The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Author:Kimmery Martin
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 2018-02-13T05:00:00+00:00




Chapter Twenty-two


Zadie, Present Day

It had been a hard few months. Not a day went by that I didn’t ache for Betsy and ache for Emma, who had both withdrawn into shellacked cocoons of misery, albeit for very different reasons. It made me feel guilty to admit, but I was longing to think of something happy.

The Arts Ball, the biggest social event of the year, was coming up this October, and Drew and I were invited for the first time. We’d made it onto the list because of Drew; the cochair of the ball this year was Hattie McGuire. Hattie was married to Reginald, Drew’s managing partner, and she was presumably well equipped to deal with the complexities of organizing an intimate dinner-dance for five hundred couples, since she had endured a twenty-year barrage of ol’ Reg. Everything else probably seemed like a walk in the park.

Drew was heading out this morning for another overseas work trip, so if I wanted to discuss a shopping spree for a new dress, now was the time. I could hear him in the shower, warbling along to something on the bathroom TV. The home’s AV system was one of the very few things on which Drew had been willing to splurge. We’d bought the house from a builder who’d been in the process of renovating it a few years back, and he customized it for us. I’d presented a wish list consisting of a few nice items: upgraded tiles (vetoed by Drew after a silent, incredulous trip to a posh tile distributor), a fantastic vintage chandelier for the foyer (also vetoed), and myriad smaller-ticket items, a few of which were grudgingly agreed upon. But when we met with the AV guys, he suddenly started throwing money around like the Sun King. As a result, we now had six televisions scattered throughout the house, including a smallish plasma screen in the playroom (very bad parenting) and this one here in the master bathroom, which was embedded into the huge vanity mirror, invisible unless it was turned on, and which Drew claimed to need so he could watch the ticker on CNBC while shaving. All of these TVs had basically become obsolete at the moment of their purchase, since now you could view downloaded and live-streaming content at any moment on your tablet, or implanted brain chip, or whatever.

“Hello, handsome,” I said to Drew as he exited the shower. I glanced quickly at the mirror TV, which was set not to CNBC, but to something featuring small primary-colored singing pigs. He winked at me and said, “Brace yourself.” Sure enough, the shower door swung open again, and out popped Delaney, butt-naked and sopping.

“Hi, honey dear. I getted in the shower! With Daddy! Now I’m all wet.” She beamed, strutting around. Drew raised his hands above his head, bearlike, and pretended to chase Delaney around the bathroom as she shrieked in delight. “Aaah! Daddy-Bear! Daddy-Bear! Hiii-yah!” This last exclamation was accompanied by an enthusiastic flail of Delaney’s elbow, which struck Drew squarely in the groin.


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