The Hate Him Trilogy
From the corner of the restaurant I heard a laugh: male, hoarse, yet with a metallic ring. Touchable, as if it were caressing your skin.
The sound pulled my spine up straight as if by a steel chord.
Lance’s eyes went wide when he looked at me. “What’s wrong?”
I didn’t really know. My mind hadn’t caught up with the rest of my nervous system yet… but my heart had. It thumped painfully hard in my chest.
Just then a waiter appeared at my side and set a stemmed martini glass beside me.
I gulped looking at the chilled glass and the ring of salt on the rim.
A margarita in a martini glass—my flesh warmed as anger ignited in my chest, making my thudding heart burn.
“Compliments of the gentleman,” the waiter said, pointing to the corner of the dining room with an elegant gesture.
My gaze followed where he pointed and lit on a table of men in expensive suits. Dead in the center I caught sight of him, and my heart skipped a beat—the traitor…
I turned back around and closed my eyes, feeling myself slipping into an emotional rollercoaster.
Anger spiked with joy, shame mingled with cold fear, and a long lost feeling of love coated in black, sticky hate.
I'd never wanted to see Jackson again…
Yet here he was, just when my career and personal life were on precarious ground, looking…
Well, I’d only stolen a glance before I turned back around and closed my eyes, but he looked…
Like a fucking wet dream?
Thank you, so very helpful.
I gritted my teeth and pushed the shit-storm inside me back to the dark little corner of my mind where I’d long ago banished it.
I would not melt into a puddle of sniffling, tear soaked hurt.
No, this wasn’t college, and I wasn’t the dewy eyed girl I had been.
The memory of his walking out of my dorm room flickered through my mind, and the scorching feelings of hurt, shame, and confusion that moment had caused.
And now, sitting there in that restaurant, I saw for the first time that that moment, that feeling, had been reverberating inside me all along.
I swear that when I opened my eyes again everything was red.
I blinked a few times and it went away.
I stood, grabbing my clutch purse and the martini glass clad margarita, and headed towards Jackson’s table.
Jackson’s eyes were blue-green, like arctic ice, and they bore into me as I walked toward him. I strutted around the table until I was standing right next to him. He didn’t stand up. Simply sat there, staring at me with those damned eyes of his, a slight grin on his handsome face.
Dirty blond hair, cut short, the build of a college football star, and the sun kissed skin of a native California boy—he was the very definition of masculine beauty.
I smiled at him and his expression faltered.
Worried about what I’ll do?
I looked down at the martini glass in my hand.
“Liz,” he said, and then he sighed and tilted his head as he looked at me. “You’re not really going to—”
I threw the drink in his face.
Jackson wiped the margarita from his eyes with one hand, and then looked at me with irritation.
I leaned down and he jerked back an inch or two. I leaned in further, my smiling face so very close to his, and then ran my index finger down the line of his square jaw.
He watched, his mouth slack, as I put my finger to my lips and gently tasted what I’d taken from his flesh.
I moaned as if tasting something delicious.
I looked back to him and he was biting his lip.
“I forgot how much I enjoy those. Thanks for the reminder.”
I turned and started walking toward the front doors. Lance and Churchill were still standing at our table and I waved goodbye.
I needed out of there. I needed away from Jackson Burk, as far away from him as possible.
“Liz!” Jackson called after me, but I was already at the front doors, pushing past the doorman.
Once outside I gulped the city’s air as if I hadn’t breathed in years: desperate, halting breaths.
I glance around. No cabs in sight.
I needed to get away, so I started to run.
I was in four inch heels, so I wasn’t setting any land speed records.
I heard his steps as he caught up with me, and I felt it when he grabbed hold of my arm.
His hand was on fire. That heat seeped through my skin and made my blood boil on contact. I had forgotten how his touch made me feel. It was some scary chemical reaction… or magic.
No… I won’t do this, not ever again!
I swung around in his grasp and slapped him as hard as I could.
He winced, but didn’t let me go.
I went to hit him again, but he reached up and caught my hand in mid-air.
He was so strong; I had forgotten.
I was trapped in his grasp.
“Let go of me!” My voice dripped venom.
“You need to listen to me.” His eyes bore into me, and my traitorous heart skipped a beat again.
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