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On the northeast side of town, there is a house.

The house was once magical, filled with love and joy and plans for the future.

Inside its walls are many things that belong to me — my books, the china from my mother on my wedding day, the beautiful cage once home to two birds, now empty, just like me.

And a man.

A man who also belongs to me.

A man I no longer wish to keep.

A man who, no doubt, has not slept, though the sun is rising. Because the house where he waits is where I laid my head to rest every night for eight years. Until last night.

No one who knows me would believe Charlie Pierce, the quiet, bookish girl who never made waves is pulling out of the driveway of a man who isn’t her husband.

But they don’t know me at all.

I don’t even know me.

Not anymore.

They say there are two sides to every story, and I suppose in most cases, that’s true. But the one I live inside of? It has three.

On the northeast side of town, there is a house.

But there is no longer a home.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: What He Doesn't Know

Kandi Steiner

BOOK SERIES: 

The first book in a heart-wrenching new series is out now from Kandi Steiner—a love triangle that is guaranteed to consume us and hurt in the best possible way—and I have a little sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

“Want some?” I asked over my shoulder.

Cameron didn’t answer, so I shut the cabinet that housed our mugs and dunked the tea bag as the silence stretched between us.

“Where have you been?” he asked after a moment. He still stood in the opening where the kitchen met our dining area, his arms crossed over his chest, checkered sleep pants hanging on his hips.

“Happy hour. I told you that.”

“You stayed at a bar until one in the morning.” It was a statement — one he didn’t seem to believe.

“I did.” The lie came so easily from my lips, I almost shocked myself. But the alcohol had softened me, or maybe hardened me. I just didn’t care anymore. “Is that so hard to believe?”

Cameron watched me in that moment like he didn’t know who I was at all. “And how did you get home if you had been drinking that long?”

I swallowed, turning back to the stove to pull the bag from my tea and lifting it to my lips. I blew on the hot liquid, the steam warming my cold nose. “Reese drove me.”

“Reese,” he repeated, tone flat.

I nodded. “Yes, you remember him, right? From dinner at my parents’?”

“I know who he is, yes. Was he sober?”

I shrugged. “Sober enough.”

Cameron smacked his hand against the wall, snapping my attention back to him. “Damn it, Charlie. Stop being nonchalant about this. It’s almost two in the morning and you don’t seem the least bit apologetic about the fact that I’ve been worrying about you all night. And then you tell me that Reese drove you home, and not even completely sober?” He shook his head. “I told you to call me if you needed a ride.”

“You were working,” I reminded him, abandoning my steaming tea on the counter as the anger and defensiveness steaming up from inside me took precedence. “And the phone works two ways. If you were so worried, why didn’t you check in?”

My blood was boiling, and in the back of my mind, I realized this was what I’d wanted — a fight. I wanted a reaction out of Cameron — any kind of reaction. He was finally noticing me, finally looking at me and feeling something after so long of feeling nothing at all. But now that I had it, that reaction I’d been so desperately seeking, I didn’t even care.

I was indifferent to how I’d made him feel tonight. Maybe because he’d been indifferent to how I’d felt since we lost our sons.

Guilt flooded me as I toiled with the thought that, perhaps, I didn’t care because someone else had given me attention. Someone else had looked at me first, had asked me how I felt, had wanted to make the hurt disappear.

Reese had beat him to it, and now, Cameron’s attention didn’t feel warranted.

“I’m tired,” I said when Cameron didn’t have anything else to say. I dumped my untouched tea into the sink, but when I went to move past Cameron, his arm shot out to block the door frame.

“We’re not finished.”

“I want to go to bed,” I threw back, louder, my eyes finding his. “It’s late.”

He scoffed. “Oh, now it’s late.”

“Whatever. Goodnight.” I ducked under his arm, but before I could reach the stairs, one strong hand wrapped around my forearm and ripped me backward. I opened my mouth to protest, to scream, to cry, but nothing came.

Because in the next instant, Cameron’s mouth covered my own — hot and angry and needy.

I pushed against him, my hands pressed into the middle of his chest as I tried to break free, but he only wrapped me in his arms tighter. His mouth opened and without hesitation, mine opened, too — letting him in, letting him taste, and in that instant, I was his again.

In that instant, everything I’d wanted for so long came to fruition, and all the confusion and anger melted away.

He possessed me with that kiss, one I hadn’t felt from his lips in years. He’d kissed me, sure. We’d had sex, yes. But the passion had been absent — the want, the need, the look in his eyes that he finally had again, one that said he couldn’t live another second without his hands on me.

He wanted me. My husband still wanted me.

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