Endings always lead to new beginnings.
Dawn Delaney must forge ahead when her marriage crumbles. But for this formerly rich Mrs., entering the working world, and possibly dating again, makes her feel like a fish out of water.
Bradford Shaw has a soft spot for curvaceous Dawn from the moment he sees her. Brad senses she’s scared of a romantic relationship after all she’s been through. But he’s going to show her that after a dark period in one’s life, there’s always a new dawn.
Two Years Earlier
“You’re wearing my favorite lingerie.”
Dawn Delaney cringed at her husband’s words. There was no awe in Gary’s voice. The words fled his lips as if he were reading the weather report.
She tried to fight the panic demanding to take over. She had to contain her emotions if she wanted to seduce her husband of over eighteen years. She wore an expensive white La Perla bra and panty set that framed her curvy shape nicely. Her skin glowed from a generous rubdown of mango and papaya body butter. Dawn could smell the vanilla fragrance she’d spritzed at key spots on her body. If Gary walked a bit closer, he’d be able to smell it too. But so far, Dawn’s efforts had no effect.
She wasn’t a size six, seven, or eight for that matter. And after years of marriage, Dawn wasn’t too keen on wearing the revealing lingerie when one of her regular nightshirts was more comfortable. Still, she made the effort.
Gary strolled over to the La-Z-Boy recliner in their bedroom and picked up the Clarks shoebox. He’d asked Dawn to buy the black leather shoes for him earlier that day. She’d called him while shopping at Pentagon City Mall. It’d save him the trouble of driving there later in the week. As usual, Dawn obliged his request.
She watched as he examined the Clarks, turning them upside down to take a look at the soles. New shoes held Gary’s interest more than their marriage—their old marriage.
Dawn stood waiting. She recoiled further because she knew she deserved better treatment from Gary despite being a stay-at-home mother and a housewife. But what was she to do? She wanted for nothing because of him.
She sighed and rested both hands on full hips. Another man would devour me right now, she thought. Dawn tried to squelch the desire she still had for Reginald. The fling with the contractor, though physically satisfying, only made her more confused about her marriage.
Dawn thought about the good times she and Gary’d had in the past. How he used to make love to her two and three times a day. She thought of the grand way he’d proposed to her and the utter feeling of bliss that had consumed her when she’d said yes. She thought of their daughter, Sherine, whose simple existence comforted Dawn. Gary and Dawn had raised a great kid together, who’d soon be off to college when summer ended.
They had to get their marriage back on track. It was one thing to miss Gary, who often travelled, while Sherine had lived at home. But Dawn couldn’t imagine being alone in the family’s spacious house with no one to talk to.
It was the memories of the good times that made her hang on.
She cleared her throat. Gary finally put down the shoes. He sighed and put his hands in the pockets of his Armani pants. His jacket wasn’t on. Dawn knew that it was downstairs, hanging on the back of a kitchen chair. Gary always took off his jacket and placed it on a chair as soon as he got home. It was a constant in an otherwise impulsive man.
“Why don’t you go take a quick shower and then let’s have some fun?” Dawn rested most of her weight on her right foot, tilted her head, and smiled seductively.
Gary exhaled and adjusted his tie. “I don’t think this is working for me anymore.”
“Excuse me?” Dawn straightened her posture. She couldn’t have heard Gary correctly.
“Us.” Gary moved his hands back and forth in the air. “I want a divorce.”
Gary, please. But the words didn’t come out. Anger temporarily muzzled Dawn. She felt it surge. “You’ve chosen your mistress over me,” she spat.
Gary shook his head. “It’s not that.”
“That WASN’T a question.” Dawn’s chest heaved up and down. She felt like she couldn’t breathe under the pain pounding down on her. “You told me…promised me, that you’d end things with her.”
“We’re different people now, Dawn.”
She shook her head. “You’re the one who changed.”
Gary shrugged. “I guess money can do that to you.”