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Authors: Ava Catori

Behind Closed Doors

BOOK: Behind Closed Doors
9.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Closed Doors: A Romance Novella


2013, Ava Catori

story is a work of fiction.

Chapter 1

into our long driveway, I saw my husband’s mistress leaving
through the front door. She didn’t even have the decency to use
the back entrance. I was torn between anger and shame, feeling the
slap in my face. I could walk away from this, live my own life, and
be done with him. Only it wasn’t that easy, being in the public
eye, every action I took touched us both.

opened my door, “Ma’am” he said, escorting me to
the entrance.

don’t know how to play these games anymore. I sighed wearily
and stepped out of the car. Returning from a charity luncheon, I
didn’t expect to see my husband’s sexual toy pass before
my eyes. I could only ignore so much and pretend like it wasn’t
real, but when I saw her leaving the pains in my stomach told me the

was tall and slender, and whether she wore big dark sunglasses or
not, I knew her eyes screamed slut. She knew he was married, but that
didn’t seem to matter. I resisted the urge to scream at her,
tell her to stay away, but there was no point in doing that. If it
wasn’t her, it would be somebody else. I held my tongue and
what little dignity I had left.

in, I set my bag down and tossed off my heels, something I’d
wanted to do since I put them on this morning. Padding down the
hallway with my shoes in my hand, I found my way to the bedroom. I
used to share it with my husband. We used to be in love before I
learned about his mistress, or should I say mistresses. The worst
part was learning she wasn’t his first. We don’t sleep
together anymore, but I can’t just leave. It’s not as
easy as that.

into more comfortable clothes, I went to the library to bury myself
in a book so I wouldn’t have to think about my own life. A
large overstuffed chair with an ottoman called to me. I sank into
it, wishing it would swallow me up. Settling in with a story I sighed
heavily, letting my tears fall. I’m not made of steel; of
course it hurt to see her. She was younger, prettier, and my husband
chose another woman over his own wife.

“Hunter” Stone knocked at the door, making his presence

looked up and said nothing; my tears spoke volumes.

you okay, Mrs. Michaels?” His concern seemed genuine, but he
was simply doing his job to watch out for me.

nodded, swallowing my pride. “I guess I have to be.”

you like some company, or would you prefer I remain out here.”

like to be alone,” I said, appreciating the gesture.

understand,” he stated and then stood guard at the doorway

was my assigned bodyguard, and spent his days nearby. He had a quiet
strength. His presence was felt, but he never got in the way, always
staying to the side. It’s hard to be the Governor’s wife
while avoiding a huge controversy, but it’s harder to be the
wife of a cheater.

wasn’t his first time, but it was the first time he’d
been so brazen about it, throwing it in my face. When I confronted
him he didn’t lie, didn’t pretend like it wasn’t
happening, he simply said he wasn’t in love with me anymore.
I’m not sure when the love stopped, but it never stopped

been groomed for a life in the public eye. My family came from
politics, and I was raised to be another politician or at least a
trophy piece for an important man – only this trophy’s
shine had faded. There was talk of my husband being a future Vice
President candidate, and the last thing he needed was for his
marriage to fall apart. So I stood by his side, being a devoted wife,
knowing his career depended on my silence.

tried to bury myself in the story, but I reread the same damn
sentence over and over again. Finally giving in, I put the book down
and stared at the bookshelves stacked with leather bound books. I’d
systematically gone through the classics – and while they were
good reading, I settled on something more modern.

I called out.

rounded the corner, his back having been to the doorframe, “Yes,

you sit and talk with me for a bit? I’ve changed my mind.”

course, Mrs. Michaels,” he said, joining me in the room.

hate when you call me Ma’am, it makes me feel old.”

Ma’am,” he self-corrected, “I’m sorry, Mrs.
Michaels.” I think it was more habit than anything.

know you’re on duty, but I much prefer Elle,” I
reiterated for the hundredth time. “I’m only Mrs.
Michaels by marriage, and you know that’s a sham,” I
trailed off, not wanting to go there.

understand, it’s just what I’ve been instructed by my
agency,” he started.

knew he was supposed to be proper when referring to me, but I hated
the coldness. I much preferred when he spoke to me like a peer,
rather than his boss. He let it slip out time to time, but he was
good at his job.

can I ask you a question?”

Ma…” stopping himself, “certainly, Elle.”

you think I’m an attractive woman, or have I passed my prime?”
I was almost embarrassed to ask, but I needed to know.

wasn’t sure how to respond, not wanting to cross boundaries,
“Elle, you’re a lovely woman.”

I sighed, “that’s the polite version of fine.”
Taking a deep breath, “I’m getting older. Harry used to
think I was beautiful, now he puts his cock in some young slut.”
I shook my head, “I’m sorry, that was inappropriate and
uncalled for,” I said, my frustration building at having seen
his mistress leaving my house earlier.

never made an appearance, so I guess once their business was done; he
went about his way – avoiding me as much as possible.

flawed, Hunter,” I started to cry. “What happened?”

Michaels, you’re not flawed,” he started, and then
stopping to choose his words carefully. “Elle, some men can’t
help themselves. I’m not giving him an excuse, what he’s
doing is wrong, but some men don’t see loyalty as a trait they
need to aspire too sadly. I’ve never understood that. I’m
sorry he’s hurt you.”

didn’t answer the question, Hunter. Hunter, is that what your
mom used to call you, or did she call you Alex?”

called me Alex, Ma’am. I picked up the nickname in the military
– it stuck.”


Michaels, answering the question would put me in an awkward position,
as you’re my employer, and quite honestly I don’t want to
lose my job.” He was trying to be gracious, not wanting to be
put on the spot, and not wanting to offend me in any manner.

so you don’t have the heart to tell me I’m past my
prime.” I understood, his lack of saying so told me what he
truly thought.

the contrary, Elle, you’re quite lovely, and this time I mean
it in the most complimentary way.”

blushed, not expecting that answer. “Thank you, Hunter. I
appreciate you sparing my feelings.” That was sweet of him to
try to make me feel better, but I knew they were words of formality
and not of heart. My luster was dimming as I got older.

my husband, wasn’t always so cold, there was a time he truly
loved me. We were perfect together, me having been raised in a
political family, him having aspirations. It wasn’t until he
got pulled into the crap that goes along with it that his values
changed. One small bit at a time, he corrupted himself, and soon I
was something he was willing to step on to get what he wanted. I
think it was the power – it went to his head.

he understand these women didn’t truly want him for who he was?
He was simply a public man with money, and these dirty women were
only in it for exposure and a money grab. I’m sure it inflated
his ego to have young women throwing themselves at him, but he never
made the connection that it wouldn’t be happening if he was a
no name tradesman.

didn’t matter, he’d screwed me over one too many times,
and this time I was no longer in the dark – his truth came out,
and our marriage became a sham. I hated him for hurting me and
putting it in my face, and yet I still remembered what we used to be.

used to love Harry. When we met, we’d stay up all night
talking, laughing, sharing our thoughts, and I admired his ambition
and aspirations. Something happened along the way, and when his name
was tossed in the ring to possibly be groomed for a future VP gig,
there was no stopping his ego.

I see a loveless marriage, and feel trapped in the life I chose. I
can’t destroy his political dreams, he’s come too far –
and yet in the process I’m paying for it with his infidelity. I
tried to threaten him when I first found out, but then I caved and
told him that if he was going to live this way, at least keep it out
of my face. He couldn’t even do me that favor at this point. He
was only in it for his own wants and needs, knowing I was trapped in
the situation.

was crushed – and thankful that we don’t have kids. I
wouldn’t want to expose them to this kind of life. I chose the
money and the lifestyle over my freedom when given the choice. It was
a mistake, but I’m in too deep. I can’t back out now.

would you mind stepping out?” I asked, wanting to confront my
husband over his sleazy tramp leaving through the front door.

Ma’am,” he said returning to his post at the door. He was
always near, strong and silent.

Harry’s private line, it went to voicemail. I knew it would. He
rarely speaks to me when he can avoid it. My voice was cold, and I
was bitter. “Ask your dates to use the back door in the
future,” I spit out, and then hung up the phone.

hate him, and hated myself for allowing him to win. Why? Where was my
backbone? I could walk away and let him deal with cleaning up his own
mess – and yet something kept me here. I didn’t know
what. Maybe underneath it all, I wanted to be a Vice President’s
wife. I guess I deserved what I got.

my life I’d been groomed to be in the public eye. My parents
were in politics, and image was everything. They wanted me to follow
in their footsteps or at least keep it in the family. When I didn’t
show an interest in politics for a career, I was primped to be a
trophy wife for a colleague. I didn’t expect to fall in love
with Harry, but I did.

was young, impressionable, and he seemed so wise, easily ten years
older than me, and looking for a wife – somebody to be seen
with. I fit the bill and fell for his charming charisma early on, not
that he has it anymore.

should have demanded more respect, should have begged him to stop,
but I was stunned and simply caved. What should I have done? Thrown
him out of the Governor’s mansion? He’s the damn

stood and stretched, leaving the comfort of the overstuffed lazy
chair. Walking through the doorway, Hunter dropped in behind me,
following me as I walked. I was used to his shadow, though he never
overstayed his welcome. He blended well, something I desperately
needed right now. I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I needed to
crawl into bed and lick my wounds.

BOOK: Behind Closed Doors
9.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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