As it turned out Dominique didn’t have to go to Joel’s home. He showed up early the next morning.
Weary from a horrible night’s sleep, her eyes still swollen from crying, Dominique allowed Joel to come
in after answering the door in her nightclothes.
“I apologize for coming so early, darling, but I was worried about you!” His words faded as Joel took
note of their surroundings. The house was in shambles. Colorful, fragrant shambles, but a huge mess
nonetheless. “What happened?” Noticing her injured fingers as Dominique wrapped her robe tighter
about her, he gently grabbed her hand in concern. “How did you hurt yourself?”
Dominique snatched her hand away, her voice shaking as she finally spoke. “Destroying your bloody
roses, that’s how. And damn you to hell for showing up here, trying to act concerned. We both know
you don’t know the first thing about love!”
“Dominique, what is the matter?” Joel demanded. “It’s a damn wonder your feet haven’t been cut
to shreds with all the broken glass lying around. Here, let me carry you to the sofa.” Dominique waved
away his arms, remaining where she stood. “Whatever possessed you to destroy your flowers?”
“I saw you,” Dominique managed, her voice cracking as fresh tears erupted. She jabbed a finger at
his chest, her voice rising in anger, “I saw you last night!” The look on Joel’s face turned to one of
anxiety. Surely Dominique hadn’t seen what he himself could barely remember––his encounter with
“How could you go to bed with that woman?”
Joel’s eyes widened at the bleak realization Dominique had indeed seen him with Allison.
“Dominique, let me explain.”
“There is no explanation for what you did. You claimed to love me.”
“I do!” he interrupted.
“How can you be in love with me and so easily succumb to another woman’s wiles?”
“I had too much to drink, sweetheart. I know that’s no excuse––,”
“You’re damn right it’s no excuse!” Dominique cut in. “You cut my heart out, Joel. And not only did
you betray me, you turned on Derek. What pray tell are you and that bitch plotting against him?”
“It’s nothing, really. Montford will bounce back once the dust settles. But you, darling, you’re my
only concern right now. Once you calm down you’ll realize that I love you. I can only apologize again for
what happened with Allison, that little whore.”
“We just became engaged yesterday and by last night you were in bed with another woman. Try
“My only defense is that men are of a different mindset than women. It may not be right, but men
are simply incapable of remaining faithful to just one woman forever.” Joel flinched at her cry of
outrage, knowing his words were a poor attempt at trying to explain away a drunken infidelity. “Women