Chapter 35 - a Broken

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This is the first half of 35 .... the second half is still not ready.  I had hoped to finish it but with everything going on right now there just isn't much time for writing.  It's almost 1 am and I have to be up for work in just a few hours.  I will try to finish the rest of the chapter tomorrow evening after work.  Thanks you all so much for you comments and votes and again thank you for making FTLOE the #1 Romance and #1 ChickLit for a couple of days back in April.  You all made my day! - Ryle Cate

Chapter 35 -a

Broken

It was midnight before Ana finally quit crying.  Dane slid his phone out of his pocket.  He wasn’t sure what to say to Berkley.  It was too late to bother with flying back home tonight.  He was exhausted after a tiring morning with clients and the heated discussion with Alan not to mention the last minute flight to this hole in the wall seaside village.  He wasn’t feeling the effects of the alcohol so much anymore and he knew that Berkley was probably sleeping so rather than call the house he decided to text her mobile.  If she replied they would talk, if not then he would call her in the morning.

Babe, I didn’t make the flight. I’m sorry.  Call me if you’re up.

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Berkley checked the time.  Dane should have landed by now and he promised he would call.  She couldn’t help but worry.  With all his talk of life insurance policies and custody of Ethan, he had her feeling a little paranoid.  She pulled back the covers and crawled into bed knowing that she wouldn’t sleep a wink until she knew he was okay.  As she slid beneath the covers, the familiar buzz of her phone vibrating against the nightstand caused a smile to spread on her face.  She knew it would be Dane.  He was probably almost home.  She missed him.  She had been missing him a lot lately.  The long hours at work were keeping them apart.  Ethan included. 

With a feeling of contentment washing over her she reached for her phone.  She swiped the screen and her heart sank as she read his message.  She tried not to be angry but he flew out of town just before they were to meet with his parents to tell them about their engagement and Lily.  He called to say he was coming back home only to text her now saying he missed his flight. 

She stared at the screen and read it over his message.  ‘Call me if you’re up.’  She wasn’t sure if calling him right now was a good idea.  She didn’t like being upset with him and she didn’t want to risk an argument before going to sleep.  Her thumbs hovered of the phone as she contemplated tapping out a reply but it was best to wait until morning.  She placed the phone by the bed and turned out the light.

Morning couldn’t come soon enough for Berkley.  She couldn’t quite shake her apprehension surrounding the events of the past twenty four hours.  She checked on Ethan who was still sleeping so she went down stairs to prepare a light breakfast before waking him.

After breakfast she helped him brush his teeth then dressed him for his day with Cybil.  She had another playdate scheduled with the grandchildren of her Bridge Club.  She was running late so she didn’t even come inside.  Ethan met her at the door and the scurried away in a rush.

Berkley tidied up the kitchen as her phone began to hum repeatedly against the granite.  She dried her hands before grabbing her phone anxiously.  Dane was probably on his way home.  She was certain of it.  The phone had several messages from Sarah and one from Jess.  She checked the one from Jess first.

Ignore Sarah. Talk to Dane first. Don’t jump to conclusions. Call me if you need me.

Berkley immediately checked to see what Jess was going on about.  She knew it couldn’t be good and if she was warning her to talk to Dane first then it must be bad.  She scrolled through several shots that were grainy and dark but no doubt Dane and Ana.  There were pictures of them embracing on the beach barely visible in the moonlight, followed by their silhouettes against a backlit porch to what looked like a small cottage.  Berkley felt nauseous as the final picture came in.   Dane was standing on the same porch with Ana in his arms but this time there was no shroud of darkness.  The sun was rising in the background which meant that the picture was taken only hours ago. 

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