A Wife’s Sacrifice
a Valentines Day special
Men of Honor Monday’s are short exclusive scenes about previous characters in the Men of Honor series and the future generation.
They give you a peek into their lives and maybe even a hint of what’s to come.
Please note that some details are subject to change if the need arises, especially when it comes to the Next generation.
Happy Reading, KC Lynn ♡
With my face inches from my bedroom mirror, I finish the final touches of my makeup by adding a bright red lip, the vibrant color making a bold statement. After a smack of my lips, I step back and give myself a once over, a confident smile slowly working its way over my face.
Coop isn’t gonna know what hit him.
Doing a little spin, I admire the way the bottom of my dress flirts against the tops of my thighs. The little black number that I bought just for this occasion is the most flattering dress I have ever owned. It also cost me a fortune, especially with the lingerie I added in afterwards, but I’m not the least bit worried about it. If there was ever a time to splurge it’s now.
It’s been years since I’ve spent a Valentine’s Day with my husband. Actually, it’s been forever since we’ve had any time alone. Being a cop’s wife is never easy, but being the wife of a Sheriff is even harder. Cooper’s time is always spread thin when it comes to his commitments. He takes his job seriously, honoring his duty to watch over this town and its citizens. He also makes sure to have time for our children, coaching Beckett’s little league team and escorting our precious little girl to the father/daughter dances they have at school. It’s just one of the many things I love about him, but it also means sacrificing more of my time with him, which was little to begin with.
I usually don’t mind. Truly, I don’t, but sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s really… lonely. So lonely that I find myself waking up more often than not with an emptiness in my heart. I don’t remember the last time I got to wake up in my husband’s arms or kiss him goodnight.
All that changes tonight though. Yes, siree. Tonight there will be no Sheriff McKay or mom and dad. Just Kayla and Cooper. As much as I love the other roles of our lives, I’m really looking forward to it being just the two of us which is why I went all out.
We’re going to start the night off by dining at the new swanky restaurant in the city. The waitlist is a mile long, but thanks to a client of mine I was able to hook us up. I’m hoping to steal a few dances from Officer Sexy before heading to the beach where I will have dessert waiting for us. That’s when the real fun will begin, I even bought an extra can of whipped cream for the occasion…
Tiny shivers of pleasure trickle down my spine just thinking about it. It’s been way too long since I’ve had my husband in every way and I’m making up for it tonight.
With that thought in mind, I grab my perfume off the dresser, dabbing a bit on my wrist before touching my neck and even dropping a dab between the fantastic cleavage I have going on. Just as I finish putting on the dainty diamond bracelet that Coop gave me all those years ago my phone rings.
Grabbing my black clutch that rests on the bed, I reach inside and pull out my cell to see a flashing picture of my handsome husband on the screen.
“Well if it isn’t the sexy Sheriff himself,” I greet in that saucy voice that always drives him crazy.
“Hey, baby.” Exhaustion coats his tone, something that is becoming more and more common. It’s just another reason why we both need this night so badly. “You at home?” he asks.
“Sure am. I just finished getting ready and boy am I excited for you to see what I have on, Officer Sexy. If you hurry we might just have enough time to get down and dirty.”
His tortured groan fills the line, one that sounds equaling turned on as it does… disappointed. It’s the latter that sends my heart plummeting.
“Everything okay, Coop?”
“No. It’s not.”
I already know what he’s going to say before he says it.
“I’m sorry, Kayla, but something came up and I’m not going to be able to make dinner tonight.”
My deflated heart morphs into anger. “No!”
By the brief pause that fills the other end of the line it’s clearly not something he was expecting me to say. “What do you mean ‘no’?”
“I mean no, Cooper! Whatever has come up put it back down or put it on someone else.”
“It’s not that simple.”
“The hell it isn’t!” I fireback.
“No, you look! Figure it out like you do for everyone else.”
“I don’t have a choice here, damn it!”
“Yes, you do,” I cry. “You always have a choice and I’m tired of it never being me. Do you have any idea what I went through to get us these reservations tonight? Do you have any idea the amount of work that I put into it?”
Do you have any idea how lonely I am and how much I need you?
I manage to hold that last part back.
“Jesus, Kayla, it’s not like I have fucking paperwork to get done here. There’s a massive pile up on the freeway right now with barrels of gasoline all over the fucking place.”
“Get someone else to take care of it!”
“There is no one else!” he bellows back. “What part of that don’t you understand?”
“I’m done understanding, Cooper! I’m done with always being the one to sacrifice. Actually, I’m just done with it all.” The last part is out before I can stop it but I can’t regret it because it’s the truth.
“What the hell does that mean?”
“It means exactly the way it sounds.”
“Sheriff!” The distant call penetrates our conversation. “We need you over here.”
I shake my head while trying to hold back the sob lodged in my throat.
“Look, I gotta go. I’m sorry, Kayla. I will make this up to you, I swear.”
“Don’t bother,” I choke out. “Go take care of your obligations, Sheriff, and I will take care of myself, just like I always do.” Hanging up, I throw my cellphone aside and drop down on the bed.
The angry rhythm of my heart begins to hollow as I look around our empty room, taking in all the pictures of our family. Precious memories from another time. A time that seemed so much less complicated and less… lonely. Days at the beach with the kids, town fairs, and Fourth of July picnics with friends and family. Granted, he would always come late but that was okay. Because at the end of the day, when he was finished being there for all the people of this town, that was our time—my time. I always went to bed feeling his warmth around me, getting the best parts of him. Now, more often than not, I crawl into a cold bed and wake up with a loneliness that seeps to the very depths of my soul.
The painful reminder brings on a grief so strong it takes my breath away and it isn’t long before the tears start flowing. I selfishly cry for myself and the perfect night I had planned, for the guilt that I put on Cooper, but more than that I cry for the loneliness that is starting to find its permanent residence in my heart.
When I’m all cried out, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and hate how pathetic I look. All that time spent was pointless. Not that it matters since I have nowhere to go anyway.
I consider picking up the kids from my parents house. We could spend the night watching movies and shove our faces full of junk food, at least I wouldn’t be alone then. But I quickly remember the special night my parents have planned for them and decide not to take that away from them.
Instead, I push off the bed then grab the picnic basket packed with fruit and alcohol before heading out of the house, deciding I will celebrate alone. Something that has slowly become my reality.
It’s hours later by the time I’m driving down the long gravel driveway that leads to my house, darkness long since falling. The stress of the night weighs heavily, but not as heavy as the guilt that I’ve felt since telling Kayla I wouldn’t be making the dinner plans she had made for us.
“You always have a choice and I’m tired of it never being me.”
If only that were true. If there had been a choice it would have been her, it would always be her, but unfortunately that’s not how it works. There were only two deputies on duty for the evening, one a rookie and the other just barely ranking higher than that, they were not equipped to deal with that kind of call. If Knight had still been around I would have forced him to do it, but he left early and was smart enough to shut his phone off, not that I can blame him. He’s been working a lot of overtime, too.
I’ve been considering putting in a request with the city to get the districts rezoned and after tonight I plan to do exactly that. Our department gets the most calls out of any other station and we are the smallest. Tonight’s fiasco should have been North Charleston’s problem, they were closer, but as usual the call went to our switchboard, ruining what would have been a really hot night for me with my wife. Now, I’ll be lucky if I even get to sleep in the same bed as her let alone fuck the hell out of her like I had planned to. I have a feeling not even the new charm I bought for her bracelet will get me out of this. A gift that I just now realize I forgot at the office.
“Damn it!” My fist collides with the steering wheel in a moment of frustration. I contemplate turning around but the thought becomes no more than an afterthought when I pull up to the house to find all the lights off and Kayla’s vehicle gone.
Where the hell did she go?
Fishing my cell out of my pocket, I hit her number. It rings several times before going to voicemail. “You’ve reached Kayla, leave a message after the beep and I’ll call you back as soon as I can. Unless you’re my husband. If you’re him then go sit on a cactus and get bent. For anyone else, I’ll call you back. Byyyeee.”
I grunt at the message yet can’t stop a smirk from appearing. She’s as sassy as the day I met her. She also sounds drunk which has me a little concerned. She doesn’t drink often and if she drinks when she’s mad she’s a ticking time bomb. The memory of my smashed up truck all those years ago works its way to the surface…
At the beep I leave a message. “It’s me. I know your pissed, but call me when you get this. I mean it, Kayla. We need to talk.”
Hanging up, I decide to try Julia. If anyone knows where my wife is she will.
Jaxson is the one to answer her phone. “You have really shitty timing, my friend.”
It’s always bad timing for him. I wish it was bad timing for me right now too but since it’s not he can suck it up… “I need to talk to your wife.”
“Because I need to find mine.”
There’s a slight pause. “I’d ask but I have a feeling it’s a long story, something we both don’t have time for.”
Julia’s giggle fills the line. “Hey, Coop, what’s up?”
“Any chance you know where Kayla is?”
“No. I thought she was with you. Don’t you two have big plans tonight?”
I clear my throat. “We did but… I had to cancel.”
“Oh, Cooper. You didn’t.” The blatant disappointment in her voice makes me feel even more like shit.
“I didn’t have a choice, all right,” I snap then take a breath, instantly feeling bad. “Sorry, It’s been a long night.”
“It’s okay,” she says softly. “I get it and I’m sure Kayla does too, but she must have been so disappointed. She was really excited to spend the night with you.” Her words drive that stake deeper into my chest. “Especially since she’s been feeling so…”
“What?” I ask when she trails off.
She quickly backtracks. “Nothing.”
“Nothing my ass. Out with it, Julia!”
A mumbled curse leaves her. “I have such a big mouth.”
“Yeah you do and it’s about to get even bigger. Now spill it.”
Thankfully, she’s smart enough to do exactly that. “She has made a few off handed comments lately that have me a little worried.”
“What kind of comments?” I ask, beginning to feel worried myself.
“Things like how much she misses you. How alone she feels and…”
“And?” I press.
“She said some days it feels like she’s wading through this life alone, like she doesn’t have a husband anymore.”
It’s a powerful punch to the chest, sending that guilt inching further up my throat until it burns a hole right fucking through it.
“I’m sorry, Cooper,” she whispers.
I swallow past what feels like a thousand razor blades. “Any idea where she might be?”
“Maybe the beach? She planned for you guys to go there after dinner.”
I’m backing out of the driveway before she even finishes. “I’ll try there first. Thanks.”
“Good luck and don’t worry, Coop. Everything will be okay. This is you and Kayla we’re talking about.”
I wish I felt as confident as her but after this new information I’m not so sure. Hanging up, I punch the gas, not wanting to waste another second. The entire drive to the beach, I go back over our phone call.
“I’m done understanding, Cooper! I’m done always being the one to sacrifice. Actually, I’m just done with it all.”
I thought she was just angry. I thought she was just lashing out. Clearly, I was wrong…
A sick feeling forms in the pit of my stomach, a certain measure of panic building until I feel like I can’t breathe.
Her feelings are validated. It comes with the job, but it’s always been this way and it was never a problem before. Why now? And why the hell would she tell Julia this and not me? That bothers me the most. She should have trusted me with this because I’m the only person who can do a damn thing about it.
Well, no more. I’m getting to the bottom of it tonight, even if I have to drive around town all fucking night looking for her. Thankfully, that turns out to be unnecessary because as I arrive to the beach I see one vehicle in the entire lot and it’s my wife’s. Relief fills my chest as I park next to it.
The salty ocean air invades my senses as I exit my truck and make my way to the secluded spot that we haven’t been to in years. A place we used to visit frequently before having kids. Julia and Jaxson spent a lot of time here too until they found the lighthouse. We even spent the girls’ graduation night here. If memory serves me right, I fucked up royally then too, but it ended with making Kayla mine forever. Tonight will go in the same direction because I refuse to accept anything less. I won’t lose her, especially not to the job.
I end up finding her in the exact spot I expected, but closer to the shoreline. She faces the water, a blanket draped around her shoulders while a fire flickers next to her. Her arms are wrapped around herself, but even from this distance I can tell it has nothing to do with the breeze from the ocean and everything to do with what I have been oblivious to. She looks sad and alone. How no wife should ever look, especially mine.
Pushing forward, I make enough noise so that I don’t startle her. Her back subtly tenses at my approach, but it’s the only sign of acknowledgment I get. She never once turns to look at me, not even when I take the spot next to her. She stares straight ahead, holding an almost empty bottle of champagne in her hand.
“How did you find me?” she asks, her voice practically unrecognizable.
“I called Julia. She thought you might be here.”
“Figures,” she grumbles, but doesn’t seem all that mad at her friend.
“I called you first.”
Even though I figured as much the flippant response still has my jaw locking. It’s one of the few rules I have. She’s to always have her phone on and always answer it if it’s me.
“Run across any cactuses on your way here by chance?” she asks, lifting the bottle to her lips for a generous gulp.
Despite her sarcasm, there’s no smile, no playfulness, no… Kayla.
I fucking hate it.
“Talk to me, Kayla.”
She’s quiet for the longest moment before her voice comes out barely more than a whisper. “There’s really nothing left to say.”
“Fuck that. We both know there is a lot to say.”
She remains silent, not giving me an inch. Instead, she lifts the mostly empty bottle of champagne to her lips again.
“Enough!” I rip the champagne from her hand and toss it behind me. “We’re going to talk about this whether you want to or not.”
She finally turns to look at me, letting me see everything she has kept hidden up until this point. Her blue eyes are stark with anger yet bloodshot from tears, a good amount of pain and defeat mingled within. It’s a look I don’t think I have ever seen on my wife before.
“What do you want me to say, Cooper, huh? You want to hear how mad I am at you. You already know this!”
“I don’t care. I want to hear it again. I want to hear it all. I especially want to hear what you told your friend, but didn’t think you could tell me! I want the fucking truth!”
She isn’t the least bit confused by the statement. She knows exactly what I am talking about. “You sure about that? The truth can hurt.”
“I always want it, and you know it.”
She lifts her chin. “Fine, here it is. I’m tired of living our life by myself. I’m tired of crawling into a cold bed every night because you get calls all hours of the day! I’m tired of waking up alone because you had to start your day early again. I’m tired of going to outings by myself and watching my friends laugh and be doted on by their husbands, feeling envious because I remember what if felt like to be loved like that.” The heat in her voice turns to anguish, every word shredding me from the inside out. “You want the truth, Cooper? The truth is, I love you more than anyone else in this world, but sometimes being your wife is really fucking lonely.” The last of her words trail into a gut wrenching sob as she buries her head in her knees.
Unable to hold back another second, I reach over and scoop her up into my arms, bringing her onto my lap. I cradle her close, burying my face between her neck and shoulder. “I’m sorry, baby,” I whisper, my lips brush against her skin, tasting her pain. “I’m so fucking sorry.”
“I know you are,” she cries, “that’s what makes this so hard. I get you’re in a tough place, Cooper. I know you made a commitment to this town but you also made one to me too, damn it and I’m tired of sacrificing so much of my heart for complete strangers. I’m mad that they get you more than me. It might be part of the job but it still isn’t fair.”
I hold her closer as she continues to sob, hating the agony in her voice. “You’re right, it’s not. So say the word, Kayla, and I’ll walk away for good.”
Her head snaps up in a bout of surprise. The tears of sorrow streaming down her face makes this all the more easy to say. “What are you talking about? You would quit?”
“If that’s what it takes,” I say without hesitation. “I can find something else. Something that will have me home more.”
She stares at me like I’ve lost my mind. “You’re nuts. You can’t quit. This town would fall apart without you and we both know it.”
“I would rather this town fall apart than you and me.” My hand lifts to her face, stroking her tear stained cheek. “I love being a cop, Kayla, but not nearly as much as I love you and the kids. I can withstand losing anything, but not you. Never you.” Just the thought makes me fucking ill.
She covers my hand with her own, leaning into my touch. “You’d never lose me, you big moron.”
A slight smirk twitches my lips. There’s my wife…
“I don’t want you to quit, Coop. I love you for who you are and what you do, but I can’t keep going the way I am either,” she whispers. “I’m losing you. I have been for a long time.”
“Never, baby. I’m right here.”
“No, you’re not,” she argues. “Even when you’re home your mind is elsewhere. I feel like this job is taking so much from the both of us. It’s been so long since I went to bed with your arms around me that I don’t even remember what that feels like anymore.”
I let go of a heavy breath, knowing everything she says is true. “I know and I promise, no more. I will put in a call to the city tomorrow and have them rezone the districts. It will help take some of the load off the station. I’ll also put in for some vacation time.”
“Vacation time?” she mirrors doubtfully.
“Yep, an entire week. We can somewhere. Anywhere you want.”
Her gaze studies my face. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“Very. What do you say?”
She chews her bottom lip, thinking it over. “I like the idea obviously, but I’m not sure what kind of time the kids can get off school and—
She rears back. “What do you mean ‘no kids’?”
“No kids, Kayla. Just you and me. We can do a family trip later this year, but this time it’s just you and me.”
“Just us?” She repeats softly, gazing at me with so much longing it makes my fucking chest ache.
“Just us, baby.”
“Can we go to Hawaii?” she asks hopefully.
“Is that where you want to go?”
“Then Hawaii it is.”
She lets out a squeal of excitement and throws herself further against me. The impact has me landing on my back with a chuckle.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” she plants kisses all over my face.
“Anything for you.”
She smiles down at me. “Are you sure we aren’t terrible for leaving our kids behind?”
“Fuck no. People do it all the time. Why can’t we?”
“True.” She nods. “But lets plan a family vacation soon. Then it won’t have them feeling bad that they can’t come on this one.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Maybe we can go to Disney World?” she suggests excitedly. “We can see if the others want to go, too. Jaxson and Julia have been talking about taking Annabelle.”
“I’m good with that.”
I’ll go anywhere as long as she is there…
That smile on her face radiates even further as she sits up, straddling me. My cock nestles between the apex of her warm thighs beneath her dress. A dress I am just noticing now and jesus is she a fucking sight, even with her make up smeared from tears she is still the most beautiful fucking sight I have ever seen.
“Thank you for coming for me.”
That fact that she is even thanking me proves just how bad I fucked up.
“I’ll always come for you, Kayla.” Reaching up, I cup her cheek again. “I promise, I will make this better, but I need you to promise me if it ever gets like this again you will tell me.”
“I promise,” she whispers.
“Good. I’m sorry I didn’t make dinner tonight.”
“I got you a gift,” I tell her, “but I accidentally left it at the office.”
That brings another smile to her face. “You did? What did you get me?”
“A new charm for your bracelet.”
“You did, which one?”
“Coincidently, it’s a wave to represent this place.”
“Yep. I was going to get you another baseball bat but figured you have enough of those.”
She throws her head back on a throaty laugh, the sound hitting me just as strongly as it ever has. “You’re still hung up on that truck business, huh, Officer Sexy?”
I grunt. “Not hung up, but I’m not going to let you live it down either.”
It’s a lie. I forgave her that night, after getting into the worst fight of our lives. I also had to remind her what she meant to me then too.
“Fair enough. Want to know what I got you?”
By the suggestive sound in her voice I have a feeling I am really going to fucking like it. “Tell me,” I order, unable to keep the husk out of my tone.
She reaches behind her, unzipping her dress enough to pull it over her head, revealing black lace and a whole lot of skin.
A growl shreds my throat as I fist the garters at her hips.
She shakes a delicate finger at me. “Don’t you dare rip this off, buster. It was a fortune and I would like to wear it again. Maybe in Hawaii.” She gives me a suggestive wiggle of her brows and starts unbuttoning my uniform shirt, trailing a painted fingernail down my skin as she does. “If you didn’t already know it, Officer Sexy, I plan to have my way with you there. Every— single—night.”
The sensual tease has me tearing the lace from her hips.
“I’ll buy you new ones in every fucking color.”
Her laugh echoes through the salty, humid air as I flip her over, reversing our roles. She moans at the feel of my stiff cock between her thighs.
“I’ll give you Hawaii, Kayla, but tonight is mine.” Unable to hold back a second longer I love my wife in every way, making sure she knows exactly who, and what, is most important to me, something that I will continue to do until the day I die.