Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I'm Losing You - Excerpt #3

Here is the weekly unedited excerpt from my work-in-progress, I'm Losing You, Book 4 in the Stafford Brothers series.

She yearned for those times when Vic used to share everything with her. During his time as a lowly intern, when they were dating, he told her every little detail about his days doing the grunt work for the residents. At the same time, he’d been excited and eager to learn everything possible about medicine first-hand. Often they stayed up late into the night talking on the phone, and he asked questions about her burgeoning modeling career as though he was sincerely interested.
After the wedding, once they moved into their own apartment, she loved lying in bed listening to his amazing stories about the inner workings of the hospital. Now, if they talked at all, it was about mundane, necessary things before he drifted into a work-induced coma. When he was conscious, hospital business preoccupied his mind. He traveled a lot to conferences, conventions and symposiums, and his schedule usually didn’t allow him to accompany her at fundraising events or sit with her in the bleachers at the boys’ football games. He’d become little more than a ghost in their own home.
     “I didn’t know it would take you away from us the way it has. You obviously see no reason to adapt for us. I’ve had enough of this, Vic. If I’m not that important to you, I will find a way to keep myself occupied.”
     Vic uttered a scornful laugh and followed her as she stormed into the kitchen. “Right. Like you’re going to get a job.”
     “When I got pregnant with Trey, you were the one who said you wanted me to stay home and take care of him.”
     “That was twelve years ago, Mona! Less than two years later, you announced you were pregnant again.”
     She slumped down onto a stool and gaped at him in disbelief. “Are you saying I got pregnant so I wouldn’t have to work?”
     He glared at her. “I never said you had to work, but I expected you to do more than sit around and wait for me to come home. Since when did you become so clingy?”
     “Clingy? So it’s being clingy because I want my husband to spend some time with me and his kids?”
     “Look, I’m tired and I need to get a few hours of sleep.”
     She watched him leave the room then dropped her head down to the Italian marble counter.  The only reason he’d noticed her tonight was because he’d suddenly become suspicious. And he had good reason to be. Two years of begging him to spend time with her and the boys was her limit. Thirty-seven was too young to become a medical widow. He’d ignored her long enough.

Chapter Two
The next morning, Vic showered, dressed and dragged himself down to the kitchen. He made a cup of coffee and contemplated what he needed to do once he got to the hospital while it brewed. The sound of footsteps shuffling down the hall drew his attention to the doorway where Mona stood watching him.
     “You’re working another Saturday?”
     “Yeah. The Board needs a report for their meeting next week, and I couldn’t get it done with everything else that was going on.”  He reached for a travel mug from the cabinet when the ready light came on.
“Hmph,” she grunted and turned to leave.
“I’m sorry for what I said last night. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”
“You said exactly what you meant. It’s been two years, Vic, and I’m tired.”
     When he looked up from stirring the cream and sugar into his coffee to respond, she was gone. He could’ve gone after her, but he was in no mood for another argument. Instead, he entered the garage from the kitchen and left the house, welcoming the silence inside the soundproof cabin of his S600. The traffic surrounding him while he drove to work faded into a blur as he recounted last night’s scene with his wife. Was he treating her like a child or were his suspicions justified? After all the years they’d been married, he should be able to trust her, but the change in her schedule, wardrobe and attitude had him questioning her every move. And after her behavior last month at the barbeque, he didn’t put anything past her.
     They had all been at his parents’ house for the annual July Fourth celebration. As usual, his mother hired a DJ and a crew to install a dance floor in the yard. All was going well, and they were having a good time until Mona got on the floor with his baby brother. He still hadn’t recovered from the shock of her showing out the way she had. It was bad enough that she came dressed like a twenty-year-old, but when she went on the dance floor with Nick and danced like a stripper at Magic City, he’d lost it.   
      Mona never behaved suspiciously before. It all started after a benefit she had worked so hard on. One he’d been too busy to attend. Vic brushed the last thought aside. After being a doctor’s wife for so many years, she surely understood his responsibilities. Or was he expecting too much from her?
     To avoid being spotted in the hospital cafeteria, he went through the drive-in at Dunkin’ Donuts and bought an extra-large coffee, a breakfast sandwich and a Boston cream donut. He could never get enough coffee. If anyone saw him, they would surely find reason to pull him aside in order to ask his opinion on one thing or another. By the time he drove into the hospital garage and parked in the space reserved with his name stenciled on the wall, he tried to focus his thoughts on the project facing him once he got upstairs. The one good thing about working on a Saturday was the staff didn’t know he was there, and he had some solitude in which to wade through the mountains of paperwork waiting for him in his office. Unfortunately, when he settled behind his desk, last night’s scene with Mona monopolized his thoughts.
      She’d avoided giving him any straight answers. She had her faults, but lying wasn’t one of them. Mona always told him the truth, even if she knew her answer would upset him. Why in God’s name would she start now? Almost involuntarily he reached for his cell and dialed Marvin Weber, his colleague and closest friend. His wife worked with Mona on both of her fund-raising committees. If anyone knew what she was up to, Daphine did.
     “Marv, it’s Vic. Are you in the hospital today?”
      “No, man. In fact, I’m on my way out to breakfast with the family. What’s up?”
      “Is Daphine right there with you?”
      “No, she’s upstairs getting dressed. Is something wrong?”
      “Did she have a meeting last night?”
      “Nope, not last night. Why?”
      Vic didn’t want to reveal his suspicions about his wife just yet even to his best friend. “I thought I remembered Mona saying something about it.”
     “So why don’t you call her, man?”
     “Eh, it’s not important. Enjoy your breakfast, and tell Daphine I said hello. Thanks.” Vic shoved the phone back in his pocket.
     Maybe you’re blowing this whole thing out of proportion. Perhaps he’d talk to Jesse about it later. 



Chelle Ramsey said...

I knew I should've waited. Why did I read this post? Because I didn't want to wait until the book comes out. And now I have to wait. Chicki, you have me on pins and needles! LOL!!!

Chicki Brown said...

Chelle, I plan to share the first 10% of the book here on my blog, since that's what will be available in the Kindle sample. Hopefully, that will increase interest in the book. :)

Brynette L. Turner, Author said...

This is such a great excerpt! Now, I'm even more excited about the upcoming release. I was a bit lukewarm on Mona previously, but I'm definitely changing my mind. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!