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Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his
memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia
must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true
identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked,
new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a
vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon
enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that
sometimes love falls short of redemption.
getting in the pool!It is freezing!”
“It’s November in Florida, Olivia.It’s seventy degrees out. Besides, it’s a
heated pool. Man up.” Caleb waded around in his boxers in the turquoise water
of the campus swimming pool. I tried to avoid looking at his muscles.
manipulate me into the pool by making a sexist comment,” I said, leaning down
to splash him in the face. He grabbed my wrist before I had time to withdraw.
Our eyes locked.
warned. For a second, I didn’t think he’d have the guts. Next thing I knew, I
tumbled headfirst into the freezing water.
I came up
gasping for air, my hair wrapped unbecomingly around my face. Caleb peeled it
“I can’t believe you did that!” I gasped,
shoving him on the chest. It felt like I was pushing on hot rocks.
“You look good
wet,” he said. “It would probably be easier to swim if you took off some of
him a searing look, I started a breaststroke toward the side of the pool.
“Ahh, not one for fun I see.” His voice was
light when he said it but there was a definite challenge in his tone.
it,” I mumbled, stopping a foot away from the ladder. I was the type of girl
that would ‘jump off of a bridge’ to spite my friends. I was wearing my good
underwear anyway. I ducked under the water and shed my polyester skin like a
snake. I resurfaced seconds later with just my skivvies on.
unconsciously mouthed ‘wow.’
“To your fun,” I toasted him with my sopping
wet clothes and then threw them at his head. He dodged and circled around to
where I was treading water.
“Nice lace,” he smirked, eyeing me without
not make it so obvious that you’re looking?” I felt violated. I submerged
myself under the water until only my head was visible.
“I thought our relationship was about
honesty,” he smiled.
“Pffffff,” I snickered, “our ‘relationship’ is
based on dares and blackmail.”
His eyes were twinkling. He had such
expressive eyes. I wanted to crush that twinkle and kick him where it hurt.
is such a harsh word,” he said, as he swam closer.
“You threatened to tell the school newspaper
that I was the reason you missed the shot, Drake.”
He was way
too close for comfort now. I began peddling backwards. There was a scar at the
corner of his right eye that I had never noticed before. It was just a faint
crescent moon, but somehow it made him look dangerous— in a sexy way. I shook
my head. These thoughts were not mine… they were Cammie’s— damn her.
you get that scar?” I asked.
I shuffled along the bottom of the pool on my
tiptoes to get away from him. He absently reached a finger out to touch it.
“I stole a
pound note from my grandfather’s wallet and when he caught me, he decided to
punish me with his walking stick.”
I felt one
of those, ‘this is why he’s messed up,’ moments coming on and I prepared myself
to understand him.
myself color red. I punched him on the arm as hard as I could.
off my bike when I was twelve,” he laughed, rubbing the spot where I hit him.
“A very boring story.”
it’s the truth,” I said, exasperated. “Someone like you doesn’t need to lie to
like me?” he asked. “You find me interesting, Libby?”
don’t, and don’t call me Libby. You know, you’re really quite simple and
boring,” I sniffed.
looking away from me into the water.
“Did you drop a piece of your jewelry?”
His attention had shifted so suddenly, I felt offended.
something down there at the bottom of the pool.” He was pointing to a spot
between our feet. I narrowed my eyes, trying to see what he was staring at.
wearing any jewelry,” I said impatiently, “it’s probably just a penny or
I nudged it with my toe. It was bigger than a
penny. Before he could say anything else, I ducked my head under the water to
retrieve it. When my head broke the surface of the water, Caleb automatically
it?” he was staring at my clenched fist.
“Let’s see,” I said theatrically, pulling my
fingers slowly away from my palm. It was not jewelry. It was an old penny,
flattened, and stamped with a message that entitled its bearer one free shot of
affection, a kiss. Before I realized what I was doing, I dropped the souvenir
into his palm.
“You’re full of tricks tonight, aren’t you?”
He was laughing… always laughing.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
could retort with something clever, Caleb reached out and scooped me around my
waist. Even in the cold water, his touch felt scorching hot. He pulled me
toward him and our bodies were pressed together, belly-to-belly,
chest-to-chest. I was so shocked, that at first I made no protest. I hadn’t
been this spatially close to another human being since I was an infant.He grinned, his eyes turning smoky with what
I perceived as lust.
I gave up
fighting and allowed my lips to be steered toward his. This is for Cammie, I
told myself. There was no ‘nice and easy’ with this boy. He grazed his tongue
along the inside of my bottom lip.He
was gentle at first, trying to coax my stubborn lips into some form of
cooperation. I responded with the only thing I knew: frigid prudery. Caleb, undaunted
by my lack of enthusiasm, pulled away from me. His hands were wrapped around my
waist, his fingers positioned right beneath my panty line. Our foreheads were
touching and my breath was coming out in little gasps. It was embarrassing.
back, Olivia.” His voice was commanding, and for a second, I felt a flare of
rebellion like I did when he instructed me to put on my seat belt. I swallowed
hard and closed my eyes. I didn’t win that fight. I probably wouldn’t win this
one either. I might not even want to win it.
I could do
it.Kissing was a no-brainer, like
eating or walking. His lips came back a second time and I bent my head toward
him, tilted like in the movies. I was ready this time, willing even. I jumped
when we connected and his lips, which were pressed against mine, stretched into
an amused smile. He laughed into my mouth. It was infuriating and incredibly
sexy. I tried to pull away, but he pulled me back. The kiss. The kiss. The
kiss.It was chocolate cake and fizzy
passion and goose bumps. No one had ever kissed me like that before.
did the strangest thing— he pulled away and held me at arm’s length. The spell
“Olivia…” His voice was rough.
I shook my
head. I didn’t want to hear what he was going to say.
You thought you could take him from me, but you lost. Now, that he's mine I'll do
anything to keep him. Do you doubt me? I have everything that was supposed to be
yours. In case you were wondering; he doesn't ever think about you anymore. I
won't let him go....ever.
Leah Smith finally has everything she has ever wanted. Except she doesn't. Her
marriage feels more like a loan than a lifelong commitment, and the image she has
worked so hard to build is fraying before her eyes. With a new role and a past full of
secrets, Leah must decide how far she is willing to go to keep what she has stolen.
She looks the same. Raven hair hanging wildly to her waist. She looks almost gypsy-like in her teal linen pants and a cream sheath shirt that hangs casually off one defined shoulder. I eye her gold hoop earrings, which are big enough to fit my entire hand through. They make her look exotic and slightly dangerous. She has always made me feel plain.
Her eyes rove over the handful of occupants in the diner, searching for a face she recognizes: an old man, a couple who share the same side of a booth, two servers folding silverware into napkins … and me.
I see the shock overcome her features — the parting of her lips, the slight spreading of white around her irises. Suddenly, she stiffens. Her eyes chase to the four corners of the room, and I know she is looking for him. I shake my head to tell her he’s not here. I take a sip of my coffee and I wait.
She moves with purpose toward my table. When she reaches where I am sitting, she doesn’t sit but stares at me expectantly.
“An old client?” She says dryly.
“Well, I am, aren’t I?” I motion for her to sit. I’d sent an anonymous message to her office, claiming I was an old client in desperate legal trouble. I’d asked her to meet me at a diner named Tiffany’s. I had no idea if she’d come or not, but it was better than showing up at her office.
She slides cautiously into the seat across from me, never taking her eyes from my face.
“Well, what the fuck do you want?”
I flinch. Louboutins or not, she’s still the same crass piece of white trash she used to be.
“I thought maybe you could look over this document for me.” I reach into my purse and pull out the papers I’d stolen from Caleb’s filing cabinet. Placing them on the table, I slide them toward her.
“What is this?” she asks. She eyes me distastefully. How dare she look at me that way? She has singlehandedly ruined my life. I’d have everything if it weren’t for her devious, overreaching hands.
I’d probably also be in prison. I push that thought away. Now is not the time for gratitude. Now is the time for answers. I poke the document in front of her.
“Take a look. See for yourself.”
Without moving her head, she looks at the papers then back to me. It’s a smooth, hard, impressive piece of intimidation. The art of her body language is something to be admired.
“Why would I want to do that?” she says.
She’s making me feel chilled. I get a flashback of being on the witness stand, and my heart rate spikes. I practice to see if I can do it too.
“It’s Caleb’s,” I say, only moving my lips.
I don’t know whether it’s the mention of his name or if my imitation of her body language is working, but she tenses.
A server approaches our table. Olivia reaches for the papers.
“Get her a coffee, two creamers.” I say, waving him away. He hurries off. Olivia, who is reading, briefly glances up at me. I spent almost every day with her for nine months. I know what she likes.
I sip my coffee as she reads, watching her face.
Her coffee arrives. Without looking up, she pulls the lids from the creamers and dumps them into her cup.
She lifts the mug to her lips, but halfway there her hand freezes. Coffee spills onto the table as she slams the mug down. Abruptly, she stands up.
“Where did you get that?”
She is backing away from the table, shaking her head. “Why is my name on there?”
I run my tongue across my teeth. “I was hoping you could tell me that?”
She bolts for the door. I stand up, tossing a twenty on the table and go after her.
I follow her into the parking lot and corner her by the newspaper stand. “You are not getting out of explaining why your name is on this deed along with my husband’s!”
Her face is washed of color. She shakes her head. “I don’t know, Leah. He never — I don’t know.”
She covers her face with her palms, and I hear her sob. That only makes me angrier. I take a threatening step toward her.
“You’re sleeping with him, aren’t you?”
She pulls her hands away and glares at me.
“No. Of course not! I love my husband.” She is clearly insulted that I would even accuse her of such a thing.
“I love mine!” My voice cracks. “ — So, why does he love you?”
She looks at me with true loathing.
“He doesn’t,” she says simply. “He chose you.” It pains her to give me those words. I can see the emotion spilling from her skin.
I hold up the deed and shake it. “He bought you a house. Why did he buy you a fucking house?”
She snatches the deed from my fingers and points to a date. “Did you miss this little detail? Long before you, Leah.” She shoves it back at my chest. “But, you know that. So, why did you really trick me into coming here?”
I swallow — a nervous reaction. She sees it and smiles cruelly.
“I should have let them throw you in prison, you know that.”
She turns away, walking toward her car door. Her statement infuriates me. I follow her, digging my fingernails into my palms, I breathe through my nose.
“So you could have him?” I blurt. My blood pounds in my ears. I ask myself that question all the time. I say it again. “You should have lost the case so you could have him?”
She freezes, looks at me over her shoulder.
I didn’t expect the truth. It frightens me. I open my mouth — force the words out.“I thought you loved your husband.”
She blows air through her nose. The action reminds me of an agitated horse. Her eyes rove from my shoes and land in disgust on my face.