Southern Charm

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Gabriella Paxton had once thought she had married Prince Charming, but the moment their daughter was born, he became a cold and distant monster. When Robert comes home late and reeking of perfume on the night of their tenth wedding anniversary, Gabby decides its time to return to Texas. Upon arriving back at her childhood ranch, her Aunt introduces her to the most handsome man she had ever laid eyes on, a mysterious Cowboy named Beau Bryce. Will Gabriella let her fear of love keep her from the budding romance with Beau or will she overcome her fear and allow him to show her how a woman is supposed to be loved.

Romance / Other
Sara G
Age Rating:

Chapter One

“Perfect,” Gabby whispered as she looked at the clock once more, the big bright neon numbers telling her that her husband was now four hours late. She knew she shouldn’t be shocked since he was always late, but this was their tenth anniversary, and she figured that he would at least try to be there. Her hair was up and curled and her body held a blue dress that she had lost ten just to fit in to.

Twenty minutes the front door to their upper-class New York penthouse opened and closed, and heavy footsteps made their way towards the bedroom. Seeing her husband of ten years walk into the room looking unruly and out of place made her blood boil. In the past, he had numerous affairs, but Gabby wanted to believe that he still loved her.

“I’m sorry baby I got caught up at work,” Robert lied undoing his tie and unbuttoning his shirt. Gabby stood there watching him, her arms crossed over her chest and her breathing deep and shallow as she watched every move he made. "You look nice." He said with no emotion in his voice.

You were with her weren't you?” Gabby asked as she stormed out of the bedroom and down the hall, listening as Robert mumbled under his breathe. Her eyes were welling up with hot tears as she knew that her ten-year marriage was over.

Gabby peeked her head into her daughter’s room, smiling as she saw her sleeping, curled up next to her teddy bear. She was grateful that Sophia was only three and not old enough to remember the constant fighting and bickering. She had tried to salvage her marriage for the sake of her daughter, but now she knew this was no life for Sophia.

Gabby didn’t even know why she was still dressed in her blue Versace dress since she had sent the babysitter home hours ago, the need to go out and celebrate her marriage now out the window. Everything in that moment was out the window, her entire marriage was now hanging by a single frayed thread.

She gently closed the door and looked down at her wedding ring, the large diamond no longer meaning anything to her. She had no idea how in just a year she could go from madly in love, to awful bitterness.

“What do you want me to say Gabby? You haven’t touched me in months.” Robert retorted from the bedroom, making a chill go down Gabby’s spine. She wanted to hit him and make sure he felt just how he was making her feel. She hated feeling as if she was nothing, hated feeling as if all of his sins were her fault.

“Maybe it’s because the last time I touched you, you called out your secretary’s name!” Gabby retorted. She watched as Robert huffed and slammed the bedroom door, leaving her alone in the hallway.

Gabby walked into the guest bedroom, or the room that she had come to know as hers and tore off her designer dress. She couldn’t believe she had spent so much money on looking good when Robert didn’t even care anymore. For months she had tried different things to get him to notice her, including dying her once auburn hair blonde, a color she thought she would never dye her hair.

She knew perfectly well who he was with tonight since his big breasted blond secretary wouldn’t answer her calls. Gabby walked into the guest bathroom and washed off her makeup and undid her hair, feeling like the most worthless person in the world. She once felt like the most beautiful woman in the world, but now she didn’t feel worthy of anything.

Gabby used to be married to who she thought was the perfect man, a man who promised her the world but gave her emptiness instead. The only thing he did give her was a beautiful daughter, a daughter that he hardly saw and acknowledged.

She felt trapped in a city she once loved, and she knew she had to leave, but where could she go? She had no real friends here and she knew that, and she had no real family. The day she had left her quaint home in Wyattsville Texas, she felt as if she had lost her family, a family she once adored dearly.

Gabby walked from the bathroom and into the study, her fingers gripping around the last family photo she had from her past life. It was the day before she left for New York City, the smile on her face and hope in her eyes making her heart break all over again.

“Aunt Kate,” Gabby said as she rubbed her thumb over the picture, her heart sinking as she realized it had been months since she talked to her aunt. She had gotten so consumed in pretending to be the perfect upper-class wife that she had forgotten where she came from.

She picked up her phone from the bed and found her aunts number, knowing that in all these years she would still have the same number, and no doubt the same avocado green phone. Her aunt was a true Texas southerner never once even considering getting a cell phone since to her it was a waste of time.

She knew it was late in Texas, but Gabby needed to hear her aunt’s voice before she could fully relax for the night. She dialed the number and listened to the ringing, her heart pounding as she thought of what to say. It had been way too long since she had spoken to her aunt, mostly since Robert hated it when she talked to her family since they always tried to convince her to come home.

“Who in the hell is calling this late!” Her aunt’s voice said loud and clear, tears stinging the corners of her eyes as she hadn’t realized just how much she had missed the sound of her aunt’s voice.

“Aunt Kate,” Gabby said bursting into tears as everything finally started to collapse around her. Everything in her life was falling apart, her future now so unclear when she used to know exactly what she wanted.

“Gabby Dear? Gabby what’s wrong honey?” Kate asked her voice soft and nurturing. Gabby couldn’t speak, all she could do was hold her hand over her mouth to muffle the sobs. The last thing she needed was Robert to hear her and listen to his tired excuses and apologies. It never failed, it was almost routine. The moment Robert heard her cries was the moment he turned into a gentleman.

“Can I come home?” Gabby finally asked scared to hear the answer since she didn’t deserve her Aunts kindness. She had just picked up and left when she was 19, her aunt warning her the entire time what kind of man she was marrying.

“Of course, you can darling, this is your home,” Kate replied, her voice shaking as she was no doubt crying right along with Gabby. Her aunt was a tough woman, but she had a kind, gentle heart. Her aunt had one main rule, that no person ever cried alone in her presence.

“I’m so sorry Aunt Kate, I should have listened to you about Robert,” Gabby said trying once again to hide her sobs as she heard Roberts’s heavy footsteps by the door. She took a deep breath and listened carefully, her body tensing as she heard the bedroom door close again.

“You hush now, you just get you and Sophia on a plane and come home,” Kate said sternly, her voice so calming to Gabby. She felt terrible as Kate mentioned Sophia, knowing she was the innocent victim in this. She knew that Sophia would be confused as to why they had to leave, but she knew that Sophia would adore Texas.

“Yes ma’am,” Gabby said with a light chuckle her mind starting to ease as she thought about being away from this hell hole soon. After Gabby hung up the phone, she dressed in her pajamas and climbed into the cold bed, her heart still breaking as she thought about how wrong she had been about love.

When she met Robert, she thought she had it all figured out, and leaving Texas for New York sounded like heaven. Robert had made their first few years of marriage pure heaven with the constant trips to Paris and Rome, and his constant love and kindness towards her.

After she had Sophia, is when things started to change, and not for the better like it was supposed to. Robert changed and turned into a shell of a man that she fell in love with. He became cold and distant and cruel, making Gabby feel like she was just in the way of his life.

Gabby wiped a stray tear from her tear-stained cheek and removed her rings, placing them on the table beside her. She knew that Robert would take her leaving as a great sigh of relief, and that thought broke what was left of her heart. She wanted him to fight for their marriage, but she also knew that she was done fighting.

“I don’t want to love him anymore, please God, just take this way.” Gabby sobbed into the pillow, her sobs soon taking her off to sleep.

The next afternoon she found herself cutting up all of Roberts's work shirts, not caring how much money she was throwing away. Sure, Robert had kept her in very comfortable surroundings, but none of that matter to her. She wanted his love and affection, not the material possessions that he was now in love with.

“Mommy, where are we going?” Sophia asked as Gabby walked into her bedroom to grab her suitcases. She didn’t want her daughter to feel fear, she wanted her daughter to know only happiness and enjoy her childhood, but she also knew that this was all very confusing for her.

“We are going to see mommas Aunt Kate, she lives in Texas where they have cows!” Gabby said, trying to make this a little less traumatizing for Sophia.

“Cows! Like big cows?!” Sophia exclaimed making Gabby laugh. She loved how well-spoken her daughter was, even for a three-year-old, but she had been sent to the best preschool in Manhattan.

“Of course, baby, really big cows!” Gabby replied.

She threw the rest of Roberts’s clothes on the floor and left the bedroom, hoping that when he got home from his extra-marital affairs the scene would hit him like a ton of bricks. Her heart swelled when she took Sophia’s little hand in hers and walked towards the front door, tears coming to her eyes as she knew she would never step foot in this apartment again.

Gabby had packed just one bag each for them and taken out enough cash for them to live on since Gabby knew that Robert would cancel her credit cards the moment he found out she was gone. She had wished she had finished college since as of that moment she had no real skills, other than a few nursing courses.

The taxi to the airport was almost life-changing since it meant that she was officially leaving everything behind. For once in Gabby’s life, she felt in control and full of optimism about the future.

Gabby knew that Robert was going to bring a hell-storm when she filed for divorce, but she didn’t care. She didn’t want his money or any possessions since she had the most precious thing she could ever have, her daughter.

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