Home > Her Best Worst Mistake (Elizabeth and Violet #2)(9)

Her Best Worst Mistake (Elizabeth and Violet #2)(9)
Sarah Mayberry

“You have no idea how much I regret ever saying anything to you about that, Vi.”

Several months ago Elizabeth had confessed she’d asked Martin to spice up their sex life a little after reading a magazine article on being responsible for your own sexuality. It had been a rare moment of complete frankness from her friend, who was usually very private with all things pertaining to the bedroom, and Violet had been appalled when she’d learned that not only had Martin refused to discuss Elizabeth’s needs, he’d succeeded in making Elizabeth feel small and dirty and wrong, too.

“I’m not going to apologize for refusing to let you sweep that sterling little moment under the rug,” Violet said. “Normal people—note I’m stressing the word normal, as opposed to uptight repressives—talk to each other about sex and explore their sexuality and have fun in bed. They don’t pat you on the head and tell you they respect you too much to objectify you, or whatever rubbish excuse he came out with after you’d finally got up the gumption to talk to him. And I love that he tried to make it all about you, by the way, and not about his hang ups.”

“I really don’t want to talk about this again.”

Violet heard her friend’s words but she was off and running, the words welling up from some long-suppressed place inside her.

“For God’s sake, it wasn’t as though you asked him to tie you up and go at you with a cheese grater or something. You wanted to do it doggy style, big bloody deal. There were no small animals involved, no leatherwear or hot wax.”

“I’ve called off the wedding, Vi. This is definitely filed under The Past. You need to let it go.”

There was a sharp note to Elizabeth’s voice and it acted like a bucket of cold water. Violet blinked, then passed a hand over her face.

“You’re right. Sorry. He just really gets on my wick,” she muttered, fully aware that she’d stepped over the line, big time.

“Well, you’ll probably never have to see him again, since he’s hardly going to want to know me once he’s gotten over the fact that I’ve dumped him. That should make you feel better.”

Violet frowned as Elizabeth’s words hit home. Because E was right, of course—there was absolutely no reason for Violet to ever have to spend time in Droopy Drawer’s company now that he and Elizabeth were over. Violet would never again have to watch his nostrils flare with distaste over something she’d said, or endure one of his judgmental head to toe visual surveys. She would never know if he secured the membership to the Savage Club that he so fervently coveted, or if he made partner. She would never again have to grind her teeth as he opted for the safe, buttoned-down option in everything from his choice of drink to his taste in reading material.

The bell over the door rang sharply as three women entered the store, jerking her from her thoughts. She smiled at them distractedly.

“E. Someone’s come into the shop and I have to go. But you can do this, okay? Just get out of the car and go introduce yourself. Whatever comes after that, you’ll handle it.”

“Thanks, coach. And thanks for all the hand holding and tissue passing and intel gathering over the past few days,” Elizabeth said.

“Pshaw.”

She ended the call, but didn’t immediately step out from behind the counter to serve her customers. She didn’t understand where her rant against Martin had come from. For the past few days she’d been feeling sorry for him, conscious of the fact that no matter what was going on in Elizabeth’s life, he must be feeling let down now that the wedding had been called off.

So where had all that pent-up frustration and anger come from?

She had no idea.

She shook her head, sending her long earrings swinging. The workings of her subconscious were a mystery to her at the best of times—and perhaps it was preferable to leave them that way. Some things were better left unacknowledged.

Business was steady for the rest of the day and she managed to push Elizabeth and Martin’s messy break up from her mind. Which was just as well. She didn’t want to become one of those tragic people who lived off the drama of other people’s lives. While it was true that it had been a while since she’d had a relationship herself, she wasn’t that sad yet. She hoped.

It was pitch black outside by the time she cashed out the till at six. She secured the takings in the floor safe, then flicked off all but one security light and made her way past clothing racks and hat stands and jewelry displays to the front door. One day, when the money tree she had yet to plant in her window box bore fruit, she would knock a hole in the wall and install an internal doorway through to the stairway to her apartment. Originally intended to offer autonomy to both the retail tenant and the upstairs resident, the separate entrance was a right royal pain in the behind when it was freezing like it was tonight.

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