The Billionaire's Wife

By: Holly Rayner

The baby was in his high chair eating his whole grain cheerios and sipping his juice out of his sippee cup when Aiden came into the kitchen. Eric’s face automatically lit up when he saw his daddy and he reached his chubby little arms up towards him. Aiden went over and wiped his face and hands and picked him up, kissing him on one of his chubby little cheeks.

“I hope you know how much Daddy loves you.”

Eric was still smiling and pulling at his daddy’s face.

“I think he does,” I told him with a smile. My smile didn’t hold in place long though.

“I’m sorry. I have to go back to the office for a while.”

“Tonight?” I said. I looked at the clock; it was seven-forty-five.

“Yeah, I’m sorry,” he said again. I could tell he was genuinely distressed by it. I didn’t want to add any more stress than he already had, but I was distressed by it too. He went on to say, “There are some contracts that I have to sign before midnight. They have to be sent to Thailand and it’s a matter of making or breaking this deal.”

“Couldn’t they send them over to you?”

“That’s what I asked Randall, but he can’t find the original documents. He’s there now, searching through my assistant’s desk. She’s gone AWOL; she’s not answering her phone. She’s another issue that I’ll have to deal with soon; she’s had a lot of issues lately. But, tonight I have to get these documents signed. I wouldn’t go if it wasn’t really important, Holly. It could literally mean a loss of billions of dollars to my company. I’m sorry.” I felt bad that he thought he had to keep apologizing. He had Eric in one arm and he put the other around me and pulled me into them. He kissed me and then kissed our son and said, “I love you both so much. I promise, as soon as this deal is done, I’ll be home so much that you’ll both be sick of me.”

I wanted to be annoyed with him, but I couldn’t. Even after being together for a year and a half, he could still charm me into just about anything. My heart and soul were overwhelmed by love for him, and it helped that he really didn’t seem to want to go.

“Okay,” I told him. “But by this time next month, I better be seeing so much of you that I am genuinely sick of you.”

“I guarantee it,” he said with a grin. I watched him gather his things and head out. I doubted that there was any situation that existed where I would be sick of him. He had his faults, but he had so many more redeeming qualities to overshadow them that they were hardly noticeable.

After Aiden left I bathed the baby and put him down for the night. I always sat in his room for a while and watched him sleep. It was calming to me. I finally pulled myself back up and kissed his little forehead softly, and then I took the baby monitor with me and set about my nightly routine of straightening up the apartment. I was home all day, so things weren’t ever too out of sorts, but Eric had so many toys and things that they were always everywhere. Aiden had offered to hire both a nanny and a housekeeper for me, but I’d turned him down. Taking care of a home and an infant wasn’t easy work, but when it was your home and infant it was a labor of love. Most nights I went to bed exhausted, but with a smile on my face. I wasn’t ready to give that pleasure over to anyone else. I put the toys away and washed the few dishes in the sink. I started turning out the lights and planned to go to bed and read my new book, when I passed Aiden’s jacket on the back of the chair. I stopped and picked it up and took it over to hang in the closet where I kept the dry-cleaning that needed to be picked up. When I lifted it up off the chair, one of Aiden’s business cards fell out of the breast pocket. I bent to pick it up and saw that there was a number written on the back. I recognized it as a Scarsdale area code because of all the time I’d spent there before Eric was born when Aiden and I were split up and my mom was in rehab. I hung up the jacket and went to sit the card back on the table where Aiden could find it. I looked at it again and wondered…why didn’t he write a name down too?

I started letting my imagination run away with me. I thought about how he looked relieved earlier that it was Randall on the phone. That made me remember something that I hadn’t really thought much about since it happened. I had been in the bedroom one morning several days ago while Aiden was in the shower. His phone was ringing and I picked it up. I wasn’t going to answer it, I was going to take it to him when suddenly he appeared, dripping wet with a towel around his waist.

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