THE TWISTED TRILOGY – Book 3: A TWIST OF FATE

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a twist of fate - ebook cover

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/385519

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18074818-a-twist-of-fate

Abigail finally gets her happy ever after… don’t you want to find out who she chooses?

CHAPTER ONE

WITH CAMERON CLARKE SITTING next to me, it was difficult to think of anything intelligible to say.  I couldn’t keep my mischievous eyes off of him.  His short, chaotic blonde hair and beaming baby blues had captured my attention, but it was quickly relinquished when I caught the way his thumb brushed up and down the smooth face of his mug of hot chocolate.

I chewed on my bottom lip, watching the way he caressed the handle, just the way he touched me.  I had to part my lips just to allow a breath to slip between them.  It was amazing how something so simple could tickle me in the most intimate of places.

When the phone rang, Cameron reached over for it and held it out to me.  “It’s for you.”  Then his hand skimmed mine and a carnal awareness rushed me with a vengeance.  He winked through squinted, sunset-shaped eyes and I melted.  Would I ever get enough of this man?

Breathless, I answered the phone.  “Hey.”

“Hey, girl.  Are you ready for this?” Aliah asked.  Aliah was by far my best friend.

“Absolutely,” I replied, being seriously excited about our ski trip.

Cameron had only just told me about it days ago, but Aliah had been planning this thing for months.  I had agreed to spend my Christmas holidays with Cameron and his daughter, even though my ex-beau and housemate – Edwin – was none too pleased about it.  I had even agreed to go on this trip when Cameron asked me.  That was before I realized Edwin would be coming along.

“Everyone’s ready to hit the road.  I need you here like 5 minutes ago,” Aliah said.  “Me and Hunter are driving with you.  There’s no way I’m letting Maddie anywhere near him this weekend.”

When Hunter knocked up Maddie, it had officially ruined Aliah’s life.  She wasn’t about to give Maddie an inch now.  Especially with the knowledge that Maddie still had it bad for Hunter.

Cameron had been watching me intently.  My mouth.  My eyes.  And I was aware of every inch of his attention.  I tried to stay focused on my conversation with Aliah, but it was a challenge, with every little tingle my body absorbed from his devastatingly sexy smirk.

“Okay.  We’ll be there in a few,” I said, promptly hanging up the phone and grinning at Cameron.  “What are you trying to do to me?”

Cameron pulled me into his arms, without a care.  “They can wait.”  His soft lips hooked onto mine, working me into a sexual frenzy.

My heart raced as I pulled his shirt over his head, exposing every inch of sculpted flesh on his core.  I fumbled with the button on his jeans and then quickly pried the zipper open to free him.  I supposed it wouldn’t hurt to satisfy this one delicious urge before we left.  And that we did.  Twice.

***

AFTER A LONG TRYING drive, thanks to the snow covered roads and white out conditions, I was relieved when we all finally piled into the lobby of the mountainside hotel.  Aliah and Hunter had managed to keep me entertained for a good portion of the ride, but I was grateful to stretch out my aching limbs.

Jessica and Edwin were already lounging in the lobby when we got there, and Maddie – of all people – was at the front desk checking them in.  Her hands anxiously rubbed over her bulging baby bump, while the receptionist did her thing.

“I’ll go check us in,” Cameron said, giving my hand a squeeze before leaving my side.  He joined Maddie at the registration desk, with Hunter following close behind him.

It was amusing to watch Hunter fumble over himself to make sure Maddie was okay and even funnier to watch Aliah’s failed attempts to keep his attention.

While Cameron registered us for our suite, he stared at me from afar.  It made my adrenaline rush, giving me a heady reminder of how it pumped through every inch of my body whenever I was with him.  Then Edwin cleared his throat, snapping me back into reality.

Smiling, I moved closer to him and Jessica.  “Hey, guys.”

Edwin was the epitome of casual, the polar opposite of Jessica.  Her face was painted to perfection, and she was wearing clothes that wrapped around her body like a glove.  Out of all the men Jessica could have had, she continued to hang off of Edwin and smooth her hands all over his astounding physique like he was hers.  Edwin had told me that it was over between them.

They look awfully cozy to me.

Pulling away from Jessica’s hold, Edwin stepped up next to me, draped his arm across my back and briefly squeezed my shoulder.  “Hey,” he said, his voice a sexy growl.  “I didn’t think I would see you again.”

His eyes were dark and dangerous, but he released my shoulder and just smiled at me.  Nothing could compare to the knives tumbling around in my belly, and that response didn’t go unnoticed.  Cameron’s protective stare wrapped right around me and I could sense the trouble that began to stir between them.

Edwin wasn’t ready to give up on me just yet.  He had made that plainly obvious.  I wished I didn’t care about Edwin’s feelings anymore.  But I did.

Cameron walked up next to me and swept his left hand up and down my back.  His other hand grabbed onto mine possessively, as he gave me a peck on the lips.  “Ready to head up?”

I locked onto his gaze and grinned.  His jealousy was adorable.

“Why don’t we all head up to my room before we get too comfortable?” Maddie suggested, as she joined us.

“Okay,” I agreed.  “What room are you in?”

“201,” Maddie announced.  “See you in a few?”

I nodded at her, as Cameron retrieved our bags and pointed toward the stairs.  We climbed up one flight and walked down the long, narrow hall, until Cameron let me into the suite marked 225.

After checking my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I returned to the spacious room.  No expense had been spared when they decorated this suite.  The rich, dark colours made it feel warm and safe and romantic.  The furniture was all natural wood, stained dark, and covered in luxurious fabrics.  The room had a gas fireplace for ambiance.  The only thing missing was a whirlpool.

I walked around the oversized bed, where Cameron was already kicked back, looking sexy as hell with his hands laced behind his head.

“We should probably get over there,” I suggested, eyeing the large, sumptuous bed with my handsome man sprawled upon it.

“You’d better make your move fast then,” he growled.  “Because if I get my hands on you, we’ll be awhile.”  His devious promise was tempting, but as he reached out to grab me, I leapt over the corner of the bed and shuffled for the door squealing.

Cameron chased me to the door with a growl, and he caught my hand, but I had already pulled the door open.  As he moved to lure me back inside, Hunter crossed our path and cut off our heated exchange.

Hunter looked incredibly frustrated and ignored the disturbing stare he received from Cameron.  “I can’t find an ice machine anywhere.”

“Wrong way, buddy.  I saw a sign in the stairwell,” Cameron said, not letting me go.

I pried myself out of Cameron’s loving grip and smirked.  “Why don’t you show him?”

Cameron disappeared from behind me and quickly reappeared with our ice bucket.  “I’ll do it.  But only because I need to cool off.”

I grinned at Cameron and turned to Hunter.  “I’m going to go see Aliah then.  I take it your room’s this way?”

“Yeah.  We’re right next door to Maddie.”

Cameron’s smile quickly faded, and there was no doubt in my mind that he had stumbled upon the same fact that I had.  Maddie’s room equals Edwin’s room.

I gave Cameron a chaste kiss and disappeared around the corner in search of room 201.  Before having to search far, I overheard my friends chatting rather loudly.  Thanks to their door being left ajar, I let myself in.

Edwin’s face lit up in an instant, his sharply arched eyebrows framing his pristine aqua eyes.  And when his lips curled into a smile that covered his handsome face, it unnerved me to no end.

Someone was happy to see me.

I took a seat on the bed next to Maddie, while Edwin poured me a glass of wine.  I had to sip from the glass before it could change hands, just so it didn’t overflow.

“Drink up,” Edwin growled, slapping me with that sexy smile.

Maddie rolled her eyes, obviously disappointed that she was about to be the only sober one among us.  Jessica’s glass was nearly as full as mine, but Aliah had already polished hers off.

“We’d better nail down what we’re doing,” Maddie said, slightly annoyed.  “I’m getting tired already.”

“What do you want to do?” Aliah asked me.

I shrugged my shoulders, being without any ideas.

“What do you ladies say we hit the hot tub?”  Edwin raised his eyebrows shamelessly.

Aliah and I looked at each other at the same time, which made us start laughing.

“Yeah, I could go for that,” Aliah answered.

“I could definitely go for a nice soak,” Jessica agreed, eyeing up Edwin like a piece of man candy.  She would say anything to get his shirt off of him.

I wasn’t exactly complaining myself.

Just then, as Maddie began to pout, Cameron and Hunter entered the room.  “Aww!  I can’t go in the hot tub.  It’s not good for the baby.”

“You could always dip your legs in,” Jessica suggested.

“You’re not going anywhere near that tub with my baby,” Hunter stated, exposing his protective nature.

I was caught off guard by Hunter’s demand and watched his controlling stare.  Aliah showed her disgust with Hunter, before taking a swig straight from the bottle of wine.

It didn’t affect Maddie one bit.  “You can’t control me like that, Hunter,” she said, scowling.  “You’re not my father.”

He propped his hands on his masculine hips, his voice hard and cold.  “No, but I am the baby’s father and that means I get a say.”

“Hunter, I think it would be okay for Maddie to dip her feet in, if she wants,” Aliah said, hoping to get some of Hunter’s attention.  “Quit trying to control her.  She’s been taking good care of herself.”

Aliah’s compassion shocked everyone.  I couldn’t believe how much her relationship with Hunter had transformed her overactive sass in such a short time.

“Abs, are you in or what?” Edwin asked me, waiting for my response as he topped up my glass.

I turned a blank stare on Cameron.  “Do you want to go for a soak in the hot tub?”

Cameron wrapped an arm around my hip.  “You do realize we have our own private hot tub.”  He said it loud enough for everyone to hear.

“Hey, are you guys holding out on us?” Edwin chimed.

“I didn’t see one in our suite.”

Cameron smirked.  “That’s because it’s on the patio.  I bet it’d feel pretty awesome out there right about now.  You’re all welcome to join us.”  He paused and then directed his jab at Edwin.  “That is if you can handle the walk out to the tub.”

Edwin narrowed his eyes, his face turning serious.  “I can handle whatever you can dish my way and then some.  Whatever it is, I’m sure I can do it better than you.”

“I’m sure,” Cam replied, unconvinced and uncaring.

Edwin cocked an arrogant brow.  “Why don’t we just ask Abby?”

I pointed an unimpressed finger at Edwin, with a scowl.  “You, leave me out of this.”

“That’s short for: I’m better in bed,” Edwin announced to everyone.

They all snickered at Cameron’s expense.  I was not impressed.

“Why don’t you shut your mouth while you’re ahead?  Or should I tell everyone just how good Cameron is to me?”

“Oh, burn!” Hunter hollered, laughing and pointing.

When I turned to leave the room, Cameron caught up with me and looped his arms around my waist.  All eyes were on me, so I made good use of it.

“If you guys are quite finished, we’re in room 225.”

“We’ll be there,” Jessica hollered, just as the door slammed shut behind me.

Cameron didn’t let me go and I couldn’t help but smile in response to his seductive stare.  I rustled my fingers through his short, messy hair and when he raised his eyebrows it made me laugh.  He captured my smiling lips and tormented me with a soft brush of his mouth.

“Come on,” he said, leading me back to our room.  “Let’s get you into your swimsuit before we have company.”

Back in our room, I quickly stripped out of my clothes and pulled on the tiny bikini that I had chosen expecting only one man to see me in it.

“Want a glass of wine while we’re waiting?” Cam asked, as I tucked my clothes away in my bag.

“That’ll be my third one tonight.”

Cam smirked, glancing at my glorious rear-end.  “That sounds good to me.”

I smirked right back and slung my arms over his shoulders.  He pulled me against him, his hands groping my mostly exposed ass cheeks.

“If I didn’t know any better, I would say that you’re trying to get me drunk again.”

“I would never,” he teased, releasing one hand only to lift my wine glass to his mouth and take a sip.  Then he kissed me, drizzling the fruity wine into my mouth.

I tasted it and I tasted him, and it was so hot.  He handed me my glass, but wine was now the last thing on my mind, as the tip of his tongue licked across my teeth.

His hands drifted back down to my ass, barely covered by the small scrap of material I called my bikini bottoms.  When he gave it a squeeze, he growled and it urged me to touch him back.  I slipped my hand between us, to find him long and thick and hard, at the same moment that Aliah barged into our room ruining my fun.

“Woop,” Aliah hollered, as she passed Cameron and headed for the electronics.  She plugged in her I-pod and turned up the music, ignoring the state in which she found us.

Hunter picked up our half empty bottle of wine.  “It looks like they got started without us.”

Without releasing me, Cameron nodded toward the ice box.  “Don’t worry, there’s more where that came from.”

I took a big gulp from my glass and by the time the others had showed up, it was already going down real smooth.  The wine was clearly having an effect on me.  I was hyper and loud-mouthed and careless.  Aliah loved it.

“Okay, enough of this!  Let’s test the water,” I shouted over the music.

“I’ll test the water for you,” Cameron said to me.  “I wouldn’t make you do that.”

As he went to lift his shirt over his head, Edwin stormed outside and removed the cover from the hot tub himself.

Cameron dropped his shirt back down and glanced at me in disbelief.  “This should be a fun weekend.”

Maddie walked up to the patio door in her one piece bathing suit, wrapped up in a giant bath towel.  As Jessica ran outside, a freezing cold north wind gushed into the room and some flurries scattered across the floor.

“On second thought, I think I’ll just hang out in here,” Maddie said, then sealed the door shut.  “I look like a cow anyways.”

“Good, I don’t want the baby getting sick,” Hunter said, honestly concerned about it.

Aliah rolled her eyes and pulled Hunter outside with her.

“You look fabulous,” I told Maddie.  “Your baby bump is so adorable.”  I gulped down as much wine as I could, put my half emptied glass on the nightstand and reached for the patio door.  “You’re alright in here alone?”

Cameron peeled off his shirt and Maddie couldn’t remove her gawking eyes from his toned flesh.  He picked up my glass, smiled at Maddie’s enthusiasm and returned to the other side of the room to top up my wine.

“Yup.  I’m good.  Definitely good,” Maddie said.

Giggling, I tip-toed to the hot tub as fast as I could and sank into the bubbling water in the only empty spot available.  Right next to Edwin.  I looked at him hesitantly.

“Oh, come on now, I won’t bite,” Edwin teased, then he whispered in my ear.  “I know you only like that in the bedroom.”

“Ugh, Eddie!  Can you shut your fat mouth for like five minutes so I can enjoy myself?”  I shoved his big shoulder, but he didn’t budge.

He only laughed and it was hauntingly sexy.  “I can probably do five, but I can’t make any promises,” he drawled, then leaned into me.  “You’ll probably be begging me to talk in like two though.”

“Don’t forget whose tub you’re in.”  I backed away to scowl at him, just as Cameron put my glass on the edge of the tub.

When Cameron squeezed in next to me, he unintentionally squished me even closer to Edwin.  There was no missing the press of Edwin’s bulky arms and legs against my side.  They were hot and large and thick.

Cameron reached his arm around me and gave me a slow, drugging kiss.  It was nice, but I could tell it was more to piss Edwin off than to show me love.  Not able to continue with the awkward attachment to Edwin’s hulking arm, I curled into Cameron’s and slid onto his lap.  I strung my arms around his neck and gave him a healthy taste of my lips, to show everyone that there was no confusion as to who my man was.

Cameron smiled, in between kisses.  “I see your glass is empty again.”

“Good wine, eh?” Aliah chimed.

“Yeah, a little too good,” I answered.  “Cameron’s been feeding it to me like water.  I can hardly taste it anymore.”

“Maybe I should go get you some more,” Cameron suggested.  He kissed me again, dropped me into his spot and then leapt from the tub, every muscle tightening in the cold, winter air.  Then he calmly walked to the door as if the cold didn’t affect him.

“While you’re in there why don’t you get me one too?” Aliah hollered, as the door slid shut.

“I can get you one,” Hunter decided.  “I have to use the pisser anyway.”

When Hunter left the tub, everyone shifted over and it felt like I could finally stretch out and relax.  “Take your time,” I teased, enjoying the space.

Aliah leaned over the edge of the tub and watched Hunter exchanging words with Maddie inside the toasty hotel room.  I saw Cameron popping the cork to yet another bottle of wine, as Edwin reached his arm out and rested it on the tub behind me.

Edwin leaned down and whispered in my ear, the hurt evident in his tone.  “What’s this, you can’t even stand to be around me anymore?”

“It’s not like that and you know it,” I answered, softly.

He locked his aqua eyes on me, holding my terrified gaze.  “Oh?  How is it then?”

I blew out a harsh breath.  “Maybe if you weren’t always trying to piss Cam off, then we could hang out more.”  Not likely, though.

“I know I’ve been kind of an ass lately,” he admitted, softening up.

“Kind of?”

“Fine.  I’ve been a total jerk.  But what do you expect?  You chose him over me and that hurts.”

My eyes were frozen on him, dread filling my sharp features, as I recognized the wounded look on his face.  I wanted to hug him, to make him feel better, but I knew that would only escalate the problem.  I kept my lips tightly pressed together.

“Now you’re living with him and I’ve got the whole house to myself.  It’s really quiet when you’re not around and not in a good way,” Edwin told me.

“It’s only temporary,” I said.  “Besides you had your family over for a few days.  You weren’t exactly alone the whole time.”

“No, but it wasn’t the same without you.”

I flipped my long, dry hair behind me and the tips dipped into the bubbling water.  “I’m sorry.  I know it was kind of last minute, but you didn’t exactly tell me your plans either.”  Reality began to cloud my buzz-induced smile.  I dipped my chin and closed my eyes, suddenly feeling incredibly emotional.

Edwin lifted my chin with his index finger and my emerald eyes grew wide in alarm.  My heart pounded hard and fast, as I gasped for air, unable to steal my eyes from his.  Then his hand dropped into the water, acknowledging my distress.  Though his touch was gentle, it had zapped my senses.  Then he slid up next to me.  Close.  Too close.

“You know I just want you to be happy, right?”

My entire body trembled.  “Okay.”  I should have pushed him away.  Why am I not pushing him away?

He slowly gripped his hand on my thigh, sending my heart galloping.  “If you can promise me one thing,” he whispered, his breath tickling my ear, “I’ll leave you two alone for the rest of the weekend.”

Just the rest of the weekend?  How about permanently?  “Don’t go too overboard,” I managed to blurt.

His hand squeezed on my thigh, then he loosened his grip but it remained where it didn’t belong.  “I’m being serious, Abs.  All I ask is that you quit with the ogling and canoodling when you’re around me.  It just isn’t right, having to see you like that.”  His pain-filled eyes begged me to stop tormenting him.

“Seeing me like what; happy?” I whispered, barely able to finish the sentence.

Edwin’s hand began to casually caress my thigh.  “Please, just promise me.”

Aliah was watching us, chiding my indiscretion.  Jessica was making a good effort to mind her own business.  Cameron and Hunter were at the patio doors, not having a clue as to what was going on.  Did I even know what was going on?

Aliah flashed a look at Cameron, then scowled back at me.  “Just promise the man already!  You owe him that much.”  Her words stung me, even more than they should have.

“Please take your hand off my leg,” I begged, suddenly envisioning the consequences.

Cameron approached us blissfully unaware.

“Promise!” Edwin demanded, holding his position.

Holding my breath, I stuttered, unable to take another second of it.  “Fine!  I p-promise!”  My heart skipped a beat as Edwin removed his hand from my thigh and swam to the other side of the tub.

Cameron handed me my glass and hopped back into the water next to me.  I took a long sip of wine and collected all of my hair with my free hand so it sat on my right shoulder.  As Cameron leaned in for a kiss, I turned away, passing it off as though I didn’t see it coming.  He caught my cheek, but that didn’t satisfy him.

I smiled softly and took another sip of wine.  He waited patiently for me to finish, then his lips found mine.  But I couldn’t reciprocate after giving Edwin my word.  Cameron pulled back, looking very concerned.  I could only stare at the water.

“Is everything okay?” he asked, his voice stark.

I looked at Edwin, who was sitting directly across from me.  I could tell he was making an effort to be a good boy, but I could see a fire in his eyes that told me trouble still brewed.  Then I looked back at Cam and cupped his cheek, feeling wretched for not sharing his kiss.

“I think I may have had too much to drink.”  And that was the truth.  But that was not the only thing I was suffering from at the moment.  Edwin had left me with deplorable, chaotic thoughts.

I wanted to leave with Cam so I could kiss him until his heart was content, but I also felt the need to nurse Edwin back to happiness.  My face became stripped of all its colour and Cam watched me turn seriously ill before his eyes.  Edwin didn’t say a word, but neither would he unlock his gaze from me.  It was like he was just waiting for me to break my promise.

Cam seemed to notice how my illness was in direct correlation with Edwin’s attention.  “Is there a problem?” he snapped, argumentatively.

“Did I say something to you?” Edwin barked back.

Aliah put both of her hands up.  “Guys, cut it out.”

“Can’t we all just enjoy the night?” Jessica pleaded.

“Cam started it,” Edwin droned.  “First he steals my girlfriend, and then he tries to rub it in my face.  It looks to me like he’s asking for a black eye.”  He turned his stone-cold gaze on Cam.

Cameron stood up and I forced my arm around his waist to stop him.  But if he wanted to go, he could have gone.  Every muscle in his body flexed, as I clung onto him.

“Eddie, stop it!” I screeched, afraid of what might happen if I let go.

Edwin stayed relaxed, his arms stretched out over the back of the tub, his cool glare held on me.  “Why don’t you and your little lover boy go screw or something?  Anything to get him out of my face right now.”

Cameron lifted his chest, his muscles rippling, rampant with adrenaline, his teeth exposed like a rabid animal.  I could feel the vomit burning up my esophagus and, when Edwin stood up, I was sure there was going to be a blood bath.

“Don’t cross me, brother, or my fist will be in your mouth,” Edwin warned.

I swallowed back the vomit pooling in the back of my throat and held my freezing palm against Cam’s burning chest to pull him back against me.

“Come on, Eddie.  It’s not worth it,” Aliah said, as Hunter grabbed onto Edwin’s arm.  Even he could sense the pure hatred filtering between the two of them.

“Try it,” was all Cameron said, but he struck a chord with Edwin.

When Edwin leaned forward, I reached a flat hand out and pressed it against his solid chest to keep him back.  After scowling at him, I glanced at Cameron, then back to Edwin again.

“It’s time for you to go,” I said.

“I’m not going anywhere, until I’m done fixing this pretty boy’s face,” he threatened.

“Right now!” Cameron hollered, calling him on.

“Hunter, you’ve got to stop them,” Aliah wailed, noting the severity of the situation.

I fought to keep them apart, but Edwin reached around me and shoved Cam’s shoulder.  Cam instantly responded with a counter and drove Edwin against the back of the tub.  Jessica looked like she had been enjoying a good soap opera, until Edwin’s arm flailed backwards and hit her square in the face.

Jessica leapt out of the tub, her hand covering her battered cheek.  “Thanks for fucking with my vacation!” she screeched.  Then she spun around and ran inside, near tears.

Aliah shook her head, disappointedly.  “Real smooth, guys.”

Edwin ignored Cameron just long enough to show his regret, then he narrowed his eyes at him again.  “Yup, it’s definitely worth it,” he decided aloud.  “Get out of my way,” he warned, as he raised a determined brow and drew his elbow back to wind up for a punch.

Cameron put his fists up ready for the challenge as though I wasn’t even standing in between them, freezing my ass off.  I threw my hands down in manic frustration.

“I’ve had enough!” I screamed.  “I’m leaving.  You two can do whatever the fuck you want.  I’m over it!”

I climbed out of the tub and stalked toward the room, hands clenched in fists, mad as hell.  I could see Maddie sitting on the bed talking to Jessica as clear as day.  Thinking Jessica must have left the patio door open, I made a pass for it, and my face planted firmly against the cold, clear glass.

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