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By:Jana Aston

For the tenth time this week I wonder how this event is benefiting anyone.

Someone stops by to say hello to Luke as Luke's father asks me to pass the salt. I move the salt and pepper over and place it in front of him, smiling out of politeness. The elder Dr. Miller is a handsome man. He radiates authority, but his eyes lack the warmth of Luke's. I can't imagine this man laughing at anything.

"You're graduating this spring?" This question is from Luke's father. I'm surprised that he's speaking to me.

"I am," I reply.

"Are you planning on working?" he questions.

"Of course," I reply, confused by the question.

"Good. You're a smart girl, Miss Tisdale. You're capable of being more than my son's trophy fuck."

I feel like he just punched me in the gut. A trophy fuck? His parents are even more awful than I thought.

"Sophie?" Luke is trying to get my attention. I turn in my seat back to him. "I wanted to introduce you to one of my colleagues, Dr. New."

I shake the hand offered to me and holy crap if this guy doesn't look like he could be Henry Cavill's older brother. This lookalike appears to be a few years older than Luke, maybe forty or forty-five. I'm not attracted to him, but he's a very attractive man. I imagine Luke will only get better-looking in the next decade as well, as many men tend to do as they age.

There seems to be a comradeliness between them, as if they've been friends for years, an idea that is confirmed when Dr. New brings up Luke's golf scores from this past summer.

"Justin's daughter Michelle was just accepted at Penn," Luke tells me, then explains to Dr. New that I am graduating from Penn this spring.

I see the flash of surprise on Dr. New's face for a brief moment before he hides it. I hope I hid my surprise as well as he did. Luke's friend has a daughter only a few years younger than me. That's… weird.

"So, ah…" Dr. New pauses. "You've enjoyed Penn?"

"I love it there. I'll be sad to graduate and leave the campus."

"Oh, do you live on campus?" His eyes move to Luke and back to me. His face may not betray what he's thinking, but I can tell he's curious about Luke and I.

"I do. I live in Jacobsen." I shrug. "It's convenient being on campus and cheaper than an off-campus apartment."

"Michelle wants an off-campus apartment. I told her we'll discuss it sophomore year." Dr. New smiles ruefully. "It's bad enough I've got to let her live in a co-ed dorm, I'm sure as shit not setting her up in an apartment off campus." He shakes his head. "Tell me she will be too busy studying and the boys never leave their own floors. Lie to me, please."

I glance at Luke, remembering our tryst in my dorm room weeks ago, before fixing a smile on my face. "Well, I never had any boys in my room freshman year, Dr. New. So there's hope."

"Thank you for humoring me," he says, not realizing I'm telling him the truth. "So what are your plans after graduation?" He seems genuinely interested. Luke looks interested in my response as well. It occurs to me then that we haven't discussed my plans. We don't discuss the future at all, come to think of it. He only invited me to this event last week.

"I'm hoping to find a job in corporate accounting," I respond.

"Ah, an accounting major. Very practical."

"Exactly," I agree. "I love the practicality of accounting, both as a major and a career. I like the structure of it."

"Well, good luck on finding a position you're happy with. Lots of great companies in Philly." He pauses. "New York as well."

My eyes flick over to Luke’s at the mention of New York, but his face gives nothing away. "Yes," I agree. "Lots of job opportunities."

Dr. New leaves us then as the waiters whisk away the soup course. Luke takes my hand under the table and runs his thumb over the back of my hand. The small moment of intimacy helps calm me. I take a breath and look up to see yet another couple stopping by to say hello to Luke.

Luke introduces them to me and then the woman pulls out a cell phone from her small bag and shoves it in front of Luke.

"Julie just turned three," she beams, then leans in to swipe the screen, changing the picture on the phone in Luke's hand. "She's so smart. She loves books and robots." She laughs. "We have no idea why, but the kid loves robots."

"You might have a future scientist or astronaut on your hands," Luke says, handing the phone back.

"Another satisfied customer," I say as the couple departs and the waiters arrive with the main course.

Luke glances at me before responding. "Does that bother you?"

I shrug. "You sure get a lot of business in house."