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Roland took off his suit jacket and wrapped it around Elise’s shoulders. The moonlight dancing on the ocean's waves reflected in her eyes. They were glazed over and glossy as she stared out at the darkness with her knees balled up to her chest. She sobbed quietly and every sniffle cut through him like a knife.

For the first time he really felt like the jerk she had complained about for the past two and a half years. Even he couldn’t believe she was still with him. Sure, he had done some stupid things in the past but he knew this could be the straw to break the camel’s back. This could end their relationship for good.

“Elise, I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say, baby. I can’t change what I’ve done but--

“But why?” she asked and turned to face him. “Why did you do it?”

         He couldn’t think of a good lie so he figured the truth would be the best way to go....



           * * *

           Elise ran her hands through her hair and gasped at what must have been a sudden thought. “You weren’t even going to tell me, were you?”

          “What do you mean?”

          “I mean, if you hadn’t talked to Mia’s friend tonight, you weren’t going to tell me. What were you going to do? Just wait until the authorities showed up on your doorstep one day? Possibly our doorstep?”

          “It’s not even going to go that far. Trust me. I’ll get an attorney and…”

          “Trust you? Trust you? Roland, I don’t even know you.” 

             Elise turned and began walking up the beach back toward the resort.

          Roland thought about going after her but knew nothing he said was going to make a difference right now. He had messed up and there was no way of getting around it.

The authorities. Hearing her say that made him shiver. He had thought about it before but never let his mind rest on it. But it was a reality he was possibly going to face whether he wanted to or not.

         He sat back down on the sand and stared at the ocean. Right now, he didn’t want to face Elise or anyone else for that matter. This was definitely the beginning of the end.


--Excerpt, The Tides That Bind