She knew. That was the part that distressed Lana. Shari knew, and was only biding her time until she could use the information to her advantage. Lana wondered what would have to come up, how it would have to play out for her to lay down that trump card and triumphantly declare. You’ve been cheating on me. She’d say it almost as though she were proud to have found out, and it made Lana feel sick to her stomach, but even so, all she wanted was Henry’s touch. She couldn’t stand Shari’s nearness anymore, couldn’t bring herself to curl close in the bed, couldn’t handle letting Shari see her naked body, kiss her, or even hold her hand. Every time Shari got near, Lana flinched, and it hadn’t taken long before Shari noticed the behavior. She commented on it once, but Lana laughed it away, too uncomfortable to confront the problem. “S’just hormones, babe. Gimme a little time.”
It only got worse.
She called Henry three times a day or more; it hadn’t been about sex, at first. She just needed someone to talk to. It hadn’t been about anything other than connection, but that intimacy she couldn’t have with Shari found an easy mark with Henry, who was kind and warm and giving, and who, when she kissed him the first time, after a lot of wine, a huge fight, and a long walk, had not spurned her, but only pulled away to take a breath before he folded her into his arms and kissed her back. He smiled for her like the sun, and after that long, giddy kiss, he tucked her in and said, “Pancakes in the morning, but only if you sleep.”
She promised, and only broke it a little, so she could stand in his doorway and watch him dream, just long enough that it could feel real, before she went back to the place he’d made her on the couch, in front of the warm fire, to curl up under blankets that smelled like him, and finally rest.
Shari knew, now, maybe because of some stupid mistake, a text message she forgot to delete, or maybe a phone call overheard, and Lana–who did not know how to make any kind of a graceful exit–would do nothing but wait.
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