Dirty Lies [Complete]

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Summary

Adam Davis - golden boy, who is still haunted by his past. Arianne Powers - the girl who broke his heart. Five years after their break-up, Adam's career as a professional football player comes crashing down due to injury and he moves back to town. But an unexpected encounter with the girl who broke his heart brings the realization that no matter how hard you try, you can never truly outrun your past. Because soon it becomes apparent that Baby Powers has been keeping secrets and hiding dirty lies...

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
Talita Lawrence
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
44
Rating:
5.0 42 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1 - Adam


"She rolled in like a thunderstorm on a scorching summer’s day. And she woke up a storm inside of me..."


“I’ll be right back.” I motioned my empty glass towards the bar, and she nodded.

“Would you like another one?” I rested my hand on her arm for a second, playing the part of the good, caring boyfriend.

Except, I wasn’t...

“I’m still going with this one, thanks.” Olivia smiled at me and I slid my hand off her arm.

She was a nice girl. Pretty, with platinum blonde hair and blue eyes that reminded me of the sky. And she was exactly what I needed in my life right now. She was safe. Available. But most of all, very willing and able to warm my bed at night. Because I was never at danger of feeling anything. I didn’t want a serious relationship. I wasn’t ready to be tied down. It was what worked for me right now.

“Be back soon.” I turned around, making my way to the crowded bar, as I felt the heat of her gaze burning on my back. There sure as hell was nothing wrong with the sexual chemistry between us. But I sighed because I knew damn well that sooner or later, I’d be breaking her heart. Just like so many other carbon copies before her. That’s what happened every single time. And about halfway to the bar, weaving my way through the crowd, I caught a glimpse of something that made my mouth run dry...

Surely not...′ I shook my head, trying to get rid of the mental flash that had made its way inside my head. It was inconvenient as hell. It was unwelcome as hell. It was a part of my past that I wanted to forget about. It was a giant fucking mistake, from beginning to end...

My eyes darted over the crowd. My heart beat faster in my chest. It fucking beat faster in my chest, almost like I was able to feel something with it... And then I caught another glimpse. A bigger one this time.

Seeing her, shook me inside. It was like an unexpected earthquake, rattling my insides, unearthing a flood of memories and emotions that I’d suppressed and tried to forget about for years.

Somehow, my feet carried me over right to where she stood, to the side. It was involuntary. I sure as hell wasn’t planning on it. But I had to see her, up close. I had to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating the whole thing, and losing my mind...

And the closer I got to her, the less I could fucking breathe. It felt like something was choking me. It might well have been the past...

She wore a tight-fitting white dress. Looking all pure and innocent. And so devastatingly beautiful, at the same time. She was a little older - it had been a good five years since the last time I’d seen her, after all. But she was like the first rain in spring. Impossible to miss. Full of life. So viciously breathtakingly beautiful in her intensity...

She was talking to someone. A striking girl with long, dark hair, whom I recognized as Eden Matheson when I came closer. But I only spared Eden a second of my time, because all my senses were in overdrive, focused on the woman in the white dress, standing next to her...

It was her, alright. She hadn’t noticed me, yet. But I knew it was probably only a matter of time... I had no fucking idea what I was going to say to her when she noticed me. Or even why the hell I was walking over to her, to begin with. But sanity and reason had never been two words I’d associated with Arianne Powers...

And then, like a bolt of thunder, the earth seemed to tremble around us as our eyes met for just about the first time in five years... Her full lips were stained with red lipstick. And they parted mid-sentence, as she inhaled sharply, and her gaze licked all over me. Much like I suspected I was devouring her with my eyes as well...

Eden’s head turned, as she noticed Arianne’s reaction. She was looking at me and I think she was smiling, but I couldn’t be sure. Because I sure as well wasn’t looking at her...

“Adam - hi!” Eden said, and I nodded absentmindedly in her direction. Unable to tear my gaze from HER from a second.

Arianne was still looking at me, her red lips parted, her chest heaving as she breathed shallowly... And all I kept thinking, over and over inside my mind, was that a mistake had never, ever looked this beautiful in my entire life...

“Hi,” I said as I joined them, and Arianne was still frozen in place, as though carved from beautiful, cold stone.

“Good to see you again. Let me introduce the two of you to each other.” Eden offered, completely unnecessarily. But she had no idea... no idea that there was a thick, densely written encyclopedia of history between us.

“Adam Davis - this is Arianne Powers...” She started to say, but I cut her off right there.

“We know each other.” My voice was stoic. It didn’t betray an iota of emotion. It completely belied the raging inner turmoil I felt.

“Oh! Of course! I forgot you all must have gone to high school together...” Eden said with a jovial smile. But she was the only one who was smiling, just then... and that was not even a quarter of the real story, either...

Arianne was still looking at me. And I was unable to tear my hungry eyes away from her. Because she rolled in like a thunderstorm on a scorching summer’s day. And she woke up a storm inside of me...

Our gazes clung hot and fierce. But she looked vulnerable as hell. Scared, almost. There was so much damn history between us...

Eden must have realized that something was wrong. Because neither of us said anything for a good while.

“Is everything okay, Ari?” Eden placed an arm on Arianne’s upper arm, and my gaze involuntarily followed Eden’s hand to the smooth, silky expanse of skin it rested on. And although I hated myself for thinking the damn thought, I wished just for a moment, that it was my hand resting on skin that I remembered felt like silk underneath me...

Arianne swallowed, visibly, and closed her mouth. And she looked vulnerable as hell. So damn vulnerable, for some reason, with something that looked like raw fear in her eyes...

“Yeah. I... I need some water I think.” She breathed out the words. And it was the first time in just about five years that I’d heard her voice again. And just like the rest of her, it was beautiful. It was like a melody that you couldn’t get out of your head, no matter how hard you tried.

“Wait right here - I’ll get you some water. I’ll be right back. Adam - would you mind waiting here with her for a second?” Eden asked, sounding concerned, and darted right off, without waiting for my answer.

And we just looked at each other... neither of us could find the words...

“Hi.” I finally broke the tense silence hanging heavily in the air between us.

“Hi.” She exhaled, and I could see the rapid movement of her chest, with every breath she took.

“It’s been... a few years.” I sounded cold. I was probably behaving like a bit of an asshole, I don’t know. But I couldn’t fucking think straight...

“Five.” She said, and then her cheeks flushed crimson, and she shook her head. Still looking as though she wanted to flee as far away from me as she could.

Her eyes were wide as they were locked on mine. If I had to guess, I’d say she felt threatened by me, for some reason...

“Not like I was counting or anything...” She mumbled to herself, but I still heard.

And part of me wanted to smile at that. But a bigger part of me didn’t want to show a hint of a crack in my stoic facade.

“The years have treated you well.”

That was the understatement of the fucking year - by a mile.

“Thank you.” The color seemed to have drained from her face. She looked as though the wind might just blow her over, just then.

“Are you... are you just visiting, or are you back in town?” She asked, and there was a strange emotion in her voice. And again, it sounded like fear, for some incomprehensible reason...

“I’m back for good. I only moved back a few weeks ago. You?”

“I just came back last week, actually...” She replied, sounding kind of unsure about that answer, for some reason.

We were making small talk. But it was clear that there was an ocean of unspoken questions. A black hole of unsaid things between us...

She nervously tucked a strand of her long hair behind her ear. And I noticed a bright flash as a ray of sunshine collided against a piece of jewelry she wore on her finger... My eye darted to her hand, and I could’ve sworn I felt a pang of something again... I couldn’t be sure though. It had been so damn long since I’d felt anything. Just about five years, to be exact...

“Congratulations are in order - it seems...” I cocked my eyebrows in a challenge. I was burning to ask her questions about that. But I didn’t. She was no longer a part of my life. She chose to walk away, back then... I suppose I had no right to ask...

She looked self-conscious and another blush crept up her cheeks as her eyes darted to the ground.

“Th-thank you.”

And just then, in the most prime example of piss-poor timing, Olivia tapped me on my shoulder, then linked her arm through mine, just as Eden arrived back with some water.

“There you are - I was getting lonely over there by myself!” Olivia wore a brilliant smile, completely tone-deaf to the tense situation she’d just walked into.

“Hi - pleased to meet you - I’m Olivia!” She said brightly and held out a hand to Arianne, whose eyes darted quickly to mine again before she looked at Olivia, and her lips curved into a tense, formal smile.

“Hi - Arianne.” That voice again, saying her name. The name that used to roll like hot honey from my tongue...

“I’m Adam’s girlfriend. And Eden’s best friend as well!” Olivia announced as though it was the newsflash of the fucking year. And Olivia and Eden smiled at each other, as Eden handed the glass of water over to Arianne.

And as she drank the water, her eyes darted between myself and Olivia, summarizing the situation between us... She just looked about like she was going to faint if the merest whisper of wind would blow anywhere near her direction...

“Um... excuse me. I... I see someone I know...” Arianne smiled politely, completely avoiding my gaze. And then she walked away from us. She walked away, again. Because that was exactly what she did five years ago as well.

And with every step away, it felt like I’d lost something again. A tiny piece of something that lived deep inside of me, that I had no name for... Because it seemed as though my stone-cold heart wasn’t dead, after all. It had merely rested dormant and unused in my chest all these years.

But that was before a thunderstorm rolled in, and woke up a storm inside of me all over again...

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