“I’ll start over with you. We can make it work. We were always closer than you and Jyeon…he doesn’t love you, but I do. I’m not a kid anymore.” His words stop me in my tracks, and I mentally count to five and try and reel in my internal reaction. Breathing slowly as my hands start to tremble and I stop the impulse to yell at him that he still behaves like one.

The wounding pain of knowing that, no, Jyeon doesn’t love me, and I’ve known it since forever, but I still don’t want to hear it. This isn’t the first time he’s said these words to me, and it angers me that despite telling him not to say it anymore, here we are again. I don’t want to hear them; I don’t want the burden of his feelings on top of me along with everything else I carry every day and I don’t need his reminder that his brother married me out of duty and never once felt more than resentment for it.

“You’re drunk. Go to bed. I’ll see you in the morning. Let it go.” I don’t wait for his response or to give him time to follow me and march out of the room and through our lounge to head for the main winding staircase. I pass by Emily on the way and snap a command as a way of releasing the pressure.

“I’m going to bed with a migraine, don’t disturb me. See to Yoonha, he’s drunk.”

“Yes, Miss.” She nods, seemingly wary of my dark mood, and bows as I swing up the stairs and head straight for my room without pausing to take a breath. Not even hungry despite not really eating and bubbling up inside with so many emotions that lean more to anger than upset. Keeping my mind off the obvious was hard enough and Yoonie goes and makes it worse. Today has been shit from start to finish and I pull my cell phone from my pocket and check the time as I get to the upper landing.

Eight Pm. This day is needlessly dragging, and I hate that I have to endure four more hours before I can chalk it up to another year gone by. I thrust it back into my pocket and shove my bedroom door open, stopping with a startled pause as I see Jyeon’s clothes discarded on the bed. The ones he was wearing at the office earlier and have a mild moment of panic and then a flash of hope he came home after all.

Looking towards the bathroom door I see it sat open with no lights on so know he’s not in there. I turn to the study where he sleeps. The door is closed tight so I walk over and push it open, heart in my mouth and nerves jangled despite the fact that this is his bedroom too, but such is the impulse to always have more from him than I get. The room is silent, pitch black, but he’s definitely been here to change. I turn around and head for the walk in closet along the other wall, finding it too in darkness and no signs of him at all.

His aftershave lingers in the air in here as he must have refreshed it and it knocks me off guard for a moment, reminding me of his smell. His past closeness because he’s never switched it out in all these years, and my throat closes up with a sudden surge of pain.

If his plans were business related he wouldn’t have changed his entire suit to go out. He keeps spare shirts at the office with ties to suit all the outfits he owns, and definitely would only come here to pick out casual clothing. He avoids coming home at all costs. He would never meet a client dressed that way either, and my head goes into overdrive at where he might be and what he might be doing.

He casual dresses once in a blue moon since becoming President of OLO. Jyeon is a workaholic who spends his entire life dealing with the company and dedicating his time there. His friends rarely see him and when they do it’s never a weekday like this, so he’s always in work mode. So much so he owns so little non formal clothing.

I turn back into the walk in wardrobe and head right to the back where the security screens are located. Typing in the passcode and select the garage camera to show where our cars are parked. I was dropped off by my driver at the front door today as I never took my own this morning, so I didn’t see if Jyeon had taken his.

I press the control panel to have the camera scan the downstairs underground parking and his spot for his Range rover is occupied with his navy four by four. That can only mean he switched out his car for the Bugatti Centodieci.

He only owns two vehicles and always drives himself. It’s his pride and joy, and his toy that rarely leaves the garage except on special occasions when Jyeon deems it fit.

My stomach flips over and I try not to think too much about the unusual actions of his behaviour this evening. Coming home before eight to change, and taking that car on a Wednesday night, when I know he’s up to his eyeballs in work this week. It’s not like him.

“He’s gone to let off steam, because of what today is…” I say it out loud, choked up with this weird ache in my gut that tells me he’s doing something I would hate and refusing to ponder or guess at it as it will only hurt me more. As much as I pretend I don’t care, and don’t intervene in his life, I depend on the fact he’s always working and rarely does anything else. It’s my stable safe where I can keep tabs on him and know he’s not doing anything to bring shame to our shambles of a marriage.

It’s how I can continue living like this even if he never touches me or shows me a modicum of care or affection, because he’s not giving it to anyone else. In the last four years there’s been no scandals, rumours, or signs of him doing anything that would out us as a fake couple, but this feels off tonight.

Sixth sense, a woman’s intuition maybe, but my heart pounds through my chest and my stomach aches as it twists inside of me. My legs go weak like they’re made of putty and my hands shake uncontrollably.

I know he wouldn’t go to the grave with that car, I know that much, and he’s not been there once since the first year to my knowledge. He might have arranged to blow off steam with Bryant, but I hope not, because that eternal bachelor only knowns how to party himself into a stupor while surrounded by loose women who don’t see a wedding ring as a reason to keep their hands to themselves. Jyeon usually only sees him for lunch dates, or sports time, never evening meet ups when Bryant is always on the hook up.

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