Home > Thief (Love Me with Lies #3)(7)

Thief (Love Me with Lies #3)(7)
Tarryn Fisher

I’d never felt anything like her.

Olivia burned. When she walked into a room you could feel her fire. It rolled off of her in waves. She was angry and passionate and fearless. She burned hot enough to keep everyone away. It was a good trick, except I played with fire.

Bang, bang, she shot me down.

“I just don’t think we’re compatible.”

She was afraid of me. I knew it the moment we locked eyes that first day, under the tree. She might not have known her type, but I knew it.

I almost laughed. She delivered those words in her clipped, matter of fact voice, her eyes dancing everywhere but my face. We’d been on our first date the week before. I’d practically conned her into it, sending the very basketball that I’d used to procure the date, to her dorm room with a note to meet me in the library. The library had gone well. She wore this long sleeve, black lace shirt that was so tight, I could see every curve, not to mention her ivory skin peeking through all of the eyelets in the lace. I wanted to kiss her, right there, in the stacks. I would have pushed her up against the Dickens’ section if I hadn’t thought it would scare her away. Reluctantly, she agreed to the date. I took her to Jaxson’s, my favorite ice cream place. At the start of the evening, she’d been standoffish, but then she opened up and told me things about her past. I thought things had gone great. Until…

I just don’t think we’re compatible.

“That’s not how it feels to me,” I said. Our chemistry was palatable. She was either in denial or lying her ass off. I’d bet anything it was the latter.

She blinked at me — fast little blinks, like bird wings.

“Um, well I’m sorry. I guess we are just on two different wavelengths.” She dragged out wavelengths, as if she wasn’t sure that was the right word to use. We were actually on the same wavelength — I wanted her and she wanted me, but I wasn’t going to be the one to point that out. Olivia didn’t know she wanted me yet.

“No, that’s not what I meant. I know you like me, just as much as I like you. But, it’s your choice, and I am a gentleman. You want me to back off? Okay. Goodbye, Olivia.”

Before I could grab her, before I could shake sense into her, I walked away.

Don’t walk away! Fight her on this!

That’s what I was thinking. But, the last thing I wanted to do was chase after someone who didn’t want me … or didn’t know they wanted me.

I went back to my dorm room and drank warm beer. Rejected for the first time, it wasn’t pretty. It was pretty f**ked up, actually. Or at least that’s what I thought then. I’d done everything she’d asked me to do. My teammates were barely talking to me, my coach had put me on suspension, and my heart was hurting. Hurting. How could I be feeling this way over someone I’d just met?

I took a sip of my beer, pulled out my Statistics textbook and stared at the page for thirty minutes without ever seeing anything. No, that’s not true. I was seeing Olivia Kaspen.

I saw her everywhere. I pretended not to. I pretended that she was just another girl, not the girl I wanted. My friends thought I’d lost it. I wanted her because I couldn’t have her — that was the consensus. Maybe it was true. They had taken to slapping me on the back and pointing out random girls on campus who would sleep with me. Sex therapy, they called it. I tried it once or twice, but it was ineffective. I was benched, rejected and drunk on a girl I’d only kissed once. When someone mentioned that she was probably a lesbian, I pounced on the idea. Then, just months after she told me that we weren’t compatible, she started seeing the biggest load of douchebags I had ever laid eyes on. I f**king hated them. So, I moved on. She wasn’t what I thought she was.

Then I met Jessica. The first thing she ever said to me was, “Damn, I don’t know if I want to lick you or marry you.”

I’d said, “How about both?” And that was it. We were together. Jessica Alexander was sexy and kind and ditzy — my type exactly. She was smart too, but you’d never know it from the way she babbled on and on about insignificant things like clothes and movies. I liked being with her. I liked having sex with her. She took away the constant edge I felt. Olivia gradually receded to the back of my mind. I could joke about it after a while. In retrospect, it seemed funny that I’d become so obsessed with a girl I barely knew. Then right when everything was going my way, I found out that Jessica was pregnant and had an abortion behind my back. She wasn’t the one to tell me. That’s what killed me. She made the decision without me. That was my baby — mine. I wanted that baby. I would have taken the baby even if Jessica didn’t want it. I punched a tree, sprained my wrist and went into dating hibernation.

After my parents divorced, my mother wanted to move to America. She was born in Michigan. Her father — my grandfather — met my grandmother at Cambridge where he was studying abroad. When they got married, they moved back to the States for a while and had my mother. But, when my grandmother was homesick, my grandfather sold their land and house, and moved back to England for her. My parents ran in the same social circles and they happened to happen. She nixed the “Sams and Alfreds and Charlies” and gave my brother and me American-sounding names. When she caught him cheating for the third time, she packed us up and moved us to America. I took it way harder than my brother. I blamed my mother for a while, until I flew to England for my dad’s fourth marriage. When I saw him taking vows for the fourth time, I got it. I wasn’t even sure what this wife’s name was. Elizabeth? Victoria? I was pretty sure it was a Queen of England. But, I knew I didn’t believe in divorce. You couldn’t make vows and just break them. If I married a woman, I was going to stay married. I wouldn’t treat marriage like a lease. Ever.

I wanted to marry Jessica. I mean, it’s not like I bought her a ring, but I saw her fitting into my world. My mother liked her; Jessica loved me. It was so easy. But, when I found out she had an abortion and didn’t even bother telling me she was pregnant, I lost it. I at least wanted a say with my child.

Then Olivia came back. She came back, dancing like a siren. I knew exactly what she was doing the night she came to my frat house and cocked her finger at me from the dance floor. If she hadn’t come to me, I would have gone to her. Forget all you know — I said to myself. This is the one you belong with. I don’t know how I knew that. Maybe our souls touched underneath that tree. Maybe I decided to love her. Maybe love wasn’t our choice. But when I looked at that woman, I saw myself differently. And it wasn’t in a good light. Not a thing would keep me from her. And that could make a person do things they never thought themselves capable of. What I felt for her scared the hell out of me. It was a consuming obsession.

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