The Unwanted Wife(3)By: Natasha Anders
Then again, that was nothing new, as he rarely showed emotion. In fact the “discussion” of that morning was the most heated she had ever seen him. He kept his feelings under wraps but had always made his contempt of her more than clear. It was in the way he refused to meet her eyes, the way he could make love to her without kissing her on the mouth, the way he could talk past her when he had something to tell her… while eternally optimistic, stupid Theresa, had never been good at hiding her feelings from him. Not from the very moment she’d met him, nearly two years ago. How hopelessly infatuated she had been! How quickly she had fallen in love… She shook herself, refusing to think about things she could not change and instead tried to focus on changing her present.
Breakfast passed with agonising slowness, the silence broken only by the sound of his newspaper as he carefully perused the business section. She barely ate and hated him for being so unaffected by the tension that he could finish a hearty meal. She picked up her dishes and headed to the sink.
“You have to eat more than one slice of toast,” his voice suddenly growled unexpectedly. “You’re getting much too thin.” The fact that he had noticed what she’d eaten, despite having hardly glanced at her over his newspaper, startled her.
“I’m not that hungry…” she responded softly and placed her dishes in the sink.
“You barely eat enough to keep a sparrow alive,” he lowered his paper and met her eyes for a few seconds before diverting his gaze back to the mug of coffee on the table in front of him. The direct eye contact was so unusual, that Theresa barely restrained a gasp.
“I eat enough,” she responded half-heartedly, normally she would have let it go but she wanted to see if she could goad him into meeting her eyes again. No such luck, he merely shrugged, neatly folded his newspaper and dropped it onto the table beside his empty plate. He gulped down the last sip of his coffee before getting up from the table.
She watched as he stretched; his black t-shirt lifting to reveal the toned and tanned band of flesh at his abdomen. Her mouth went dry at the sight of that dark flesh and once again she was disgusted by her reaction to his physical presence. She had spent the first year of her marriage believing that Sandro would come to love her. She had firmly believed that he would get over his anger at being forced to marry her and that he would go back to being the laughing, affectionate man she had known in the first few months after they had met. But after nearly a year she had been forced to face reality, he truly hated her. He hated her so much so that he couldn’t bring himself to speak to her, kiss her, touch her outside of bed or even look at her. Theresa had finally realised that there would be no thaw; their marriage was a perpetual winter wasteland and if she ever wanted to feel the warmth of the sun on her face again, she had to get out of it. Unfortunately, she now knew that escaping would be trickier than she had thought. She would have to find a way out that did not include hurting her cousin. Lisa and Rick were expecting their first baby and while Lisa was having a fairly easy time of it, Theresa was concerned that anything that would upset her could be potentially harmful to her or the baby. Also, while Rick’s advertising agency was fairly successful, Lisa had always prided herself on the fact that she held her own financially in their relationship. Taking her bookshop away could put too much strain their relationship and Theresa didn’t want that on her conscience!
She sighed heavily and started to do the dishes. She liked to do little household tasks despite the fact that Sandro, who was the president of the bank his father owned, “had more money than God” as her father had once put it. Theresa had even enthusiastically insisted on doing some of the cooking herself. They employed a housecleaning staff, as was practical since they lived in a ten bedroom, five bathroom monster of a house but on Saturdays the staff had the day off and Theresa liked pick up after herself and Sandro instead of letting the staff get to it when they returned. Sandro didn’t pretend to understand her need to have a hand in the every day running of the house and had mockingly accused her of playing house once, shortly after their wedding. He had never seemed to notice it again after that. She stared down at the dishes she had ready to be placed in the dishwasher and quite abruptly abandoned the task halfway through before heading upstairs and leaving Sandro still in the kitchen.