“Is this what you want? Really?” Teresa asked as she looked down at Charles, her husband in disgust.

Things had been going downhill in their marriage for quite some time, but this was just going too far really. When they’d first met, they’d both been, well not poor, but not rich either. They’d bonded over a shared love of science and geek culture in general and had shared that love ever since.

At least she had thought they had, while she still had a job. While they had graduated from the same university, with the same degree, Charles had advanced quickly in his career while Teresa’s had stalled out. By the time they were married, Charles had insisted on a pre-nup as he was making significantly more than she was.

Within a year, he’d tripled his salary with several patents he’d been granted and had quite his job to start up his own company. Now he was worthy somewhere in the billion dollar range, all of it protected by the pre-nup.

In comparison, after her career had stalled, she’d leaned in to the doting wife angle which about a year ago ended up getting her fired for too many missed days when Charles had wanted to take a spontaneous trip to a tropical island.

Once Charles had figured out that she wasn’t even looking for another job, well, he started to take advantage of his financial position. At first it was little things, not even anything spoken, like a new membership to a spa/gym, or the unlimited expense account at her favorite hair salon. The inference was clear, if she was going to act like the doting wife, she’d better look like the doting trophy wife.

And she’d gone along with it, mostly, what was the harm in it?

Well, the harm was that he took her compliance as the go ahead to continue pushing the boundaries. Soon it was no longer unspoken, but said out loud. At first “suggestions”, then recommendations, then outright requirements. She’d had to tread the line between outright refusal and agreeing with everything very carefully, but there were times where she let it be known she wasn’t happy with it.

And that was what had lead her to this moment of defiance.

Charles had told her that from now on that when they were alone in the house together, that she need to “dress seductively” and “put herself on display”.

“Yes, yes that will do very nicely.” Charles replied through his wolfish grin and nodded as he sat comfortably in his chair.

Teresa rolled her eyes and then turned and walked away. She could put up with it for a few more months, as long as he didn’t get any ideas beyond making her walk around like some kind of barbie doll.

She headed back to her room and grabbed her phone, a new e-mail alert displayed on the lock screen and so she pulled it up with a smile on her lips, it was from her divorce lawyer.

She scanned through it quickly, the Lawyer indicating that the pre-nup was iron clad, but that there was a possibility of a beneficial outcome. While she’d never heard of this arbitration service that the pre-nup required them to use, her Lawyer had heard good things about it, that both sides were always quite happy with the agreement that had been struck.

Teresa shook her head and half smiled, who would have thought her entire future would hang on some company with a stupid name like “The Perfect Divorce Service”?

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