Until Ashlyn Page 26

“Maybe not fighting-fighting, but I told him we’re not in love and he got pissed and stormed out, but not before tossing a grenade at me. I think his words were, ‘I just found out the woman I’m in love with isn’t in love with me.’”

“Oh,” she sighs, and slouches forward on the chair.


“Buying his house isn’t going to fix this.”

“I’m not stupid, Michelle. I know buying his house isn’t going to fix anything, but I want him to know I believe in us as much as he does.”

“You’re in love with him.” It’s a statement, but I still nod, picking up my coffee.

“Yes, I’ve also accepted that,” I grumble into my cup.

“Don’t sound so mad about it.” She laughs. She would think this is funny.

“I’m not mad, but we just got on a crazy roller-coaster together, and I can’t see the top. I’m freaking out, because there could be no more tracks left once we reach the tipping point.”

“He’s in love with you. That’s not going to change just because he’s mad. He’s kind of intense, and you probably hurt his feelings since he’s been lusting after you forever. Maybe even in love with you for that long. And now he thinks you don’t feel the same. It’s standard Alpha Male Syndrome.”

“Alpha Male Syndrome?” I laugh, and she nods.

“Yes, Alpha Male Syndrome, and your man is suffering from the worst case I’ve ever seen.”

“I’m still buying the house,” I tell her, and her eyes soften.

“Let me look it up. Do you know the address?”

“Yeah.” I tell her, and she types it into her computer then blinks at the screen. “What? Please don’t tell me someone has already put an offer on it.”

“No, no offer.” She spins her laptop around to face me. I scan the screen and the details of the house, and then feel bile rise up the back of my throat when I see the asking price.

“Six hundred thousand?” I whisper in disbelief. My house only cost me a hundred and sixty thousand. Granted, it’s much smaller than his, but still. That price is outrageous. “Stupid fountain.”

“What?” she questions.

“Nothing,” I mutter. “How much would my down payment need to be?”

“One hundred and twenty thousand, give or take, depending on if he’s willing to negotiate.”

Sitting back, defeated, I sigh. “I don’t have that much saved.” I have some money, but not a hundred and twenty thousand dollars. If I did, I would have zero school loans and a newer car than the one I have now.

“You should just talk to him. He doesn’t need a grand gesture like this.” She waves at the computer, and I bite the inside of my cheek.

“I don’t really have a choice, do I?”

“Not unless you want to go bankrupt.”

“What the hell have I gotten myself into?” I moan.

“It’s called a relationship.” She smiles, taking a sip of coffee, and I kick her under the table.

“I wish you could have seen the look on his face when he talked about why he bought it. He loves it, and because of me, he’s giving it up.”

“So move into it with him.”

“What?” I frown, and she rolls her eyes.

“If you don’t want him to sell it, then just move in with him.”

“Why didn’t I think of that?”

“Because you’re blonde now.”

“Shut up.” I smile as the wheels in my head start to turn.

“What did you drive?”

“My Suburban, why?” she asks, studying me.

“I need your help.”

“Does this help involve carrying heavy shit?”

“Maybe.” I shrug, picking up my coffee, taking another sip and hoping this plan of mine works.

“You are so lucky I wore sneakers,” she mutters, and I grin.


“What the fuck is going on?” is roared, and I look at Michelle with wide eyes and feel my heart lodge itself in my throat.

“Oh shit,” I breathe, and my stupid best friend has the audacity to point at me and laugh as the bottles of my shampoo and conditioner in my hand drop and clatter to the bathroom floor.

“Ashlyn?” he calls, and I duck down. Why? I don’t know; it’s not like he can’t see me. But I feel safer hidden behind Michelle, who is now laughing like a hyena.

“Michelle, can I talk to my wife? Alone?” he asks, exaggerating the word wife, and I cringe.

“Yep.” She turns to look at me, mouthing, Alpha Male Syndrome, then smiles. “I’ll call you tomorrow, love you,” she chirps, disappearing out of the bathroom and leaving me to face my very pissed off husband.

“Do you want to tell me why the fuck all my shit is packed?” he asks, swinging his hand in the direction of the bedroom.

“I…” I freeze. He must not have noticed I packed a lot of my stuff as well.

“Jesus, what the fuck?” he growls before I have a chance to answer. “I’m not moving out, and if you think I am, you have lost your damn mind.”

“Dillon,” I interject softly, and his eyes narrow.

“I wasn’t even gone for three hours, and in that time, you convinced yourself that we’re separating?” He leans in. “Think again, baby, ’cause it’s not happening. Not now, not ever. We’re married, and are staying fucking married.” He clips off the last point close to my face.

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