With a bottle of champagne and two cheap plastic flutes in hand, she took the elevator up to the eighteenth floor of John’s downtown Milwaukee office building. It was after nine and he’d said he had two more hours of work ahead of him before coming home, but it’d been more than two weeks since they’d been intimate and that just wouldn’t do.
She made her way toward his office on the east end of the floor, one lone light reflecting faintly through the fogged glass. The rest of space was dim with only soft night lighting and as she’d made her way down the hallway, lined with offices to her left and cubicles to her right, she had been surprised to see his door shut.
In retrospect, she knew what would be found behind a closed, but foolishly unlocked, office door at nine o’clock in the evening. She knew as she closed the short distance between her faltering footsteps and that offending piece of wood, that opening it would ultimately shatter her dreams and harden her heart.
Time slowed as she turned the knob and discovered her boyfriend of two years, fiancé of nine months, husband-to-be in six, fucking his beautiful red headed assistant over the edge of his desk. And since their backs were to the office door, she had the distinct pleasure of hearing the endearments he’d so freely lavished upon Scarlett. Yes, her name was Scarlett. She used to love Gone with the Wind. Now she’d never watch it again. They’d ruined her relationship and one of her favorite movies all in a matter of seconds.
Her only regret as she’d turned and fled while screaming at him never to show his cheating face at their house again, was that the flutes she’d hurled in their direction weren’t real glass so they would actually do some serious damage. If either had gotten a shattered sliver of adulterer embedded in oh, say in their corneas, well…that would have been called karma, bitches.
Curse her luck.
“Come on, just one more drink, Katie pie. Pretty please,” Erin whined. Why, oh why had she agreed to come out with Erin this evening?
“Begging doesn’t become you, sweetcakes.”
“It most certainly does…in the right circumstances.”
Ugh. She did not need to hear about Erin’s vigorous and adventurous sex life. She’d been on such a drought her vagina was crumbling to dust. Admittedly, the drought was self-imposed, but self-preservation required it. She’d met too many seemingly nice men over the last several years that turned out to be douche bags. Hell, she’d been engaged to the biggest d-bag of them all. So, no. Definitely time to take her sorry ass home. That, and she was dead-dog-tired.
“Sorry, but I need to go. I have an early class to teach in the morning.” It wasn’t that early, but with Erin, she always needed a good excuse.
“You act like an old maid, Kate. Not a twenty-seven-year-old single, available woman. It’s okay to have fun once in a while. It’s even okay to bump uglies occasionally.”
Sigh. She heard this speech from Erin nearly every time they went out lately, which was why she usually spent the evening in, drinking a nice glass of wine alone and watching mind-numbing TV. Yes, she fully admitted she was pathetic.
So what if she preferred the quiet of her office to the loudness of a club? So what if she preferred her own company to that of a bunch of sweaty men and small dicks grinding into her on the dance floor? So what if she preferred her research to that of a boring, meaningless conversation about the bond market or the latest tweet on Kim Kardashian’s ass?
“Don’t start, Erin.” Kate was a fiercely private person, letting very few people into her inner circle.
She’d met her one good friend, Erin, during undergrad at Marquette University. Erin had been her rock after her failed engagement. Kate had been convinced John was different from the rest of the men she met, but had been proven wrong. So very wrong. The sound of him pounding on their front door begging for forgiveness, that it’d been a one-time mistake—blah, blah, blah—still rang in her ears a year later. But Kate was a fool me once kind of girl. And he’d fooled her damn good.
Erin hugged her. “I’m sorry, Kate. I’m just worried about you. You’re better off without him and his whoring ways. It’s been over a year now. It’s time to move on. Your Prince Charming is out there, and you won’t find him with your nose stuck behind a computer screen or in a ream of copy paper.”
Kate smiled inwardly. She’d already found her Prince Charming. So what if he was a figment of her imagination? He felt real enough when starring in her erotic dreams.
“I know, Erin. I’m just not quite ready yet. I’m getting there.” She wasn’t ever going to get there. She couldn’t allow another man to shatter her heart into a million pieces the way John had.