Mr and Mrs(3)

By: Alexa Riley


“Fuck that,” she tosses back, making me smile. One of the reasons I’ve gotten so close to Cindy is she isn’t like a lot of the other women I’ve met in New York. Nor is she like the wives of some of Phillip’s business associates. She always says what she’s thinking, and I want that to rub off on me.

“That man will be pissed if he finds out that his secretary is treating you like shit. In fact, I bet he’d can her ass on the spot if he even got a hint she was doing something like that.”

I know what she’s saying is true. I once told Phillip in passing I didn't think the doorman at the building we lived at liked me very much. Anytime I’d try and ask him a question about something, he’d get short with me and tell me that I shouldn’t be out without my husband. He would make constant digs about my age, like I didn’t belong in this world. He’d amped up the disrespect when he hit on me one morning after Phillip had left early for the office. I’d shot him down quickly. Needless to say, after I told Phillip what had happened, I never saw the man again.

“You’re right. I’m making this all out to be bigger than it is and I just keep throwing dirt on it.” I grab my purse from the chair, making Cindy smile. “You mind?” I ask. We hadn’t even gotten our main entrée yet.

“Hell no.”

I stand and lean down to kiss her on the cheek.

“Call me. I want to know all the details.”

With that, I head out of the restaurant and onto the busy New York sidewalk. Glancing down at my watch, I see it’s already eight. I make my way down to his building, which is only four blocks away.

Red, the security guard, swipes me right in as I make my way into the practically empty building. I hit the elevator button for the top floor and tap my foot as it moves up. When I exit, the hallway is completely clear. I walk to his office, bypassing the empty secretary desk, and pull open the heavy door.

The sight that greets me almost brings me to my knees, and it would have if I hadn’t had my hand still on the door to brace me.

There, in the middle of Phillip’s office, completely naked, is Cary. The secretary. Phillip is on the sofa, his face turned away, but I can see his tie is undone and his shoes are off. His suit looks worn and wrinkled. Cary just stares at me in shock.

“You can have him.” I’m not even sure how I get the words out. I turn, fleeing the office. I hit the elevator button and luckily it slides open immediately. I take it all the way down in a trance, trying to hold myself together. You will not break like this. I suck in a deep breath, trying to calm myself.

“Mrs. Tanner,” Red calls after me, seeing the tears running down my face. I grab the first taxi I see and head straight for our condo. I don’t stop to think about what I’m doing. It feels like I’m in shock.

I pack a bag in record time, scribble a note, and shoot a quick text to Cindy before I drop my phone and ring on the kitchen counter.

Maybe Cindy doesn’t know Phillip as well as she thinks. Maybe everyone thinks he’s boring because he’s good at hiding his true nature. My father’s good at hiding his dirty little secrets, too, but like most things, you just need to look a little closer. That’s when everything becomes clear. “God, you’re so naïve,” I whisper to myself.

I take the subway to the train station, where I buy a ticket on my credit card, then pull out as much cash as my cards will allow. I then grab a cab to the bus station. I want to get away for a little while and get my head on straight before I face him. I know he’ll track me down and find me if I don’t cover my tracks well enough.

I look up at the list of destinations and pick a place I hope he’ll never think of.





Chapter Two





Phillip




I wake up with a start, looking at my watch and seeing I overslept. I stretch my neck, trying to work out the kink from sleeping on this damn couch. I just meant to lie here for a few minutes before I left to go home. I’ve been sleeping so poorly lately that I needed just a quick nap to try to catch up.

The merger last year went smoothly, but the last few months have been hell. I’ve been working myself to the bone every night. I never get to see Molly, so at night when I go home, all I want to do is make love to her, needing a taste of her to hold me over, hoping to keep at bay the need I have for her. Then, when she passes out, I spend the rest of the night just holding her and watching her sleep. I can’t help it. I’m obsessively in love with her. It can’t be healthy, but I gave that fight up a long time ago. It is what it is. There’s no fighting this need I have for her.

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