Trudy and John Dean are the perfect married couple, or so their family and friends believe. The truth is something very different. His lucrative legal practice and her high-profile life as a TV chef mean they spend more time apart than together. It’s not the physical distance that’s the problem, the emotional void is also increasing, and Trudy knows that something’s got to give.
Shocking John out of his complacency regarding their relationship is the only way their marriage will survive. Trudy’s desperation to rekindle the passion she and her husband have lost calls for drastic measures and a final ultimatum that leaves John reeling.
Will John accept Trudy’s challenge, reigniting their passion and reclaiming his wife’s heart, or have time and outside influences driven an immovable wedge between the couple?
What sort of man had he become? A neglectful one. One obsessed with work. One who’d begun to doubt his ability to please and satisfy Trudy on any level. However, he never meant for this to happen. His anger eased to a mild simmer. He’d been wrong to ignore what was going on between them—or not going on as was the case. They’d both neglected each other over the last year, maybe longer if truth be told, but how could she leave him? But that was Trudy. Tell the truth, hit him in the face with it if she had to—and she had.
As he exited the elevator, John spotted the last man he wanted to see. Jake Munroe, owner of Rubens nightclub and client to his firm, headed down the hallway toward him. John scowled at the man harboring his wife. Maybe that was too harsh, but he’d played a role in making it easy for Trudy to leave.
“I don’t think you’ll be welcome in there,” Jake stated, indicating the door to Trudy’s apartment. “Given the raised voices I heard as I walked past, I don’t think things are going well with the kids.”
Good. John hoped they weren’t going well. Trudy deserved for them to take the news badly.
“She’s my wife, and they’re my kids. I have every right to be there.” John attempted to storm past Jake only to feel the man’s hand grip his arm firmly.
“I’m sorry, John. This whole mess sucks big time,” Jake admitted quietly. “Sally had Trudy entrenched in the apartment when I got home from work last week, and from the state of Trudy, how upset she was, I didn’t have the heart to turf her out. I hope you two can work things out.”
John sneered at the man he called friend, spitting his angry words out without thinking. “I’m too pissed off with you right now to even discuss this, Jake.”
He attempted to snatch his arm free only to have Jake seize it harder.
“You’re pissed at me?” Jake glared at him angrily. “You might want to redirect that anger to someone who deserves it. Like the fucking dickhead who failed to notice his unhappy wife walked out on him a week ago.”
With that, Jake released him and headed for the elevator.
John stared after him. Nothing like a good friend to tell you the truth—no matter how much it hurt. He stared at the apartment door and breathed deeply before opening it and walking inside. Yes, courtesy would dictate he knock, but he wasn’t feeling the love right now, so civility could bite his ass.
A chill went through him as the room fell silent. He’d braced himself for an onslaught of anger as he entered the room, but nothing prepared him for the cold, blank stares that greeted him. He felt like a leper on day release from the colony. What on earth had Trudy told his kids? They’d normally greet him with warmth and love, but then maybe Jake was right, he was the fucking bad guy in all this. At least, in everyone else’s opinion.
Trudy broke the silence. “What the hell are you doing here? I told you I wasn’t free today.”
Her accusing tone and glint of anger in her eyes riled him up more than he imagined possible. It was time to end this shit and get back to life as he knew it. With kids who didn’t stare at him like he was a stranger and a wife who—although she might not be happy with him right now—was home where she belonged.
“Sorry to ruin your plans, Trudz. Now, go get your things. I’m taking you home.” Letting his words stand as exactly what they were—a command instead of a request—he reined in his anger and turned to each of his children in turn with a smile he hoped didn’t look like a sneer. “How are my kids today?”
For an attorney who prided himself on carefully chosen words to never fail him, he suddenly realized his vocab wasn’t doing him any favors today. The room turned on him. The affront he’d first expected was now in play, and it wasn’t pleasant.