I’d be worried, too, if I were your husband…

In the car, F. X. kept turning his head to look at her. “You don’t seem happy to see me, Lynnie. Are you mad about that little dance back there? You figured it out, right? That I slept with both of them, Jessica and Mona?
     “Am I mad?”
     “You never call. I always have to call you. That’s not like you, Lynn. Aren’t we friends?”
     She thought of Jamie. “No.”
     “Ouch. Wait, let me guess, it’s hubby who’s not happy, right? Not thrilled about an old college friend coming back into the picture? About you going to Mona’s art thing with me? See, Mona was right. She has a sixth sense about stuff like that. Never mind, I’d be worried, too, if I were your husband.”
     “F. X.”—Lynn’s voice was cold—“Jamie has absolutely nothing to worry about.”
     “Of course not,” he said. “Nothing personal, just a comment on men in general and husbands in particular. If Jamie were thrilled about you running around town with me, then I’d say you’d have something to worry about. So you can tell me, is he?”
     “Is he what?”
     “Bothered by it.”
     “Yes,” Lynn spat out. “He’s never even met you and he dislikes you intensely.”
     “Intensely,” said F. X.
     “No, not intensely. That’s my word.”
     “Oh? Even more interesting.”
     Lynn could have kicked herself. She wondered when she’d ever learn to keep her mouth shut.
     “How long did you say you guys have been married?”
     “I didn’t, but two and a half years.”
     “Love at first sight?”
     “As a matter of fact.”
     “Of course,” said Lynn. “You wouldn’t believe in something so maudlin.”
     “Oh, I believe it happens. Eyes meet, sparks, electricity, wow I’m in love, the real deal, who ever thought?”
     “What can I say?”
     “But tell me,” said F. X., “how do you know it’s not going to fizzle out?”
     “It hasn’t yet.”
     “So your happy marriage isn’t getting old yet? Not suffocated by routine? Hubby working too hard, trying to get ahead, make partner, maybe not putting you first anymore?”
     Lynn shifted in her seat—then, realizing what she’d done, kept shifting until she was looking F. X. dispassionately in the eye.
     He cocked his head. “You’re not starting to feel neglected? Wondering where all the romance went?”
     “Not at all.”
     “Glad to hear it.”
     Lynn crossed her arms across her chest.
     “Look,” he said, “I may not be married, but I’ve seen a lot of marriages. Hey, maybe that’s why I’m not married.” He looked to her for a smile, but she did not oblige. “Anyway, it’s this outsider’s observation that you need to work at a marriage.”
     “Of course you do, you have to—”
     “God, no, not that boring, temperature-taking crap. I’m talking about shaking things up. Épater le bourgeois!”
     This was too much like F. X.’s unsettling reference to Rilke.
     “I look at you, Lynn, and it frightens me how complacent you are—so smug, so happy. You’re the one who should be frightened. You can’t take what you have for granted like that. What you think you have. So here I come, concerned about an old friend, a nice girl, and yeah, maybe I was trying to shake things up for you. Give your husband a little shake so he appreciates what he has. You haven’t done anything wrong, I haven’t done anything—although, hey, I’m a willing volunteer if you change your mind.”
     Lynn rolled her eyes.
     “You just watch,” he said. “Jamie’s paying attention now, isn’t he? I bet you’re going to thank me some day for this little épater. That’s me, Lynnie, just here to help.”