The Morrow Family Saga, Series Four, 1980, Book One: Once Around the Ride,Chapter Six

Belinda was pissed. Never before had she ever been forced into doing something she had not wanted to do. She’d had everything planned. The hook, the line, the sinker. She had not wanted kids even though she had thought of making the false claim of being pregnant to entrap Matt.

But Matt had stunned her with the question of children. The question, naturally, had soured her on the relationship. No children. She hated children.

But Matt wanted children. she would give him one, then leave. Her plans, specifically taking all of Matt’s money. the prenup had seen to the prevention of that. It had been kind of him to set up a trust for her and put a small sum in it. But she had no say in the amount or when she would be given the account. Or whether there would be more or not.

But the contract had been pretty straightforward and iron clad. An account had been set up and $500,000 put in it to accrue interest. She supposed that this account had been meant for her to be able to acquire a home  and to keep her for as long as it took for her to find something-someone-else to subsist on. And it would keep her for a few years.

Hell. She could withdraw it all and add it to her account in Malibu. After all, Matt was not the first cowboy she had ridden. He wasn’t the first Rockstar she had trapped into a relationship. She’d had others. Many others.

He was just the first man who’d been one step ahead of her. he had been the first to safeguard himself. And to refuse to let go of his family. She frowned. He had even been the first to desire children.

The rest had readily given up all that had been previously important to them. But not Matt. Matt’s family was more important to him than she was. His brothers and sisters, all children, were going to move in with him. Them. She couldn’t stand the thought.

She was extremely jealous of them all. She wondered why he was so close to them. What had driven him to take them in? after all, they were nothing more than leaches. All children were leaches. They stole a woman’s youth and vitality. They stole money from their fathers.

And none were ever grateful. At least none that she had ever known. Once a woman had a child, her partying days were over. Her life as a groupie was over.

It was decided then. She would give him his child. But she wouldn’t stick around to raise it. She had too much left to do. She still had other musicians to destroy, more money to strip from its owners, more partying to do, and more life to live. She wasn’t going to waste any more time with Matt than she had to.

She took a deep breath. She would share Matt’s bed just a while longer. Long enough to get pregnant for him and give birth. After that, she would leave. She had to plan her escape. She had to know where she was going to go, when, and how she was going to get there.

She would figure out how to dissolve the prenup trust after she got far enough away from Matt and his family. She hated family. Hers had been abusive. Her mother had been a drunk who beat her. The long procession of stepfathers that had come into her life had been unable to keep their hands to themselves. They had destroyed her innocence before she had a chance to experience much life.

By fourteen, she had already run away from home. By sixteen, she had snared her first celebrity. By eighteen, she had already had three under her belt. Now, at thirty, she had been once around the ride and then some. She had experienced almost everything. Everything, that is, except real love.

***

Matt sat behind the console at the studio, head in his hands. He knew that it was only a matter of time before Belinda left. It didn’t matter how. The question now was when.

He already knew the why. He had asked when they were going to have a child together. He had also taken the initiative to create a prenup, something she hadn’t expected. Most of all, he had refused to acquiesce to her demands. To him, there had been no reason to compromise, to give in to her demands. There had only been a need to make a counterdemand. Something she would not be expecting.

It had not been done out of anger, not really. He had done it mostly to protect himself. She had made it clear that she had intended to do to him and he couldn’t allow that. He had to protect his best interests while seeing to her future. Thus, he had asked Chaz to create an iron clad prenup that could not be overturned.

There would be no diamonds. No gold or silver. No fame or fortune. Just enough money to make sure she could survive a few years, long enough to find someone else to play. More than enough to  succeed if she played her cards right. But she would have to change. She would have to stop living the life she currently lives and settle down. She would have to stop partying.

He doubted she could quit her lifestyle long enough to do anything of the sort, but he knew only time would tell either way. She had been a groupie too long. Played men way too many times. Been the end of too many careers.

A life like that was almost impossible to walk away from. Too many times, the cycle was unbreakable. Hell. He had watched his mother live a life almost identical to what Bel was now living. The only difference had been that money had not been at the core, and his mother had not sought to destroy the men…only herself.

It was a lifestyle that usually killed those who lived it. It was now killing his mother. It would kill Bel as well. Sooner or later, it would kill Bel.

He had hoped that his first would be his last, lasting forever. Or, at least, until death till they would part. Sadly, he could see that it wasn’t supposed to be. She had never been serious.

Sure, he would go ahead and marry her, if she so desired. But divorce loomed big on the horizon. He could see it. He knew that she could see it.

He knew that she would want a short marriage. They needed to tie the knot for the tabloids as well. The divorce, on the other hand, could be a quiet one. Or not. It all depended on her.

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