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“I’ll make it up to you.”
“Promise. And you have to promise me that you won’t be so hard on yourself for getting upset like a normal human.”
“It’s jus—”
“Ah, ah, ah. Don’t you dare, Olivia. You’re a fucking queen—my fucking queen.”
Her swollen lips tipped into a smile that hit me right in the heart.
“Goddamn, I love you,” I whispered, watching her in awe.
“I love you too.”
With one last kiss, I stood, holding her in my arms. “Now, let’s get you ready and tucked in bed. That’s where I want to find you—waiting for me—when I get home.”
“Or you could tuck yourself inside me,” she teased, rubbing her wet heat against me. “Just a quickie before you go. Then I’ll be too tired to move and have to stay in bed, waiting for you.”
I groaned, walking into our bedroom to fall over her onto the bed. “Daniel is going to fucking kill me.”
“Then you better make your last night worth it.”
Chapter Three
I barely tasted the fresh mint of the chilled ice cream.
I barely tasted the bitter chocolate chips melting on my tongue.
I barely heard the TV playing, the volume up but sounding like I had cotton balls in my ears.
I barely saw the characters of the show. They blurred in the background while my mind concocted the perfect recreation of yet another negative pregnancy test.
I barely took in any oxygen, my lungs struggling to expand beyond the tight band squeezing my chest.
I didn’t care.
All I wanted to do was sink further into the couch and wipe the eleventh test with a single line from my memory.
The lock at the front door clicked in place before the door opened and shut, followed by the clang of keys hitting the entryway table.
My heart skipped a beat.
Kent was home.
My lips quirked, and I held my breath to see my husband, but I didn’t jump up and run to him. My body weighed too much.
“Hey, baby.” He rounded the corner from the foyer with his fist already tugging at his tie. His steps faltered when he took me in on the couch with a tub of ice cream and a spoon. “Everything okay?”
It sat on the tip of my tongue. All I wanted was for him to plop down next to me and hold me close like everything was fine, but that would never happen if I broke down into a blubbering mess, so I shoved it back.
Smiling, I shrugged playfully. “Just a long ass day that called for home decorating shows and ice cream without a bowl. Want some?”
Instead of rounding the couch like I expected, he stood behind it to reach around me for my spoon and grabbed a bit. “Yum.”
He pressed his cold lips and tongue along my neck, making me giggle—the laughter escaping like bubbles of tension releasing from my body.
“Where are you going?” I asked when he pulled away too soon.
“I have to run to Voyeur to do some paperwork, but I shouldn’t be too long,” he announced from the kitchen.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
The bubbles burst, and the weight sank right back on my chest.
“I’m sorry, baby,” he apologized, coming back out with a water and a sandwich. “I know I’ve been in meetings all week, but I promise I’ll be as quick as I can. And I’ll talk to Daniel about us going to Voyeur this weekend, okay?”
I watched him hold the sandwich in his mouth while he shrugged his jacket back on and shoved his keys back in his pocket.
He was trying. Amongst all his businesses and ventures, he was trying.
And as much as I wanted to stomp my feet and say, not okay, I couldn’t be mad because it wasn’t like I’d actually talked to him about anything.
“Yeah, Kent. That sounds great. I can’t wait.”
He waggled his brows. “Oh, it will be.”
One last kiss, and he left me how he found me—with a tub of ice cream and an empty uterus on the couch, full of a constant parade of every emotion in the human experience.
A trickle of ice splashed against my thigh, sending a hard shiver up my spine. I blinked, not knowing how long I’d been sitting there but looked to find the ice cream a half-melted pile of green goop. Another drop of condensation slid off the carton and onto my leg, giving me another chill and snapping me out of my daze.
“Jesus Christ, Olivia. Get it together. We don’t fucking wallow. We create a plan, and fucking conquer it,” I muttered.
With a new bravado—a small one—I stood from the couch and stretched before making my way to the kitchen, where I dumped the ice cream into the sink. I didn’t have a plan, but I walked anyway. Anything other than sitting back on the couch. I ended up in the bathroom, hunched over the sink, staring at a pair of dull blue eyes under a mop of messy blonde hair piled atop my head.