The billionaires wife, p.3
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       The Billionaire's Wife, p.3
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         Part #2 of An Heir At Any Price series by Holly Rayner  
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  Eric was still smiling and pulling at his daddy’s face.

  “I think he does,” I told him with a smile. My smile didn’t hold in place long though.

  “I’m sorry. I have to go back to the office for a while.”

  “Tonight?” I said. I looked at the clock; it was seven-forty-five.

  “Yeah, I’m sorry,” he said again. I could tell he was genuinely distressed by it. I didn’t want to add any more stress than he already had, but I was distressed by it too. He went on to say, “There are some contracts that I have to sign before midnight. They have to be sent to Thailand and it’s a matter of making or breaking this deal.”

  “Couldn’t they send them over to you?”

  “That’s what I asked Randall, but he can’t find the original documents. He’s there now, searching through my assistant’s desk. She’s gone AWOL; she’s not answering her phone. She’s another issue that I’ll have to deal with soon; she’s had a lot of issues lately. But, tonight I have to get these documents signed. I wouldn’t go if it wasn’t really important, Holly. It could literally mean a loss of billions of dollars to my company. I’m sorry.” I felt bad that he thought he had to keep apologizing. He had Eric in one arm and he put the other around me and pulled me into them. He kissed me and then kissed our son and said, “I love you both so much. I promise, as soon as this deal is done, I’ll be home so much that you’ll both be sick of me.”

  I wanted to be annoyed with him, but I couldn’t. Even after being together for a year and a half, he could still charm me into just about anything. My heart and soul were overwhelmed by love for him, and it helped that he really didn’t seem to want to go.

  “Okay,” I told him. “But by this time next month, I better be seeing so much of you that I am genuinely sick of you.”

  “I guarantee it,” he said with a grin. I watched him gather his things and head out. I doubted that there was any situation that existed where I would be sick of him. He had his faults, but he had so many more redeeming qualities to overshadow them that they were hardly noticeable.

  After Aiden left I bathed the baby and put him down for the night. I always sat in his room for a while and watched him sleep. It was calming to me. I finally pulled myself back up and kissed his little forehead softly, and then I took the baby monitor with me and set about my nightly routine of straightening up the apartment. I was home all day, so things weren’t ever too out of sorts, but Eric had so many toys and things that they were always everywhere. Aiden had offered to hire both a nanny and a housekeeper for me, but I’d turned him down. Taking care of a home and an infant wasn’t easy work, but when it was your home and infant it was a labor of love. Most nights I went to bed exhausted, but with a smile on my face. I wasn’t ready to give that pleasure over to anyone else. I put the toys away and washed the few dishes in the sink. I started turning out the lights and planned to go to bed and read my new book, when I passed Aiden’s jacket on the back of the chair. I stopped and picked it up and took it over to hang in the closet where I kept the dry-cleaning that needed to be picked up. When I lifted it up off the chair, one of Aiden’s business cards fell out of the breast pocket. I bent to pick it up and saw that there was a number written on the back. I recognized it as a Scarsdale area code because of all the time I’d spent there before Eric was born when Aiden and I were split up and my mom was in rehab. I hung up the jacket and went to sit the card back on the table where Aiden could find it. I looked at it again and wondered…why didn’t he write a name down too?

  I started letting my imagination run away with me. I thought about how he looked relieved earlier that it was Randall on the phone. That made me remember something that I hadn’t really thought much about since it happened. I had been in the bedroom one morning several days ago while Aiden was in the shower. His phone was ringing and I picked it up. I wasn’t going to answer it, I was going to take it to him when suddenly he appeared, dripping wet with a towel around his waist.

  “What the heck are you doing?” I’d asked him. “You’re dripping all over the place.”

  He held out his hand for the phone that was still ringing in mine.

  “I just came out to get the phone,” he said. “Sorry about the mess.”

  “It’s fine, I would have brought it to you,” I told him.

  “Oh, I know. I just didn’t know you were still in the room. I thought it might be Randall or my assistant.”

  I hadn’t thought another thing about it, until now. The number on the phone that day was a Scarsdale area code, just like the number in my hand. He’d gone back into the bathroom before he’d answered it, and he’d left the shower running the entire time. He was awfully touchy about his phone lately, he was distant and anxious and he spent a lot of time away from home. If I were a suspicious woman I might say those were all signs that he was having an affair. I told myself that I was just being silly. Aiden would never have an affair. He loved me and Eric. Our family was more important to him than that. I put the card back down on the table, but I just couldn’t get myself to walk away. I picked it back up and looked at it then I sat it back down. I wasn’t usually so indecisive, but I wasn’t usually suspicious of my husband either. Sighing, and annoyed with myself, I picked up my own phone and called Myra.

  “Hey, I hope it’s not too late,” I asked her.

  “Are you kidding, girl? I got four kids, baby. If I went to bed this early I’d never get a moment alone,” she said with a laugh. “What’s up girl?”

  “I have a stupid question,” I told her.

  “Well, I’d like to tell you that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but the truth is, I’ve heard quite a few in my lifetime.” I laughed, I missed Myra a lot…and Rose and Joe…“What is it, baby girl?”

  “Okay,” I said. “If your husband worked late every night, acted really strange and protective of his phone and was distant and moody towards you and the kids, and you found a card with a number written on it, but nothing else, what would your first thought be?”

  “That he was having an affair, and my second thought would be that I’m going to kill the SOB.”

  I laughed again. This time it was a nervous laugh. That was the answer I expected, but not the one that I wanted.

  “Would you call the number, or just confront him?” I asked her.

  “I’d call it, without a doubt. I need to know who else’s ass to kick. Then I’d confront him. Ain’t nobody sneaking around on this Mama,” she said with a laugh. Then turning serious she said, “Are you okay, honey? You don’t think Aiden is…?”

  “I’m fine, Myra, and no…Aiden would never cheat. I have a friend who asked me for advice and I wasn’t sure what to tell her. I completely agree with your assessment though. Thank you!”

  “Anytime kiddo. I’m available for butt kicking too, if need be.”

  I didn’t doubt that she was. I also didn’t doubt that she knew I wasn’t calling for a “friend,” but I knew I could trust her. I thanked her again and once I’d hung up I stared at the phone again wondering if I should do this. I knew I had to…I was probably going to end up being embarrassed that I didn’t trust my husband, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight if I didn’t do it.

  I blocked my own number so it would show as unknown and then I dialed the number and listened to it ring three times. It was finally answered on the other end by a female voice. I heard my own shaky voice come out as I said, “I’m sorry; I may have dialed the wrong number. I was looking for a man named Aiden Scott. He gave me a business card and I know it’s after hours. I found this number written on the back of it. I thought this might be his personal number?”

  “No, this isn’t his number. If I talk to him though, I could give him the message…?”

  I felt my heart pounding and my head aching. My stomach was churning as I asked her, “Do you plan on talking to him soon?” Why do you plan on talking to him soon? I wanted to ask her, but I didn’t.

  “Yes, I’m sure if
he doesn’t call me tonight, I’ll hear from him in the morning…” I hung up in the middle of her sentence. I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up. I wasn’t ready to confront the other woman. I needed to talk to my husband first and give him a chance to explain. I was sure, at least I hoped, that he’d have a valid explanation. Was Aiden having an affair? Was I being naïve even asking myself that question after what this woman just told me…? I tried to keep myself calm. I didn’t have enough information to be jumping to conclusions…yet.

  Chapter Three

  ~

  AIDEN

  I spent a lot of time thinking about not meeting with Cecile. I also spent a lot of time thinking about telling Holly that she had called. Ultimately, I did neither. Holly knew something was weighing heavy on my mind. She wasn’t going to buy that it was all about work for much longer. She was very trusting, but she wasn’t stupid.

  I did meet with Cecile on the condition that it was in a public place and only if she brought Mark. He was who this was about. Fear of being told I couldn’t see him again was what kept me from telling my wife what I was doing. I wouldn’t risk upsetting Holly for any less than that. Cecile and I arranged to meet at the zoo outside of the city. I couldn’t really afford to spend the time away from the office, but losing Mark had truly been the worst thing that had ever happened to me. It almost destroyed me. I wasn’t going to turn down a gift like this; the chance to get re-acquainted with the boy I had thought was my son.

  I nervously walked up towards the front gates of the zoo, and I saw them waiting there…Cecile and Mark. They hadn’t seen me yet, so that gave me an opportunity to observe them both. Cecile was still as beautiful as ever. She had taken my breath away the first time I saw her. She had long, silky dark hair and huge dark blue eyes. She knew she was beautiful, and she knew the effect her beauty had on people. She also knew how to use that to get what she wanted. It used to work for me, but it wouldn’t any longer. I knew all of her games and I wasn’t interested in playing them any longer. I didn’t miss her at all, and unless it had to do with Mark, I rarely thought of her anymore. I was overwhelmed by my love for Holly. I felt her all the way to my soul. That was a place I’d not gone with Cecile. Our love was always more on the surface, running only skin deep, like Cecile’s beauty.

  The little boy standing next to her, however, was a different story. He had a spray of freckles across his perfect little nose and an unruly mop of dark hair that hung down over his eyes. I didn’t have to see them now to know they were the color of the ocean. He’d gotten his mother’s eyes and he was as beautiful as she was. I remember when he was tiny, that any place we ever took him, people would stop and tell us what a beautiful baby he was. I’d always been so proud, because at that time I believed I’d had something to do with creating him.

  He caught my eye and held it for a moment as I was jogging across the wide parking lot. I saw him tug on his mother’s hand and point at me. I wondered how he knew it was me. I saw Cecile look up and smile and wave and when I reached them, she threw her arms around my shoulders and embraced me like we were old friends and she had never done the things that she had to destroy our marriage and take away my son.

  “Thank you so much for coming, Aiden,” she said. I nudged her back off of me and looked down at Mark.

  “Hello there,” I said to him.

  He looked at me with giant eyes with no recognition in them. He looked so different from the last time I saw him that, had I passed him on the street, I wouldn’t have known it was him. That broke my heart.
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