The Billionaire's Secret Wife

By: Nadia Lee

It didn’t take much time for them to reach his penthouse. Justin’s driver maneuvered the black Bentley through the wintry streets of Chicago, while Justin settled next to her. She started to raise her hand to reach for him, then stopped. He sat with his back unnaturally straight and stiff, his eyes contemplating the glittering city. His usually neat, dark hair was mussed like he’d just rolled out of bed, and it brought back memories of their times together.

Vanessa looked down at her expertly manicured hands. She still didn’t know why she’d gotten on that flight to O’Hare. She and Justin had ended things. No…he’d ended it because he’d been furious with her. She’d never seen him so angry before, and she knew she’d ceased to be a part of his life since November.

And yet here they were.

When the elevator door opened on the top floor, Vanessa peeked at the place she’d made sure never to visit. She’d also ensured he never came over to her places either. They’d done everything at hotels, resorts…once or twice out in nature on camping trips. It wasn’t that difficult to arrange a clandestine hook-up. After all, she’d learned from watching the best—her parents.

Justin’s home was surprisingly inviting, with comfortable-looking couches and earth-toned furniture in sharp green and silver accents. Given how immaculate everything was—not even a speck of dust—he probably had housekeeping.

Justin brought her inside and gestured at a seat. As soon as she took it, he poured himself a finger of whiskey from his bar and downed it in one near-violent tilt of his head.

“Have you eaten?” he asked.

“No,” she said, surprised at the realization that she hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast.

“No wonder you look so pale. Chinese or pizza?”

“I’m not hungry, but I can use some liquor if you have any.”

“You’re not touching a drop of alcohol until you have some food.”

The hardness of his tone penetrated her misery and confusion. He was still furious with her. Why was he doing this then? “Justin, I don’t… This was a bad idea. I’ll check into a hotel.” She got up and blinked as dots swam in her vision.

Cursing, he caught her. “Sit down and don’t even think about it.” He dialed a number and ordered two dinner specials.

She covered her face in her hands and breathed in Justin’s scent on the coat. It was still around her, its presence comforting. She should take it off—it was quite warm in Justin’s penthouse, but she loathed to give it up. Why was she even there? She knew how bad this thing with Justin was. When he’d finally ended it, made it clear how much he hated her, she should’ve left it at that.

“If you eat, I’ll let you have a Mouton ’45,” Justin said finally. The couch dipped under his weight.

“Thanks,” she said without looking at him. She must look awful for him to offer one of his prized Moutons.

“So. Is it really true? Your parents are divorcing?”

She nodded. “Dane told me.”

Justin let out a long sigh. “All the brothers you have, and it had to be him.”

Her mouth twisted. “I thought he might have been kidding, but when I spoke with Mom, she told me she’d hired Samantha Jones.” Vanessa clenched her hands and blinked away tears. “And if that wasn’t bad enough, Dad said it wasn’t up for discussion.” Doesn’t concern you, Vanessa. You aren’t my attorney.

No. She was just their daughter. Two of her brothers—Iain and Mark—had been confused about the news, Dane as usual had nothing illuminating to add, and Shane…she didn’t even know where Shane was.

Justin leaned back. “Who would’ve thought? The Eternal Couple.”

“Guess nobody’s going to be saying that anymore.”

“I’m sorry. But maybe this is better for them.”

“But how can they?” She finally turned to look at Justin. “I can’t believe it. No matter how miserable they made each other, no matter what people said, they always stayed together. Why are they doing this now? If they wanted to divorce, they should’ve done it years ago while they still had time to start fresh. What’s the point?”

“Who knows what they’re thinking? Maybe they were waiting until you guys were all grown. Maybe they decided it’s better to live freely now than never.”

She turned away and wiped away a tear. Justin handed her a box of tissues. “They still should’ve done it years ago.” Before the whole family lived through decades of misery. Before she found all those letters in the vanity drawer in her mother’s bedroom.

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