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Sweetest Secret
Author: Lucy Darling








This is not good. I’m barely hanging on to my control by a thin thread, and now I’m sitting next to the very person that would try to bust my face in if he knew about this thread I’m hanging by to begin with. It’s been this way for a while, but I’m going to snap. I’m so close yet so far from getting what I’ve been waiting for.

It’s been easy to hide my truth from Asher with him on the other side of the world, but now he’s back, and I don’t think he’ll be going anywhere soon. When he landed back in the States from Japan, he said he was going to be in and out as quickly as possible. It’s only a matter of time before I snap, and there is a big chance that is going to happen right in front of him.

What’s the cause of my loss of self-control, you ask? It’s none other than my best friend's little sister. I know. It doesn’t get any more fucking cliché than that. I’ve wanted her for longer than I’m willing to admit even to myself.

There has always been something that has drawn me to her. A protectiveness that has changed over the years. Asher has even at times asked me to keep an eye on her. He travels a lot. I do some but nowhere near the level he does. I'm not the one running from home. I rather enjoy being right where I am, but then again, I have a functional, loving family. The same can’t be said for Asher.

At least today he and I are both on the same page about this party that he’s barreling down the highway to get to. We’re both going for two very different reasons. He thinks I’m there for backup, which is bullshit. Asher doesn’t need backup with a bunch of high school punks, but there was no way I wasn’t going. I know he’s not going to look for his sister. He thinks Emily is fine and can take care of herself.

No, he’s pissed that his new stepsister is at the party. One that a few days ago he was sure he was going to hate. Too bad that plan went to hell the moment he laid eyes on her. I’m not the only one with secrets around here.

Asher spent the last hour in my condo confessing to his dirty little sins that included a bit of blackmail. Hell, I thought I knew Asher better than anyone, but I did not see this one coming, and I’ve seen his new stepsister Molly a few times now. Only in passing when I’d dropped into talk business with Tomas Score while Asher has been away.

Asher’s father and mine have been close and often work on deals together, and now Asher and I are about to embark on a new business venture. I’ve been over to the Score Family Estate a handful of times just in the last month to meet with Tomas, Asher’s father, to discuss building a home for his new wife. It’s what my family, the Silversteins, are known for. There isn’t anything we can’t build.

Asher has been hell-bent on hating his new stepmom, Grace, but she’s sweet, and I’ve heard her daughter is too. Honestly, I’d never given Molly a second glance, but then again, Emily has always held my attention. Anytime I’m in the Score home, I’m trying to steal glances of her when she is there.

Molly is quiet and tends to blend into the background. I often forget she’s in the room, and I think the girl prefers it that way. From what I’ve heard she doesn’t think she belongs. It’s understandable. Her mother was a nurse that busted her ass to afford their small apartment, and now she lives on the Score family estate, which is bigger than some small cities. I’m sure it’s a bit overwhelming for her.

This girl I’ve barely noticed is the very reason I think Asher’s life is about to change in ways he doesn’t understand. I do, because I’ve been where he is for a while.

For Asher’s whole life, he couldn’t stand most women. He puts everything into his work. Not that I can blame the man. His mother is one fucked-up bitch, and that’s not something I’d easily call someone. My own mom would kill me if she ever heard me utter those words about a female.

Asher’s mother is what the word was made for. Some people have daddy issues, but I think Asher’s mom Heidi gave him mommy issues. It’s why he keeps all females at arm's length. Until now, it seems. If I had to guess, Molly is avoiding him at all costs, and it’s driving him insane. He’s gone from hiding from women that often throw themselves at him because of his last name to now chasing one. I’d laugh, but I don’t need karma kicking me in the face right now.

“Are you just going to storm in there and toss her over your shoulder and storm back out?” I ask, giving my seatbelt a small tug to make sure it’s on tight with how fast he’s driving. Which I’m not complaining about; I’m actually thankful for it. I want to get there as quickly as we can.

Emily has turned into a social butterfly over the past few years, but I wasn’t aware she’d been hitting the party scene. The girl is in every damn school club, and let’s not forget cheerleading. That shit is torture.

There have been a few parties here and there, but they’ve been at family homes I knew and that had tight security. As in, I knew the security teams personally. Now the McDonald brothers are a different story. I went to school with a few of the older ones. They’re all pieces of work, and Emily knows that, but still she’s there. I know it’s the end of the year blowout for the seniors. Graduation is days away, but I still don’t like it. Not one fucking bit.

My phone goes off, and I already know who it is. It’s Jericho giving me an alert on Emily. One I already know because she told her brother she was going to the party before she left the house. Irritation still fills me, but I know Jericho isn’t a fucking psychic. I just hate not knowing what she’s doing. I have to hear it secondhand. It hadn’t always been that way.

Once upon a time, Emily hung on to my every word. Then I went and fucked it up. What choice did I have? To this day, I still question what I did, but now all I can try to do is prove to her that things have changed.

Asher pulls straight up to the McDonald mansion, not caring that he’s blocking in a ton of cars. He doesn’t plan to be here long. That makes two of us.

The wait is over. Tick tock, Emily. Time's up. I don’t care if her brother is my best friend. She may be his sister, but she’s going to be mine.









I’m pretty sure I had one or two drinks too many at this point. I told myself I was celebrating graduation, but the reality is I’m in a shit mood. When my stepsister Molly said she was down to go to the McDonald party, I thought what the hell. I needed to get out of the house.

Molly is sweet, and we’ve slowly gotten closer. It’s been hard with my schedule. I keep myself busy, and she tends to be shy. I get the sense she tries to stay out of the way. As for me, the busier I am, the less time I have to think. Forget idle hands; it's idle minds that will eat you alive.

My mood went south when I overheard my brother on the phone with his best friend Chase. I’m guessing they’re hanging out and doing God knows what. They always hang out when my brother is in town. I never hear what they are up to, but a lot of men in this world are good at hiding their night lives. Some even carry NDAs on them in their back pockets. It’s insane and fucked up.

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