In the walled courtyard where he had parked, Philippe held the car door open for her. It was a courtesy that seemed to be second nature to him, and Kat appreciated it every time. Then he went to unlock the gate. On his way back to the car, he paused and plucked a folded paper from behind the wiper on the driver’s side. His jaw tightened and he quickly looked around the courtyard. He scrunched the paper and shoved it into the pocket of his jeans before sliding heavily into his seat. Kat had never seen him angry before.
“What was that?” she asked.
“Rien du tout. Nothing, nothing at all,” he answered abruptly.
Putting her hand on his arm, Katherine repeated her question. “I saw the look on your face. It looked like it was something, not nothing.”
Philippe exhaled loudly before he covered her hand with his and lifted it to his lips. “Sorry, Minou. It’s nothing to worry about, and I’m sorry I spoke so sharply.”
He squeezed her hand, but he looked pained and his voice had an unfamiliar edge to it. “Seriously, we don’t need to talk about it. It’s just some business from a long time ago that I thought was finished …”
A hush hung in the air. Then Philippe started the engine and they drove off.
Torn between wanting to know what was bothering him but not wanting to push, Katherine stayed quiet as Philippe navigated the town’s narrow streets and drove them into the countryside.
She had learned years earlier, after being scolded and humiliated by James, that she needed to stay out of some matters. Her throat tightened at the memory. His verbal attacks had felt physical, like a kick in the stomach, and completely foreign to her. She had not experienced or witnessed anything like it before she married him. It had crushed her.
Now she struggled to banish those painful memories. She looked straight ahead, taking some deep breaths but saying nothing, until she knew exactly what it was she wanted to say.
She turned to Philippe and touched his cheek lightly. “You know I’m here if you want to talk about it.”
He nodded, staring intently at the road. “Frankly, I hope we never have to talk about it. It’s something that should not be part of our life together. I’m sorry you saw this.”
After a moment, he glanced at her and tried to smile. “I will make it go away, I promise.”
Promises to Keep is available from Amazon. To purchase a copy, click HERE