Home > 7 Days and 7 Nights

7 Days and 7 Nights
Author: Wendy Wax


Chapter One



Olivia Moore’s day began with a cheating husband and went downhill from there. This time the cheating husband didn’t belong to her. Of course, he didn’t belong to the wispy-voiced woman on the other end of the phone, either—a fact Olivia, as host of WTLK Radio’s Liv Live, felt compelled to point out.

“The man has a wife, Clarice.”


“No, no ‘buts.’ Let’s recap the facts, shall we?”

Olivia ticked her points off on fingers that her audience could not see. “You’ve never been in his home, and you can’t call him there. You don’t go out together in public. He’s never available on holidays. Your dates take place in hotel rooms.”

The sniffling began on the other end of the line.

“What does this tell you, Clarice?”

More sniffles.

“This man is not available, Clarice, because he’s married.” Olivia’s tone turned dry. “And unless you’ve been living on a desert island for the last year, you know that I’ve had some personal experience in this area.”

Clarice stopped sniffling long enough to laugh a little.

“The bottom line here is, he’s married, you're miserable, and his wife probably isn’t turning cartwheels, either.” Lord knew she hadn’t been when she’d finally stopped pretending that nice, safe, dependable James was just working late.

“Married men do not belong in the dating pool. They’re like shoes you ordered online that just don’t fit. They may look great, but the pain is not worth it and as soon as you try them on you know you have to send them back.”

Olivia settled her headphones more firmly in place and squinted out through the small rectangle of glass to the radio station control room beyond. The producer of her call-in advice show, Diane Lowe, cradled a phone between her ear and shoulder, her fingers flying across her computer keyboard as she typed in a list of callers waiting to go on the air with Olivia. After each name, she typed a brief summary of what he or she intended to say.

Scanning the monitor in front of her, Olivia noted four calls holding, two of them in agreement with her advice to Clarice. The other two thought Clarice should proceed more slowly.

Olivia drummed her fingers on the desk and wondered how many Clarices her own ex-husband had dated. If you believed social media, there had been

truckloads of them. In the end, of course, the actual number hardly mattered; one or one million, the damage was the same.

Olivia sat up straighter, her thoughts leading her to ask, “Have you noticed that your boyfriend is the only one who seems to be enjoying himself?”

There was a sob. A hiccup. The blowing of a nose—all the more graphic for lack of accompanying video—and then a final sniffle.

“Can you hear me, Clarice?” Olivia leaned into the microphone. She could practically feel Clarice nodding her head.


“Good, because I want you to listen carefully.”

A barely audible sniff, and then, “Okay.”

“Get rid of the man, Clarice. Dump him. Send him back. It doesn’t matter what method you choose. Just do it.”

Olivia hit the “drop” button to kill the call and, without allowing herself time to stop and think, moved on to the next.

She let half of the women have their say, totally aware of the irony of her advising the "other woman” when she’d spent almost six months imagining fates worse than death for James’s last fling. Then she moved on to a new caller with a new problem, hoping this one wouldn’t hit quite so close to home.

“Rachel, hello. What’s happening?”

“Hi, Olivia. It’s, um, about my new boyfriend. And my, um... feet.”

Olivia heard a snort of laughter from the control room, mercifully out of microphone range, and saw Diane shoot a triumphant fist into the air. Olivia felt the same fine rush of adrenaline; only in radio could the topic move from philandering to feet in less than fifteen seconds.

Olivia tucked a stray strand of hair firmly behind her ear and got down to work. For several minutes she extracted information from her embarrassed caller. In a

husky voice Rachel described the hot new boyfriend who only laid hands on her body long enough to get to her big toe.

Olivia made a mental note to devote a future program to foot and other fetishes. More calls came in, and she started contemplating a book on the subject. Idly, she considered titles. Maybe Frenzied Feet? or Hung Up on Hangnails?

Glancing down at her own feet in their cushy Nikes, she tried to remember how long it had been since her last pedicure.

Her schedule allowed exactly no spare time for either toe sucking or pampering. In the year since her embarrassingly public divorce, she’d moved her call-in radio show, Liv Live, from Tampa, Florida, to WTLK in Atlanta and seen her audience expand exponentially.

The three hours on the air every morning were the most visible part of her day, but the articles she wrote on a regular basis and the fulfillment of her multi-book contract gobbled up what little free time remained. And that was without the promotional appearances the station insisted upon.

“Rachel, this isn’t a particularly unusual fetish as fetishes go. And it’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you.” She stood up to pace the postage-stamp-sized room—a highly unsatisfying experience for a pacer of her magnitude—while the husky voice described what incredible shape her toes were now in and offered graphic detail about what her boyfriend liked to do to them.

The walls of the tiny room pressed inward as Olivia realized that her caller's feet were having a much better sex life than Olivia’s entire body.

She stopped pacing and waited out the moment of dead air while Rachel of the much-loved toes worked up to the real reason for her call.


“My boyfriend just took a job in the shoe department at Saks. He has his hands on other women’s feet all the time.” Her voice broke. “He comes home from work

whistling every day.”

Olivia bit down hard on the inside of her cheek and reminded herself that this was a legitimate problem to Rachel, one that deserved her full and serious consideration. Unfortunately, a glance through the window to the control room told her that neither her producer nor the news anchor getting ready to go on at the top of the hour felt any such obligation; they shook with silent laughter, their bodies doubled over with mirth. Who could blame them? Her own self-control hung by the slimmest of threads.

“You know, Rachel, as long as you have no reason to believe he’s stepping out on you, I’d be careful not to jump to any conclusions. In fact, I suggest you keep your feet planted firmly on the ground and—” Rachel dissolved into a fit of giggles while Olivia made one last stab at actual advice. “Remember, it’s your feet, I mean, you, he runs home to every night.”

The opening strains of the show’s theme music in her headphones gave her an out.

“Saved by the bell,” Olivia thought as she gratefully leaned into the microphone one last time and closed the show with her signature tagline. “I’m Dr. Olivia Moore, reminding you to live your life... live.”

Olivia removed her headphones and gathered up the notes now strewn across the table. Pushing the microphone back on its retractable arm, she began to clear her things out of the way. In the control room on the other side of the glass, she could see Diane doing the same. Opening the door that separated them, Olivia popped her head into the control room.

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