If I Could Do It Again

If I Could Do It Again by Ashley Stoyanoff Read Free Book Online

Book: If I Could Do It Again by Ashley Stoyanoff Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ashley Stoyanoff
sake, but she’s never liked him and she’s never hidden it.
    “I don’t know,” I tell her. “He knows I’m done, that I want out, but I’m just … I’m just …”
    “Scared,” Becca supplies. “You’re scared.”
    “Yeah.” And I really, truly am.
    The spa day lasts way too long. Between Becca’s nonstop talking and my brain racing with story ideas, I’m not entirely sure I’m going to make it through all the pampering. I need my nails to dry and a pen and a pad. No. Scratch that. What I need right now is for my phone to ring.
    I haven’t heard from Joshua all day and it’s … odd. Really odd.
    Digging around in my purse, I search for my phone, wondering if maybe I just didn’t hear it ring. I rifle, searching and searching, pulling items out, pushing them around. Where the hell is my phone?
     
    ****
    When I finally get home, it’s nearly six o’clock at night. I find my phone on my desk so I grab it, looking to see if I missed any calls and what I see on the screen makes my stomach sink. Twenty-six missed calls, all from Joshua.
    I sit down at my desk, setting the phone right beside me, and I open up my emails. I try to focus—I really, really try—but it’s pointless. Between the soft classical music coming from Richard’s hobby room and my silent phone taunting me, I get nothing done. Instead, I spend a whole lot of time glaring at my phone, willing it to ring.
    It sucks that I can’t call him.
    No. Scratch that.
    Sucks
is not a strong enough word for the way it feels.
    It’s pure hell.
    An hour slips by. I respond to three emails. Another thirty minutes, two more emails cleaned up from my inbox. I look at my phone again and check to make sure the ringer is on. Twenty more minutes slip by. I update my expense tracking spreadsheet.
    And the evening drags on, falling into night.
    I’m tired, exhausted actually. The yawns keep slipping out no matter how hard I try to swallow them down. I’m just about to give up for the night when the phone finally rings.
    Grabbing it, my heart beats wildly as I spot Joshua’s number on the screen. Quickly, I answer it and accept the call.
    “You okay?”
    No hello. No beautiful. And his voice is rough—harsher than normal. I’m stunned. My lips twitch and I fight hard not to frown.
    “Yes,” I respond, my voice guarded as my entire body coils tightly. “I’m okay.”
    “Where’ve you been?”
    I swallow hard. He doesn’t sound happy. Actually, I’ve never heard his voice this … cold before. I feel it like a chill spreading down my spine.
    My stomach knots. “I was out.”
    “Where the fuck have you been?” he demands, his tone dropping, impatient and biting.
    I laugh sharply, my body heating at his words. What the hell has gotten into him? Sure, I missed some calls, but this … this attitude is ridiculous.
    “I was out,” I repeat, nervous anger leaking out of my voice.
    “I called you twenty-six times,” he says. “You got a fucking cell phone. Why the fuck didn’t you answer it?”
    “I forgot my phone at home.”
    He exhales loudly, frustrated. “Where the fuck have you been, Victoria? I’m not going to ask you again.”
    “I went out,” I say, exasperated. “What do you want? A goddamn play by play?”
    He exhales again, just as loudly as the last one, but this time I’m pretty sure it’s a forced calming breath. “Yes, I do. And watch your tone with me.”
    It’s my turn to let out a frustrated breath. “I went to the spa, got my nails done, had a massage and a facial. Then I went to the bookstore, got coffee, walked around the mall a little, went for dinner. I was just out doing stuff.”
    “Did you have a good time?”
    “Um, yeah …” my voice drops low. “I guess.”
    “Good,” he says, his tone still as hard as concrete. “Glad you’re okay and you had a good time.” He pauses, letting out another loud exhale. “I’m done talking to you right now.”
    “Joshua …”
    “No,” he says, cutting me

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