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Read Online Books/Novels:

The Trouble with Love

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Claire Contreras

Language:
English
Book Information:

Things on my wishlist:

1. Start a new, awesome job
2. Create the perfect dating app
3. Stop dating douchebags

Things that actually happen:

1. Got a job in my dream tech company
2. Created a workplace dating app for said company
3. Was matched with Bennett, who happens to own the company and is also my brother’s best friend

They say when it rains, it pours, but this is some serious BS. It doesn’t help that Bennett was the man I had my last one night stand with. It definitely doesn’t help that he seems to want me just as much as I want him. The issue is, he won’t do anything about it, but then we’re forced to attend a tech conference in Vegas and I think it may just be what I need to turn this thing around.

New goal: get my brother’s best friend out of my system by all means necessary.

Books by Author:

Claire Contreras Books

Chapter One

One Year Ago . . .

Bennett

There’s a lot to be said about the way we handle betrayal. Some people lick their wounds and walk away, while others, like myself, lick tequila off some random woman’s stomach before downing shots of Patrón.

I shake my head after the fifth shot. I haven’t done this since I was in college, which feels like a lifetime ago even though it’s only been a few years. One thing I’d definitely never done was go to a bar by myself. There’s something freeing about the experience of not having to share women with my friends, of not worrying about babysitting anyone, and the likelihood that I’d get into a fistfight was at a minimum without them around to start one.

The woman on the bar sits up and smiles wide at me. I blink a few times to focus my eyes on her, and when I do, I hold up my hand in a peace sign, and walk away without giving her a second glance. Sliding into a booth, I ask for another drink—bourbon this time. I put my face in my hands and take a deep breath.

My God. How did I end up here?

The week started out promising, but on Tuesday night things took an ugly turn. Paola was crying when I got home and my initial thought was that she wasn’t pregnant—again. We’d been trying for two years now and had remained optimistic for most of that time, but I could tell it had been wearing her down for a while now. I hugged her and pushed her hair away from her wet cheeks, and then she dropped the bomb on me—she’d been seeing someone else for six months. She said it casually, as if married people were allowed to go off and see other people. Then she’d shown me the positive pregnancy test. I demanded proof that it wasn’t mine. She demanded a divorce. On Wednesday, she took those words back. I got drunk. On Thursday she started packing up her shit, saying she was moving in with Marcos. I called my lawyer. Got drunk again. And today I am on a similar trajectory.

Movement in my booth makes me lower my hands from my face. I blink a few times as a blur of red slides into the booth across from me. She sets down a pitcher between us, pours two glasses, and slides one over. I take it.

“You got a pitcher of vodka?”

“Um. Sure.”

I take a healthy gulp and cough, narrowing my eyes. “This is water.”

“Surprised you can even tell what it is, considering the state you’re in.”

“What state is that?” I frown. “And who the fuck are you to judge me? You don’t know my life.”

“You’re right. I don’t know your life.” She raises an eyebrow. “Anything you want to talk about?”

“Why would I talk to you?”

She shrugs. “Better than talking to yourself like you’ve been doing for the last ten minutes.”

“So, you decided you should come over here in hopes that I’d spill my guts to you?” I eye her suspiciously. Is she one of Paola’s friends? Is this a setup? I will my eyes to focus on her. No, I’d remember this woman. She has long, thick, wavy blond hair. The kind of long and thick I’d fist and grip as I fuck those beautiful full lips of hers. Her nose is small and thin and her cheekbones are defined and pink. I can’t really tell how old she is with all that makeup.

“How old are you?”

“Twenty-five.” She frowns. “Why?”

“You sit here uninvited, bring me water, question me about my life.” I take a big gulp of the unwelcome water. The bourbon I ordered is taking too long. “It seems like a childish thing to do.”

“Oh.” She glances away, sipping on her water as if it’s the finest Champagne.

“You don’t drink? Is that it? You’re one of those?”

Her eyes flash back to mine. “I drink when I want.”

“Why aren’t you drinking now? You’re at this bar, wearing a fuck-me-red dress, with that fuckable pout and those long lashes, sitting across from me drinking fucking water. What’s your deal?”

“I’m glad you find me so fuckable,” she says, looking right at me, into me even. “I’m meeting someone here and I don’t want to be drunk when he gets here, so I decided on water. You looked like you needed company, so I sat here. I can move if my presence is really bothering you that much though.” She reaches for the pitcher.

I put my hand over hers, our eyes meet—both startled by my move—and lock. “Stay.”

She takes her hand from beneath mine and sits back hesitantly. I drink more water. Get more sober. Watch her closer. She’s looking everywhere but at me now.

“You think your date stood you up?”

She shrugs. “Wouldn’t be the first time.”


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