Practice to Deceive by Olivia Evans
on October 24, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
Buy on Amazon
I wasn’t always a bad guy, but betrayal has a way of finding your darkest inner demons. Great friends and family weren’t enough to save me. I wanted revenge. When the opportunity presented itself, I felt justified. That’s karma, right?
Turns out, karma has a way of circling back.
If only I hadn’t been so stupid.
If only I’d known what my deceit would cost me.
It will take a lot of work to unravel the damage I’ve done, but I’ll do it. I’ll do anything to keep from losing her.
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By the time we stumbled into her apartment, her eyes were heavy, her words softer and softer, her breathing deeper and deeper. She wasn’t going to be awake much longer. So, instead of forcing her to stay awake for my own selfish need to be with her, connect with her, love her, I helped her undress. I put toothpaste on her toothbrush and smoothed the tangles from her hair. I kneeled in front of her as she perched on the side of her tub and wiped the makeup from her face before slipping my shirt over my head and sliding it over hers.
Once I’d carried her to the bedroom and slipped her under the sheets, I filled a glass of water and grabbed some aspirin to set beside her. She’d need it in the morning, no doubt. After brushing my teeth, I popped a couple of aspirin, stripped down to my boxers and slid in beside her, rolling over so I could look at her. I smoothed her hair away from her face, the pads of my fingers brushing softly across the skin of her cheek. Her lips were slightly parted, her breaths even, the mint from her toothpaste washing over my face. She was so fucking beautiful.
As I stared at her, I thought about all of the horrible things Terri said tonight. She was right about one thing, I wasn’t a good person. A good person wouldn’t do the things I’d done. A good person wouldn’t lie to someone like I had. I wasn’t a good person, I was a selfish asshole. Skylar deserved so much more than that. She deserved someone who could be honest with her, someone who was better than me.
I pressed my lips to her temple, my eyes squeezed tight. “I’m so sorry,” I whispered. “I’ve been so selfish and so fucking scared.” I felt the sting behind my lids seconds before hot tears forced their way out of the corner of my eyes, a trail of wetness sliding down my cheeks.
“I have to tell you. I can’t lie to you anymore.” My throat closed as I choked on my words. “I’m so fucking scared, but I can’t plan our future without you knowing the past. I can’t drop on one knee and ask you to marry me without you knowing everything. Because that’s what I want. I want forever with you. I’m so fucking in love with you.” I tried to take a breath, but I felt like I was drowning, my throat constricted. “Please, baby…please don’t fucking leave me.”
“Brennan, what’s wrong?” she mumbled, her voice thick with sleep.
“Nothing. We’ll talk in the morning,” I whispered, my ears ringing, my chest trapped in a vice.
“Umkay, c’mere,” she sighed, pulling my arm until it was wrapped around her.
I tried to even my breathing. I tried to stop acting like a pussy and stop feeling like tonight was the last night I would have my heart. I wasn’t successful at any of those things. Tomorrow was my day of reckoning and the hurt and pain I’d felt from Terri’s and Matt’s betrayal held no measure to the crack in my chest, the aching, gut wrenching pain I felt, at the very thought of losing Skylar. I hoped with every fiber of my being that when the dust settled she’d be able to forgive me. Because if she didn’t, how would I ever survive letting her go?