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Rekindling the Fire

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So. Erin had stopped drinking.

Before, when she and Alex were involved, the brunette had known that the other woman had had a fondness for gimlets, and that every now and then she got a little tipsy and silly, but she hadn't known the extent of the problem. Maybe she'd been blind to that too, right along with the potential for betrayal.

t had taken her a long time to get over the hurt she'd felt, and she'd thrown herself into working on her marriage as a way to compensate. She never had another affair, and now that James was in Australia on a long-term assignment they Skyped almost every night. Every time Alex even thought about how empty the house felt at night. she reminded herself of how well it had turned out the last time she'd been lonely. And she'd walked a wide circle around Erin since she'd been back, at least as much as she was able.

"Alex? Alex."

"Hmm? Oh.":

Spencer looked puzzled, and he adjusted his satchel where the strap rested on his shoulder as he said, "That's the fourth time I've called your name while standing two feet away from you. You look like you're going to need that lunch, because you seem a little spacy."

"I'm fine," she answered, shaking off her reverie. "I was just...wool-gathering, I guess."

You were sorting through old news, is what you were doing.

"Can we take your car?" she asked as they left the building. "I need to get mine inspected before I get pulled over, but I haven't gotten around to it."

"Statistics show that most automobile fatalities occur because of some simple problem that could have been discovered during inspection," Spencer said, falling into step beside Alex as they stepped into the sunshine. She gave him a fond smile, swatted his arm. He'd been a guest lecturer in her classes in the past, and she respected his mind, but she didn't know how he had the capacity to store all of those random facts.

All in all, it wasn't terrible to be back at her old job. Having been burned once - scalded, really - she knew not to make the mistake of fooling around with someone at work again. It just led to heartache, and sometimes the loss of your professional reputation. Alex was older and wiser now, and she was never going to risk her feelings or her career again.

Even if she had to avoid Erin forever.