Title: Why Lie? (Love Riddles #2)
Author: Carey Heywood
Release Date: Sept 12, 2016
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People here think they know me.
They assume things about me because of the way I dress and my tattoos.
I am so much more.
I thought you saw that.
So, I let you in.
You made it easy to fall for you.
Turns out I was the only one falling.
I hope you're happy.
No, that's a lie and you're better than I am at telling those.
Popping up on my elbow, I watch as he moves to the bathroom to take care of the condom. My eyes linger on his muscular back and oh so grabbable ass.
He was amazing.
Sure, we tumbled into bed pretty fast but it didn’t end up being the wham bam thank you ma’am I was scared it would be. Nope, this was something. It was new but it was something more than just sex.
He was into me and I’m so into him it isn’t even funny. Scary thing is, he’s such a nice guy even my parents would approve, and they hate any guy I normally like.
Nope, he’s different and for every night this week, he’s been all mine. Flopping back onto my pillows, I sigh just remembering how all mine he’s been.
I was working a closing shift at Lola’s, the diner my family ran. It had been a complete shit night with two waitresses calling out. I was up to my elbows in work covering for the both of them. Then he surprised the hell out of me by offering to help. We weren’t strangers; in a town as small as Ferncliff that’s impossible. Still, we were friendly, but we weren’t friends. We ran with different crowds.
He was like the apple pie he always seemed to order, where I was a cupcake covered in sprinkles.
After trying and failing to get someone else to come in, I had taken him up on his offer. I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun working. The entire night felt like foreplay. At the time I thought it was all in my head. I can be a flirt and I didn’t think I was his type. It was when he stayed to help clean and close up that it became clear he was flirting back.
After everyone else was gone, I asked if he’d like to come up to my place for a drink. He said yes. We never did have a drink. Nope, we were kissing before I even had the door opened.
He has been in my bed every night since.
At the sound of his footsteps, I lift my head. The front view is just as good, if not better than the back. He laughs at my blatant appraisal.
“Keep looking at me like that and you won’t be going to sleep anytime soon,” he murmurs, lying down next to me and pulling me into his arms.
“Maybe I’m not as tired as I thought,” I reply.
It’s a lie though. As much as I would want to play on the jungle gym that is his insanely hot body, there’s only so much sex instead of sleep my body can handle. All I want to do is pass out. Since he’s as comfy as he is hot, it’s likely that will happen in the next couple of seconds.
“What are you doing tomorrow night?” he asks, nuzzling the sensitive spot behind my ear.
“I have to close,” I reply.
“I’m meeting up with some friends. It sucks you’re working.”
Hiding my smile at the fact he admitted he wanted to introduce me to his friends, I kiss the underside of his jaw. “You can come here after.”
Since Ferncliff is a small town, I already know who his friends are. They all seem cool; I’m just not close with any of them.
His arms tighten around me. “I’ll probably be out late and you need to catch up on sleep.”
I lift my head and squint down at him. “Why do you have to be so logical?”
He grins up at me, pushing forward to press his lips to mine.
“Stop being cute and go back to sleep.”
“I’m not that tired,” I yawn.
He grins. Putting his hand to the back of my head, he pulls me back down. I don’t fight it. I settle in and, with a happy smile, I crash.
What seems like an instant later, he gets out of bed to turn off his alarm. “Go back to sleep.” He issues his command and seals it with a kiss to my forehead.
“Bossy,” I grumble, before drifting off again.
When I open my eyes again, he’s already showered and dressed. After our third sleepover in a row, he brought an overnight bag. His dark blond hair is still wet. It’s not fair how sexy he looks freshly showered and in one of his suits.
“Come back to bed,” I plead.
He grabs his shoes and comes to sit on the bed next to me. “I wish.”
Curving my body around him, I rest my cheek to his thigh. He pushes my hair back from my face, his fingertips caressing my earlobe. My eyes flutter closed at his gentle touch. He seriously has it all.
It sucks to say but before him, I was under the impression that I have had amazing sex in my life. One night with him proved me wrong and each night since has only reinforced that.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come over tonight?” I ask.
“It’s not about want. You have to work and I can’t bail on my friends. Trust me, I’ll want to be here instead.”
I smile up at him. “Okay.”
He kisses me, this time long and hard before he goes. Happily, I doze until my stomach demands I get up to feed it.
My day flies by in the way that time does and I head downstairs. One amazing perk about living in the apartment above Lola’s was no commute. I walk to the convenience store and buy a Heath bar. I always loved them and now they’ve turned into a private joke with myself. I am such a dork.
Admitting that to myself won’t stop me from eating this candy bar once my shift is over, lusting after the guy who shares its name. Once I’m back upstairs in my apartment I pull it out of the bag and set it on my table. Snapping a pic of my candy bar, I text it to him, adding that I’d rather have the real thing.
My phone vibrates in my hand before I have a chance to set it down. Grinning, I answer it.
“Did you like my pic?” I ask.
He chuckles before replying, “I can think of a few other things I wouldn’t mind a pic of.”
“No flirting since I don’t get to see you tonight,” I return.
“It’s only one night.”
Yes, it’s one night but I’ll miss seeing him.
“At least I have a chocolatey stand in,” I tease, trying not to let on how bummed I am.
“I’ll give you that, but no apple pie without me.”
“Ever?” I giggle.
He’s serious when he replies, “Yep.”
Silly as it sounds, planning future apple pie dates gives me a thrill. This thing that we have going is moving at light speed. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Gigi told me she took one look at Pop and knew she was going to marry him one day. It wasn’t love at first sight for me, but love at first night.
“Deal,” I whisper.
We say our good-byes since I need to finish getting ready for work. Deciding to save it for one of my breaks, I slip my candy bar into the pocket of my apron and hurry downstairs to start my shift.
As usual, we have a busy dinner rush. During each lull, I find my mind wandering to him. Each time I can’t help but smile to myself already looking forward to the next time we’ll see each other.
Work keeps me from daydreaming about him for too long and by the end of the night, I’m grateful for the chance to catch up on sleep. After I indulge in my chocolaty Heath goodness, I get ready for bed. My small apartment never felt this lonely before.
It hasn’t been that long but I already miss him. His scent, a faint hint of the cologne I’ve come to adore, clings to my sheets. I bury my face into them, inhaling deeply, wishing he was here with me. Hugging my pillow, my last thought before sinking fully to sleep is how much nicer it is to fall asleep in his arms.
It’s my alarm that wakes me the next morning. In my infinite wisdom, I scheduled myself a morning shift after a closing one. With Gigi slowly passing the reins of Lola’s diner over to me, she’s been having me make the schedule.
So far I’m still getting the hang of it. It seems the only person’s schedule I keep screwing up is my own. That’s what I get for trying to accommodate everyone’s requests by squeezing myself to cover all the holes. Wiping sleep from my eyes, the prospect of a giant cup of coffee once I get downstairs has me moving.
There’s already a line of folks waiting when one of our morning waitresses opens the door. It’s not like our hours have changed in the past few decades. Wiping down the counter, I greet folks as they come in. We don’t have hostesses; Lola’s is seat yourself. Most of the morning crowd opts for the stools along the counter.
I’m pouring Hank Furlong a mug of coffee when I hear something that doesn’t compute. Setting down the coffee pot next to the mug, I move down the counter in a daze.
“What did you just say?” I ask.
Aaron Daniels blinks up at me. “About Heath Mackey and Kacey Albright getting engaged?”
Oh God, I had heard him right. My stomach falls, crashing down like a bird shot out of the sky.
“They got engaged?” I ask in a robotic tone.
I’m there but not there. Half of me waits for Aaron to reply while the other half spirits away to comb through still fresh memories of him holding me, kissing me, and making my body his.
Gossip moves through this town like wildfire. There is no way I missed them dating. The last I heard, Kacey still held a torch for Jake Whitmore. It didn’t even matter that he pretty much lived on an oilrig off the coast. No, Heath was single. Unless part of the reason he had been so discreet with me was to keep Kacey from finding out.
It was nothing short of a miracle that no one clued into his spending every night this week at my place. I had assumed it was because we were new. That’s why I hadn’t spilled the beans to anyone. How could I be so wrong about him?
He nods. “I was sitting at the table next to them. Bought them a round to congratulate them even though they were both well on their ways to celebrating.”
My entire frame is so tense I wouldn’t be surprised if one wrong move would send me splintering off into a thousand pieces. “Is that right?” I manage.
He nods happily, having no idea of my internal turmoil. “About time that Albright girl stopped mooning over Jake Whitmore. That boy is in the wind. Jake’s not ever going to settle down. Heath’s a nice young man and she’s a sweet little thing. I’m happy for them.”
Mentally, I stand them up, side by side, Heath and Kacey. Aaron’s words echo inside my head, “Nice young man, sweet little thing, nice young man, sweet little thing.”
It’s obvious the stark difference between Kacey and me. She’s not the type of girl to fall into bed with. She’s the kind of girl you marry. Not once this past week did shame for sleeping with Heath even enter my mind, until now.
Heath isn’t the first mistake I’ve made in the romance department. That doesn’t mean this blow doesn’t hurt. Before him, somehow, someway, part of me always had an inkling or a whisper of proceeding cautiously. Not with Heath, though. Nope. I was ready to hand him my heart that first night.
For the first time ever I was a hundred percent myself with someone. I was happy and excited, basking in how right we were together. We fit in a way that seemed special.
What happened? I don’t understand. He woke up in my bed yesterday morning.
“Thanks,” I numbly nod and walk away.
Each step sends a painful jolt up my body. Each step reminds me of what I had foolishly ignored our first night together. He was out of my league. It seems a better option was available to him, so he took it.
The chatter at the diner only increases, Heath and Kacey’s name coming at me over and over again like attacking bees. The sting proves to be more than I can handle.
It’s not every day you find out the man you’ve been falling in love with just got engaged to someone else.
Why Now? – Released March 22, 2016
He was my everything.
I loved him.
For over twenty years.
And everyone knew, including him.
But he never loved me back.
So I moved on.
Now he's back, and wants to make me his.
He's everything I've ever wanted.
I should be happy.
But there's one problem.
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with 13 books out and many more to come. She was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Ever the mild-manner citizen, Carey spend her days working in the world of finance, and at night, she retreats into the lives of her fictional characters.
Supporting her all the way are her husband, three sometimes-adorable children, their nine-pound attack Yorkie and their needy Ninja cat.