Filthy Beautiful Lies Page 12

After smoothing my hair down in the mirror, I wander downstairs in search of coffee. The house is completely silent. As I pass by room after room on my way to kitchen, it feels like I’m walking through a museum.

Drake is sitting at the breakfast bar, leaning over his iPad with a cup of steaming espresso sitting nearby.

"Morning," I say.

His gaze lifts up to meet mine, his mouth tugged down in a frown. I feel like I’m interrupting him. He taps a few more keys on his tablet and then glances up again, his frown now absent. "Morning."

"Is there coffee?" He said I should make myself at home, and so I try to fight off the feeling that I should retreat to a dark corner of the house and stop interrupting him.

He tips his head to the elaborate stainless steel brewing system installed into one wall. That is not a coffee pot. It could very well be a time machine for all I know. "My staff – the housekeepers and cook have all been made aware of your presence here. They think you’re a friend who’s staying with me. So if you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask. Marta’s my favorite. You can trust her, okay?"

I nod. "So, what’s our story? About how I know you."

A crease permeates his brow as he thinks it over. "You’re the younger sister of a college friend of mine. You’re in LA trying to make it as a model and I offered you a place to stay until you get a job. How does that sound?"

"A model?" Me? I glance down at myself and nearly roll my eyes. I don’t have the height or weight requirements to be a model. "Let’s make our story at least somewhat believable."

"Yes. A model. And it is believable."

I chew on my lower lip, internalizing this information at how he views me. "Okay." Whatever. "Does this brother of mine have a name?"

He thinks it over. "Anthony."

"I’m not Italian."

"Fine, John."

"Where did you and John go to college?"

"Harvard," he says without batting an eyelash.

Wow. Impressive. I guess the multi-million dollar home sitting directly on the beach in Malibu and the running two companies thing makes sense. He has a top notch education. He’s smart, powerful, and sexy. Altogether, a lethal combination. I still don’t understand how he’s single. "Are you from the east coast originally?" I ask.

He nods. "Connecticut."

Just then, the doorbell rings – it’s an obnoxious chime that goes on for what seems like forever. My eyes flick over to his. "Are you expecting someone?"

He sets the porcelain espresso cup down on the counter. "I guess it’s a good thing we came up with that story," he says, then heads off to answer the door.

What the hell? I’m standing in his kitchen wearing the baggy T-shirt he gave me last night, no bra, and paper thin cotton pants without any panties, and apparently I’m about to meet someone from his life. Perfect.

Seconds later, Drake reenters the kitchen, flanked by two men who share his same features. The resemblance is uncanny. My first thought is: there are three of him?

It’s overwhelming to have them all in the same room, all of their brilliant blue eyes watching me.

"Who’s this?" One of the Drake look-alikes asks with a cocky grin. His eyes are devouring me and his mouth is curved up in a crooked smile. He looks to be a few years younger than Drake, which makes me realize for the first time that Drake must have a couple of years on me.

"Sophie, these are my brothers." He points to the cocky-grinned younger version of himself. "Pace." And then to the slightly taller version with kind eyes, "And Collins."

"Hello." I tug at the hem of the t-shirt I’m wearing, all too aware of my braless state. Shit, and I’m sure my hair’s a wicked wreck too. "It’s nice to meet you."

"Last night’s conquest is still here?" Pace’s mouth tugs up in another of those uneven grins I’m already coming to love.

"Sophie is John’s youngest sister."

"John?" They both ask in unison.

Here we go. Time to test the story.

"John – from Harvard. He was one of Derek’s buddies."

Both brothers nod like this makes perfect sense. I suppose there are a lot of Johns at Harvard, and since they have no reason to doubt him, they quickly accept the story. I breathe a little sigh of relief while Drake finishes explaining that I’ve just moved to LA and I’m looking for a modeling job, so he offered me a place to stay since he has like fifteen empty bedrooms.

"Where are you from originally?" Collins asks.

"Boston," I blurt without thinking. That’s where Harvard is, but I wince realizing I’m completely missing the telltale Boston accent. Nice, Sophie.

"So you guys aren’t, like, an item, then?" Pace presses on. He eyes my ensemble – it’s obvious I’ve slept in Drake’s clothes.

"No," Drake answers without offering anything further.

"The airline lost my luggage," I explain, gesturing to my outfit.

"Bastards." Pace grins at me again.

"I’m Collins. It’s good to meet you." The eldest of the three extends his hand to mine and gives it a warm shake, his large hand completely enclosing my own palm. His blue eyes crinkle in the corners and seem to see too much – it’s the same feeling I get looking directly into Drake’s eyes.

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