Catho--the only Marx Sister (breespearls) wrote in bree_rex,
Catho--the only Marx Sister
breespearls
bree_rex

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Return to Me: Chapter 07--"More Than Words" (Part 02 of 02)

Title: Return to Me
Chapter: 07–More Than Words (Part 02 of 02)
Author: breespearls
Rating: PG
Author’s Notes: Chapter’s title comes from the Extreme song More Than Words.

My eternal thanks goes out to all my supporters who are relentless in offering their words of encouragement and leave review after review following each and every chapter. I thought you’d be tired of this little fic after a few chapters, so hearing that you want more does my heart good. :)

Regarding the fic, things have taken a turn with this chapter. Bree now has Danielle and Andrew at home, her relationship with Rex has gone from flinging bitter insults to reluctant acceptance and though she’s still battling certain demons, she’s growing as a person and evolving. The angst and drama is beginning to let up, but before you get too cozy, something bad is going to happen to Bree. I’m just warning you (though not in this chapter).



(Continued from previous post...)

Later that morning just after sunrise, Bree awoke to Andrew’s snores. A precious smile inching across her face, she endeavored to smooth the bits of his hair that were wildly reaching up towards heaven. Seeing they were intractable, like the boy upon whose head they grew, she cheerfully gave in and instead placed an adoring kiss on his nose. He was still asleep and oblivious to everything that went on around him. Watching him sleep so placidly without worries or fears to mar the contented visage that appeared as though it had been painted on his face, Bree thought her heart would burst from the joy that had inundated her heart.

There was no telling what he would think or say when he awakened. It was the only dread Bree harbored where her son was concerned. There was no way to predict Andrew’s reaction upon waking up and finding his mother there, the mother he went nearly three days without seeing. Anticipating a rocky path ahead for them and realizing they may never repair their relationship, Bree took advantage of the present situation to talk to Andrew, praying that some of what she was about to say would stick with him, penetrating the walls of his unconsciousness.

“Andrew...” She wasn’t sure how to begin. Anything she said would sound silly. Besides, he was asleep. He couldn’t actually hear her, right? He probably wouldn’t be able to remember anything. However, things she’d been yearning to say to her son for months began flowing out of her mouth.

“Andrew, the first thing I want to say to you, the most important thing, is I love you. I’m so sorry for leaving you on your own. I thought I couldn’t love you as you should be loved, but I was so wrong. I was dead wrong. Yes, I was hurt and I had little confidence in my ability to be a good parent to you. I felt like I had failed you in some way and that’s why you were acting out, but you didn’t need less of me, you needed more. In essence, you did win because leaving you behind made me understand that you were angry at me not because you didn’t want me around, but because I didn’t give you the things you needed and deserved. I should’ve let you become who you were and not who I wanted you to be. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, Andrew, and I’m going to make more, unfortunately. My biggest mistake was never telling you how proud you make me. I’m so very so proud to be your mother. And if you give me a second chance, I’ll work even harder to make you proud to be my son.

“It’s such a pity that you won’t remember any of this because I think it’s the most important thing I’ve ever said to you.” Searching his face for any sign of consciousness, she was left disappointed. As impractical as it was, she hoped that somewhere in the solemnity that held his mind hostage there was a conscious spark that had absorbed at least some of what she said.

“Bree?”

In the doorway stood Rex with his hands in the pockets of his white overcoat looking grave. She knew instantly why he was there.

“Bree, I’m so sorry but you have to go now. No one wants you to leave, but Andrew still...”

“I know,” she answered in wretched dejection. Planting one last kiss on his brow, she diligently removed herself from the embrace she shared with her son. “Will he be ok, Rex?”

“For the time being, he’s out of pain. The doctor ordered a morphine drip last night when the pain started so that should put him to sleep in the meantime. He has a bacterial infection called osteomyelitis. When he broke his leg, the bone came through his skin and even though the doctor stitched it up and administered antibiotics, some bacteria got into the wound and settled in the bone. His leg was swollen so badly last night the doctor was worried he’d have to amputate it if the circulation was cut off due to damaged blood vessels. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that.”

“That’s good. Um, did you hear any of what I was telling Andrew?”

Nodding his head, Rex begged, “Please don’t be mad. I came to get you and when I heard you talking to him, I didn’t want to interrupt. I wish he’d had been awake to hear it. I think it’s something he needed to hear.”

“I don’t think it matters much anyway. I doubt he heard or will remember anything I’ve said,” she acknowledged sadly.

“Come on, let’s go to the cafeteria. You haven’t eaten in three days and today you’re going to eat something.”

“But...” she started to protest.

“I don’t want to hear it. Doctor’s orders,” he grinned. Together, they walked out of the room and to the cafeteria on the first floor leaving their son behind to sleep.

Little did Bree know, though, that Andrew was still as devious as he used to be, however now his motives were relatively harmless. The fact was, Andrew had awoken two hours earlier than his mom. As he observed her walking out of his room through half-closed eyes while pretending to be engrossed in the realm of dreams, he ardently hoped that his own words had indeed pierced the dense, slumberous haze that blanketed her mind and body while she had rested next to her son.

Once they’d eaten and were on their way back from the cafeteria to the recovery wing, Rex’s cell phone rang. A couple of “yeahs” later, he hung up and a smile was splashed unevenly on his face at Bree.

“Andrew’s awake.”

“Oh, that’s great. Is he ok? Has the pain stopped?” she asked apprehensively.

“He’s asking for you.”

There in the hallway she laughed like she hadn’t laughed in an eternity. Those heavy stones that drowned her heart were disappearing one by one. Everything else could go wrong in her life right now and she wouldn’t care because she was on her way to see her son. Arriving back at room twenty-four, she hesitantly took a couple of steps through the doorway and her eyes fell upon the form of her son laying in repose on his bed, neither smiling nor frowning.

No one said anything for a long while. Andrew stared at her, as though he couldn’t believe it was really her. He recalled her touch, her scent, her words from earlier that morning when he had been in such awful pain, but he was waiting for the real Bree Van De Kamp to show herself, to exemplify her disappointment in him, to embark on a renewed attempt to mold him into someone she could accept, to turn him away in disgust, to voice her displeasure. Most of all, he waited for her to say something to betray everything she had told him when she thought he was asleep and make a liar out of herself. With bated breath he waited.

“Andrew...” she said in a voice strained with emotion and eyes stained with tears. It was almost too much to be in the same room with him after their four-month separation, but Andrew took it mean something entirely different.

“I should’ve known,” he scoffed in absolute despondency.

“Should’ve known what??” Bree asked bewildered.

“I see the way you look at me. You’re disappointed in me. I should’ve known you’d never change. I can’t believe Justin called you. I wish I’d never come back to Fairview.”

Undeterred, Bree walked over to her son and sat down beside him. Sandwiching his hand between hers, she kissed it. “These aren’t tears of disappointment, Andrew. I’ve missed you so much, I just–I can’t... I never thought I’d see you again and right now I’m too happy for words! When you’re released from the hospital, I want you to come home.”

“Really??” After all he’d done to his mother, it was incredible that she’d just let him move back in with her. Something wasn’t sitting well with him. It was all too good to be true. Wary as he was of his mother, he didn’t really have a choice. He’d been living off friends for a few days at a time and then off the streets when his welcome had worn out at his friends’ places, hopping from one location to another, never knowing where his next meal was going to come from or how he would survive another day. Times had been rough and Andrew had done a little bit of everything just to make a some cash, things he was too ashamed to tell his parents. The only reason Justin had called his parents in the first place was because he didn’t have insurance to pay for the hospital stay. Though he was skeptic when it came to returning home with the mother who had apparently turned over a new leaf (or at least she’d seemed to for this hospital visit), the alternative was much, much worse. He saw his mother as a spider, luring her unsuspecting victim farther and farther into her corner until it found itself entangled in a sticky web from which there was no escape. Andrew swore he wouldn’t be that unsuspecting victim. This time around, he wouldn’t give his mother the opportunity to express her disdain of him or confess her inability to give him unequivocal love. He wasn’t going to let her hurt him again and he didn’t trust her not to do it.

The three of them decided then that Andrew would go home to Wisteria Lane when he had fully recovered from the infection that ravaged his leg. It wasn’t until four days had passed that he was allowed to go home and he had to admit that when he stood outside is house, it felt good to soak up the sight of it. Bree and Rex were on either side of him, offering their help to get him up the stairs of the front porch, but he had his crutches to assist him and cautiously climbed each step himself. When he entered the house, he was glad to see that it was exactly the same as he left it. Making his way into the living room, he saw Danielle and Justin holding a cake that read, “Welcome home, Andrew!”

“Surprise!” his sister shouted excitedly, running up to him and throwing her arms around his shoulders, mindful that he had just one good leg to stand on. Andrew, however, wasn’t in the mood to celebrate. His spirits had been somewhat low since he’d agreed to meet with his mother a few days ago. Ever since, he’d been waiting for that other shoe to drop so he didn’t want to get too comfortable and let his guard down.

“Thanks, Danielle. Listen, I’m kind of tired, so I’m going to go lay down for a while.” Seeing Danielle’s smile falter he forced a smile onto his own face and quickly added, “We’ll eat some cake later, ok? So, don’t give into the temptation to eat it all.”

“Ok,” she grinned.

Bree darted over to her son to help him up the stairs, but he told her brusquely, “I’m fine.”

“Darling, these steps are narrow and there are a lot of them. Let me help you.” She tried to grab his arm, but he yanked it away.

“Mom!” he snapped impatiently, causing her to jump backward. The shock registered on her face. Almost immediately, he softened his tone. “Look, I can do it by myself. If I need you, I’ll call.”

He ascended the stairs one step at a time, struggling to angle his crutches in such a way that they would fit securely on the stairs and evenly distribute his weight. If he was afraid of falling, he didn’t say anything. All he wanted to do was retreat to the solitude of his room and get away from his mother.

Bree rationalized his behavior, saying that he was tired or in pain. She waited for him to call her, ready to do anything he asked of her, but he spent the whole day shut in his room never once summoning his mother for anything. Rex visited with his daughter for a while as Justin went upstairs to sit with Andrew, but eventually they said their good-byes and left Bree, Danielle and Andrew alone under the same roof for the very first time in four months. Bree was thrilled that she had both her children together again in her house, however she was also scared because her son was unpredictable. Though he cried out for her comfort the night he was in pain, he had withdrawn all the bridges he’d started to build the next day by his cold, uncaring manner. What could she possibly do to show him that he was one of the most important people in the world to her? She could tell him she loved him, she could make his favorite foods to eat, she could buy him all he wanted, but with Andrew, it wasn’t going to be that easy. He was like his mother in that trust didn’t come simply or hurriedly for him. Gaining his trust was like building a house: one brick at a time. It was up to her to lay the foundation and persist with the construction come rain or shine, hot or cold. This time, she wasn’t going to give up or give in. At dinner time, she went to his room and tried to talk to him.

“Andrew?” she called from the other side of his door. When he didn’t answer, she let herself in thinking he was by chance taking a nap. Far from it, he was laying on the bed staring at the ceiling.

“Andrew, dinner’s ready.”

“I’m not hungry,” he replied flatly.

“But you need to eat, sweetheart. The directions on your medication say that you have to take the pills with food.”

“I know what they say. I took care of myself for four months, I don’t need you to take care of me now.”

Flabbergasted, Bree didn’t know quite what to say. Expecting Andrew to come home and euphorically rejoin the family with no baggage from his life before was clearly not going to happen. His sulky tone of voice was an indication. The reminder that she’d failed her son was a stab to her already fragile heart, but she persevered in repairing the mother-son relationship that was in shambles. Unlike last time, she promised herself to give Andrew time to adjust and, as she allowed Danielle following her own hospital stay, to purge himself of his anger and his frustrations.

“I know you don’t need anyone to take care of you, but I want to. I admit that I wronged you and I’ve paid dearly for that every single day since. I don’t want to do things for you because I have some kind of need to make it up to you. I want to do them because I love you.”

“Too late.” Unremorseful spines shot through his sour words and were hurdled straight at his mother. “I’m just staying here until I can get my cast off and get a job, then I’m out. Out of this house and out of your life. You know, the only reason I came home with you was because Dad wouldn’t let me go home with him.”

She took a deep breath to steady the emotions that had just suffered their first assault. “It’s ok to be upset, Andrew, for everything that I’ve done to you, but do you think you can ever forgive me?” Bree pleaded.

“Forgive you for everything??” he scoffed. “Such as turning me away and being embarrassed by the fact that I’m gay? For forcing my dad to go into hiding for a year because you picked a psycho to date to get even with him because he cheated on you for being the person you are? For hitting me while you were drunk? For sabotaging my chance to go live with Grandpa and Grandma and having a chance at a normal life away from you? That’s a tall order and the last time I checked, Santa Claus isn’t real. So, would you get out of my room?”

Bree stood there soundlessly rooted to the ground. A sphere of anguish closed in on her, robbing her of the breath she needed to maintain her equilibrium. The longer she stayed in Andrew’s presence, the more she felt sanity sliding away from her. She thought for sure things would be at least a little different once Andrew came home, once she professed her guilt and begged his forgiveness. Like always, though, he couldn’t wait to get as far away from her as possible.

“I’m–I’m sorry you feel that way,” she stammered as she exited his room quietly and shut the door. Halfway down the hall, a bolt of courage hit her and she turned around, marched back into his room and stood her ground defiantly. “I am your mother and no one is going to love you like I do. You can treat me as lousy as you want and I will still love you. You have tried my patience, stepped all over my heart and caused me pain, but I still love you and I hope that there will come a day when you can love me just the same. I confess that I have said things and done things, things that have probably made you feel that I don’t love you, and I’m so sorry. But I’m trying. You’re not even making an effort! So, if you want to lay there and feel sorry for yourself, fine. I don’t feel sorry for you, Andrew, because if you’re smart enough to survive four months on your own, you’re smart enough to find away to meet me in the middle so we can work through our problems. I’m not saying we have to forgive and forget everything that has happened between us this very instant, but if you’re willing to try, I will wait on you!” Not waiting for a response, she spun around and slammed his bedroom door so hard the walls of the house shook.

Out of breath, she leaned against the wall and sunk to her feet going over everything she just said. It was like a dream in which she hadn’t felt control over her mouth, but somehow, she just knew what to say. Dealing with her embittered son was going to take a generous amount of longanimity and though Bree had encountered her first test, which she failed miserably, she resolved that next time she wouldn’t stand there in idle complacence without putting up some kind of fight. There was a scant month until his cast would be taken off and in that period, she would have to work hard to win back Andrew’s affections and prove to him beyond a shadow of a doubt that the thought of him brought her nothing but joy. If he only knew how much she loved him and thought about him everyday, he wouldn’t have to question her motivation for wanting to bring him dinner and give him his medicine and make sure he was comfortable and pain-free. Words weren’t going to be sufficient, she was going to have to show him that she was sorry. She prayed that it would be enough to make him change his decision about leaving.

Several days elapsed without Andrew and Bree exchanging much more than a few, punctuated words. Andrew wasn’t again as rude as he had been to his mother that first evening at home, but he wasn’t overly courteous. Bree gave him space, allowing him to readjust to home life and being around her and his sister. He really only opened up and smiled was when Rex visited. Since Andrew was largely homebound, Bree let her ex-husband see the children at her house. Jealousy surfaced within Bree each time she saw her son laughing and chatting on and on with his father. She realized it was abhorrent to feel that way and she admonished herself for having such bad thoughts, but she had been trying so hard to reach Andrew and all Rex had to do was show up and he had Andrew in the palm of his hand. Tirelessly and without complaint, Bree cooked meals that included Andrew’s favorite foods and carried each of them on a tray to his room three times a day. Also, she promptly administered his medication the times when he was due another dose, she laid his clothes out for him, she changed his bedding and brought him magazines and video games when he was bored. It was hard to restrain herself from throwing her arms around him or attempting to strike up a conversation, but if she had tried, he would’ve turned a deaf ear to what she had to say making the effort ineffectual. Andrew was responsible for making the first move and Bree was waiting for him.

One night as dinner was nearly ready, Bree was preparing a tray to take to Andrew when, to her amazement, he’d come downstairs for dinner. Her mouth wide open and spoon midair, she gaped as he silently hobbled on crutches over to the table and sat down. Quickening her pace, she sat dinner on the table and she and her daughter delightfully joined him. As she started to fix him a plate of food, he gently took the plate from her and helped himself, allowing his mother to take a seat. He then cut the roast into several pieces for everyone and passed the salt to his mother even though she’d asked Danielle to do so. This simple yet significant event was momentous for the sake of progress. Yes, it was a baby step, but it let Bree know there was a flicker of hope in the blinding mist that divided them. Overjoyed at Andrew for taking that first step on the path to forgiveness, which would become well traveled for sure, she sent him a sincere smile that radiated love and gratitude. He briefly acknowledged her with a curt nod of his head before he resumed eating his food.

After the meal was over, Danielle aided her mother in clearing the dishes and leftover food from the table while Andrew proceeded into the living room. Sinking down onto the couch, he flipped indifferently through the channels on television in an attempt to find something to watch. Nothing looked particularly engaging so he put it on one of his favorite channels in hopes that something he liked would come on soon. Though he tried to take an interest in the program that was currently airing, he was distracted by sounds of laughter bouncing fervidly from the kitchen. He heard Danielle talking in faint tones, her words muffled by the distance between her location and his, followed by his mother’s rich, warm laugh which reverberated throughout the house. Never before could he recall hearing such a true, genuine sound come from the Bree Van De Kamp he thought he knew so well. Suspicious and curious, he vacated his seat and headed in the direction of his mother and sister. From a stationary position just outside the room, he cautiously peeked in at the happy scene and was hit full force with a feeling of homey cheerfulness, a feeling that was largely missing from his memories of home that flooded his mind when he thought of his mother. He saw his sister basking in the attention their mother was lavishing on her. Danielle stood at the sink washing dishes and their mother was behind her running her fingers through her hair in sublime adoration. Without so much as a warning, Danielle unexpectedly took a handful of excess soap suds from the sink and flung them over her shoulder at Bree, causing both of them to collapse in giggles. To Andrew’s surprise, his mother didn’t flinch or scold his sister for causing such a mess, but rather scooped up her own suds and blew them at her daughter. Danielle put her arms up to screen her face permitting Bree to take advantage of her youngest child’s unprotected ticklish spots and launched a merciless attack on them.

“Mom!” Danielle managed to scream as she simultaneously cackled, soap suds dotting her hair in a sporadic pattern.

When Bree was satisfied, she relented and pulled her daughter in for a hug and a kiss to her cheek. Upon raising her face, she saw Andrew at the door watching them intently.

“Do you want to help us wash dishes?” she asked, hoping her son would join them.

Andrew shook his head and started for the stairs, but Bree caught up to him before he began his ascent. Physically turning him to face her, she wrapped him in a warm hug. Thoroughly stupefied by the gesture, he was even more stunned when he felt himself returning the hug and enjoying it. He also received a kiss to the cheek and as she gazed at her son with an overwhelming amount of love in her eyes, she stroked the side of his head. Not wanting to seem to needy or too forgiving for one day, he abruptly broke the contact with his mother and fled upstairs. Once in his room, he retrieved a picture of his mother he kept in the bottom of his bureau drawer and stared at it for hours. Loathe to admit it, he was glad to be home.

With Andrew in the hospital and his subsequent homecoming, Bree hadn’t been able to mentally revisit the talk Rex and she had the morning before discovering their son was at Fairview Hospital. During the next couple of days, she pondered her words to her ex-husband, hearing herself say to him they would never work as a couple. She’d almost given in to him, though. He’d almost convinced her to go back to him, to give their relationship another chance and she’d come close to doing it. It was luck that the moment before she ran out the door Justin had called with news of Andrew. He may have prevented her from making a big mistake. It wasn’t that she hated Rex, but they only brought each other misery and sorrow. Rex was basically a good, decent man capable of being the finest, most caring and romantic gentleman, nevertheless when they were in each other’s company, cruelty and savagery pushed them into saying abhorrent things that to pardon would be obscene. They were the antithesis of the “perfect couple” and it saddened Bree because for almost twenty years they were a good couple. There had been rough times and there had been wonderful times. Most of all, they’d loved one another.

A part of Bree wished she’d yielded to the impulses that implored her to run after her ex-husband that Saturday. After he’d kissed her, she realized what she’d been missing from her life. She held no uncertainty that Rex didn’t have some type of feelings for her, but they’d just been through a divorce so it could only be expected for both parties to attempt to recapture a whisper of the feelings that had withered into extinction. There had been a period in which Bree and Rex lived in the spring and summer of their love, but now winter had turned it into a frozen reminder of a relationship that once existed. A heavy snow, apathetic to the ties that continued to link the pair, densely covered all the paths that connected them, thus making it impossible for the couple to find their way back to one another. They drifted aimlessly, lost in the snow, coming so close yet missing that for which they subconsciously and endlessly searched. The very thing that poisoned their minds against a relationship was the very thing that haunted their dreams, taunting them with what they couldn’t have: each other.

Instinct was something that Bree wasn’t so good at. Her motherly instincts were for the most part on par, however when it came to her love life, she was illiterate. Her prudish, altruistic nature had never allowed her to put aside anything for the sake of personal happiness. Everything she’d done was out of sense of duty. Even sex had always seemed perfunctory, to be performed out of some marital obligation and to bring forth children. Always perfectly in control of herself, desire was a thing to be curbed and disregarded. Not to say she never had her fair share of lusty thoughts or deeds, but she could never seem to let loose and give up control for personal pleasure.

Bringing Rex back into her life would be a mistake, she decided. There was a little voice in the far reaches of her mind that second guessed her every decision involving Rex, but she did the best she could to silence them. Her life had to go on without him. Facing the memory of him every day was getting to be too painful to bear. Each time she saw the boxes sitting in her living room floor, she was instantly reminded of a story or anecdote that was inevitably about him. Would it always be this hard? Would she never cease to automatically recall these little stories when she saw something that caused her to think of Rex? How people managed to survive divorce and retain their sanity was beyond Bree!

Instead of looking at those dratted boxes any longer, she promptly loaded them into her car and drove them to Rex’s condo. Not knowing if he was home as she hadn’t phoned him first, she planned to leave them on his door step if she had to. Anything just to get them out of her house! Carrying a box in her arms, she trekked to the front door and pressed the doorbell. Not more than the seconds had passed when Rex answered.

“Bree!” he exclaimed in surprise. “I wasn’t expecting you!”

“I know I should’ve called, how rude of me not to.”

“No, it’s ok. What’s this?” he asked, indicating the box she held in her arms.

She was about to answer when she heard another woman’s voice calling from inside the condominium. It was Amber. “Rex, you’d better tell me what you want for dinner!”

Upon hearing the shrill voice of a woman in Rex’s home, Bree froze. She didn’t know why, but the thought of another woman in his home making him dinner, an act so intimate which had been reserved just for her for two decades, made the need to cry arise from within her. She wanted to push passed him and find the other woman that had taken her place and scream at her! Scream until her throat was raw and her voice crackled and maybe break a few dishes to, for good measure. But then Bree remembered why she was there in the first place. It was so she could avoid scenes like this in the future.

Rex sighed and rolled his eyes. “Hang on, I’ll be there in a minute!” Closing the door behind him, he stood on his front porch. “I’m sorry, she’s trying to learn how to cook, but she’s not doing such a good job.” He chuckled ruefully.

Bree cleared her throat and swallowed a lump that had formed there. “Well, um, maybe you should go back in and, um, tell her you’ll be wanting roasted chicken with a splash of lemon and, um, garlic mashed potatoes.”

Crossing his arms, he looked at her in astonishment and laughed softly as he voiced his query, “How did you know I was in the mood for chicken and mashed potatoes?”

Not able to breath under his fierce scrutiny, she turned her head. “Oh... It’s Wednesday. You always want chicken on Wednesday and you always preferred mashed potatoes with chicken.”

“You know me so well...”

“Yes, well, here.” She shoved the box in his hands to deflect any more such questions of a personal nature. “I have four more out in the car, if you wouldn’t mind helping me...”

“No, not at all,” he replied absentmindedly.

When all five boxes sat on the porch, Bree knew her work was done. Any trace of Rex was now gone from her house and from her life. The sigh of relief never came, though. The fact was, she didn’t feel any different than she did before. Maybe it took some time.

“Here’s everything of yours. Trophies, pictures, papers, certificates, journals, awards... Even pens. Absolutely everything.” She wistfully glimpsed at the boxes.

“Everything, Bree?” he asked, skepticism dancing around his words.

“Yes, why?”

“You still wear my ring on your finger.”

Looking down at the platinum band with the pristine diamond sparkling madly at its center, she inadvertently caught a glare of something on Rex’s hand that reflected the sunlight and countered, “So, do you. When were you going to take it off?”

“When you take yours off.”

Bree left Rex’s condo waiting to feel a difference in her life. She half expected mountain tops to crumble or neon signs to flash “It’s officially over. You can now move on with your life,” but she was disappointed. In almost every aspect of her being, she was happy, all save for one area. Her children were the source of much of her joy; her relationship with her daughter was better than it had been in a long time and Andrew and she were working to repair that which had been broken and were making slow, but steady progress. Her friends were a constant source of support and for that she was eternally grateful. The only thing she lacked was her husband and as she went about her daily chores and duties, she recalled when she used to do them with him in mind. Despite what she’d told herself, she missed Rex Van De Kamp.

That night, just before she crawled into bed, she stood in the darkness of her room fingering her wedding ring thinking about the first time he’d slipped it on her shaking finger. Gently removing it, she sat it atop her nightstand in front of a framed picture of Rex she used to cry over when she thought him dead. She let her fingers run their tips deftly over his face as though it was the finest silk as she murmured, “I love you.”

On the other side of town, in his big, lonely bed, cold without love or passion to fill the emptiness, Rex rolled his wedding band with his thumb and forefinger, gazing thoughtfully at it. Bree was a conundrum. One minute it seemed as if she wanted to salvage their relationship and the next she acted as though she couldn’t get far enough from him. His poor heart. There were some things that surgery and medication couldn’t fix. He adamantly refused to expel the memories of her from his mind and as long as he breathed, that’s where she would stay. Never would he let her go. As sleep encroached his mind, he replaced his ring on his finger as he heard Bree’s voice recite the most important words uttered on their wedding day: “Til death do us part.”
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