Filthy Beautiful Lies Page 39

My cheeks go bright red, but I force a laugh from my lips. Pace doesn’t know – he couldn’t possibly, I remind myself. "I’m doing good. You don’t have to worry."

"He likes you, you know."

I nod. I want to believe that. It’s crazy how much I can miss him. The house is too big and feels lifeless and empty without his presence.

I move to walk Pace out, but he stops me.

"I can lock up."


Just before he reaches the bedroom door, he turns back to face me. "Just so you know, he would never cheat. He falls hard, gives people way too many chances and is kind and generous to a fault. Be careful with him."

I strip out of the dress with Pace’s strange warning still ringing in my ears. I throw on one of Colton’s t-shirts. Now that I’ve grown used to sleeping with him, with his warm arms around me, tonight I’ll have to settle for his scent.

Luckily the bed is big enough that I hardly notice Marta curled up on the opposite end.

I’m drifting off to sleep when my cell phone pings, informing me of a new text.

Colton: Are you awake?

My mouth curls into a happy grin and I hit call rather than reply to his text, eager to hear his deep, rumbly voice. I burrow myself under the covers so as not to wake Marta.


"Hi," I return.

"Hi, sweetness. How was your girl’s night?"

Hearing the nickname reserved just for me and his gruff voice soothes me more than I could have imagined. I look over at Marta’s sleeping form in the bed next to me. "It was fun. How is…everything going there?"

"Eh. It’s to be expected, but I hope to have all this figured out soon so I can put it behind me."

I hate the not knowing. "Will you tell me…"

"Not yet. Just trust me, okay?"

I nod, before realizing he can’t see me. "Okay." The crazy thing is, I do trust him. So far, he’s given me no reason not to. "Will you be home tomorrow?"

"I have to stay another day," he says, his voice somber.

Oh. Tomorrow is Sunday. What business could he possibly have on Sunday? "Is it work or personal?"

"Sophie…" He lets out a soft groan. "I wish I could explain it all to you, but I don’t want you to hate me."

"I could never hate you."

"You promise?"

I yawn, unable to hold it in a second longer. "Uh huh."

He chuckles, sending little vibrating tingles all through me. "Get some sleep, sweet girl. I’ll see you on Monday."

"Okay." I nestle into the pillow, hating that I have to wait another day to feel his strong arms around me.

Chapter Seventeen


The trip was a complete bust. I’d wasted the last several years of my life on someone who I now realize was never worth my time, and one weekend in her presence hadn’t fixed a damn thing. I don’t know why I’d thought it would.

With a woman like Sophie in my life – someone so kind, generous and pure – it had opened my eyes to something more. What I’d had with Stella had never been the deep, soul-catching connection I was looking for. But something told me I might have finally found what I’d been seeking in Sophie. She’d auctioned off her virtue to save her sister’s life. Who does that? She’s special and amazing in so many ways. And now I’m eager to get home to her.

I wonder, despite the strange master/slave start to our relationship if we have any shot at something real.

When my plane finally touches down at the hanger, I strap my leather duffle bag to my bike and take off like a bullet. The only thing on my mind is clearing my thoughts of my disastrous weekend and getting Sophie’s warm, pliant body in my hands.

As my bike roars down the Pacific Coast Highway, the desire to see Sophie and to be near her rages through me. I could never have imagined that spending two nights alone after spending so many with her snuggled warmly beside me would have affected me so profoundly. But I know that it has. My brothers would say I’m going soft – and they’d be right – but I don’t care.

Tearing through the mudroom, I check the kitchen and den in search of her. Finding the downstairs empty of everyone except the household staff, I take the stairs two at a time and haul ass to my bedroom, deciding it’s the best possible place I could find her anyway.


Same with the master bath. She’s not here.

I call Kylie who confirms she’s not working today.

What the fuck?

I try Marta next. No answer. Has everyone just dropped off the face of the planet today?

Unable to temper the anxiety coursing through my veins, I change into a pair of trunks and decide to swim laps and burn off this excess energy while I wait for her to get home.

I run into Beth on my way to the pool who confirms no one’s seen Sophie.

Seventy-two laps later my body’s tired, but my mind races on. I climb from the pool, leaving a soaking wet trail and collapse onto a lounge chair to wait. She has to come home sometime, right? Unless she already found out and she… No. She’d give me a chance to explain at least. I have to believe that.

When I open my eyes sometime later, Sophie’s standing over me, her long hair falling like a wave onto my chest.

"Colton? Wake up. You’re going to burn out here."

I blink several times, the harsh afternoon sunlight causing spots to dance in my eyes.

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