Thief (Love Me With Lies #3)
Author:Fisher, Tarryn

Touché. There is still fun to be had.

 

Jess runs off to help Olivia in the kitchen, which leaves Noah and me with a plate of Brie and crackers. We do the small talk thing for about ten minutes. The go-to topic for men is sports — Marlins, Heat, Dolphins … quarterbacks, starters, pitchers — things I don’t fucking care about anymore.

 

“Are you uncomfortable?”

 

I look at him in surprise. He knows. Well, shit. But, the honesty sets me at ease at least.

 

“Wouldn’t you be?” I accept the whiskey he hands me. Single malt, black label — decent.

 

He sits down across from me and grins. “Sure.”

 

I don’t bother him, so how much could he really know? Unless … unless he’s so secure in their relationship he feels like there is nothing to worry about. I sit back and eye the situation with new perspective. He’s not the jealous type, obviously.

 

“If you don’t have a problem with it, I don’t either,” I say.

 

He throws his ankle across his knee and settles back in his chair. “Did you have me checked out?”

 

“Background check in three different countries.” I take a sip and curl my tongue around the flavor.

 

Noah nods like he expected this. “Find anything you didn’t like?”

 

I shrug. “You married my first love, I already didn’t like you.”

 

He tucks in one corner of his mouth in a knowing smile and nods slowly.

 

“You care about her, Caleb. That’s fine with me. You and I won’t have a problem as long as you keep your hands off of my wife.”

 

The girls come in. We stand. Olivia can sense there has been an exchange. Her ever-cold eyes travel between the two of us.

 

Choose me.

 

Her gaze lands on Noah. Their intimacy makes me jealous. Rageful. I grind my teeth until Olivia notices. I stop as soon as her eyes trace my jaw, but it’s too late. She’s seen what I’m feeling.

 

A perfect eyebrow arches up.

 

God. I hate it when she does that.

 

I want to spank her.

 

 

 

 

The lamb is overcooked and the asparagus is mushy. I am so impressed that her spiteful little hands are now cooking; I clean my plate and have seconds. She drinks three glasses of wine so casually I wonder if it has become a habit or if this dinner is making her nervous. We talk about her clients and she has everyone laughing. Noah is clearly infatuated by her. He watches everything she does with a slight smile on his lips. It reminds me of myself. She asks Jessica questions about what she has been doing with her life. It makes me uncomfortable. I am careful not to speak only to her, not to look at her too much, not to look away when she interacts with Noah, because it bothers me. It’s hard not to study their dynamic. She is genuinely fond of him. I notice that her personality is softer when he’s around. She has not cussed once since I stepped through their door — which is the longest her mouth has ever been clean in the history of Olivia.

 

Her mouth.

 

Noah is one of those rare personalities that has a calming effect on a potentially tripe situation. I can’t help but like the guy even though he has my girl. He has the balls to threaten me too.

 

 

 

As we say our goodbyes in their foyer, Olivia refuses to meet my eyes. She looks exhausted, like the night has taken its toll on her emotionally. She stands close to Noah, and I see her reach for his hand. I want to know what she’s feeling. I want to be the one to comfort her.

 

Jess comes home with me and spends the night. My mother has left four messages asking about my move to London.

 

 

 

I wake up to the smell of bacon. I can hear the clang of pots and water running in the sink. I walk naked to the kitchen. Jess is making breakfast. I lean over the counter and watch her. I was married to a woman for five years and don’t think I ever saw her crack an egg. She’s wearing one of my t-shirts. Her hair is pulled up in a messy knot. It’s very sexy. I eye her legs; they go on forever. I’m a leg guy. The scene in Pretty Woman where Vivian is telling Richard the exact measurement of her legs is one of the best scenes in the movie. A lot can be forgiven if a woman has a great set of legs.

 

Jessica’s are unparalleled.

 

I sit as she hands me a mug of coffee and smiles shyly like we’ve never done this before. I really like her. I loved her once; it would be easy to fall into this woman again. She’s beautiful — more beautiful than Leah, more beautiful than Olivia. Can anyone be more beautiful than Olivia?

 

“I didn’t want to wake you,” she says. “So I kept myself busy with feeding you.”

 

“Feeding me,” I repeat. I like that.

 

“I like doing things for you.” She smiles coyly. “I’ve missed you, Caleb.”

 

I blink at her. What would have happened if she had told me she was pregnant, instead of going to get an abortion? We’d have a ten-year-old.

 

I pull her to me and kiss her. She never fights, never acts like she doesn’t want me. I take her to the couch and we let the toast burn.

 

 

 

Later, I’m sitting at the café down the street, drinking espresso. Jess had to go to work. My phone pings, signaling a text message.