Wrapped In Silk (Brody Hines #1) - MJ Fields
“Good night. Love you more.” I kiss my daughter’s milky-white cheek and push her chocolate brown hair away from her eyes before I tuck her covers in tight, just the way she likes them.
My perfect little girl, who I would move mountains for, and I have done exactly that for the past seven years. That is not to say she’s a difficult child; quite the contrary, she is the embodiment of love.
After trying and failing to get pregnant, I spent two years taking fertility drugs in the hopes that someday I would have children, something I assumed would come easily. London didn’t come easy.
For years, I felt like less of a woman and less of a wife. I cried each month when I menstruated. I was devastated with each tinge of blood. And there were also the miscarriages. I silently mourned, hiding in the bathroom, holding my belly, wanting to hide the anger and self-loathing that I felt from those I smiled brightly for every day. It always astonished me that no one could tell how deeply I was hurting. Then again, the one closest to me, the one who should have been the most aware, never was, so how could I expect anyone else to know?
The first time I saw a plus sign, we told everyone; me because I was so happy, and him a cause to celebrate at his mother’s, Josie, bar with the entire Ross/Fields families. His cousins, Tessa, Jade, and Phoebe, all mothers, could not wait to fill the nursery with hand-me-downs and gave me advice on everything from morning sickness to breastfeeding.
When I miscarried my first pregnancy, my soon-to-be ex-husband, Troy Fields, gave me a cold hug, the kind you give an ex or an old acquaintance, one you really didn’t like all that much. He acted as if he couldn’t have cared less but was adamant that we wouldn’t adopt. Tessa, Jade, and Phoebe gave love in the form of food and comfort.
Each pregnancy thereafter, we didn’t tell anyone. He felt it was best for me. I could tell he was ashamed of my inability to carry a child, yet I chose to believe it was true concern. It hurt less.
After we had London, and I wanted more children to love and siblings for London, he refused.
That shocked me.
Before we married, we had discussed children, so he knew I wanted at least three. A couple months after the ring was on my finger, he said he didn’t want any. That shocked me even more.
Troy enjoyed his friends and me as his designated driver. I spent most nights picking him up from a bar after I got out of work and, on the weekends, driving him from party to party or picking him up from golf, or whatever activity he had decided to do. Every activity included drinking.
He hadn’t been like that before we married, and I had known Troy all four years of college. Reflecting on those years now, I shouldn’t have thought that would change after college, but I did. I just assumed people left behind the college mentality when they hung up their cap and gown. His partying didn’t change, but his need for all things except family did. A child would surely cause that to change, right?
I was accepting of it, because I had London, and she is everything.
Then, one evening, as he sat in his recliner, beer in hand, our daughter asleep on his lap, he received a text. He stood, set down his beer, handed me London, and then went outside. He was gone long enough that I had put her to bed, which included reading a bedtime story.
When I came downstairs, and in effort to make conversation, I asked him who it was.
After that texting marathon with “Nobody,” his drinking increased, and I realized that “Nobody” was in fact “Somebody.”
The next day, London’s aunt Tessa asked if she could come steal her for a bit. I took the opportunity to check through cell phone bills and credit card statements. I found information that looked suspicious. That night happened to be a golfing night, so when he had passed out, I took his phone and made a call to two of the numbers. One was male; the other was … not.
I froze when I heard the thick Latin accent seductively speak his name. That was when I knew the Syracuse area hotel charges, close to his place of employment, were not a mistake on the credit card bill.