“Was it hard saying goodbye to her?” Amelie asked Derrick. She had been hesitant to talk to him about the last time he and Cate saw each other. She was afraid that something might have transpired between them. It had been weeks since he ended their affair. When he came home that evening and told her, she was relieved.
Unable to help herself, she had burst into tears and he took her in his arms. And that was when she had smelled the perfume. It was on his clothes. That meant that he and Cate had hugged. Was that all they did? She couldn’t bear to think about it but she couldn’t help wondering if they had slept together that one last time.
Derrick closed his eyes. “Yes, it was,” he admitted quietly.
“I guess it was hard for her too.” Not that she cared. But she had the satisfaction of knowing that Cate experienced what it was like to lose the man you loved to another woman–even if the woman was his wife. There were times when she was filled with hate–hate for Cate, the other woman who had disrupted her life and marriage. She wanted to meet her face to face and scratch her eyes out. Her feelings for Cate terrified her at times. She had never hated anyone in her life but she hated Cate Hardwicke. She hated her because Derrick loved her.
“Yes, it was.”
“I bet she hates me.”
Derrick sat up then and glanced down at her. “Why do you say that?” he asked.
“I hated her for taking you away from me and now she hates me for taking you back. She believed that you belonged to her because she has your heart but you belong to me–body, mind and soul. And in time, I will have your love again and she will have nothing of you.”
“Amelie, I know that you’re upset but, this doesn’t sound like you at all.”
“This is what a hurt, angry and jealous wife sounds like, Derrick,” she retorted, sitting up and glaring at him. “This is what a wife who has had to put up with her husband’s cheating sound like.”
“Amelie, I’m sorry–“
“You’re sorry that it’s over between you and her not that you’ve hurt me.”
“That isn’t true. It’s because I didn’t want to continue hurting you that I ended my relationship with her.”
“No. I think it’s because you got caught and Gladys confronted you and gave you an ultimatum. That’s what she was doing when we were at the restaurant. You left the table to go and call your mistress. Gladys went after you. If it weren’t for her, you would have continued cheating on me even though you knew that I had found out about it. When I asked you about the number I found in the pocket of your jacket, you acted like you had no clue what I was talking about. I called the number and Cate answered. I told Gladys about it and that’s when she went to see Cate’s brother. He spoke to Cate. If they hadn’t gotten involved you and she would still be seeing each other–” Her voice broke off in a sob. She jumped up from the bed and went over to the window. She stood with her back towards him and her arms wrapped around her.
He went over to her and tried to put his arms around her but she pushed him away. “Amelie, what I did to you, to our marriage was extremely selfish. I know that telling you that I’m sorry can’t undo the hurt or the pain I have caused you. Cheating on you was a selfish and unforgivable thing to do. I know I don’t have the right to ask anything from you when I have foolishly betrayed your trust in me, but if you can find it in your heart to forgive me and give me another chance to be the man and husband you deserve. If you no longer feel that you could stay married to me because I have betrayed your trust and your love and you wish to annul our marriage, I won’t stop you. We will do whatever you decide.”
“I want us to go for couples therapy,” she informed him.
“And I think that you should sleep in the spare room for a while.”
“Whatever you want, Amelie.”
“What I want is for us to work this out and to stay together,” she told him.
“I want that too,” he replied. He wanted it more than anything else and he was willing to do whatever it took.
“I’ll go and get dinner ready,” she said before she quickly walked past him and out of the room.
He went over to the bed and sank heavily down on it. He buried his face in his hands which were trembling slightly. He didn’t know what he would have done if Amelie had decided that she wanted to annul their marriage. All he knew was that the thought of losing her scared him and that he would do whatever it took to keep her in his life. While he could live without Cate even though he loved her, he couldn’t live without Amelie. That was why he would never have left her for Cate.