tagRomanceFinding the Line Between Love & Hate

Finding the Line Between Love & Hate


So, just beta testing this new idea and see if people like where this is going (Chapters for Gilded in Gold and By Night, My Love will be posted next week) thank you for reading and leave comments :)

Chapter One

I'm that girl you just love to hate. You know, that one girl in your group who always laughs the hardest and has the snarkiest comeback. The one that has the bigger boobs and always rubs your face in it (the fact, not the boobs). That one girl who knows everybody's business, even yours, and then tells it to someone and now everybody knows who you secretly hooked up with at the last Christmas Eve party in the bathroom. Yah, I'm that bitch.

Hi, I'm Harley Duncan.

The guy I fell in love with? Well, he's the boy that everybody loves to love. That one guy in your group whose got this golden aura around him and is the life of the party in a good way. He's one of the boys and the picture perfect boyfriend. And he's an amazing lay that all the girls brag about. He's got a great job already and is the less messed up version of your personal Christian Grey mixed in with Bruce Wayne with a hint of Sterling Archer. (If you got my last reference, then you and I have great but disturbing taste in men). Yah, he's that guy.

And this is the story of how he fell in love with me without knowing that I was the villainess. I'm writing this to tell you what not to do if your ever lucky enough to actually catch that guy because now I'm about to lose him. And its all my fault.

It all started with the typical party. But before we go into that, I think you should have some background me. I come from a pretty rich home and I had caviar fed to me from s silver spoon from the time I was seven. My dad was the owner of an airplane company and my mom was a socialite. I was the only child, thank fucking god. I don't do all that sharing and caring bullshit. I wasn't particularly close with my parents, but when they died, I kind of went on a downward spiral and did some nasty drugs. I went through rehab, got better, went back on the downward spiral, and again returned to rehab. That happened about like five or six times until I met this guy. Now he was messed up, even more than that glorified Christian Grey and not in a sexy way either. He was a lot like me, selfish, greedy, and had a total disregard for the concept of respect. We were kindred souls and should have been soul mates. Meet James Heddon.

The only reason we didn't fall in love was the exact reason that drew us to each other in the first place. It's like falling in love with yourself. I know you're supposed to love yourself and all that but seriously, imagine there's a girl/guy verision of you out there. There might be some characteristics that appeal to you but their glaring faults will make you want to choke them rather than get hot and heavy with them. Trust me. So James and I stayed friends.

He saw through most of my walls because he had the same kind of walls, and vice versa. There were secrets buried deep under our skins that we never shared with other. We knew we had them but to tell them to each other would unravel this whole façade we had. Hell, I don't think I even acknowledge that I had these secrets; I had lied to myself so long what whatever I fabricated was the truth for me. Being filthy rich and alone, I bought myself a lie detector test and tested myself. I passed with flying colors without having to resort to the pain thing to confuse the test.

But anyway, James and I became roommates. He started dating this pretty girl who worked at a museum and that's how I met Tristan Gage. He was a rising architect at a prestigious firm, and Jenny, James' girlfriend, was friendly with him because he had been commissioned to design one of the sections in the museum. Nobody knew that I had donated the funds giving the museum the means to renovate the old section.

I loved that little museum; it was wholly dedicated to historical artifacts throughout various time eras, arranged in a sequential order. I especially loved the Roman rooms, where it was actually designed like a roman villa. The section that was being renovated was the Victorian rooms and I couldn't wait to see it what Tristan had in his mind for those rooms. The museum's board of director had allowed me access to his portfolio and I loved the designs he had already done. He specialized in traditional, restoration designs. He had done some business buildings and a few privately commissioned homes, but I saw that the bulk of his work consisted of restoring buildings of historic value. I fell a little in love with him right then and there when I was perusing through his art. And it was art, what he did with those previously rundown buildings.

As James got deeper into a relationship with Jenny, I got deeper into her group of friends. I knew the only reason she invited me into her group was because she felt threatened by my friendship with James. I kind of understood why James was going out with her. She was simple and uncomplicated, with a loving and healthy relationship with her parents and maintained an active social life. I guess James thought that a little of her goodness would rub off on him. I secretly thought he was foolish, but I was also a little afraid that that might just happen. Because if it did, the one thing that drew us to each other, the badness that was in us would be gone and so would our friendship.

Jenny had three other friends in her group. Carrie was a receptionist at the museum. Juliet was working on her doctoral thesis along with Jenny, but was focusing on another subject. And Tate worked at a bar. Being the rich kid that I was, I did nothing useful. I mostly shopped and hung out with James at his work. He was a rising lawyer and I would usually just help him with research and take memos for him. I was basically his personal assistant and the firm didn't mind. After all they didn't have to pay me and I was pretty helpful after I got the hang of it.

Jenny had been trying to hook Juliet up with Tristan, so she invited him to a lot of the museum fundraisers and galas. They went out a few times but he ended up breaking things off with after a few months. Juliet moved on to his buddy Darren, and got engaged. Even though we attended a few parties, Tristan and I never talked much. His eyes could strip off the very layers that you buildup over the years to the innocence you had been before all that shit happens but at the same time, he looked at you like you were part of the wall. So I avoided him like the plague.


No matter how much his eyes unnerved me, the rest him was the fire to my moth. I soaked up every bit of information about him. I knew he played football in college and came from a small town named Kissimee (how romantic!). He is the middle brother in a family of three. The eldest is named Deacon, Deke for short, and the youngest is Hunter. And if they looked anything like Tristan, I would seriously consider a foursome with me and all three Gages in a Gage sandwich.

There had to be some black Irish blood in him since he had that trademark black hair and blue eyes. I was an unimpressive 5'5, but with heels that stayed glued to my feet sixteen hours a day, I was a passible 5'10. And even with my heels, I only came up to about his nose. He wasn't classically handsome; he had that rugged thing going on where his face is more interesting than handsome. It's his utter confidence and charisma marked him the leader, the alpha, the head honcho. He's the guy you naturally look at.

And I was lingering and obsessing right now as the priest droned on about eternal love and commitment before the blushing bride and fidgeting groom. I smirked. I knew why the groom was fidgeting. Last night at the bachelorette party, Tate had sneaked away when she thought no one was looking, and James had quickly texted me her location. He had been with Darren at his bachelor party at a club when Darren had been pulled away by a mysterious note. I had threatened James to make him follow the groom and he saw Darren and Tate duck into a private room. I don't think they had his upcoming nuptials in mind.

"If anyone would like to speak out now against this couple's love, speak now or forever hold your peace," the priest intoned.

Half tempted to raise my hand and say objection, I decided to be magnanimous and give Tate that opportunity. As I looked towards her, Tate swallowed tightly and look away from Darren. I looked back at him just in time to catch his startled look and winked at him with a little smirk. He cleared his throat and the priest continued. As per Juliet's instruction, the other bridesmaids and I threw pink rose petals at the couple when they cemented their marriage vows with a kiss. Tate's tosses of the flowers were halfhearted at best but I cheered very loudly for the couple. There was going to be a lot of drama in the coming months and I intended to be right smack in the middle of it, pulling all the strings.

As the bride and groom smiled at their guests and walked down the aisle together as man and wife, the bridesmaids and groomsmen coupled off and followed them. The wedding reception was right next to the garden wedding venue. Juliet had been paired with Tristan, who walked behind us talking about the happy couple. I was paired with James, Tate and Carrie were paired with Darren's other friend Jackson and his cousin Lee, respectively.

"So, did you see the way Tate and Darren were eyeing each other? Do you think she'll end up pregnant in, oh, nine months?" I whispered gleefully. James raised a brow at me and smiled.

"Are you planning on being a little birdie?"

"Chirp, chirp," I quipped, making James chuckle. "What, I'm a strong believer in the truth." James gave me a sardonic look but I choose to ignore him. "And Juliet is my friend; she should know that her hubby cheated on her. And Tate's gotta tell her baby daddy that he's a daddy, it's only fair to the little bugger she'll pop out in a few months."

"Whoa, hold up there. Half of you little story might just be a story. You're getting a little ahead of yourself aren't you?"

I blew out a breath, moving my bangs away from their perfect position on my forehead. James leaned in close and brushed them with his fingertips. I was about to blow him an air kiss when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jenny looking at us suspiciously. I decided to play with her a bit and leaned in close to kiss James on the check. I purposely landed my lips near the corner of his, leaving a big red imprint of my wet kiss. James, bless his little heart didn't pull away like an affronted boyfriend would and give away my game.

Instead he sighed, and whipped away my mark with the handy kerchief that he always had in his pocket. "You know you just put me in the dog house today, don't you?" James didn't look angry so I grinned.

"That is where a bitch lives."

James didn't get offended; he gave back as good as he got. "Then why don't you join me?" He leaned in close and gave me a hard slap on my butt, letting me know I wasn't completely off the hook and walked over to his girlfriend. Before he left, he whispered "Stay out of trouble."

With every intention of disobeying him, I looked around for Tate. Seeing her nursing a drink over by the bar, I headed over towards her when a hard hand tugged me back by my wrist. Whirling on my six inch stilettoes, I was about to go for the balls when I realized who was glaring down at me. It would be crime punishable by a massage from Wolverine to damage his balls.

"I heard everything you said to James and if you even think about talking to Darren, Juliet, or Tate I'll chain you to a fence like the bitch you are," Tristian growled.

Being called a bitch twice within a minute was nothing new to me, so I took it in stride. Besides, I don't get pissed off when what people are saying about is true. I might cry later on, balled up all tight in the middle of my gigantic bed in the dead of the night when no one would ever chance on me, but in public I owned who I was.

"I'll let you collar me any day, sir," I demurely looked down and whispered. Tristan Gage liked kink. Remember me telling you he was a third like Christian Grey? Well, I heard that he belonged to a BDSM club and was into the domination/submission lifestyle. I'd read a few erotica (that are much more accurate than 50 Shades of Grey but you won't hear me saying it wasn't an entertaining read) that handled stuff like that but that was the extent of my knowledge.

Peering up at him through my lashes, I saw him clench his jaws.

"Stay out of other people's businesses, especially mine, okay?" he gritted out and trust my wrist away like it was burning him.

"You're not my Dom so you can't tell me what to do."

He moved so he was only a few inched from me, making me crane my neck up to keep eye contact with him. "And if I was your Dom?"

"It's a good thing I'm not a sub, then." I pushed past him, walking away blindly, my heart quivering in my chest.

Ohmigod! I just had a conversation with Tristan Gage and I just made it worst. He was mostly indifferent to me before; now I knew he despised me. I could have played the contrite card and asked him if I could buy him a drink but nooooo, I had to pull my bitch out on him. Shit, shit, shit. I don't even know why I was freaking out, it's not like I had a chance with him anyway so how I came off looking to him shouldn't matter. But it did, it really fucking did.

Making an abrupt one-eighty, I headed for the blessedly empty bar. I was vaguely aware that Darren and Juliet were making a toast. Grabbing a flute of champagne, I made my way to the side of the large crowd. Crossing my arms under my chest, I chugged down the champagne. I heard some girly cheering and shouting and rolled my eyes. The bouquet toss, I'm guessing.

Some idiot beside me splashed something on me, directly on my chest and down my cleavage. But when I looked down, I saw a bright red rose sticking out of my boobs. What the hell? I quickly plucked it out and looked around me for the fool who had put it there. Just then the crown parted and to my astonishment, I saw Tristian was holding a bouquet of red roses and baby's breath. Absurdly, I noticed that the white ribbon that was supposed be holding the dozen red roses together had loosened enough that a few baby's breath had fallen at his feet and a quick count revealed that he held only eleven roses. I heard people asking around where the wayward rose had gone and I quickly hid the rose stem behind my back

I should have just dropped it and stepped away but I just couldn't. Being superstitious was one of my many, many quirks. Catching the bouquet was supposed to mean you would be the next person to get married, so if the bouquet broke apart and a part of it flew to another person they would be destined to be together right?

Right. If only this were a chick flick and I was a harried secret beauty who had dating problems and was hilarious like Anna Farris. But this isn't and I'm not but I'm stupid and superstitious, so I quickly shoved the equally stupid rose in my purse.

"The lady wears a bright red A on her quite impressive, bovine like bosom," a sinuous voice whispered in my ear. I saw a tanned hand reach over my shoulder and in slow motion, the knuckles brushed over the swells of my breast. His long fingers reached between my cleavage and pulled out a still wet, red petal.

"Please take your hand away before I bite it," I warned James. I wasn't up to playing games now.

"Why, love, don't you want your prince to claim you? I saw where you put that rose."

"Why James, didn't you know I'm just like any other frilly lil' girl who likes to press roses in her diaries where she adds her crush's last name to her's and dots their I's with hearts?" I asked with a fake, southern twang to my voice. James snorted.

"Are you in the dog house?" I asked quickly, hoping to divert him from the subject of the rose.

"Jenny knows how much of a slut you are and how gentlemanly I am." James and I shared a smile. Yes, we knew exactly how slutty I was and how gentlemanly he was. "She said she was sorry for me for having to be saddled with you."

I tried not to let that hurt, I knew that Jenny talked about me behind my back but then, so did I. We weren't really friends but at least we made the effort to make it seem like we were friends for James' sake. But it reminded me of high school and who the hell hasn't been scarred by high school. Me being the outsider and having some of the girls point and laugh at me ... yah, good memories.

"You wanna dance?" James slung his arm around my shoulders in a mini choke hold.

"Won't your girlfriend mind?"

"She said I should go give you a pity dance then devote the rest of my night with her. And if I do it like a good little boy, I'll get a treat," James gleefully informed me. I swear, if he had a tail, it would be wagging.

I turned in his arms and slid my arms around his neck. "Then pity me, baby," I growled into his ear as I bit his lobe just a little too hard. Using my whole body, I dragged him onto the dance floor and I heard some murmurs. There was only one other couple and it was the bride and groom. Hurrah, I crashed the first dance. If I was going to be a pariah and be seen as needing a pity dance, then I was going to make it count.

Letting my upper body go boneless, I let James lead me around and tried to follow in a waltz. All hose hours watching Dancing with the Stars was no help what so ever. Let me tell you sliding around on slippery hardwood flooring teetering on six inches are quite difficult. But I just stood on my tiptoes and every time I tripped, I just leaned into James and let him support me. He swung me away, then pulled me in and tried to dip me. We almost ended up toppling over but I didn't care. For the first time this day, I was having genuine fun and laughing. For once I saw the calculating light disappear from behind James's eyes and I knew he was having fun too. I forgot about giving Jenny a show and James forgot about whatever the hell game he was playing and we were just two friends who were dancing.

James plied me with more alcohol and kept me off my feet for the whole reception. After the first few flutes, I didn't remember much. He might have danced one or two dances with Jenny when I had to go to the bathroom, but when I came out again, he swung me back on the dance floor. I do remember us being the only ones just swaying against each other with no music and no noise. I forgot about Tristan and I loved James for that. I think I told him so but if I didn't, I made a mental note tell him in the morning when he would be holding my hair away from my face as I vomited.

"Aaaa fukkkkkk you love you," I slobered on James' neck. Or was it his butt? My hair was obscuring my face and I figured out I was upended on James's very broad shoulders. He had very broad and muscular shoulders but not as broad and muscular as Tristan's, I thought sadly. As if the universe had manifested him from my thoughts, Tristan's feet came into my view.

"Is she okay?" Omigod! Was that concern I heard in his voice? I tried to raise myself up but James delivered a very precise little slap on my displayed butt. God I hope Tristan can't see my panties. No, wait, maybe I should want him to see it. It's a very skimpy and lacy black and nude little thing that just looked amazing on the Fredericks of Hollywood's model. I wiggled my ass, hoping to wiggle my dress up just a little bit. Another slap. Uh-oh. I've read Doms like to spank and here James was slapping away at my ass like he was John Bonham and my ass were the drums.

"She will be when I get her home," I heard James say. Oh, the sweetie was taking me home instead of going home with Jenny and her promised treat! James giving up sex for me was akin to Samson letting Delilah cut his hair. I felt much loved, right then and there over James's shoulder and having my ass face Tristan.

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