Marilyn Lee's Love Bytes

Mature Men 4: Baby Come Back Excerpt

© 2017 Marilyn Lee.

All Rights Reserved

 

Shane Reddorn

 

Jenna and I never pretended to be in love. However, that fact didn’t stop me from feeling as if my world had imploded when I arrived home early one afternoon to find her packing.

 Even though we were together for what some people would probably consider the wrong reasons, our relationship suited us both. Granted, we’d had a few rough weeks, but I’d been sure we could work through our problems. By which, of course, I meant, I’d been sure I could convince her to see things my way.

“What are you doing, Jenna?” I suppose shock made me ask the question since there was little ambiguity about her actions.

“I’m packing,” she said, without meeting my gaze.

That’s never a good sign. I put down the flowers and fruit basket I’d bought on the way home hoping they would ease some of the tension between us. “Why? We’re not going on vacation for another three months,” I reminded her.

“I’m going home.”

“Home? I seem to recall our buying this house together less than a year ago as our home.”

“You bought it. I just live here.”

I stared at her back. “You can’t be serious.”

She shrugged. “Shane…please.”

“Please what? I wanted to buy in New Jersey, you wanted to live in Philly. So we live in Philly. I prefer traditional furniture, you wanted modern. The house is filled with modern furniture. You chose the location, style, and furnishings. Hell, you chose this neighborhood and this house. I put your name on the sales agreement. You insisted I remove it.”

“Shane…”

“If you’ve changed your mind, I’ll happily add your name to the deed.”

She shook her head. “I’m going home to my parents’ house.”

Clearly, she wasn’t ready to see things my way and now wasn’t even open to any further discussion. “When are you planning on visiting them?”

“Tomorrow.”

What the fuck. “Tomorrow?”

She nodded, still refusing to look at me.

“I’m in the middle of wrapping up a project at work. I can’t just leave it to visit your parents, Jen.”

“I know, but it’s okay. I’m going alone.”

I sighed, glancing at the three suitcases lying open on our bed, all partially filled. “You’re packing far too much for just a few days. How long are you planning on staying?”

She shook her head.

“Okay. If I put in some serious overtime for the next few days, I can probably be free by Friday.”

“No, Shane. I’m going home alone.”

Her prized SUV was in the shop getting brakes and a new paint job. “You’re getting a ride? Okay. I’ll join you—”

“No.”

“No? What do you mean, no? No, you’re not getting a ride?”

“I mean no I don’t want you to join me on Friday.”

“Then when can I come down?”

“It would probably be better if you didn’t.”

“If I didn’t come down on Friday or if I don’t come down at all?”

She sucked in a breath and shook her head.

“Are you saying you don’t want me to join you at all?”

She nodded.

That’s when I had to acknowledge that things between us were much worse than I’d feared. “Are you leaving me?”

She nodded again.

Damn. Just another nod as if I didn’t deserve the courtesy of a verbal confirmation. “Do you need or want a little time apart?”

“No. Time apart isn’t going to help. I’m leaving for good.”

I felt winded so it took me a few moments to speak again. “Why?”

She didn’t answer. But then she didn’t really need to. I knew our disagreement about her pregnancy had endangered our relationship. I also knew that the end of this relationship would hurt far more than any previous one had; including my two brief marriages. This time I knew I was going to fight to keep her with me.  “There’s no need to leave.”

“I disagree.”

“You haven’t really given us a chance to work through this,” I said.

“There’s nothing to work through.”

“Now I disagree.”

“There’s no point in prolonging this, Shane. Our relationship has already changed for the worse.”

“Since when?”

“Since when?” She finally turned to face me. “How can you deny that it’s changed?”

“Very easily,” I said, struggling to keep my temper under control. “How can you imply otherwise?”

She stared at me. “Are we talking about the same relationship?”

“You know damn well we are.”

“Do I need to remind you that you went from not being able to keep your hands off me for longer than a night to not touching me in nearly two weeks? Such a drastic change in your…that was the final stroke in the writing on the wall.”

“There’s no writing on any damned wall, Jenna.”

“It’s there and I’d be a fool to pretend it isn’t. You’ve already lost interest.”

Mature Men 4: Baby Come Back. Buy your copy now.

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