"Please look at me, Chris. Tell me the truth...that's all I ask."
He shamefully turned his head trying to avoid her eyes. With a shaky hand, he removed his hard hat and ran his hand through his hair. "I...I never wanted to hurt you."
Her eyes penetrated his. "Why, Chris? What did I do?"
He shook his head. "Nothing. You didn't do anything. It was my fault. I should have told you." His voice was strained. "Everything was my own fault."
She peered into his tired eyes. His face was drawn and haggard. Stubble showed on his usually clean-shaven chin. His hair looked shaggy and in desperate need of a haircut. If this was what loving Chelsea was doing to him, then she didn't know how he'd ever survive.
She'd expected him to feel badly for what he'd done to her, but she hadn't expected to see him so unkempt and miserable-looking. Seeing him wounded like this, though, helped to ease her pain even if just a little. He clearly was as miserable as she was. It made even less sense to her.
"Janna Evans came by the diner." She surprised herself at how even she managed to keep her voice. Anger momentarily flashed in his eyes. "Is that why you still kept your apartment so you could carry on with Chelsea Howard?" Her tone was still even and controlled, but she knew that at any given moment she could lose total control. Her insides were quivering uncontrollably.
His eyes drifted again to the ground. "We're living together," he answered in a raspy, almost inaudible voice.
Maggie's chest constricted as a lump formed in her throat almost choking her. Her heart as fragile as a fine crystal vase now shattered into a million pieces. The earth felt like it was swaying beneath her feet. There was so much she wanted to say. She needed to scream at him for bringing this intense pain upon her. She wanted to throw herself at him and force him to see what he would be missing without her. In desperation, she needed to reach that part of his heart that would remember their passionate lovemaking and how they had almost seemed to blend into one. He needed to remember all the plans they had made. But looking at him now, she knew it was useless. The damage was done, and there was no turning back. Even if there was, she would never accept his betrayal. She doubted she could ever find it in her heart to forgive him.
He had made his choice and without any regard for her left her crushed and broken. She wanted to lash out at him and hurt him as much as he had hurt her. No, she wouldn't let him see how weak she was. She would gather her strength to leave, and she would never look back. It was over...finished. She had to pull herself together and recognize the fact that she couldn't give him what she thought he needed, what she thought he wanted. She turned on her heel.
His trembling hand touched her shoulder reaching out to stop her. "Please, Maggie. I need to explain. You deserve to know the truth."
"No," she whispered as tears formed behind her heavy eyelids. "I don't want to hear the details."
"It's not the way you think it is," he hoarsely whispered. "Please believe that."
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- I'm Susan K. Droney and I write in several genres: children's books, mainstream fiction, thrillers, mysteries, and sensual/erotic romances. I am published by Torrid Books, World Castle Publishing, and Devine Destinies. Please click on the book covers or visit my website at: http://susandroney.com to read reviews, excerpts or to order my books.