Check out Excerpt 22 of Lake of Lies

February 6, 2009 at 7:07 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

Sorry I missed the post last week.  It has been really busy.  We are in the process of moving.  Plus, I just received a contract for my novel, The One Nighter from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.  So, it has been a busy few weeks.  I’m still trying to catch up.  Also, if you haven’t checked out my novel,  The Pleasure of Sin, from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid you can find it at:

https://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/torrid/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=364

Excerpt 22

Later that night, as the guests dined and danced, Nick excused himself to run upstairs.  Last night, he had had just enough time to escape into town.  The local jewelry shop had the most exquisite sapphire bracelet, and he knew that it would make a perfect wedding gift to his new bride.  As he started up the stairs, he heard someone calling his name.  He walked back downstairs to the family room area searching for the owner of the voice. 

“Nick,” the voice called out again.

He rounded the corner to find Lauren standing by the fireplace, a glass of wine in her hand.  She swayed a little when she walked over to stand in front of him, which warned him that she was more than a little intoxicated.  “Oh, Nickie, how could you do it?” she asked. 

“Do what, Lauren?” he replied, giving her a puzzled look.

She pouted her lower lip out.  “How could you marry her?  We could’ve had so much fun together,” she purred seductively. 

“Lauren, you’re drunk.  I’m sure that things without me will seem a lot better in the morning,” he reasoned, looking around the room for an escape. 

Before he could stop her, she curled her arms around his neck and pressed herself against the length of his body.  “I guess that it really doesn’t matter that you’re married, Nickie.  We could still have a lot of fun together.  You know, I never forgot how hot you were in bed.  You were the best lover I ever had,” she confessed, trying to press her lips against his. 

He reached up, trying to pull her arms from around his neck, without throwing her off balance.  “Lauren, you need to go home.  Why don’t I call you a cab?” 

Suddenly, she pulled his head down to hers fusing her lips against his.  When he gasped, she thrust her tongue inside his mouth.  He shoved her away violently, causing her to stumble for a moment, before finally collapsing on the couch.  “Don’t ever do that again, Lauren.  We were through a long time ago, before I ever got married,” he barked, as he left the room before she could regain her composure.  In his haste to escape the room, he didn’t even see a stunned Samantha hiding around the corner. 

Samantha couldn’t believe what she’d just seen.  She had come up to the house to change from her wedding dress into a rose colored satin skirt and blouse.  What she found when she came in made her want to vomit.  Lauren was talking about them carrying on an affair after the wedding.  She was talking about what a great lover Nick was.  Then, when they kissed, Samantha refused to watch any more.  She had stumbled into the hallway, practically collapsing against the wall in tears. 

She had made a terrible mistake.  She had allowed him to convince her that he loved her, but he had just been going through the motions.  How could she have been so stupid?  Tears streamed down her face, but she seemed rooted to the spot, unable to move. 

Suddenly, she heard the front door open again.  Her stomach cringed at the thought that Nick was coming back to his mistress.  Instead, she could hear Derek’s voice faintly echoing through the hallway.  She couldn’t hear what he was saying to Lauren, so she edged closer to the opening.  By the few words she could make out, she realized that Derek was ushering her out of the house, offering to take her home. 

So, Derek was doing Nick’s dirty work for him.  He was removing the evidence of Nick’s tryst, so that no one would see.  But someone had seen.  She had witnessed the entire thing.  She couldn’t believe that Derek was going along with Nick’s little plan to keep the wife and mistress apart. 

A few moments after they were gone, the door opened again.  Thinking that it was Nick, she went out into the entryway.  Instead, Christina stood at the door.  Once she saw the tears in Samantha’s eyes, she hurried over to her.  “What’s wrong?” 

Despite the intense need to tell someone that her worst fears had been confirmed, she couldn’t seem to speak.  Christina led her into the family room, motioning for her to take a seat on the couch.  “Samantha, what happened?” she asked, her concern evident. 

She couldn’t tell Christina the truth about what she had seen, no matter how much she wanted to.  Her stomach rolled in revulsion as the images continued to assault her mind.  Nick with another woman.  Nick kissing another woman.  On her wedding day!  She wanted to smack him.  She wanted to smack her too.  How could he do this to her?  How long had their little fling been going on?  The entire time she’d been here? Had it been going on even longer?  Why had she ever agreed to trust him?  She knew the answer, even though, she hated to admit it.  She loved him, like the fool she had always been.  She loved him so much that even reason had been blotted out.  The entire time he had been betraying her right under her nose and she had been too stupid to realize it. 

Christina put an arm around her shoulder, in an effort to comfort her. 

“Oh, Christina, I think that I made a huge mistake today,” she sobbed heavily.

“What are you talking about?” Christina asked in confusion. 

“Marrying Nick wasn’t the right thing to do.  What have I done?” 

Christina looked at her worriedly, before pulling her into a gentle hug. 

She squeezed her eyes tightly shut.  “I shouldn’t have done it,” she wept as Christina tried desperately to console her. 

Neither one of them noticed a stunned Nick leaning against the front door.  He exited the house as quietly as possible, not wanting them to know that he had heard the entire conversation.  She thought marrying him was a huge mistake?  She hated him so much that she was in there crying on his sister’s shoulder.  He couldn’t believe what he had just heard.  How could he have actually believed that she was happy? 

But he had.

All day she had pretended to be happy that they were getting married, and he had wanted to believe it so badly, that he had fallen for it.  She had probably only done it for everyone else’s benefit, he realized now.  She would never put on such a performance for him.  No, with him, she let him know how miserable she was.  And now, he would spend the rest of his life facing that fact every day. 

How could he have been so blind? 

She never wanted to marry him.  She had told him that from the start.  He walked back into the tent, where the reception was still in full swing.  His scowl deepened.  He wanted to get the hell out of here.  He certainly didn’t want to pretend to be the doting husband for the rest of the night.  So, she hated him, he thought angrily.  Well, she would hate him even more by the end of the night, if he had anything to say about it.  He was done trying to make her happy.  It never seemed to work any way. 

He walked straight over to the bar, and ordered a scotch straight up.  He downed it in one gulp then held the glass up for another.  After about the fourth, Derek grabbed the glass from him.  “Hey, watch it!  Don’t you think that’s enough for one night,” he scolded. 

Nick glared at him.  “No, I don’t think it is,” he bit out, jerking the glass out of Derek’s hand and holding it up for a refill.  The bartender obediently filled it, and he downed the remnants quickly. 

Derek grabbed his arm, pulling him into a darkened corner.  “Look, what’s wrong with you?  I mean, I know you’re mad about Lauren, but if you’re not careful you’re going to pass out at your own wedding reception.  Besides, you don’t want to ruin Samantha’s evening, do you?” 

He laughed harshly.  “Samantha’s day has already been ruined.” 

Derek’s eyebrows drew together in confusion.  “What are you talking about?  What did you do?” 

He spotted Samantha entering the tent with Christina, and he grimaced. 

“I showed up,” he admitted sarcastically, as he walked back to the bar. 

He got another scotch before Derek could stop him, then he walked over to join Samantha.  He couldn’t help but notice that Christina quickly disappeared at his arrival.  He stared after her slightly amused at her departure. 

“Ah, my beaming bride, would you like to dance with your new husband?” 

She offered him a defiant stare, before taking his hand.  He led her out onto the dance floor, swinging her in a wide arc, before taking her in his arms.   “Smile, everyone is watching,” he instructed. 

The smell of scotch drifted up to her nostrils.  “How many drinks have you had?” she asked, through gritted teeth. 

He gazed down at her.  “Just enough to make it through the night,” he answered with a sarcastic smile. 

She rolled her eyes in disgust.  “You’ll probably pass out in the limo,” she muttered under her breath. 

He leaned in closer, so that his breath tickled her ear.  “Don’t worry, my blushing bride, I wouldn’t dream of passing out on you tonight.  After all, there is the small task of consummating our marriage, and I always live up to my obligations.” 

She inwardly cursed her physical reaction to him.  Yes, he always did live up to his obligations.  After all, that’s why they were all here today. 

So that Nick could do his duty to her.

The rest of the night passed by fairly quickly, and no one was happier for that than Samantha.  They walked out to the limousine amid the spray of floating bubbles and well-wishers.  Once inside the car, they barely spoke to each other during the drive.  Nick had rented a small cabin in the woods for the week of their honeymoon.  It was supposed to be romantic, but instead it was turning out to be a nightmare. 

Samantha’s feeling of dread at the prospect of the night to come seemed to intensify with each passing moment.  He stared out the window, stoically oblivious to her presence, until they reached the cabin.  She couldn’t deny that she adored it.  Nestled in the middle of the woods, the little log cabin was the perfect retreat.  She could swear she even heard the trickle of a stream in the distance. 

The cabin was lit from the inside, and the driver carried their bags in.  Nick obligingly carried Samantha over the threshold, which she knew was more for the driver’s sake than for hers.  But once they were behind closed doors, he unceremoniously dumped her on to her feet.  He left her standing there, while he quickly escaped into another room. 

She sighed heavily, pursing her lips in distaste before surveying the room.  A small sitting room held an overstuffed couch, a loveseat, and a television set.  In the corner a small table sat filled with a champagne bucket and a half gallon of milk.  Two champagne glasses set beside the bucket. 

Samantha couldn’t help but smile at the milk’s presence in lieu of champagne.  Her hand absently strayed to her stomach.  A fire burned brightly in the fireplace providing a warmth she wished she could feel in her heart.  Samantha ventured further into the cabin.  A small kitchen in the back was equipped with wooden table and four chairs.  As she walked a few more feet, she pushed open the first door to reveal the bedroom.  A huge oak four poster bed, which had already been turned down in preparation for the night, seemed to dominate the room.  A small dresser sat in front of it with candles glowing. 

Well, she found Nick, she thought wryly.  Of course, right now, he was sprawled in an overstuffed chair in the corner staring at her ominously.  He glanced over at the bed, then back again at her.  Suddenly, she felt nervous at the prospect of sleeping with him.  She had made love to him a thousand times.  Being nervous around him now was ridiculous. 

Still, somehow tonight was different. 

Tonight, they were a married couple making love, and they were both absolutely furious with each other.  She hated the fact that her wedding night would be remembered this way. 

“I’m really tired.  Maybe we should just call it a night,” she said, desperately trying to stall. 

His lazy smile alerted her to the fact that he saw right through her plan.  “We are going to sleep together as husband and wife tonight, Samantha,” he explained with a finality. 

She knew what that tone meant.  It meant that any discussion was over.  She grabbed her bag, and walked into the bathroom effectively closing herself inside.  She felt like a lamb going to the slaughter.  She looked at her reflection in the mirror.  She looked like a woman who would probably spend the rest of the night crying. 

How could she be expected to lay in his arms tonight, when she knew the truth? 

How could she be expected to pretend everything was okay when she had found another woman in his arms only hours earlier? 

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

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