Coming soon from Breathless Press:
“You go first,” Derek said, rolling his head towards her face. They were laying on her bed, fully dressed. Ava lounged with her shoulders on a pillow, while Derek's body made a T across the mattress, his head resting on her stomach.
“Okay...let's see...when did I first realize it was over with Brian...” She let out a slow breath. “I guess when he called me into his office one afternoon and told me he wanted me to go to Miami for a business trip on my birthday. When I reminded him we had plans that evening, he gave me this impatient, constipated look and said 'Ava, you have a birthday every year. What's the big deal?'”
“He really said that?” Derek laughed.
“Yes, he was so romantic. For Valentine's Day one year he bought me a blender. He told me I should start drinking protein shakes, because my abs were getting flabby.”
“I can't believe you let him get away.”
“I know, right?” She reached down to play with the unruly curls framing his forehead. “Your turn.”
“Oh, mine's easy. That would be the night I walked in on her and her personal trainer, doing naked lunges under the sheets.”
“She cheated on you?” Ava's voice was incredulous. “God, Derek, I'm so sorry. That must have been horrible!”
“Well, it was and it wasn't. I mean, neither of us was happy. In a way it just made things easier. We could blame the whole divorce on her cheating, instead of admitting to ourselves that we never should have gotten married in the first place.”
“I bet your parents were upset,” Ava said in a tight voice.
“Yeah, they loved Beth. They kept begging me to give her another chance. Can you imagine? Like, sure, she betrayed me, but if I divorced her, where would we ever find a fourth for tennis?”
They were silent for a moment, until Ava spoke quietly. “I just can't believe she cheated on you.”
“Well, who else would she cheat on, the UPS guy?”
“No, I mean...well, you know what I mean. You're perfect. I just don't get it.”
“I'm not perfect, Ava.”
“You are, you're just too perfectly humble to admit it. Your gorgeous, and smart, and rich...”
“I'm not rich, my parents are rich.” He lifted his head from her stomach and sat up.
“Oh, that is so something rich people say!”
“Ava, don't make me out to be perfect,” he said. “Perfect people don't get to make mistakes, or be in a bad mood, or forget to put the toilet seat down.”
“You leave the toilet seat up?”
“It's happened. I'm not proud of it.”
“Then I take it all back. You're weak and flawed.”
“I am,” he murmured, bending over her, pulling up her blouse and placing his lips on the smooth skin below her belly button.
“What are you doing?” she asked, cupping the back of his head with her palm.
“Kissing your flabby abs.”