"While you're even more lovely than I thought," Richard replied, meeting her eyes and smiling slightly. "It's good to see you again, Serena." And it was, really, but the feeling was somewhat tempered by another one that he hadn't expected. Seeing her had woken a deep sense of resentment, one that dampened his enthusiasm and quieted his smile. He hadn't expected to hold the lost job against her, and he didn't really, but something about seeing her was unpleasant enough to make him grit his teeth.
It was a stupid, confusing reaction, and a completely nonsensical one, so Richard tried to push it down under his other thoughts which were universally more positive. Serena looked fantastic in red, which was nice in a date, but he also genuinely liked her. She had always seemed like a solid person, especially for a shrink, and her presence at the Pax was a breath of normalcy. Even better, it meant that he might actually have a chance now in his previously doomed campaign for her affection.
Maybe. He wasn't sure exactly where they stood, especially not with her appearing dressed for battle and wielding a Mona Lisa smile. Richard held out his tulips bravely, and met her head on. "How have you been?" he asked, the question coming out sober and sincere, not at all the debonair playboy he had presented in his sessions with Serena in Chicago.