Facade

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Conjoined

THEA’S POV

“We have been invited to spend the next two weeks in their hotel to prepare for the show.”

Caleb’s eyes meet mine from across the couch as we both begin to smile like a Cheshire.

“Does this mean we get to stay at their five-star hotel for two weeks?”

“Yes.”

“That’s a good thing, Beth. Why do you look so worried?”

She bites her lip. “It’s a little far from here. And we leave the day after tomorrow. Won’t you have trouble traveling to and from school?”

I blink. Once. Twice. “Beth? Our Christmas holiday starts tomorrow.”

“Mine too. Two weeks’ holiday.” Caleb chimes in.

My aunt stares at me, dumbfounded for a second before her face lights up like Christmas lights. “That means you can come with me!”

I chuckle at her enthusiasm. Her fashion show is a day before Christmas eve which means the after-party will be on the twenty-fourth of December leaving Christmas day which is the day after.

Three days of continuous celebration. Seems fun. But my mind is on something else entirely.

“Beth?”

“Hmm?”

“Will the Darkwoods be there too?”

“Oh, yeah. Elijah offered me the suits on the top floor where they will be staying as well.”

“They as in...”

“Elijah and his nephews.” A smile threatens to take over my face and I have to bite my lip to prevent it. Thankfully, she doesn’t notice. “The younger one goes to your school. Maybe you can make a new friend?”

Caleb snickers before a flying pillow hits him square in the face. He turns to glare at me and I poke my tongue out.

“Yep. We’ll be the best of friends.” And maybe more. A girl can hope.

*****

“Holy—”

“—shit!” I finish for Caleb.

It’s one thing to live in a five-star hotel. It’s another to live in one belonging to Darkwood.

The lobby in itself is decorated with an indoor glowing fountain wall which has a background of beige matching the similar colored marble floor. Modern LED light fixtures on the ceiling add to the elegance of this place.

However, my mind seems to keep dragging my attention back to a certain storm eyed boy making me sigh in exhaustion.

Beth brings us the key cards to our rooms and we move on towards the elevator.

“Elijah’s already here. He arrived yesterday and we have a meeting in an hour. So, both of you be good while I work.”

Caleb kisses the crown of her head. “You worry too much. We’ll be fine.”

She pats his cheek. “It’s my job to worry.”

We exit the elevator and look at the numbers on our keys to determine which way we should be going.

While Beth and Caleb’s suite is in the west wing, mine happens to be on the east side.

“We can switch if you want?” Caleb holds out his key card but I shake my head.

“It’s alright. We’re on the same floor anyway.”

“’ Kay then. I’m off to sleep.”

“You slept all the way here.”

“I know. Still sleepy,” he yawns on cue making me roll my eyes.

They take off to their rooms while I walk in the opposite direction towards my own suite.

Upon reaching my door, I swipe the card on the keypad and enter the room only to be taken back by the interior.

The color palette consists of grey and white with black furniture. various shades of grey in the shapes of geometric figures decorate the floor and a queen-sized bed stands in the middle of the room.

The floor to ceiling wall with curtains matching the interior along with a single, plush chair fills me with a sudden desire to sit and read beside the window.

The walls are also painted a beautiful shade of grey and amidst everything a specific shade of eyes that matches this interior flashes before my eyes.

He never leaves my mind, does he? I sigh inwardly.

I venture my way to find the door to my bathroom which doesn’t fail to leave me in awe.

White tiles adorn all the way from the floor to the walls except the black one behind the square bathtub. Two tiled steps lead into the smooth, marbled tub above which multiple showerheads are located.

I think I’m in love. It’s going to be hard leaving this place after spending two weeks in one of the most luxurious suites in this country.

As I return to my bedroom again, I find two other doors. One of which leads to a walk-in closet leaving me perplexed about the use for the other one.

With nervous excitement building up in my stomach, I turn the doorknob only to stumble into another gorgeous bedroom.

But the sight that catches my eyes and makes my mouth run dry is not the marvelous interior but rather the person standing in the middle of it.

My eyes take in his form from head to toe, making their way up to his half-naked body. Starting from the V-line that disappears down his pants, up to his toned abs to the intricate black ink on his upper arm.

A Victorian pocket watch...broken to pieces.

My gaze continues their travel up his neck, sharp jawline, and all the way to the stormy eyes.

“Hey,” I grin. My voice comes out in a breath and it takes everything in me to tear my eyes off him.

Xavier hurries to put a shirt on making me pout in disappointment as he denies me the mouth-watering sight.

“What the fuck?”

“Hmm?”

“What are you doing here? How the hell did you get access to that room?”

If I thought the moment shared between us in his bedroom had changed his perspective on me, I was damn wrong. If anything, he went back to being an asshole.

“I got it from the receptionist, thank you very much.”

“Why are you here?”

“Beth’s fashion show is in two weeks and Elijah invited us to stay here.”

“I know that!”

My lips form a thin line. “Then why ask?”

“I meant what are you doing here? In that room?”

“I told you, I got the key from the lobby.”

“That room has always been empty. Elijah doesn’t let anyone have it when I’m here because both these suits are conjoined and—” He pauses mid-sentence. “Lucas.” His shoulders tighten with anger as he lets out a stream of profanities. “That bastard!”

“What did he do now?”

“There are seven rooms on this floor. Three on this wing and four on the other. Among them, I always move in this room and the one you’re in right now is always empty.”

“Well, it’s not anymore so stop complaining.”

“Remind me to lock that damn door.”

“If you do that I’ll pound onto it till I give you a headache.” I’m joking...I think.

“As if you don’t do that already.”

“At least I’m not a pain in the ass.”

“I’ve been called worse things by better people.”

“You do realize that people just tolerate you?”

“You’re not pretty enough to be this stupid.”

“Please,” I scoff, “you wouldn’t know how to pour water out of a boot even if the instructions were written on it.”

“You—”

A knock resounds through my door cutting him off. We exchange a look before I go on ahead to open it.

“Luke?” Confusion dots my face at the sight of his deep grin eyes and his smirking face.

A door slams behind me and I turn around to see Xavier has closed the door joining our rooms.

I turn back to his brother who is eyeing said door with a sad gleam in his eyes. As I study his expression, Xavier’s words about his brother come back to me.

“I’m guessing from the look on your face that he told you about me?” I nod my head in hesitantly and his eyes zero in on mine. “What?”

My teeth pull my bottom lip in between before releasing them. “You don’t seem that bad.”

Luke lets out a deep chuckle and shakes his head in amusement. “What if I told you I was exactly as bad as he painted me to be.”

“I don’t know the person you were nor the one you are now. But if you’re really as shitty as he described you as, why do you look so guilty every time you look at him?”

Luke stares at me, stunned for a moment before he breaks into a fit of laughter.

“You really are something else.” He ruffles my hair before putting his hands in his pockets. “Who knows? Maybe I’ll tell you all about my secret someday?”

I offer him a small smile in return. “I’ll look forward to it.”

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I think I broke my back because I’ve been in a seated position all day but it was worth the double update.

As always, not edited so please forgive any errors. Don’t forget to comment!

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