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Fake Christmas Lexy Timms 2022/8/3 13:45:47

“Phillip Beckford,” the man replied, annoyance in his tone. “Could you put Allyson on the phone please?”

Dane sauntered away from the hammock, tension making him clench his fist. “Look, pal, I don’t know who the hell you think you are but I’m her husband. You’re calling a married woman early in the morning.”

“I see,” Phillip muttered. “So, she hasn’t told you. The way I see it, she’s the one who’s been calling me non-stop for the past few days. I understand why she wants to see me so urgently, but there are rules about these sorts of things. This is a very delicate matter, and now that I see she hasn’t told you I’d rather not come between a man and his wife. You understand, don’t you?”

He gritted his teeth in rage. “No, I don’t understand. What hasn’t she told me?”

“Speak to your wife first, and we can discuss this later.” Phillip hung up.

Dane was gripping the cell phone so tightly he thought he might break it. So, she had been unfaithful. Allyson had gone behind his back and betrayed him.

There had been so many betrayals this year. But the one person he had never expected to knife him in the back was her. At least he could trust her. Or so he thought. Now he knew better. What a fool he had been.

Hadn’t his mother warned him? Hadn’t she told him that all Allyson wanted was his money and nothing else? Allyson didn’t love him. How could she when all he had to offer was wealth and status? His wife had probably gotten bored with him.

What was left of his heart squeezed so painfully he thought it might stop beating. The anger was impossible to contain. Underneath the volcanic rage was something else. Humiliation. Shock. Sadness. Never in a million years would he have thought their marriage would turn out this way.

It didn’t matter that she had never loved him. Because he still loved her. Even now that he knew what she had done, he still loved her more than he loved himself.

Despite his love for her he walked away from the beach. Left her behind without a backward glance. Dane didn’t know if he would ever have the heart to sell the villa. All he knew was that he was going to pack his bags. Pack his bags and never come back.

When Allyson woke up there was no one beside her. For a second she didn’t understand where she was, and she panicked. She sat up suddenly, wobbling on the hammock, but managed to slip out safely onto the soft sand.

Anxiety was making her heart hammer wildly. Dane. Where was Dane? Where was she?

She blinked, the sunlight distorting her vision. Then her surroundings came into focus. Outside. They had fallen asleep together out here. Under the stars.

But her husband was nowhere to be seen. Her bag was still on the sand. Maybe he had gone inside to eat breakfast. She reached into her bag, searching for her phone so she could figure out what time it was.

No phone. Frowning, she grabbed her bag and walked across the beach. Had Dane taken her phone?

Oh crap. The snowstorm. What if something had happened to her family overnight and they had tried to reach her?

Her chest tightened as she raced by the swimming pool and into the villa. “Dane!”

She searched downstairs first, calling out to him. When she realized he wasn’t downstairs, she rushed up to their bedroom.

Allyson flung open the door and inhaled sharply. “What are you doing?”

Dane turned to face her, his blue eyes like ice. “Packing.”

“Are we going back to New York?” she asked. “Has the snowstorm passed?”

“We aren’t doing anything,” he responded. “I’m getting out of here.”

He meant it. Her husband was already dressed in one of his perfectly tailored Italian suits. Ordinarily she would have thought he looked handsome all cleaned up like this, but there was something emanating from him. Something between icy indifference and white-hot rage.

Not only was he immaculately dressed, he was also packing one of his suitcases.

“What’s happened?” Her voice sounded shrill to her. Shrill and desperate.

“You don’t know?” he asked with a snarl. “I find that hard to believe.”

She reached a shaking hand out to him, but he ignored it. Turned his back on her and returned to his packing. “What’s wrong, Dane? You sound...different. Not like yourself.”