Here’s another deleted scene from The Cold Wife. 😀
The next day while he walked home from his uncle’s house to pick up the proposal his uncle worked on with Mary so she could add up some figures for them, he saw Lisa and Sarah walking toward him on the sidewalk.
“Justin, how are you doing this morning?” Lisa greeted him.
“I’m fine. I’m on my way home,” he replied, surprised that she decided to speak to him.
“Did Carrie get jealous?”
“She did. She wouldn’t let me near you for the rest of the evening.”
“It’s obvious that she loves you, even though she won’t admit it. Did she finally come around last night?”
“You’re kidding,” Sarah inserted, bewildered. “I thought she looked furious after Lisa kissed you on the cheek.”
“Maybe I should have kissed him on the lips,” Lisa said.
“I think the kiss on the cheek was enough,” he assured them. He really didn’t want to kiss anyone but Carrie. “But I do think you had the right idea. Perhaps I need to play it up as if I’m considering a courtship with you. Would you mind walking with me to my home?”
“No. We have nothing better to do.”
“We like Carrie,” Sarah said. “We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t think it was for her own good. She used to babysit us. She would let us sneak in a cookie after dinner and spent an hour reading us stories.”
It was odd to think of Carrie babysitting them but he reasoned that she was seven years older than them so it made sense that she had been old enough to do that.
When they reached the house, he was surprised to see Carrie walking toward them.
“What perfect timing,” Sarah whispered to Lisa. She slipped her arm through Justin’s and laughed. In a loud voice, she cooed, “Why Justin, you are absolutely brilliant.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Lisa added as she lightly touched his other arm. “And you’re a marvelous dancer. I can’t believe that you ever stepped on women’s feet. You’re much too graceful for that.”
“Carrie is so lucky to have you.”
“Didn’t you hear?”
“They’re getting an annulment next week.”
“Oh, then you’ll be free to court me.”
“Not if he doesn’t court me first.”
The two women giggled, and Justin’s face grew bright red. He never had women flirt with him and wasn’t sure how to act. He was aware that Carrie was standing right in front of them, so he pretended he was enjoying their attention.
He looked at Carrie as if just noticing that she was there. “Good morning, Miss Allen. Do you remember Miss MacIntyre and Miss Williams?”
She seemed as if she had to struggle to remain pleasant. “Yes. Aren’t you two too young to be courting?”
Sarah shrugged. “I don’t think so. We’re seventeen.”
Carrie’s eyes grew wide. “You’re already seventeen?”
Lisa nodded. “We’re excited about the courting process.” She gave Justin a sly grin. “There are certainly some interesting prospects.”
Justin considered that for seventeen year olds, Lisa and Sarah did a good job at acting as if they were experienced at courting.
“We ran into Justin and he offered to walk us to the pet shop,” Sarah said. “Wasn’t that thoughtful of him? I’m thinking of buying a puppy.”
“I think a puppy brightens up a house,” Justin agreed.
“You’ve never mentioned wanting a puppy,” Carrie told him.
“Well, I didn’t think about it until Sarah mentioned it.”
“Sarah, would you look at the time?” Lisa gasped. “We really must be going. We have some shopping to do to make ourselves beautiful.” She glanced at Justin and batted her eyelashes at him.
“You two don’t need to add anything to the way you look,” he played along. “You couldn’t possibly get more beautiful than you already are.”
“Justin, you do have a way with words.” Lisa kissed him on one cheek.
“We do hope you’ll stop by to see us sometime.” Sarah kissed him on the other cheek.
Carrie didn’t say anything as they walked by her and said hello. She waited until they were out of earshot before she turned her attention to Justin. “Enjoyed that, did you?”
He had never seen Carrie jealous but found that he liked it. “Of course, I did,” he responded. He walked to the house.
She followed him. “You have no right to be enjoying that,” she sharply insisted.
“What do you care? You’ll be out of here in six days.” He didn’t bother to hold the door open for her. Instead, he set his hat on the hat rack.
“There’s no need to be rude. I am still a woman.”
“Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
She gasped and then slammed the door.
This action prompted Geoffrey and Constance to run to the entryway.
“Is something wrong?” Geoffrey asked.
“Is someone hurt?” Constance demanded.
“Everything’s fine,” Carrie quickly assured them.
“Actually, they’re more than fine,” Justin said. “They’re wonderful.” He was flattered that Sarah and Lisa succeeded in upsetting her. They had done what he had been unable to accomplish in the past week.
Geoffrey and Constance looked relieved.
“The bedroom furniture, sheets and curtains came today,” Constance informed Carrie as Geoffrey went back to the kitchen. “Would you like me to help you make up the beds and hang the curtains?”
“That’s a good idea,” Justin told Carrie. “I want my next wife to be happy with the rooms upstairs.”
“Your next wife?” She nearly shouted the question.
“Yes. I do plan to get married after our annulment. The single life may suit you just fine but it doesn’t work for me. After having you around, I’ve grown to enjoy having a woman’s presence in my home. Don’t worry about whether or not Sarah or Lisa don’t like the new bedroom themes. I asked them what they thought about them, and they expressed their enthusiasm over your redecorating tastes. They told me to thank you personally for going through all this trouble so they won’t have to do it in the future.”
“You have your next wife lined out already?”
“Sure. You said I could choose whether or not to move on and find someone else after you leave. I decided I don’t want to end up alone, so I’m checking out what’s out there. I’m leaning toward Lisa. She did teach me how to dance and I’ve always been partial to redheads.”
“Should we take care of the bedrooms later?” Constance uneasily asked.
“No,” Justin answered. “I have to spend the afternoon working on the investment proposal. Then I have to get ready for the dinner party we’re having tonight. I don’t have time to discuss this with you, Carrie. I’m too busy.”
Carrie narrowed her eyes at him. “I can’t wait until I’m free from this place.” She angrily walked up the steps.
As he watched a bewildered Constance follow her, he had the nagging suspicion that he inadvertently made a huge mistake.