Hooked On Her by Stacey Lynn

Chapter One





Tessa



* * *



“What the hell?”

My purse hits the floor with a thunk and behind me, the closing of my apartment door echoes.

At least, I’m pretty sure I’m in my apartment. The same one I’ve lived in for three years with my recently ex-fiancé, Will.

We broke up weeks ago, although I should have kicked his butt out much sooner. I’m either a descendant of a reptile with the matching cold heart, or I’m confident in my decision to end things because I don’t miss him.

My fingers curl around my keys, my only line of defense, although from what I can see, there’s nothing left to steal or take because there’s nothing in my living room. Not our couches or our small TV stand or our television. The only evidence my furniture was ever here are the imprints in the carpet and edges of a slight dust stain around where bookshelves and couches went unmoved for years.

My pulse skyrockets and for a moment I think to call Will. I’ve been calling him for weeks to come get his stuff and clear it out. Preferably while I was working. My last message a few days ago was well past the point of rude.

“Listen here, coke-sniffing probably homeless asshole. Get your crap out of my apartment this weekend when I’m out of town or when I get back, it’s all getting tossed in the dumpster. I mean it, Will.”

It only makes sense I was robbed after he left the place unlocked, key on the counter, and then it was raided after he hauled away the only things he should have taken—like his clothes, because everything else was bought by me. There’s no way Will came and cleaned out his things and mine. Is there?

I do a thorough search of the apartment, senses tingling in my fingertips, driving me toward the kitchen first. I expect to open a cabinet and see my dishes, pale blue with yellow stripes around the edges stacked nicely next to the matching bowls. But nope. Gone. In fact, all the cupboards are emptied except for some canned vegetables.

“Seriously?” I open and then slam the pantry door shut. Even our dry goods are gone. Plus the opened bottle of wine I’d left on the counter the other night. What monster takes an opened bottle of wine?

Every guest room closet and bathroom cupboard are emptied in the exact same way and as I grow closer to our bedroom, fury spins itself into a heavy and thick knot in my stomach.

I can’t believe he’s done this to me. Loser. That’s what he is. He didn’t used to be one, or he had me so fooled to not imagine he could become this guy but I still can’t believe he was able to snowball me this hard. When we met, Will Stantham was a personal banker with Toronto Royal. He worked three floors above me, managing millions of dollars of assets while I sat in a cubicle at our headquarters, mindlessly helping design pamphlets and slogans for marketing campaigns.

A marketing assistant for a bank. Not exactly the high-energy or creative work I hoped for when I stepped foot into what I anticipated would be an exciting world of marketing and advertising.

Then things changed. He missed out on a promotion, got pissy and insubordinate with his boss, eventually he was let go and struggled to find a new job. Through it all, for the last year, I’ve been nothing but supportive until I couldn’t be anymore. I’ve covered for him, watched as he lost weight, stayed up all hours of the night, and then slept for days.

I’m not an idiot. At some point, he started using drugs. The white powder on my coffee table wasn’t even the first clue that showed something wasn’t right. It was, however, the final straw.

But this?

“How kind of him,” I mutter, kicking the carry-on suitcase he’s left me with. It’s the reason I returned to the apartment this afternoon.

I have a flight to catch.

But now… should I even go? I scan the apartment and let out a laugh. It bounces off the walls before I cringe at the sound of my maniacal laughter. It’s either go see my brother or spend the weekend sleeping in a hotel. The bastard didn’t even have the manners to leave me my bed. And I just bought it two months ago. I knew I should have bought two twin beds instead of a king. It’s not like we’ve shared our bed in months anyway.

I tug on the handle to the suitcase and blow out a breath. My thoughts are scattered. I should call the police. Report Will. But maybe it’s not him? Does renter’s insurance cover this?

My mind swirls as I release the handle of my suitcase. Regardless of my next move, I can’t stay here. There’s nothing but salad and floors that need to be vacuumed, and no vacuum.