Home > A Humble Heart (Hollywood Hearts #1)(4)

A Humble Heart (Hollywood Hearts #1)(4)
Author: R.L. Mathewson

“It’s just outdated now,” he said in a sulky tone.

Dana sighed and sat up. “Jeff, you just bought that monitor six months ago. Where are you getting the money for this?” she asked, knowing their savings account was small and they had a great deal of available credit. He surprised her with his answer.

“I’m going to use the Christmas fund.”

Yeah, she was startled. “You’re going to use the money that I’ve been scrimping together for the past year for your children so you can buy a new monitor you don’t need?”

He scoffed. “It’s my money, Dana. I should be able to spend it how I choose.”

“No,” she said firmly.

Jeff stomped his foot down and pouted the way he did whenever he didn’t get his way. “You’re such a-”

“Bitch?” she finished for him, sounding unamused.

He turned and stormed out of the bathroom, slamming the door, not caring that his two children were sleeping. She placed the mail on the side of the tub and cradled her head in her hands. “Don’t you dare!” she mumbled sternly to herself.

She wouldn’t cry, wouldn’t break down. She had to remain focused. Stay on the plan, she told herself. She nodded and picked up the mail, hoping to distract herself with coupons and outrageous bills.

She sorted through the mail until she came to a thick envelope. The return address was from Rerum Publications. Her hands began to shake. She put the envelope down and took a deep breath preparing for her first rejection letter.

After a long moment she felt prepared. “Don’t cry. Just don’t cry. Take their criticism and use it to make the book better,” she told herself.

Her hands shook as she picked up the thick envelope. She ripped the envelope open and unfolded the thick pile of papers. Her eyes ran over the words as her mind screamed for her to stop.

“Oh my God!” she said. A nervous smile spread over her face. “Oh my God!” They loved her book! So much that they attached an agreement with the acceptance letter promising to send a contract within two days with her first check. They wanted her Christian and Bailey books to turn into a series. They also wanted to talk about the possibility of more books and would send someone out at her convenience to discuss it.

Her free hand went over her mouth to cover her screams of joy. She had never been happier in her entire life. This was their escape, their chance at happiness. Tears of joy streamed down her cheeks.

Jeff picked that moment to open the door. “I’m buying the monitor tomorrow. I don’t care what you say.”

She laughed deeply for a few minutes. He stood there watching her with a confused expression on his face. She forced herself to calm down. “You know what, Jeff. I don’t care.” She ignored him and stared at her letter. There was no way she was telling him about any of this. Well, at least not until after they were officially separated that is.

Chapter 2

One year later….

A piercing noise went off next to his head. Edward reached over with his eyes still closed and felt around for the small, annoying alarm clock. His fingers moved along the top and began hitting buttons at random until peaceful silence enveloped him once again. He rolled over in his large bed and fell back to sleep.

“Hey, sleepy head, time to wake up,” a woman said. Edward groaned and buried his face in his pillow. “I don’t have all day, Edward. Get your butt out of that bed!” Something thick and flat hit him upside his head.

He sat up in bed. “Damn it, Mom! Can’t you let me sleep?”

“It’s two in the afternoon. I told you last night at dinner that I was coming over with scripts. If you don’t want me to handle your contracts anymore you’re more than welcome to go find another lawyer.”

Edward pulled himself out of bed. “Mom, I just stopped shooting a film. You know for a week after I'm done filming that I like to rest.”

She hit him on the head again with a large manila envelope. “Too bad. Get your little butt up. I’ll meet you in the kitchen.” She left the room, leaving him to dress.

He was not looking forward to seeing her in the kitchen. There was no food in the house, the sink was full of dirty dishes and take out containers were everywhere. She was not going to be happy.

After taking a quick shower and pulling a pair of pants on, he walked into the kitchen. Sure enough his mother already had the trash cleared and was washing his dishes.

“Edward, what are you paying that cleaning service for?” she asked. Her light graying brown hair was pulled back into a loose bun. It was somewhat amusing to see his mother clean his kitchen in a thousand dollar suit.

He sat on the counter. “I had to fire them a month ago. I haven’t had a chance to hire a new one.”

She looked up. “Fired? Why didn’t you tell me? You know your sister and I would have come over to help.”

He shrugged. “It’s fine.”

“Why did you fire them?” She laughed lightly. “Please tell me they didn’t complain about your messes. You have fifteen rooms in this place and you only use your bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. That’s really not much to complain about.”

He nodded in agreement. Then wondered why he bought the place in the first place. A small apartment would suit his needs perfectly, but he wouldn’t have this level of privacy.

“So, what?”

“So, why did you fire them?” she asked a bit more impatiently.

“Let’s see, one of them was stealing my dirty underwear, another one sold pictures of my place to the press and the topper was when I came home to find a very na**d sixty year old maid in my bed waiting to please me.”

His mother looked back with her face scrunched up in disgust. “Eww.”

“Exactly. So, I fired them.” He looked around. “You didn’t happen to bring any food with you, did you? Or anything to drink?”

She sighed. “I had a feeling you didn’t have anything. Your sister should be here any second with groceries.”

“Thank you,” he said even though he knew without a doubt his sister wouldn't be buying anything he liked, but he wouldn't complain. He appreciated everything his family did for him so he could have some peace in his life.

“Don’t thank me, thank your sister. Sweetheart, you really need to start going out and doing things for yourself. This isn’t healthy living like this. You don’t go anywhere or do anything. When’s the last time you went on a date?”

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