Drawn to You: Volume 2

By: Vanessa Booke



I grab Nicholas’s coat and hook my arm through his. He sways as he drapes his jacket over his shoulder and tries his best not to stumble forward. The frazzled sight of him would almost be comical if I didn’t know the reason for his latest drinking binge. My brother, Alexander. Of the two of us, I think Nick has taken Alex’s death worse.

“Nick, why did you come to the Somerset?” I prod.

I know the answer, but I ask the question anyway. Today was Nina, my brother’s finance’s wedding. We couldn’t expect her to stay single forever, but we were still surprised when we got her Save the Date cards several months earlier.

“I needed a drink,” Nick says.

My brother avoids my gaze, but it doesn’t deter me from my interrogation. Tristan’s eyes are glued on me as I continue.

“Is it because—”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

Nicholas breaks off and heads the opposite direction of where we were going. Frustration bubbles in my chest as he ignores me calling after him. Shit, Augie is going to be pissed. It’s been more than fifteen minutes since I left the car.

“Nick, come back!” Tristan yells.

“Just let him go.”

Nicholas ignores us as he stalks off toward the bathroom. I didn’t even mention Alex’s name, but he immediately knew what I was going to say. It stills feels like we lost my brother yesterday. I miss his stubborn silence and the goodness that he exuded.

“What’s going on?”

“Nothing.”

“That’s not what it seems like.”

“Alex’s college sweetheart got married today. It wasn’t in the papers, but we got an invitation to the wedding six months ago.”

“Oh.”

“You would’ve known that if you actually came to see us.”

“Emily, please. Listen to me.”

But I don’t. I keep going, letting the words spill from my lips.

“Nick was doing so well, but every now again, he just seems to fall off the wagon. Last year, we went to the beach house and everything was fine until he went to Alex’s room there. We haven’t touched it since he passed.”

“I’m sorry, Lily pad,” Tristan says, reaching out to touch me.

“He needed you…”

I needed you.





FIVE


TRISTAN



THE TENSION BETWEEN Emily and I thickens as each minute passes. I wish I could fix what went wrong between Emily and me with a simple apology, but life is a little more complicated than that. And the past always seems to be looming over me. I want to forget what I did, but I’m the reason why their lives are so broken. I still wish I could forget the way Emily felt beneath me, or the way her aquamarine eyes heated watching me touch the submissive lying on the bed in front of me, but I haven’t been able to. The innocent young girl I grew up with vanished that night. I should’ve let her go, but the moan that escaped her lips only made it harder. It made me harder. I’m sure she knew my intentions, but she didn’t question me when I started touching her.

She refuses to look up at me for more than a few seconds, and I can’t fucking stop thinking about her lips and the way her dress hugs those familiar curves. I watch her as she shifts from one leg to the other. It’s a delicate balancing act that she carefully executes as she waits for Nick’s return. I know she doesn’t want to talk to me, but it doesn’t stop me from trying.

“How’s school?” I ask.

The question seems simple, but I should know better than to think anything is simple between us. Emily turns slightly toward me, but her eyes never stray from in front of her. She slowly slips her lip between her teeth. I know she’s trying to keep quiet, holding back the anger inside. After several painful minutes, she finally gives in and turns toward me with her arms crossed. I know Body Language 101. Arms crossed are definitely not a good sign, but it doesn’t deter me from trying to get her to talk.

“It’s fine,” she mumbles. “I actually took a year off, but now I’m ready to go back.”

I don’t ask her why because I already know the answer. She took a year off because, even after four years, Alex’s death still didn’t feel like it was over. At least not with the paparazzi hounding their family from day one.

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