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Page 51 of A Beautiful Mess (Beautiful Mess 1)

“Then why was she here dancing with me? Obviously she’s not satisfied with you.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Olivia saw a tall, skinny blonde stroll up to Alexander. Kiera elbowed Olivia in her side and they shared a knowing look. This is definitely getting interesting, Olivia thought.

“Alex, darling. Please. No need to fight for my honor tonight. I know you love me. Let’s just go back to our family and enjoy our evening together.”

Alexander heard Adele’s words and he looked over into Olivia’s eyes. Adele’s eyes followed where he was looking, stunned at what she saw. She remembered those eyes, but it wasn’t her. Olivia DeLuca was killed years ago. It was just an uncanny resemblance.

Alexander noticed that Adele was staring at Olivia and he worried about what she would say. Instead of putting up a fight, he retreated back to the bar, following Adele. Olivia’s heart sank as she watched him walk away with her, his hand on the small of her back.

Tears threatened to fall down Olivia’s cheeks. Kiera looked at her friend and saw how upset she was. “Men. Such jerks.”

“Yeah,” she agreed, attempting to regain her composure.

A man who Olivia recognized as one of the guys Kiera had been dancing with that evening approached the two women.

“Hey, are you okay?” he asked Olivia.

“Yes, thank you. I’m fine.”

“Libby, this is Matt,” Kiera said, introducing the smiling blond man standing to her left.

“Nice to meet you, Matt,” Olivia said, shaking his hand before turning back to Kiera. “Listen, I’m going to head back to the room. I’ve had enough excitement for one evening. But you stay here, okay?” She knew Kiera was having fun dancing with Matt and she didn’t want to be the one to rip her away from her good time.

Kiera looked at Olivia. “Are you sure? I can come back with you. We can order room service and a ridiculously expensive bottle of champagne and bitch about how much of an ass Alexander Burnham is.” Kiera laughed.

“No. You have fun. You deserve it. And don’t worry about me. I just need to be alone for a little bit.”

Olivia left before Kiera could respond, quickly retreating from the dance floor, past the bar, and out the front doors of the club into the busy casino.

She was nearly at the elevators leading to her room when she heard a voice shouting. “Olivia! Wait!” She stopped in her tracks, refusing to turn around. She didn’t know if she could look into those eyes again. Those eyes that once held such promise for her own future. Those eyes that she had become so accustomed to in just a week. Those eyes that remained the same, even when they were lying to her.

“Please. Olivia, Love…”

“Do not call me that,” Olivia hissed as she spun around. “You lost that right, Alexander. I only ask for one thing out of people. The truth. And, well, I know it never came up, but you could have told me you were already fucking someone else.”

“Olivia, please. Adele doesn’t mean anything to me. She never has. We’ve known each other nearly our entire lives and she was more of a distraction for me than anything serious.” Alexander moved toward Olivia. She held up her hand and took a step back, wanting to keep her distance from him.

“So, is that what I was, Alexander?” she asked quietly, her voice full of pain. “A distraction? I thought I meant more to you than that. I actually believed…” Olivia looked into his eyes, her own eyes brimming with tears. “I actually thought I could get close to you, something I have trouble doing. And this is what happens. I get hurt. You ripped my fucking heart out and stomped on it. I saw those god damn pictures all over the internet of you and her. And I was actually worried something happened to you and that’s why you weren’t responding to any of my texts. Stupid me. You were off getting fucked by some blonde bimbo who probably has more plastic in her body than anything else.”

“Olivia, please. It wasn’t like that. She found me yesterday morning and invited me to a thing her parents were putting on at the country club and I agreed to go. And tonight was just supposed to be me and my brother and sister and her husband. Adele found us and just attached herself to our small little party.”

Olivia thought about his explanation. Some of the things she had read about Adele made Alexander’s story plausible. She was noted for being a gold digger, looking for a rich husband to marry, her father having lost a big chunk of his fortune in the recent recession. But one thing just didn’t make sense to Olivia.

“If that’s true, why did you follow her back? Why didn’t you tell her you didn’t love her? Why did you just stare at me, afraid someone would find out that I was your dirty little secret?”

Alexander opened his mouth, wanting to calm her fears, but was unsure of what to say. He closed his mouth, hoping to formulate his thoughts. A few brief moments passed and he offered no explanation.

“That’s what I thought,” Olivia said, spinning on her heels and walking away from him into a waiting elevator car.

CHAPTER TWENTY

HELPLESS

“LIBS, you’d probably feel better if you talked about last night,” Kiera said, interrupting the dead silence in the car as they drove back to Boston the following morning.

“I’d rather not,” Olivia replied dryly.

“So, what are you going to do?”

“I’m just going to get back to the city and try to forget that Alexander Burnham even exists. Now you know why I don’t date. It’s not worth the heartache. It’s not worth this totally helpless feeling I have right now.”

Kiera looked at her friend briefly before returning her eyes to the road. “You’re only helpless when your nails are drying and even then I’m sure you could still pull the trigger if you had to.”

Olivia couldn’t help but laugh. “You spend far too much time on Pinterest looking at all those e-cards. You know that, right?” Kiera always knew how to lighten a tense situation.

A few moments passed before Kiera spoke again. “But seriously. What do you think you’re going to do? Has he tried to call you or anything?”

“Yeah. He has. I have about ten missed calls from him, a few voicemails, and a shit ton of texts. I just can’t bring myself to listen or read or anything.”

“Well, maybe you should. I mean, maybe closure is something you need here.”

“I got enough closure last night when he couldn’t come up with one simple explanation of why he chose to follow Bombshell Barbie back to the bar instead of stay with me. It was like last week was one big act for him to try to get in my pants or something.”

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