Filthy Beautiful Lies Page 13

"You too."

"Ignore these two idiots. Welcome to the City of Angeles. If you need anything – please let me know," he says.

"Isn’t Tatianna a model, bro?" Pace looks at Collins and asks.

"Who?" Collins’ eyes still haven’t wandered from mine.

"Your girlfriend," Pace reminds him. "Your very committed, live-in girlfriend."

Drake almost chokes on his laughter.

"Right. Yes, that’s what I meant." Collins straightens his shoulders. "If you need anything while you’re here and trying to get established, let me know, and I’ll see if I can help."

Pace and Drake are both chuckling at their older brother. Watching them interact, I can see they’re a close-knit family and I immediately miss Becca. Although it’s been a while since she and I could just have fun and joke around so carefree like this. Lately there’s been too many hospitals, too much stress, and too many bills to even remember how to laugh, let alone breathe.

"Thank you, I will let you know." I tip my head to the floor. My desire for coffee is gone, all I want to do is flee this kitchen and these three big men who are all watching me closely. I want to take a shower – put on a damn bra and get dressed.

"What the fuck, Coco, don’t you have anything of Stella’s she could put on until the airline finds her luggage?" Pace questions, throwing a mock punch toward Drake.

The glare Drake shoots him is akin to an atomic bomb going off in the kitchen. Note to self: Do not anger Drake, or Coco… or whatever his name is.

Whoever she is, Drake’s body language screams that the name Stella should not be mentioned in his presence. Of course, this only makes me more curious.

"I’ll call Marta," Drake says, rather than answering the direct question.

"On her one day off?" Collins raises an eyebrow.

I watch their exchange in fascination, I get the sense there is so much not being said that I need a translator just to keep up.

Drake turns to face me, his expression softening. "Go upstairs and shower if you like. I can give you fresh clothes to change into until Marta can get here. I forgot that I have plans to go golfing with my brothers today. But she’ll take you shopping and get you everything you need. Until your luggage arrives," he adds, giving me a smirk.

"Okay," I mumble. I hate feeling so helpless, but I can do nothing but depend on him, my new, confusing master. Before retreating up the stairs, I give both brothers another handshake and we exchange goodbyes. Then I duck off to the safety of the master suite, needing a few minutes alone to recover from all the testosterone taking up residence in the kitchen.

Chapter Five


Once I’m alone upstairs, I know I can’t delay the phone call I need to make any longer. I sit down on the upholstered chaise lounge chair in the master suite and dial my mom’s cell, waiting anxiously for her to pick up.


"Yeah, it’s me Mom." With all that’s happened in the past twenty-four hours, it’s more grounding than I realized just to hear her voice.

"Where are you?" she asks.

"In LA, staying with a friend. I needed some time away – a break."

She’s quiet and I know she’s processing what I’ve told her. I don’t have any friends in Los Angeles, but she doesn’t question me.

"This friend I’m staying with…he, he owns a company and he’s graciously offered to um," I stumble over my words, drawing a deep breath. God, I suck at lying. "He’s offered to front the money to get Becca into the trial program."

"What have you done, Sophie?" her tone desperate and more harsh than I recall.

It’s not the reaction I’m expecting.

"The money is in your account. Use it to get Becca the care she needs." My voice is almost clinical as I fight to hold my emotions together. Never once in my wildest imagination had I thought my mom would be suspicious of me. Of course I knew she’d wonder where the money came from, but I thought she’d be so grateful that she’d accept the story of a generous anonymous donor without argument.

She doesn’t say anything else about the money, but I hear her sniffle. "How long will you be away?"

"A while," I confirm.

"Take care of yourself."

"I will. Just take care of Becca. I love you guys."

"Sophie?" I hear Drake’s voice from the hall before he steps into the room.

I toss my phone down onto the chair and stand, quickly wiping my cheeks with the back of my hands. "Yes?"

He’s holding a coffee cup on a saucer and carrying a miniature pitcher of cream. "You didn’t get your coffee."

The gesture is sweet and unexpected. I accept the cup from him, the fragrant brew is exactly what I need right now. There’s a packet of sugar and a tiny stirring spoon on the saucer.

"I didn’t know how you took it."

"With cream and sugar. This is perfect. Thank you."

He nods. "Everything…okay?"

"Yes." I straighten my spine. He didn’t pay for drama and I’m sure he doesn’t want to hear about my problems back home. "I just called my mom. Everything’s going to be fine now." At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

A frown line momentarily creases his forehead, before his expression returns to the relaxed, neutral one I’ve come to expect. "Marta should be here in about an hour. You’ll probably want to get yourself ready."

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