Chapter no 27

The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, 2)

wasn’t surprised to find Eli positioned outside my door. After the incident with the heart, I could probably expect a personal security escort—even on the estate—for the foreseeable future. I was, however, surprised to find Grayson standing beside Eli. He was wearing a black suit with an immaculate white dress shirt and no tie, and my mind went to the way he’d looked cuffing his sleeves, preparing to fight.

Whatever hushed conversation Eli and Grayson had been having ceased the second I stepped out into the hall.

“You didn’t tell me that someone left a bloody heart in your room.” Grayson was Not Pleased—and no one did Not Pleased like Grayson Hawthorne “Why?”

It was clear from his tone that Grayson expected an answer. As a general rule, when Grayson Hawthorne demanded something, the world obliged.

“When would I have told you?” I asked. “I haven’t seen you since it happened. With very few exceptions, you’ve been doing an excellent job of avoiding me all week.”

“I’m not avoiding you,” Grayson said, but he couldn’t even say the words without looking away.

In the back of my mind, I could hear Max telling me that I didn’t like wanting things. It was annoying when she was right.

“You went to see my mother.” Grayson didn’t phrase that sentence as a question.

I glared at Eli, who apparently had a very big mouth. “Hey,” Eli said, holding up his hands. “I didn’t tell him.” “Oren?” I asked Grayson, scowling. “Or Alisa?”

“Neither,” Grayson replied, and he brought his gaze back to mine. “I saw a picture of you at the hotel. I’m more than capable of making inferences myself.”

I tried not to read too much into that last sentence, but I couldn’t help thinking about the inference that Max had made about that picture of Jameson and me. Was that why Grayson was acting like this?

You’re the one who stepped back, I thought. This is what you wanted.

“If you needed something from Skye,” Grayson said, his voice strained, “all you had to do was tell me.”

I remembered then what I’d needed from Skye. What she’d confirmed.

Suddenly, nothing else mattered.

“Have you seen Jameson today?” I asked Grayson, a muscle in my stomach twisting. “He skipped school. Did he… come find you?”

“No.” Grayson’s jaw tightened. “Why?”

Jameson hadn’t told Grayson about his father, but it didn’t feel right for me to do it. “We figured something out.” I looked down. “About the charities in the will.”

“You don’t stop.” Grayson shook his head. His arms stayed by his sides, but I saw the thumb on his right hand rubbing the back of his forefinger—a small loss of control that made me think he might be on the verge of a bigger one. “And neither,” he continued, “does Jameson.” He turned then, tension visible in his neck and jaw, even as his voice remained deadly calm. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to have a word with my brother.”

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