Chapter no 28

The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, 2)

followed Grayson. Eli followed me. To Grayson’s credit, he gave up trying to lose me pretty quickly. He let me trail him all the way to the third floor, through a series of twisting hallways, up a small wrought-iron staircase, to an alcove. There was an antique sewing machine in the corner. The walls were covered with quilts. Grayson lifted one to reveal a crawl space.

“If I told you to go back to your room, would you?” he asked. “Not a chance in this world,” I said.

Grayson sighed. “About ten feet in, you’ll find a ladder.” He held the quilt back and waited, his chin tilted downward, his eyes on mine. The world might bend to the will of Grayson Hawthorne—but I didn’t.

Leaving Eli behind, I made my way through the crawl space on all fours. I could feel and hear Grayson behind me, but he didn’t say a word until I started to climb the ladder. “There’s a pull-down door at the top. Be careful. It sticks.”

I pushed down the urge to turn back and look at him and managed to get the door open and climb through, blinking when harsh sunlight hit my eyes. I’d expected an attic—not the roof.

Looking around, I climbed out onto a small, flat area, about five feet by five feet, nestled among the grand angles of the Hawthorne House roofline. Jameson was leaning back against the roof, his face aimed skyward, like he was sunbathing.

In his hand, he held a knife.

“You kept that?” Grayson stepped onto the roof behind me.

Jameson, eyes still closed, twirled the knife in his hand. The handle on the blade parted in two, revealing a compartment inside. “Empty.” Jameson opened his eyes and pressed the compartment closed. “This time.”

Grayson’s mouth settled into a firm line. “I invoke—”

“Oh no,” I said fiercely. “Not this again. No one is invoking anything!” Jameson caught my gaze. His green eyes were liquid and shadowed.

“Did you tell him?” he asked me.

“Tell me what?” Grayson said sharply.

“Well, that answers that.” Jameson pushed himself into a standing position. “Heiress, before we start spilling secrets, I’m going to need you to promise me a plane.”

“A plane?” I gave him an incredulous look.

“You have several.” Jameson smiled. “I want to borrow one.” “Why do you need a plane?” Grayson asked suspiciously.

Jameson waved away the question.

“Fine,” I told him. “You can take one of my planes.” Yet another sentence I never thought I’d say.

“Why,” Grayson repeated through gritted teeth, “do you need a plane?”

Jameson looked back at the sky. “Colin’s Way was founded in memory of Colin Anders Wright.” I wondered if Grayson could hear the undertone in Jameson’s voice. Not quite sadness, not quite regret—but something. “Colin was one of the victims of the fire on Hawthorne Island. The charity was founded by his uncle.”

“And?” Grayson was getting impatient.

Jameson looked suddenly toward me. He can’t say it. He can’t be the one who tells him.

I pressed my lips together and took a breath. “That uncle’s name is Sheffield Grayson.”

Absolute silence greeted that statement. Grayson Hawthorne wasn’t a person who showed much emotion, but in that moment, I felt every subtle shift of his expression in the pit of my stomach.

“That’s why you went to see Skye,” Grayson said. His voice was tight.

“She confirmed it, Gray.” Jameson ripped the bandage off. “He’s your father.”

Grayson went quiet again, and Jameson moved suddenly, tossing the knife at him. Grayson’s hand whipped up to catch it by the handle.

“There is no way that the old man didn’t know,” Grayson said harshly. “For twenty years, he included Colin’s Way in his will.” A muscle in Grayson’s throat tightened. “Was he trying to make a point to Skye?”

“Or was he leaving her a clue?” Jameson countered. “Think about it,

Gray. He left a clue for us in the newer will. Maybe that was an old trick, one he’d used before.”

“This isn’t just a clue,” Grayson said, his voice low and harsh. “This is my…” He couldn’t say the word father.

“I know.” Jameson crossed to stand in front of his brother, lowering his forehead until it touched Grayson’s. “I know, Gray, and if you let this be a game, it doesn’t have to hurt.”

I was overcome with the feeling that I shouldn’t be there, that I wasn’t supposed to see the two of them like this.

“Nothing has to matter,” Grayson replied tightly, “unless you let it.”

I turned to go, but Grayson caught my movement out of the corner of his eye. He pulled away from Jameson and turned to me. “This Sheffield Grayson might know something about the fire, Avery. About Toby.”

He’d just had his world shattered with a revelation about his father, and he was thinking about me. About Toby. About that signature on my birth certificate.

He knew I wasn’t going to stop. “You don’t have to do this,” I told him.

Grayson’s grip tightened over the handle of the knife. “Neither one of you is going to leave this alone. If I can’t stop you, I can at least make sure that someone with a modicum of common sense oversees the process.”

In a flash, Grayson tossed the blade back to Jameson, who caught it. “I’ll arrange for the plane.” Jameson smiled at his brother. “We leave at


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