Wrecked If I Break #1
Wrecked If I Break #1
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Lauren Brooks is determined to escape her small town, attend her dream school in Chicago, and graduate debt-free. Juggling a heavy course load and a job at a popular nightclub, she has no time for distractions or guys who only want one thing. But then she meets Cal, a troublemaker with a hidden agenda. Despite her reservations, she falls for him and they marry, thinking it's the start of their happily ever after. Little does she know, Cal's secret comes at a high price, and being his wife will test her in ways she never expected.
- Billionaire Romance
- Secret Baby
- Broken Hero
This is not your typical happily ever after...
Lauren Brooks wants to accomplish three things: escape the small town she grew up in, get accepted to her dream school in Chicago, and graduate without drowning in debt. Now, she's working her ass off to do just that.
With a full course load and a waitressing job at one of the hottest nightclubs in Chicago, she doesn't have time for distractions - namely, ones who only want to get into her pants. She's been burned before.
Only a fool goes for a second round... With just two semesters left until graduation, everything's on track. Until she meets Cal. Enter distraction. At six-foot-two, with ebony hair, deep grey eyes, and a smile that could hide an agenda, she knows he's trouble. And for the first time in her life, a little trouble might be just what she needs.
No, what she wants. It isn't like she'd ever marry the guy. Until she does.
What she thinks will be her happily ever after is only the beginning.
Cal has a secret. One that makes loving him come with a price, and being his wife costs more than she bargained for.
Here he comes. My very
own Prince Fucking Charming, Cal Scott. He walks in, and his eyes quickly skim
the packed suitcase in my hand and briefly rest on my face. He lets out an
exasperated sigh, tosses his keys on the table, and takes off his coat. His
eyes fall on the empty bottle of wine I finished today. A smirk spreads across
his face before he passes me, heading into the living room.
I expected his lack of response, but it hurts all the same.
I’m pretty sure he regards me more as his personal high-class escort than his
I clutch my suitcase, full of the very few things that are
mine. He can keep the cars, the money, and the penthouse—the things he believes
should comfort me in my loneliness. All the material things in the world can’t
make up for the growing disconnect between us. The four-carat yellow diamond on
my finger is a beautiful but painful reminder of the vows he broke.
I look at him now, slouched on the couch with a
self-assured cocky grin plastered on his face, the same one he wore the day I
met him. I walk into the living room. He’s watching a basketball game on his
obnoxiously big television screen as if he hasn’t a care in the world.
He glances back at me, still not speaking, and my anger
boils over. If I were a man, I would kick his ass! I pull the calendar marked
with the very few days he’s been home from my bag and force it into his lap.
“Don’t start this shit, Lauren. I texted you,” he says with
My questions come rapid fire as I walk between him and the
television, waving my suitcase in his direction and trying my best to obstruct
his view. “You texted me? That makes it okay? Do you see my bags at the door
and the one I’m holding? Do you not get it? I’m leaving, Cal. Fuck you and your
He shifts his position on the couch and gestures to the
empty wine bottle I forgot to discard. “I’m not talking to you while you’re
drunk,” he says dismissively.
“Yes, you are!” I insist, moving closer to him.
“Weren’t you leaving?” he asks sarcastically. His face is
stern while his eyes smile.
He’s not taking me seriously, so I lean down and growl in
his face. “You are such an asshole!”
He kisses me—right on the lips—and laughs. He fucking
laughs! I try to slap him, but he’s quick, and my fingertips barely graze his
“I hate you!” I roar and storm away from him. I start to
take off my wedding ring. I want to throw it at him, but then I realize I like
my ring. It’s fucking gorgeous. So I throw the stereo remote at his head
instead before I march to the door.
He’s off the couch, coming after me, but I keep walking. He
grabs my arm, turns me to face him, and takes my suitcase.
“I’m done. Leave me alone!” I yell, struggling to break
free from his iron grasp. Suddenly, I’m picked up and swung over his shoulder. “Let
me go! Stop it!”
But he doesn’t listen. I’m failing miserably in my attempts
“No more bottles of wine for you, Mrs. Scott,” he utters,
unfazed by my protests.
“Let me go!” I scream again, punching him in the back as he
carries me up the stairs and into our bedroom, where he drops me
unceremoniously on the bed.
“Sleep this off,” he says simply.
Who the hell does he think he is? I rush toward the door,
but he quickly slips out and shuts the door. I get to the door a split second
later and yank on it. It’s locked. The bastard has locked me in.
“So you’re kidnapping me now? You’re adding that to your
résumé as a shitty, emotionless husband? You can’t keep me here! I’m leaving
you! I’m tired of this! You’re never home! I didn’t sign up to be the only
person in this marriage!”
My outburst is futile. I can hear the play-by-play of the
Bulls game echoing up the stairs, and I’m certain he’s turned up the volume on
his stupid-ass giant TV in order to drown me out. I sit on the floor and cry
until I can’t cry anymore, until I’m too tired to do anything but sleep.
I adjust my eyes as I wake. My head is pounding. The bottle
of wine I consumed is coming back to haunt me. I realize I’m no longer on the
floor but in our bed with the covers over me.
The moonlight, rather than the sun my conscious brain last
saw, shines through the window. I’ve been out of it for a while. I place my
feet on the plush carpet, leave my bed, and head out onto the terrace to enjoy
the fresh evening breeze. Looking over Chicago’s glittering downtown, I think
about how many nights I have spent out here alone, staring at the skyline and
wondering where my husband is. I feel sick.
I move back inside. The bedroom door is now unlocked. I
open it only to find that all the lights in the penthouse are off and it’s
silent. He’s gone again, which doesn’t surprise me. Being inside alone feels
suffocating. I walk back out onto the terrace.
The loneliest time of my life didn’t begin until I married
the one person I would have given my life for. His touch awakened every nerve
in my body, his words and promises hypnotized me, and in his arms, I felt safer
than I’d ever felt anywhere else. For so long, I couldn’t breathe without him.
Nothing is certain now. The bond between us, once so
real—so tangible, I believed in it with every ounce of my being—is now in
tatters. Whatever we had has been lost. Our home is void of warmth and love and
filled with anger instead. We are participants in a war of words that continue
to be recycled over and over. Any hope I had for us now lives in the past, and
that is really fucking depressing.
I laugh at my naiveté and wipe a few tears from my cheek.
Dammit. I promised I wouldn’t cry over him anymore, but what’s another promise
broken to myself? I try to not care so much, but I’m not fooling anybody. I
know I still do.
The front door opens. I walk back inside and into the hall
and look over the banister to see that he has a dozen pink roses in his arms. I
watch him place them on the table before I go back into our room, saying
Returning to the terrace, I survey the city. After a few
minutes, the bedroom door opens, and I sense him walking up behind me, his
scent giving him away before he’s even near me. He’s wearing my favorite
cologne. As smoothly as ever, his strong arms wrap around my waist.
I hate that I still get chills when he touches me. I wish I
would cringe instead. I hate it even more that he knows the effect he has on
me. His lips find the back of my neck, making his way to the crook of it, while
his hands caress my stomach, moving lower before finding the button on my
pants. He begins to undo them. I hate him so much sometimes. I hate even more
that no matter how mad I am, somehow, some way, my body always betrays me and
Taking my hand, he turns me around to face him. He knows
exactly how his beautiful gray eyes affect me, and he uses it to his advantage.
I know he feels me giving in. He knows I’m faltering,
because he smiles at me with that subtle, self-assured grin of his before he
leans down, places his lips on mine, and parts them. When I don’t pull away, he
slides his tongue into my mouth, playing with mine, daring me to resist.
A soft moan escapes my lips. What the hell am I doing? I was supposed to be leaving him tonight.
His grip tightens on my waist. He knows he has me, and damn it, I know it too.
I hate that he knows it first. I hate even more that he knows me so well.
I pull away and look up at him, frustrated by how he can
read me like the back of his hand.
“I hate you sometimes,” I say bitterly.
But even with my tone, the moment he looks at me, he knows
I don’t mean it. Those freakin’ eyes of his have hypnotized me out of my better
judgment—and my clothes—since I’ve known him. They tend to see right through
“I know,” he says before pulling me into one of his
intoxicating kisses that make me feel as if I’m floating.
He carries me inside to our bed. This is what he does,
after all. He’s the master of manipulation, the king of allure. He knows me
inside and out—and probably better than I know myself. That I allowed that to
happen at all was my first mistake. My second was falling in love with him. But
how could I resist someone so irresistible? How could I run away from something
that had already caught me? That’s what happened to me. I was caught before I
even knew I was being hunted, and by the time I realized it, it was far too
He has me addicted, and that’s how he wants it. How the
hell did I let this happen?