Alex McCarty had tossed and turned all night long. There was something about the suite at The Southern River Hotel that made him feel uncomfortable or maybe it was the bed he thought as he sat up and looked around the room for her – his bedmate from the night before. He found her perched by the window staring down at the river.
“Hey. What are you doing over there?” he asked. “Come back to bed.” Alex told her and when she didn’t respond he questioned, “How long have you been awake?”
“Long enough to know that last night was a mistake,” Angela replied as her mind reeled with confusion. “I’ve been standing here thinking about how I let this happen,” she gestured towards the bed. “Damnit!” she cursed.
Alex climbed out of bed and reached for his boxer briefs on the floor. He knew better than to go near her because it would only make things ten times worse than she thought they already were so he kept a respectable and safe distance.
“I know you Angela and you weren’t thinking about how you let this happen,” he said from across the room, “you were over analyzing the situation. You’re putting too much thought into what happened. This isn’t that uncommon you know, we were two people who loved one another…”
“You hit me!” she screamed at him as their eyes met. “You busted my lip. You gave me a black eye. You fractured my cheekbone. You sent me to the emergency room for Christ sake Alex,” she told him.
“Regardless of whether or not we used to love one another the things you did to me should have prevented this from happening. I’m not supposed to love a man who could lay his hands on me,” she told him, “and I’m sure as hell not supposed to want to sleep with him ever again!”
Alex didn’t know what to say to that. The fact of the matter was that they both knew it was the truth. He sat down on the edge of the bed with his back to her when he finally was able to speak.
“I know that I hurt you. It’s the worst thing that I’ve ever done in my life Angela and I live with that every single day of my life. I am ashamed of the way I acted and even more ashamed of what I did to you,” he admitted. “But I’ve changed…I’m not that man anymore.”
Angela cut her eyes at him and shook her head, “That’s nice to hear and all Alex, but I don’t know that for certainty. You’re sitting there telling me that you’ve changed but let’s face facts here – you have said all of this before. I can’t even count how many times I begged you to quit drinking and you didn’t. You promised me over and over and over Alex that you would change but you never did. So please give me another reason as to why I should trust what you say now?”
The room fell silent. After several minutes Angela wiped away her tears and walked across the room to retrieve her clothes.
“This was a mistake,” she said as she turned to face him. “Go home Alex. Go back to Dallas and forget that you ever saw me again, because that’s what I’m going to do.”
April Bradshaw closed the front door behind and watched as Emily ran to the car. She somehow managed to balance her purse, briefcase and a cup of coffee as she headed down the steps of her porch. Just as she was almost to her car she saw Luke Stevenson making his way up the front lawn. She opened the back door of her SUV, dropped off her items and started to walk towards him.
“Emily get buckled up,” she called back to her daughter. “I need to see what your Aunt Leslie’s husband wants with me at this time of the morning and then we’ll be well on our way…” she sighed at the thought of Emily being late once again.
“Good morning. I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time,” Luke smiled. “I was hoping that I could have a few minutes with you…”
“It’s seven-thirty in the morning on a school day,” April told him, “so I would say that you’ve pretty much caught me at one of the most worst times possible. Plus if I didn’t know better I would say that you’re borderline stalking me Luke. Does my aunt know that you’re here right now?”
“She does not,” Luke answered. “I was on my way to meet with a real estate agent about some office space in downtown this morning and I was thinking about our conversation last night..”
”Oh you mean the one where you insisted that you knew me and then proceeded to call me a liar when I said we’ve never met?” April snapped. “And if Leslie doesn’t know that you’re here how exactly did you find out where I lived? And don’t even try to give me some bullshit answer because I will know if you’re lying.”