There was a bit of celebrity that Eliza dealt with being involved with Rafe. He was a high roller, and very well off otherwise so being in a relationship with him meant that people noticed her. Sometimes alone, but this time she was with Terrence and the gossip columnist who depicted her inquired as to who she was with that was not Rafe in the newspaper.
Rafe sat at the table, tight-jawed and sipping his coffee like he had an issue with it. But he did not say a word to her. He barely even looked at her at all. Eliza attended to her scrambled eggs like an eager lady in waiting.
When she pressed her fork on the last bit of egg, Rafe spoke:
“You know, I never was ever pictured with another woman and I know that that is not exactly a claim to fame since I was seeing Sev behind your back, but you were even seeing Oscar and you were never as reckless as you are with this Terrence.”
“Reckless? I’m reckless?”
“I opened up our relationship so we could explore other options, and you are the one who is always jealous when you are the genesis to why it is like that in the first place, the why we are open. You made a big fuss about Terrence, and the thing is…”
“I’m in love with him, and I am trying to figure this all out. I am trying to figure this all out and be with you and be with him. I am trying to make my love work.”
“I know what we have,” he said, taking her hand and squeezing it. “But everyone out there does not understand and I do not want anyone to confuse what is going on with us.”
“I know, I am sorry, but I am in love with him and I was not expecting that at all.”
They looked at each other for a long while, focusing on their clasped hands. No one would see this, them together and understanding that being open has its risks.
Their tiny bit of local celebrity exposed them.
Eliza closed her eyes, as she remembered how happy she had been at that moment with Terrence frozen in the newspaper black and white grid. Moments before he held her so close, she thought she would burst from love.
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