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The Lover's Game (No Exceptions #2)

By:J.C. Reed

The Lover's Game (No Exceptions #2)
Author: J.C. Reed

I hope to never see you again. Last time you betrayed me, I ran away. You looked for me and found me, and I chose to forgive you. This time, your secrets hit me much worse. I don't think I can ever recover. I don't think I can ever look at you and not be reminded of them. This time, I'll make sure you'll never find me.

I say that I hate you, but deep inside I love you. Love is in my mind, in my soul, and deep in my heart. As it always has been. As it always might be. But for how long? That I don't know. In love, we bonded. In passion, we rose. And in trust, we reconciled. I told myself that if you ever broke my heart again, karma would get back at you. And if it won't, if it takes too long, if it forgets, I will make sure revenge will pay you back.

My name is Brooke and I know this: Love has four letters.

One for you.

One for me.

One for our child.

One for revenge. Sweet, bitter revenge.

I bet you didn't see that one coming. I look forward to the day you'll feel the same pain I went through. I look forward to the day I can look at you in the knowledge that we're even. Maybe you had secrets, but this time I will make sure secrets won't be the only thing you carry home.

The street was abuzz with life, the noise of traffic and human crowds droning in my ears. Tears trickled down my face in steady rivulets, as though my eyes were connected to an ocean. My legs carried me so fast that, at some point, my feet began to hurt, and I realized I had been running. And yet I didn't stop, not even when my lungs began to burn from the cold air and the lack of oxygen. It was only when I reached a bench in Central Park, the one where my sister and I used to sit ten years prior, that I stopped and slumped down, grateful for the cold, snow-covered wood that numbed my body.

He had broken me into pieces. The stupid fool I had been for falling in love with him, how could I have taken him back after he had betrayed me only to betray me again? And to think he told me I could trust him, that he loved me, that I was the only one in the whole world for him, and that he would never cheat on me.

Yeah, right!

They were stupid lies I had believed-lies I wanted to come true. Someone should have offered me a personality test and marked me "naïve, foolish," and let's not forget, "prone to being broke." When she had named me Brooke, my mother had apparently forgotten to remove the – o on my birth certificate, because now, I wasn't just broke in terms of money; I was also devoid of some much-needed wisdom-if only to see Jett for who he was when I had viewed him through rose-colored glasses: a cheater and lying bastard who was still seeing his ex behind my back. Sylvie had been right when she had warned me to be careful around him. I just wished she had shaken some sense into me rather than gushing about his good looks, all the while counterpointing that he was bad news, which was counterproductive. It hadn't exactly helped me ward off his advances; it only made me want him even more. His intensity had pushed me into a state of obsession, where desire became my addiction and hunger my passion. If it weren't for my longing to be loved, I never would have been so blind to his intentions.

I didn't know what hurt me more: the fact that I had trusted him blindly-as in only seeing what I had wanted to see in him, trusting that he'd never lie or cheat on me. Or that he had actually done all the things he had promised he wouldn't do behind my back. And I hadn't even seen it coming because I had chosen to believe his promises.

Sexy men like him don't deserve another chance, another glance, another surrender. They deserve to have their ass kicked...and not only out of bed.

I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that just a few hours earlier, I had been happy. Truly happy. There had been no warning, nothing to indicate that my life would be turned upside down. Even if I had wanted to, I couldn't have foreseen such events. There had been no signs to prepare me for what had happened or for all the feelings that had just crushed me to the core.

Minutes felt like hours. I didn't know how long I'd been sitting on the bench, oblivious to the people passing by and the curious glances they cast my way. But at some point, the cold began to creep up my body, intensifying the shudders running through me. I had never been so cold in my life, and yet I had never welcomed the numbing pain more than now. The cold did not only numb my limbs; it seemed to penetrate every layer of my being. But I had reached a point where I didn't care what happened to me, if I froze to death or if the world came to an end.

Everything had started out so well, and now I was, in so many ways, back to square one: single, heartbroken, and broke-except I was a little worse off than before. In the beginning, I could have walked away from Jett in the hope that my heart would heal. I would have moved on to the next man who was eager to get into my panties, and I wouldn't have had to hide from shame.

But now I was pregnant, and while I had inherited the Lucazzone estate with all its dark secrets, that only added to the problems I couldn't run away from. With Nate free and on the loose, I still had to fear for my life. I had to give up on my dreams about a future with Jett.

Come to think of it, there was no sense in believing in an us anymore.

All that mattered now was keeping myself and my child safe, and the only way I could accomplish that was by getting far away from Jett and his family. But to accomplish that, I needed money. Even with my faith in men and in ever finding true love ripped to shreds, I could feel that my discovery was a blessing in disguise. The pain would be temporary, but in the end, the entire situation would serve a greater purpose because I finally knew which path to take.