From This Moment On - Bella Andre Page 0,1

side of the bed to pull on his jeans. “I’ll get out of here,” the guy said, but Jill held his hand and made him stay on the bed.

“No, Rocco, you don’t need to leave.”

Rocco? His classically beautiful girlfriend, the woman he’d been planning to marry and start a family with, the women he’d planned to share the helm of Sullivan Vineyards with, was doing a guy named Rocco with a nasty-looking goatee and piercings? It had to be some sort of sick joke.

The guy looked between Jill and Marcus, going a little white as his gaze lingered on Marcus’s fists and the way his shoulders took up the bulk of the doorway.

Jill dropped the sheet and slid on a silk robe that had been draped over a chair in the corner of her room. She moved toward Marcus. “We should go talk in the living room.”

Somehow she slipped past without touching him, but Marcus could smell sex on her. He could smell some other guy on her.

He wanted to pound his fist into the guy’s face. But Jill had engineered this. Start to finish.

He’d deal with her, instead.

Marcus moved back through the hallway to the living room where Jill was waiting for him.

She didn’t look guilty. And, for the first time, he didn’t think she looked beautiful, either. Yes, she was still classically pretty, tall and slim...but there was an ugliness stamped across her face that he’d never let himself see before.

“I’m in love with Rocco.”

As apologies went, it sucked.

In his silence, she continued with a defensive, “You and I both know our relationship wasn’t going anywhere.”

Finally, his response came. “You said you needed time. I gave you time, enough time to cheat on me. With Rocco.”

Jill’s eyes widened at the barely repressed fury in his voice. He’d never spoken to her like that before, had never been the kind of man who raised his voice to make a point, who opted to be a bully to get his way. He’d gotten where he was by working hard and being smart and reasonable, with some Sullivan charm thrown in when he needed it.

“Look,” she said with an irritated sigh as if he was to blame for the mess they were in, “this thing between us, it was good for a while, but if we’d really been in love we would be married by now.”

He raised an eyebrow and called her on it. “You know I wanted to get married.”

She shook her head. “If you really wanted to marry me, you would have swept me off my feet and I wouldn’t have been able to resist. But you were always so busy with your brothers and sisters, always helping your mother with something.” Finally being honest, she said, “I tried to love you, Marcus. I really did. But I want something more. Something bigger. Something exciting. I want someone who puts me first.” Her eyes lit as she said, “I want what I have with Rocco. Not to sit by your side and wear pearls at your winery events. And not to always be last place in your life.”

Marcus stared at the woman he’d assumed would be his wife, the mother to his children. The pearl necklace he’d given her was still on her neck. It was the only thing she’d had on while she’d been screwing another man.

He wanted to rip the pearls off Jill’s neck and watch them scatter all over the floor.

Instead, he said, “I’ll send my assistant for my things next week. She’ll contact you to arrange a convenient time.”

“See?” Jill came at him now, her finger pointed at his chest, her robe gaping open across her chest.

He’d once loved her br**sts, thought they were just as classically beautiful as the rest of her. Now, they did nothing for him. Less than nothing.

“This is why I can’t be with you. Where are your emotions? Where is your passion? I swear you care more about your damn grapes than you do for me. And I sure as hell know you care more about your brothers and sisters than me. This is your chance, Marcus! Don’t you see, if you leave now, if you can’t tell me that you’ll at least try to put me first, you’ll lose me forever?”

That was when he realized that despite his anger, despite his fury at her cheating, he didn’t want to fight for Jill.

It had taken Marcus two years to realize that he didn’t actually love her.

He’d simply loved the idea