21 - Alex

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So now she wasn't coming which may be a good thing because he suspected he was in great danger of break both rule number one and two. He thought about ending it with Julia but hoped that his involvement with her would keep him from crossing the line with Jen. Still when they spoke every fiber of his body wanted her. He had never felt this way ─ ever.

He sent her photos of the progress. He loved when his projects were this near completion. He could see just how beautiful it was going to be.

The weekend that she had hoped to come, he kept busy working and then he and Julia spent Saturday night together at her apartment. She sent him home on Sunday morning explaining that she had plans to shop with a friend. He was just getting into his truck when his brother called. He sat and talked to Tom and watched as a car pulled up and a man knocked on Julia's door. She let him in as if he was expected and Alex knew that he'd seen him before. He realized that it was one of the partners from her law firm that they had seen at a restaurant a while ago. Something was not right with what he just witnessed. He was pretty sure that she wasn't going shopping with him.

Tom said, "Hey Alex! Are you there? Did you hear what I said?"

"What? No, sorry I was distracted."

"I said your designer's in the newspaper today. She and her husband went to some fancy party. She is totally hot," Tom said.

"Listen, I've got to go," he said distractedly.

He drove home not sure what was freaking him out more Jen and her husband or Julia and her boss. The more he thought about Julia, the clearer the picture was. She never wanted to be serious, because she was probably in love with her married boss. He was certain she had been using him to eliminate suspicion and he thought to make the other guy jealous. Truthfully he had been using her too by hoping that seeing her would keep him away from Jen.

It was what Tom told him about Jen that upset him most. He looked online and sure enough there they were together at a formal event. She looked stunningly beautiful. He was so attracted to her, but at the same time, he was hurt and angry because she kept telling him that her marriage was over. The two of them smiling back at him didn't look over each other.

He felt like he got sucker punched twice. He and Julia were never exclusive, but he felt like a fool. She would jump from him to another man. He had his own sins of the past, but suddenly he didn't like sharing. Still, he couldn't help feeling that he had broken rule number one already, they may never have been physical, but he and Jen had certainly crossed a line. He knew for example that she hid the length and intimacies of their conversations from her friend, Avery. Were their calls intimate? He had dated and slept with women who he didn't know nearly as well.

He knew it was irrational, but he felt like she had stood him up. He was looking forward to her coming for another visit. Now he knew she had plans to go dancing with her husband. Alex thought he knew her, but perhaps he didn't at all.

His initial response was to ignore her, but that was going to be hard. She would expect to talk to him regularly and she would be coming in a few weeks to finish the house. There was no way he could avoid her then.

The problem was that he could pretend, but the truth was that he was falling in love with her. Logically he knew they had no real future, but he couldn't control what he felt. He remembered explaining this exact scenario to Kate. He tortured himself by looking at the pictures. Even though she was sexy as hell with her plunging neckline, he couldn't forget that she hadn't dressed that way for him.

Alex had no right to be upset that she was with her husband. After all, he had spent last night with Julia. He knew that his time with Julia was over he couldn't continue the farce that they had created. He would be sorry when he was home alone on Saturday night. Luckily next Friday was poker night, so his entire weekend wouldn't be pathetic.

Jen texted him on Sunday evening, You home?

He lied and said, no. He didn't want to talk to her. Suddenly he was playing games with a woman that was never his.

Monday he was too busy to think about her, but still, he managed to. That night she called him, but he let it go to voicemail. He listened to her over and over, she said that she was calling for a progress update, but that had just been an excuse. It took all he had not to call her back.

Tuesday was no better than Monday and her voicemail asked if he was alright. By Thursday morning, he was miserable. When he walked into The Landing, he realized that he was more miserable than the day he walked in and he saw her for the first time behind the counter.

Rick said, "Jenny called. She said she'd been trying to reach you. She had some question."

"Thanks," he said.

"Are you alright? You're not sick are you?" Rick asked concerned.

"No, I'm just really busy."

Truthfully he was busy as all three projects were close to finishing and he needed one more to add to the two projects that he had lined up. He was working with Marcy to find a house to flip but hadn't found the right one yet.

He texted her, crazy week. I'll call tonight.

Poor Alex!  Will he ever believe her?

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