whispered, "I really want you." Then he kissed her to show her just how much he meant. As he drifted to sleep with Julia in his arms, he thought, maybe things were evolving into something more between them.

In the morning, he woke early as always. He didn't know how to sleep in. Eventually, she would wake and when she did she jumped right out of bed and checked her phone. She told him, that she was meeting a friend and before he could satisfy his building need she sent him packing.

He left frustrated because the night before had been so much fun. He decided to spend the afternoon working on his flip. Physical labor was what he needed and there was a lot of drywall that needed sanding. As the afternoon wore on, he had to ask himself, if he was frustrated with Julia, why did Jen keep popping into his head? He suspected when he stopped for coffee on Monday morning, he'd learn that she was gone. The problem was he shouldn't care, but a small part of him did.

 The problem was he shouldn't care, but a small part of him did

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When Sterling asked to see her again, she wanted to refuse. He was insistent and she had no idea why seeing him would get Jen to come back. Still, she agreed.

He looked much better than he did last time. She went to their apartment and it looked pristine as always. Sterling was pacing. She had only seen him do that once or twice before.

"Sterling, sit down! You're driving me crazy," she nagged. "Just come out with it will you because now I'm nervous." Suddenly an idea came shooting into her head. "She's not sick, is she?"

"What? No! She left me," he said defeated.

"Left you! What happened?"

"I went to see her and she told me she'd come back, but I had to tell you because she wants to stay with you."

"Okay, but why is she leaving you."

"Because you didn't go out that night," he said accusing.

"What does that have to do with anything?" Avery was beyond frustrated with him.

"She came home instead!"

Avery suddenly was seeing things clearer, "And what were you doing?"

"I wasn't alone," he said looking down.

"You're cheating on your wife and then you blame me because she found out. Was it a one-time thing or has it been going on a long time?"

"Since summer."

"Summer! Sterling, you are a no good... "

"Jennifer's to blame. I didn't want her to, but she insisted," he implored.

"Insisted what?"

"Insisted on hiring him," he whispered.

Avery heard his words and could almost see the synapses in her brain firing as she suddenly comprehended the meaning of his words. "Sterling are you telling me that Jen, your wife, walked in on you while you were with another man!"

"When you put it like that it sounds bad," he said defiantly.

"It is bad!" she yelled and realize, "You're talking about Trevor, aren't you? Jen loves him. She kept telling me how well they worked together and meanwhile he was going behind her back. That's despicable... the two of you!"

"I couldn't help it."

"Well if that's the case you never should have married a woman. I have to go. I'm sorry!"

She felt like she had run out the door. She hardly remembered walking home. Poor Jen, poor Jen, she thought over and over. When they first met, she had wondered about Sterling a time or two, but he'd always do or say something to make her think, nah I was wrong. He clearly worked hard at hiding who we was. She had to believe his southern, Christian family contributed to his deception. Regardless, poor Jen was certainly the collateral. Jen! She had to call Jen!

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