Wrapped In My Wife

By: Alexa Riley


“Come on, boys. Let's go back in the house and get ready for dinner,” I say, and they take off running.

I need to go in the house and apologize and make things right. Even if it doesn’t feel right in my chest yet. Besides, it’s just an interview. She said herself that they had a lot of people applying for the job. Maybe this is just the wakeup call I needed to pull back from work and make sure Emily is getting everything she needs.

“Hey, Button,” I say when we come in the back door.

She turns around and looks at me. I can see in her eyes she’s still a little pissed, but she’s cooled down.

“I’m sorry, I should have been more supportive,” I say, holding out my arms. I just want to hold her, but I don’t know if she’s ready for that.

“Well, good thing. They just called and offered me the job.” She crosses her arms in challenge and stares me down.

I have to swallow before I speak and try to put a happy look on my face. I’m not sure I do a good enough job because for a second she looks concerned like something is wrong with me.

“Oh, really?” I say, stalling to think of something nice to say. “That’s good.” God, I could kick my own ass. That didn’t sound cheerful enough. “I mean, fantastic. That’s fantastic!” I say, a little too loudly the second time.

“Oh,” she says and then uncrosses her arms. She looks around the room then back to me. “Yes, I mean, it’s different. But good. Right? Of course. It should be fun.” She doesn’t look so sure anymore and I’m wondering if she’s worried she might not be good at it.

“Button,” I say, walking up to her and taking her in my arms. “I’m sorry about earlier. You’re right. You deserve to have your own thing, too. I’m sorry I wasn’t on board right away, but I know you’re going to be great at whatever it is you do.”

“I think I’m just going to stack books,” she mumbles against my chest as her arms come around my back.

“Well, you’ll be the best goddamn stacker they’ve ever seen,” I say, kissing the top of her head.

She leans back and smiles up at me. “I should have told you sooner. I just didn’t think it would matter.”

“Everything you do matters,” I say, placing my forehead against her. “Everything.”

I kiss her softly on the lips right before the boys come running through the kitchen begging for food.

“We’re going to pick up where this left off after they go to bed,” I say, giving her one quick kiss.

“Just don’t keep me up too late. I start tomorrow,” she says, turning in my arms and walking over to the stove.

“Oh really?” I say, keeping my voice even.

“Yeah, the head librarian, Nancy, called and said they were desperate. They’ve hired a new director and he’s overloaded. I think I’m going to be doing a lot of his work until he’s settled. Then I’ll work directly for Nancy.”

“Oh really?” is all I can manage again. I’m silently filling with rage when I think about her serving another man.

“Are you okay, Dylan?” she asks, glancing over her shoulder at me.

I look down and see I’ve got a white-knuckle grip on the countertop. “Yeah,” I choke out, and then clear my throat. “Sure. Sounds great, Button.”

She turns back to the stove and stirs something in the pot. “I guess I’ll see how it goes. I haven’t worked in so long, I was kind of surprised they picked me. But I met the new director and he must have liked what he saw.” Again, she sounds a little hesitant and I can only imagine that’s because she’s nervous.

I want to black out from jealousy as I pull out my phone and send a message to my assistant. He sends me a bunch of texts back, but I ignore all of them. I’ve got new plans and none of them involve meetings.

“Are you hungry?” Emily asks, turning around with dinner in her hands.

“Like you wouldn’t believe,” I answer.





Chapter 3





Emily





I sneeze for what must be the twentieth time. The dust from all the books is driving my nose insane. I haven’t been down to the basement for a while and I’m still sneezing. I wiggle my nose, wondering if it’s red.

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