Fear stabbed her heart. With her face buried against Stewart's white dress shirt, she clutched at his back like a drowning cat. Heat from his body rose around her emitting his natural smell mixed with his tangy aftershave. "Stu, you're scaring me. What's going on?"
He stepped back and cupped her cheek before slipping an arm around her waist. "Let's go into the living room, and I'll tell you." The boxes at the foot of the staircase caught his attention. "What's all this?"
"I'm finally getting around to packing Emily's things. The Salvation Army truck will be by tomorrow to pick them up. I figured we could store the crib and other items in the attic until we need them again." Stu had been a rock and stuck by her every step of the way. Even when his own anguish was almost more than he could bear, he’d remained strong for her.
He squeezed her waist. "That’s great, sweetheart. I'm proud of you." Darn, she was proud of herself. A year ago she'd have been hysterical if anyone mentioned packing Emily's things.
"Yeah, well, I couldn't have done it without you. You shored me up when I’d have crumbled.” Actually, in many ways she had crumbled. Her depression had been long and painful. She glanced at Stu and her gay mood wilted. His complexion, usually a healthy ruddy pink, was now pale. She grabbed an arm and led him to the sofa. "Are you hurting, Stu? Your face has lost its color. "Here, sit down. Can I get you something?"
"A glass of water would be good.”
When she returned with his drink, she handed it to him, and then settled on the sofa facing her husband with her knees drawn up under her. When he finished off the water, he set the glass on the coffee table and leaned back against the sofa cushions. He’d regained some of his color, but he looked to the ceiling as if begging for divine guidance.
"Stu, whatever it is, I'm sure we can get through it. Our love is strong. My faith has been rattled, but yours has remained steady through it all. Just spit it out, will you?"
He raked a hand through his wavy auburn hair. Pain-filled eyes met hers. "I've been unfaithful."
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt and are anxious to learn how Annie is going to react to Stu's news.
Thanks for reading!