Home > Cheater (Curious Liaisons #1)

Cheater (Curious Liaisons #1)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Prologue

Nobody ever tells this side of the story—but it’s important. Cheaters aren’t born, they’re made. Never forget that. You don’t wake up one day and decide to cheat, you don’t make a career out of it, and you sure as hell don’t want to end up hurting an endless number of people for your own psychotic reasons.

Sometimes.

Things.

Just.

Happen.

And other times.

What should happen, doesn’t, and what shouldn’t happen, does.

Such is life.

The life of a cheater.

This is my story.

You will hate it.

You will hate me.

You will laugh.

You will cry.

And in the end, you will understand.

You will.

I swear.

Because I wasn’t born this way—I became a cheater.

But there’s redemption for all of us. I have to believe that, or what the hell am I doing?

May 2012 Rehearsal Dinner Night

Reddish-brown hair slid through my fingers like silk. A shudder ran through me as the rightness of finally being with her hit me square in the chest. A warm thigh brushed across my leg and then moved, straddling me, holding me captive.

Morally trapping me.

Imprisoning me with each squeeze.

In a hazy distant fog, I realized something felt slightly off.

Her hair had never been that red.

Her thigh that warm.

And her laugh . . .

“I knew you wanted me,” she whispered in a coy voice that tried too hard to be innocent.

Huh?

Then all at once the lights came on.

Shit.

Shit.

Shit!

I wasn’t in my bed.

Or hers.

It was a mistake, a horrible mistake.

One I wouldn’t ever repeat if I could just make it out alive.

But luck had never been on my side.

Never.

So when the door jerked open, I already knew who it was, just like I already knew how it would end.

Either in tears or bloodshed. Maybe both? Kayla’s hazel eyes locked on mine, then very visibly shut down.

“No,” I whispered, my mouth moving, but nothing coming through my lips. They were numb—maybe with grief, drunkenness.

Yell! My body screamed—demanded I do something.

Fight like hell, MOVE!

But I was completely paralyzed with the actual realization that one false step had done this.

They say every man has a story.

Mine started the night I was found in bed with my fiancée’s sister.

Chapter One

LUCAS

“Lucas Thorn.” Jessica said my name the way all girls said my name—in exasperation with a hint of lust and a hell of a lot of breathiness—and always my full name, never Luke, or just Lucas.

I was Lucas Thorn.

The one time a girl tried nicknaming me, I laughed in her face and very quickly sent her on her way.

Then again, I’d been getting tired of her anyway, which wasn’t a big deal since I had an ongoing list of women—each of them was comfortable with the fact that she wasn’t the only one in my lineup of weekly screws.

Mondays were Molly, because, well, both started with an M, and with so many women in my life, my memory was absolute shit.

Tuesdays were either Tabatha or Cary, depending on which one wasn’t busy traveling with the airline they both worked for. They rarely flew on the same day. The good news? They were roommates, so I never had to get a substitute if one of them was flying. Because who the hell wanted that?

Jessica’s lips pressed into a pink pout, her shiny lip gloss giving me an involuntary shudder as I stepped away and lightly pressed my hand against hers. I was a noncommittal hand-holder, the way I was a noncommittal boyfriend.

Holding hands? Making out? Too intimate.

Sex was sex.

Anything beyond that was asking too much, and they were lucky enough to be with me in the first place.

Hell, maybe I was arrogant, but I had a waiting list. And I didn’t have time for a stage-five clinger in my life. Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt, only to have it happen one more time before I learned to do a very extensive background check on each chick I allowed into my private life.

“What’s up, Jess?” I said casually, pulling my hand away from hers slowly enough not to startle her into thinking I was jerking away from her touch. I waited for her to say something.

Jessica wasn’t typically a talker. She made her living as an inspirational speaker, so when we were together it was quiet time, which was fine by me. Most women talked too much in my opinion, and when you wanted good sex, talking had a way of ruining all the rest of the things I’d rather be doing with my mouth.

She took a deep breath. “I’m unhappy.”

I sighed. She’d been one of my girls for the past three months, and considering that the typical end date to any of my relationships was around month four, I’d known it was coming. I’d always sensed Jess was different. She wanted the American dream: happy husband, two kids, small dog named Bingo, and the minivan with soccer ball stickers on the back window.

“Should we talk about our agreement?” I motioned for her to sit and give me a second while I went to get our coffee. Only hers was ready, so I snatched it and brought it back to the table.

She took the cup and swallowed a large gulp, with her big blue eyes locking on mine for longer than necessary. “I think I’m ready to be done.”

“Alright.” I said it softly, as if it didn’t bother me that women used me just as much as I used them. “Today?”

   
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