Relative Design

By Katemerchant All Rights Reserved ©



Anabel Reid is ambitious to the point of being selfish. She has spent years trying to cultivate the image of perfection. She’s smart, attractive, lives with her sister in a great house, and is going to Europe for school after high school ends. She has everything together and in complete control. Then her brother, Beckett, who left to find himself a decade ago comes back home with Eric, a kid he’s adopting and Anabel is forced her to expand the narrow emotional borders she has built around her life. With Beckett's reappearance, her parents who haven’t spoken to her in years make a reappearance, her sister, Eliza, regresses as a form of rebellion, and Adam, a musician her sister signed is making life a lot more complicated than she expected. Also, her dog keeps trying to eat her shoes. As she gets to know Eric, she learns that Beckett may not have been entirely truthful about the boy. Will their family be able to stand united in the face of the truth or will it ruin them?


Anabel Reid was late. It wasn’t something that happened often, and that was a point of pride for her. This morning, however, was not like the usual. She went to her bed where her purse was, and huffed as she shoved another notebook in her bag before sliding her arm through the handles and straightening. Straining just slightly from the weight of it, she stepped out of her room, swallowing the curses that rose up when she bumped into someone. Flinching, she looked up, brushing away the disappointment when, instead of meeting a pair of blue eyes, she looked up into a pair of stone grey ones.

“Sorry,” he said with a big grin. “You okay?”

She scowled, her head cocked and a glare set on her features as her frustration mixed with sudden annoyance. “What—who the hell are you?”

He blinked at her for a moment before shaking his head. “I’m Adam. I was looking for the bathroom.”

Seeming to suddenly remember her open bedroom door, she eased it shut behind her. “Why are you in my house?”

“I had a meeting with Eliza?” he said, though it came out more as a question, and he had the pleasure of seeing her eyes clear and her lips turn up in a, if somewhat forced, smile.

“Oh, right. Bathroom’s the third door on your left,” she instructed pleasantly, though she would’ve much rather preferred shoving him out of her front door onto his ass. Just because Eliza’s office was being redecorated… she didn’t have to suffer, did she? She didn’t even allow her friends over.

Adam watched the emotions play across her face, tucking his hands in his pockets to enjoy the show. “Who are you again?”

“Eliza’s sister,” she said shortly, turning towards the stairs. He, much to her annoyance, followed after her.

“You live here too?”

“Mhmm.” Small talk, she reminded herself. To pretend to be polite, she had to engage in small talk. She could handle that. “You must be from that new band she’s signing.”

“Yeah.” He pushed his overgrown dark hair out of his eyes. “Sorry to, you know, intrude.”

She wouldn’t say it was okay. That was too far. Instead, she simply stuck with, “The quirks of having your office redecorated.”

“I can imagine. Where are you headed?”

Away from you, she thought with a sigh as she finally reached the stairs. Only the promise of a new purse and heels kept the thought to herself. If bribery was what she got in return of being nice to her sister’s clients, so be it. “Class.”

“So late?”

“My school’s huge, overcrowded. Sophomores have an extremely unpleasant schedule in my school.” She glanced at the watch on her wrist that read quarter past eleven before glancing in her bag to make sure she had her homework. Again.

“You’re a sophomore?” he asked, disappointment the cause of his frown. She seemed older.

She glanced at him before starting down the stairs. “Yeah. You?”

“Just graduated.”

“Congrats,” she said dryly, not at all impressed that he’d been signed just out of high school. At least he’d completed high school if nothing else.

He stayed on the upstairs landing and said nothing, frowning as she descended down the stairs.

“See ya,” she said, and went to the backdoor to avoid seeing the rest of his little band.

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