Man of My Dreams by Faith Andrews: Exclusive Declan POV

Cover done by: Mae I Design

Synopsis

Mia Murphy may be married to the man of her dreams. But the man in her dreams is the one that got away—her high school crush.
Mia’s stuck in a rut, just like every other stay-at-home mom, and the only thing saving her from her monotonous routine is her perfect husband, Declan. He’s gorgeous, he adores her, and the man stole her heart with his sexy singing voice. Mia feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she discovers that Mr. Perfect is not Mr. Faithful. Mia is devastated. Everything she once believed about Declan and their marriage is now covered in a big cloud of doubt and regret. On impulse, she kicks the cheating bastard out, pushing them into a separation that could mean the end of the picture-perfect couple.
But when Mia receives an invitation to her high school reunion, she finds herself abandoning the present for the oh-so-alluring pull of the past. Although her heart still belongs to her husband, inescapable thoughts of her crush, Noah, resurface. And ten years later, Noah isn’t afraid to make his move. When the build-up of fantasies and ‘what ifs’ comes to a head, sparks fly and it’s Mia’s turn to question if her marriage is everything she wants out of life. Searching for answers, Mia dives head first into dating Noah, falling further away from her husband and closer to her old flame.
But Declan’s not giving up so easily. Mia is his one and only and he’s not about to let another man win her heart.
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Exclusive Declan POV

“Come on, Daddy. Let’s watch the wicked witch and the munchins already!” Cara is pulling at my arm, trying her best to drag me away from my CD collection. Charlie is none the wiser, just staring at the both of us with her thumb in her mouth, Pinky the dancing bear hanging from her arms. My girls. My precious girls. I can’t bear to live without them anymore—all three of them. My daughters might hate me for bailing on our special night, but they’ll thank me in the long run.
 I’m rummaging through boxes of dusty CDs like a raving mad psychopath but I’m on a mission and I have an idea. Well, my master cohort and I, Grace, have idea. Because there has to be a back up to the first…the one I hatched all on my own. The one that Mia can never find out about.
 “Baby girl,” I turn to Cara, “munchins are gonna have to wait. Give Daddy a second.”
 “No…” Her lip quivers. “You promised. And you already took eighty hours on the phone with Aunt Grace.”
 Charlie’s like a sponge, sucking in the mood her sister throws off and mirroring her emotions.
 “Daddy! Witch! Now! Pwease?”
 I ignore the soon-to-be tears for another few seconds as my fingers crawl through the box, scanning the titles and artists. Finally, I land on the perfect one! I pluck it from my stash, smiling, reminiscing, hoping.
 “This is it!” I shout, holding the square plastic lifeline in my hands. “Mommy loves this song, girls and the witch can wait for Mommy, right?”
***
One Hour Earlier
Charlie’s throwing one of her fits—her I-am-too-attached-to-Mommy, why-are-my-parents-juggling-me-around fits. I don’t blame her. I want to do the same thing. I’ve watched for months as my wife prettied herself up for another man and dropped the kids off to me to so she can have her fucking freedom. Asshole! I remind myself. You are one stupid asshole for letting this go on. But how was I supposed to know it would go on this long? I thought for sure she would have come to her senses by now. I came back from Hong Kong and went back on my promise to myself to just let her go. I practically begged and pleaded, but in the end I couldn’t beg her to want to be with me. She had to want that all on her own and right now…she wanted him.
 I have to hang on to some hope that this is just a retaliation to what I’d done. She needs to get him out of her system and then she’ll coming running back. Especially when Noah is finally out of the—
 I ignore the guilt that’s taken residence in my tiresome body for the last few days. I did the right thing by making that phone call—I know I did, but something nags at me as if I messed with fate.
 Fuck it! Fate needs a kick in the ass sometimes, too.
 Charlie’s sobs have finally subsided, but I know that once her mother drives off, the waterworks will start all over again. I turn to Mia in an attempt to—I don’t know, it’s just a fucking attempt at anything. “Mia, you’re more than welcome to come in for a little while, get them settled.”
She looks up at me from her crouched position in front of our daughter, her expression softer than I’ve seen it in a while. “Thanks, Declan, but I really do have to get going.” She turns back to the girls, clutching each of their chins and feeds them her bullshit lines about how she has an appointment and that this is our special time together. I wonder if they’ll remember this when they get older—resent her for her choices, especially if we don’t wind up…Nope! Not going there again.
 After her schpeal about their Daddy sleepover, she drops her voice down to an exaggerated whisper, but I hear what she says in their tiny ears. “Daddy’s afraid of the wicked witch. You have to hold his hand when she appears, okay? Don’t make him watch it all alone tonight.”
 Cara busts out in this adorable high-pitched laughter. Charlie hesitates, but then follows suit. “Okay, Mommy. We’ll see you tomorrow. I love you.” The girls bum rush their mom, hugging and kissing, and just like that all is forgiven and forgotten. God, why can’t it be that fucking simple? Maybe I should tackle her with a hug and kiss and see if I get the same reaction.
 “I love you, girls. Be good for Daddy.”
 “We will, Mommy. Bye.” The girls run off into the house, dragging some of their belongings with them.
 “I’ll be right in, lovely ladies.” I yell behind me, staring at Mia as she gets in her car. My heart breaking all over again.
 This is it. One more time to try and stop her from making the same mistake over and over. It’s heart wrenching—this letting go. More like bullshit! I can’t take it anymore. We haven’t had an argument in a while. She probably thinks I’ve given up, but I’ll never give up. Not when it comes to the love of my life. Maybe she needs a blow below the belt…“What are you doing, Mia? Don’t you miss our family?”
 “Excuse me?” Her eyes go wide as she grips the steering wheel.
 Good! I got to her! “When is this little game of yours going to be over? Aren’t you tired of pretending to be someone you’re not?” I’m trying hard not to sound or look too desperate, but on the inside I’m already broken, grasping at straws. How does she not know this is killing me? Why is it not killing her?
 She pulls the driver’s door shut, glaring at me through the open window. “Yeah, I am tired of pretending, Declan. I’m tired of feigning perfection. I thought our family was perfect, until you stopped fighting for us. And now I’m just tired of pretending you give a shit.” Her hands grip the steering wheel again. When did she become so strong, so brave, so fucking pigheaded…emotionless? I think I see tears brimming her perfectly made-up eyes—the eyes she’s dolled up for him—but instead she remains…blank. “The girls are waiting for you, Dec. You should go inside.”
 I contemplate at least ten thousand different scenarios in my head; pulling her out of the car and ravishing her with a come-back-to-me-because-you’re-mine kiss; slashing the tires so she can’t go anywhere; getting on my knees and pouring out every single one of my pathetic emotions. Each one of those actions would speak the same thing: I want you back, Mia. Please come back to me.
 But instead of acting or saying any of those things, in lieu of some valiant effort to fight, I remain silent, like a coward, and let her drive off.
***
Of course, now that it’s too late, I want to fight. I need to fight for her. It’s like I need air…I can’t live one more second without trying to get her back.
 “Cara, do Daddy a favor?”
 “Sure. What?” she says, innocently.
 “Can you take Charlie to do pee pee so we can start the movie and watch with no interruptions?”
 “Inta—what?”
 I laugh, tucking a curl behind her ear. “If she’s squirming through the movie she won’t stop her whining and we’ll miss all the good parts. See if she has to do pee pee. Please?”
 “Arggh!” she huffs, rolling her eyes. “Can’t you? She makes me sing silly songs while she tinkles.”
 Oh, I know the tune…it’s kind of grown on me even if it is a little annoying, but as much as I sympathize for Cara, I need her to do me this solid. “Please, baby girl? I need to call Aunt Grace. She knows how to work the new movie player and I don’t.”
 “Fiiinnneeee.” She finally concedes. “But she better not have to do number two.”
 Ten minutes into my conversation with Grace—who has been my rock through this whole separation—we’ve formulated a plan and I know now what I have to do and where I have to go to do it. Slime ball took her to Sharky’s. Our town’s version of The Alibi. Ha! Karma is a bitch. I don’t know how she’s going to sit through that date and not think of me and our first date and so many after that. I sang to her on stage at The Alibi that very first night and told her how much I wanted her. I proposed to her on the same stage and promised her a lifetime of happiness. Tonight—on a different stage—I’m hell bent on reclaiming what’s mine.

About the Author

Faith Andrews lives in New York where she is happily married to her high school sweetheart. They have two beautiful daughters and a furry Yorkie son, Rocco. If she isn’t listening to Mumford and Sons or busy being a Dance Mom, her nose is in a book or her laptop. She’s a sucker for a happily ever after and believes her characters are out there living one somewhere . . .

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Comments

  1. So great! I can’t get enough!!