C5 Five


I was almost ready to head out of the suite, but my throat dried up, so I walked through the suite’s minibar. To my satisfaction, the liquor cabinet had a full range of beverages, and it had my favorite bottle of Château Lafitte. I grabbed the bottle then poured myself a glass.

I shut my eyes and took my first sip of the wine’s heaven-and-earthy taste. I ran my tongue over my lower lip as the bittersweet liquid ran down my throat. I was pretty much having ‘me’ time when the door suddenly glided open and the sexiest man I knew marched into the room.

Luke came back, and my precious glass of wine splattered on the rug, the glass shattered into pieces. It’s like he brought a storm with him wearing a furious expression.

“Don’t you ever knock?” I bent down and picked up broken pieces of the glass.

“This is my suite. Get up here,” he ordered.

What? I even walked around naked earlier, used his bathroom, and he’s saying this was his personal space? No wonder everything was provided. I wouldn’t have come here if I knew. I ignored him and continued picking up the mess.

“I said, get up!” he bellowed. Luke grasped my arm and hauled me up. He dragged me to one side. “Do not ever kneel like that.” His gray eyes peered at me.

I wasn’t able to respond. I was losing my balance. Luke almost dwarfed me with his height. I suddenly felt small in his presence.

“W-why did you come back anyway?”

He let my arm go and walked to the minibar. I noticed he already changed into a black Italian bespoke tuxedo with letter “A” cufflinks on his dress shirt. His dark hair was roughly brushed up. I wanted to run my fingers along his body while inhaling his spicy sandalwood scent.

What the hell was wrong with me? I should be angry with him for leaving me earlier and for shouting at me as if I was a piece of trash. I must have lost my damn mind.

Luke grabbed a glass and poured himself the same drink I was having.

“I don’t want to appear the bastard son, so I came back to pick you up so we could go together to the party like happy siblings.” He drank the wine in one gulp and then finished his sentence, “Do you get what I mean?”

I shook my head. I just could not believe why I was so consumed with this man. He was such a prick. I sighed. “Then maybe you should have shown your true bastard self to your father.”

“We need to leave now,” he said, ignoring my remark.

“How about my things?”

“I’ll have it picked up later.” And just like that, he walked out the door again.

I grabbed my purse and rushed outside. Luke was about to step into the elevator. Damn. He just couldn’t wait for me. He certainly did not care if I was running for my life just to keep up. He did not hold the elevator, and the poisonous bastard could not stop smirking as if I was some comedian.

I realized then that perhaps he just really hated me. He wouldn’t be such an ass if he didn’t. Even if we weren’t real siblings, he could’ve just treated me like a normal person.

“What is wrong with you?” I ranted.

He didn’t answer, but he could not stop his mouth from twitching.

“It’s not my fault your legs are short.”

I froze. “What did you just say?”

My distaste towards him began to increase and intensify. I was starting to hate him. Unfortunately, I knew I would never win.

I looked away from his goddamn pretty face. Instead, I stood up and fixed my eyes forward. I would not play with his games.

When we reached the hotel’s first floor, Luke continued to march outside as if I did not exist. The hotel staff greeted him but he didn’t respond. He must think so highly of himself. He walked towards a black Bentley on the hotel’s main driveway and got into the driver’s seat. I was not expecting that he was going to open the door for me, so I just quietly stepped inside of my own accord.

There, again, the car was filled with his intoxicating scent. I was probably going crazy, still being attracted to him. There was no point admiring him.

Luke was very silent and uninterested in me the whole drive. I began to worry. I didn’t want to live under the same roof as my stepbrother.


I GAPED at the stylish and luxurious home towering over me when I stepped out of the car. The two-acre land had a three-story mansion that combined steel, concrete, wood, and glass. This was Thomas Alejandro’s home, the place where my mother wanted me to live.

I wanted to explore the interior, but the party was being held in the garden, so we proceeded to the venue. As we moved, the camera flashes instantly blinded me, and there were hundreds of guests in fancy suits and dresses crowding in one place. The party had already begun, and I could already hear my stepfather’s voice speaking through the speaker system.

To my surprise, Luke grabbed my hand and brought me over to the stage with him. “Come on! I told you we’re late.”

“Hey, where are we—”

Luke’s warm hand grasped my wrist; it was like small tingles and tiny bolts of electricity were radiating from him and he was transferring them to me. I wasn’t sure if he felt it.

We stopped at the side of the stage as if waiting for something to happen. I seriously didn’t know what he was planning to do.

“I would like to address my beautiful and lovely wife, Gene,” Thomas continued to speak. “You are perfect in everything you do. You have become the light of our home, and I’m grateful to you for taking care of my son, Lucas. But right now, as we are celebrating your fiftieth birthday, I wanted to give you the best gift,” he paused, making eye contact with my mother, who was wiping her tears in pure joy. He kissed her temple and continued the speech. “I would like to invite our precious daughter on stage. She came here straight from Cambridge to witness her mother’s special day.”

Thomas shifted his body to one side and spread out his arm towards me. “Let’s welcome Scarlet Carter, my daughter. Let’s give her a big round of applause.”

Oh, my God! This was the surprise he was talking about.

Mom’s mouth dropped open when she saw me; her expression was full of awe and priceless. She was so beautiful, her face blessed with youth. She’d curled her brunette hair, and she was wearing a sparkling emerald-green evening dress that hugged her curves. The life Thomas had given her suited her well. I gave her a smile of yearning, realizing I had missed her so much.

Luke leaned close to my ear. “Go on, she’s waiting,” he urged in a whisper, offering his arm to me.

“But, Luke… I’m not prepared for this.”

“Who is?” he hissed.

“Scar, my dear?” my stepfather called. “Come up here, sweetheart.”

Luke rolled his eyes. “Come on,” he pressed, brought my hand to his arm, and took me to the stage while my knees quivered. A round of applause erupted the whole place as soon as I made my grand entrance.

“Hi, Mom.”

“My darling, you are here.” Mom immediately caught me around her arms and squeezed me so tight as if there were no tomorrow for both of us. It’s been months since she last visited me in Cambridge. She parted away a little, cupped my face between her palms, and wiped my tears away with her thumb. “I thought you were coming home on Sunday?”

I chuckled between my tears and embraced her again. “Well, surprise! I am here now. Happy Birthday, Mom.”

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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