Drawn to You: Volume 2

By: Vanessa Booke


The surprise in his voice catches me off guard. Alex hasn’t been around Nicholas or me as much as we’d like him to be. As the heir to StoneHaven Publishing, most of his days are spent shadowing my father or reaching out to investors.

“It’s nice to have you home.” I smile.

His striking gray eyes wash over me before wandering over toward the front door of Tristan’s bedroom.

“I thought I would stop by before going to see Nina.”

Nina, Alex’s college sweetheart and the women he’s been after for years. Except he only just realized he loves her. It’s funny how sometimes you fall for the people who are right in front of you.

“Where were you headed off to?” he asks.

“I was just coming downstairs to make myself some cereal,” I answer with a nervous smile.

He takes a sip from his mug before eyeing the oversized shirt I’m wearing. A rush of panic seizes my chest thinking he might know who the shirt actually belongs to. I watch as he sets his mug down and walks over toward me. A serious look paints his face as he places his hand on my shoulder.

“Emily, I know having Tristan live with us is exciting, but just remember, we don’t really know him all that well anymore. I would hate for you to get attached to someone who will probably end up leaving in the next month or two.”

“What do you mean? Why would you say that?”

A look of pity flashes across Alex’s face.

“You can’t really think he won’t leave after he gets what he wants?”

I nearly choke on the thought that Alex knows about what happened between the two of us last night. How could he? Is it written all over my face? My mother used to warn me that if I had sex, somehow, she would know—as if losing your v-card is a status permanently tattooed to your forehead.

“Dad’s already offered to pay for Tristan to go to college. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sends him to Barcelona.”

“Europe?” I squeak.

The small sense of relief fills me at the realization Alexander isn’t talking about last night, and it’s quickly replaced by concern. Tristan might leave? Again?

“Yes, Dad has some business partners out there who recommended a school. I was surprised he wasn’t interested in sending him to France. Seems like the most logical choice considering we have the villa out there.”

Alex steps back as he examines the lettering on the front of my T-shirt.

“By the way, whose shirt is this? You’re a little young to listen to Nine Inch Nails.”

The sound of the front door opening cuts Alex’s interrogation short. I’m grateful for the small distraction as my mind spins at the new information. A burst of light spills through the front door as my mother and father come strolling in with several bags from what looks like a not so mini shopping spree. My mother’s bright smile forces me to hide the deepening look of despair on mine. Her green eyes stare at me with curiosity as I lean against the staircase banister for support. She walks over toward me for an embrace, placing a small kiss on the top of my head.

“You look different…”

“It must be my lack of sleep,” I say with a forced smile.

“Careful, sweetheart, that’s how you ruin good skin.”

I roll my eyes at my mother’s strange obsession with trying to look twenty years younger at all times. She’s always trying the latest beauty health trend. I’m surprised she hasn’t discovered the rejuvenating secret of moose pee.

“I hope you had a wonderful birthday.”

Wonderful is not even close to how I really feel about my birthday. Last night felt like a dream, but the tenderness I felt this morning is evidence that it was anything but that. The only thing I regret is the feeling I felt after Tristan pulled away from me. I’m not sure what scared him more—the fact that I was a virgin or that it was me.





ONE


TRISTAN



TWO WEEKS LATER…



THEY SAY, WHEN someone dies, they’re never really gone. So why does it feel like every trace of my mother has been sucked out of this world?

Heavy rain pounds against the cement beneath my feet as I make way across the cemetery parking lot. The massive grounds in front of me reach farther than I can see, and the number of headstones lining the hills is daunting. I race through the muddy grass trying to escape the storm cloud that hovers above, but each step I take sends water splattering across the fabric of my pants.

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