She searches the ceiling for an answer. “I’ll wear the pink bra. I’ll wear it to the market and sell ornaments in it all day long.”

Forget what I said about the Good Lord giving me a break. “I would like to see you try that, Addison Potts. I would love to see you try. I would go through that market like a motherfucking hurricane.”

“You said motherfucking.”

Since that doesn’t require an answer, I kick open the bedroom door, take two steps and bury the axe in the center of the headboard. I don’t have to turn around to know Addison is standing in the doorway with her mouth hanging open. But I do turn when she still doesn’t join me in the room. “Look at you,” I shout, ripping off the bedclothes and tossing them aside. “You won’t even set foot in here. Why didn’t you just say something?”

Her shadow shifts on the wall, but the lack of creaking floorboards tells me she’s still hovering in the entrance. “If saying something leads to you destroying innocent furniture, that showed good judgment on my part.”

With the bed stripped, I move to the floor-to-ceiling windows and pry one all the way open to a symphony of groaning wood, since it hasn’t been used in God knows how long. Then I return to the bed and drag the mattress off the box spring. Even for me, the king-sized mattress is heavy, but it would have to weigh as much as a tank to deter me.

“You can’t be serious,” she breathes.

“Come into the room and I won’t do it.”

She hesitates on the threshold.

I shove the mattress out the window. “The box spring is next.”

“You are a lunatic.” She takes a step into the room, her face painted with color. “I’ll sleep in the stupid bed, all right? Please, please, just don’t destroy it. It must have been special at some point.”

A man with a level head would quit while he’s ahead, but it’s becoming very obvious I don’t have a level head where Addison is concerned. And I’m angrier with myself than anything for lying here all night like an asshole and not seeing the answer that was right in front of me. “Sorry, Goose. It has to go,” I say, pulling the axe out of the headboard. “Any idea why this ceiling is domed?”

“What?”

“Not important.” I’m in the process of picking a good angle for my first swing when Addison rushes around the bed. “Elijah, no—”

“Back up, Addison. Please. You’re the only thing in this room I care about.”

I listen to her shallow breathing move farther and farther away. After a look over my shoulder to confirm she’s out of the axe’s range, I lift the metal tool over my head and swing it down, splitting the headboard clean down the middle. The axe drops to my side, hanging in my hand.

It’s odd…the lightness that follows me turning my bed into fire wood. I destroyed it for Addison, but until now, I wasn’t aware of the pinched nerves I’ve been living with. Failure, falling short of expectations, disappointment. Hell, shock. Those things were never supposed to happen to me. But they did. And I think being blindsided by them on my wedding day hit me in ways I didn’t realize. In ways I don’t want to think about right now. Maybe ever.

When I drop the axe and turn around, Addison is already on her way to me and I’m more than happy to pour all my focus into her. Just her.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Addison

This booty doesn’t need memory foam.

It’s already unforgettable.

#mattressgate

—Twitter @DuPontBadonk

I’m abandoning ship.

When a man chops a bed in half for you, is there any other choice?

My legs have the consistency of liquid and like the Grinch on Christmas morning, my heart has grown to three times its normal size. All full of Elijah. Bursting. Bursting. This beautiful, idiotic man who is going down in history as the mayor who threw a freaking mattress out the window. For me. Just so I would sleep beside him.

We’re lunging for each other and I’ve almost reached him when I force a reality check. He’s not over the wedding. Not over his ex. Things don’t change overnight and it hasn’t even been twenty-four hours since he admitted he’s not over being left at the altar. But what if…what if there’s a little possibility that Elijah could learn to love me, instead?

I’m so scared to even begin to hope, I have to press my lips together to keep a sob from escaping, but a second later I have to open them, because Elijah’s mouth is on mine. Our lips fit together like a door lock cylinder, holding, both of us breathing through our noses. He stoops down with a groan and my legs obey his silent command, lifting to circle his waist. And the kiss turns hot, earnest, one hand loosing my hair from the ponytail, the other sliding down the back of my shorts to squeeze my bottom.

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