Filthy Beautiful Lies Page 24

He takes a sip of his drink, stalling for time.


Sophie is watching me expectantly, waiting to hear about my relationship status. It’s not something I’m ready to discuss with her now, or possibly ever. Every damn muscle in my body is strung so tight I feel like I’m going to spontaneously combust. I’d been distracted as fuck at work again today, and came home to get a little relief in the form of an orgasm. Only I’d failed at that too.

I look up into the sweetest, most innocent pair of blue eyes I’ve ever seen and draw a shuddering breath. Sure, my last relationship had ended in disaster, but just because a beautiful, well-spoken, sweet woman is sharing my home, it shouldn’t turn me into a pile of hormonal goo at a basic question.

I need to man up. She’s seven years younger than me. I’d bought her for fuck’s sake. It makes me feel a bit like a creepy old man. Even though something tells me that’s not how she views me. No, when she looks at me I can see the pulse thrum in her neck, her cheeks blushing like a ripe berry. There is some chemical reaction, a basic attraction between us. She feels it. I feel it. Yet we both ignore it.

In my darker fantasies, I’d eat a girl like her for breakfast, but as I’ve gotten to know her and forced myself to take things slow, a different side of me was emerging. He is kinder, more patient, and open to exploring the possibility of a woman in his life for the first time in a long time. I like him.

Sophie’s still watching me across the table, still waiting to hear my response about why I’m single.

"I guess no one’s caught my interest in a while," I answer. It’s the truth. I hadn’t been looking for anything serious. Regular sex was the only thing I was missing – hence my impulse buy at the auction. I’d been in San Francisco for business when I learned about the auction – and bored, or just lonely, I’d gone if only to see what the fuss was about. I never truly expected to walk away with a woman on my arm. But Sophie’s trusting eyes had implored mine, silently begging me to get her out of there.

"Come on, what’s the real reason you’re single?" she presses on.

"Not discussing that."

"Play along. Just let me in a little, and in turn, I’ll answer anything you want to know." She smiles adoringly, batting her eyelashes.

Her offer is enticing. I wouldn’t mind getting deeper inside her head. If she wants the truth, I’ll fill her in. "In my experience women are interested in two things. Money and power."

She opens her mouth to protest and I hold up a hand stopping her. "You wanted to know."

She motions for me to continue, then folds her hands in her lap.

"You can argue all you want, but I’m not just speaking about the women in my life. It’s biology. Have you ever studied evolutionary science?" She shakes her head. "Women are looking for the biggest, baddest caveman out there - a provider to protect her and her offspring. It’s simple science."

She seems to accept my line of thinking and I continue, after taking another swig of my drink.

"They want a well-hung, devoted husband whose wealth can afford them the type of lifestyle they dream of. He works all day, slaving away to make a living while his trophy bride is fucking the pool boy." Or gardener, as it were. A kid barely out of high school who wouldn’t know what to do with his dick in his hand. "She has everything she ever dreamed of, but she gets bored spending her darling husband’s money all day and soon needs a new toy – something fun and dangerous to distract herself with. If it’s not the pool boy, then its pain pills and wine-spritzers at ten am. Trust me, Sophie, this is the world I grew up in. I know it well."

That last comment has her looking at me like she’s wondering about my own upbringing. Actually, my mom was so in love with my dad she never strayed, as far as I knew, and she passed away much too early. My dad was unfortunately the philanderer who couldn’t keep from humping his secretary. Just another reason why I don’t believe in the sanctity of marriage. I’ve seen it fucked six ways from Sunday.

I’d done everything I could think of to make Stella happy. The finest clothes, expensive jewels, flashy cars, taking her on dream vacations, yet nothing made her truly happy. Even coming home from work early to surprise her – she’d complain that I was interrupting her afternoon ritual. It left me messed in the head. I couldn’t do a thing right where women were concerned. Except in the bedroom. I never had any complaints there.

"Men think women are complex – and they are – but for the most part, they want to be left the fuck alone with his credit card." I drop my napkin to the table and push away my plate, my appetite vanishing.

Her posture straightens. "That’s not true at all. Maybe for some women – some horrible, deceitful women, but for most, they want passion, to be desired, loved and cherished." Her voice drops, going all whisper soft, and I realize she’s giving me a glimpse at what she herself desires from a mate.

"Can I ask you a question?" I say.

She nods.

"When you asked if I regretted bringing you here…do you regret going to the auction? Coming home with me?"

"No." Her voice is sure, steady. "I did what I had to do for my sister, and…" She drops her chin to her chest like she doesn’t want to continue.

I lift her chin with two fingers and force her eyes back up to mine. "Tell me."

She swallows, the long column of her throat moving in a pretty way. "This is going to sound weird."

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