© Kat Morgan 1999/2000
In Name Only
Chapter 63: Recovery Process
Kat re-read the hastily written email message to Todd.
“Well, at least someone is going to be happy about this,” she thought sullenly as tears started, again, to trail down her face. Lucky, lucky publishing company. They’d wanted something to help the book sales along. What better than a celebrity divorce? And even worse (better?) one where the suing partner has split the scene.
She’d left no clue as to where she and CJ were going. Hell, she didn’t know that herself. Somewhere safe and quiet. Where he could go to school like any ordinary child. Where she could try and heal.
Kevin didn’t love her anymore.
And Howie did.
She felt cruel doing what she had to him… but she had been so angry when she got back to Orlando. It had spilled over a bit.
She knew deep down that it hadn’t really been rape, despite her saying no. How could it be when a part of her had always wanted him physically, despite everything she said to the contrary? And she probably would have said yes… if he had given her some time… if he had asked rather than taking… if he had waited just a little while for her to recover from Kevin’s… But she’d said no then and he hadn’t listened.
Maybe he’d just finally gotten up the nerve. Just finally decided that he was willing to “change his spots” for her and afraid he’d chicken out. She sighed. There were a thousand and one reasons, excuses. But she’d still said no.
Kevin didn’t love her anymore.
And she’d left because she couldn’t face a life without him, yet still having to see him. Or a life where she and Howie were together, trying hard, but denying that she could never stop loving Kevin and he could never truly be attracted to her. It would be a life of lies and half-truths. She’d lived that for too long now. She couldn’t anymore. And she didn’t want CJ to have to do it either.
Better to leave now.
If Kevin could stop loving her, she’d have to learn how to stop loving him.
And Howie needed some time to pull himself together -- to face the truth with his family.
CJ would get the time to grow and to learn the truth about his father, even though he wouldn’t be able to see him for a while.
And Kevin? Well, she thought bitterly, he’d just have to learn how horrible it felt to have your heart torn out and stomped on. He’d just have to deal with being without his son, the only thing he loved, for a little while.
She looked over at CJ as he slept, his arms tight around Gary. She had to chuckle. First one man steals the little toy away from her, now another one.
Kevin didn’t love her anymore.
She turned back to the message in front of her and started to type some more.
“… so as you can see I will be unavailable for a while. It is probably for the best. Random House will get what it wants: more publicity for the book, and I’ll get what I want: the end of my contract with them.
You won’t be able to get in touch with me for a while. No phones or faxes. Just this new email address, and I am not sure I will be checking my mail all that often. My royalty cheques are direct-deposited anyway and I have taken steps to ensure that I can’t be tracked through my bank. That course I took in university on espionage is really paying off now. LOL. Dead letter boxes and all that.
I just want some peace for a while, Todd. I hope you can understand.
As far as I am concerned you are still my agent. And if I write anything more I will still be sending it to you and you alone. But I am not sure that is going to happen for a while, so the being between contracts thing will be good.
I am sorry I can’t tell you more, but really all you need to know is that Howie and I are divorcing. The details are between him and I. I have left him now, so trying to reach me through any of the numbers and addresses you currently have are a waste of time.
I will contact you. Not the other way around. Kat”
She clipped her new cell phone to the jack on the laptop and pressed send. Then turned off everything and watched as the scenery whipped by.
“How bad is it?”
“Bad. Really bad,” Brian sighed.
“I got Leigh and Bryleigh home okay.”
“Thanks Frack. Have you been to Howie’s?”
Nick sighed, rubbing his eyes. “AJ finally got him settled down. He wouldn’t let anyone call his family, so AJ is still over there.”
“Did she leave him a letter?”
“Yeah.” He groaned. “As if the house wasn’t enough.”
Nick sat down on the sofa across from Brian, trying hard to figure out how to describe it. “Brian, I think something happened between the two of them.”
“Kat and Howie? What do you mean?”
Nick thought about what he had overheard. Howie had been babbling to AJ…
“Kevin didn’t matter anymore, I finally told her Bone. I told her I’d be a good husband. I told her I would only love her. I showed her… she didn’t think it was good at first, but I convinced her. Why would she leave me? We were going to be happy. We were going to have a family of our own… We were going to…”
“Kevin accused her of having sex with Howie, and she denied it. I think it was the truth… but only until that night.”
“Jesus, Nick. I think you better keep that notion to yourself,” Brian exploded from his chair. “If Kat turned to Howie…”
“I don’t think that is what happened, Bri. I think it was the other way around. And I don’t think she was all too happy about it.”
“Nick, if you…” Brian grabbed the larger man by his shirt. “How can you accuse Howie of something like…”?
“Brian, she took everything. Her study is empty; not even a scrap on the floor. Her bedroom is empty and so is CJ’s. Even the furniture is gone. She had it shipped to Goodwill, and left him a tax receipt. She got out their prenuptial agreement and went through it item by item, leaving him a cheque for anything that she took that wasn’t covered.”
“My God…” He released Nick and stepped back
“And then she had all three rooms repainted so that it looked like she and CJ had never been there. The paint isn’t even dry yet…”
Brian stared at his friend in shock. “Oh shit… I think you are right, Nick. It would explain the way Howie was acting in New York. Like everything was fine and they would work it out… He kept saying they would work it out, and hinting that they had all ready started…” He sat back heavily on the chair. “God, if Kevin ever finds out he’ll kill Howie.”
“Will he?” Nick said angrily. “He made it pretty clear that Kat meant nothing to him. He’d probably just wish them luck and walk away.”
“I doubt that.” Brian looked at him with sad eyes. “Kat also took all of her things from here. And most of CJ’s. Mostly his clothes and a few of the toys we all know he’d never leave without. But basically the room is as he left it. Only a lot cleaner. Kevin took one look at it and walked away. Then he went to their bedroom and looked for her things. When he found them gone he really wigged out. Then the letter…”
“She left one for Kevin too?”
Brian nodded. “It was… She forgave him for falling out of love with her. And begged his forgiveness for taking CJ away with her. She said that now that she had no one left who loved her, except CJ, she needed her son too much to lave him behind.”
Nick let out a low whistle. “How’d he take it?”
“How’d you think?” Brian responded sarcastically. “Sorry, man. He fell apart. All he kept saying was “how could she think I don’t love her?””
Nick snorted. “Easily. He told her he didn’t”
“Yeah, well...” Brian looked past Nick.
Kevin had stumbled in, still in the clothes he’d worn on the plane. They were now wrinkled after a few hours of sleeping in them. In his hand he clutched a pillow.
“Kev?” Brian asked worriedly.
“Its all gone,” Kevin replied plaintively.
Nick sent Brian a confused glance. “What’s gone, Train?”
“She slept here before we went to New York. I slept in CJ’s room, but she slept in our bed. It should still smell of her…” he pulled the pillow close and sniffed it. “But its not there.”
Brian came over and took the pillow out of Kevin’s hand. Yep. It smelt of fabric softener and nothing else. Then he remembered the folded laundry on the chair in Kevin’s room when he had tucked his cousin into bed. She had obviously done it before she left. Damn her for thinking of that.
“You’re right Kevin. It doesn’t smell of her. Maybe we can find something…” he glanced at Nick, who shook his head, then remembered what he had said about how Kat had left Howie’s. There would be nothing there. “I’m sorry.”
Kevin seemed to crumble in front of them. ‘Why? Why did she leave? She knew I didn’t mean it… How could I stop loving her?” He started to sob. “I was just angry. She knows me when I’m angry. She knows I say things… I don’t mean it. How could she leave me?”
Brian rocked his cousin in his arms trying to calm him down. Nick could see tears glistening in Brian’s eyes. Hell, there were tears in his eyes…
Kevin pulled his head up, looking at them both with damp, bloodshot eyes. “How could anyone believe that I could stop loving Kat? The world would end before that could happen. How? How could she think I meant it?”