Innocent lies, p.1
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       Innocent Lies, p.1

           J.W. Phillips
 
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Innocent Lies


  Copyright © 2014 J.W. Phillips

  All rights reserved

  Published by J.W. Phillips

  Smashwords Edition

  This book may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of events to real life, or of characters to actual persons, is purely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction.

  Dedication

  To my beyond remarkable husband

  Who was not only my cheerleader in the writing of this book, but my biggest supporter in life. If anyone was ever a person’s soulmate. You are mine.

  Acknowledgements

  This book would have never made it to publication without the tremendous help from the following people.

  Brina Brady, Kathleen Miller, and Rachael Orman

  I want to give a special call out to a lady who gave me the courage to write and share my stories with the world. If it was not for her, my stories would forever be stuck in my computer. I was blessed the day I became friends with you.

  Julia Matthews

  You are the Yin to my Yang

  Prologue

  When I was four years old, my daddy hung a tire swing under an old oak tree. He spent hours pushing me and telling me stories.

  “Dylan, sweetie, you only get to be a child once. Dance, laugh, be happy, let the wind mess up your hair, get dirt under your fingernails. Because one day soon you’ll be older, life will get hard, and the one thing that will get you over the mountains is the magic of a happy childhood.”

  I didn’t know that my daddy was capable of lying. The magic of my childhood was left out on that little tire swing, never to be found again.

  Sunday, March 2, 2009

  Most sixteen year old girls demanded the world. I didn’t care about designer clothes, never dreamed of owning a car, I would never had been invited to a sleepover. My one tranquility in a screwed up world was the quietness and peace of my little closet. They left me alone in there. I could dream of the day I would escape and finally find the magic of the world.

  That was why I bounced straight up as light poured into the darkness.

  Wednesday, September 4, 2013

  I contemplated going shopping that morning. Who was I kidding? I was too poor to shop. I managed to get by on the part-time job I held at the student center and my overgenerous scholarship. But there was never any money left for extras.

  “Ugh.” I flicked a pen in the air letting it fall on the papers scattered across the table. I had to start journaling my life for my Sociology class. My life story was not the kind of story I wanted to share. It was the reason I chose the University of Tennessee. It was six hours from my old life. I was a stranger there, just another overachieving, fresh face college student. No whispers, or rumors, no judgment, just me, Dylan Elizabeth Summers. So, I couldn’t figure out why the nightmares of what they did to me had returned. It had been four years since the attack.

  Picking up a slice of pizza, I let it flop back on the plate. This crappy piece of pizza sure is not going to make anything feel better. It sucked, but it really didn’t surprise me, I was at the Pizza House after all. The home of slimy pizza, flat sodas, and the sweetest service.

  I glanced up as a large group walked in and took over. They caught my eye . . . or in that case, one person in particular. After my experience, I could always spot a lawyer. That group had to be the most vivacious group of suits I had ever experienced. Especially him. Even with his back to me, there was something about him. He had on a bright pink, pinstriped dress shirt and designer pants. Not necessarily causal clothes, but not quite business attire either. He pushed his hip against the counter bringing attention to the tight, firm globes of his ass. I wanted to bite him. I swallowed noisily when that idea crossed my mind. The male species deathly scared me. Still, as impressive as his magnificent backside was, it wasn’t until he flipped around and I got a glimpse of his face that I almost slipped out of my chair.

  I could only stare. Stunned. He pushed his blond, untrimmed hair off his forehead. He was the perfect mixture of a pretty boy and savagely handsome. I wiped a drop of drool off the corner of my mouth. His eyes caught mine. That was the point I normally look down at my feet. Not that time. That time our eyes connected. His expression altered, the impressive and authoritative shield he had going slipped for a mere second. His eyes grew hard with an unrelenting power that sucked the air from my lungs.

  My cell started ringing, but I simply couldn’t look away. He shook his head, turned around, and started arguing with the clerk. His voice sort of rumbled throughout the building until it reached my ears.

  A strange shiver of premonition rocked my body when I heard it. I hastily stuffed my belongings into my bag and started to leave. I looked back over my shoulder. He was leaning over the counter, supporting himself by his fist. I saw a tribal tattoo on his forearm peeking out from under his rolled-up shirtsleeve. His cold, harsh, brown eyes were staring straight at me. Immediately, I knew he was trouble. My life had been nothing but trouble. I didn’t need any more.

  Thursday, September 5, 2013

  “Mike is coming over in a few. He’s bringing Chad with him.” Sarah, my ever-bubbly roommate, was stretched out on the couch, legs crossed, and eating a bowl of popcorn. Even in her M&M pajamas, she was drop-dead gorgeous. From her blond pixie cut to her naturally pink lips to her always manicured toenails, Sarah was full of confidence and had the elegance of a ballerina. She was my total opposite and slowly she became the best friend I ever had.

  However, I hated her match making skills . . . or lack of it. She loved me but hated the fact that I seemed to be absent of any attraction for the male form. I think she would have been happy if I came out of the closet and declared myself a lesbian as long as I got hot and bothered over someone. But no such luck. I just had never run across The One, and I wouldn’t settle for Mr. Right Now.

  It didn’t take Sarah long to get hot and heavy with was it Nick or Mike or who cares. Sarah went through guys more often than I changed the color of the polish on my toes. I wiggled them; trying to avoid “the friend” that was a little too close to my face . . . and realized that maybe she changed men more, because my toes were gnarly. Chipped was an understatement.

  “Earth to Dylan,” Chad said, waving his hand in my face.

  I am on earth, just wish I wasn’t on this couch with you. Don’t get me wrong; Chad was a cutie, in that good boy, preppy kind of way. Perfect teeth, baby blue eyes, and wavy dark brown hair. Though I could never imagine running my fingers in that hair. They would had gotten tangled in all that gel. I wished for once I could had enjoyed the best friend of Sarah’s newest flavor of the month. From the sounds coming out of her room, she enjoyed the flavor. Heck, I could had given Chad . . . and I was sure his name was Chad . . . a chance. Most girls would had died to been in my place. Crap, most girls would had died just to get scraps from a guy like Chad. Glad, I am not most girls.

  “I love your hair,” he said a little too loudly in my ear. “Mike was correct. You’re beautiful.”

  Thanks, now would you please get your nose out of it and kindly quit sniffing. Okay, I had to change my internal way of thinking if I was ever to attempt “to get it on” with that boy.

  By the way, I was no slut. Actually, I could count on one hand how many guys I had even attempted to kiss. But Chad might have helped me get the angry, extremely hot S.O.B. from the Pizza House out of my mind. I had never needed an emotional or physical connection with any guy I had kissed anyway. So why should I have worried that he was less than appealing to me? After all, I didn
t make out with guys for the same reasons most girls did. It was not all butterflies and romance with me. Instead, it made me go numb and for a brief moment, I forgot everything. Sometimes I wondered if I was actually screwed for life. If there was a small piece of me that was seriously damaged. Sarah blamed it on all those unrealistic romance novels I read. The ones where the beyond handsome, tattooed badass changed his ways and fell in love with the clumsy, young girl who rocked his world. But in truth, it was the long line of awkward badasses that my mom brought into my life. If that was all the male population had to offer, they could had kept their manhood to themselves.

  “I think somebody needs to smile.” He stood up and flipped on the IPod to the song It’s Raining Men. He swayed his hips in perfect timing to the music. When he started to inch his shirt up, I threw his coat at him and demanded he get out. We had been alone less than five minutes and he was already stripping. I didn’t want his hands anywhere near me. Not even with a full-body condom.

  “Out. I’m not an open legs, insert dick kind of girl.” I gladly marched to the door and swung it open.

  “Come on, baby. It’s just that you’re fucking unbelievably beautiful. I’ll be good, I promise.”

  I started to make a snarky comeback when Sarah came down the hall, pushing Mr. What’s-his-name. She was fussing about premature ejaculation and if he had that problem at twenty-two, she felt sorry for his future wives.

  When they stumbled down the hall, I heard Chad mumble “slut.” Yeah, I threw him out on his ass for trying to strip within minutes of meeting me, and I was the slut. Sarah walked over to the couch and plopped down on it. She still looked fresh and well-put-together after a ten minute round with whomever. I seriously doubted I would ever see him again, so I really didn’t care what his name was.

  “Grab some ice cream and let’s get down to finally having a good time.”

  I laughed and headed to the kitchen. A good movie, a pint of ice cream, and my best friend was better than any guy at getting my mind off who was it?

  Tuesday, September 17, 2013

  I squeaked the straw in the lid on another flat Coke served at the lovely Pizza House. Why I kept going back day after day? I didn’t quite understand. The food was horrible. I did enjoy people-watching. And there was always a room full of college students and a few high schoolers trying to hookup with said college students.

  That day, however, I had too much studying to do. With three papers due that week, and a speech to write and present in less than four days, I didn’t even realize that someone had sat down across the table from me. Until, that was, I heard a loud and annoying fake cough.

  I looked up. It was him. I had thought about the tattooed business guy often over the last two weeks. He smirked and raised an eyebrow. He was so much more than my feeble memory remembered. I traced his appearance with my eyes and had to bite my bottom lip to keep from mouthing, WOW.

  He was far better looking close up. His eyes sparkled. Were brown-eyes supposed to sparkle like that? One thing for sure they contrasted with the pale blond hair brushing against his eyebrows. I followed the angle of his high cheekbones, the soft slope of his nose, and the squareness of his jaw. Noting the few days’ growth of facial hair, my hands itched to touch.

  “Well, hi, blue eyes.” His smirk grew into a full fledge smile. “What color blue are they? They’re breathtaking.” He moved in closer and examined me. I glanced down being a shy person by trait.

  “I’ve been told aqua.” I squirmed on the bench I was sitting on. The oddity of my auburn red hair and my dodger blue eyes made me standout in a crowd. I didn’t want to standout. I wanted to be a wallflower.

  He tapped the butt of a cigarette on the table, trying to hold my gaze. His confidence rolled off of him in a nearly-tangible wave. “You know most girls beg to have me sitting with them. You didn’t even have to ask, and I still can’t get a smile from you.”

  He ticked me off royally, but it was something else that had me flustered. He made my blood boil at the same time he caused my heart to freeze still.

  “I don’t even know you. And I hate to break your little heart, but you really don’t impress me.” I was unable to look away from his piercing brown eyes. His arrogance was flustering, but those eyes. They really were incredible.

  “Ethan Asher, assistant district attorney, heartbreaker, and eternal stud.” He grasped my hand, bringing it to his lips, and placed the lightest kiss on it. A self-absorbed lawyer. I was right. They were a group of bloodsuckers.

  “Well, you don’t know me.” And you more than impress me. I jerked my hand back and started packing my papers in my backpack.

  “Dylan Elizabeth Summers, stunning ginger, perfect lips, nineteen, a psychology major at UT, lives in Apartment B twelve at three sixteen South Jefferson.”

  “How . . . How did you know?”

  He thumped my keychain that clearly displayed my student ID. “You really should hide that.” He leaned across the table bringing his face within inches of mine. “I would hate for the wrong person to see it.” He stood up, lit a cigarette, and licked his lip. “I’ll pick you up Friday at seven.” He turned to walk off.

  “For what?”

  He glanced over his shoulder. “Stargazing,” he said as if it were obvious. “Look nice.”

  What if I don’t want to go?”

  “Oh, but you do,” he said with an annoying, little wink.

  Friday, September 20, 2013

  “Damn,” I mumbled to myself as I threw another blouse. Half my closet was strewed across my bed. The other half covered the floor.

  I kicked a pair of heels across the room, hating the fact I even cared. But I did care. Ethan Asher would have been there in less than an hour, and I wanted to knock him off his feet.

  I glanced over at my laptop that was still open to his biography. His picture smiled back at me.

  I couldn’t stop myself and did a Google search on Ethan. He was quite accomplished for a man only twenty-six years old. He had graduated from the University of Mississippi’s law school at the ripe young age of twenty-two and was immediately offered a job in the D.A.’s office. He had already won one of the biggest cases the D.A. had presented in the past decade. I found myself proud of a man I barely knew and tried to absorb the fact that I was mere moments from being with him again. Wow Dylan, you finally found a guy that gets you pumped.

  Sarah came in and dive-bombed onto the pile of clothes tossed across the bed. “What’s got your panties in a wad?” She asked and rolled over, fluffing the pillow with her hand until she got it just right, a huge lump.

  I blew a puff of air out, fanning my bangs across my face, and sat down beside her. “A man,” I informed, not expecting her to tackle me into a wrapped-her-entire-body-around-me kind of hug or the loud screech. I wiggled my finger in my ear, unsure if I would ever hear out of it the same again. I had never seen Sarah that elated. Was she really that worried about my lack of lust?

  “For once I might believe lust is one of the best sins. He’s . . .” I turned back to her and mouthed, “Wow.”

  She laughed and raised an eyebrow. “I know it is. Nothing is better than a good romp in the hay.” She scooted on the bed until her back was against the headboard and crossed her legs. “Dylan, be careful. I know you’ve been hurt in the past and I understand you don’t want to share it. But sweetie, I seriously believe you’ll break if you get hurt again. Guard your heart.”

  I didn’t realize it was that obvious I was broken. Sarah had two things right. I couldn’t share with anyone what I had been through, not even with her. But the thing she was most correct about was I couldn’t take much more. I fell back against the headboard.

  She tucked a piece of hair that had escaped my bun behind my ear. “I’ll help you look beautiful. Who am I kidding? You don’t need any help. You’re gorgeous. He’s a lucky son of a bitch.”

  Sarah did my make-up and helped me settle on a black halter dress and a stunning pair of red six-inch heels.
He must be something; I have never seen you this nervous.” Sarah said. I tossed a pillow at her head. She ducked, and I missed. Hearing the doorbell ring, Sarah waved, leaving me alone to greet him.

 
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