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Lance watched Kate pull the strap of her sling-back up to her ankle, and push herself up from the edge of the bed. Running her hands down her thighs to smooth her skirt made his breath catch in his throat.
She was here.
In the small but comfortable house he had closed on three months ago.
She was here, but not really.
One drawer, a toothbrush, a small collection of favorite books on her side of the nightstand but nothing more that would prove that she was as invested as he was.
And today she was fidgeting, applying lipstick in the mirror as her hand shook ever so slightly.
Lance walked over to calm the tremor. But when he reached for her; she pushed his hand away and locked eyes with him in the glass.
“I’m sorry…” she started and his stomach fell.
“About what baby?”
She turned to him, the smell of her perfume making him dizzy with desperation.
“I don’t…” she said and stopped. “…I’m not sure…” and then raised her voice pleading. “Lance?”
“Oh, Katie.” His voice so soft he hoped she would lean in to hear it, “please don’t do this.”
Instead she dropped the lipstick in her makeup case; turning her back to him.
“I don’t know if I can do this anymore.”
Lance felt the first sting of her doubt hit him in the middle of his chest, “I thought you loved me. That we loved each other.”
“I do.” She said, the catch in her voice telling him that the tears had started to flow down her beautifully made up cheeks. “I’ve always loved you; I don’t think I’ll ever stop.”
“But I have things to lose. Anthony, my family, Zach.”
Hearing her mention her small son’s name brought the second blow to his middle. “I’m not asking you to give up Zach.”
“What we’re doing might hurt him.”
“Kate, listen to me. I’m sorry I married Sara. I stayed too long, trying to do the right thing. Please don’t make the same mistake. “
He watched her face crumble as the sobs came. “I waited so long for Zach, Lance. He’s my heart.”
“I know, baby and I would never ask you to leave him.” He said. “But Anthony?”
“Anthony loved me, even when he knew that I’d never gotten over you. He’s Zach’s father and my husband.”
Lance sighed, “Don’t play games with me Kate, do you fucking love Anthony?”
She turned and he looked into those deep blue eyes.
“ No, but I don’t know if that means I have a choice…”
“A choice? I don’t mean enough to you to be worthy of a fucking choice?”
Katie choked back her sobs,“You? You mean so much to me that I’m willing to give up everything to be with you … I love you Lance.”
“Then the choice is easy.” Lance said, choking back his own tears.
This week at WRITE ON EDGE, the prompt was about THE FORBIDDEN OR TABOO, but let’s be honest, Gathering Buttercups is all about the forbidden: Divorce, An affair, Loving a man younger than you (GO Charlotte) and Love kept away for close to two decades. So I decided to just give Kate some good old fashioned guilt this week, let’s see how long that lasts shall we?