Home > Roman Crazy (The Broads Abroad #1)(4)

Roman Crazy (The Broads Abroad #1)(4)
Author: Alice Clayton, Nina Bocci

“Don’t you dare call me that, Daniel,” I snapped, stabbing him with my celery, flicks of tomato juice spotting his pristine Bespoke shirt. “You lost the right to cute nicknames when you decided to stick your dick in your secretary.”

“Avery, watch your mouth,” he began, but the bartender—who’d been buffing the same glass for twenty minutes—slammed it down onto the bar, startling us both. She smiled at me, motioning me to continue. Daniel seemed surprised that anyone on the other side of the bar would have an opinion. I doubted she’d work here long after this.

“Whatever it was or is with her, I know that nothing he says will make me stay,” I said to Daisy, and ended the call with the promise to call her back after this dog-and-pony show to fill her in.

“You don’t mean that,” he said, smiling. Taking my hand, he traced my palm seductively. Or what I imagine would have been seductively, in a different time, in a different place. “This is us. We’re a team, remember?”

How could I forget? Choices were made, decisions were cemented, and paths were chosen. But no one said I had to stay running on that particular hamster wheel.

“We’ve been through the ringer, you and I. This was just a stumbling block.”

“How many?”

“Avery, don’t do this. It doesn’t matter.”

I waited. Waited for something in my belly to flare up. To make me truly consider continuing to live this life. Bitsy’s jeweled, Lexused, Provenced life. It never came.

Scooting back the stool, I stood, rolled my shoulders, and simply stated, “You’ll be hearing from my lawyer.”

But there wasn’t anything simple about it. In those six words, I welcomed back a piece of Old Avery.

I was never big on marching. I gracefully glided most days. Today was not that day.

With every ounce of confidence I could muster, I strutted my high, tight, Burberry-wrapped ass right past the dinner crowd of couples that likely heard the whole argument. I was sure my next Junior League meeting would be full of whispers and side eyes.

I was out the front door and into the sunshine without a glance backward. As I slid into my penis-gifted Mercedes, however, I realized that without the strut, I didn’t feel confident at all. The strut was for Bitsy, Daniel, and the rest of the country club set, and frankly, to get me out the door without making a fool of myself. But now, alone, wrapped in tan leather and walnut paneling . . .

I didn’t have a clue what to do. My life was my marriage and everything that came with it. Take that away and what was left? I’d given up so much when I married Daniel Remington. If I wasn’t Avery Remington, who the hell was I?

So I called Daisy back and asked her that very question.

“What am I going to do?” I asked. “Is hiring a hit man off the table?”

She sighed. “Bless your heart, but yes, it’s way off the table. As much as I want to inflict pain upon Daniel, I don’t know that it’s the wisest move right now.”

“Then I repeat. What am I going to do?” I whispered, blotting my eye with a tissue from my purse. “I met with a divorce lawyer, Daisy, a fucking divorce lawyer! What is happening?”

“Do you want to divorce him?”


“Do you want to divorce him?”

I sat there in my car, unable to answer the question. “I mean, I kind of have to, right?” I asked.

“You don’t have to do anything, Avery. I’m certainly not going to tell you whether you have to do anything you don’t really want to do.”

Even though she couldn’t see me, I nodded.

“So I’ll ask you again, kiddo, do you want to divorce him?” she asked quietly.

She couldn’t see me, but I was still nodding. And then in the tiniest of whispers, I answered . . . “Yes.” I took a breath, then said it again, stronger this time. “Yes.”

“Okay then,” she answered.

I saw Bitsy leaving the front door, and I scrunched down so she couldn’t see me. “But I can’t be here knowing that everyone’s talking. I don’t want the sad looks or the poor Avery that will come with it.”

“Come here,” she said, no trace of jest in her voice. “Don’t think. Just come here.”

There was running away from my problems, and then there was running away.

“Maybe a week or two would do me some good,” I admitted, thinking about what I would miss if I just picked up and left the country. I peeked over the steering wheel to see Bitsy getting into her own penis gift. The lawyer could wait a bit. It’s not like Daniel was going to file. His balls were in my court after all.

“A week or two is nothing. Listen, it’s the beginning of June and I have a spare room. And plus, I’m barely ever home anyway. You’d have the place to yourself. I know you’d love this city, and the weather is to die for! Think about it. You could eat great food, see beautiful buildings, visit museums. You could sketch.” From across the ocean, on another continent, I could hear my friend’s excitement. “Come and spend the summer with me.”

“A summer in Rome?”

“Wasn’t that a movie?”

“I don’t think so, but—”

“Stop stalling. No buts. No overthinking, no stressing. Just do it. Go home, pack your things, and I’ll call you back with flight info. I’ll see what I can get that leaves ASAP so you don’t chicken out on me.”

She hung up and I stared into the visor mirror. Touching the pearls at my neck, I frowned, not recognizing myself. Yes, I was put together, and yes, I looked the part, but I wasn’t happy. Thinking about it, I couldn’t remember the last time I was.

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