“Mrs. Tanner,” Red calls after me, seeing the tears running down my face. I grab the first taxi I see and head straight for our condo. I don’t stop to think about what I’m doing. It feels like I’m in shock.
I pack a bag in record time, scribble a note, and shoot a quick text to Cindy before I drop my phone and ring on the kitchen counter.
Maybe Cindy doesn’t know Phillip as well as she thinks. Maybe everyone thinks he’s boring because he’s good at hiding his true nature. My father’s good at hiding his dirty little secrets, too, but like most things, you just need to look a little closer. That’s when everything becomes clear. “God, you’re so naïve,” I whisper to myself.
I take the subway to the train station, where I buy a ticket on my credit card, then pull out as much cash as my cards will allow. I then grab a cab to the bus station. I want to get away for a little while and get my head on straight before I face him. I know he’ll track me down and find me if I don’t cover my tracks well enough.
I look up at the list of destinations and pick a place I hope he’ll never think of.
Chapter Two Phillip
I wake up with a start, looking at my watch and seeing I overslept. I stretch my neck, trying to work out the kink from sleeping on this damn couch. I just meant to lie here for a few minutes before I left to go home. I’ve been sleeping so poorly lately that I needed just a quick nap to try to catch up.
The merger last year went smoothly, but the last few months have been hell. I’ve been working myself to the bone every night. I never get to see Molly, so at night when I go home, all I want to do is make love to her, needing a taste of her to hold me over, hoping to keep at bay the need I have for her. Then, when she passes out, I spend the rest of the night just holding her and watching her sleep. I can’t help it. I’m obsessively in love with her. It can’t be healthy, but I gave that fight up a long time ago. It is what it is. There’s no fighting this need I have for her.
I’d learned that early on. She woke up my whole world the moment I laid eyes on her. Feelings I’d never felt before came to life. I’d never needed another person before. Maybe because I’d never had one be there for me. From very early on in life I was alone, and I’d rather liked it like that. I didn’t want to be one of the foster kids begging for attention or clamoring to be adopted. I knew I’d only need myself.
I’d busted my ass through school, then college, saving every extra penny from the underground fighting I’d been doing to pay my bills. Then I starting investing in one thing after another. Seemed I had a good eye for what would be the next big thing. It became like an addiction. It was all I thought about: how could I make my hedge fund firm grow? And that had worked for me until she came strolling into my life.
Now she’s my addiction. In my every thought and every action. Making me want and crave things I never thought I wanted. I don’t want to waste a minute when I’m with her, least of all waste it sleeping. I keep telling myself I’ll sleep when I’m dead, but it’s starting to catch up to me.
I’ve got a big weekend planned, though, and if I can just make it through until then, it will all be perfect. I’ve been training my replacement the past six months, getting him in here and showing him all that I do. It’s taken long hours, and I haven’t told Molly. After we were first married, I tried to hold back on my need for her. She’s so young and beautiful, and I didn’t want to smother her with all that I wanted. She’s a blossoming flower, and I felt like the shadows keeping her all to myself. I didn’t want her to wilt and resent me for isolating her. So I worked hard and tried to hold myself back, telling myself that it was for her so that she could be happy. No woman wants her husband to suffocate her. I wanted her to make friends here and have a new life here. If it was up to me, it would be the two of us in our own home away from the city. I selfishly want her all to myself. The thought of being locked up with her in a house by the ocean and never leaving sounds like a dream come true. I never would have wanted something like that before Molly, but she changed all that for me. Made me want something else.
Sitting up from my couch, I try to rub out the wrinkles on my pants. I lay here too long and now I look like a mess. I’m anxious to get home to her, but I know the second I walk in the door I’ll be on her. It’s not fair how strong my need is for her. I can’t expect her to want sex with me every morning and every night. No woman wants it that much. Before, I didn’t give two shits about sex. It was always about the next deal or the next move I could make to expand my company. That was what used to get me off. What drove me each day. I would get lost in my work, and now all I want is to get lost in her.
I slip on my shoes and go over to grab my coat and keys and head out of my office. I’m surprised when I see Cary sitting at her desk. I told her to go home hours ago. She’s becoming a problem. Ryan, my replacement, hired her. Since he was the one to take over the day-to-day operations, I told him he could replace Debra as whoever he got would be working with him and not with me. I was so sad to see Debra go. She’d been the only mother figure I’d ever had in my life, but I couldn’t fault her for wanting to spend time with her husband. I felt the exact same way.
“Cary, why are you here? It’s almost eleven.” I don’t wait for her response, walking past her to the elevator and hitting the button. I plan on calling Ryan on the way home and telling him to get rid of her. I don’t care if I have a week left. He’s a married man himself, and we don’t need that kind of shit happening here.