Hey, Lovers!

We're starting to come to the end of this super fun serial. Don't worry. There are still a few episodes left. I'm so glad you liked the dream scene. I've been wanting to do that FOREVER!

Depending on where you are around the world, autumn is upon us. Well, most of us. Today it was ninety degrees! But it's been nice to enjoy a longer summer, especially this past weekend when I went down to Blue Ridge, GA  for my friend Sara's wedding. She's an author too. If you like YA Fantasy, you can check out her book here. It's so good!

Anyway, I got to be the honorary day-of coordinator, which means I got to boss people around. Her guests were wondering if I was a professional wedding coordinator. So if writing doesn't work out, I think that'll be my backup career. There's nothing like helping a bride's dreams come true, aside from writing a happy ending that is :) 

And speaking of fall, if you haven't already, check out the Pumpkins and Pages Hop on Facebook. Me and a slew of other authors are hosting giveaways and there's an awesome autumn grand prize too! Click the graphic to check it out!

If you've missed any episodes, you can get them all here:

My Two Husbands Episodes 1-11

If you don't remember what happened in episode 11, here's a quick recap (WARNING! Spoilers from Ep. 11!!):

It's getting hot in here, so Kyle, Jake, and Natalie took off all their clothes.

Okay, not exactly, but after Jake kissed Natalie on the deck she had a dream that would make any woman sweat.  

Back in the past . . .

Jake's back from Vegas and it's not good. Especially when he comes home to find Kyle getting a little too close to his wife. Is Natalie finally over Jake's antics or is she willing to give it one more try? Find out now on My Two Husbands- Episode Twelve!

Episode Twelve

NOW

My husband hints at a smile. “What is it?”

I shake my head. “Nothing. It doesn’t matter.” My dream was not nothing. And you don’t have to be Freud to figure out what it means.

Easy interpretation?

I’m screwed.

“Okay.” Kyle shrugs. “We have to leave for our excursion soon, so you might want to get dressed.”

 “Yeah, I’ll just jump in the shower.” I step my feet onto the floor and my stomach churns followed by a distinct sensation rushing up my esophagus.

 Oh, no. Not again.

I cover my mouth and rush to the toilet. No time to shut the door behind me. I release whatever’s left in my stomach—nothing but bile from a bad, bad, very naughty dream. Is it possible that my body’s punishing me for what I’ve done? It certainly feels that way.  

“You okay, honey,” Kyle asks then soothes the top of my shoulders with his gentle hands.

“I must have the stomach flu or something.”

“C’mon.” He helps me to my feet. “Let’s get you down to the medical station.”

I stay hunched as Kyle and I head down to the cruise ship doctor on one of the lower decks. Seeing Jake right now would probably kill me. When we get to the medical facility, they’re already hosting a handful of passengers. More than I expected. I hope we’re not all here for the same thing. The last thing this cruise needs is a full-on flu outbreak. Then again, Jake’s on the boat, so the chances of a catastrophe are high.

I get settled and the doctor asks me a few routine questions. When I tell him about my symptoms, he knits his brow and gets really quiet.

The doctor scans the medical form I completed. “Well, you don’t have a fever. Any chance you’re pregnant?”

“I seriously doubt that,” I say since I’m a champ at taking my pill.

Wait, did I take it last night?

Uh oh, I don’t think so.

Okay, usually I’m a champ at taking my pill. One missed dose does not make a baby.

“Let’s go ahead and rule it out so we can get to the bottom of this, and you can enjoy the rest of your cruise.”

Sweat beads up along the back of my neck. I haven’t taken a pregnancy test since . . . well, since the last time I was pregnant. Kyle and I have never had a scare before. I wasn’t even thinking about pregnancy until he brought it up.

Ugh. I think I might be sick again.

After I give my sample, Kyle and I sit on one of the beds while we wait for the results.

“So, you think one of my boys got through?” Kyle says in a lighthearted tone.

I shake my head unsure if I would even want to go through that whole thing again.

“Because if one of them did get through, then it might not be such a bad thing.” This time his tone is much more serious.

Kyle knows all about what happened and he’s totally been on board with the whole not having kids thing. Besides, how unfair would it be for us to get the “good news” that we’re having a baby the morning after I kissed my ex?

“You don’t want to have a baby with me,” I say.

He takes my hand. “What are you talking about?”

I take a moment, then pull my hand away. “Jake kissed me.”

A verbal vomit, but vomit no less. Trust me, I did not want to tell him at the cruise ship doctor’s office while we’re waiting on a result that could change our entire lives. But on the off chance that test comes back positive, then he has to know the truth. The whole truth.

Kyle gulps with panic-stricken eyes. “Did you kiss him back?”

“I did at first—” 

“Dammit, Natalie!” Kyle jumps to his feet and walks to the corner of the tiny room. “Are you sleeping with him too? Is that why you’re telling me now?”

“No!” I shake my head violently. “It just happened last night on the deck, but I pushed him away and told him I couldn’t do that to you.”

“You couldn’t do that to me. But you obviously wanted to kiss him back,” he says.

“I know it sounds bad but I was drunk and I got caught up in a moment. A very brief moment. But nothing happened.”

“Is that the first time he’s kissed you since we’ve been married?”

“Yes, I swear. And it will never happen again.”

He rests his hands on his hips, hanging his head like he wants to give up. “You know between this, and the way you moped around after he moved out, and calling his name when we were . . .” He grits his teeth and now I’m not sure if telling him was the right thing to do. “Lately it just seems like you’d rather be with him than with me. Just like when we all first met.”

The knot in my stomach twists tighter at his words. I don’t know if it’s because I hate that I made my husband feel this way or if there’s some truth to what he’s saying. “If I wanted to be with him, I would be with him.”

The nurse comes in with a concerned expression. “Everything okay in here?”  

Kyle gives me a silent glare and I look at the woman in light blue scrubs.

“That depends on the news you have,” I say.

She shifts her eyes, hesitating for a moment, then glances down at her clipboard. “The results are back and . . .”

 

 

 

THEN

“Why did you let me get married?” I groan to Sloan while nursing my third glass of Chardonnay.

My friend rubs Lily’s back while the two of them sit together on the floor. “See, I knew I should’ve stopped you. But you were all like, ‘Meh, I want to make it official.’” She makes a face to match her mocking tone. It’s crazy what love will make you do.

Eh, love, schmove.

“I should divorce him, right? I mean, he’s put everything in jeopardy.”

“Oh, no. I’m not going there with you.” She waves me off and I sneer back at her for the one time she’s not willing to chime in with her opinion. “But I will say this. Whatever’s going on with Jake is not normal. Husband or ex-husband. He needs help.”

She’s right. As much as I’d like to, I can’t just abandon him. “I know. I’ve tried to be supportive and give him what he wants.”

“Yeah, but now you have to give him what he needs.”

“A punch in the gut?”

Sloan gives me a flat look. “I know how much you love him, and I know if you don’t at least try, really try, then you’ll probably regret it.”  

I let out an annoyed sigh. “You’re right.”

“I know.” Sloan gives me a smug smile before sipping her wine. What would I do without her?

But more importantly, how am I going to give Jake what he needs?

I let my mind drift to the possibilities of a very long road. Where will it end? Can we actually get back to a good place? Right now I’m too furious with him to imagine feeling anything but contempt. But he’s my husband. My family. And Sloan’s right. I have to try.

I set my half-empty glass on the coffee table and rise to my feet. “I’ll be right back.”

Sloan immediately grabs her phone while I sneak out the back door with mine. My heart races as I dial Kyle.

“Natalie?” he answers.

“Hey, are you all right?” I tug on my bottom lip feeling so guilty about what happened.

“Yeah, I think I’ll survive,” he jokes.

“I’m so sorry I—”   

“No, Natalie, you have nothing to apologize for. I’m the one who overstepped. Jake wasn’t totally wrong to accuse me the way he did. You know, I just got out of a long relationship and I was feeling lonely. You were all by yourself too so I just . . . got caught up in the whole thing. I’m sorry.”

Maybe that’s all it was between Kyle and me—two lonely people looking for comfort. I guess now I’ll never know. “What’s gonna happen to you and Jake?”

“I don’t know. What about you? What’s gonna happen to you and Jake?”

I shrug even though he can’t see me. “I don’t know.”

***

Kyle’s words were totally genuine and apologized to Jake, which he accepted easily.  How nice it must be to have the kind of relationship you can patch up with a couple quick apologies, a six-pack of beer, and a basketball game on TV. If only it were that easy for Jake and me.

When I finally came home from Sloan’s house after four days, Jake had done a lot of thinking. Soul searching as he would call it. His eyes were steady and his spine straight when he promised to make things right between us. Now that the Vegas project was essentially dead, he’d stay in Florida and run his business. He assured me he would not go after any other grand plans and we would earn the money back slowly but surely.

I was still angry with him and no matter how much make-up sex we had, something just didn’t feel totally right between us. I figured that I just needed time to heal the wounds I had sustained. Kyle and I rarely saw each other, and when we did, he’d be standoffish, almost like he’d get in trouble for talking to me. Maybe he would have.

I kept myself distracted with work. No surprise there. But I wasn’t the only one. A couple of months had passed before he started working weird hours. A lot of late nights. There was no evidence of foul play and things between Jake and I seemed to be functioning okay, so I didn’t push for more answers about the things I was feeling off about. But then as time went on, Jake’s late night’s became more and more frequent. I’d wake up every time he’d climb into bed past midnight. He’d stink like a pub—smoke lingering on his clothes, whiskey seeping through his pores. When I confronted him about it he’d say that work was stressful and that a drink or two was the only way he could sleep. When I asked him to stop drinking, he refused and called me crazy.

The only thing that made me crazy was being married to him. And so I talked to a lawyer. The papers haven’t even been drawn up when he walked into my office that sunny afternoon in March.

“Hey, is everything okay?” I ask.

Jake shuts the door behind him and says nothing.

“Jake? What’s wrong?”

By the look on his face, I’m almost sure something’s happened to our dog. “Is it Lily?”

“No.” Jake lowers his head.

“Then what is it!”

He looks up and shrugs. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t ever remember being this much of a fuck-up.”

Agreed, even though I have no freaking clue what he’s trying to tell me.

“I thought if I could just . . .” He curls his hand into a fist in the air as if trying to grasp something that slips through his fingers at the last second. “I just made everything worse.”

I cross my arms. “Jake, what are you talking about?”

“I tried to get the money back. Your money back. And I almost had it but . . . I lost it. I lost everything.”

“Geez, Jake, are you drunk? Again? You’re not making any sense.”

“A little but I wanted you to hear it from me.”

“Hear wha—” Before I can finish my sentence, I catch a glimpse of a tow truck outside of my office window that faces the parking lot. I rush toward the view and watch as my beautiful midnight blue BMW is lifted off the asphalt. I grit my teeth. “Jake . . . why is my car being towed?”

“It’s not being towed. It’s being repossessed.”

I whip my head around, praying that I misheard him. “Excuse me? How in the hell did you manage to do that?”

“I took out a business loan, using our personal assets as collateral.”

What?!

“What?! How could you do that after what happened in Vegas?”

By the look in his eyes, he desperately wants to defend himself but knows he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Or a car to drive for that matter. “I thought I could double it, pay off the loan and you’d never know about it.”

“You gotta be fucking kidding me! Next you’re gonna tell me they took the house too.”

He freezes but his eyes say it all.

My blood is literally boiling so hot I think I might explode. “I knew it. I knew something was up. How could I be so stupid?” I yell.

“I’m sorry, Quinn.”

“I know you’re sorry. You’re always sorry. Well you know what? I’m sorry too. I’m sorry I married you!”

He says nothing, like he doesn’t have the will to fight with me. Or maybe he already knows he’d lose even if he did.

“Get out,” I say

“Quinn, I—”

“Get out!”

Jake throws his hands in the air and walks toward the door. I grab the stapler from my desk and chuck it as he shuts the door. The cheap plastic splinters and tumbles to the ground. I sink down with it and sob into my shaking hands.

 What am I going to do?

Where am I going to live?

How will I ever recover from this? 

These and other questions flood my mind in quick succession. And in that moment, there’s only one person in the entire world that I can think of who could even begin to answer them.

Kyle.

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Amanda Aksel

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