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Home > Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides #1)(15)

Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides #1)(15)
Author: Catherine Bybee

Sam glanced around but didn’t see anyone with a camera. “Maybe.”

“Before I go, I tried calling your house but the phone line was out of order.”

“The line developed static. The repair guys are coming in the morning to fix it. I’ve added caller ID so I can screen the media.” Sam pivoted and started a slow jog back to her car.

“Solid plan. I’ll call tomorrow.”

She smiled and just for fun added. “Oh, and Blake?”

“Yeah.”

She dipped her voice even lower and breathed into the phone. “I’m all hot and sweaty, too.”

“Errrr.” His groan vibrated her earpiece.

After he hung up, Samantha questioned the wisdom of flirting. As the smile threatened to leave permanent dimples on her cheeks, she shoved her concerns away and simply enjoyed the thought of a man showing interest in her as a woman.

Even if that man was her husband.

****

The media must have given up she thought as she walked up the steps to her townhome. There weren’t camera-holding forty-something-year-olds ducking behind bushes or zooming in from the corner. She stepped into her house, tossed her keys on the entryway table, and started for the stairs.

When the doorbell rang, she twisted around and opened it on impulse. Mid swing, she realized she was probably inviting an undesired picture, one that would have Blake shaking his head tomorrow.

But the person beyond the door wasn’t a reporter, or a photographer in pursuit of a quick buck.

It was worse.

Vanessa.

The woman staring back at her was everything Samantha was not. She had blonde hair so pure it couldn’t possible come from a bottle, with high cheekbones and brilliant blue eyes. Long legs peeked under a tailored silk skirt that never saw a rack in a department store.

Well, Blake had good taste in women, she’d give him that.

“You know who I am.” Vanessa van Buren, was not the jilted lover Samantha would have pegged for showing up unannounced. A peek from afar, maybe, but to knock on her door took some guts. The boisterous Jacqueline had been Sam’s bet.

She was wrong.

“And you know who I am.”

Vanessa’s gaze swept up and down Sam’s frame and a smirk skimmed her lips. Vanessa was dressed in Gucci, Samantha in Target. There was a time when Samantha was younger, before the fall of her father, that a friend had given her a piece of friendly advice. She’d said, ‘Don’t go into battle without a full arsenal.’ Samantha and a high school rival were both trying to capture the attention of a boy at the time. From that day forward, Samantha never left home without a full face of makeup and a designer label on her back.

She glanced down at her cotton shorts and t-shirt that said, ‘joggers keep the pace,’ and cringed.

“Are you going to invite me in?”

That’s sooo not going to happen. “I don’t see the purpose.”

Vanessa stepped forward and pushed her way in anyway. Samantha considered stopping her, but would have had to restrain her physically. That picture in the morning tabloid probably wouldn’t bode well for Blake or Samantha.

Samantha shut the door and kept Vanessa from walking further in the room. “That’s far enough.”

“This won’t take long.” Vanessa’s voice held tightly controlled anger, her eyes kept a constant surveillance of the room. “What could Blake possibly see in you?”

Sam crossed her arms over her chest. “Are your claws always out? Or do you put them away at night?”

“Clever. Do you know I slept with him just two weeks ago?”

Several retorts came to her lips, but Sam squelched them. “Blake and I never wanted to hurt anyone.” Sam did her level best to avoid the image of the two of them doing the naked tango.

“Blake hurts everyone… eventually. You’ll discover that soon enough.”

“I really think you should leave.” Samantha was ready to stop playing nice. This wasn’t a woman who was in love with a man; this was a snake coiling for a strike.

“Does he know about your father? About the sordid family you have hiding in your past?”

Samantha’s jaw tightened and her nails dug into her arms. “Blake knows everything.”

The cold calculated stare in Vanessa’s eyes held a hint of knowledge. “Everything? Are you sure about that?”

She had nothing to hide… well, almost nothing to hide. Samantha’s sins were buried so deep, not even her connections could find them. “You sound like a desperate woman, Vanessa. I have to tell you, it doesn’t look good.”

The smirk on the other woman’s face fell. “There is nothing about me screaming desperation. You, on the other hand, are a poster child for the word.”

“Ding, ding, this round’s officially over.” Samantha opened the door wide, not caring who snapped the shot. “Move it, or I’ll be forced to shove my Nikes up your Pradas.”

Her rapid heartbeat was aching to do some serious kicking.

“Careful, you don’t know who you’re dealing with.”

Samantha shoved her frame as close to Vanessa as she could without touching her. “Lady, you’ve no idea what I’m capable of. To think, when Blake told me about you, I actually felt sorry for you. What a waste. I’m not sure what he was thinking.”

Venom spiked from the other woman’s eyes. Turning on her heel, Vanessa slid on dark glasses and marched to a red sports car parked on the street.

Slamming the door would have proven how far the catty woman had dug herself under Samantha’s skin. Instead, she closed it and slumped against the frame. Her hands started to tremble as the force of the encounter raced through her bloodstream.

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