1 - Tess
“In life you have to avoid three geometric figures - vicious circles, love triangles and square minds.” - Mario Benedetti.
Sitting on the couch in the living room while I read one of my books, I glanced around the massive townhouse I just moved to with Wren. The high ceilings, the marble hearth and the exquisite decorations taunt me, convincing me this is not my place in the world, but sadly, it is.
Wren’s family insisted that we took up residence closer to his office and as a stunt to boost the polls in his favor. The papers ate it up - Wren Davis and Montgomery sweetheart move in together, power couple take up Davis’ city residence, and there were more like that where those headlines came from.
I’m a Montgomery heiress and Wren is a Davis, diplomacy runs thick in their veins.
We’ve been pushed together since highschool. A perfect match to tie together two influential families. While the Davis family has been into politics for over generations, I come from old money. The Montgomery family owns land and some historical buildings with our name on, scattered around this vast city.
Wren and I attended the best private schools and received the greatest education that money could buy. Until, the Davis’ family decided to turn me into Wren’s arm-candy while Wren himself pursued Political science, obliterating my plans to go to college and get myself a business degree.
My parents agreed so that I could take up the skills to run a high standing household and I never spoke up. My shy personality had sabotaged me multiple times in my young life.
I wouldn’t say that the relationship I had with Wren was built on love. He doesn’t make my stomach flutter and my heart ache for him when he’s gone. He was comfortable to be around and my best friend through all these years of wading through the high society waters.
He perceived what I wanted without having to ask him. Like tonight, he knew I would prefer to sit in the comfort of our living room, reading a book and drinking a glass of wine, then accompany him to yet another stuffy event.
Even though I was born into a wealthy family, I never felt like I fit in. My parents insisted on an upbringing that wouldn’t turn me into a stuck up heiress. The group of friends that I made, remained the same over the years because I was determined to just be myself.
I swept my golden locks over my shoulder and indulged myself with another sip of the tasteful red liquid as I read the next passage in the romance novel I was devouring. My guilty pleasure when I spent these nights alone in the expanse of this massive house.
The way the characters flowed together in harmony, the sensations they evoked on each other’s skin with only their touch and closeness was something I craved desperately. I thought that those feelings would blossom with time in my partnership with Wren, but they never did.
The warmth that crept up my spine when I read the steamy parts of the story, desiring that connection for myself, knowing that I would never have it. At least I had the fiction in the pages that I read, that could somehow make up for what I was missing.
The way the writer described the chemistry between the two main characters, the tingles on their lips, swollen from their kissing, had me involuntarily swipe my own thumb across my lower lip.
I should be grateful. I had a good man in my life who took care of me. Gave me independence and the freedom to do as I pleased, and while our connection was lacking on the romantic side of things, we had vanilla tinted sexual relationships. He took care of my bodily needs and I did the same for him.
We may have been young when our families forged the bond between us, so we haven’t experienced how it could be different from what we knew right now, but we were happy.
We had everything. A nice house where we lived as Wren worked politics with his father and was running for a position in the city council and I was helping with my mother’s charity.
I aided her in organizing the galas and the auctions of various items for the fundraisers and visited those who had snagged up a grant from the Mona Montgomery Foundation. I was grateful to work and provided for so many people that I poured my heart into each project.
It was founded by my great grandmother, who according to my mother, Edith, needed something real to occupy her time with. The charity had been growing steadily, generation after another. Someday it would be expected of me to become the chairwoman, the main reason behind my wanting to pursue a business degree.
I hoped to rack up the courage to talk to my parents about those plans again. Normally I was too embarrassed to speak up on these matters, not wanting to come across as the spoiled woman who wanted it all. The man, the house and the career.
The doorbell rang and I whipped my head up at the clock above the mantelpiece. Close to eleven already and no sign of Wren.
I left the book that had me enthralled to the point of forgetting the time on the couch and moved through the hallway to answer the door for the late visitor. The staff had already turned in for the night and Wren had his own keys, so I was sure it wasn’t him standing outside the door at this late hour.
I pulled open the door, wrapping myself in my cardigan before facing the cold winter air outside.
Those gorgeous emerald green eyes that stared back at me couldn’t possibly be a figment of my imagination.