How could he walk away from the one he promised to love forever"
I believed him.
I trusted him.
I loved him.
I, Emmie Carmichael, am an optimist. If life throws me lemons, I make lemonade. I believe everyone deserves a second chance, and happily ever after isn’t just for fairy tales. It exists in the lives of real people, including me – at least that’s what I believed until my now ex-husband spoke the two words that sucker punched me into reality.
No more sunshine and rainbows for this girl. Now now, not ever.
Beau Matson is the last guy I need in my life. He’s dark, secretive, and insanely sexy. Plus, he has issues, and I mean real issues: his business is failing, he’s afraid of commitment, and I think he may be a stalker. But, when I stare into his eyes, all his faults fade away and it feels like he can take my broken pieces and make me whole again.Books by Author:Emery Jacobs Books
ONE YEAR EARLIER
"She"s pregnant." Max"s voice echoes from somewhere behind me.
I stir my coffee a couple more times to prolong the inevitable"the inevitable being turning to face my husband so he can fill me in on how happy his sister is to be expecting her second child. At least, I assume he"s talking about Lindy. She and her husband, Hank, have been trying for baby number two for a few months now.
I shake my head and draw in a deep breath. I want to be happy for her, for them, but I can"t, because there"s this evil green-eyed bitch lurking around someplace in my mind who won"t let me. Envy keeps me in check, reminds me of all the years I"ve failed at giving my husband the family he so desperately wants.
With my coffee in hand and a fake smile plastered on my face, I turn and look at Max.
"That"s great. I know Lindy must be"" My words fade as I take in the man standing in front of me: messy blond hair with a narrow face that was once full, deep blue eyes devoid of emotion, once-olive skin that now appears pale. My gaze immediately falls to the suitcase next to him. "I thought you were going to be home for a few weeks." I nod toward his luggage.
Max is a senior marketing consultant for Richards, Wright, and Watkins, LLC, a management and marketing firm based in the Dallas area, but he travels at least two weeks out of the month. So, seeing him with luggage is not a surprise, except for the fact that before he left for his last project two weeks ago, he told me he"d be home for a while once he returned.
"I am, but I"m not. I mean, shit, Emmie" this is so much harder than I thought it would be." Max takes a few steps in my direction before continuing. "It"s not work."
He rubs his jaw a couple times before running his hand through his shaggy hair.
"What do you mean, it"s not work" Where are you going"" I squeeze my coffee cup tighter and lean on the counter.
"It"s not Lindy. She"s not pregnant." There"s an unfamiliar shakiness to his voice.
"Okay, it"s not Lindy. Then who is it" Who"s having a baby"" My blood goes cold as I sense what he"s about to tell me is something terrible, and to make matters worse, he"s all over the place with his words, because he"s avoiding the truth. I"m sure that truth has been staring me in the face for months, but he"s kept it hidden with lies. That"s what Max does; he manipulates me with lies, and my na"ve heart always forgives him"always.
"I don"t want to hurt you" again. You don"t deserve this, but it"s too late. I can"t change what"s already done." He inhales deeply and drops his eyes to the floor.
"Just tell me, Max. Tell me what"s going on." I set my coffee on the counter then inch closer to him. My hands tremble as I cup his face. He immediately lifts his gaze and it meets mine, his blue eyes swirling with regret. There is no doubt in my mind that what he"s about to say will shatter my heart into a million pieces. My gut clenches as a wave of nausea moves through me.
"It"s Natalie. She"s pregnant," he whispers so softly I barely hear him.
"Natalie"" My breath catches as reality punches me in the chest. Max had an affair a little over a year ago with a woman named Natalie Griffin. He met her on a business trip, but ended it after I found out. He loves me"said it was the biggest mistake of his life. He begged and pleaded until I forgave him, and I did. I fucking forgave him. His skin is suddenly hot on my hands, burning my flesh as though it"s on fire. I immediately release my hold on him and step back.
"Wait, Emmie"let me finish." He reaches for me, but I move quickly, avoiding his grasp.
"No. No"" I shake my head. "This isn"t happening. Tell me you didn"t do this to me!" I scream. "You said it was over with her. You promised you"d never see her again." I turn away from him as the tears roll down my cheeks.
"I"m so fucking sorry, Emmie. I know this seems like a slap in the face, but you have to believe""
And there it is. Yes, you asshole, it is a slap in the face, because some random woman I don"t know is giving my husband a family. I guess after three pregnancies ending in miscarriages, he"s telling me my time for trying is up. He"s moved on so he can finally get what he wants. Selfish bastard.
"Believe what, Max"" My body trembles as I try to catch my breath. "Believe you didn"t continue to see her after you told me you ended the affair" Believe you didn"t have unprotected sex with someone other than your wife" What exactly is it that you want me to believe""