The Unwanted Wife(6)

By: Natasha Anders


            “I don’t believe that for a second,” he maintained, reaching out to touch her face with one gentle hand. “The sex has always been good between us, Theresa. That’s one thing that’s never been in doubt. It’s the one damned thing that’s working in this marriage.”

            “It wasn’t working for me,” she muttered defiantly. That bruised his masculine ego; she sensed it in the way he tensed.

            “You weren’t faking those responses,” he negated stiffly.

            “No, I wasn’t. You’re really very good,” she agreed, realizing too late that she didn’t sound very convincing at all. “It just isn’t enough for me anymore.”

            “I’m not enough for you anymore?” he asked flatly, and she knew she had to tread carefully here, he was in an unpredictable mood, and she feared even more excoriating comments from him. It was in her nature to pacify rather than provoke, so she made one last attempt to explain herself.

            “That’s not quite what I meant…”

            “Oh?”

            “Sandro, you’re being deliberately obtuse.” Okay that wasn’t quite the right thing to say either. She could practically feel him bristling next to her.

            “It’ll probably be best if you didn’t say anything else, Theresa.”

            “Look, you’re intentionally misunderstanding me here…” she began.

            “Not another word,” he warned.

            “But…” Suddenly she was flat on her back with him straddling her hips. She gasped and writhed as she tried to dislodge him.

            “I warned you,” he growled.

            “Get off me,” she hissed angrily, pushing futilely at his hot, naked chest.

            “No.” He settled himself more firmly against her, moving his hips until her thighs reluctantly parted and he was lodged between them. Her T-shirt had ridden up to her waist, leaving only her tiny bikini panties as a barrier between them. She was achingly aware of his bare flesh rubbing against the tender skin of her inner thighs and felt herself responding. She helplessly moved with him, wanting more contact. He groaned and buried his face in her neck, his lips nuzzling her neck, moving up over her jaw line, then her chin, skirting past her mouth before brushing over her cheek and capturing one sensitive earlobe between his teeth. It was the blatant avoidance of her mouth that quite effectively doused the flame that had started a slow burn in her gut.

            “This is not what I want,” she said firmly, using all her strength to try and push him away, but he wouldn’t budge.

            “Yes it is,” he whispered into her ear.

            “If you do this, it’ll be against my will,” she asserted desperately. “And you know what that’s called!” He froze abruptly before moving off her and back to his side of the bed.

            “You would accuse me of something so despicable?” He sounded mortally offended, but Theresa wasn’t about to allow herself to be swayed.

            “If the shoe fits…”

            “What does that mean?” he growled. “Some damned ambiguous idiom that doesn’t apply to this situation at all! There was no force involved in what just happened.”

            “You pinned me down and refused to get off me when I asked you to. That’s a pretty clear example of force.” He didn’t respond and lay there seething in outraged silence. She had once again succeeded in bruising his masculine pride, and Theresa was human and petty enough to give herself a mental high five. They didn’t speak at all after that, and Theresa eventually fell into a restless sleep.





CHAPTER TWO

            The air at breakfast the following morning was still thick with tension. The unobtrusive staff had set out the usual Sunday morning breakfast buffet on the sunny patio next to the pool before disappearing into the woodwork. Sandro didn’t like distractions on Sunday mornings, so he preferred not to see the staff, and usually, even though he insisted Theresa have all meals with him for appearances’ sake, he ignored her in favor of his Sunday Times. That morning, despite his usual barrier of the newspaper up between him and the rest of the world—meaning her—she could all but feel his fury. After an unbearably tense half hour, he balled the paper up between his fists and tossed it aside before glaring at her across the glass table.

            “I want to know exactly where you were yesterday, Theresa,” he demanded.

            “Why do you even care?” she asked tiredly. “You’ve certainly disappeared without explanation enough times for the both of us.”

            “We’re not talking about me here,” he pointed out.

            “No, but I think it’s time we do talk about you, about your outrageous behavior, about the other women and your blatant disregard for the fact that you’re married!”

            “I don’t feel married!” He sounded almost defensive.

            “No?” she retorted recklessly. “Well, maybe I don’t feel married either! Maybe I’m ready to be outrageous. Maybe I’m ready for other men and extramarital affairs too!”

            “This had better not be your way of telling me that you were with another man last night, Theresa,” he said ominously, his voice eerily calm. Theresa ignored the warning in his voice and plunged on.

            “So what if that’s exactly what I’m telling you?” she asked. “What will you do about it? Make my life hell? Well, surprise, surprise…it’s already hell! Do your worst!”

            “What’s his name?” he demanded in a lethally controlled voice that sent an involuntary shudder down her spine. She recognized that she had pushed him too far, but she knew that even if she backed down now, it wouldn’t assuage his anger. “Theresa, who the hell is he?”

            Theresa couldn’t help but feel an instinctive frisson of fear. She knew that he had a tight leash on his temper, but right now that leash seemed strained to the breaking point.

            “I-I was speaking hypothetically,” she stuttered, abandoning all pretense of bravado.

            “I don’t believe you,” he bit out furiously.

            “I wasn’t with anybody, I just needed a break!”

            “A break,” he repeated with flat contempt.

            “Yes a break! A break from you and a break from this life. I don’t want to be in this marriage anymore. I want out and I want away from you! Please, I just want a divorce, Sandro. Please.”

            “You’ll get your divorce when I get my son,” he reminded ruthlessly.

            “That’s so sick,” she protested. “Why would you even want a child with a woman you despise?” He didn’t respond, and instead he gave her a searching look.

            “You honestly don’t know, do you?” he breathed in disbelief, and she blinked in confusion.

            “Know what?” she asked blankly, distracted by the look on his face. Again he didn’t reply. “Know what?”

            “Why did you marry me?” he asked.

            “You know why.” She was outraged by the way he was rubbing salt in the wound, unable to believe, even after a year and a half of similar treatment, that he could be so cruel.