I stepped out of the car and headed into the lobby of our building. The clean white lines of the architecture and the modern furnishings giving it an upscale vibe. I gave a nod in greeting to the building manager behind the front desk and made my way into one of the elevators. Pressing the number for the top floor, and entering the access code before stepping back.
One of the first things I did when I established myself as an agent was to buy this apartment. It was a five-bedroom, 6 bath penthouse and I reveled in it. After bouncing around the foster care system my whole life, I wanted something that was mine. Something I could share with my brothers.
I think I always knew the fifth bedroom was hers. Even though I had given up on finding her, my soul would never let me forget her.
When the elevator finally came to a stop, I stepped out into the entrance of the penthouse. The bright light from the windows in the living room greeted me as I made my way upstairs and into my bedroom.
I took my suit off and hung it back up in the closet. Replacing it with a pair of relaxed jeans and a white t-shirt. I wanted Lark to remember the old me before I introduced her to the new me. I didn’t think I could do that wearing a tailored Armani suit.
Making my way back downstairs, I heard the elevator open and the voices of Greyson and Aidan bounced off the walls.
“I’m telling you man, I don’t know if she wants to know us again. She completely ignored me. I don’t want to let her go again, but I also don’t think I could handle it if she rejected us after all this time”. Greyson had taken Lark’s disappearance the hardest. We all missed her. We all mourned her loss, but Greyson was the last one to see her. I know he blamed himself.
“Grey just let it be for now. We haven’t talked to her in almost ten years. She could have been in shock and didn’t know how to cope with it”. Despite his normal hot-headed temperament, Aidan sounded reasonably calm. Hearing his console Grey felt like an odd thing to hear, considering it was usually the other way around.
They both joined me in the kitchen, Aidan pulling a beer out from the fridge and sitting at the large island next to where Greyson had landed. I could tell Aid was anxious to have Luka back so we could talk about this by the stiffness in his shoulders.
When Aidan became a professional boxer, it helped him control the anger he felt at what had happened to us and our foster parents all those years ago. He finally had an outlet to let out his frustration and pain. It made him almost unstoppable. When we joined forces, me being his agent, Aidan started to get real recognition in the boxing world. I may have bought this penthouse, but Aidan’s talent and hard work definitely contributed.
I was about to speak when I felt my phone vibrate in my back pocket. I noticed the guys also were looking at their phones.
Luka: I found her again. She was in my Italian class.
My heart stopped. She was meant to be with us again. How else could you explain two of us seeing her in one day, after no contact for nine years? I felt the energy in the room shift.
Colt: Did you talk to her? How is she?
Aidan: Please tell me she didn’t run away again.
I noticed Greyson didn’t respond. I looked over to him and could practically feel the nerves and tension radiating off his body.
Luka: She’s skittish. Grey was right she seems off and is going by the name Emily McCoy. She talked to me though after class... I convinced her to talk to us. I’m bringing her to the apartment now. We’ll be there in about 15 minutes.
If I thought Greyson and Aidan looked nervous before, it was nothing compared to after they read that text. I think all of us felt our hearts skip a beat.
We were going to see her.
She was going to be here.
Lark was coming home.
Aidan got up from the chair and instantly started tidying up the place. We weren’t messy by any standards but there were a few throw pillows on the floor, and drink glasses left out on the coffee and dining table.
I chuckled at watching one of the best boxers in the United States nervously clean our home.
“I’m going to go change”. Greyson muttered to himself mostly and disappeared around the corner. I could tell this whole situation was wearing him thin.
As the oldest, I always felt like it was my job to take care of all of them. After we were separated it felt like I was drowning until I found the guys again. Seeing them all like this reminded me of when we first found out the state was separating us.
Trying to distract myself from those memories, I grabbed the tea kettle from the cupboard and started filling it with water. Mia might have changed, but I doubt her love for tea did. I knew she was going to need something comforting when she arrived, so I hoped the smell of a vanilla black tea would ease her worries.
Aidan came back into the kitchen with the glasses he had picked up from around the living room and dining table. Disposing of them in the sink, he turned to me. A question in his eyes.
“What if she doesn’t want us anymore?” Aidan spoke quietly. As if asking that question at a louder volume would cause it to come true.
“Then we will get through it. We will have to or it will break us”. I know I sounded cold. The truth is that I was worried about the same thing.
I wanted to say more to him but a noise stopped me.
The sound of the elevator.
She was finally here.