Evan awoke to find a text message from Emma. He had tried calling and texting her after he left Chatters, but she hadn’t responded.
I’m sorry that I didn’t wait for you. Can I come over when you wake up?
He hadn’t been too happy that she drove home after drinking, but he couldn’t talk because he had done the same thing. He was displeased that she hadn’t returned his calls or told him that she was leaving the bar without him. Out of frustration and drunkenness, he logged onto dontaskdonttell.com as soon as he got home and sent a message to the first beautiful brunette he saw on the screen. It didn’t take her long to respond and show up at his house within thirty minutes.
It only took a month for him to cheat on the love of his life.
Evan rubbed his forehead as he watched the ceiling fan spin round and round. What had he done? An aching sensation appeared in the pit of his stomach. It certainly wasn’t the first time he had cheated on a girlfriend of his, but it was the first time he felt so guilty about it. He knew what he needed to do.
Within minutes, he was sitting at his computer, signing him and Emma up for a marathon. He wasn’t sure if Emma would be keen on the idea, but he needed to preoccupy himself with extracurricular activities that didn’t involve other women. Training for a marathon was the ticket, and he could do it with Emma, strengthening their bond.
He finished their registration and grabbed his phone to text Emma. It’s okay. I’m awake if you want to come over.
She responded that she was on her way. When his doorbell rang, Evan pushed his extreme guilt about cheating aside and put a smile on his face. He opened the door, and she fell into his arms. Before long, they were making love, and Evan had no problem focusing on anything but beautiful Emma.
An hour later, they showered together and dressed for the day.
“I need to show a house today. Do you mind if I use your computer before I go?” Emma asked him, slipping on her sandal.
A lump formed in Evan’s throat. Had he closed out the browser? He couldn’t remember.
“Sure. I’ll sign on it for you.” Evan left his bedroom and quickly made his way to his computer. It was still on from the night before. He moved the mouse, and the website dontaskdonttell.com displayed brightly on the screen. He quickly closed it, then cleared his browser history. “It’s all yours.”
“Thanks.” Emma was already standing behind him.
Shit, he thought to himself and wondered if she saw the website.
Evan stood, and Emma sat down, opening up a browser. She hadn’t seen anything, because if she had, she wouldn’t be acting so calm.
Evan moved to the kitchen to brew a cup of coffee. “I signed us up for a marathon.”
Emma stopped typing on his keyboard and turned to him, wide-eyed. “You did what?”
She’s not happy. “It will be fun.”
“Says who?” Emma turned back to the computer.
“Come on! You’re a great runner. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
“I’m great at running five miles. It took me forever to train for a half marathon. Doesn’t it take a year to train for a full one? When is it?” Emma stood and turned to Evan.
“It doesn’t take a year.” He picked up his coffee cup and took a sip. “You can train in three months if you stick to a strict schedule.”
Emma narrowed her brows. “When is it, Evan?”
“It’s in three months.”
Frowning, Emma walked to the kitchen, grabbed her purse, and leaned over the Island to kiss him. “I’m going to meet a customer to show a house. I’ll adhere to your strict training schedule and run this marathon, but only because I love you.” She turned toward the front door and stopped in her tracks.
She loves me! “Wait, what did you say to me?”
Emma slowly turned to face Evan. Her face was beet red. “I, uh.”
Evan placed his coffee cup on the counter and grinned. “You love me?”
“Maybe,” she said before biting her lip.
Evan walked around the Island, reached out, and wrapped his arms around her waist before leaning in to kiss her. “I love you too,” he whispered in her ear. His remorse about the night before quickly faded. He would make things right, moving forward. He had to, for Emma.
After she left, Evan received a phone call from Nick, who was supposed to be attending a tradeshow in Orlando early the next morning. It was an hour from where they lived, so he planned to stay the night in a hotel where the tradeshow was taking place rather than get up early. Except, he couldn’t go. He was sick. Evan had no choice but to go in his place.
Evan packed a bag and text Emma to let her know he was leaving town for the night. Their marathon training would have to start the following day. On the way to his car, Evan received a text from his boss.
Don’t worry about attending the tradeshow. Let’s scratch this one and save money. I was able to cancel it without penalty.
Evan’s brows narrowed. Now he had the night off. He could text Emma to invite her over, or he could stay home by himself, drink beer and watch sports on TV. He hadn’t done that since Emma came into the picture, and he was sick of watching reality shows and drinking sauvignon blanc, Emma’s favorite kind of wine. Without second-guessing himself, Evan went back inside, grabbed a beer out of the fridge, and settled on the couch, turning on the sports channel.
About two hours and five beers later, Evan was bored. Emma had texted him to say she was having drinks with Natasha, so she wouldn’t be available to come over even if he wanted her to. He caught a glimpse of his blank computer screen and thought about checking his emails, but even sitting at the computer desk would tempt him to log onto dontaskdonttell.com.
I’ll just check my emails.
Evan stood, hurried to his computer desk, and took a seat. He turned the computer on and waited. As soon as his screen saver shined brightly, he opened the web browser to check his email.
No new emails, except for a couple of advertisements for his favorite protein shake, filled his inbox. Then, Evan wondered if the girl with the butterfly tattoo had written him back.
It won’t hurt to check, he thought.
Evan typed dontaskdonttell.com into the browser and logged in. The woman with the butterfly tattoo hadn’t emailed him back, but someone had.
He somewhat remembered contacting her the night prior, having sent it in a drunken state of mind. His mind immediately wandered to the fact that after just one night of betrayal, Dr. Nelson hadn’t entered his mind earlier that day when he and Emma were making love. He credited it to the fact that he had slept with someone with Dr. Nelson’s seductive looks the night prior.
I’m doing this for Emma, his mind twistedly thought.
Evan opened the woman’s message to respond, and within two hours, he heard a knock on his door.