Page 15 of VCard for Christmas

I debate with myself back and forth, trying to figure out what I should be doing when all of a sudden it hits me. Muff!

Muff! Oh my God, Muff is going to think I deserted her. I don’t think she’s ever been alone overnight without me. I have to go and check on her. I move slow, but steadily, disentangling myself from Lincoln’s body. Last night was good, way better than I ever dreamed, but I can’t focus on that right now. I need to go and check on my cat.

I grab my clothes off the floor and walk down the stairs. When I get to the bottom landing, Bull is standing there, and I feel so judged at the way he’s looking at me. “Do you need to go out?” I whisper.

He starts to bounce on his feet, and I swear quietly. Of course he needs to go out.

I let him out the front door and start tugging on clothes just as the phone rings. Oh my God!

I know I’m being a coward, but I don’t even know what to do in this instance. What I want and what I should do are most likely two different things. I’d love to have just curled into Lincoln’s arms and stayed there the rest of the day, but I don’t think he’s the type to cuddle all day. Well, Avery, he sure did cuddle you last night.

The voice fills my head just as I tug on my shoes and reach for the front door. I have it open when the voice on the answering machine starts to play. It’s a woman’s voice, and I know I shouldn’t eavesdrop, but that’s exactly what I do.

“Lincoln, your cell is going straight to voicemail. Anyway, this is your wifey. Sorry I couldn’t make it last night. Call me. Merry Christmas.”

One hand goes to my mouth that is hanging wide open, and the other goes to my stomach as if I can stop the somersault that is happening there. I feel sick, as if I’m literally going to throw up. I look up the stairs, and I want to yell and cuss, wake him up and demand answers. I hit my head on the door. I slept with a married man. I gave my virginity to a married man.

I whisper loudly for Bull, and when he comes in, I step outside and close the door behind me. I sprint down his front porch, across the lawn, and up the stairs to my apartment. Before I’m even inside, the tears are rolling down my face. How could he do that? What was I thinking? I gave my virginity to a married man.

Muff meows from her perch in the window, and I know she’s mad at me when she doesn’t come to me. I go to the kitchen in a trance and open a can of tuna. I empty the packet into the cat bowl and give Muff a few strokes along her back.

I still can’t believe it. Was this all a joke to him? I lift my hand to my head, and the glint of the ring I’m still wearing grabs my attention. Oh my God, am I wearing his wife’s wedding ring? I slide it off my finger and set it on the kitchen counter. I want to flush it down the toilet, but it’s not the woman’s fault that she’s married to a two-timing cheat. Oh my God, what have I done?

I strip off my clothes right in the kitchen and walk through the small apartment to the bedroom. I skip grabbing clothes, but I do make sure the curtains are drawn before turning the hot water on in the shower. I feel so dirty, and it sucks. It sucks because last night was magical and now it’s all been ruined. What was I thinking? I just met him two days ago and I decided that what—he was the one?—that I should sleep with him.

I stand underneath the hot water and scrub every inch of my body. Flashes from the night before fill my mind, and I clench my eyes to clear my head. Lincoln kissing my thighs, his hand trailing down my navel, the warm, wet touch of his tongue on my nipples, the feel of him pushing inside me with care on his face. The way he took me, making sure that I was okay and that it felt good... and then I start to sob. I cry because I thought last night was special... I thought Lincoln was special. Oh my God, we didn’t use anything. I could be pregnant right now.

What am I going to do?

I try to take deep, calming breaths. I know that crying and getting this upset is not going to help anything. When I feel like I can’t cry anymore, I turn off the shower and start to dry myself off just as there is a banging on my door. Don’t answer it.

Tags: Hope Ford Billionaire Romance