Mending Heart

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Chapter 19

You Again?

“Don’t wait until you’re in crisis to come up with a crisis plan.” – Phil McGraw

Ethan’s POV

“I’m going to need the quarterly report on my desk by the end of the week,” I told my assistant, MaryAnne, who was walking alongside me furiously typing notes on her iPad. “And call accounting and tell them I want to see Tom in my office.”

“Yes, Mr. Thomas.” She nodded vigorously.

“I will also be out of town for most of next week, but clear my afternoon on Friday,” I added, rounding the corner to my office. “Don’t schedule any – ”

The words drifted from my mouth as I came face to face with an all too familiar blonde just outside my door. “That’s all for now, MaryAnne.” I quickly dismissed, keeping my eye trained on the person I was hoping never to see again.

“What are you doing here?” I growled, grabbing her arm and pulling her into my office.

“Hello to you too.” She smirked, her eyes curiously scanning the room. “So this is your new office, huh? A downgrade from the one in London if you ask me.”

Slamming the door shut, I took a deep breath. “I asked you what you’re doing here, Stacy.”

“I thought I’d come to visit my husband.”

“We’re not married anymore Stacy.” I rolled my eyes, walking around the large wooden desk and taking a seat in my chair.

“Oh, but we are.” She tsked. “The divorce isn’t finalized yet, so technically we’re still married.”

“Not for long.”

“Don’t be like that.” She pouted, taking a seat across from me. I watched as she crossed her perfectly toned legs and adjusted the length of her beige pencil skirt. Once, many years ago, I might have found it to be attractive. Now – her mere presence pissed me off.

“If you don’t get to the point Stacy,” I stared her deadpan in the eye. “I’m calling security.”

“Look Ethan” She leaned forward, pushing her cleavage out. “It’s clear that you want our divorce proceedings to be over as quickly as possible. It’s actually why I’m here – I have a proposition for you.”

This ought to be good.

Against my better judgment, I asked, “And what proposition would that be?”

“I’m willing to sign the divorce papers tomorrow in front of our lawyers if you agree to give me a higher settlement.”

Should’ve gone with my gut and called security the moment I saw her.

“You’ve clearly lost your mind.” I laughed, shaking my head.

“Just think about it, darling.” She flashed me an overly sweet smile, leaning back in her seat and crossing her arms.

“There’s nothing to think about!” I narrowed my eyes at her. “I’m already giving you more than I have to, considering I’m the one that walked in on you and your yoga instructor in my house.”

“Our house.”

“I’m giving you ten seconds to get out of my office before I throw you out.” I gritted, holding her gaze and leaning forward in my seat.

“Are you sure?” She asked, a coy smirk dancing on her lips. “I ran into your little friend, McKenzie.”

“Excuse me?” My eyes flashed with anger at the mention of McKenzie.

“She seemed to have quite the reaction to meeting me.” Stacy shrugged.

“You talked to her?”

“Don’t forget my last name is still Thomas, and people are willing to tell me just about anything.” Her voice dropped, keeping her gaze trained on me. “Especially when it involves my dear husband.”

I was on my feet in a matter of seconds. “Get out,” I shouted, pointing in the direction of the door.

“I’ll be in town for another couple of days if you change your mind.” She flashed me another smile over her shoulder.



“Fuck!” I slammed my hand against the desk.

Stacy couldn’t have shown up at a worse time. Things were going great between McKenzie and me – we were spending more and more time together, and she was finally starting to open up to me.

Now? All of that probably went down the drain because I’m a fucking idiot.

What I couldn’t get out of my head was what the fuck Stacy was doing here. Last I heard, she was still working out of the London office. In my father’s eyes, Stacy could do no wrong. Which is why, when I told my parents the two of us were getting a divorce, my father refused to believe it. Even after I reluctantly told him the reason behind the divorce – he still worshiped Stacy.

My mother, on the other hand, looked like she was ready to throw a party when I told her the news. She never liked Stacy. When I brought her home for the first time, the first thing she told me was not rush into marriage – but of course me being the idiot I was back then, didn’t listen.

And now, here we are.

Stacy could have easily had her lawyer relay the message that she wanted more money, but instead she flew out here personally. She was up to something, and I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like what it was.

“Come in,” I shouted when I heard a knock on the door. A part of me was hoping it would be McKenzie on the other side, but deep down I knew that wasn’t true.

God knows what Stacy told her, I sighed rubbing my face in frustration.

“Mr. Thomas,” Tom, from accounting, peeked his head in through the door. “You wanted to see me?”

“Yes –” I waved for him to come in. Tom was your typical accountant – tall and lanky, dressed in a pair of black slacks and a maroon sweater vest with black framed prescription glasses. He was also fairly young, probably having just graduated college not too long ago. “I want to go over some of the budgets for next quarter.”

Tom spent a good two hours explaining to me every little detail of our budget and projected financial statements. After he left, I was sitting in my office glaring at the hundreds of unopened emails I was supposed to respond to when I finally closed the laptop with a frustrated sigh.

It was well past normal business hours, and the only people still here were those working to finish a deadline or looking to avoid going home.

In my case it was neither. I was trying to build up the courage to go see McKenzie.

Glancing at the clock, it read 7:13 PM. It’s now or never, I thought as I gathered all of my belongings.


On the way to McKenzie’s apartment, I decided to make a phone call.

“Ethan, what can I do for you?” My lawyer, Jack answered.

“I just got a visit from Stacy,” I replied, cutting to the chase. While Jack was my lawyer, he was also an old friend. The two of us went to school together, and while I decided to get an MBA, he went on to law school and was currently the top divorce attorney in the country. When I walked in on Stacy and her yoga instructor, Jack was my first call.

“Right now?” He sounded genuinely shocked. “What’s she doing in Chicago.”

“She wants more money.” I sighed, adjusting the rearview mirror.

“Of course she does,” Jack grumbled on the other end. “I hate to be the one to say I told you so, but I did tell you to have her sign a prenup before you got married.”

That he did, I thought bitterly. But in my defense, when I first met Stacy, she wasn’t such a gold digger. That came later when she got a taste of money and luxury. “Yes, yes.” I dismissed changing lanes. “But there’s nothing we can do about that now.”

“How much more does she want?”

“I don’t know, but give her whatever she wants.”


“Jack?” I asked, shifting my eyes to the center console to see if the call got disconnected.

“You want to give her what she wants?” He slowly repeated, as if he were talking to a five-year-old child who didn’t know what he was saying. “After everything she did?”

“Yes.” I rolled my eyes, even though he couldn’t see me. “On the contingency that she signs the divorce papers by the end of the business day tomorrow and never contacts me again.”

“Are you sure?” He asked cautiously.

“Yes, I’m sure.” I snapped. “Tell her lawyer that if she doesn’t agree to the terms, I’m taking her to court and she’s not getting anything.”

“Ethan I don –”

“Call me when it’s done, Jack.” I hung up the phone just as I pulled in front of McKenzie’s apartment complex. After going around the block twice trying to find parking, I finally found someone that was leaving and took their spot.

As I made my way up the three flights of stairs, my feet felt heavy.

What if she doesn’t answer?

What if she wants nothing to do with me anymore?

McKenzie had become such a positive force in my life, I don’t think I would be able to let her go. She was strong-willed and sarcastic as fuck, but it’s my favorite part about her.

What if I fucked it up so badly, that there was no going back, the annoying voice in the back my head continued to nag.

I probably should have told her I was going through a divorce, but I didn’t think for even a second that Stacy would get on a plane and come here. We’ve been separated for about two years now, and the divorce had been ongoing for the last year and a half. The only reason it was taking so long, is that there were so many assets to divide.

When I first met Stacy, she was a junior in my advanced economics lecture. I was just finishing up my senior year, getting ready to begin working for my father. I didn’t expect to fall for her, not after...

However, life had a funny way of working out. We dated for a little over two years before we got married. My father loved her and gave her a role within the company as soon as her last name became Thomas. From then on, things started to slowly go downhill. When I was away on business, she was home and vice versa.

When the opportunity came up for me to go to London as the Executive VP of Global Solutions and spearhead our overseas operations, I jumped at it. I convinced Stacy to come with me, thinking we could rekindle our relationship now that the two of us were going to be working out of the same office and I didn’t need to travel internationally as much. But ultimately, things didn’t work out the way I was expecting them to.

I came home early one day from a business trip to Scotland and found her in bed with her yoga instructor. I took one look and walked right back out the door.

I might be a lot of things, but I wasn’t a cheater. Cheating was where I crossed the line.

For months, Stacy tried to convince me it was a one-time thing and that she was sorry, but I didn’t believe a word coming out of her mouth. She had changed in the seven years that we were married, and I wanted nothing to do with the ugly person she had become.

Transferring to the Chicago office was only supposed to be a temporary situation until I went back to New York, but now I’m not so sure I want to leave. I’m not stupid, I know McKenzie has her own issues to work through – but I was just hoping to be by her as she did.

When I finally reached the third-floor landing, I contemplated turning back and leaving knowing she was probably going to slam the door in my face, but I wasn’t a pussy.

I know I fucked up, and if yelling at me is what she needed to do, I was okay with that. I made the mistake of letting someone go easily once, I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.

Here goes nothing, I thought as I lifted my hand to knock.


I may or may not have had way too much fun writing this chapter lol.

Any predictions on what Kenzie’s reaction is going to be?

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