“He’s still watching me, isn’t he?”
Marie didn’t even bother to look over at the corner table where Byron was enjoying a solitary drink. “Yup.”
Nissa sighed but resisted the urge to drop her head against the top of the bar a few times. This was getting ridiculous.
Since the meeting at the cabin a few days ago, Byron’s determination to be around her had easily doubled. Wherever she was, he somehow managed to be close by.
Being constantly around the sexy artist was not helping her resolve not to have anything to do with him.
“Whhhhyyyy? Why? Why can’t he leave me alone?”
“Thanks for sharing the whining. With this baby due in a couple of weeks I should start getting used to that.”
“You are what we call not being supportive.”
“Fine, you want supportive?” Marie placed her hands flat against the bar and leaned as far forward as her huge belly would allow. “Maybe he just likes you.”
“I know he likes me! He told me so!”
“You give me a headache.” Marie said in a long-suffering voice and slapped her hand on her forehead. “Is this running away because you like Benton and don’t want to give this guy false hope?”
Well, there was that, though when Benton came home she was going to… do something really awful to him for leaving her without any warning and having to deal with this situation herself.
She missed him so much. Missed him. It was an ache in her chest that wouldn’t subside. There was a void where his scent and his voice and his sheer presence should reside. For the last three years his presence was one of the constants of her life. Even when he was gone on one of his trips he made arrangements for her to be safe and looked after while he was gone, and those acts of caring were daily reminders of him. Now she was alone with nothing, and as weirdly flattering as Byron’s pursuit of her was, it couldn’t begin to fill that hole.
Speaking of Byron. “It doesn’t make sense for him to pursue me. It just doesn’t make sense! Can you imagine what we would look like walking together, the disgusted looks we would get, the whispers of everyone asking why someone who looks like him is seen with someone who looks like me?”
“Anyone ever tell you for someone who doesn’t care about looks, you tend to obsess over looks an awful lot?”
“I do not!”
Marie pointed at her eyes. “Do you see these bags? These bags that are big enough to carry my whole wardrobe in and caused by a kicking baby who allows me only twenty minutes of sleep a night, and are why I will never let my husband tie me up in bed again? These bags clearly say I am too tired to care if you like what I say or not, so don’t come to me when you need validation of your self-delusions.”
“What you call self-delusion I call choosing to deal with reality and not bullshiting myself.”
Marie shrugged. “If that’s how you want to put it.”