Filthy Beautiful Lies Page 37

"What’s wrong?" I ask, crawling up onto the big bed beside him.

He sets down his phone and his eyes lift to mine. "One of my stocks is tanking," he says.

He’s lying. He wasn’t checking his stock performance. Before the screen went dark on his smart phone, I could see that he was texting with someone, his fingers flying over the keys as anger boiled up inside of him.

I let it go. Whoever it was, it’s not something he wants to talk about with me, and considering the progress we’re making, I don’t want to ruin it. Of course I’m undeniably curious about his past, but for now, I have to accept the pieces of himself he’s willing to share.

Chapter Fifteen


"I need to go to New York – take care of some things," I say to Pace in between reps.

I move away from the bench and wipe my brow with my towel. Pace takes a seat, gripping the bar with a confused look on his face. "Tell me this has nothing to do with seeing Stella."

"We both know I need to take care of this mess between us. This has dragged on way too fucking long."

"It’s a bad idea, Colton. You never had any restraint where she was concerned. I just don’t want to see you dragged back into something you worked so hard to untangle yourself from."

He’s wrong about one thing – I’ve never untangled myself. "That’s what this trip is about – I promise you that. Closure. Once and for all."

He lays back and I hand him the bench press bar. He pumps out fifteen reps, puffing out slow, even breaths. "And how many times over the past year have I heard that?"

He’s right. I had let her get to me – to suck me back in, but this time felt different. This time I have Sophie in my life. It might not be much, but I have something on the horizon with a beautiful, sweet girl. And my damn moral compass won’t let me pursue her the way I want until I’m free of the mega-beast.

We move onto squats, but he’s still eyeing me curiously. "Are you taking Sophie with?"

"Fuck no. She doesn’t know anything about me and Stella, and I prefer it that way. I was actually going to ask if you’d stop over, keep an eye on her."

"Don’t trust her alone in your house, huh?"

"No, nothing like that. I just don’t want her to get bored." She’s working with Kylie now, but I know from experience evenings can be hard all alone in that big house.

"You got it, boss." Pace grins at me, a goofy smile that instantly tells me all the ways he plans to entertain her. It makes me want to pummel him. Christ, I need to get my head on straight.

Chapter Sixteen


He hasn’t mentioned going to New York again and I’d almost forgotten about it. But when we reach his bedroom that evening, he heads straight into the closet, grabs a leather duffle bag from a drawer and begins stuffing articles of clothing inside.

"Are you packing?" I ask, entering the room behind him.

My side of the closet has filled out nicely with new dresses, jeans and tops. That one lone camisole still hangs haphazardly from a hanger and I still wonder about its owner.

"Yeah. I can’t put off going to New York any longer. I leave in the morning."

I nod, wondering if he’ll ask me to go along, but he doesn’t.

"It’s just one night," he says, reading my mind. "And I’ve asked Pace to come over and check on you."

"Okay," I murmur. An entire day and night without the promise of hanging out with Colton to look forward to? I’ll go stir crazy in this big house all alone, even with Pace stopping by. A plan takes shape in my brain. "I think I’ll call Marta for a girls night." I saunter away, leaving Colton in his closet staring after me with his mouth hanging open.


"Are you a candle? Because I want to blow you." I purse my lips and blow. Marta chokes on her wine, sputtering loudly.

We’re drunk and practicing pick-up lines to use on guys. After our second bottle of wine, the conversation took a turn for the dirty – beginning with Marta complaining about her lack of sex life.

"Oh! I’ve got one!" She rises to her unsteady feet and thrusts out her chest. "If I told you I worked for the post office, would you let me touch your package?"

I burst into a fit of giggles. She’s smiling so big, I don’t want to tell her it’s the worst pick up line ever. "It could work." I nod.

She plops down on the couch beside me and grabs the bottle to pour herself more wine. Quirking an eyebrow my way, she thrusts the bottle at me. "Want some?"

Peering down into my half-full glass, I shake my head. I better pace myself. It’s only eight o’clock and I’m decidedly buzzed.

"Seriously, why is it so hard to meet men in Los Angeles?" she complains, tucking her legs underneath her.

I shrug. "You’re gorgeous, you can’t seriously have problems meeting a guy."

Her gaze locks onto mine. "What about you?"

"What about me?"

"You and Colton. What’s the real story?" She wiggles her eyebrows.

I chuckle nervously. "Nothing. No story." My heart beat kicks up at the mere mention of his name.

She rolls her eyes. "Liar. Are you guys, like together?"

I shake my head. I don’t think so. I don’t know how to classify us. Our precarious start has led to something more, only I have no idea what. On my end, real feelings are developing. He’s driven, generous, utterly sexy and considerate. Of course I’m falling for him. But his own feelings remain tightly locked away. For all I know, he could be seeing someone else on the side. Although, I don’t know when he’d have the time. In between work, working out and me, he doesn’t have any free time.

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