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Authors: Sable Hunter

Pretty Face

BOOK: Pretty Face
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Pretty Face

 

 

By

 

Sable Hunter

 

Cody’s life is defined by two great truths. She is in love…and she has committed a great sin. Cody has been playing with fire and she’s about to get burned. Hungry for attention, she allowed a wonderful man to fall in love with her. Their only contact has been on the internet and telephone conversations. Cody put a good spin on her life by telling half-truths and sending photos of a woman with a beautiful body and a pretty face, only the woman wasn’t Cody. Scarred by abuse, she hides from prying eyes.

Cody loves Hunter enough to let him go. Full of guilt, she is prepared to disappear from his life. Hunter begs to meet her, but she refuses. But if Cody won’t come to him, Hunter will come to Cody.

Louisiana is in the midst of Mardi Gras, a time of love, laughter, and letting the good times roll. Masks are worn at Mardi Gras, and the mask Cody wears will hide more than a pretty face.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Pretty Face

All rights reserved.

Copyright 2015 © Sable Hunter

 

Ebook:

ISBN-10: 1942213093

ISBN-13: 978-1-942213-09-3

 

 

Published by Beau Coup Publishing

http://beaucoupllcpublishing.com

 

Cover by JRA Stevens

For Beau Coup Publishing

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

 

Prologue

 

 

 

Tears blinded Cody as she held her arm up, trying to block the blows from her face. It didn’t work. Joe was bigger. He was stronger. The blows just kept coming. One after another. His weapon was a Western leather belt. He held it by the small end so the part that hit her over and over again, tearing her flesh, was the heavy buckle.

Cody cried out as the metal tore her cheek. Blood began to run down her face.

“Pretty Face, Pretty Face. Isn’t that what they called you?”

She didn’t answer. All she could do was cry as he drew back to strike again.

“They’ll never call you Pretty Face again, I’ll see to that.”

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

Hunter
: What are you wearing, baby?

Sage
: Lacy yellow bikini panties and a matching bra.

Hunter
: Damn, I’m hard, let me see.

She crawled from the bed, snapped a photo of herself from her belly-button to her thighs and sent it to him.

Sage
: There. What are you wearing?

Hunter
: God, I love looking at you. I wish you’d send a full-body shot. I want to see all of you. And I’m naked with my big hard cock in my hand. Wanna see?

Sage
: No faces with body parts, we don’t want to end up like that Congressman from New York. And of course I want to see. I love to look at you.

Again she used her pet excuse. Would he let her get away with it?

Hunter
: I know, baby. I’m just hungry to look at you, that’s all. Hold on, I’m stroking myself looking at your pretty pussy.

A picture of his impressive cock appeared in her message box, thick and proud, a good eight inches. His strong hand gripped it. She would give anything if it was her hand giving him pleasure.

Sage
: You know what I’d love to do. I wish I was there, kneeling at your feet. I’d wrap my fingers around your gorgeous cock and let my lips slide down over the crest, suck on it like a big juicy plum.

Hunter
: You’re killing me. I’d wrap your long exquisite hair around my fist and tell you to suck me hard. God, this feels good. I want you so much. Are you touching yourself?

There was always a little space between their comments because it was hard to type and touch at the same time. Getting one another off this way was one of their favorite pastimes.

Sage
: I’m rubbing my clit and pulling at my nipples. If you were here, would you suck my tits?

Hunter
: I’d worship your body, anywhere, as often as you’d let me.

Sage
: Would you take me against the wall?

Hunter
: The first moment I saw you, I’d push you against the wall and run my hands up your skirt till I could touch that hot little place between your legs. You’ll never know how much I want you.

Sage
: Oh, Hunter, I need you. I’m so wet. I ache.

Hunter
: Grab your phone, honey. I need to hear your voice.

Sage
: Okay.

Rolling over to grab her cell from the nightstand, she answered it after the first ring. “Hello?”

“Hey, Sage. How’s my baby?”

“Wanting you, so much.”

“You got me. Tell me how much you want me. I’m pumping my cock. He wants to be inside you so much.”

“Hunter, I dream about you. I fantasize how it would feel to love on you.” She whimpered, her fingers moving faster and faster as she pleasured herself. “I want you inside me, deep and hard. Please, fuck me. I want your big cock. Fuck me!” Her whole body jerked with a climax.

Hunter growled and groaned. “I love to listen to you cum. The sexy noises you make turn me inside out. No man could resist you. God, I love you!” he shouted as he came.

She cradled the phone to her ear, wishing he was here with her so she could curl up against him, feel his strong arms around her.

“Sage, I’m in love with you. You know that, don’t you?”

“I’m in love with you too. So much.” She sighed and wiped a few tears from her eyes. He’d never know how much she wanted to be with him. But she couldn’t.

“We’ve been talking for almost two years. I measure my days and count the hours until I can talk to you again. You mean the world to me. I need this to be real. I’m tired of only hearing your voice, reading your words and looking at photos. I want all of you. I want to be with you.”

“I want that too. More than anything.”

“We’ve got to make it happen.”

“Yes, we do.” Uneasy, she sat up, hating the lies. “I have to go, Hunter. Nana is expecting me to visit her tonight.”

“Okay, baby. Message me when you get home. I love you.”

“I love you, too. Have a good night.”

Hanging up the phone, she logged off of Sage Donovan’s Facebook page. Cody Napier fell over face first on the mattress. “I’m going to hell.”

 

*  *  *

 

“Why did you create an online persona?”

Cody stared at the flowers on Dr. Rowan’s desk. These sessions were a mistake. When she didn’t answer, Dr. Rowan tried again.

“Do you think of yourself as Cody or Sage?”

Listening to the carefully modulated voice of the psychiatrist, Cody couldn’t help but compare herself to the elegant woman. Sophia Rowan was a fashion plate with perfect features and the confidence to make herself intimidating.

Too bad. Neither Cody nor Sage was intimidated. Not at all.

“I’m not crazy, Dr. Rowan. I know who I am.”

The doctor never broke eye contact. She tapped the end of her pen on the desk. “Tell me. Who is Cody Napier?”

A flash of annoyance singed through her. “Cody is an achiever. She’s a loner.” Realizing she was referring to herself in the third person, she straightened in the chair and lifted her chin almost rebelliously. “I am a doctor of physics, head of the department at LSU, and according to Science Monthly, the one most likely to unlock the secrets of quantum cloning.”

A slight smirk came over Sophia’s face. “Time travel?”

Cody smiled and saluted the doctor with her cup of water. “That could be one of the applications, yes.”

“If you could travel back in time, what would you change?”

Cody tried to decide if this was a trick question. Did therapists ask trick questions? “I would go back in time before this happened,” she pointed to her face, “and I’d kill the son-of-a-bitch before he got a chance to hurt me.”

Her stark answer seemed to surprise Dr. Rowan. She took a sip of coffee before she continued. “Joe, your stepbrother, the man who did this to you, have you come to terms with him?”

“Come to terms, what do you mean?” Suddenly, she felt like the shrink.

“Do you blame him or yourself for the way you are?”

Cody thought about trying to count to ten, but she only got past three. “This wasn’t my fault. I did nothing wrong. He was crazy. I was just unfortunate enough to be his obsession.”

“You’re rubbing your scar. Does it hurt?”

Did it hurt? Cody eyed a paperweight on the therapist’s desk, wondering if she could get by with throwing it at the good doctor. “No, the pain is long gone.” The physical pain was gone. Mental pain was with her every moment of every day.

“Why don’t you have more surgery to further lessen the impact of the scar? It’s not like you can’t afford it, Ms. Napier.”

“That’s Dr. Napier to you.” Resentment flowed through Cody like acid. “Money isn’t the defining factor.”

Stopping to make more notes, she made Cody wait. Finally, she looked up and studied her closely. “You wouldn’t get rid of your scar if you could. Would you, Dr. Napier?”

A stubborn streak rose in Cody’s mind. “Probably not. There’s so much more to me than how I look.” A pang of hurt speared through her heart. Saying that her looks weren’t the important thing was hypocrisy. Her relationship with Hunter was proof of that.

“Wouldn’t the surgery heal your heart as well as your body?”

Cody remained silent, not bothering to explain that she’d already had all the surgery advised. Having more wouldn’t fix the nerve damage.

Seeing she’d hit a brick wall, Dr. Rowan moved on to another topic. “How’s The Right One coming along?”

Cody would rather talk business any day of the week. “The dating service is up and running. We have clients and the programs Marnie designed are making successful matches.”

“You have a unique approach, I believe.”

“Yes.” Cody nodded. “People list their faults first, we encourage honesty.”

Bam! Sophia Rowan nailed her with a stare. “Don’t you find that to be hypocritical considering your alter ego and your relationship with Hunter Reed?”

Cody’s face didn’t change expressions. “Yes, I am aware of the irony. But I don’t date. I never will. Hunter is in love with Sage and Sage only exists online. He doesn’t know Cody is even alive.”

The doctor was right. Sometimes she didn’t know who she was.

“But he is aware of your company, The Right One? Why is that?”

Cody twisted a Starbucks ticket between her fingers. “I’ve tried to be as honest with him as I can. We talk. We share. Ninety percent of what I tell him is true, especially my feelings. I decided to share the information about the dating service because we set the company up with no names attached. There’s no way he would ever be able to use it to trace me. He lives in Colorado. I live in the swamp. Our worlds will never touch except on the internet.”

“So you say. Tell me about Hunter. Why do you pursue a relationship based on a lie?”

As if she’d been slapped, Cody rose to her feet. She’d had enough. Glancing at the clock on the wall, Cody mumbled, “I’m sorry. Our time is just about up and I have another appointment.”

“Date?”

Cody locked gazes with the psychiatrist. The woman was just trying to get a rise out of her now. “Yea, with a bathtub full of bubbles and a hard lemonade.” Anything would be an improvement over the so-called therapy session. How did she ever let herself get talked into this? Trinity meant well, she just didn’t understand everything Cody had been through. Neither Trinity nor Marnie needed to know the whole ugly truth. Cody was trying to protect her friends. Sometimes ignorance was bliss.

“Very well.” Dr. Rowan stood. “You know, if you’d cooperate with me, I could help you.”

“I’ve made too many mistakes to fix, Doc.” Cody headed for the door.

“I’m one of the hosts of the Mardi Gras Gala this year. We’ve planned three masquerade balls to benefit charity. I think it would be good for you to attend.”

Cody stiffened. Mardi Gras used to be her favorite holiday and Mardi Gras in New Roads was one of a kind. The colorful pageant rich with history and revelry made her happy. “I don’t think so, but thank you.”

“You have a few days to decide. I’ll save you two tickets to each.” Dr. Rowan straightened the papers on her desk. “It’s for a good cause. We wear full costumes complete with masks.”

Cody let out a sharp pained laugh. “I wouldn’t think you’d recommend hiding behind a mask to me.”

“I don’t recommend living behind one,” she replied calmly. “These masks are removed at the end of the third night.”

“I just want to be left alone.”

Dr. Rowan moved gracefully to the door. “No, you don’t. But if you refuse to let anyone see the real you, alone is what you’ll be.”

Cody left without looking back. The doctor’s words rang true. She’d used that phrase so often, one day she would be totally alone and it would be her own fault. Cody was actively wishing everyone out of her life, pushing them away as fast as she could. She’d already forced the university’s hand until they allowed her to teach some of her classes online. The board was willing to accommodate her wishes so she’d continue the research that had the potentiality to put LSU on the map. As far as men were concerned, there was only Hunter, and if he knew the truth about her, he would be gone too. And she wouldn’t blame him. She wouldn’t blame him at all.

 

*  *  *

 

The drive from the outskirts of Baton Rouge to the small town of New Roads didn’t take long because Cody liked to drive fast. The only stop she made was at a Starbucks on the outskirts of Louisiana’s capital city. Cody was addicted to pumpkin spice lattes. Sipping on her drink, she eased through New Roads until she came to her picturesque cottage on the banks of False River. As she parked her red sports car, one of the few things she’d splurged on, Cody took the time to walk down to the shimmering waters. Recently, she’d realized how appropriate it was that she lived where she did—on a fifteen mile oxbow shaped lake that used to be a part of the Mississippi until the great river changed course. The False River was an imposter and so was she.

As soon as Cody walked up the dock toward the back of the house, she could hear the dachshunds barking. They were glad to see her. Making her way onto the sunporch, she petted the cats and fed them. “I’m coming!” she yelled to Oscar and Daisy. All it took was opening the door and they were out bouncing like jumping beans, both of them making happy crowing noises. “Are you hungry? Did you miss me?” She’d inherited the rowdy little animals from her nana, who now entertained everyone in the local nursing home. Herding the animals back in, she took care of them first, then made her way to the bedroom to get comfortable.

Like normal, she picked up her laptop as she went through the house. After spending a few hours in the lab, then enduring the torture of her therapy session, Cody was ready for some downtime with Hunter.

“Hunter,” she whispered his name, letting the sound caress her ears. He was one in a million, there was no one in the world like him. Not only was he gorgeous with longish dark hair, big green eyes and a body to say grace over, he was good and kind. And he loved her. “Foot!” she screamed. Foot was her go-to word when she was displeased or skeptical. How had she gotten into this mess? Oh, hell, she knew how…loneliness had led Cody to commit the ultimate sin. Craving intimate interaction and attention from the opposite sex, she’d created a fake name and a fake life. Sage Donovan.

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