Ted waved his hand and shook his head. “No, you’re fine. It was a long time ago. I’ve had plenty of time to grieve. I’m just thankful that the boys don’t remember anything about it. I’m sure they will ask questions and all that when they get older, and I’ll tell them the truth when I feel that they are old enough to handle it. But I’m ok. I know that Leia is watching me from somewhere and keeping an eye over all of us.”
Well, he was kind of right…
“That bastard,” Taylor said. “He really said all that? I don’t think he even gets how creepy he comes off, does he?”
I shook my head. “No, he really doesn’t. There is just nothing inside of him.”
Sitting in the Jacuzzi with a glass of wine and some soft music in the background, I was finally getting a chance to relax and unwind after my day. Taylor was sitting on the edge of the Jacuzzi, still wearing his clothes, having just arrived home from the hospital a while ago. It was one of his long days. I’ve never been able to figure out why doctors often have to work such long shifts. But then again, Taylor was the head of the clinic.
Sitting in his mansion, I felt a bit like a princess. Taylor had told me that he was rich and I knew he had money, but I never realized that he was worth over a hundred million dollars until we started getting really close. And even then I thought he might be joking, but he was quite the entrepreneur. Not only was he the head of one of the best hospitals in the country, but he had done some groundbreaking research on cell reproduction, in association with Patrick. He’d also written and published six New York Times best sellers. Taylor had even done a few book tours in his time.
“Won’t you join me?” I teased flicking some water at him.
“Oh, that is so tempting,” Taylor said. “But I was hoping to get some work done on the new book tonight.”
“I thought you were just in the beginning stages. Have they even accepted the proposal?”
“Oh, yeah. Did I not mention that to you? I thought I did? Anyway, the publisher is excited and would love to have the book by mid-summer, which gives me precisely three months to research it, write it, edit it, and get it in a publisher’s hands. So, the next few months are going to be a bit busy. They always are when I’m writing.”
I shook my head. “Wow, I feel like a lazy bum compared to you.”
He smiled. “I do feel lazy.”
With that he headed off to his office while I stayed behind. The Jacuzzi felt great after a long day. It was the only way I felt that I could get the “Ted” off of me.
How long would it take? How long would my kids have to live with that person? When would I be able to look at Ted behind bars?
The suspense, the not knowing—it was killing me. It felt like some itch inside my chest that I just couldn’t scratch.
I took several deep breaths and closed my eyes. But when I did, I kept seeing Ted’s evil, twisted face right in front of me. He actually thought that he was having some kind of romantic effect on me. It was almost laughable. If he had any clue to how close he was about to come to his whole world being ripped apart…
“Good riddance,” I said laughing as I took a sip of wine.
Yeah, I could definitely get into this revenge game.
* * *
I was just finishing putting the kids to bed the next night when I heard Ted downstairs doing something. Papers were shuffling and it sounded like he was pacing back and forth. Even all these years later I could recognize the signs of him on the verge of some kind of narcissistic breakdown. Something hadn’t gone his way and the world was out to get him, so he was going to have a little tantrum. That was about the gist of it, I was sure. God, he was such a baby. How had I ever let the jerk fool me into falling for him?
And how much longer was I going to keep blaming myself? Most likely, I would never stop. I’d pretty much made peace with that. As much horror as Ted had wrought on my life, he couldn’t have done any of it without me letting my guard down. I’d let him in and he’d taken everything from me.
The boys were both fast asleep. I turned out the lights and closed the door lightly behind me. Then I made my way down the steps and headed towards the kitchen so as not to disturb him. From upstairs it had almost sounded like he was on the phone with somebody, but now he was just talking to himself from his office. I knew I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t resist taking a quick peak at him.