“You asked for the truth about them, but I didn’t give it to you. You don’t get to be the only one who lies.” ~ Britney King, Water Under The Bridge
Water Under The Bridge releases one week from today. Because I wanted an excuse to share the sketch (below) which was drawn for the book by my better half this post is not a deleted scene. It’s an excerpt.
You told me by candlelight last night that your real name is not Ryan as it said on the dating site, as you said at dinner. It’s Jude. I wasn’t surprised. We all become someone different online. As you ran the tips of your fingers across my cheek, you promised you were sorry for lying, and then you showed me when you touched my scars with your lips. You asked for the truth about them, but I didn’t give it to you. You don’t get to be the only one who lies. Which is why I haven’t told you exactly who or what I am. It isn’t time for whole truths about anything.
Speaking of names, it took a lot to pry Amy’s last name from your lips, and you see… you do still keep her close to your heart. You’re protecting her. This is how I know. It’s dangerous, Jude. She is dangerous, and you need closure, you really do. It’s too much to go around carrying the weight of her, believe me, I know. Morris was the answer you gave when you finally relented—but you lied. Your jaw did this twitchy thing, and that’s how I knew. We all have our tells, and apparently, that’s yours.
“No doubt, she’s married now,” you add, to cover your tracks, to conceal your lies, and you are still in denial, still protecting her, and it’s okay because, luckily, I know how to hunt people.
Later, I withdrew in your lies, and you sensed me pull away.
I started slowly at first, retreating into myself and then I left and didn’t speak to you for four days. You let me have my space, at first. I’ll give you that. But the thing you need to know about women is that it isn’t space we want, not really. We want a fight. We want a man willing to burn for us—someone willing to put it all on the line. We want to go to war.
I know you have it in you, I do. This is why I don’t return your calls. This is why I play hard to get when the truth is I miss you. I miss the way your arms feel around me, the way your eyes bore holes into my soul—all the ways you seem to know me even though you don’t. So on the fourth day, when you show up at my door, this is why I practically leap into your arms. You aren’t confused like most men would be. Not you. You come bearing gifts that aren’t flowers. You come bearing breakfast and plane tickets, and you are a warrior, Jude, you are.
Named One of….