This book is rated for adult reading only
Katie Franklins shredded a paper napkin and tossed the remnants on the kitchen table. Her best friend, Irene sat across from her and let Katie rant. She needed a good listener right now.
The mess she’d made on the table reminded her of her life—in bits and pieces. Staring into the cup of coffee in front of her, she shook her head at her reflection. “I’m a married woman. I have to end this affair!” The words replayed in her mind until she wanted to tear her hair out.
Her shoulders sagged but she looked at Irene, seeking an answer. “How did I get into such a predicament? Falling in love with one man while still married to another? Honestly? My body’s sensual needs must have possessed my subconscious mind and made me commit this sinful deed. What do I do?”
Male attention was the magnet that drew her to Joey, and now she couldn’t imagine life without him. At twenty-eight, attracting a twenty-five-year-old flattered her. His smile, his broad shoulders…everything about him stirred passion she hadn’t felt in ages. She never intended to fall into bed with him; the attraction was just too much. Being near him blurred her reasoning.
Irene, like a trained counselor, offered no solution, instead let Katie work through her own issues.
“Joey makes me feel sensuous and alive…so unlike the relationship between me and Rick. With Joey, I discovered my lost confidence and found desire again. But is it real? Seven years ago Rick looked at me with the same accepting love in his eyes. How did our marriage go so wrong?
She flashed back to earlier days…when Rick’s touch ignited a fire within her soul. “You know, Irene, there was a time when I actually waited for Rick to come home…wanting to taste his kisses and feel his hands on my body, but something happened after Brandon was born. The passion just dwindled away.”
Wasn’t having a child supposed to bring people closer together…make them a family? A baby sure hadn’t worked any magic in their home. In fact, her pregnancy ended any intimacy she and Rick shared. Oh, they still had sex, but other than physical release, they shared nothing with one another. Katie lowered her head into her palms and heaved a sigh.
“Maybe if I’d lost the baby weight sooner, I never would have gone with you to Beaches. What if…oh Hell, no matter what scenario I apply to my predicament, nothing changes. Should a few extra pounds matter if you truly love someone?”
Katie closed her eyes and shuddered, the frustration becoming more than she could bear. “Why can’t Rick see I’m the same person I’ve always been. Even when I was heavier, I had the same heart, feelings and needs… I didn’t really change, but he did. His endless cruel puns got to me…turned our marriage sour and made me doubt my feeling for him. He drove me right into Joey’s arms…didn’t he?”
Katie took a sip of cold coffee and then released a loud breath. “It’s taken me several months, but now I’m back to what I weighed before I got pregnant. What I don’t understand is Rick’s sudden renewed interest in me.” She fisted her hands and pounded on the table, sloshing her decaf over the cup’s side. “How can I forget all the terrible things he said or forgive how degraded he made me feel? Am I wrong to hold on to the hurt?”
Irene picked up her cup and blew away the steam. Her gaze focused on Katie. “Do you blame me?”
“No…” She shook her head. “No way. You didn’t hold a gun to my head and make me go with you. We just happened to be in Beaches the same night Joey was there. That’s not your fault. Still, I can’t stop fantasizing about him, but do I even have the right?” Tension pounded in her temples. She never expected things to become so confusing. Was it fate or luck that drew her to her lover? Was he just a passing fancy or was he the reason to end her marriage?
Katie rose from the table and poured her remaining coffee down the sink. She used what was left of the napkin to mop up her spill then threw the wadded paper into the garbage. Katie sucked her bottom lip between her teeth and stared out the window over the sink. The gray clouds scudding by defined her mood. “No matter how I look at things, I’m still married and what I’m doing is wrong. Even if Rick’s touch leaves me cold, and his sexual innuendos do nothing to entice me, he’s still my husband. You know, I actually dread his coming home from work, and especially, bedtime. He won’t take no for an answer no matter how much I protest.”
Tears she’d successfully restrained all morning trickled down her cheeks like the rain pinging against the windowpane. One way or another, she needed to make a decision, and soon.