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   Chapter 8 Eight

Wildflower By Aubrey Wolfe Characters: 15724

Updated: 2019-10-21 22:09


"What the hell are you doing here?" I ask, trying to keep calm, but just seeing his face makes me want to slam it into the nearest wall.

"What is your game plan, Tristan? What are you trying to achieve?"

I raise a brow. "Game plan?"

"For Emily, and whatever lies you have her twisted up in."

That fuels my anger further, especially after everything I just revealed to her. I told her the absolute truth, she didn't leave, and it feels amazing.

There's no chance he's taking that away, because he's butthurt he fucked up his chance. I push him back and step out the door, that's when he also notices I'm shirtless. His eyes narrow at my chest.

"Is she in there? I want to talk to her, " he says and tries to move past me. I shove him back once again, a little harder this time.

"I'm sure she wants nothing to do with you. Everett, you had your chance and like always, you blew it. Move on, and let her be happy." I am in a way too good a mood to put up with this shit right now.

"You think someone like you deserves her over me? I know about the shit you've done, where you've been for the last decade, " he hisses, shoving his phone in my face. He typed my name into Google, and right at the top, was an article about the day the woman was found in my apartment, with me still holding the gun.

My chest tightens, but I close my eyes and briefly think of Emily, laying peacefully in my bath tub right now, after the blissful moment we just shared. Nothing can ruin that; I won't allow it.

"Emily knows the truth; she knows who I am. She chose not to leave, but right now I'm not giving you that choice. I want you to leave, now, and stay the hell away from Emily. You've caused her enough heartbreak as is."

I step back and close the door in his face, not giving him the chance to respond either, and lock the door. I take a breath, and instantly feel her standing behind me, before I turn around.

"Are you okay?" she asks softly, walking over and touching my shoulder lightly.

"How much did you hear?"

She shrugs. "Enough to know who Everett really is. All this time, I have been blinded and a part of me knew that the moment I saw him cheating, but I never knew he would go this far. Thinking he knows what is best for me, after everything he has done." I see the rage build up in her eyes and her shoulders begin to shake.

"I promise, he won't bother you again, " I say, pressing a kiss to her forehead. She leans into me as I wrap and arm around her, once again breathing in her scent, allowing it to wash over me.

"Thank you, for standing up for me, and for being here for me even though none of this drama has anything to do with you, " she says, pulling back to smile up at me. "Most guys would run the other way."

"What in the world makes you say that?" I can't think of one solid reason to ever run away from her, or the opportunity to be with her.

Emily shrugs. "Guys my age don't want to be with a girl, who has no sexual experience, this much expectation and a large amount of baggage."

"You think you have no experience and a lot of baggage?" I tease, gesturing to myself.

She laughs lightly, the sound filling the room.

"You are one of a kind, Emily. Your experiences, the baggage you claim to carry, it makes you who you are. I wouldn't want it any other way."

I move a stray strand of hair away from her face as she stares up at me with her wide, beautiful blue eyes. I start to panic when I see tears form in the corner of her eyes and spill over her cheeks, but my heart calms when I see the adoring smile on her face.

"You have no idea how much that means to hear that, " she says, burying her face in my chest, her fingers gripping my arms. "All I have ever wanted, was for someone to see me as who I am, and not run in the opposite direction. One mention of my name, and no one wants anything to do with me."

I pull away, curious. "What do you mean?"

Emily gives me a sheepish smile. "Yet another reason I'm glad you arrived; you weren't here when my family name came to fruition. Before, my parents were children of very wealthy and powerful business men, in the state's New York and California. My mother's parents made an honest living, working from the ground up, but raised my mother to believe she was above everyone else, that she is elite and should act as such." She stops and turns away, pacing the living room slowly.

"My father's family hadn't come by their fortune so honestly, however. He has never told me about my grandparents, or that side of my family at all, never allowing me to study record books or family albums, but the internet is a hell of a thing, " she says and chuckles. "I found out more t

was once, compared to the woman she has become. She is staring into the past, like the bed of water is a mirror, showing her who she once was." I stop and point down to her outstretched hand, pointing towards the reflection, "she regrets who she is, and is wishing to return to the past."

Emily sniffles a little. "That is beautiful, but really sad at the same time. I wonder who the artist is." She bends down and notices the small name painted in the corner, marking the ownership.

I hear her gasp, her head twirling around to stare at me with wide eyes.

"Is-is this your mother's?"

I nod, looking back at the white painted name.

Samantha Burke.

"Do you know what it means?" she asks. I feel her slip her hand into mine, giving it a light squeeze.

"I never met my mother, so I never really saw the other kind of art she has done. But if living with my father is any indication, I would assume her life was much similar to mine. My father used and abused her, whether it be physically or mentally, until she broke. I don't know what happened to her, if she died shortly after I was born, or somewhere along the way; she has never tried contacting me."

I peer at Emily from the corner of my eye, half expecting to see a small look of pity in her eyes. My heart swells when I see no such thing, instead I see the same adoration I saw earlier, and sadness, like she is feeling the pain I have carried with me.

If possible, I feel myself falling for her even more.

"Thank you for showing me this, I'm glad you found it, " she says, beaming up at me. "How did you know it was here?"

"I looked up the exhibit online and they had a few pieces to highlight the show, this was one of them. I recognized the name right away, and from the small description on the website of the artist, something just told me it was my mother's, " I explain, trying to casually shrug it off. But I still remember the feeling when I did stumble upon, like I was looking at a piece of my mother for the first time.

In a way, I am. I have never seen anything of my mother's, I just knew she was an artist, but never what kind. I hadn't realized how much I wanted to see her work, until now. I never felt close to my mother, because I never even had a chance to know her, see her or even know what her touch feels like. I grew up without any of that, from any motherly figure.

But maybe I miss her more than I thought.

"Want to grab something to eat? It's almost lunch time." Emily's sweet voice snaps me out of my thoughts. She's right, we've been wandering around for over an hour. As if on cue, my stomach grumbles, already having digested the small bakery muffin a long time ago.

I nod and grasp her out-stretched hand. We turn away from the exhibit, giving my mother's painting one last, fleeting look.

"So, where would you like to go?" she asks me, flashing her breathtaking smile, the one that always seems to melt my worries and anxiety away.

I look up to see what might be around us, when a blur catches my eye.

A man standing across the street.

A man I would recognize anywhere with one glance.

"Dad?"

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