Title: Keep Happy
Author: A.C. Bextor
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Those who think they know me would tell you I’m a caring mother, a loyal friend, and a dutiful wife. They’d say the golden path which led me here is the road every little girl dreams of taking.
However, the guise of my happy existence has come to be just that—an illusion. A mask of contentment intended for the world to believe.
Not many years into my marriage, I became an abandoned housewife to an adulterous husband. A proud, but sad, mother of two beautiful daughters.
My days were spent somewhere lost between empty and alone.
Then he came back.
Mason Cole offered a second chance to share the life we were supposed to have together. He gave me a glimpse of myself. The woman I'd forgotten long ago.
My road to hell was paved with good intentions. But sometimes good intentions get lost amidst a heart's desire.
At least mine did.
Now I’ll tell you why.
Opening my eyes, I find what I knew I would. My life’s happiness coming to full circle. All the memories of us together push forward. All the laughter, intimacy, and peace emerge. Everything we had, everything I never expected to end. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
I don’t think I ever truly did.
“Be with me,” I whisper.
“I’m not sure I can do that,” he returns with reverence.
“Be with me,” I say again.
Mason drops his head, staring to the ground at our feet.
“We do this, it’ll change you, Katie,” he tells me. “It’ll cut deep.”
Mason doesn’t know about Thomas and his life outside our marriage. He doesn’t understand how long my days have been or the grief each is filled with. He couldn’t fathom my reasons for staying in a marriage because I’ve promised my daughters the life they deserve. An oath not unlike the one Thomas gave me on our wedding day, but one stronger and more protective, as only a maternal promise could be.
Grabbing his hand that now cups my cheek, I lace my fingers with his.
A subtle sob breaks through my words but manage, “Mason, being with you again won’t cut me.”
“It will,” he assures.
“It doesn’t matter if it does,” I reply.
“Of course it fucking matters.”
“No,” I assert, shaking my head. “My heart is already bleeding.”
AC Bextor lives in a small town in the Midwest. When she's not writing she can be found reading or watching her favorite sports teams. She enjoys spending time outside fishing, swimming, or camping.