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Alone in the restroom Gabrielle wondered how she had managed to put herself in the predicament she had. She’d never intended to be Bill’s lover and the toll it placed on her marriage and her husband was exactly what she’d feared. Even though Adriel had ‘nobly’ granted her permission to enjoy her youth and great health she’d had no intention of betraying her marriage vows. She’d told him it was a bad idea when he’d suggested it and figured the matter was settled.

She’d planned to remain monogamous but had thought some harmless flirtation with a charming old gentleman would be just that, harmless and merely flirtatious. Bill’s son Sean’s disappearance, capture, mysterious release by Jund al-Aqsa, arrest by Turkish military police, release to the US DOJ and pending trial had changed everything and she wanted things back the way they were before.

She had yet to find a way to completely cut Bill off without damaging him and even though the morphing of their friendship into a quasi-love affair was neither healthy nor particularly satisfying it was a box she had put herself into. She giggled as she contrasted the prowess of Bill as compared to her husband before he’d succumbed to the ravages of ALS. Adriel’s enthusiasm was only eclipsed by his expertise and Bill was always so predictable!

“Never mind, lame-brain,” she admonished herself. “He’s a very sweet and well intentioned man and you’ve just got to find a way to make him move on to another woman.”

Navigating unknown bathrooms was always a vexation and this one proved no different. “At least it isn’t crowded,” she said, finishing in the stall and finding her way to the sink. She was a little concerned that Bill might be waiting for her outside the bathroom but mercifully he was not. “Oh, Billy. You have had more than your share of hard-knocks lately, haven’t you?” she whispered to herself.

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