Authors: Pella Grace
Tags: #Pella Grace, #ebook, #Love story, #Nook, #Romance, #kindle, #Fiction
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The author makes no claims to, but instead acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction including brands or products such as: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Schweddy Balls, Cape Cod, Thin Mints, Wheaties, Pontiac, GTO, Xbox, Facebook, Versace, iPod, Pee-wee Herman, Michael Jackson, YouTube, Barbie, Mickey Mouse, Audrey Hepburn, Cruella De Vil, Batman, Ricola, Steven Tyler, Mel Gibson, Wikipedia, Snickers, Rick James, Kid Cudi, Eminem / Slim Shady, America's Got Talent, Nickelodeon, Jägermeister, M&M, Hershey’s, Pepsi, Coke, Nate Dog, Warren G, Puss in Boots, Transformers, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, and Jillian Michaels.
Copyright © 2013 by Pella Grace.
KNOCK LOVE OUT by Pella Grace
A married woman has an affair with a grocery clerk.
All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America by Swoon Romance. Swoon Romance and its related logo are registered trademarks of Month9Books.
No part of this eBook may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Editor: Georgia McBride
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Cover designer: Su Kopil
Cover art license: iStockphoto.com
COMPLICATED BY YOU sample copyright©: Kenya Wright
To my two PGB's, I love you. Thank you for allowing a girl her dreams.
KNOCK LOVE OUT
I want to strangle my husband and slam the door as I leave. I want to leave a box of pasta on the counter with a note that says,
“cook your own dinner and suck your own dick.”
But things weren’t always this way.
Every day, his happiness was my number one goal. I would go to bed after him and wake up before him, just to make sure that everything was done.
While his co-workers ate off of a shitty lunch wagon of five bucks for a bag of, “no one at home cares about me,” he was enjoying his organic salad with roasted chicken and a side of vegetables. Did he smile as he ate it and feel as though someone had a heart filled with love when they made it?
Because … I did. I used to love him.
I used to.
I want to have an affair.
Rolling across bed sheets. Pinned against the wall. Called dirty names and treated beautifully. Being treated at all. Mean something to someone in the simplest of ways. No strings. The happiest part of a shit day. The escape.
I want to get dressed up and go somewhere.
I want to be wined and dined.
I want a reason to line and gloss my lips.
In the morning, I want the pink stains of those lips to be smeared across someone’s sheets. Their pillow. Their face.
I want a phone call in the middle of the day that makes me smile like a schoolgirl and for everyone around me to wonder why.
I want to be spoiled rotten with movies and kisses and repeated, “I love you’s”. Repeated as though I’d never hear it again. Until I got sick of it, though, I never, ever, ever would.
I want to jump in the car and have no idea where we are going, but we just fucking go. We just hop in the car and we just go. No direction. No thinking. Wherever we end up that isn’t our day-to-day lives, that’s where we end up.
I want to lie in the grass, holding hands and talking silly. I want to giggle and feel five years old until the sun comes up.
I want a secret.
Instead, I am wandering the aisles of Valentine’s Grocery, watching a man on his cellphone pick out a bouquet of daisies while I’m wondering if he likes Chicken Alfredo. Wine. Good conversation.
He appraises me generously as I sway my hips, knowing he’s checking out my ass. Shit Adam hasn’t done in years.
All of my items are in perfect groupings along the black belt. Ready to check out. I stare blankly at the screen, but seeing nothing. I am a blank canvas and just nothing. Numb to the core, that’s how I feel.
“Half of what is mine is yours,” Adam once said. I had thought it meant material things. I never guessed he’d meant half of his heart. I wanted to own him as a whole. I wanted to
“Good afternoon,” the clerk greets me, flashing a humble smile as he continues to pass items over the scanner. “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”
My attention is pulled from the screen. He has on a cobalt blue polo shirt. A matching service apron. Company logo in the center.
I look to his face, finding a pair of soft green eyes that seem kind. Pleasant. I wonder if he likes Chicken Alfredo. Wine. Homemade rolls with garlic butter. Chocolate silk pie. Good conversation.
His wayward hair looks like it does a lot of rolling across the sheets.
I want to have an affair.
I want to stab Adam with a steak knife.
He isn’t doing anything particularly wrong. Just sitting here at the table. Eating his food.
. He eats like a pig. Not one flavor appreciated.
I stood on my feet for three hours prepping and cooking this meal. At the beginning of the week I planned it out. Sat down and actually
what I was going to do. Made sure to marinate the pork chops overnight. Cut the edges of the fat to ensure proper crispiness and rendering. Nothing spongy or congealed.
He asked for ketchup.
I haven’t touched my own plate of food, yet. I’m trying to unravel the knot in my stomach. I wish it only belonged to his desire for ketchup, but silence is the king of this table. We aren’t fighting. This is just us. Him. Every day is like the rewind on a film I have already watched. Adam comes home, walks straight to the bedroom to change his clothes. No
I missed you
kisses. No quick check-in before his pre-dinner disappearance.
It doesn’t matter what I look like. Dressed up or down. These cute little vintage aprons that I adore—I have at least ten. I tried each one on hoping to catch his eye. I put my hair up into a cute ponytail and glossed cherry on my lips. The heels only made him worry that I might damage the original hardwood floors. Heaven forbid our happiness outweighs the future possibility of a hefty resale price.
Tonight I waited for him to come home as our dinner cooked. I wanted to be right there as he walked in. I wanted him to
me. I didn’t put on a show. I was simply me—freshly bathed with no makeup. My hair pulled back into a bun so he could see the necklace he gave me the day he asked me to be his. The shirt I have saved all these years from when he first started his real estate firm.
I led with a meek, “Hi.” Adam paused for a moment, his hand on the door frame. We stared at each other as if this was our first time meeting. My unsure heart told me to take his briefcase. “I bought wine. Want to sit? Relax?”
“Um,” Adam looked to his feet. The door finally pressed closed. “Can I change, first?” He glanced to the hall. Not me. I took a baby step forward.
“Will you come down afterward?” Because his nightly routine is to stare at the computer and client bullshit until I call him for dinner. His eyes finally rested on the silver necklace he gave me. I wanted him to look at me. I wanted to grab his chin and just
him. And for a moment, I thought he
reaching for me, but his fingers lifted my necklace, keeping his attention there.
“This has been in my family for a long time. I’ll never forgive you if you lose it. You should save it for special occasions. Not playing house.”
“It is a special occasion.”
And this is not how I wanted him to look at me. “Excuse me?”
“It’s the fifth. It’s special.”
He didn’t remember. He let go of the necklace. “It’s all Groundhog Day to me, Lil.” He took his briefcase back and headed up to his routine.
When he came back down to eat, I tried again.
“Sorry I haven’t made this in a while. I should have. I know it’s your favorite.”
“Can I have some dressing for my salad?” He interrupted. “You always forget to give me dressing, Lilla.”
Someone tell me why
couldn’t get his own dressing? I slid back, pushing down all my inner hate and go to the fridge. As soon as my fingers touched the door handle, my feet reminded me of yet another reason death is needed for this shell of a man I married.
I looked down, seeing that the pair of socks I had
put on my feet—fresh from the dryer—were now completely wet. He slurped loudly at his glass of sweet tea. I looked over my shoulder and watched as he took a chunk of ice into his mouth, crunching like the animal he had become.
On the floor was the ice that had fallen out of the bag he’d dug his grubby hand through, completely allowing the runaway pieces to melt on the floor. Allowed me to walk in the puddle. Wet socks. Another chore. Another delay in getting to eat a hot meal.
“You gonna bring that dressing here, or should I just eat the salad without it, Lil?”
Surely, a jury would not convict me on the premise! Right?
He took the dressing after I’d set it down on the table squirting copious amounts over the spinach leaves. Half of it would remain in the bottom of his bowl. Waste.
“Aren’t we all
,” I want to say. “
Just a waste.”
Instead, my heart clung to hope, even though my logic suspected otherwise.
“Does it taste the same?”
“Can you be a little less evasive with your questions, Lil? Maybe I could answer you better.”
I gripped my steak knife. “The chops.”
And this is where my plan to murder my husband began.
“Do we have ketchup? I like sauce with my pork chops.”
“This is how I make them. Always. It’s always this way, Adam.”
“And I still married you?” He laughs. I wonder how heavy his body is. If I can manage dragging it out to the yard on my own.
“Yeah, you did. I believe it was on the
He stops eating for a moment, finally understanding the wine and pork chops. This was us eight years ago under a large oak in the backyard of our first home. This was an,
“I’ll never break up with you just based off your cooking skills alone, Lil.”
“Well,” he sighs and goes back to cutting off a hunk of pork chop, “I’ve had a lot of pork chops in seven years, Lil. Can’t remember everything.”
Dinnertime used to be a bright bloom of flowers. It is now a vase of dust.
I slide back from the table because my fed-up heart is about to show itself and roll down my cheeks.
“Eight what?” he says with a full mouth. I take off the necklace because dirty dishes here I come.