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Sweet Poisons (Pretty Lies Ugly Truths Duets #1)
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He was the type mothers warned their little girls about—a cocky, rich asshole with a pretty smile, unapologetically insane and wild.
I was the type guys like him usually ignored—a free spirit who hid my crazy beneath an odd good girl facade and the art hanging on my studio walls.
We were opposites in every way but one, and we collided like two runaway trains that never had a chance of stopping.
What blossomed between us, our ‘relationship,’ was maniacal. We got stuck in a cycle of madness.
Rhett Sullivan became a bittersweet poison I couldn’t get enough of.
In the end, that’s what destroyed me.
Our love was nothing but a lie.
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Find what you love.
And let it kill you.
Let it destroy you.
Let it push you over the edge, and then consume you.
We’re all going to die one day.
Maybe it will be fast.
Maybe it will slow.
And what better way to go than by the hands of the one you love?
I had this powerful four-letter word down to a simple science.
Love was blind.
It was selfish.
And it made fools of the best of us.
After watching those around me I was confident my theory was spot on. That’s where all my problems began. You see, there was one small issue with my hypothesis.
I never tested it.
As a result, I was woefully ignorant in all matters of the heart. I wasn’t a stranger to relationships. I just hadn’t met anyone that gave me those prolific butterflies.
You know? The ones people sing about in love songs or write of in poetry? Nobody impacted me to the point that I thought of them as I lay in bed in the middle of the night. I never craved someone to the point of addiction.
Rhett Fucking Sullivan.
He came into my life like a wrecking ball, demolishing every defense I had. And ironically, but not surprisingly, this story is all about that infamous four-letter word, and the tragedy it can bestow. Discovering just how beautiful and maniacal love can be. Learning what it feels like to have a double-edged blade wedged between my ribs. The cause of so much pain, so much joy. Both in equal measures.
It’s a car crash you can’t look away from when you know you should.
However, I won’t blame you if you do, because I can’t promise you that a happily-ever-after is waiting at the end.
Not when Rhett and I were two people who should have never come together.
Vibrant red turned a pale shade of pink beneath the steady stream of water.
Suds gathered together in tiny clusters, filling the small bathroom with a powerful berry scent as they were sucked down the drain, taking the remainder of my paranoia with them. I could have stood there half the night if not for the loud, obnoxious knocking accompanied by the chime of my doorbell.
The peace I’d just achieved was obliterated. My muscles locked, spine going rigid. The steam on the mirror prevented me from seeing myself clearly, but I knew nothing other than panic would be reflected in my discolored eyes.
I wasn’t sorry for what I had done. In fact, I’d do it again if given the chance. It was my reluctance to see the inside of a jail cell that had me on edge. No way in hell would I survive a prison sentence.
Hearing a familiar voice call my name had my muscles relaxing instantly and all the air whooshing from my lungs.
Why the hell is she knocking?
I closed my eyes and took a few seconds to calm my heart before it exploded from my chest.
It was okay.
I was okay.
After one last deep breath I used my elbow to shut the tap off, and then grabbed a hand-towel to dry the bristles of my paint brush. Satisfied it was clean enough, I placed it on the side of the sink to dry a bit more.
I stepped back into my studio and sought out my butterfly clock, noting it was almost eight.
I’d been in here for almost seven hours, but it had been a necessary confinement if there ever was one. The doorbell chimed again, and I called out, “I’ll be right there!”
Moving into the hall, I made sure to pull the door shut behind me. The upper level was completely dark. Stagnant. Suffocating.
I descended the stairs taking them two at a time. When I reached the bottom, I kicked my dirty shoes into the foyer closet. The outside motion light had been triggered, illuminating two silhouettes through the oval pane of stained-glass. Knowing who it was, I turned the deadbolt and opened the door.
“Where’s your…key?” I took in Emery’s puffy blue eyes and blotchy cheeks before shifting my gaze to Annika. The murderous expression on her face told me all I needed to. “What did he do now?” I asked, moving to the side so they could come in.
“Same thing he did three weeks ago,” Nika quipped, stepping inside. “I’ve been calling you.”
“I was painting.”
Emery flashed a pained smile, brushing past me to follow Annika. Withholding commentary, I shut the door and did the same, trailing them into the kitchen. Before I could cross the threshold, Annika was attacking my cabinets and Emery had planted her ass on one of the barstools.
“What are you looking for?”
Letting an upper cabinet slam shut, Annika spun around and placed her perfectly manicured hands on the center island. “You’re out of liquor.”
“I know.” Believe me, I know.
Her brown eyes turned to slits. From my peripheral, Emery’s frown deepened. There wasn’t much that could get past these two.