Sophie Marren parked her ex-husband’s boat, tied it to the dock with knots she copied off a YouTube video on her phone, and flopped to her back on the fancy sundeck, trying to will away her seasickness.
And yes, she was well aware that parked wasn’t the correct boating term, but then again, neither was the word husband, at least not as it had pertained to her marriage.
She’d made vows and kept them, but her ex? Not so much…
Old news, she reminded herself, and let out a long breath. That was something she was working on, new choices—such as living without the fist of tension around her heart, the constant pressure and fear to try to be something, someone, she wasn’t.
Her glass was going to be half full from now on, dammit, even if it killed her. And it might.
“And yet you now live on a damn boat.” She shook her head at herself. Week one of the new digs and it looked like she wasn’t going to make it to week two.
The early morning was quiet, the only sound being the water rhythmically slapping up against the hull of the boat, then the dock. Boat…dock…boat…dock—“Dammit!” she cried, quickly sitting up before she got even more seasick. She had to get ready for work. But the air was cold—she was cold—and with the boat rocking as it was, she hadn’t yet risked losing an eye to put on mascara.
From somewhere nearby came the song of the morning birds, all chipper and happy, making her wish for a shotgun. She put a hand to her stomach, but it kept doing somersaults. This was because she could get seasick in a bathtub.
Sophie groaned, hoping death came quickly. Cedar Ridge Lake was one of the larger high-altitude lakes in Colorado, and it didn’t help that the winds had kicked up this morning, causing rolling waves across the entire surface.
When yet another gust hit, brushing the strands of hair from her damp face, she risked cracking open an eye. From her vantage point, she could see the impressive Rocky Mountains shooting straight up to the limitless, shocking azure sky marred only by a single white fluffy cloud that resembled a pile of marshmallows.
Her stomach, normally in love with marshmallows, turned over again. “Gah,” she managed, and quickly squeezed her eyes shut just as her cell phone buzzed from the depths of her pocket. She pulled it out and hit ANSWER without looking, since looking would mean opening her eyes again and facing that all of this wasn’t just a bad dream but her life. “Hello?”
“I just wanted you to know I had your car towed to the scrapyard.”
Lucas, ex-husband and the bane of her existence.
“And I had a bonfire with whatever clothes you left in your closet too,” he went on. “So I hope it was worth taking my boat.”
She knew neither of these things was true, because he was too cheap and also a little bit lazy. He simply wanted to punish her for taking his boat. The irony was that she’d wanted nothing from the divorce. Nothing but out. Nothing but the chance to find herself again and not just be an extension of Lucas Worthington III, hotshot lawyer on the rise.
Hindsight being twenty-twenty and all, she now knew she should’ve asked for a small portion of money instead of taking a moral stand and refusing a penny of spousal support or any of their assets. But she’d gone into the marriage with nothing, and in the end she hadn’t wanted anything from Lucas but out. Not a single thing.
When she’d said so to the judge, he’d called her aside and admonished her for cutting off her nose to spite her face, because she was entitled to not walk away penniless.
Hurt at the realization her marriage had been nothing but a sham from the get-go, she’d said fine, she’d take one thing, the one thing she knew Lucas had loved far and above anything he’d ever felt for her—his damn boat.
Petty? Okay, yes. But given that Lucas had managed to have the boat tied up in “renovations” for the past six months since their divorce, and that he’d also managed to get her fired from her office managerial position at a local inn so she’d had to give up her apartment, the joke was on her.
Karma was such a bitch.
Why couldn’t he have loved his huge house? Or the Lexus…Neither of which would be affected by the morning breeze, bobbing up and down and up and down and up and down—
“Oh God.” Clamping a hand over her mouth, she breathed slowly through the nausea.
“I want my Lucas back,” Lucas said, and if she could have, she’d have laughed at the ridiculous ego it’d taken for him to name the vessel after himself, including painting The Lucas on the hull of the boat for all to see.