Black Ties and White Lies: Chapter 37


I let her think about my words for as long as she needs. It’s a fact I’ve been sitting on for over a year now. I’ve had all the time in the world for it to sink in. She hasn’t. Her distant stare tells me all I need to know. She’s remembering that summer night.

Good. I love that she’s recalling it. It’s been all I’ve thought about for over a year now.

“What do you mean it didn’t stop that you wanted me?”

My hands wrap around her, pulling her into my body. So much has changed from the moment we stepped into this inn. We showed up here at each other’s throats, doing nothing but arguing. The tables have turned. We finally gave into each other and fuck did it feel good. Holding her in my arms, doing something as simple as taking a bath almost feels even better.

“Margo,” I say, my tone almost a warning. “I think you know exactly what it means.”

She spins in the bathtub, water and bubbles sloshing over the edges with the movement. Her knees stay between my legs as she sits on them, her eyes pinned on me. “You wanted me then?”

I scoff. “Don’t act like you didn’t know that.”

Her eyes search mine. I don’t know if she finds what she’s looking for as I stare back at her. Regardless, I don’t back down. I’ve wanted to talk about that night since the moment it happened. I’m ready to lay it all out on the table now, to tell her how much I fucking hated the fact she crawled back into my brother’s bed that night. He’d spent the weekend sneaking away from her whenever he could, fucking the staff in the pool house whenever Margo was busy.

I’d wanted to punch my brother when I happened upon him plowing into one of the housekeepers. I saw red when I realized he was being unfaithful to her. I’d never been in a serious monogamous relationship, but I’d never pretended to be either. He, on the other hand, had been with her for years. She deserved his loyalty—his faithfulness—and the piece of shit couldn’t even give her that.

“I always wondered…”

“Wondered what?”

“If you wanted to kiss me on that beach.”

I lean in close to her, needing to feel the press of her forehead against mine. “Want is a terrible word for it. I didn’t just want you that night. I needed you. Desperately. I coveted my brother’s girlfriend, and I didn’t give a damn that you were his. There was nothing more I wanted to do then prove to you how terrible of a fit the two of you were.”

I can feel her erratic pulse thump against the fingertips that press into her neck. “Why didn’t you then?”

“Because you ran. You went back to his bed, and I fucking hated the idea of it. It’d already been horrible enough that I’d heard your soft little moans coming through the door as I’d walked by that night, unable to sleep. It was worse knowing you crawled back in bed with him. That he could do whatever he wanted with you because you were his.”

“You heard us that night?” She looks shocked by the realization.

I grimace, remembering how livid I’d been that night. It was the first time a woman had ever captivated my attention—my affection—and it happened to be the girl my brother brought home to meet the family. “Yes,” I spit. “My room was the one next to yours, it was easy to hear.”

“Carter told me no one would.”

“He lied. He probably wanted me to hear. I’m sure he saw the way I looked at you.”

I can tell she wants to ask more questions, she just doesn’t know where to start. I’ll answer whatever she wants. I’ve already admitted to this much, might as well be up front about whatever she wants to know.

Water splashes as she leans in closer to me. I hold all of her weight, wrapping my arms around her waist. She rests her chin on my chest, looking up at me with her wide green eyes. “That night, he never,” she pauses looking around the room as she gathers her thoughts. “I mean I never you know…”

“No, I don’t know.”

“He didn’t make me…finish.”

I’m both relieved and angry. Relieved because lying in bed, listening to the sounds coming from her…it made me want to vomit. I couldn’t bare another second of being in that room next to them, imagining him fucking her, so I’d got out of the house. I’d been shocked to find her sitting on the beach—totally alone. Yet, I’m angry at how much of a selfish prick my brother was.

“I don’t want to think about that,” I confess. Even if she didn’t that one time, I still see red at the fact my brother ever had her. That she was his before she was ever mine. Deep down, I’m livid that I don’t even know if she is or ever will be truly mine. Everyone will think she is with the fake engagement, but that isn’t what matters. What matters is I want her to feel like she’s mine.

And I don’t know what to do with that fucking feeling.

It’s as if she’s completely in tune with me, knowing exactly how to tame the storm that brews inside my chest. She lays a chaste kiss to my lips. When she pulls away, I see the confirmation that neither one of us is willing to say out loud in her eyes. She may have been with him at one point, but right now, she’s here with me.

Turning around, she settles back into the tub, pressing her body against mine until it’s as if we’re almost glued together. I hold her tight, unknowing if I’ll be able to do this again once we leave the inn.

“I did crawl back in bed with him,” she begins. Her fingers stroke the top of my hand, her fingertip tracing the veins that travel up it.

I wince, loosening my hold on her for a moment. “Margo I—”

“Let me finish,” she snaps. “But that was after I snuck into the shower and touched myself thinking about…”

“Thinking about what?’

“Not what, but who…”

My chest squeezes. I hate it, knowing this woman has more of an effect on me than anyone has before. And more of one than anyone will ever be able to have again. “I’m hanging on by a thin thread here. Stop being vague. Who did you touch yourself thinking about?” I let the tip of my finger brush against the sensitive flesh between her legs.

She moans. “You, Beck. Not Carter, not anyone else. It was just you.”

Her body molds into mine in pleasure as I inch my finger in her as a reward for the truth. “It could’ve been me doing it, Violet, if you hadn’t gone back to him.”

“I never told anyone else that,” she confesses, wriggling against me as I remind her who exactly makes her lose control like this. “I never really even admitted it to myself,” she continues.

“Oh, but you’ve told me. And now I won’t ever let you forget it.”

“Beck,” she moans as I coax two fingers inside her.

“It should’ve been me that took care of you that night. Not my selfish brother who couldn’t get the fucking job done. And not you, either. It should’ve been me. You denied yourself and me by walking away.”

My thumb presses into her clit. “I couldn’t—”

I nod, my chin hitting her shoulder. “I know, baby. That’s why I didn’t blame you for it. But I couldn’t stay there any longer knowing he had you.”

“That’s why you left…” Whatever else she was going to say gets lost in the bliss of her orgasm. Her moans are loud, echoing off the small space of the bathroom.

I rub her until her fingers wrap around my wrist, stopping me. I place a kiss to the back of her neck, needing the connection. “Yes, that’s why I left unexpectedly that morning. I’d blamed it on a meeting, but the reality was, I didn’t want to see you with him. It was past that I didn’t want to see you with him, it was more that I couldn’t without feeling sick.”

She spins around again, taking my face between her hands. The gesture seems far more meaningful than anything between us before. It doesn’t feel fake or out of lust. It feels real, and the thought disarms me.

“Never again,” she promises.

I smirk, mimicking the way she holds my face by placing both my hands at her cheeks. “Well, that part is fucking obvious.”

She giggles, shaking her head at me. I lean in, playfully nipping at the tip of her nose. She squirms on top of me, the movement sending another round of bubbles and water over the edge of the tub. Then I emphasize my words by kissing the woman who has found a place in my heart, wondering in the back of my mind how long I’ll get to keep her.


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