Chris could not believe that the mere discussion he had wanted to have with Daisy had moved in an entirely opposite direction. He had just wanted to let her know that he missed his girl; the sweet innocent girl he fell in love with versus the wife he now had who was afraid to talk to him and didn’t seem interested in being married at all. Why was he fighting so hard to stay married and why was she fighting so hard not to?
The conversation had moved to the bedroom, only because she decided to join him when he elected to skip dinner. He wasn’t trying to seduce her, he really just wanted to take a shower and go to bed. But when she joined him wearing that sweet little outfit, he was hoping he could reignite the marital fires. But this conversation didn’t seem like it was going to let that happen and of course, he had to stoke the flames just a little.
“You keep shutting me out Daisy, and while I enjoy a good fight, I am starting to wonder just what I am fighting for.”
“Do you really love me, Chris?”
Ok, that did it, he was about to unleash his anger on her. “Oh my God, are you even serious? If I wasn’t hopelessly in love with you would I be fighting like this? Would I have flown across the country when I got those ridiculous annulment papers? Would I have gone to your parent’s house to introduce myself and let them know how much I cared for their daughter? Would it have mattered for me to make sure they knew that I intended to love and take care of her? Would I have taken the time to eat breakfast with your best friend so I could learn more about you? Or better yet, would I have a run in with your crazy ex who happens to be a sheriff’s deputy and get my ass arrested if I didn’t love you?”
She hung her head, unable to look at him. He had a point, but she just could not rid the nagging doubt that was in her head. “But you haven’t known me very long, and you’ve had relationships that lasted longer, and you never got married, so why did you do it so quick with me?”
“You can’t compare yourself to my other relationships because that isn’t fair,” he lifted her chin so she could look into his eyes, “Sometimes you just know, and that is what I felt with you – at the premiere, I just knew. It was electric when we met, and you can’t tell me you didn’t feel it because I know you did.”
“You didn’t even tell your mom we were dating, and now you haven’t even told her we’re married.”
“Well, to be fair, we’ve not yet been married an entire week and during that time you’ve been telling me you will divorce me and actually served me with annulment papers – not exactly wedded bliss to tell her about now is it?”
“I didn’t want this to be a fight,” she said softly as she turned from him and laid down, her head hitting the pillow as she faced the bathroom door.
Chris just watched her for a minute, he wanted to touch her, but he was afraid to. After a moment, he settled into the bed as well, his back to hers, not the way he wanted to sleep. He finally whispered, “You know Princess, you make it awfully hard for Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet when your heels are dug in the ground so hard.”
He didn’t think she was awake, and so he was surprised when he heard a faint response, “Fine, get to sweeping then.”
He smiled taking that as a challenge and thought to himself, ‘that’s my Daisy.’
~ * ~
Daisy woke first the next morning, it was a habit, and she anticipated his body clock was on California time so he would sleep for a few more hours. She tried to get out of bed without disturbing him, setting off for the bathroom to get ready for work. She showered and got dressed and when she stepped out, once again she found that he was not in bed. Like the previous morning, he was in the kitchen, making coffee and looking like he belonged in the house. He was leaning against the counter, arms crossed and staring at the floor when she walked in.
“Good Morning,” she offered in a sing-song voice, trying to cast aside the remnants of last night. “Thank you for starting the coffee, I hope I didn’t wake you.”
“No, I didn’t really sleep,” he grumbled without looking up. “Are you leaving now?”
“Yeah, in just a few minutes, I need to fix my coffee.”
“Okay, I’m going to go get dressed. I’ll talk to you later,” and with that, he turned and walked into the bedroom.
She yelled a “Bye” as she pulled the front door closed and left for the shop. She was a little confused at his attitude this morning, last night he wanted to talk about where they were and how to get back to where it started and this morning it was if he could barely stand to be in the same room with her. Maybe it was just that he had very little sleep; she was going to chalk it up to that and let it go. She knew if she didn’t let it go she would stew over it all day and it would just eat at her. She had no idea what sort of trouble he would get into being by himself today, but she wasn’t going to worry about that either. She was going to call Kimberly though, tomorrow as actually going to be their one week anniversary and she thought she would surprise him and celebrate it. After all, if he wanted her to make a move toward making this marriage work, what better way than celebrating their wedded union?
~ * ~
Chris got dressed and tossed his clothes into his bag. He made a few phone calls and then began searching for a piece of paper, he scribbled a quick note and then left his key to the house, locked the door and got into the rental car. He noticed as he pulled out of the driveway, that the deputy cruiser was sitting at the end of the street. He pulled up behind it, got out of the car and walked up to the driver’s door, knocking on the window. Michael was a little shocked but put the window down.
“Morning Michael, excuse me, deputy,” Chris offered, “I thought I would let you know, I’m on my way out of town so you don’t have to worry about following me very far. I promise to use my turn signal and obey all the traffic laws, and again, no hard feelings about yesterday.”
Michael smiled, “I promise, Chris, I’m on regular patrol here, I have no intention of following you. I’ve been given strict instructions to leave you be. And I am sorry about yesterday, truly, I am.”
Chris smiled and walked back to his car and pulled out onto the highway and headed toward the city. He had programmed the address into the car’s GPS, so he knew where he was going. He had even called ahead to make sure she would be in the office. Almost exactly one hour from leaving Daisy’s house, he pulled into the parking lot of the office building that housed the law office of Violet Morgan. He wanted to personally deliver the message that he was not signing the annulment documents and let it be known if she had more, he would just take them now and save her the shipping costs.
He opened the door to the office and the receptionist recognized him immediately. She smiled brightly and let him know she would tell Ms. Morgan that he was there. A moment later, she was offering to escort him back to her office.
Chris had to admit he was surprised when Violet stood to greet him; it wasn’t often that he could look a woman directly in the eyes when she was not wearing pumps. He also took notice of the fact that she was dressed in a soft purple blouse with her business suit; she obviously had a sense of humor when it came to her name.
“So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit, Mr. Evans?”
“I thought I would personally appear to advise that your annulment filing was invalid and would not be able to proceed.”
“I don’t test the truth, I only write the reason, and I have to trust what my client provides me. I’m sure you can appreciate that, I’m sure you have attorneys of your own that you have to deal with.”
“Wow, you and Grillo would get along great,” Chris said as he started to walk around her office and look at the framed degrees on her wall, “You both certainly know how to land a punch, that’s for sure.”
“I’m sorry, you are comparing me to who?”
“Nevermind killer, it’s not that important. Can you just cut out the shark that’s out for blood routine?”
“I’m not out for blood, and neither is Daisy, but you should know, divorce proceedings can get ugly even if you don’t want them to, and it would be in your best interest to get your own counsel. Especially if this drags out, don’t you have a movie that begins shooting at the end of the year?”
“Yeah, it’s not going that far. The original annulment reason was bogus, and you knew it when you sent the paperwork.”
“Again, I sent what Daisy asked me to. But you are right, she knew it wasn’t legit, but she wanted to prove to you that she could play dirty if she had to,” Violet slid an envelope across the desk, “Those are the actual divorce documents. They were set to be sent out today, I had no idea you were going to stop by, but it is a pleasure to hand deliver these for once. You are welcome to read them and sign them now if you want.”
“She had no plans to back off no matter what did she?”
“I don’t know what she has going on in her mind, but she did seem somewhat set when I spoke with her the other day. These documents are straight forward. She is not asking for anything, just an end to the marriage with an attempt to keep it all in our court system so it is not put in the public filings in LA or Boston. She does not want it in the paper or the public record for your name to be caught up in the gossip columns for being divorced when no one knew you were married.”
“She’s anxious about that?”
“Yeah, seems she is more concerned about your name and career than anything else.”
“Why is she so worried about me? Look, I need your help, Violet.”
“While she has a misguided way of showing it, that girl is in love with you and cares deeply for you. But Chris, I can’t play both sides of the fence, it’s a conflict of interest.”
“Yeah, but listen to me. I love her, I mean I really do, and I need her to see it and believe it. She can’t get it through her head that I don’t care what everyone else thinks because she is the only one that matters. I need you to help me delay this just so I can try to make her see it.”
“Go on, I’ll at least hear you out.”
“Don’t tell her I came to see you and let her think you mailed the paperwork. I can hold her off on my end, I have meetings, or I want lawyers to read it, something.”
“You are desperately trying to make this work, isn’t the actor always trying to get rid of the unwanted marriage?”
“See, that’s the thing, to me this isn’t unwanted. She’s it, Violet, she’s the one for me. I know, you think I’m crazy just like she does but when I met her I knew,” he started to walk toward her office door, “Please just give me a few days, that’s all I ask. I’ll email you my contact information when I get home. I just need to sweep her off her feet.”
“Damn, you want to be her Prince Charming!”
“Well, Captain America is a Disney Prince you know,” he said with a smile as he walked out of her office.
~ * ~
Daisy locked up the shop and started the drive home, she checked her phone and thought it was odd that she had not heard from Chris at all during the day. She hadn’t seen him either; he hadn’t walked around town or gotten himself arrested or anything. Surely he didn’t stay locked up in the house all day. Then she started thinking that maybe he was going to surprise her with dinner, and she began to get excited.
But her hopes were dashed when she pulled up and noticed his rental car was gone. She opened the house, and as she walked in the door, she saw a note and the house key on the kitchen counter.
“I’m not sure how much more fight I have in me. As hard as I am fighting for us, you are equally fighting against us. I had hoped we could talk it out last night and get to the bottom of it, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. I wish my love were enough…I’ve gone back to LA and will talk to you when I’m ready.
As Daisy read the words again, her heart began to ache for she had actually lost him. But this is what it would feel like when she was divorced, and that is what she was trying to do. If this is what it felt like, this might not be what she wanted after all.