“Okay V, you can stop it now…I get it!”
Veronica stared at Max. She was leaving the theater because Gwennie had slept over at her place, and left her phone. Her daughter had called frantically from her boyfriend’s phone, asking if she could bring it to the theater. She had had a smile on her face after the delivery, because it made her feel like there was still a place for her in her daughter’s life.
Gwennie sensed that she felt like she was not with her enough, and that was why she had slept over. Also because she guessed that she might have been missing Harley, who was on a business trip.
It was true, Veronica did miss him because ever since they had gotten together they had been together a lot. She was thinking about anything but Max when he saw her, and paused before her with an angry expression.
She looked at him, not sure why she was reading the look on his face that she was bullshitting him.
“With the boyfriend, you do not have to bring him around anymore. I get it. I’m jealous, mad is more like it. I cannot believe that you would stoop to this. I thought you were a lot classier.”
Veronica was now mad, she looked at him and laughed.
“I cannot believe you! When I was a young woman and we were together, I would never have done such a thing and now as a grown woman who was married to you and shares a grown daughter with you…you…you would accuse me of such a thing? That is your kind of game Max, not mine!”
She continued to walk, but he would not let her. She paused to stare at him. With brittle laughter that preceded minute specks of his saliva that she wiped from her face, Max laughed.
“So you conveniently when out of the theater and made out with him, when you know that I would have seen you?”
Veronica stared at him, sure she blanched. How was it that every time she tried to have an alone moment with a man, she was caught? Harley saw her kissing Max before they were together, and now Max saw her kissing Harley.
“I did not do anything for you to see, but if you did? Good! I finally have moved on Max. I thought that when we were divorced that you were going to leave me alone. But I was wrong, did it turn you on to know that you left me and I could not leave you alone? That I was almost easier to bed?”
Veronica paused. She remembered in a rush the first time after they were not married, and he came to her. She was vulnerable and aching for him when he touched her, she was melted right away. He kissed her, and she was so hungry for him that it was nothing for him to seduce her.
That time, and every time after.
She shook the idea from her head. Max took her arm gently, caressed her face and pushed hair away from her eyes.
“So you hate me now?”
Veronica looked at him for a long moment before she answered,
“No, but it is not the way it was before. I don’t want to make love with you anymore.”
“You do not find me attractive anymore then?”
Deep shame filled her as she was stumped for an answer. If she told him no, she would be done. But it was not true.
“Max, please. We got divorced, let’s be divorced.”
His eyes were so intent on hers, she was afraid that he was going to kiss her and show her just how empty her words were. But he nodded, without letting go of her arm.
She moved her arm slowly, as if she were afraid of being burned. She looked at him, and smiled.
“I will always love you, I just want to love you in a different way now.”
She caressed his face, he took her hand and kissed it. First her hand, then the inside of her wrist, then further up her arm. Veronica whimpered because she was not sure she was strong enough to withstand his tenderness. She moved her arm, again like she was near fire, and put her hand on his cheek.
“I have to go.”
The sound of her heels walking away gave her the strength to keep going, but Veronica knew that she had to avoid being alone with Max in the future if she was going to keep her promise to herself…
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