Tara’s heart sank. “I never want you to think that touching you bothers me. But I haven’t had a man’s touch in a year and you’re so familiar, but...”
She hadn’t meant to let that revelation out. Not that she had been looking and not that she was interested in any other man. Sam had been it for her and she wasn’t sure she wanted to do love again. Besides, they were still married and she would never go against her vows.
“I’ve missed your touch, too,” Sam whispered in the dark.
Silence settled between them. Beneath the covers his hand found hers and he slowly laced their fingers together. She closed her eyes and bit her lips, trying not to cry or tell him she’d ached for him.
“Good night, Tara.”
Tears pricked her eyes at the simple gesture of his hand in hers. She had seen the hunger in his eyes earlier, she knew that he still wanted her, but he was using restraint and putting her needs first.
The problem was she had no clue what her own needs actually were. Because the female side of her wanted to forget everything and let him do anything he wanted, but the realistic side told her this was not possible and she was in for a long night.
“What the hell is that?”
Tara laughed at Kate’s expression. “Well, that is our new dog, Daisy.”
Kate sat her purse on the accent table inside the front door. She reached her hand out to the curious dog who had come over to sniff her.
“I’m pretty sure this is not the Daisy I remember,” Kate exclaimed as she got multiple kisses from the new giant Daisy. “Are you guys seriously trying to pass this dog off as her old poodle?”
“No, this is Daisy Part Two.” Tara led the way toward the rear of the house and into the kitchen. “And this is all Sam’s idea. He really is trying, but some things are not working as well as others.”
“And how is this working out with you and Sam?” Kate asked as she took a seat at the kitchen table.
Tara leaned against the countertop and gave a shrug. “We are taking it day by day, but as you can imagine this is difficult for everybody.”
“Has Marley regained any memories?” Kate asked.
“Just that we were all supposed to go on a beach vacation, but that was planned right before Sam left. Unfortunately, that’s the time frame where things get a little hazy with her memory.”
Tara had already started looking for beach houses on the East Coast. She’d found several right on the beach, but most were either already rented or too pricey. She and Sam would have to discuss options. She didn’t know what would be worse, the hours-long car ride with Sam or frolicking on the beach playing as a family.
“Wow,” Kate gasped. “So you guys are going to take a real family vacation? Even with everything going on?”
Tara nodded and went to the refrigerator for a bottle of water. She handed one to her friend and took another for herself. She needed a distraction. The more she discussed this inevitable vacation, the more her nerves kicked into overdrive.
“That is what Marley wants,” Tara stated. “We are doing anything we can to help her regain her memory. She’s been home a few days and so far all she’s recalled is that the original Daisy died. I’d like to get some sort of happy memories in her bank.”
Kate rested one hand on her belly and clutched her water bottle with the other. “Is there anything I can do to help?”
“I don’t even know what I can do to help.” Being so confused and vulnerable was most infuriating. She wanted her daughter healed right this second. “I don’t know what we’re going to do when she regains her memories and realizes that Sam and I have split up. I’m so afraid she’ll hate us for lying or she’ll feel deceived, like she can’t trust her own parents.”
Kate offered a sympathetic smile. “She will see that her mom and dad came together to help her. She loves you both, so don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Tara prayed that her daughter would feel that way once all was said and done, and she regained control of her mind. Tara wasn’t so sure a five-year-old could fully comprehend the sacrifices made by her parents.