EXCERPT/BLURB – A VALENTINE’S GIFT FOR TORI
Title: A Valentine’s Gift for Tori
Author: Zenobia Renquist
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Mainstream Romance (IR)
Length: Short Story (15K words)
ISBN: 1-60435-099-7 (978-1-60435-099-9)
Release: 01 Feb 2008
She wants a boyfriend for Valentine’s and her husband wants to deliver.
Tori has come to the realization that her marriage lacks the spark it had in the beginning. She and her husband argue more than anything else and she foresees a nasty break-up on the horizon if something doesn’t change. When he asks her what she wants for Valentine’s Day, her answer is scandalous and straightforward—a boyfriend.
Rather than be upset, her husband is intrigued by the idea and sets out to make it happen. Tori has set herself—and him—an impossible goal and her prospects aren’t that promising. But she’s determined to have a boyfriend in time for the most romantic holiday of the year.
“What do you want for V-day, sweetheart?”
Tori regarded her husband. He didn’t even look at her when he’d asked the question. Instead, he lazed in his easy chair with his feet up, clicking through the channels. She shouldn’t be upset at his dismissive behavior. Unlike most husbands, he’d actually remembered days in advance of the holiday instead of the day of. Christian was good at remembering anniversaries, birthdays, and the like.
“I want a boyfriend.” Some wild hair made Tori say what was on her mind, the thing she really wanted and had kept to herself for the past two years.
Her marriage with Christian was lukewarm. She couldn’t remember when the last time they’d had sex, but Christian could tell her the exact date if she asked. He only remembered stuff that concerned him.
That wasn’t to say she didn’t love her husband. He was the only man who could put up with her and vice versa. They were the perfect complete-each-other’s-sentences couple. On the surface, they had the type of marriage every couple envied with three kids who were mature beyond their years and a stable income. A dream come true except one thing…
“Ha ha. Now what do you really want?” He continued flipping channels.
“I’m not joking. I want a boyfriend.”
Christian looked at her. His smile vanished when he saw she wasn’t smiling. “What are you saying?”
“I just told you twice. For the third time, I want a boyfriend.”
“Is this about Samantha? I apologized. You forgave me. You said it was in the past and not to worry about it. Why after two years of forgiveness do you suddenly want a divorce?”
“I didn’t say I wanted a divorce. I said I want a boyfriend.” She felt like a broken record.
Her gaze strayed to the clock. They had an hour before the kids were due back from school. She hoped whatever theatrics Christian threw her way ended before they came home.
Christian switched the television off then stood and faced Tori. “This isn’t a funny joke. Or is this payback?”
“It’s neither. When was the last time we had sex, Christian?”
“Two years and three months ago next Friday.”
She knew it. He’d been counting, which meant the lack of intimacy had bothered him. She crossed her arms. “We don’t have a relationship anymore—not the kind married couples should have.”
“We can work at it.”
“I really don’t want to.”
That made Christian angry. His face contorted in rage and he paced away from her with an angry sound.
She wasn’t scared. Christian would never hurt her. He wasn’t the type of man to do that. That didn’t mean he wouldn’t put a hole through the wall or stab the couch with a kitchen knife.
“Christian, assuming I wanted to have sex, do even you want to?”
“Of course! You’re my wife. We’ve been married ten years.”
“Then how come you were with Samantha on that Valentine’s Day two years ago?”