Beautiful LiarBy: Natasha Knight
Everything I believed was a lie. Everything except for her, the one person I blamed for it all.
MacKayla Simone was beautiful. She was sexy as hell. She was also the setup.
Sex that rocked my world.
Rocked it to its very foundations because the next thing I knew, she and I made the headlines of every paper, every news channel across the country, and it cost me everything.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. That came when I learned who was behind the set-up. That was when I understood what it meant to be destroyed absolutely.
I don’t know why I went after MacKayla. She’d been a pawn just like me. But it was all I could do, all I had left. Hell, it was the one thing keeping me from tumbling into the abyss and never coming back into the light.
Find her. Find the girl who’d fucked me. Find her and make her pay.
I didn’t know who Slater Vaughn was, but if I had, it wouldn’t have mattered. Not when my sister was in trouble. I would have done what I did anyway. You can judge me. You can call me a whore. But I would have done it anyway.
One night, they’d said. Make him want you, let him have you. Easiest money in the world for just one night of my life.
Only it wasn’t one night because that night obliterated Slater Vaughn, and he came after me. He told me I owed him, and truthfully, I did. Hell, maybe those years in hiding, I’d been waiting for him to find me. To punish me. To make me pay.
Maybe I sought his forgiveness all along.
But now that he had me, how far would he take this game? Slater Vaughn was a broken man. He had nothing left to lose. What was to keep him from taking me with him into his darkness?
MY BIKE’S ENGINE rumbled as I pulled into the parking lot of Hello Kitty Kat, a little strip club outside North Bend, Oregon. I took it all in: the old, windowless cabin-like structure; a red neon sign above the door, flashing the image of a half-naked woman wearing the predictable cat ears and a tail; the letter O burned out so it read HELL KITTY KAT.
Four bikes stood in a row near the entrance, but pickups took up the majority of the parking spots in the lot. For a Thursday night, the place was hopping.
I pulled my bike into line with the other four, killed the engine, and grabbed a pack of cigarettes out of my pocket. I lit one and took a long drag. I held the cigarette between thumb and forefinger, got off my bike, and headed for the entrance. Before I reached it, two men pushed the door open. Music drifted out, a slow, predictable tune to which I imagined one of the kitties stripped. I checked my watch. A little after one in the morning. This was a twenty-four-hour establishment, and I admit, the day the shit had hit the fan, I’d found myself at a strip club similar to this and hadn’t left for a full forty-eight hours.
One of the men stumbled into me. I caught and righted him. He looked up. And up.
“Oh. Sorry man,” he mumbled.
I was a big guy. Six feet six and 250 pounds of muscle covered in tats. The man stepped backward, and this time, his friend caught him.
“Lou here’s had a little too much to drink,” his friend, who seemed the less drunk of the two, said, slurring his words.
“No problem.” I tossed the butt of my cigarette on the ground.
The guy nodded and quickly took Lou toward his truck. I saw him glance back at me and pocket his keys. “I don’t think I can drive, man,” I heard him say.
“Well, I know I can’t,” Lou said.
They both apparently found that hilariously funny and, after recovering from their belly laugh, walked toward the road.
Two less drunks behind the wheel tonight. That was a good thing.
Crushing the still smoking butt under my boot, I pulled the door open and entered. The place reeked of beer, sweat, and horny men, but I didn’t care about that. I was here for one reason and one reason alone.
The woman onstage finished. The men cheered and whistled while she collected her discarded garments and, after blowing one final kiss to the audience, left the stage.
“What can I get you?” the bartender asked.
He nodded and poured out a glass of Jack. I paid the man and took my drink to find a quiet place in the back just as the music started and the lights went up on the stage. I finished my first and ordered a second while watching two more women dance before it was finally her turn.