Silas awoke with a start to find himself on the floor of his penthouse with his naked wife’s body wrapped around him. It wasn’t a bad place to be. He couldn’t recall another time in the last six years when he’d been this happy waking up. Losing Janelle had been hard. One of the hardest things he’d ever endured, other than his rough childhood.
He’d thought they were untouchable. Destined to be together. Everyone in high school had said so. They had overcome so many odds and found love, but then fate had come knocking on their door and Silas had realized what it was like to lose the one thing he cared for most in the world.
When he gave her that ultimatum to choose between him and the modeling contract, he honestly hadn’t thought it was a competition. Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined Janelle would ever leave him and the life they were building together. For what? Fame? Fortune?
Janelle stirred, rubbing her eyes before opening them to his gaze. “How long have I been sleeping?” she asked, leaning her chin against his chest and looking up at him.
Silas glanced down at his Rolex. It wasn’t quite 10:00 p.m. “Not long.”
“I think I needed that.”
“The climax?” he asked with a smirk.
She snorted and slapped his chest with her hand. “Both. The sleep and the climax.”
“C’mon, there’s no shortage of good-looking men in your industry.” As soon as he said the words, he wished he could take them back because she frowned and sat upright, uncaring of her bare bosom.
Her brown eyes sparked with anger, and her tall, toned body was rigid. “What’s that’s supposed to mean? That I slept around because the options were plentiful?”
“Of course not,” Silas said, pulling himself up. “I guess I assumed you had been with other men. I mean, it’s been six years.”
“Like you’ve been with other women?” Janelle inquired sharply. “I get tabloids in Paris, too, Silas. You’ve been photographed with any number of high-profile celebrities and actresses, but do you hear me shaming you about your sex life?”
“I wasn’t trying to shame you. Jesus! Do you have to think the worst of me?” Silas rubbed his forehead. How had this conversation gone sideways on him?
Janelle sighed and lowered her head. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have attacked you.” Her voice was low. “It’s just that I haven’t been with anyone else.”
“What did you say?” Silas couldn’t have heard right. Janelle was a beautiful woman surrounded by attractive men. Was she really telling him she hadn’t slept with another since him?
She turned and looked into his eyes. “You heard me. There’s been no one.”
Silas reached across the space between them and cupped her chin. “Why?”
“Because we were still married. You never sent the divorce papers, and I refused to cheat on you.”
Silas wanted to ask her if that was the only reason, but he was afraid to know the answer, so he asked instead, “Why didn’t you file?”
Janelle shrugged. “I dunno. There was always another photo shoot. Another location to go to. I kept putting it off until eventually the idea just faded into the background. I assumed one day we’d both get around to it, but you never did.”
“I couldn’t let you go. I guess staying married to you kept us tied together and it helped keep other women at bay.”
“I don’t understand. You’ve been photographed with lots of women.”
“Photos, Janelle. They don’t mean anything, as you well know. It’s just a moment in time. It doesn’t speak to who we are.”
“What are you saying, Silas?”
“I’ve been celibate too. And yes, I tried to forget you, which is why there are all those pictures of me dating other women and probably why I keep condoms in my wallet, just in case. But no one ever measured up to you, the one woman I couldn’t seem to forget. So I never slept with any of them.”Silas had no idea who moved first, but in a nanosecond, Janelle was in his arms, her legs wrapped around his waist, her mouth on his. As he let his tongue explore the seam of her lips and heard her groan with satisfaction, he knew it was time for round two.
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