Chapter One

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I needed coffee. Lots of it.

But the moment I entered my kitchen, the sour stench of spilled wine filled my nostrils and my stomach roiled. I fought back the urge to heave . . . barely . . . and stepped over the puddle of wine on my hardwood floor. Everything came flooding back.


Why did he have to call last night? Why couldn't he just stay . . . gone?

I wasn't pining over him or wishing that he was still warming my bed at night like I should have. We had dated for six months, which was a record for me, and he was nice. Like boy next door, hold the door open for you, nice. He was definitely handsome with his perfectly trimmed hair and megawatt smile. Women had looked at him when we had gone out to dinner or to the bar, even with me on his arm. And because he was nice his eyes had never drifted, and he had been proud to tell people that I was his girlfriend.

Why wasn't Kevin enough? Why couldn't I have just let those demons of mine stay hidden? They had no business coming out to play. Especially with a straight-laced Boy Scout like Kevin. I couldn't get the image of Kevin's face out of my head. The look of disgust he had flashed when I had broken down last month and told him that I wanted more in the bedroom would forever be burned into my brain. I probably should have felt ashamed for asking if we could be more adventurous, if we could graduate from vanilla sex and heat things up a little, but in all honesty I didn't, and that's how I knew that our relationship was over.

That was what I had told him again last night when he called. I could tell that he had been drinking and I felt kind of bad that he had become a victim of drunk dialing. Since he had never done that before, I had cut him some slack and let him talk and slur his words. That was until he had started to accuse me of cheating on him while we were together. I didn't dignify that with a response because I didn't have to. I never cheated. But it was impossible for me to remain silent when his rambling had taken a turn, and he had told me that I must have been abused as a child to want what I had asked of him. It was then I had spit venom into the phone and told him never to contact me again. Afterward, I downed a bottle of wine by myself, something I never did, hence the horrendous hangover that I was currently suffering from and had thought about my shitty ass love life.

I had been a few sips into my last goblet of wine when I realized that my night of self-pity needed to come to an end. Kevin wasn't to blame. He wasn't the reason why I had been sitting on my kitchen floor, getting drunk on wine the night before Thanksgiving. He wasn't the reason why I could never have a normal relationship with a man. There were two people to blame for that, and good ol' boy Kevin wasn't one of them. Pissed, I had winged that goblet across the kitchen and had watched it shatter, spraying red wine everywhere. I had gone to bed after my tantrum, not giving two shits about the mess.

Until now.

I wadded up handfuls of paper towels and sopped up the evidence of my little freakout and tossed them into the trashcan. I then made myself a pot of coffee and threw back a few Advil. I was waiting for my coffee to brew when my cell phone buzzed on the kitchen counter. With my head in my hand, I reached for it and looked at the incoming number. I didn't recognize it, but it was a local call. It could be someone from work. Maybe one of my colleagues from the firm was calling me from a landline since everyone was off today due to the holiday. Who else would be calling me? I didn't have any family, none which I spoke to anyway, and my best friend, Cassie, had just left for Alaska last night. I was supposed to be heading to her house for Thanksgiving dinner later this evening, but yesterday morning she had called and told me that Alaska's sea life needed her. Apparently, some drunk captain rammed his ship into an oil tanker off the northern coast of Alaska, causing one of the worst oil spills in history. I was disappointed that I wouldn't get to see Cassie, but I understood. Although she was an environmental attorney by day, rolling up her sleeves, getting her hands dirty and volunteering her time to help those in need was her true passion.

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