Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl #2) - Sawyer Bennett Page 0,1

reached out to him, not once doubting that he’d want to help me.

But then my world crashed again when he looked down upon me with disgust and said, “Yet another lie, Sela,” before slamming the door on me.

I think about Beck just moments ago, pushing me out his door, looking at me with disgust and calling me—the rape victim—a liar.

And nothing.

Absolute emptiness within me, but it’s actually a blissful feeling, because it doesn’t hurt.

My gaze falls back down to the carpet. Lip gloss, loose change, tampons, chewing gum, and a matchbook I took from a jazz club that Beck and I went to. A keepsake, so to speak.

Tiny cramp in my chest. I push it away and face the elevator, ignoring all of the scattered items.

I turn my back and leave it all behind.

All of it.


Chapter 2


The minute the door slams shut, blocking Sela and her treacherous, lying eyes, I fall back against it. I immediately slump down to the floor, my legs splayed out in front of me, toes tilted outward, and my hands sit like useless lumps on my thighs.

When I first saw Sela sitting in my office, I was filled with rage such as I’ve never known. It was blistering hot and my ears were buzzing with static as adrenaline pumped like acid in my veins.

I knew.

Immediately knew she had lied to me about needing to take a walk that day after Thanksgiving because she was overwhelmed. I quickly figured out that she had taken my key chain and had a copy made so she could get into my office. It tied together nicely.

How could I have been so stupid? How could I not have seen the duplicity?

How in the fuck did I get played so well?

My body went on autopilot, my brain refusing to accept a single word she said, because she’s a proven liar, and I hate liars more than anything. Hate fucking secrets and gray areas and deception and cover-ups. My parents taught me well to hate it, creating such a vile environment for what masqueraded as a family that they unwittingly made a man with no tolerance.

I’m sure lies continued to drip from her mouth even after I caught her. Hell, I’m not even sure what she was saying as I pulled her through the condo; my only concern was getting her out of my life. Rage, fury, bitterness . . . it was all the fuel I needed to push her right out, as I realized that Sela was not only playing with my life, she was playing with my heart.

As I sit here, feeling as if I don’t have a single ounce of strength within me, I realize that as the mania subsides, I’m left with a desolate emptiness. Just minutes ago, I was full of Sela, and now there’s a hollowness surrounded by a bitter husk.

I hear a sound on the other side of the door, and of course I know it’s Sela.

A hoarse bark of a sound . . . a pained sob perhaps? An attempt to get me to feel bad about what I’ve done?

My fingers curl inward, press into my palms, and I have to push hard against the overwhelming need to open that door to comfort her.

I push up off the floor and stalk through the living room, trying to get as far away from the door and the sound of Sela crying. I cross my arms over my stomach, hugging myself almost protectively, and pace back and forth along the floor-to-ceiling window that overlooks the bay.

Something hits the door. A tinny sound, barely noticeable, and my head jerks that way. I take a step in that direction and halt myself.

Turn back around, face the window.

My body tenses, waiting to hear something else. Maybe Sela isn’t done and will start trying to call out to me through the door. Maybe she’ll try to throw more fiction at me, and in fact, maybe that’s why she’s silent right now. Her brain is working up a new web of deceit in which she’ll try to capture me.

I wait and I wait, yet I don’t hear anything else.

Please, Sela . . . say something and make a liar out of my feelings right now.

Dropping my arms, I walk hesitantly to the door and lean so my ear is placed against it. I don’t hear a sound. I put my eye to the peephole, bracing myself to see Sela curled into some pitiful fetal position.

There’s no one in the hallway,