(If I Can't Have You Sequel)
by Mary B. Morrison
I’d Rather Be With You . . . Relationship satisfaction is never guaranteed.
From New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison comes the sizzling tale of two friends and the provocative bet that forever changes their lives. Now, with their futures up in the air, who will play one vengeful game too many? And who will wish she wasn’t left standing?
I’m the wife Madison’s husband really deserves. Why won’t she let him go? Nursing wealthy businessman Chicago DuBois back to health was the least Loretta Lovelace figured she could do. After all, it was her bet that made Madison the object of a crazed stalker’s affections and put Chicago at death’s door. With Madison’s marriage on the rocks, Loretta couldn’t resist looking after Chicago’s interests and reigniting his passion for life. But now Madison wants to take back what’s no longer hers. . .
I’ve got a fresh chance to start over. But letting Loretta walk away with my old life—that’s not going to happen. Madison’s life was perfect before Loretta introduced her to Granville Washington and initiated the bet that ruined Madison’s reputation and marriage. Now with a baby on the way and a family empire to save, Madison knows it’s past time to make some tough decisions. To get her life back on track, she’ll have to settle the score with Loretta and deal with Sindy Singleton, another woman who’s trying to make a play for Chicago. But this spoiled beauty has just the plan to handle her competition, her stalker, and her straying husband. . .
Excerpt from I’d Rather Be With You
Have you ever loved someone so much you could kill him? My signature was a heartbeat away from doing that. I’d signed the authorization to take my husband off life support. He was a good man. But there were times when being a good person wasn’t enough. Some would say he did all the right things in our relationship, but he did them for the wrong woman. I’d disagree. Unlike most women, I knew my self-worth. The brilliant diamond wedding ring on my finger was there because I’d earned it.
“Mrs. DuBois,” the doctor softly said. “I still have the paper in my hand. It’s not too late to have a change of heart.” He stood in front of me as though my time was up. In a small private space, there was a desk, two chairs, a computer, the doctor, and me. The door with a large square windowpane was closed.
The room suddenly got colder as though someone had locked me in a morgue, alone, with the Grim Reaper. The chill penetrated me so deep I froze from the inside out. Reminded me of a trip I’d taken to New York City to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I was in the midst of tens of thousands of people bundled in coats. Their faces were wrapped with scarves. My feet were stuffed in fur-lined boots. My hands were inside cashmere-coated gloves and I was in Times Square, freezing.
Tapered to my body, the sleeveless black dress I’d chosen to put on this morning was midthigh. The back of my legs stuck to the hard plastic chair. I hugged myself, then slid my hands up and down the chill bumps covering my arms. I wiggled my fingers; they were stiff. I pressed them together; then I rubbed them back and forth. I wanted to cry for my husband, for myself, but this was not the time to break down. There were too many what-ifs in my mind competing for attention; it felt like my head was going to explode. My unchanging heart was heavy and numb. I’d heard the doctor, but I didn’t respond.
I sat staring at the beige tile beneath my four-inch black platform stilettos. What if my husband died before I made it to the hospital’s exit? What if all of his football fans blamed me for his death? What if I hadn’t had sex with that idiot, Granville? What if the baby growing inside me was the result of my infidelity? What if the tape Granville stole from my house of us having sex ended up online for millions to see? What if I continued to delay having surgery for my breast cancer? What if something went wrong with my operation and I ended up on life support? Would I want someone to take me off?
Gazing into the doctor’s eyes, I told him, “My decision is final.”
He remained quiet for several minutes, then said, “Okay. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be in the room when he’s disconnected from the machine, but I have to—”
“Ask?” I paused, then continued, “No, you don’t.”
Already dressed for the possibility of becoming a grieving widow, I stood, with one foot in front of him, and opened my mouth. I wanted to ask how long did he think it would be before I received the call saying my husband was dead.
Don’t do that, Madison. The doctor will think you’re insensitive.
The truth was, I did care for Roosevelt. Hopefully, his transition would happen within twenty-four hours. Just in case he lingered more than a day, I’d already approved comfort care for him. The staff could insert an IV and administer morphine as often as needed to eliminate the pain I had caused.