Home > Thief (Love Me with Lies #3)(3)

Thief (Love Me with Lies #3)(3)
Tarryn Fisher

She’s still in the same condo. I came here once during Leah’s trial. It’s about three times the size of mine, with floor to ceiling windows that overlook the ocean. She’s a show off. Olivia doesn’t even like the ocean. The closest I’ve ever seen her get is to stick in her big toe. She’s on the top floor. I clutch the bottle of wine as the elevator pings and the door slides open. She’s the only one on this floor.

I take inventory of the hallway: a pair of men’s tennis shoes-his, a plant-his, a plaque on the door that says Go Away!-hers. I eye it all warily. I would have to be on my best behavior — no flirting, no touching, no undressing her with my eyes. I’d just have to focus on my date, and that shouldn’t be a problem. I smile to myself as I anticipate Olivia’s reaction. The door opens before I can reach for the bell. A man fills the space. We stare at each other for a good ten seconds, and I have a brief moment of awkwardness. Did she forget to tell him that I was coming? Then he runs a hand through his semi-damp hair, and his face moves into a smile.

“Caleb,” he says.

Haon

I give him a once over. He’s a few inches shorter than I am, but he’s stockier — well built. Dark hair, cut short — there is gray at his temples. I peg him at about thirty-five, though I know from the P.I. I hired that he’s thirty-nine. He’s Jewish, if his look didn’t tell me that, the Star of David around his neck would have. He’s a good-looking guy.

“Noah.” He holds out his hand. I grin as I shake it. The irony that both of our hands have touched his wife gives me a bit of a mean edge.

“She sent me out here to get these,” he says, scooping up the tennis shoes.

“Don’t let her know that you saw them. She’s a Nazi about mess.”

I laugh at the fact that her Jewish husband is calling her a Nazi and follow him inside. I blink at the foyer. It’s different from the last time I was here. She’s replaced all the cold white and black with warm colors. It looks like a home — wood floors, rugs, knick-knacks. Jealousy rips through me, and I push it aside as she comes trotting out of the kitchen pulling off an apron.

She tosses it aside and hugs me. For a scat of a second it feels right, her coming toward me with such determination. Then she holds her body stiff, instead of letting it melt into me. I can’t help but feel thwarted. I have to taper my smile, which always spreads hard and fast when she’s near. Noah is watching us, so I hand her the wine.

“Hello, Du-Olivia. I wasn’t sure what was for dinner, so I brought red.”

“Malbec,” she says, grinning at Noah. “Your favorite.” I see genuine affection in her eyes when she looks at him. I wonder if that’s how I looked at Leah, and how Olivia stood it for all those months during the trial.

“We’re having lamb,” she says. “So, it’s just perfect.”

The doorbell rings. I immediately feel more cheerful. Olivia’s head shoots toward me and she looks in my eyes, trying to decide what I’m up to. I allow a slow smile to spread across my face. I’m finally going to get my answer. She either feels what I do, or she doesn’t. Noah retreats a few steps to open it, and we stay with our eyes locked. Her body is frozen, tense, anticipating what I am about to deliver. I hear my date’s voice behind me. Olivia’s eyes skirt past me to where Noah is temporarily blocking her view of my date, then he steps aside, and I see what I was waiting for. Olivia shocked, Olivia disarmed, Olivia angry. The color drains from her face, and her hand shoots up to her collarbone to grab at her necklace — a simple diamond on a chain. Noah arrives at my shoulder, and I turn to smile at Jessica. Jessica Alexander.

“Jess, you remember Olivia,” I say. She nods and genuinely beams at the raven-haired villain that knocked her out of my life like she was a bowling pin. “Hello, stranger,” she says. She lurches forward and embraces Olivia in a surprise hug. “Long time, no see.”

Jessica Alexander found me on Facebook. She messaged me to say she was living in the Miami area again and wanted to get together for drinks. I was drunk when I read the message and responded with my number. We met up the next day at Bar Louie. She looked the same: long hair, long legs, short skirt. My college taste still appealed to me, and so did her personality — which was surprisingly even sweeter than I remembered. I needed a nice, long dose of sweet after the last two vipers I loved. Neither of us brought up the baby, but I did tell her about Estella. What I gathered was that she had no idea about Olivia’s part in our breakup. We saw each other regularly after that. We have yet to share a bed.

I watch Olivia’s face over Jess’s shoulder. She has always had a knack for self-control. And then she does the damnedest thing. She laughs and hugs Jess back, like they’re old friends. I’m in such a state of shock I almost take a step back. Noah is watching everything unfold with mild curiosity. We are all just characters to him, no doubt.

“Come in, come in.” She ushers us into the living room and shoots me a triumphant look. I realize that she’s not a better person, just a better actress.

Touché. There is still fun to be had.

Jess runs off to help Olivia in the kitchen, which leaves Noah and me with a plate of Brie and crackers. We do the small talk thing for about ten minutes. The go-to topic for men is sports — Marlins, Heat, Dolphins … quarterbacks, starters, pitchers — things I don’t f**king care about anymore.

“Are you uncomfortable?”

I look at him in surprise. He knows. Well, shit. But, the honesty sets me at ease at least.

“Wouldn’t you be?” I accept the whiskey he hands me. Single malt, black label — decent.

He sits down across from me and grins. “Sure.”

I don’t bother him, so how much could he really know? Unless … unless he’s so secure in their relationship he feels like there is nothing to worry about. I sit back and eye the situation with new perspective. He’s not the jealous type, obviously.

“If you don’t have a problem with it, I don’t either,” I say.

He throws his ankle across his knee and settles back in his chair. “Did you have me checked out?”

“Background check in three different countries.” I take a sip and curl my tongue around the flavor.

Noah nods like he expected this. “Find anything you didn’t like?”

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