When I arrived home, the place was dead quiet. Had Fitz gone to sleep already? At least, I wouldn’t have to face him feeling like crap. But my sigh of relief was short-lived when my gaze fell on his form at the dining table after I had put my bag down. I was so stunned to see him that I startled.
“Hi,” I said weakly after I had recovered from the near heart attack. I touched my chest to calm down my pounding heart.
“Aren’t you going to ask me how the interview went?” When I didn’t respond, he answered, “You watched it.”
“It was brutal; you didn’t deserve that.”
“You’re damn right that I didn’t!” Fitz roared, slapping the table with his open palm as he stood up. I got startled again. My heart began pounding again when he started walking towards me. Whether to run or stand my ground, I couldn’t decide. My feet had grown numb to go anywhere.
“I have worked so hard to get to where I am right now with as minimal damage to my reputation as possible. I have mastered how to cover my tracks very well if I ever had to cross the line. And no one has found cause to question me about anything because I have given no one reason to have questions to ask. So imagine my shock when some sassy woman asks me on live television about the one thing I had no intention of sharing with the world, the one secret I wanted to take to the grave with me just because my wife thought my shame was worth discussing with a third party.”
“Fitz…” The other words got caught in my throat because Fitz had his hands around my neck.
“You know the mole, don’t you? I know the leak came from your camp. Tell me now!”
“Fitz! Get your hands off me!”
“Is it Karen?” I shook my head, getting breathless.
“Who is it, her boyfriend?”
“No! Fitz, you’re hurting me!”
“Tell me Emily before I hurt you.” I stared into his eyes and shuddered at what I saw. His fingers were getting tighter around my throat and I was beginning to feel dizzy. Was he seriously going to strangle me? Maybe Karen was right; I should have demanded for a divorce when I freed myself from his prison of a house through near-suicide. I couldn’t believe how far I had come and how messed up my life had turned out to be. Oh no, I can’t breathe now, I thought faintly.
“Who is it?” I tapped his arm repeatedly, hoping he’d come to his senses but he wouldn’t budge. He was turning into a beast and beauty couldn’t make him see reason this time.
“Who’s it?!” I felt like blacking out.
“Who is it, Em?!”
“Tony,” I said breathlessly. He finally took his hands away and my legs gave me up, my butt hitting the floor heavily. I winced from the pain. My breath came in short gasps as my body tried to recover from the shock.
“Who’s Tony?” I was too shocked to talk.
“Is it…the same Tony from your university? The one we had dinner with some time ago?”
“What part of our family issues is his business? Why does he care if Karen is my biological daughter or not?”
“I don’t know.”
“Who told him?”
“I don’t know…news went around. Maybe it’s because you made me vanish.”
“I don’t understand. You two don’t see eye to eye if I clearly remember how the whole dinner went down. Why would he care about you?”
When I ignored the question, he sighed and chuckled. “You two used to see each other, didn’t you?” Like in an interrogation room, I refused to answer.
“How many of the guys that I’ve come to know have you slept with, Emily?”
“It was before we met, Fitz. We broke up.”
“Uh huh, the story of my life: every male I know happens to know my wife. First, Adam and now Tony? Do you know how embarrassing that is for me?”
“I am not a slut, Fitz!”
“Then prove me wrong for once, Emily! I don’t know what it is that even after you’ve moved on, the guys who’ve bonded with you once can’t seem to get over you. To leak such private information to the public to avenge what I did is beyond words.”
“I am so sorry about all this. I promise I’ll find Tony and find out who he leaked it to. I’ll let him retract his words.”
“Oh no, you’re not going anywhere near that jerk; in fact, I forbid you to! I’ll find that guy and I’ll make him pay,” he said and started to walk away. I stood up.
“What do you mean, make him pay?”
“Means a lot of things; I haven’t decided which definition I’d like to carry out.”
“I’m sorry but I can’t help it if my past comes back haunting me. I really wished I could start all over…”
“Well in case you’re given the chance to reincarnate, keep that in mind,” Fitz said cheekily. Our heads both turned when we heard Karen’s cry over the monitor.
“I guess that’s the baby’s cue that she needs her mother,” he said and walked away. My neck was still throbbing with pain and I felt exhausted. This whole scandal was sapping me of every energy I had and each day since has got worse.
I picked up lil’ Karen from her crib and rocked her gently. I sat us down in the rocking chair and after feeding her, she was calm. As she fell asleep, I watched her intently. I couldn’t believe I had almost killed her off. My life had taken a nosedive ever since she came into the picture. My life would have definitely been much better if she hadn’t appeared but I couldn’t imagine my life without her either. She was the only good thing left in my life. Although I didn’t have her the right way, I felt she was the only good deed I had done so far.
I opened my eyes when I sensed someone taking Karen from me.
“You almost dropped her,” Fitz said and put her back in her crib.
“Must have dozed off.”
“Dozed? You were sleeping in full gear. Come, let’s go to bed.”
I drowsily brushed my teeth and hopped onto bed. He pulled me towards me and I readily placed my head on his chest. He kissed the top of my head.
“I’m sorry for manhandling you like that. That was uncalled-for and unbecoming of me,” he apologized.
“You were angry and it’s my fault that we’re in this situation. I get it.”
“Be it as it may, I shouldn’t have done that. Forgive me.”
“Under one condition.”
“Promise not to touch Tony.” He sighed. I looked up at him.
“If you promise not to get in touch with him again.”
“Okay; it’s a deal then.” I smiled into my sleep. I was indeed married to a beast but at least, he was my beast to tame.
When I woke up the next morning, Fitz had left already. As I sat on the bed waiting for my brain to boot, the events of the previous night popped up in my head.
“Tony!” I exclaimed, reaching for my phone.
“Come on, pick up, pick up, pick up!” I chanted anxiously. After a while, he picked up.
“Tony! Thank God. Where are you?”
“Um…out and about. Why, what’s up?”
“My husband is probably looking for you.”
“Looking for me, why is that?”
“You know why, you dumbass. What were you thinking leaking my family issues to the press?”
“I reacted out of rage. I did that after I heard of what he did to you.”
“I wish I could give blow you a hero’s kiss right now but all you’ve done is cause me one headache after the other. I almost got suffocated last night trying not to give you up.”
“Don’t worry; I’m fine.”
“Tell me where to meet you. We need to talk.”
“I’ll text it to you.”
“Ah, why text it to me when you can….” The line went dead. I stared at the phone in shock.
“What the….did he just hang up on me? Seriously, maybe I should just let Fitz grill him to death,” I said, deeply irritated, throwing the phone on the bed.
Rose came in early; God bless her gentle soul. After feeding Karen and having breakfast, I blew my baby a kiss and headed towards the front door. I opened the door only to find Adam’s smiling face.
“Going somewhere?” He asked.
“Yeah…what brings you here? Fitz has already left.”
“I know; I’m here to see you.”
“Hey, we have a baby together, remember?”
“If it’s Karen you want to see, go right ahead. You have the whole house to yourself,” I said, making way for him to come inside. He entered, closed the door and took my hand, dragging me with him.
“What’s going on with you?” He let go of my hand and faced me.
“I missed you.” I arched a brow.
“Are you high?” He chuckled.
“I woke up this morning thinking of what could have been and how my love life has come to a standstill and I wanted to come see you.”
“I appreciate the thought but next time, book an appointment. I’ve somewhere I need to be.” He held my wrist, stopping me in my tracks.
“Don’t you ever…think about us?”
“What’s the point? We are not meant to be…I’ll always be grateful for giving me Karen but we are impossible.”
“You’ve forgotten how good our moments together made you feel?”
“Of course I haven’t…”
“Let me help you remember…” His lips captured mine before I could react. For a moment, I felt numb. I had indeed forgotten how good, no, how great it felt. I got lost into the kiss and it took Rose clearing her throat to snap me back into reality. We pulled apart.
“Um…it seems we’re running out of baby food,” she said.
“Oh yeah…” I took money out of my purse and gave it to her. She hurriedly left us alone. I turned to look at Adam who stood staring coolly at me, licking his lips.
“Really, you find this amusing?”
“Your lips are delicious,” he said, attempting to hold my face. I stepped back.
“I can’t believe you want me to cheat on my husband right in his house!” I sat down.
“I’m sorry; I got carried away,” he said with his hands raised. He sat next to me.
“I do miss you though,” he said, putting his arm around me. I glanced at him. He gave me one of his typical charming smiles. I couldn’t help but smile back.
Fitz walked into the warehouse and stood before a bound Tony.
“I was told my wife called you. I’m impressed. She’s smarter than I thought. It seems we both broke our promise to each other. Now, you and I are going to have a conversation.” He signaled the two men who had brought him in to leave them alone. After they had exited, Fitz sat down and looked at his watch.
“It has taken me almost an hour to get here. Do you know how much I could have gained if I was at work?” Tony did not answer. Fitz chuckled.
“I hope you’re not banking on my wife to come and rescue you.”
“She’s on her way.”
“She was but she’s…let me say, occupied at the moment.”
“Who are you?”
“I am Fitz Daniels.”
“You’re a monster and what you did to Emily was crazy.”
“Her knight in shining armor, is it?” He laughed. “She knows who I am and she is still married to me by her own will.”
“I don’t believe that.”
“That’s your problem. My problem is why you did what you did.”
“Because the world needed to know what you truly are.”
“And what is that?”
“Sociopath?” The back of Fitz’s hand slapped across Tony’s face.
“Watch your mouth, young man.”
I watched Adam play with Karen. I checked my watch. I really had to go.
“Adam, I’m sorry but I do have to leave.”
“I’m almost done. Then we leave together.”
“Don’t you have any studio work to do?”
“Always but family comes first.” I rolled my eyes and got up.
“Sit down, Emily,” he ordered. He looked at me sternly; in a way he hadn’t before.
“What is going on?”
“You don’t need to go out today.”
“You’re stalling. Why did you come here? Did Fitz send you here?” He stared at me and looked down at Karen.
“I can’t believe I fell for this. You two working together against me now?”
“You don’t need to get involved.”
“No need? I’m already involved! Fitz is furious and someone has to make sure he doesn’t go out of hand.”
“That jerk deserves everything coming for him. His stupidity could jeopardize my career and your marriage. Aren’t you concerned about that?”
“Let me worry about my marriage. Now tell me, where is Tony?!”