“You are so obvious, brother,” Julian said, “It’s a miracle the camera crews haven’t yet picked up on your
If I wasn’t so in control of my emotions, I would have punched him. Not just for his wrongful accusation about my feelings regarding Piper – I was not pining – but because of his persistence in bringing her
down with him.
I didn’t punch him, but it was a near thing.
I settled instead for bringing myself to my full height and growling at him. I was only two inches taller
than him, but I made the most of it now.
“Maybe you don’t care about Piper’s reputation, but I do. Disappearing with her for hours does not
improve her image with our family or the people.”
“Piper knew exactly what she was doing.” Julian’s smirk added an edge. “Trust me, she’s a pro.”
My hands formed fists. Piper could fool around with whoever she wanted. That wasn’t my concern
anymore. But Julian… He had no right Involving himself.
“Piper is a single mother. Do you fully intend to support her and her child? She’s not the type for you to
love and leave, Julian.”
Julian tilted his head. “Why do you care so much? I don’t see you lining up to date her.”
The words speared through me. Why did I care? “For Elva’s sake. She’s just a child.”
“Don’t bring Elva into this, Nicholas. She might be a reason you are so protective, but she’s not the only
I couldn’t listen to this. Any other reasons I may or may not have felt simply did not matter.
Piper was not mine to have. She hadn’t been for a long time.
Discovering the truth about our past had left me unsettled. I was still trying to set myself straight. For so long, I had thought she had betrayed me. I had branded her a liar and a cheater, and hardened my heart
against any kind of love.
Yet she had been hurting the same as me all these years. She had made her choices to protect Elva and
herself. How could I hate her for it?