Instead of the anger he’d expected, she looked up

“Instead of the anger he’d expected, she looked up at him with a wealth of disillusionment shimmering in her eyes. “Just be honest with me about one thing, Ford. You’re tearing down those shops, all of them , aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am,” he said, hating how ruthless he sounded. But that’s how he felt about his reasons for purchasing that property in the first place. “Those shops are old, and I want After Hours gone. Even you agree that the bar is an eyesore.”

Her brows snapped into a scowl. “I don’t want After Hours torn down at the expense of putting other good, honest, hard-working people out of business because of your selfish ideas!”

His jaw firmed. “I can’t do it any other way.”

“Can’t, or won’t?”

The past rose up to haunt him, brooking no compromise. “I can’t , Grace.”

“Well, I can’t do it any other way, either.” Her expression saddened. “I can’t live with a man I don’t even know. A man who won’t even confide in me for the most important decisions in his life. I thought we’d come at least that far in this farce of a marriage.” She attempted to step around him to pick up her luggage.

He blocked her path, but didn’t touch her, though he wanted to. Badly. “Our marriage was never a farce.”

“Wasn’t it?” she insisted, vulnerable emotions trembling in her voice. “You married me because I was pregnant with your baby, and now I see everything for the sham it is. You moved back to Cutter Creek to prove something, and you’ve certainly created a nice illusion for yourself, with a sprawling house, a wife, a baby, a family. You’ve come a long way since the wild, rebellious kid you were, and I’m just an asset in your life to make you look respectable.”

He sucked in a sharp breath. “Dammit, Grace, that’s the furthest thing from the truth!” She didn’t look at all convinced that his motives toward her had been emotion-driven. Desperation coiled through him, and instinctive words blurted from him. “I love you , and I don’t want you to leave!”

She nearly unraveled at his declaration—he saw the softening in her gaze, the wonderment of the possibility that what he said was true. But then the moment was gone and she gave her head an imperceptible shake. “You’ve given me no choice but to leave, because I can’t even be sure if you really love me, or if you’re using my emotions to get what you want.”

“Which is?”

“My cooperation. My approval.” Her chin jutted out mutinously. “You want me to stand by you in your decision to tear down all those shops, but I can’t do that, Ford. I care for those people who’ve worked hard all their lives and won’t have a means for income any longer. You’re destroying more than those shops, Ford, you’ll be destroying people’s dreams at the expense of exorcizing your own demons.” She pulled in a shaky breath, the briefest hint of compassion entering her eyes. “Tearing down After Hours and rebuilding something new won’t make the pain of your past go away, or give you what you want so badly.”

The only thing he wanted so badly at the moment was her. Nothing else. But he didn’t know how to breach the ever-widening chasm between them, didn’t know how to shake the defensive emotions that gripped him inside.

Tears filled her eyes, but she valiantly blinked them back. “If you want to be respected and accepted in this community, then you need to do something respectable . And until you figure out a way to do that, I’ll be living at the cottage.”

His hands clenched into fists at his side. “You’re my wife, Grace,” he said, emotions harshening the tone of his voice. “And I want you here, where you belong.”

“And you’re my husband, Ford, and I need to trust you,” she whispered as one fat tear spilled out of the corner of her eye and trickled down her cheek. “Right now, I don’t.”

This time, when she stepped around him, he let her go, knowing there was nothing else he could say or do to stop her from leaving.”

How To Choose You Blog Host

The hosting service that you choose for your blog is going to affect so many things that this is one part that you really don’t want to take for granted. For one thing, you can count on it to affect everything, from your ability to reliably keep uploading content to the amount of traffic that you get. As such, you want to get all of the right information when it comes to choosing your blog host.

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On The Difference Between Proxies

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Cookies, What Are They?

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When browsing the web, websites will often try to give you some of their best offers. By having cookies enabled, you can see these offers and decide if you want them. This is the whole point of their existence and why you want to use them.