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The Ex Games 3 (The Ex Games #3)

By:J. S. Cooper

The Ex Games 3 (The Ex Games #3)
Author: J. S. Cooper

Chapter 1


I stepped back into the corridor with my heart pounding. Why was Matt calling Brandon? He didn't know Brandon. Brandon didn't know him. It just didn't make sense to me. What was going on here? I knew I had two choices: I could go and confront Matt and ask him what was going on, or I could pretend I didn't know anything and try to find out the information another way. I stood in the corridor and thought for a moment. Clearly, Brandon knew Matt and Matt knew Brandon. Which meant that Brandon had been playing me from the beginning of my trip to San Francisco. He had used Matt to gain information on me. I didn't know when he had found out about Matt, but I did know that all his questions about my boyfriend were false. Which meant that he was playing me. He had deliberately tried to hurt me. The man I loved had used me. And I didn't know why.

I walked back to the front door and exited quickly. If Matt had kept it a secret from me, it meant that he didn't want me to know. I knew that asking him what was going on wasn't going to result in any real answers either. I was sure he had a lie prepared and ready to go if I ever asked him too many questions. I bit my lip as I walked down the empty streets. It was starting to make sense-well, a bit of it was. I'd always been surprised that Matt had never really tried to touch me. He'd never made love to me, and even his kisses had seemed lackluster at times. I thought it was because he was worried that he wouldn't be able to control himself if we got too passionate. Now I wondered if he had been holding back for another reason. What if Brandon had recently started tracking me like I had been tracking him? What if he realized I was dating Matt and had offered him a large sum of money to not sleep with me and to keep tabs on me? He was trying to dictate my love life even though he had a fiancée and didn't want to be with me himself. Other than sexually-of course he wanted me sexually. We couldn't keep our hands off each other. But that meant nothing special. What was sex, really, at the end of the day?

I didn't want to go right home. I didn't want to involve Meg and worry her. I knew that she was stressed as it was. I mean, who wanted to go from being a lawyer to a bartender?

I decided to slip into a bar to have a drink and think. It would stop me from pulling my hair out and crying.

"Vodka on the rocks, please." I slid onto a barstool and smiled at the bartender. He was cute, with an 'I just arrived in the big city' look.

"No chaser?" He smiled.

"Do I look like I need a chaser?" I shook my head and ran my hands through my hair.

"Long day?"

"More like a long seven years." I sighed.

"Want to talk about it?" He gave me a slow, wide smile and I shook my head.

"You don't have all night."

"I could have all night, if you wanted me to." He stared back at me and looked me up and down. I realized that he was flirting with me, and a rush of warmness fled to my skin. I smiled back at him-a lazy, not-interested-but-thank-you smile-and he leaned forward and grabbed my hands. "Don't decide yet. The night is still young." He handed me a glass and I sipped at the vodka. It went smoothly down my throat, warming me up from the inside, and I started to feel a little more relaxed.

"Sex is about power for men. Why is that?" I spoke to the bartender, who had stopped in front of me.

"I don't know. Because women let it be about that?" He shrugged. "So you're mad about a guy? Let me guess, you and your long-term boyfriend recently broke up because you caught him cheating?"

I laughed as he stared at me, looking so confident and sure of himself. He had an arrogant yet sincere vibe about him. I stared at his face clinically. On second glance, he was a lot more handsome than I had first realized.

"So am I right?"

"Does it matter?" I handed him my glass. "Another vodka on the rocks, please. Make it a double."

"Drinking away your sorrows?"

"More like drinking away the questions in my head."

"Why don't you do what we guys do? Just fuck someone else. It's the quickest and easiest way to get over someone."

"I wish it was that easy." I stared at the counter. I hadn't had sex with anyone other than Brandon. I didn't even know what it would feel like to be with another man. I guess I knew why Matt hadn't been interested now. Though I wish I knew the full story.

Beep beep.

I picked up my cell phone and saw a text message from Brandon. I glared at the phone and put it back in my pocket without reading the message. I didn't care what he wanted. I grabbed the new glass that the bartender handed me and downed the vodka in two gulps. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and read the message. I couldn't resist checking it.

"Call me. Now."

I stared at the message for a few minutes before deleting it and putting my phone into my pocket. Who did he think he was? Call him now? Why? Had Maria stepped out to go the gym or something? I was done with being used and abused by him. I was not his plaything.

"Another double, please." I smiled at the bartender and played with my hair.

"Do you want to wait a bit?" He frowned as he looked at me. "You're too pretty to get drunk and make bad mistakes tonight."

"What if you're the bad mistake?" I flirted with him and he paused as he stared at me. He shook his head and poured some more vodka into a new glass.

"Here." He handed me the glass and his fingers grabbed mine. "But this is the last one. If we go home together, I want to know it's because you wanted to be with me and not because you're drunk."

"You're pretty full of yourself." I raised an eyebrow at him, leaned forward, and slowly licked my lips. "If I want another drink, I expect another drink."

"And if you want to fuck me tonight, you need to slow down," he whispered against