Matrimonial Heartbreak

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Summary

"If you're that uncomfortable about the kiss, you should have talked about it with me." Jess stifled a gasp when he chuckled. "It was just a stupid kiss, anyway." She replied. Jessica Rivers has always been a shy, self-doubting, beautiful young woman but when lady luck struck after months of graduating college, she found it liberating discovering who she was in the most unlikely place- or person. Her boss. Falling in love with Reece Stanford and basking in it was never planned but he made her better and most of all, happy. So what's to stop her from saying 'I do'? Things she wished she'd known about perhaps- why her mother-in-law's only opinion of her is a 'home wrecker' and her vow to make Jess go through what she did... The only condition to let Jess breathe? Stay away from her son. But Jess learned to not give in to this woman, and she knew she had one person to unconditionally trust- her husband. So, how do you order up 'a woman's guide to getting over heartbreak?' How do you get over the lies built around you?

Genre:
Drama / Romance
Author:
Prolifick Instinct
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
37
Rating:
4.8 23 reviews
Age Rating:
13+

Chapter 1|| Name is 'Jess'

"What? No! Mr Stanford... I don’t have that sort of relationship with him. Really, I don’t even have any relationship with him.”

“He seems to be fond of you.”

What? She met the man once... maybe twice.

“I....”

Was he serious right now or was it some sort of test? His face lacked any sort of amusement and she was standing at a far distance from him, so she was not sure what his eyes were saying.

“That’s good I guess. It would be uncomfortable if we were in a relationship and you had a thing going with my dad.”

He smiled.

Less than 24 hours ago...

A day like this was one Jess knew she had all the time to be in her own world; time to think, have those almost impossible imaginations, pretend she was on top of the world strutting her confidence and just be comfortable with who she was- or wish she were.

She could at least have this moment, she thought to herself as she sat back on the sofa she got used to in the last three months while balancing the plate of chocolate chip cookies in her hands, ready for a re-run of her favourite TV series, Lone Flower.

It had already started but she was finding it hard to focus especially when she could not stop thinking if her decision earlier had been the right move to make. She sighed, picked up the contact card beside her again and stared at the number on it which she called earlier.

Come in on Monday and we’ll take it from there but be prepared to start work.′

She assumed that meant she’ll probably get a job- whatever it was going to be. She was not sure why she was thinking too hard about this. She needed to be out of her sister’s hair and her creepy boyfriend but she definitely was going to miss her beautiful niece.

Annabelle was a very smart girl at the age of six and they’ve been especially close these past months she started living with them after her college graduation.

But it wasn’t just that; Jess knew she had to take a step into being her own person and what better way than to prove to those sneering behind her back? She only knew to rely on her academic ability. She was quite the bookworm but sometimes she wished she had a natural talent she could put to use to earn money.

That was why she hesitated for days before finally giving in to calling the name on the card who had told her to do so anytime on a weekday. She had been unsure if he would remember her but he did and it seemed finally, she was getting somewhere with this one step she had taken.

These thoughts would not take her anywhere. She put off the TV and walked towards her room. She needed to impress and assure whoever, she was ready for work. Who was she kidding? There was nothing impressive in her wardrobe suitable for the official purpose. There had been no reason for one before. She was a casual type of girl.

She stopped at the door, hand on the knob and looked to her left. Maybe she could get something in Leisha’s room. She wanted to avoid that look her sister sometimes gave her when she was angry about something she did but her sister was not here, so she was not going to get any look.

She’ll just try something on, she probably would not find anything. Her sister was more confident in what she wore and Leisha wore just about anything she would be too insecure to try on.

Minutes later, she stood in awe of her reflection in front of her sister’s full view mirror.

The only time she had tried to be this bold was at a costume party in college when she had been forced to be an Egyptian princess. She had to do it for the department, they had said to her. Besides, she had the skin, the face, and definitely the body to pull it off- those were words she still remembered because of the words also said that night she preferred to forget.

You’re definitely of a mixed race but it’s hard to tell. Then they gave their guesses until they needed to confirm with her. Which is it?

An answer unknown to her since her mother refused to say anything about her father. Her mom was of mixed South American and African American gene but Jess did not think she looked anything like her- except maybe her body shape which Leisha loved to point out.

Leisha would not mind her borrowing this skirt and blouse, would she? Ha! She should just ask. She looked at herself in the mirror again. It was good enough and she was surprisingly comfortable in it despite the noticeable contours it magnified.

Loud and persistent knocks disrupted what was supposed to be her alone time in the house.

She was not expecting anyone; Leisha was away on business, Annabelle was with their mother until she got back and her sister had assured her no one would pop by. Her friends knew she was out of town and none of her sister’s friend hardly came by anyway.

There was no time to get out of the dress especially when the person at the door was insistent.

“Yes? Who is it?”

“Open the door, Jessica! I need to get something.”

She stopped in her tracks for a moment and frowned at the voice. What was he doing here? He said he had a whole week with the guys. She did not like this and definitely not him. The sound of a horn cut into her thoughts and she checked through the window to see two men in a blue convertible.

“Jessica, I haven’t got all day. Open up!”

Well, he’ll sure leave soon if he’s this impatient, she thought.

But he did not. He just got more impatient and so did the horn. She eventually opened the door and whatever he was about to say was held in as he left his mouth open while he traced her body with his eyes.

A smile lit up his face as he looked up at her.

“Are those your sister’s clothes?” She refused to answer him. “What are you up to?”

She kept mute and heard him chuckle. “I’ll just get some of my stuff and be out of here, even though you make it hard right now, which isn’t the only thing that’s about hard right now.”

Creep! She thought. She stayed right where she was as he went into Leisha’s room which was the same he shared whenever he was around which was almost all the time.

He called her name but she refused to answer him. She was smart enough to stay as far away from him especially being in the same house alone. He probably knew better too and came out, seeing her still standing where he had left her.

“Does she know you’re going through her things? You know how much she hates that.”

“Just leave Scott. I’ll tell her.”

“Why are you playing dress up anyway?”

She was about to answer but they heard the horn again.

“You look great by the way.” He winked at her and was out the door. Weird, he was being a bit civil with his use of words today.

She secured the lock on the door and let out the breath she was holding in. Scott was unpredictable and she did not like the look he gave her earlier.

Were the clothes too provocative? She did not think so. Scott seemingly was always like that even when she had worn and oversized clothes on and she sometimes wondered why her sister was still with him.


The weekend went by fast enough and Jess got enough sleep than anticipated. She had a quick bite of toast and a glass of orange juice, ready in her borrowed outfit. She had called her sister last night to ask permission hoping Scott had not called first to tell her what he had seen but it turned out he had not and Leisha was quick to tell her to borrow whatever she wanted as long as she returned them just the way they were.

It had all turned out great and maybe it meant she was going to be that lucky on her first day.

Traffic was not a drag and she reached her destination in seventeen minutes. She took a look at her wristwatch. She was right on time and in fact, had several minutes to spare. She walked as confidently as she could muster up but that did not work out too well as she bumped into someone.

“Sorry. I’m sorry.” Jess said as she unconsciously rubbed her shoulder and forearm.

With her head down, she continued walking unaware of the stranger’s eyes staring at what just happened.

“Hey. Wait up.”

She heard, probably spoken by the person she bumped into. She didn’t anyway. She couldn’t. She needed to be in time for her appointment as much as that voice was tempting enough to stop her and start a conversation. Ouch! But it did sting. What was he made of? She wondered as she rubbed her arm again.

She was directed to the floor she was to meet Mr Stanford at the reception. Her fake composure was not helping and she realized she had to do better getting it together as she fiddled with her fingers and shook them out nervously in the elevator. Thank goodness she was the only one in it as she counted the numbers inwardly with the elevator as it reached the top floor.

At the ding of the elevator, she cautiously stepped out. It was empty and too silent but obviously, she was on the right floor. The receptionist had said the top floor without hesitation when she gave her name and did not have to check twice for confirmation.

She looked around and followed the only path there was. It led her to a glass door and she opened it- so much for the emptiness and silence. The floor had several offices with transparent doors and windows, people inside engaged in different activities and though she knew she was supposed to make a move and ask for the right door, she just stood motionless taking it all in. Maybe she was actually not ready.

Lost in her thoughts, she was not even aware of the figure that stood before her.

“You’re her. Right?”

She stared at the beautiful brunette who stood inches taller in front her. She felt short. Jess looked back at her dark but beautiful eyes which were looking at her strangely.

What?

“You’re the girl Mr Stanford’s expecting, right?”

She nodded, unsure why she couldn’t put anything into words.

“Follow me.” The simple command was hard to ignore as she followed, watching the woman in front of her walk gracefully in her expensive looking black heels. They were pretty high, she was not sure what inches they were- she never knew those things.

Jess was more focused on what was ahead enough to ignore the couple of eyes starting to unnerve her. The brunette leading her to a more secluded room opened another glass door but the room was much different from the others.

“Wait here.”

She halted. When the brunette closed the door, she heard a voice behind her.

“Sit down dear, you look nervous enough as it is.”

The voice belonged to the only woman in the room who was probably in her early fifties. She had on a pair of round glasses and her blonde hair in a chignon. Jess showed her appreciation with a smile and a nod.

She sat on one of the very comfortable chairs and saw an empty desk not far from the woman’s. Maybe that was going to be hers. She wanted it to be hers. She liked the environment; it looked private, away from the smaller offices and she was sure she would get along well with the lady. That was if it wasn’t the brunette from earlier that was occupying the seat.

Jess looked towards the door the brunette entered and played with the strap of her bag. She wanted to say something, keep some sort of conversation with the woman but she held back because she was unsure if the woman would appreciate being disturbed while working and also, she had never been one to initiate conversations. She just did not know how to start them and if she did manage to start one, there was a lack of flow which always turned awkward for her. And awkward situations, she loved to avoid.

“Have you known Mr Stanford for a long while?”

“Ha... not really.”

The woman gave her another smile. “You look really nervous. I’ll say you shouldn’t. I probably should not tell you ahead but you look like you could do with easing some of that pent-up stress you got going.”

Jess just looked at her.

“You practically have the job. Mr Stanford made it clear to me. So you have nothing to worry about.”

She stared wide-eyed at the woman. What?! Did she get the job? Well, according to this woman.

The woman laughed silently. “I’m Eva and you look surprised dear. I would say you have nothing to worry about your boss but I know nothing about the son professionally. Stanford senior was my boss and he was positive you would be more appropriate than Val.”

Who was Val? She wondered.

The woman must have guessed her thoughts from her confused face. “You met her- the long legs that brought you in.”

Oh. The pretty brunette was Val. Well, might explain why she was not looking friendly. Did that mean the other desk belonged to her? She was about to say something when she heard that door finally open.

She turned and saw Val come out.

“You can go in.” And she walked out of the room not looking happy.

“Good luck dear,” Eva said and smiled at her.

Jess returned the smile this time and replied, “Thank you.” She knocked lightly and entered when she heard the approval to do so.

Expecting to see the man who had asked her to come in today, she noticed someone different sitting in the leather chair. He raised his head and she tried not to blink at the man looking at her. Instead, she stared at him, joining her palms and entwining her fingers to gather some strength.

“You are her,” He said with a final tone.

Why do they keep referring to her as that?

Though this man sounded like he was only confirming her identity. He looked at her like they already met but she was sure she had never seen him before. She would remember if she did.

"Mr Stanford...?"

She meant to ask about the man she was expecting on the seat he was on but he just raised an eyebrow at her.

“Were you expecting someone else? My father perhaps, Tess?”

It did not click on her that he got her name wrong.

“Umm... well, he did ask me...” She trailed off as she remembered Eva’s words; ‘Mr. Stanford was my boss.’

Did that mean he was no longer the boss?

“Mom’s going to go crazy.” He muttered silently but she had heard it.

“Excuse me?”

He stared at her for a while before cocking his head and rubbing his temple with his forefinger.

“Are you the girl?”

Of course, she was the girl. Why else would she be here?

She was starting to get really confused with the way he was looking at her. She was starting to feel nervous again. What girl was he talking about? He must have noticed the look on her face and asked the most absurd question she could never have imagined.

“Are you my father’s girlfriend Tess?”

Now, she was aware of what he called her but was not sure it was right to correct him at that moment.

Possible employers still asked sane and necessary questions at interviews, right?

What?

"What? No! Mr Stanford... I don’t have that sort of relationship with him. Really, I don’t even have any relationship with him.”

“He seems to be fond of you.”

What? She met the man once... maybe twice.

“I....”

Was he serious right now or was it some sort of test? His face lacked any sort of amusement and she was standing at a far distance from him, so she was not sure what his eyes were saying.

“That’s good I guess. It would be uncomfortable if we were in a relationship and you had a thing going with my dad.”

He smiled.

“Tess- ”

Her name was Jess! Why was he ‘Tess-ing’ her?

“Go on a date with me.”

What kind of job was she being offered really? Why was she really here?


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