“Shoot, sorry, Maddie.”
“It’s fine.” She bent down and tried to pick them all up and dump them back into the box. They were everywhere, so Caleb, being the gentleman that he was, bent down and began helping her.
She’d seen his gentlemanly ways up close and personal. From opening the doors for her, to holding out her chair, to helping her pick something off the top shelf in the pantry. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for her, and she loved it. His gentlemanly traits didn’t help her though. Nope, it only made her fantasies a little harder to deal with.
He held one book up, and her cheeks heated at the sight of a large, muscular man holding a woman. It was one of her favorites. The hero was a bit of a dick. Actually, he was a large dick, but he loved his woman, and through many trials and tribulations, he finally learned to love, and not only that, he was a possessive bastard as well, and that made it even better.
“You like this kind of stuff?” he asked.
“Please, don’t laugh.”
“I’m not laughing.”
“You are.” She took the book out of his hands, and placed them in the box. “I … I like romance.”
“Then why are you boxing them up?” He lifted the flap of the box. “And sending them to the bookstore?”
“Because they don’t do me any good, and so far, my experience with romance has been awful so I’m taking a new approach to life.”
“And that is?”
“No romance books that give this preconceived notion of what men are like. They’re not good at all.” She placed the last book in the box and lifted them up, ambling her way downstairs, aware of how close he stood at her back.
“You don’t have to get rid of the books though. You love them,” he said.
Once she reached the bottom step, Caleb moved around her, grabbed the box, and dumped them on the coffee table in the sitting room.
Paige had decided to have a sleepover at her uncle’s. Martha had told her not to worry, and that she’d take care of Paige. It was Saturday morning, so Maddie didn’t mind. If it had been a school day, she would have. Paige was really excelling in school. She still had trouble with the girls calling her names, which really pissed Maddie off, but for the most part, school rocked, according to her charge.
“Why get rid of something you love?” he asked.
“Because I’m tired of being let down by the members of the opposite sex, okay?” She reached in, pulling out a book. “They want perfect, pretty women who like a lot of sex, and you know, don’t speak back. There’s no such thing as a possessive man, or someone who could only love one woman, and you know what? That sucks. Men don’t just love one woman, Caleb. They love many women, and as we get older, they like to trade us in for the newer, and more pristine model.” She shook her head, putting the books back. “The one thing I learned from Chad, you shouldn’t trust men.”
“You cannot group all of us together. We’re all different.”
“Really? You can group all women together because of your ex, but I can’t do it because of mine?” She began to pant as her anger started to build.
Just thinking about Chad made her angry and upset.
“Why are you reading that trash? Men are not like that.”
“They don’t give a fuck if a woman comes. It’s all about getting their dick wet.”
“You’ve filled your head with ideals that no man can ever match.”
She was done with the romance. Her job was far more important to her.
“I don’t believe all women are the same.” He pulled out his wallet. “How much do you want for them?”
“I’ll buy them from you. How much do you want?” he asked.
She stared at the books, then at his wallet, and shook her head. “Nothing. Keep them.” Maddie didn’t look back as she left the house through the front door, and took her time to move to the back, and sit down near the chickens that were happily pecking away. She wrapped her arms around her legs and watched them.
When she’d been getting the groceries for them the day before, she’d bumped into her mother. She’d found out from her that Chad and Emily were back in town. That they’d bought a house together and were the perfect couple.
Her mother had sounded so proud. Throughout the entire ten-minute conversation not once did she ask about Maddie or what she’d been up to. No, it was all about Emily and Chad. Her parents didn’t even think they’d done anything wrong. Her life had started to feel like a soap opera where she was the only one that saw how stupid it all was.
Chad cheated on her with her sister.