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Until Lydia

Chapter Reveal


Prologue


Lydia


Dressed in a trench coat and high heels, I stare at my reflection in the elevator panels. I shouldn’t be nervous, but I am. We’ve been married for over seven years. Yes, we’ve hit a dry spell. But, between both our jobs and me with our seven-year-old twins, we’ve been so busy. I try not to think of the fears that have been rolling through my mind for the last year and a half. Ever since Colton accepted the job with Kant Holding International, he’s been more distant. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to put the spark back into our marriage. I’m going to seduce my husband.

I changed out of my work clothes and into the negligee I have on underneath the coat when I got off the plane. I took tomorrow off from work, which isn’t easy when I’m the bear expert and head curator at the Nashville Zoo. It may seem a bit desperate, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do. I need to show my husband I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone for him. Maybe he’ll do the same for me.

Colton has always been so critical of me. I love him, but I sometimes feel like I’m not perfect enough for him. It makes me question why he wanted to marry me. Yes, I was pregnant at the time, but that’s no reason to get married. We dated as teens, so we have history. But high school had been years ago. We both went our separate ways after graduation. My dream was to study zoology, and he went to business school. We reunited when I was studying for my doctorate. He soon realized I wasn’t the same girl and set out to change me, which he did. Every day I look in the mirror and see the woman he wants, not the woman I was before him—the woman I want to be.

I look at the mirrored elevator panels and scrutinize myself. My hair is perfect. My makeup is on point. I look down at my hands. My tattoos are concealed beneath a layer of body makeup. I have several over my body that I got in my college days. Colton despises them, but I won’t remove them. They are special to me, especially the ones on the middle finger of my right hand and my left wrist. Those are for the parents I lost when I was a teenager.

The bell dings when I arrive on his floor, and the doors slide open. There is a sign in front of me with numbers pointing in both directions. After quickly scanning the sign, I turn to the left. I’ve never been to his condo in Dallas. This place is part of the perks Colton gets for working for Kant Holding. The company knew he would be traveling back and forth between here and home, so they wanted to accommodate him as best as they could. The hope is that Mr. Kant will open a Nashville office in the next year so we won’t have to keep living like this. The kids miss having him home. Well, kind of. I hate to think about the fact that they are less stressed when he isn’t home.

I move down the hall, my shorter legs making the longer strides I’ve gotten used to in order to keep up with Colton’s tall frame. When I’m standing outside his door, the nerves kick in again. Ever since I got on the plane this afternoon, I’ve been doubting this plan. But I know we need this time together, a weekend to reconnect with each other.

I knock a couple of times and wait.

“Just a moment,” a female voice says.

I step back and look at the unit number. I have the right condo.

Oh God!

“Can I help you?” The woman opens the door, interrupting the panic flaring throughout my body. My blood is racing through my veins. I feel lightheaded. This can’t be happening. “Excuse me. What do you want?” I take in her fake boobs that are barely covered by the robe wrapped around her body. Her lips are full and medically enlarged. Her long blond hair is in a I Dream of Jeannie ponytail on the top of her head. Her hair length and color are fake too.

I stand there, taking her in and the room behind her. “I think I have the wrong condo,” I finally say.

She’s closing the door when a male voice I know well says, “Who’s at the door, sexy?”

My hand shoots out and pushes the door open, almost hitting the Botoxed bimbo. Standing with a towel wrapped around his waist and freshly showered is my husband. The man who won’t undress in front of me anymore. The man who has never called me sexy. The father of my children.

My. Husband.

“C-Colton,” I stammer.

He stops, his eyes growing big with shock and something else. Something that causes a cold chill to roll up my spine. His hand moves to his towel, while the other comes up to stop me.

“Lydia, it’s not what you think.”

I step back like I’ve been slapped. For the first time in years the emotions I’m constantly holding back barrel forward.

My anger. My bitchiness. My temper. All the emotions he’s reprimanded me for over the years, telling me I was childish for allowing them to get the better of me, they all flare bright.

“Not what I think?” I wave my hand between the two of them. “That’s the oldest saying in the book. I didn’t know this condo complex had concierge services. Is Barbie here to turn down your sheets? Did you get a chocolate and blowjob on your pillow? Don’t you have more imagination than, ‘It’s not what you think’?” I glance at the bimbo. “Your blow-up doll needs to stop frowning, or you’ll have to pay for more Botox.”

“Watch your mouth, Lydia.” He uses that deep, emotionless voice that makes me apologize for my behavior. But not this time.

Nope. No more. I’m done.

“Watch my mouth? Watch this, fucker. Go to motherfucking hell, asshole.” I drop as many cuss words as I can.

“Hey,” the blonde says.

I swing my eyes toward her and glare daggers at her. She shuts her mouth and steps back. I glance down and take in her sky-high heels. My eyes travel up her body, and I hold the shiver of hate in as she smirks at me.

“He likes to fuck me with my heels on. The feel of them in his ass—”

“Deedee, that’s enough,” he orders her.

I can’t hide the shock on my face. She doesn’t understand the ramifications of all this. I wonder if Colton does.

“Lydia, we need to talk.” He makes his way to the door. “Don’t do anything foolish.”

“Foolish,” I yell. “You want to see foolish? Prenup.” The laugh that comes from me is full of venom and evil. I can’t help myself. “Don’t come home. She can keep you.” I wave my hand in disgust at her.

“He’s already got me.” She laughs, and it sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

When she holds her hand up to show me the large engagement ring on her finger, I’ve had enough. He wouldn’t get me an engagement ring because he said, “It’s better to earn a diamond after five years than be given one.” I fight the urge to yank it off her hand. I deserve that diamond. I delivered twins. I’ve put up with his rules and quirks for years now. But I hold my emotions in, like I’ve always done.

No more! I smile wide and tip my head to the side.

“Well, bless your heart. Maybe you should stay off your knees,” I say. She smiles at my words, not understanding the Southern dig, but Colton got it by the look of outrage on his face.

“Coltie likes it when I do that,” she says as I turn and walk away.

I can’t stay here a moment longer. I’m so angry the tears are about to flow, and those fuckers don’t get to see me break down.

“My attorney will be in touch,” I throw over my shoulder loud enough for other residents to hear.

He’s engaged to another woman. He spent our money on an engagement ring for her. It’s obvious they’ve been together for a while by the various pictures of them I managed to see in the condo. He couldn’t stand to kiss me the last six months, and it’s been even longer since we’ve had sex. I can’t remember the last time he told me he loved me. “Me too” is his usual response when I express my love for him. Did he ever love me?

The sob is getting ready to burst from my body as I step onto the elevator. I punch the button for the lobby and turn to face the closing doors. He didn’t bother to chase me down the hall. Of course, he didn’t.

I keep it together long enough to get an Uber. I don’t break until I’m on my way to the airport. I call Sydney, my best friend. I know by the time I land she will have everything taken care of for me. That’s what a ride or die friend would do for you. She would help me hide the bodies if I asked her.





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