The week that followed went by quietly: like peace after a storm. Things went back to normal-Fitz burying himself in his work again and feverishly working with his attorney to prepare the contract for his partnership with Adam. Although things were quiet on the Adam side, I was okay. I deserved a break from all the drama. It was obvious he valued his golden opportunity with Fitz more than what we had and I was okay with that.
But if life has taught me anything, it was not to get comfortable when the peace winds blow because a heavier storm may be lurking around the corner.
I joined Karen and James in their ride to the venue where a small party organized for Adam by Fitz was being held. Fitz went there early to ensure everything was in order before it started. That showed how important the partnership was to him.
We arrived to find the place swarmed with media persons, key industry people and of course, the ‘wannabe’ people who want to appear on TV to show the world that they were at such an event. Fitz was giving a statement with a cool-looking Adam by his side. Both gentlemen were looking classy and I felt proud of knowing both of them. Fitz’s speech was met with applause and Adam made his acceptance speech simple and short.
“You must be growing an extra pair of ears. I can see you grinning with pride.”
“Because I have every right to. My husband is looking so refined and my…Adam is looking so chic. Who wouldn’t be proud?”
“I do believe this partnership would be mutually beneficial to both parties and I’m very confident that this is just the beginning for Adam. Today will marked in history as the day Adam started soaring high. Interact with him, take pictures and have fun.”
I walked up to my husband and his face broke into a smile when he saw me approaching. I smiled back and went into his arms. I took in his fragrance. He smelled amazing!
“How did you come?” He asked.
“I joined Karen and James. You gave a fine speech and you’re looking so fine as well. I’m sure the ladies here were ogling you.” He laughed.
“Would you happen to be one of them?”
“I was…but I have the right to.”
“Of course you do.” He kissed my cheek and turned.
“Hey Adam, my wife is here to congratulate you.” I saw him tense up a little as he watched Fitz wound his arm around my waist. I wore my smile like a mask. He exhaled deeply and extended his hand and I took it.
“Congratulations, Adam. I’m glad you took my husband’s offer.”
“Yeah; only a fool would let such a golden opportunity go.”
“Which you almost did,” Fitz reminded him with a smile.
“I had my reasons,” he replied, looking squarely at me. They began playing Adam’s song.
“You know why I love this song so much? Because it reminds me of how I feel when I think of you, Em,” Fitz said affectionately. He turned to look at Adam, beaming.
“It seems you wrote the song for me, Adam. You wrote out every wordless expression of my feelings for Emily. It is a lovely song.” I swallowed.
“I understand how you feel. I wrote the song with someone special in mind…as special as your wife is to you,” Adam said. I could feel the air heating up like an oven. I had to stop this before the time bomb which was Adam pretending to act cool exploded. People with cameras were around not to mention with the others who owned Smartphones. It would be scandalous.
“Excuse me, Mr. Daniels. One minute please.”
“Sure. Keep each other company, will you?” He said and he was whisked away.
“So, big night, huh? How do you feel?” I asked, hoping that would calm his rapid-beating heart. How did I know, well, mine was beating that much too.
“Yeah, but it would have meant a lot to me if I had the inspiration for my song beside me on a night like this. It would have made the memory perfect.”
“I know this isn’t the ideal situation but I’m still here…beside you.”
“Uh huh, as my sponsor’s beloved wife. Do you realize how wrong it all feels?”
“I’m sorry if my presence is making you uncomfortable. I’ll leave you so others would have the chance to interact with you,” I said, making a turn. He held my arm and I froze. I quickly turned to see if Fitz had seen us. Adam took his hand away.
“I’m sorry; don’t go. Although it hurts that you’re not with me, it feels good to have you here beside me all the same.” I nodded.
“I’ve been thinking…about this whole arrangement. I know I have to stay away from you if this partnership is going to last but I don’t know if that’s going to work.”
“I’ll do my best to avoid such awkward lone times. You don’t have to worry.”
“Ever since we…got intimate, I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind. You are not my first but it kind of feels like you are. You overwhelm me, Emily and I’m scared that there would come a day I wouldn’t be able to control myself.”
“I know keeping away from each other would be difficult so I suggest we take it slow. Let’s be just friends. We won’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms and we won’t be tempted to cross the line again,” I said.
“But I want more than that.”
“And what would that be?” Fitz asked from behind me and my heart jumped. Adam swallowed. Fitz’s hand found its way around my waist again.
“Just talking of my aspirations, sir. I know together we will get there.”
“That’s the spirit. Emily dear, Karen was looking for you. I think she wants to leave.”
“Oh okay; excuse me then.” I gave Adam a ‘we-will-continue-this-talk’ glance and walked away. My steps became heavy with the feeling that two pairs of eyes were watching me walk away. This wasn’t going to be easy but I wasn’t going to cross the line again. But as they say, talk is cheap.
A week later, as I was trying to finish a reading assignment at home, my phone beeped.
I’m stuck. Need help, the message read. Grateful for the interruption, I put the handout down and started typing.
How may I help?
Need some inspiration for my next song. In a studio but I’m blank. Could we meet?
I chewed on my lower lip. Fitz was out of town so I didn’t have to worry about any awkward run-ins. But should I? If last time was anything to go by, things would go way out of line. Was it wise to risk it? Of course not but his next text please with a sad smiley made reason fly out the window. As if my fingers had developed a mind of its own, it quickly typed ok. Where?
“You do know that it is rude to stare, right?” I asked.
“I’m glad you didn’t refer to yourself as a married woman because that would break my heart.” I chuckled.
“But I am. But it wouldn’t be nice to rub it in. So, what’s your next song about?”
“About forbidden love.”
“Adam…” He picked up his notepad and started writing.
“Adam…don’t…” He shushed me up. I leaned back on the chair and sighed.
“I am sure you’ll find your Miss Right soon. She’s out there,” I said.
“Good; I’m adding that line. Go on,” he said. He gaped at him. He looked up at me when I wouldn’t say anything else. I gestured zipping my mouth and he shook his head. He kept on writing.
After some quiet minutes had passed by, he put the notepad down.
“Not really; I need to polish it up.”
“Can I hear it?” I asked a bit too eagerly.
“Because I’m not done.”
“Come on, just a line or two. You called me here so you can’t leave me hanging.”
“Well, you left me hanging when I found out you were married,” Adam shot back. I bit the inside of my cheek. I picked up my bag and got up.
“It seems my work here is done.”
“Come on, don’t get like that. Please sit down.”
“What do you want from me, Adam? I’m sorry that I’m taken but there’s nothing I can do about it. So it’s either we make do with the present circumstances or we just stay out of each other’s way. And judging from your new attitude, I lean toward the latter.”
“I’m sorry, Em. Please don’t leave.” My phone rang.
“It’s Fitz. Wonder why he’s calling,” I said. “Hi darling, missing me?”
Adam couldn’t help but roll his eyes. I ignored him.
“Yeah, you just came to mind and wanted to hear your voice. Where are you right now?”
“I’m out. Is there something you want me to do for you?”
“No. Are you with Karen?” I hesitated. Why did he want to know? Was he watching me? I glanced at Adam who was reading through the lyrics he had put down.
“No, I’m not. Is there a problem?”
“No; just wanted to know.” This didn’t sound good.
“Actually, I’m with Adam,” I blurted out. Adam looked up at me.
“He had a studio session today and wanted to hang out afterward. I decided to accept his invitation because I knew you’d want us to become acquainted,” I explained.
“Ah okay; that’s nice. I’m pleased to hear that. Send him my regards, all right? And tell him, we’re waiting for his next hit song.”
“I will. Take care, honey. Bye.” I ended the call and sat down.
“What is it? You look worried,” Adam asked, watching me closely.
“The call felt strange, you know. He wanted to know who I was with. It was like he was watching me from afar or someone had just informed him that I am here with you.”
“And how did he take it when you said you were with me?”
“He sounded satisfied…as if he was counting on me to tell him the truth. People are watching us, Adam. This isn’t good,” I said anxiously, looking around.
“Chill, Em. Now that you’ve told him the truth, he’ll erase all suspicions from his mind. You have his trust.”
“But how long will I risk losing it? Every minute I spend with you is like a ticking bomb. I do like you, Adam but Fitz is my husband and he is a great man. I don’t want to cause him any harm. I think I should go.” I got up again.
“No, please don’t go. Just an hour more.”
“No. You’ve your song now. Go home and polish it up. We’ll talk later,” I said and walked off.
“I love you.” I froze in my tracks for a moment. I continued walking away after I had regained my composure.
Fitz ended the call with a satisfied grin on his face.
“She told me the truth. She’s not doing anything fishy.”
“Hmm…time will tell,” the man seated next to him said.