There is Nate's side of the story and then there's mine. Some things he's gotten right. Others he has no clue about. What's the truth?
It's not going to take you long to hate him. His very existence.
Because he's a charming bastard, you're going to fall for him, too.
He's honest even when it hurts. He deserved every bit of my revenge.
Sex with him unmakes your world. That's just the truth of the matter. Don't ever let him put his mouth on you. He'll own you. Every part of you.
I didn't heed that advice.
So, no, I'm not sorry for destroying his world.
This is the real story between me and Nate.
FILTH by Dakota Gray
Nate is...Nate. I'm in love but I'm not clueless. So I can say some parts of his story is true and should be preserved. The parts he can't fill in...those are the ones I will tell, because hindsight is a bitch. I can look back at the last year of my life and see all the ways I went right and all the ways I went so very wrong.READ MORE
So this is the upfront warning. I might have been more depressed and grief-stricken than I realized at the time. That right there is where many will part ways with me, because for some there is no excuse good enough to explain what I did with Nate. I'm supposed to be, and I have been, the paragon of femininity. People like that don't sleep with their best friend's ex. They sure as hell have enough self respect to not sleep with a fuckboy.
I did worse than just that—I turned myself into the bad guy. Even though I was raised to make smart choices. Even though I rarely did anything that would allow someone to question the depth of my humanity. I couldn't afford that luxury. I'm a woman. I'm a woman with dark skin. The world wasn't made for me.
So how could I make these choices, willingly, knowing they bordered on self-destructive?
Because I'd pressed death to my heart, breathed it in so deeply I couldn't find my own breath for months. Until he called me Sugar.
I did try to get what little common sense I had back, but see, Nathan is a charming bastard, honest even when it hurts, and unapologeticaly obsessive. Sex with him unmakes your world. That's just the truth of the matter. Don't ever let him put his mouth on you. He'll own you. Every part of you.
I didn't heed that advice.
And that's just twisted. It's unforgivable. Yet I'm not sorry for destroying his world. I don't lose sleep for destroying myself in the process too.
I learned the hard way I'd rather feel my heart beat than be a paragon.
This is the real story between me and Nate, and it's not pretty, it's not perfect. It just is.
“Fuckable. One o'clock,” Samantha tells me in her brash tone.
She knows I'm going to look. I'm not shy. Back when...I was a different woman, and when the mood called for it, I'd take a man home. We'd have a raunchy, raw and fun night.
I haven't been that woman in a while so I'm a bit rusty, but the rules can’t have changed that much. I need at least a five second buffer before I steal a glance too.
A thrill dances through me because my friend is the Queen of Understatement. If she thinks he's beddable, I just might skip flirtation and take him home.
I know this probably makes me sound like I go spread eagle for anyone with a decent smile. I don't. I have learned the hard way you should live life to the fullest, and lately I haven't been.
So I'm in a club called Fade wearing a come-fuck-me dress because the last time I saw a dick was on the Discovery channel. My dry spell is about to turn my pussy into a dust bowl.
I finally do what Samantha's hazel eyes are pleading for me to do. I notch my head to the left and peep the guy.
Have you ever been in a pillow fight?
It's all fun and games until you're caught off guard. Your bell gets rung, and your breath is knocked out.
That's how I feel when I see Fuckable.
There's something effortless to his masculinity, his sex appeal. He has to be at least six-three. Even in my heels he'll dwarf me if I stand next to him. Messy, dirty blond hair, pale blue eyes and a harsh mouth draws the picture above his neck. He's wearing a polo shirt and he should look preppy as hell in it. I lean to the side and check—yup, jeans. Still, he should look one step away from the country club, except his body is neatly stacked with muscles.
His every sculpted bicep and taut forearm muscle deserves to be slathered with baby oil and eye-fucked. Or bitten. Yeah. Teeth is the right option. The way the shirt clings across his chest—he's beautiful. All that is topped off with a scar along his cheek. The curved white line gives his appearance a much needed rough edge.
Fuckable is wrong the description. This is a man you let get away with all kinds of shit because he pins you against a wall and makes you forget air exists.
“See,” Samantha says.
I've been staring for a full ten seconds without saying a word.
I had simply hoped to find someone funny, who didn't mind getting dirty with me tonight. This is club hook-up Bingo.
I don't need any more encouragement to get back out there and be...me. Whoever that is now.
“Hold my drink,” I say to her, and she grins at me like a proud mama bear. “I'm going in.”
The other women in our group turn to me, but I ignore them. They are Samantha's friends. She dragged me out of the house after I whined about living a sexless existence. After working twelve hours on a Friday night.
She'd taken my face in her hands and whispered, “Now or never, sweetheart. You'll find another excuse next week and the week after that, like you've been doing for months.”
Since she was right, here we are. If this exchange works out, I might thank her for being pushy.
I move down the bar and slide in next to him. I can feel his gaze on my skin. Heat and tingles are left in the wake of his perusal. The rest is up to him now. He can't talk his way into my bed—that decision has already been made by me—but he can sure as shit talk his way out.
It takes him thirty seconds to decide on an opening line. I brace myself for something horrible, and he says, “I'm starting to believe this bartender thinks I'm standing here for my health.”
He delivers the line in a warm, deep timbre. There's a hint of the Bible belt that clings to the 'r's to rock them gently but drops the 'g's like they aren't important.
His words drip into me and my stomach fills with a jittery anticipation. For a club that's edging toward packed, and the DJ is starting to turn the music up in slow degrees, it's the perfect club line. It's not about me at all or how he wants to fuck me in various ways.
But who hasn't waited a small eternity to get the bartender's attention?
Either he's genuine, or he's done this enough to know what turns women off. He's perfect for what I'm looking for tonight.
I let my smile slip through. “It's the shirt.”
A frown curves his brows and beautiful mouth as he glances down. “What's wrong with it?”
The white horse is stark against the black cotton, but there's no mistaking his muscles are taut beneath the soft material. “He's scared you're going to ask him for golf tips.”
The laugh turns the scar into a dimple. The gleam in his blue eyes softens, and so do I. The plus is that he isn't offended that I'm poking fun at his clothes. His ego can probably take the cheap shot. He's too handsome and comfortable with our exchange to not know he makes women wet with a smile.
He shrugs. “And my golf game is shit.”
“How's your bridge? I'm sure it's fantastic.”
He leans on the bar and makes a well-shit face. “Can never beat my mama, but she cheats.”
I like him. I'm sure he knows it, and that’s why he feels it’s okay to steal a glance at my legs. It is. I like the way my skin continues to warm at his open stare.
I do a quick perusal of my own. Up close he’s better. So. Much. Better. “So you’re not standing here for your health.”
“I like to stay in shape. Never know what you’ll be called on to do.”
Like throw me over your shoulder and take me home?
His smile goes lopsided, and I swear he's read my mind.
Now, I'm a paralegal to a bloodthirsty attorney. I've learned to be direct with the questions I want answers to. I don't want to go back to his place to find his mom is upstairs while he lives in the basement. Why does that matter for a hook up? I'm not a screamer, but I'm hoping he'll make me one.
“So, when you're not losing at golf or bridge, what are you doing?”
He winces again as though this is the one question he didn't want to come up. His face tells me the answer before he does. “I'm... between jobs.”
The hesitation makes me wary. So I repeat to see if he'll add more information, “You're in between jobs?”
“Sugar, I know what you're thinking. Unemployed, and he thinks his good looks can get him far.”
Sugar? In my mind, he had been in my bed, completely. At the frivolous endearment, one foot is on the floor. I'm not against them, per se, but I've heard stories about men who use them when they can't recall a woman's name. I hadn't offered mine up yet.
I tell myself to relax and let it go. We are flirting. His work status means little at the moment, because it sounds like he's independent and can do for himself.
“Yup,” I say, trying hard to hold onto the flirtation between us. “I'm thinking you probably can't even pay for my drink.”
“Sugar.” His voice drops an octave, and I'm sure if I had on panties they would have ripped themselves off.
And...my stomach clenches.
He always called me Sugar.
No. The world can't be that small. I cannot be standing two feet away from the man who hurt my friend Loraine all those years ago, but I can't shake off the thought he is.
“What do you want to drink?” he adds, his tone still honeyed with his Southern accent. “It's on me. I won't even mock you if you get something girly.”
I let the suspicions go, because his foot is back on my imaginary bed with that last line. I infuse a more teasing lightness into my tone to keep the conversation rolling. “Oh, you won't?”
“I swear, I will keep back any untoward remarks about your fruit being in your liquor.” He gives me the cheeky smile again, and I might want to lick him.
“You make a lot of assumptions.” And I'm doing my best to not make any about him. I want to take him home and have our genitals touch. I'm a simple girl, really.
And it's been a looonnnnggggg while for me.
“Then what are you drinking?” he asks.
We've been standing there for a short forever. Knowing what could speed this process up, I lean against the bar. There's a nice flash of cleavage if...when the bartender scans the counter.
I'm right. Takes the man about two seconds to see the girls. I lower my head so I'm looking beneath my lashes when I smile. He comes right over to take my order.
“I'll have a martini.” I face the Southern Charmer to watch what he does next.
His brow is up. He's not sure about me after watching the way I've caught the bartender's eye. Good. He should know what he's getting into. If we end up in bed, I don't want him to be scared when I tell him to pull my hair or spank me.
No. Both. I'm going to want both.
The bartender asks, “The usual?”
“Yeah.” Southern Charmer replies, “Scotch, rocks.”
No sweat breaks out on his forehead like he's about to spend his last twenty when he coughs up the money for our drinks.
We get our liquor in short order. I'm still watching him. He's likely recalculating his plans to seduce me from the way he's checking me out with a sense of caution. I brace myself for something cheesy. Men can get downright dorky when they try to impress women.
“Martini?” he asks.
Once again, the unexpected. He's smooth. Damn smooth.
Loraine told me her ex was. She'd told me practically everything she knew about him, but this cannot be him. Hartsburg isn't that small. California definitely isn't. To be honest, the way she talked about him makes me think he doesn't even exist. No one can be that smooth, that dirty, or that good in bed.
This is my first time in almost a year hitting a club. I’m being paranoid. I’m looking for a way to go home so I can curl back into my couch. It’s all self-sabotaging bullshit.
I grip my drink and try to remember what he asked me. Right. My drink of choice.
“I like my fruit to stay fruit.” There you go. You sound flirty again. “Though I’ve never turned my nose up at a margarita. Salt, booze and lemon goes well together.”
“But tonight you’re a no-olive girl.”
“And you’re a straight scotch boy.” Thoughts of Loraine wash over me again and I can’t shake the suspicion that it’s him. “Now I’m sure that means something symbolic, but we both know why you’re practically trying to crawl up my skirt.”
“My intentions are pure, Sugar.”
“As driven snow?” I say without thinking.
He laughs like he means it, and I'm warm again. His laugh is just fluid and naughty and genuine. “Just about.”
I want him. Tonight is about getting back out into the thick of things. But what would it hurt to be sure he's not The Nathan Ellis? I can relax and end the flirtation to take him home or he takes me to his place. My head and gut war against each other on the right course of action, because what I do next can pretty much make or break my chances of getting laid.
But it'll be worth it.
I take a drink for fortitude. The way he watches my throat bob as I swallow tightens my stomach with need. He can't be him. He can't. I drag my tongue over my lip to catch any wayward moisture. His lids grow hooded. For a moment, all we do is hold each other's gaze, both knowing what we want to happen next. My mind flashes to us skin to skin, mouth to mouth, as we grind into each other.
The image is so vivid I almost swallow the question, but he blinks and the spell is broken.
“Nathan Ellis, right?” I ask in a rush to just get it out of the way.
“Yeah.” His eyes narrow in suspicion.COLLAPSE