Home > Who We Are (Perfect Everlasting Duet #1)

Who We Are (Perfect Everlasting Duet #1)
Author: Claudia Burgoa

 

Prologue

 

 

Thea


Where is Aggie Now?

At seventeen, Agatha Levitz was sent on her second trip to rehab. Since then, no one has heard from her again.

Rumor has it she died from an overdose.

Was it another suicide, like her brother Evan Levitz, or… where is she now?

Martin Levitz, drummer and former member of the band Dreadful Souls…

 

 

I almost laugh at the poorly written article about Agatha Levitz, or as the world used to know her, Aggie. A child star dragged through the nine circles of hell since she was six years old.

Newsflash, people, she’s dead. I doubt they’ll accept the sad truth, not until they find the lifeless body of a teenager dumped in a lake.

“It’s been ten years. Let it go!” My voice echoes through my apartment.

Maybe I should be the one ignoring the clickbait and accept their curiosity. After all, it’s human nature to want to know what happens to the rich and famous. Celebrities are at the mercy of their public. Not all of them know what they’re signing up for until it’s too late. Their destiny belongs to the millions of fans.

In my opinion, Aggie was set for failure from the beginning. Her life was over the moment she set foot in a television studio, or maybe after she was conceived.

Was it destiny or fate?

It’s not uncommon to hear people describe an outcome of a tragedy as the result of destiny or fate. Those concepts are different, and yet, people think of them as synonymous. Herman Melville explored the concept of fate through Moby Dick, as he believed life was controlled by it. There’re the Greeks who believed in the three Fates—Goddesses who controlled the world.

Clotho spun the thread of each individual’s life and determined the complexities and major features of that person’s future.

Lachesis measured the length of the life.

Atropos cut the thread, determining the individual’s moment of death.

My parents raised me to be part of a make-believe life.

We’re not talking about fairy tales, though. Although, several times I’d wished someone would’ve appeared and said you’re the long-lost daughter of the king and queen of a secret country. It never happened. My parents did the bare minimum to keep me alive, until they were able to exploit me.

They fed me, dressed me, and sent me to school because it was required. Neither one of them wanted to lose me to child services.

Do I believe in happy endings and destiny?

I want to believe that we can control our future.

Then again, I also want to believe that love is our destiny. It’s not only about romantic love, but familial, friendly, and agape—love for mankind. The biggest love we never search for is love for ourselves, though. Children like Aggie weren’t taught the basics of self-esteem.

How do I know?

She’s a textbook case of childhood abuse. I used her life in my dissertation. I spent months studying the correlation between her upbringing and the environment her parents created. Then there’s the biggest factor—her parents were alcoholics and drug addicts. That poor child didn’t stand a chance to become a successful adult.

No one can survive after everything she was put through and come out unscathed. I would know. I’m an expert. I lived through tragedy, created my own hell, and burned to a crisp.

There’s not one book that can tell me how someone who’s broken beyond recognition can find love.

But after all my sins, am I deserving of love?

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Matthew


Eiffel 65’s “Blue” blares through my ears as I walk inside Black Out, a nightclub located in downtown Malibu.

It takes me a few seconds to adjust to the darkness, the strobing lights, and the sporadic laser effects bouncing off the walls. My gaze lifts. I admire the high ceiling and observe the second-floor balconies that are filled with patrons drinking and dancing.

I make my way through the dance floor. Swaying, sweaty bodies press and rub against each other, some against me.

My nose wrinkles as the stench of alcohol, adrenaline, and pheromones hit my nostrils. I feel fucking old. It’s been a long time since I visited a place like this. I should start rethinking my life—a thought for another day.

At the moment, I have to focus on the blonde taking me to the office of my brother’s new business partner, Tristan Cooperson. The hostess—or whoever she is—makes a right, leading me down a darkened hall toward a steel door. The sign next to it reads Employees Only.

The girl, whose name I never learned, wiggles the door handle and opens it wide. “Mr. Cooperson, Mr. Decker is here for you.”

Before I step inside the office, Usher’s “Nice & Slow” resonates through the walls. I wonder why the sudden change in rhythm from snappy to a more somber, slow song. Checking my watch, I realize it’s almost two o’clock in the morning.

Tristan Cooperson lays his pen down and lifts his head. And. Oh. Holy. Shit. Those piercing dark green eyes make contact with mine. I drink in all of his features.

He’s gorgeous.

His dark, short hair highlights his facial features. A five o’clock shadow covers his chiseled jaw. His back straightens and his palms lay flat on the desk as his eyes penetrate mine.

I don’t know whether he’s undressing me or trying to eliminate me with that glare. Sometimes I feel like he’s not a fan. Others… well, if I had to choose, I believe it’s lust.

Do I hope that he’ll beg me to fuck him?

A man can only wish.

Just thinking of what I can do to him and with him increases the room’s temperature exponentially. I’m burning from the inside out. No one should judge me. It’s been a long time since I was with anyone. Add Tristan Cooperson, who makes me want him more and more every time I see him, and well, I’m ready to combust.

“Thank you, Becky. Please close the door on your way out,” he says, shifting his eyes toward the door.

I stare at Becky, watching her hips sway while following his directions. As the latch clicks, my attention goes back to him. “She’s hot. Are you two…?”

“She’s something,” he agrees, smirking slightly. He’s so cagey, I can’t get a read on him. I’m pretty sure he’s attracted to me—or I could be completely wrong.

There are so many questions swirling in my head when it comes to him, but with that major wall he puts up between us, I can never find my answers.

“But that’s not important.” He waves a hand. “I make it a rule not to mix business with pleasure. Please stay away from my employees.”

My eyebrows shoot up and I stare at him. “If she wasn’t your… staff, would you do her?”

“Decker, concentrate.” He snaps his fingers and sighs in frustration. “What’s so urgent that it couldn’t be handled over the phone?”

I walk closer to his desk, and the oak, mossy scent of his fragrance replaces the mix of club stench from outside the door. My entire body goes into red alert. I’m ready to bend Tristan over his desk and fuck him.

Except, I’m not an animal and I can control myself. So, I reach inside my jacket and unfold the NDA as I hand it to him.

He takes a quick look at it and starts shaking his head. “Another fucking NDA?” The thud his hand makes as it slams against the desk makes me jolt. “I’ve already sworn never to speak about your family. Parents, siblings, or goddamned pets. What is it now?”

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