For a limited time I am going to post The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2), chapter by chapter every Saturday. If you haven’t read Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1), grab a free copy in any digital format at these retailers:
The V-Day Aversion
by Genevieve Dewey
Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Dewey. All Rights Reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
Katelyn waited about five seconds after shooing the Valentinis out of her home to grab her sister, drag her to the dining room table, and sit her down.
“Uh…” Kandace began.
Katelyn snatched the Omaha World Herald from the basket by the kitchen and rolled it out in front of Kandace.
“Jobs and Rentals. Conveniently, both located in the Classifieds,” Katelyn said sarcastically then stormed out.
She could hear Kandace’s laughter long before she arrived at the door of Katelyn’s home office.
“Quit using me as an excuse, Kate. Why don’t you want to move in with Dom?”
“I’m not using you as an excuse. Dom isn’t going to consider moving in here with me if you’re here, is he?”
“Even if I weren’t here he wouldn’t move in with you. Maybe you were distracted by his schmooothe mooves,” Kandace drawled, “But I could hear every word of your argument from my bedroom. He’s got a point, Katie. Here he would live in a house that’s next to his mother, across the street from the neighbor from Hell, and full of memories of the past when he had to watch you go out with every guy but him. In Gretna, he’s got a full time job teaching and coaching at a high-school. You have a part time job in neither town that you telecommute to half the week. This does seem like a no-brainer.”
“I’m not moving to Gretna,” Katelyn said implacably.
Kandace dramatically heaved an exasperated breath and sat on the corner of Katelyn’s desk. She didn’t even bother to move the reports and notes before she sat, so Katelyn started whacking her thigh with her Marshalltown trowel until Kandace moved enough to let Katelyn liberate her things.
Kandace just grinned wider.
“I’ll make you a deal—”
“Uuuuuugh! What is with you and the constant bet making? You know, maybe you ought to consider a career working at the track,” Katelyn suggested disingenuously. “Bookies make a lot of money, but you’d have to hire some muscle for collection.”
Kandace popped some M&Ms in her mouth from Katelyn’s snack dish.
“I make bets with you because you always, without fail, rise to the bait. And I’ve found it’s sometimes the only way to get your slow as molasses butt off the damn starting line.”
“So can that work in reverse? Can I bet you something to get you to focus on your own life?” Katelyn countered.
“Maybe you should let me finish. I promise I will seriously look for a full time job and a place large enough so I can get custody of the kids if you agree to look for a place for you and Dominic.”
“I haven’t even agreed to move in with him regardless of the location! Don’t you think moving in together after only three months of dating is a little bit rushing things?”
“Not when you’ve known each other your whole lives. And let’s be real, it’s not about moving in together, it’s about you’re not ready to let go of this house because it’s your security blanket. But you can own this house, and still try living with Dominic. Frankly, I think if Steve and I had lived together for a while first maybe we could have avoided a whole lot of problems.”
Katelyn sighed and sent her sister a sympathetic look.
“Getting married was the right thing to do when you found out you were pregnant with Alex.”
“Says everyone but me. Why does it feel like I never get a vote in anything? I swear sometimes I feel like the only mother on the face of the planet that feels tied down by having kids. I mean, I love them with everything in me, and I would fucking kill anyone that so much as gave them a paper-cut. But I feel like ever since I got pregnant, I got stuck in this box of the good little wifey. Playdates, school functions, boring dinners with other parents. I can’t remember the last time Steve and I just did something crazy or romantic together. Anytime I bring up going away, he just dismisses it saying he’d rather stay home. That’s easy for him to say, he’s always traveling. I’m the one stuck at home with no place to go, no damn break in the routine, and when I bring that up he just suggests I go hang out with one of my mom friends for a few hours. But all they ever want to talk about is kid milestones, and who’s the best babysitter, and how to get stains out of fabric. I’m sick of it! And I’m sick of feeling guilty because I’m sick of it!” Kandace stopped and started crying.
Katelyn’s mouth dropped at the unexpected diatribe. She got up from her chair and dragged Kandace into a hug.
“But, isn’t that why you were seeing a marriage counselor? What does Steve say about all this?”
“He says I’m acting like a child and the therapist practically agreed with him saying that I’m exhibiting midlife crisis behavior. Bright side? He called Steve ‘emotionally closed off and controlling’. But we’ve only had one session, so there’s still hope to win him over to my side,” Kandy finished with a wet, wry chuckle.
Then she disentangled herself from Katelyn’s arms and went around the desk to steal Katelyn’s desk chair. She stuck out her tongue in victory like a petulant child and forced a laugh out of Katelyn.
“You are such a goofball, Kandy,” Katelyn said softly.
She went around to hug her sister one more time from behind the chair. Then she quickly yanked it back with a tilt so Kandace would drop to the floor.
“Alright, so, I’m changing the deal—”
“You always do,” Kandace mumbled as she brushed herself off.
“If I seriously consider moving in with Dominic, you have to seriously consider moving back in with Steve. Now, listen,” Katelyn said in a rush at the heavy sigh from Kandace. “Listen, I know that deep down you want to patch things up with him. And I know you guys have major trust issues you’re going to have to deal with, and frankly I wouldn’t put up with him controlling everything if it were me—”
“And this is why I’m supposed to go back to him?”
“No, I’m saying you should consider working on it with him, because he’s the same stick in the mud older man you fell in love with. Not one thing about him has changed. The only one that’s done any changing is you, Kandy. I remember when you got engaged and everyone was like ‘oh, he’s so much older, you’ll get
bored in no time’, and you’d laugh it off, saying you didn’t mind being his trophy wife. But here you are, constantly flitting here and there like a butterfly, and I say that with love, but seriously, you’ve only been expressing unhappiness with his job and worrying about supposed girlfriends since he started pushing harder for you to pick a career and stick with it. I think in his own way he was just trying to encourage you, not show you the door. If the root of your problems is about not having time for each other, then that’s something you can work on. If it’s because you don’t love him anymore, or you’re tired of him making all the decisions then that’s different. So right now, cards on the table, do you still love Steve?”
Kandace was silent for a long time. She wrinkled her nose looking off into the distance. Then she put her hands on her hips and nodded. She didn’t look happy about it, but she looked sure of it, at least.
“Do you feel like him owning everything and making decisions is about controlling you or because you haven’t actually made any effort to make your own identity? Do you really think he’s asking you to get a job because he wants more time with another woman, or because he knows he spends too much time away?”
Kandace blinked then furrowed her brows. She opened her mouth a couple times then shut it firmly and crossed her arms in front of her.
After a minute, she let out a long breath.
“I never thought about it like that before,” Kandace answered softly. “No… no, I don’t think it’s about control. I don’t know. I guess you’re right, I never actually asked him… hmmn…”
Katelyn watched her frown and stare pensively at the book shelves.
“And last but not least… are you afraid of him? Afraid he’ll use his name and money to keep you from the kids?”
Kandace’s head whipped back to Katelyn and she looked shocked.
“Steve would never do something like that. He’s a good man!”
Katelyn tried to stop the little smile from forming at Kandace’s knee-jerk defense of her husband. She looked down at her sneakers and bit her lip.
Kandace made an impatient sound.
“Alright, I’m changing the original deal—”
“You always do,” Katelyn interrupted.
“If you can prove that Steve isn’t cheating on me, I will go back to him. Either way, I will look for a job and I will even help you move when you move in with Dominic after you agree to go out on Valentine’s with him.”
“This seems like a lot of sacrifices on my part.”
“Kate, only in a screwy universe would it ever be considered a sacrifice to have a hot dreamboat like Dominic Valentini lavish you with adoration on a holiday, and want to spend every day forward with you. The way I see it the sacrifice is all on my part because there’s a chance Steve is cheating.”
“I see absolutely no reason to indulge the Valentine’s Day thing since it’s all out in the open that he wants me to move in with him. No need for a date now.”
“No, now there’s no need to avoid the date. Only in your mind was him asking you out ever about the moving in together discussion. Normal people who love each other go out on dates on Valentine’s.”
“And only in your mind was Steve ever cheating on you, regardless of how it seems.”
Kandace sighed heavily.
“So do we have a deal?”
Katelyn started to answer but stopped when she heard Dom’s voice calling from the living room.
Kandace raised her eyebrows and held out her hand for a shake. Katelyn wrinkled her nose and clasped her hand just as Dom stuck his head around the door frame.
“Am I interrupting?”
“Mmmn, nope, not at all,” she said.
She let go of Katelyn’s hand. Dom’s eyes followed the motion. His expression suddenly went from wary curiosity to full on mirth.
“Are you two making bets again? Can we add a codicil where Kandy grows up and learns how to be a big girl? I’m still waiting for those Thanksgiving pictures proving she knows how to do housework like the rest of us working schlubs. Must be nice having a spouse that hires other people to do everything for you,” Dominic said in a playfully caustic tone.
Katelyn winced a bit, knowing that Dom was just teasing like they always had since they were kids, but after the raw conversation she and her sister had just had, she worried how Kandace would take it.
Fortunately, when Katelyn looked at Kandace she only looked thoughtful, not hurt. Then Kandy perked up and smiled a cheeky smile.
“Have fun on your Valentine’s date, Dom,” Kandace said.
She sashayed past him into the hall, pausing and leaning backwards to stage-whisper in his ear, “And you’re welcome.”
Dominic’s mouth parted slightly, and he squinted his eyes at her retreating back. Then he turned his suspicious look back at Katelyn. He entered the room, pushed the door slightly shut behind him, and crossed his arms.
“Exactly what did she promise you to get you to agree to that?”
Katelyn raised her eyebrows and gave a carefree shrug.
“You and I have our work cut out for us.”
“Oooohh, yeah. We,” Katelyn responded then walked up to him.
She raised herself up on tiptoes and lightly kissed his jaw, just the way he liked it.
“Tell me something, when a man cheats, where’s he the most likely to do it?”
Dominic stared at her like he was witnessing a crime scene.
“Is there a right way to answer this question?”
Katelyn chuckled and hooked her hand around his neck then pulled his mouth down to hers. His hands gripped her rear painfully as he kissed her. She never knew if she liked that or not, but since he always started kneading it right afterward, she’d never bothered to complain. And, frankly, it was extremely difficult to think rationally – or at all – when Dominic was kissing her.
She felt his hands leave her bottom and then she heard the snick of her jeans zipper. She suddenly remembered her sister was only a few
“Dom, mmff,” she managed to get out before his mouth was on hers again.
She tried pushing at his chest, but his hand had made it inside her pants and – oh, Lord – she forgot what she was stopping him for.
She released a rush of air as his mouth met her neck, and she could feel his chuckling along the entire length of her. She also wondered if she should be offended how smug he always was about his ability to make her weak in the knees.
And weak in the knees was exactly what happened as his finger entered her.
“Ahh, Dom… don’t stop,” she whispered, gripping his shoulders tight.
“Never,” he whispered back and sucked her bottom lip into his mouth.
His finger started a mastering stroke, the base of his palm rubbing against her. Then he stopped and yanked his hand out. He pushed her jeans down quickly and then he put his hand back on her, this time with two fingers.
She moved her hands from his shoulders to his hair and kissed him frantically. He was working her to a peak when…
“Dominic, baby, are you still here?”
Dom’s hand left her crotch so fast she stumbled. He turned around and looked at the door frame then back at Katelyn as if paralyzed. She hurriedly pulled her jeans back up and zipped them. She had just snapped the top button when Ramona cracked the door open and stuck her head inside.
Dominic was still straightening his hair and looking boyishly guilty. Ramona pursed her lips, one edge slightly trembling in what almost seemed like amusement, but her eyes appeared more irritated than amused.
“Dominic, you took off before we could finish.”
“I know, Mom, I was just coming over here to tell Katelyn I’d have to see her later.”
“Mmnhmn,” Ramona hummed in disapproval.
Dominic turned to Katelyn.
“So… I’ll see you tomorrow? Pick you up around seven?”
Katelyn nodded and tried to look cool and collected. After all, they were both adults in their late twenties, not naughty teenagers. They had nothing to feel guilty about.
Ramona raised her eyebrows and gave them both a long look. Dominic walked towards the door and his mother followed him. Katelyn stayed in her office a few minutes to calm her racing heart and cool her flaming cheeks.
There was a light knock on the door and Kandace peeked back in with a smug look on her face.
“Face it, Katie, if you two live here that’s what you’re dooming yourselves to for the rest of your lives.”
“I just took out a mortgage less than a year ago. Does anyone get how hard it is to sell a house? Maybe we can get Ramona and Vincent to move in with Mom and Dad.”
Kandace rolled her eyes.
“Come on, since Dom had to go next door again, help me look for some suitable apartments. Then I’m going to call Steve and try and see if he’ll tell me what he was doing last night. I want you to listen in on another phone to see if he’s lying, and so I won’t lose my temper.”
It was Katelyn’s turn to roll her eyes.
“That has got to be the most juvenile thing you’ve asked me to do all week and I thought lurking in bushes was a new low for you. Why is it that I am a year younger than you and yet I’m always in the big sister role?”
“Because you are an eighty year old shut-in trapped in the body a twenty-six year old woman,” Kandace replied in a deadpan voice.
She waved an impatient hand at Katelyn’s outraged huff.
“But I’ll give you one victory already, Katie. This you and I living together thing, is seriously not going to work. So you better get crackin’, sister.”
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.
To Be Continued… NEXT SATURDAY.
Did you know there are free Dom & Kate flashbacks and a sneak peek at the Dom&Kate novel The Good Life, right here on the website? Check them out!