"Hey, Lia. Wow- it's been awhile."

Delia looked up and arched an eyebrow. Only one man in the world had a voice that suave.

And there he was: Rhett _, in all his grown-up glory. She mentally shook herself out of falling into memories. Keep your head about you, Lia. This one is dangerous.

Delia pressed her lips into a sardonic smile. "And to what planetary alignment do I owe the pleasure of being called upon by you?"

Rhett faltered a bit at seeing her face, at the coolness and flippancy of her tone. Tony was right, this wasn't the buoyant, happy-go-lucky girl he knew. She had mastered the look of stylish maturity, had found an effortless calm that could not be perturbed.

"Well, Lia… I really don't think the Gods had a hand in this one."

"Hmm, and here I was so certain that it was a miracle." Delia, closed the open folder on her desk, and crossed her legs, settling her weight back into the high-backed chair she was sitting on. "Still, I can't think why you'd come looking for me. You made it rather clear that we… now how did you phrase it? Oh, of course. We 'didn't have a future together'. Well, Rhett, that future is now, and yet here you are."

Rhett swallowed, trying not to show his nervousness. When did she get this composure?

"Yeah", he said shakily, "here I am."

Delia only looked at him.

"Wow, Lia, I can't believe you remember -"

"-what you said to me?" Lia gave him another bitter smile. "I was in my formative years. It was my first break up, and a rather brusque one at that. Now, Rhett, it was nice seeing you, but if there's nothing else, I have work, and -"

"Lia. Stop"

Rhett sighed, and then sat down. Lia watched him with a look that clearly said, who told you to take a seat?, but said nothing.

"Lia, I came to visit you because I wanted to start at the beginning."

"The beginning?"

"Of my string of relationships. It started with you, really, Lia. And I just want to talk to you, see how your life ended up being."

She said nothing, only fixed him a gaze that contained equal parts contempt and skepticism. He couldn't blame her—he'd dumped her, and he'd moved on. He wouldn't trust himself either.

But something in him hoped that she would comply. Because somewhere along the way, somewhere in the line-up of women that he had dated, he had lost himself. He felt as though each woman he was with made him act like a different person, each one had warped his true shape, until he had undergone so many transformations that he couldn't recognize himself anymore.

And so he was here. In Cordelia Durnary's office, facing the woman herself. She was the first girl to ever tell him that she loved him, one day, so many, many years in the past.

And he wanted to know why.

Delia cleared her throat, jolting Rhett out of his thoughts.

"Well, Rhett, after high school, I went to State, if you recall. Majored in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. I always had a flair for languages, remember? You told me that yourself when we—" Delia stopped abruptly. "Anyway, I graduated, and moved to Chicago, and worked for a translation service for awhile, before finding a job with James and Kelvin, Co. And here I am."

"Here you are," Rhett echoed softly.

On closer inspection, her appearance hadn't changed all that much in the eleven years since he had last seen her. She was still beautiful, with her brown hair and brown eyes, and clear, smooth skin.

How was it that she had gained so much confidence, as he lost all of his?

Rhett smiled at her. "Found your one true love yet?" he asked in a light tone, but somehow he found himself holding his breath as he waited for her answer. He couldn't see her hands from where he sat.

"I'm not sure how it's any of your business, but no, Rhett, I'm single."

"Oh," he said, surprised. He'd imagined her married, with a couple kids, making the commute from the suburbs. It was a little disconcerting to find out that she was just as alone in a big city as he was.

They'd reached a lull.

Delia opened her mouth, and Rhett was sure he was about to be dismissed.

"And you, Rhett? How badly has life been screwing you?'

Rhett glanced up, and saw her mouth twist into a bit of sneer, although he didn't think it was directed at him. What have these last eleven years done with that positive thinking girl I once knew?

"I moved to New York right after college. I had to get away, I had to leave. I knew that if I had gone back, I would have never left. I got a good job with a law firm, I thought I was moving forward, had a few romances-""

"—with Shannon Mulberry," Delia interrupted. "It was all over Page Six."

Rhett smiled wanly, eyes focused on the window behind Delia. "Yeah, I was with Shannon for a bit. Although I have to wonder if she liked me for me, or if she liked that it drove her parent's crazy that my hometown was surrounded by cornfields."

Rhett paused, and glanced at the woman before him, before continuing. "Of course, it didn't last. We were too different. I was— well, young. Willing to bend over backward for a woman who's every move was photographed fifty times over, because I loved the attention. It took me a while before I realized that I was no longer a man, but an accessory. Something on the rack that she could pick out on days when she wanted it.

I didn't care though—I loved her. I loved her, for her smile, her wit—"

Unbidden, the memories came rushing back, as though projected on the windows before him. Rachel, in a golden evening gown, eyes bright from too much champagne, her pink lips twisted into a pout because Rhett was doing a mocking imitation of her southern accent. Rachel, with dozens of suits surrounding her, wanting her opinion, her permission, her signature, her time, looking up and giving him a long look and wink, which he knew meant "Meet me in the bathroom in five minutes". Rachel, stretched languidly on the divan in her bedroom, peering up at him through long lashes, when he exited the shower.

"She didn't love you back?" Delia kept her voice soft, but watched him closely.

Rhett got up from his chair. "She needed someone who could make doors open for her, who could finance the "life-is-a-party" mentality that she had. How could a Hollywood princess and someone no-name journalist ever make it in the real world?"

"I guess, I realized how much I must have hurt you back in high school. And for that I'm sorry. It was great seeing you again, Lia."

Rhett turned to leave.

Something in Lia lurched a little. "Wait," she said.

Rhett turned, and waited.

"Here's my business card. Why don't we get lunch sometime this week? Catch up on things that aren't so… heavy?"

Rhett smiled—the first genuine smile of the entire exchange. "I'd like that. See you later, Lia."

He turned, and closed the door behind him softly.