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       Learning to Live (The Infinite Love Series Book 1), p.1
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Learning to Live (The Infinite Love Series Book 1)


  Learning to Live

  (The Infinite Love Series #1)

  By: Kira Adams

  Copyright © 2015 Krista Pakseresht. All rights reserved.

  http://kristakakes.blogspot.com

  https://www.facebook.com/KiraAdamsAuthor

  http://www.wattpad.com/user/xKiraAdamsx

  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7179367.Kira_Adams

  http://www.amazon.com/Kira-Adams/e/B00KQZ5838

  The Infinite Love Series

  Learning to Live

  My Forever

  Beautifully Broken

  Against All Odds

  Cover designed by Cover Me Designs

  Table of Contents

  Prologue

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty One

  Chapter Twenty Two

  Chapter Twenty Three

  Chapter Twenty Four

  Chapter Twenty Five

  Chapter Twenty Six

  Chapter Twenty Seven

  Epilogue

  Prologue

  Topher

  We made no sense. She was oil and I was water…but somehow, we worked. No one would ever understand it fully, and I liked that. I liked that we shared a connection that couldn’t be defined.

  Ciera

  We weren’t even on one another’s radars when everything first began to happen. And then something shifted inside both of us. He taught me how to live and I taught him how to let go.

  Chapter One

  Topher

  “Yes…yes…yes!” Sophia screams underneath me as I thrust deeper. She is breathing deeply, one might even think she is actually enjoying herself. But I know Sophia better than that. I know she’s faking it. I glance at the clock on my wrist. Twenty more minutes.

  “Topher!” Sophia cries from underneath me. I flick my eyes to meet hers. “God, are you even in there?”

  She pushes me off of her roughly, and then gathers the sheets off my bed, covering her body.

  “Sorry,” I reply, running my hand over my face, and falling flat on my back.

  “Sorry? Really?” she exclaims angrily, her green eyes appearing black. “What the hell is up with you lately?”

  A lot. But nothing I want to discuss with her. “Nothing,” I lie. “I have to get ready for dinner. My father is finally going to introduce me to his secret girlfriend.”

  Sophia sighs loudly and then hops off my bed, running straight into my bathroom, and then closing the door behind her. I grab my boxer-briefs and slide them back on along with my jeans, belt and polo. A few minutes later she returns, dropping the sheet to the floor idly, and tossing her clothes back on as well.

  Before, the sight of my girlfriend naked could make me hard in a nano-second. Now, it just annoys the crap out of me. She snatches her purse from the ground and gives me a quick peck on the cheek. “See you later?”

  “Sure.” I shrug, not even bothering to feign excitement. She whips her head around and takes off.

  Sophia Thompson, cheerleader, queen bee, socialite, and my girlfriend of four years. Most guys would kill for the opportunity to date her. I’m not most guys. Over time, I have grown to hate almost everything that makes up the person she is and I’ve mastered the art of faking it.

  She is stubborn, opinionated, rude, condescending, vain, and completely self-centered. She wasn’t always like this. I met her at the end of middle school and she was funny and fun to be around, sweet and even endearing. A lot has changed. Mainly, her popularity skyrocketed and her personality flat lined.

  I know I should break up with her…but I’ve grown used to our social status and the hierarchy. Everyone in school wants to date us or be us. Knowing this, makes it hard to dump her like the trash she is. Power has always been something I love controlling.

  The problem is, I’ve been hiding my true feelings for her for so long…I just don’t give a shit anymore. Faking it feels normal, so I continue on with the charade. I found out six months ago Sophia was fucking my best friend, Joe. It wasn’t even a surprise to me. I actually felt relieved. If he was giving it to her good then maybe I wouldn’t have to try so hard. It’s a fucked up situation…I know, but I feel numb about it all.

  I head downstairs and quickly begin setting the table. It feels like forever that my father has been sneaking around with his new girlfriend. I always thought I would have met her sooner, but good for him for getting the chance to act younger than he is.

  My mother died when I was just a baby. I don’t even remember what she looked like. My father has showed me plenty of pictures, but she’s always felt like a stranger due to the fact that I was too young to remember her. He’s dated a few women since, but it’s mainly just been the two of us. He owns a couple of car lots and is rarely ever home, so I’ve grown accustomed to being on my own.

  After setting the table, I help myself to a glass of water and glance at the clock on the stove. They should be here any minute. I wonder if his new lady will have kids. I wonder what she will look like. His past choices in women have been very eclectic. I’m not even sure what to expect this time around. I hear the garage open and my eyes lock on the door. Any minute now.

  I hear muffled whispers as car doors shut and then shuffling of feet toward the door. Moment of truth. The handle turns and my father walks in, carrying his briefcase. His Armani suit is immaculate as always and his dark hair is gelled to perfection. I peek my eyes around him and notice another man walking in. He is thin and pale with short blond hair and a more, laid-back look to him. He wears a blue striped button-down shirt and jeans. So much for dinner…I wonder who this guy is.

  “Topher,” my Father exclaims, startled. “I didn’t know you were there.”

  I nod, my eyes dancing between my father and his unfamiliar friend. “Where’s your girlfriend?”

  My question seems to make him uncomfortable. He clears his throat before speaking. “Do you want to sit?”

  Why is he acting so strange? I shake my head as if to say no, then fold my arms across my body.

  “Um, Topher, this is Clarke,” my father introduces us, and his friend extends out his hand apprehensively for me to shake. I take it, and it is seriously the most puny hand shake I’ve ever received.

  “Hey Topher, I’ve heard so much about you,” Clarke says smiling slightly.

  I nod stiffly. “Do you work at the lot?”

  Clarke swallows, his adam’s apple jumping up his throat. “No.”

  Okay. Now I’m confused. “Then how do you guys know each other?” I address the question to my father.

  He sets his briefcase down on the kitchen counter, taking a small step toward me. “Topher…” The way he says my name makes my heart race, leaving me uneasy. “Clarke and I…”

  My mind instantly goes into overdrive. What the fuck. My eyes shoot back and forth between my father and Clarke. No fucking way…

  “Topher,” my father says again, concern lacing his voice.

  “You’re a fucking fag?” I exclaim angrily, pounding my fist into the granite countertop.

  My father’s eyes widen and
I see a flash of hurt pass across them. Clarke gasps at my outburst.

  “I will not have you talking that way to me in my own home!” my father cries out angrily.

  “This has to be some bad fucking dream. This is not my real life!” I throw my head into my hands, my body beginning to convulse. I feel someone’s hand lightly touch me and I throw myself back before realizing it is my father. “I have somewhere to be…” I mutter under my breath as I turn my back to them and race back up the stairs.

  I can hear my father calling out after me but my body is on autopilot. Before I even know what is happening, I’ve grabbed the keys to the Porsche and I’m out the door. I don’t think I’ve ever driven this fast in my life. I know I should slow down but I want the image that is seared across my mind gone. How can my father be…how…none of it makes any sense.

  My phone is vibrating in the pocket of my jeans. I pull it out and see that it’s my father. I chuck it to the floorboard of the passenger seat angrily.

  This can’t be my life.

  I end up at Sophia’s out of habit. Her red Mustang is in the driveway so I know she’s home. I jump out of my car and quickly make my way to the door. I pound harder than I intend to on it. Luckily, I notice her sandy brown hair coming to answer it.

  “Topher?” she says, confused. “I thought you had to do dinner with your dad?”

  “Screw my dad,” I reply, letting myself in and pulling her into me. I cover her lips with mine, kissing her more passionately than I have in a very long time.

  “What was that for?” she asks breathlessly, as I break off the kiss.

  “I know I’ve been distracted lately, but I want you. I want you now.” I pick her up in my arms, and slam her against the door, kissing her neck, her jaw.

  I need a distraction.

  Sophia’s breaths are becoming labored. “Topher…not here.”

  I put her back down on the ground and she reaches for my hand, pulling me further into her familiar household.

  “Hi Topher,” I hear her mother say from inside the kitchen.

  “Hi Mrs. Thompson,” I shout back as we continue to make our way to her bedroom.

  After we are securely inside and the door is locked, I throw her onto the bed and pounce onto her.

  “What has gotten into you?” she asks, playfully.

  “Less talking…more action.” I don’t want to think about anything that transpired earlier at my house. All I want to do is have fucking sex.

  “Okay.” She giggles and then I shut my mind off. My body goes back on autopilot and I give an award-winning performance. Unfortunately for me, the distraction is short-lived and before I know it, I’m back in my car pounding my steering wheel with my fist. I know I can’t avoid my house forever…but I never saw this coming. I can’t even imagine the response if I tell Joe or Sophia about what happened. I’d never be able to separate myself from the stigma. The problem is, I don’t actually mind gays…but my father? I’ll never live it down. Everyone in my high school will find out and I know my life will become a living hell. I know it’s not about me, but, all I can focus on is the repercussions of his choices and how they will affect my comfortable life.

  Chapter Two

  Ciera

  Head down. Don’t make eye contact. I’ve perfected this over the years. Today is no different. As I slip through the crowds of my peers virtually invisible, I realize that maybe, just maybe, today will be better. If I can just stay out of sight, maybe no one will mess with me today. It’s the first positive thought I’ve had in weeks.

  I’m walking through the courtyard toward my locker, when I feel my foot catch on something and suddenly my body is hurling toward the ground. My books go flying and I land roughly on my hands and knees, tearing them up from the cement. I guess I spoke too soon.

  “Shit,” I mutter under my breath, my cheeks instantly flaming up. I wonder how many people caught the accident that is me…that’s when I hear it…loud chuckling from behind me.

  “That was priceless,” a familiar low voice says, then goes back to laughing uncontrollably.

  I don’t even have to make eye contact with the perpetrator to know who it is. My ultimate tormentor these past couple of years, Joe Nellis.

  “Did you get it?” I hear another voice ask, which I also recognize to be Joe’s best friend, Topher Carlson. Two of the most popular guys in the school and my biggest tormentors.

  “Every second.” As I wipe the dirt off of my jeans and stand back up, I take notice of the iPhone in Joe’s hand. The asshole taped the entire incident. My stomach instantly tenses up. Hurriedly, I gather my belongings and flee the scene.

  Unfortunately, this is my life. Or at least it has been for the past six years. This is my hell and I’ve learned to simply exist within it. I make it to my locker without any more incidents and notice my best and only friend, Mack leaning against it. His nose is buried in a book, but he looks up the minute I get close and I watch as his eyes travel over my entire body and a look of pain flashes across his eyes.

  “What happened to you?” he asks, eyeing the newly fresh holes in the knees of my jeans.

  “The A-Team…what else?” When I became a freshman and the bullying became physical, Mack and I came up with our own nickname for the popular jocks who made our lives a living hell. That way it was easier to talk about them in a stealth way.

  Mack is still eyeing my ripped clothing with a pained expression. “Did it hurt?”

  “A little,” I reply honestly, opening my locker and shoving my books in.

  “Ciera, you’re bleeding.” He points to my right knee. I look down and sure enough, dark red blood is seeping into my jeans and trailing down my leg.

  “Shit,” I mutter.

  “You should go see the nurse. Get that patched up.”

  I nod. “Yeah.”

  “Do you want me to come with you?” he offers, knowing full well it will make us both late to our first period class.

  I shake my head as if to say no. “No, there’s no reason for us both to be late. Can you just tell Mrs. Joyner I’ll be there soon?”

  He nods. “Only one hundred and fifty five more days.”

  I sigh. It feels like an eternity until we finally are free of this prison. While I rather enjoy school and my classes in general, I hate every other detail about the dreaded place. There’s only so much a person can take and I’ve been teetering with a breaking point for far too long.

  As I enter the nurse’s station, Ms. Gregory eyes me sympathetically. “Ciera.”

  Unfortunately, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know our school nurse more than anyone in this dreaded place. Apart from the bullying, I’m also accident prone and I end up here at least a few times a week. It’s embarrassing to say the least, but Mrs. Gregory has a gentle way about her that always puts me at ease.

  “What is it this time?” she asks as she motions for me to take a seat.

  “I fell and hurt my knee.”

  Her eyes fall to my knee, where the ripped section is. She takes a few steps toward me and squats to take a better look, pulling back the dark fabric. “Oh yeah, that does look pretty bad. Can you roll up your pant leg for me and I’ll be right back?”

  I do as she asks and wince as the fabric touches my skinned knee. I’m waiting for a couple of minutes for her to bring back some Neosporin and bandages when I hear footsteps headed into her office. I keep my eyes trained to the ground, unsure of who is joining me in the room.

  “Shit, that looks nasty,” a familiar voice states from the doorway.

  My body tenses up as I realize its Topher. Maybe they haven’t had enough fun yet today?

  “You know, your video has already gotten over a thousand views…you’re a star!” he jokes condescendingly.

 
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