He thought he had it.Underneath the perfect exterior of Calista Bennett’s marriage lay an ugly truth that threatens to drown her when she is betrayed.
Across town, Nickolas Mikos isn’t doing much better after his life is plunged into his new reality by his wife’s lies.
Life can change in the blink of an eye. Can Cali and Nick comfort each other’s raw pain enough to allow for a second chance at happiness, or will their fears and anger prevent them from uncovering the blessing in the betrayal?
The sound of a bell ringing, followed by a pounding jarred Cali awake. The dark bedroom was quiet. Her husband’s half of the bed was still empty. What had she been dreaming about that had woken her so abruptly?
She looked at the alarm clock on the bed stand. It read 4:04 a.m. She took a few calming breaths to settle her nerves. She was just lying down to try to get back to sleep when the doorbell rang.
Panic invaded. They lived in a safe neighborhood, but did someone know she was home alone tonight? Who could be at the door at this hour?
She knew Kevin had a handgun somewhere in the house, but she’d never learned how to use it. She jumped up and ran to the window facing the front of the house, pulling the gauze drape aside enough to peek out.
Panic turned to dread as she saw a police car in the driveway. Her mind raced to think of possible reasons for a visit by the police at this hour. Each scenario seemed worse than the one before. She rushed to her closet to grab her terrycloth robe before she jogged to the stairs, turning on the lights to the entryway to alert the police she was awake. The in-progress knocking stopped immediately.
Cali looked out the peephole. Standing on her porch were two uniformed police officers. They looked official, but she was still afraid. She wished Kevin were home with her to handle this.
She didn’t want to open the door. “Hello, officers. It’s late. What’s the problem?”
She watched through the viewer as the taller of the two responded to her question. “We’re sorry to disturb you at this hour ma’am, but there’s been an accident. We’d like to come in to discuss it with you.”
An accident. Her first thought went to her father. She hadn’t talked to him in months. “An accident? Was it my father?”
“Honestly, ma’am, we’re not sure. If you’d open the door, we have a few questions for you. Perhaps you could help us sort things out.”
Cali took a deep breath and unlocked the front door. A blanket of dread surrounded her as she let the two officers into the foyer. The shorter, stockier man reached out his hand with a business card.
“I’m Officer Jackson, and this is my partner, Officer Stanton. If you don’t mind me asking, who might you be?”
The question was unexpected. They were standing in her foyer. Surely, they knew who she was. “I’m Calista Bennett.”
She didn’t miss the quick glance between the men before Officer Jackson spoke.
“And who is Kevin Bennett to you, ma’am?”
“Is Kevin in some type of trouble officer?”
“Just answer the question if you would, ma’am.”
Cali’s voice quavered in her reply. “Kevin’s my husband, but he’s out of town on business this week. He’ll be back tomorrow afternoon if you need to speak with him. What is this about again?”
It was Officer Stanton who spoke, “Perhaps we could sit down before we answer your questions.”
Panic had her heart pounding in her ears. “I don’t want to sit down. I just want to know why you’re here.”
Officer Stanton’s eyes filled with pity before he spoke.
“I’m sorry to tell you this, Mrs. Bennett, but we believe your husband was in an accident a few hours ago.” He stopped long enough to take a small notebook out of the front pocket of his bulletproof vest. Flipping the pages, he finally continued, “Does your husband own a silver 2016 Audi R8?”
Her answer was a whispered, “Yes. It was a graduation gift from his parents when he passed the bar.” The truth was sinking in. Kevin had been in an accident. “Let me go change my clothes. What hospital did they take him to?” Only then did Cali realize he hadn’t even shared what city he was in. “He’s on a business trip. Where do I need to go to see him?”
The officers hesitated. “I’m sorry to inform you that your husband died from his injuries.”
Cali would have collapsed to the floor if Officer Stanton hadn’t caught her. He let her lean on him heavily as he steered her to the nearby living room. They sat on the closest love seat, and he wrapped his arm around her as unconscious tears overflowed down her cheeks. Her mind reeled. There had to be a mistake.