Caught Up in You

By: Sophie Swift

Smart Girls Finish First #1.5



Prologue


The worst thing you can hear a woman say when your head is buried between her legs is, “By the way, I’m not technically divorced.” And trust me, I know. I’ve heard a lot of women say a lot of things to me while they’re halfway to the best orgasm of their life.

But this one probably takes the cake.

In hind sight, I should have split right then and there. I should have politely wiped my mouth, made up some lame excuse about having a dog at home to let out, and gotten the fuck out of there.

God, how different everything would have turned out if I’d done that.

I wouldn’t have lost my job. I wouldn’t have needed to find another one. And I never ever would have met Lia Smart.

In other words, my life would be a whole fuck of a lot better than it is right now. My life would be recognizable. Instead of this shambled mess of what used to make sense.

But the world doesn’t work like that, does it? You can’t simply rewind, press play, and watch as a different ending unfolds. Sometimes you have no choice but to live in the disaster you’ve created for yourself. Sometimes there’s nothing else you can do but look back at the choices you’ve made and say to yourself, “Well, aren’t you a royal fucking idiot?”

But I should back up. My self-loathing only makes sense if I start at the beginning. Or rather, at the beginning of the end.

And it all started when that woman walked into my bar.





One


She was wearing red. Which should have been my first clue. Aren’t there about a million songs warning men about women in red? But did I listen to a single one of them?

You tell me.

There was nothing especially different or remarkable about her. Had the course of my life not been completely altered by her existence, she would have just blended in with all of the other rich, Manhattan housewives who wander into this restaurant in Eastbrook Connecticut and sit at the bar, looking for a temporary distraction while their emotionally distant husbands are out playing golf and smoking cigars.

These women had become my bread and butter.

Because I’ll tell you something. Rich, bored housewives tip. Like...well. Especially if you’re a smart enough bartender to give them that little extra splash of attention that they’re so desperately craving. You know, let your hand linger a little too long after dropping off their drinks, let your eyes linger a little too long on the low cut of their dresses. A wink here, a smirk there, and voila, your tip instantly triples.

I may not have been very good at math in high school, but that kind of calculation I can do.

But I never took it any further than a flirty banter. At least not with the married ones.

That’s what bartenders do. We flirt. They might as well have a class for it at bartending school. “How to Effectively Relieve a Woman of $100 Using Only Your Charm and a Slightly Too Tight Pair of Jeans 101.”

Hell, I’d ace that class.

The only ace I would have ever gotten in my life.

But when this particular woman said she was divorced, that’s when things got interesting.

Bored, lonely and still married? Off limits.

But bored, lonely and recently divorced? Well, that’s another story.

How was I to know how fast things would get out of hand?

She sat her hot 40-something, pilates-sculpted ass down at the bar and gave me some sob story about how her husband used to take her up here to this “cute little town” when they were first married and how romantic it had always been. Now he was taking some other hot piece of ass to some other “cute little town” while she drank here alone.

I felt sorry for the woman. I really did.

Hey, I’m a sensitive guy, okay? Bartenders can be sensitive. In fact, it can really help with tips.

Well, it turned out the “other hot piece of ass” part was true enough—her husband had been cheating on her with some young college intern from his office. But the “divorced” part was a little less than a fact.

We talked, we flirted, I passed her a free drink. They love when you pour them free drinks. They act like you just opened up a blue Tiffany box with diamond earrings in it. If only they knew it cost me about three dollars and fifty cents to give them that drink. A small investment for a double—sometimes triple—digit tip.

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