Rhonda O’Donnell has everything her heart desires: a dream job, a beautiful home, and a successful husband. But one morning in May, she loses it all. Rhonda faces no other choice but to contact the only person she has promised herself never to see again: her own mother. Will her mother help Rhonda crawl out of her pit of misery? Or will she let her daughter drown in her own despair?
After Drew Huntington, an ex-murderer, is released from prison, he wants to find his father and atone for his despicable past. His search takes him back to a country which evokes dreadful memories of his youth. As he continues his search, he encounters unexpected hurdles, and finally ends up on a dead-end street. How do you find somebody whose tracks have been erased? How can you find someone who wishes not to be found?
David Westin, a billionaire’s son, uses his good looks and charm to get women into bed. He plays with them; considers them objects. But when he meets his great love, he makes the mistake of his life and loses her. When he runs across her two years later, he acknowledges that his feelings for her are still alive. He conceives a plan to win her back. However, somebody else has stolen her heart, and more importantly: she hates David. Will David be able to reawaken her feelings for him or has he forever burned his bridges?
My name is Edvin Palmer. I am a Swedish writer, who resides in The Netherlands. I work as a teacher and translator. "You're My All" is my debut romance novel. Influenced by American and British authors, I wrote "You're My All' in both American and British English.
Rhonda worked in the study upstairs until ten o’clock that night. Although she loved her job, it asked a lot of her. It demanded that she reached challenging targets, traveled all over the nation, and communicated with demanding accounts. She felt absolutely depleted of energy when she shut down her laptop. She went downstairs to the living room to tell Martin she was tucking herself in for the night. He was sitting in front of his laptop at the kitchen table, working on some important case. His job as a criminal defense lawyer absorbed most of his time. Rhonda gave him a kiss goodnight and returned upstairs. She brushed her teeth; laid her head to rest on the pillow, and instantly fell asleep.
However, the moaning and the panting woke her up some hours later. She lifted her head and blinked a couple of times to clear her eyes. She looked at the digital alarm clock on the nightstand. The red digits radiated three twenty-three in the morning. Feeling sleepy, she tried to take in the bedroom in the little row house in Old Town Alexandria. She only saw some unclear silhouettes of the bed. Although the open drapes allowed her to look outside, she could barely see a thing due to the darkness. The moon and stars were obscured by an overcast sky, which made the bedroom uncomfortably dark.
She cast a glance at the empty spot beside her in bed and wondered if her husband was still working. Rhonda even reached out with a hand to feel if he lay there, but she only felt a sheet. That’s weird; he never works past midnight, she thought. Then again, he’s working on a big case. He must be up to his ears in work, she concluded as she turned around and buried her head in the pillow.
There! Rhonda heard that moaning again. She sharpened her ears, concentrated and tried to discern any sound. After some seconds, she could distinguish two faint voices in the distance. She sat up straight to concentrate better. However, she could not determine if the muted voices came from downstairs, or from next door. She listened intently, and eventually picked up the sound of a male and a female voice. They were groaning and panting nearby. Nobody works out at this early hour. So, it can only mean one thing: they’re having sex. Has the unattractive old spinster next door finally found a man? No, that’s unlikely.
Rhonda’s sleep wore off as curiosity overtook her. If it’s not the old spinster, it can only mean one thing: the sounds are comin’ from downstairs. Could it be really? What’s Martin doing?
She bolted out of bed, opened the bedroom door, and paused as she reached the little landing. She held her breath. Her heart palpitated as she clearly picked up a muted female voice groaning, “Oh, oh, oh.”
Rhonda grasped her bathrobe in the walk-in closet next to the landing. She gently tiptoed back to the stairway. She inaudibly descended the stairs, and slowly approached the door to the living room. A feeling of shock spread through her veins. It gradually dawned on her that Martin was being intimate with another woman. Never had she expected this from him. That jackass! This is appalling! I find this difficult to believe!
First, I need to be absolutely sure, though, she told herself as she groped in the dark to find the door handle. When she found it, she wrapped a warm hand around it. Feeling afraid of the sight which awaited her, she did not dare to barge in immediately. She nervously hovered in the dark for seconds. However, the old hollow door enabled her to hear clearly what was happening on the other side. Her doubts disappeared as she heard her husband gasp in the air. She heard his pelvis thrusting in and out of a stranger’s body. The audible kisses caught her ears, and the woman groaned as Martin’s grinding intensified.
A feeling of dumbfoundedness overwhelmed her. I can’t stand this any longer, Rhonda thought. She flung open the living room door like a bull entering a rodeo arena. To her horror, she saw a nude blonde woman sprawled out with her back on the rug. She resembled a Barbie doll, and looked like the epitome of a classic American beauty. On top lay Martin - her husband - in his birthday suit. He balanced on his fists. His legs were splayed out, and his buttocks looked red from exhaustion. His hips stopped moving. His pale face turned paler as he turned his head and met Rhonda’s furious eyes.
“Get out!” Rhonda roared at the top of her lungs.
Martin sprang to his feet and lunged for his pants on the sofa. The woman quickly gathered her belongings, and fled from the house through the backdoor.
That’s how she got in, Rhonda realized. He let in his mistress through the back door, so it wouldn’t wake me up. Her eyes widened and reddened with fury. She shuddered as the wrath filled every limb of her body. “What the hell are you doing!?” she exclaimed. She stomped toward her husband and gave him a slap in the face.
“What the fuck! You crazy bitch!” he shouted incredulously.
“So this is what you do these days!?” Rhonda yelled. “I spend a lot of time working, and you repay me by inviting women over for sex. In our own living room, while I’m sleeping upstairs?” She found it impossible to believe her own words. “In our own living room!?” she reiterated.
“My living room,” Martin corrected her as he pulled up his pants.
“You asshole!” Rhonda shouted and hurled a table lamp toward his head. He ducked and a split second later, the lamp crashed against the wall. The light bulb shattered into slivers.
“Have you gone completely insane?” Martin screamed. “It’s not like you’ve always been a faithful wife!” he blurted. He picked up a vase from a side table and threw it at her head. She turned around as it grazed her hair and collided with the wall.
“That! That was two years ago and I’ve told you all about Dave. I confessed and promised I would never repeat it, and I’ve kept my word!” Rhonda yelled. Her voice cracked, her knees gave way and she sank onto the floor, overcome with sadness. “You betrayed and hurt me insanely. With her! A cheap Barbie doll!” she said in between her sobs.
“I’m…sorry!” Martin shouted.” I yielded to temptation! I know I shouldn’t have, but you never even look at me anymore!”
“You know that’s not true!”
“It is true!” Martin protested. “I can’t remember the last time we made love! I am a man! I’ve my needs! I know it’s wrong to cheat, but I can’t help it!”
“You’re freakin’ unbelievable. After all we’ve been through,” Rhonda said while tears trickled down her cheeks. In a flash, her sadness returned to fury. “How long’s this been going on?!” she demanded to know.
Next door the old spinster pounded against the wall. "Can you two keep it down!" her voice snarled. "I am trying to sleep!”
“A month…, two months top!” Martin confessed in a loud tone of voice, ignoring the spinster’s wish. Then he hesitated. A silence which seemed like hours followed. In the end, he admitted,” I don’t think this is gonna work! I mean you and me: this marriage! I don’t trust you anymore!” Martin buttoned up his shirt, and took a seat on the armrest of the club sofa. He folded his solid arms over his broad chest; gave her an austere look. His white skin looked pinkish, and his brown hair straggled in all directions.
“Are you telling me that?” Rhonda asked in disbelief. This is insane. Turning the tables is so typically him. He always makes himself the underdog. “After what you just did,” Rhonda continued harshly, “I’m the one who can’t trust you!” The spinster thumped on the wall, but Rhonda felt too mad to keep down her voice. She wanted to break things, pull in his hair and scratch his fine facial features. However, she restrained herself; remained standing and put her hands on her hips.
“Every time you go away on your business trips,” Martin bellowed, “I keep wondering if you’re going to find a new Dave who sweeps you off your feet! I can’t stand it any longer!” He did his best to keep down his voice, but it was to no avail. “I can’t trust you!” he repeated.
Rhonda experienced how he took the words from her mouth. No, you’re not gonna be the one who unplugs the cable of our marriage. I refuse to let you play the victim. “That’s! That’s what I’m supposed to say!” she shrieked. “You apparently don’t feel bad about your cheating. You say you do, but you don’t. That makes it a whole of a lot easier for me to end our marriage now. I’m filing for divorce first thing in the morning, and I never wanna see you again!” she screamed as the lady next door kept thumping on the wall.
Rhonda hurried out of the living room; mounted the stairs, and entered the walk-in closet. She quickly took off the robe. She put on a crimson turtleneck and a pair of blue jeans, and threw her favorite garments in a black gym bag. She grabbed her coat, keys, purse and wallet, and rushed out of the house.
The chilly May morning air greeted her as she stepped onto the red-cobbled sidewalk. Outside, it was still dark and overcast as she slammed shut the door to the townhouse on Cameron Street.
She did not know if she wanted to shout out her anger, or surrender to her sadness. Her mother had taught her a lady stayed in control, but Rhonda had seldom been ladylike. Hence, she screamed at the top of her lungs, but managed to hold in her teardrops. She needed to remain strong. What an idiot! I’m heartbroken! I can’t believe he did this to me!
…The bastard is right. My home belongs to him. He’s the owner. Just before Rhonda and Martin had gotten married, they had agreed to sign a prenuptial agreement. It clearly stated that their possessions would remain separate. Therefore, the quaint little townhouse in the heart of Alexandria belonged to him.
I’m homeless now, she concluded while she forced herself not to sob. She glanced back at the one-story brick house with black shutters, which until a few minutes ago, had been her home. Then, she stalked to the left on North Saint Asaph Street. Rhonda already had a plan. She was heading for the metro station on King Street, Alexandria’s main street. There, she would take a cab. It would bring her across the Potomac River to National Harbor, Maryland. At that moment, she only knew one person she could go to: Renee, her best friend. Rhonda felt lucky to have a friend like her. Renee knew how to tackle every issue, and Rhonda was welcome to her apartment at any hour: night or day.
Rhonda took another deep breath, and found the walk pleasant. The cool morning breeze caressed her cheeks and fiddled with her hair. The walk helped her clear her head. It gave her time to sort out her thoughts, and process what had just happened. Everything had gone so fast. She had acted purely on instinct, and hoped she had drawn the right conclusion.
As she reached King Street, the heart of Old Town, her phone burst into life in her coat pocket. She took it out and glanced at the little screen. It was Martin who wished to speak to her. What does he want? Make amends? Rhonda did not give it a second thought. “You’ve burned your bridges,” she whispered, clicked him away and strode toward a new day.