The Billionaire's WifeBy: Holly Rayner
I sat there at my desk and looked at the phone for a full five minutes before Randall stuck his head back in and cleared his throat. This was a huge meeting for our company. We were trying to break into the Asian markets in China and Thailand. We were meeting with some of the biggest players in the industry today from both countries…and now all I could think about was the little boy I loved so much, and lost. I also thought about Holly, and Eric. Would seeing Mark now be a betrayal to them somehow? I opened my desk drawer and reached way in the back. I pulled out a small silver frame with a picture of Mark in it. He was only a few months old when it was taken. I sat down and looked at it. If Biology had really been involved, then the answer to that would obviously be no, people blend families all the time now. But since he wasn’t biologically mine, would this just seem like an excuse to spend time with my ex-wife?
“Aiden!” Randall never raised his voice, especially not to me. I tried to push all of these thoughts aside and headed into my meeting.
I had talked to Cecile three times since that day. I’d agreed to see Mark. I still haven’t spoken to my wife about it.
I watched Aiden and Eric rolling around on the carpet together. The baby was squealing and Aiden was laughing. It was such a precious moment that I wanted to get out my video camera, but I also didn’t want to intrude on their time together. Aiden had been working so much lately, and when he was home recently, he seemed distracted and…distant. Tonight was the first time in a long time that he seemed like himself. We’d all had dinner together and then he’d sat down on the floor to play with Eric.
Over the past week I had asked him more than once what was going on, but he would just tell me that he was thinking about this big deal he had going on at work. He would apologize and say that he’ll try harder to spend more time with us. I wasn’t looking for an apology, I wasn’t angry with him. I was just worried about his emotional state, and about Eric’s needs for time with his father. I’m not the clingy type. I do get a little starved for adult conversation now that it’s just me and Eric most days. But at the same time, I love being a stay-at-home mom, and the life Aiden had given me so far exceeded my expectations for myself that sometimes I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. So, I tried hard not to dwell on the small stuff.
Because of all of that, I tried to buy the story about work at first. I didn’t have any reason to believe that he wouldn’t be totally honest with me. Since we had worked through our issues before our wedding, things had been running really smoothly and I had been happier than I’d ever been in my life. I adored my husband and my son and my mother was doing better than ever, living in her own home again, not drinking and she had even made some new friends. I didn’t want anything to be wrong between Aiden and me. I was really not one of those women who thrived on drama. I thrived more on my family and being happy. But, unfortunately in this case, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to his anxiety than work. Tonight helped to put my mind at ease somewhat. Aiden seemed to be back to his old self again.
I was brought out of my thoughts by the sound of Aiden’s cell phone ringing. His suit jacket was hanging on the back of the chair and without even giving it a thought, I stood up to get it for him. Before I had even gotten out of my chair he was up off the floor and telling me, “It’s okay, Holly. I’ll get it.”
“Okay,” I said, startled at how forcefully he’d said it. “I was only going to hand it to you.”
He smiled at me and said, “Thanks, I got it.” It may have been my imagination, but the smile seemed forced somehow.
I watched as he fished the phone out of his jacket pocket and looked at it. I could be feeling paranoid, but I thought I saw a look of relief cross his face when he looked at the number on the face of it. It made me wonder who he was hoping it wasn’t. He pressed accept and put the phone to his ear.
“Hey Randall, what’s up?”
Aiden listened to what Randall was saying on the other end. I could see by his face that he wasn’t pleased by whatever it was. While he was on his call, I went over and picked up Eric. I took him out to the kitchen to get him a snack before I gave him his bath and started getting him ready for bed. Tonight was the first time that Aiden had made it home in time for his son’s bed time too in over a week. Eric was going to be happy to have his daddy tuck him in finally.