Excerpt Part 1: Norrell's Fiasco In New Orleans
“Norrell, do you recall how you got back to the hotel?”
“Yes, I remember. I had no trouble finding my way back.” Norrell sounded very confident.
"Oh, you didn’t,” he said sarcastically. “You had no trouble finding your way back? Like hell, you didn’t. Let me tell you exactly how you got back. Two police officers escorted you here. From what they told me, you were sitting on the ground, out cold . . . drunk. Apparently you had more than one glass of wine. The officers became concerned when you never got up.” Norrell's face was blank and she did not look directly at her husband. “They brought you here, but miraculously, your senses weren’t too far gone. You were able to show them which hotel you were staying at. But the most serious aspect of what you did is this—you went out into a strange city that you know nothing about, and on top of that, you left without me, someone who would protect you. You were out there without my knowledge.”
Reuben got up from the couch, walked over to the French doors, and peered into the streets. “You could have been hurt. While I’m here lying in bed, sleeping, thinking that my wife is here, laying next to me, safe and sound.” He turned and walked back toward her. “But noooo, you decided to go out bar hopping, and to add insult to injury, you got drunk to the point that you passed out. How could you have been so stupid and irresponsible? You knew better, but I think you just didn’t give a damn.” Reuben threw his hands in the air, disgusted. “You didn’t give a damn about me, and most of all, yourself!” Reuben took a breath for a moment, and then he proceeded to speak again. “I’m very disappointed with you, Norrell. You took a huge risk. I can’t express to you enough how important it is that you keep up your image. You are Norrell Stacey, the wife of doctor Reuben Stacey.” He looked at her intensely as he made his next statement. “If you go down in the gutter, so do I. You must never forget that. I’ve surrounded you with the finer things in life. Don’t abuse it. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, Reuben, very. I suppose saying I’m sorry for what I’ve done will not make a difference, will it?” she asked with apologetic eyes, really feeling bad for what she’d done.
“To be honest, no. Being sorry won’t change what you’ve done. Saying that it won’t happen again might.” Reuben walked out on the balcony. People were out on the street, starting all over again—the partying, getting drunk, and sleeping with strangers they’d met in a club. It was all so predictable. He’d wanted Norrell to see something other than New York and the northern states. He’d thought that New Orleans would have been a great place to visit, but now he wondered if it had been a mistake.
Next excerpt part 2