Chapter no 62

The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, 2)

By the time Landon finally let us go, the sun was starting to set.

“You look like you want to hit something,” Grayson observed. He was getting ready to go on his way, and I was getting ready to go on mine— probably to find Max.

“I don’t want to hit anything,” I said in a tone that did absolutely nothing to sell that statement.

Grayson tilted his head to the side, and his eyes settled directly on mine. “How would you feel about swinging a sword?”



Grayson took me through the topiary garden to a part of the estate I’d never seen before.

“Is that…,” I started to say.

“A hedge maze?” Grayson had a way of smiling: lips closed, slightly uneven. “I’m surprised Jamie’s never brought you out here.”

The moment he mentioned Jameson, I was hit with the feeling that I shouldn’t be out here—not with Grayson. But we were just friends, and whatever Jameson and I were at the moment, it came with no strings attached.

That was the point.

I turned my attention to the maze. The hedges were taller than I was, and dense. A person could get lost in there. I stood at the entrance, Grayson beside me.

“Follow me,” he said.

I did. The farther into the maze we got, the more I focused on marking our path—not on the way he moved, the shape of his body in front of me.

Right turn. Left turn. Left again. Forward. Right. Left.

Finally, we arrived at what I assumed was the center: a large, square area, surrounded by twinkling lights. Grayson knelt and spread the grass with his fingertips, revealing something metal underneath. In the twilight, I didn’t see exactly what he did, but a moment later, I heard a mechanical whirring sound, and the ground started moving.

My first thought was that he’d triggered an entrance to the tunnels, but when I stepped closer, I saw a steel compartment embedded in the ground, six feet long, three feet wide, and not all that deep. Grayson reached into the compartment and removed two long objects wrapped in cloth. He nodded toward the second, and I knelt, unwinding the fabric to reveal a flash of metal.

A sword.

It was nearly three feet long, heavy, with a T-shaped hilt. I ran my fingers over the hilt, then looked up at Grayson, who was unwrapping a second sword.

“Longswords,” he said, clipping the word. “Italian. Fifteenth century. They should probably be in a museum somewhere, but…” He gave a little shrug.

This was what it meant to be a Hawthorne. This should probably be in a museum, but my brothers and I like to hit things with it instead.

I went to pick up the sword, but Grayson stopped me. “Both hands,” he said. “A longsword is designed to be used with both hands.”

I wrapped my hands around the hilt, then managed to stand up.

Grayson placed his own sword down carefully on the cloth it had been wrapped in, then came up behind me. “No,” he said softly. “Like this.” He moved my right hand up, directly underneath the cross on the T. “Quillons,” he told me, nodding toward that part of the sword. He nodded toward the end of the hilt. “Pommel. Never put your hand on the pommel. It has its own job to do.” He placed my left hand above it, a little below my right. “Grip the sword with the bottom fingers of both hands. Keep the upper ones looser. You move, and the sword moves. Don’t fight the movement of the sword. Let it do the work for you.”

He stepped back and picked up his own sword. Slowly, he demonstrated. “Shouldn’t I be using some kind of… practice sword?” I asked.

Grayson met my eyes. “Probably.”

This was a bad idea. I knew it. He knew it. But I’d spent the last five hours being prepped for an interview I absolutely did not want to give, an interview I only had to give because of Ricky—who wasn’t my father—and Skye, who had probably hired the stalker at True North.

Sometimes all a girl really needed was a very bad idea.



“Watch your posture. Let the sword lead you, not the other way around.”

I corrected, and Grayson gave the slightest of nods. “I’m sorry about all of this,” I said.

“You should be sorry. You’re getting sloppy again. Already.”

I adjusted my stance and my grip. “I’m sorry about the interview,” I specified with a roll of my eyes.

Grayson slowly brought his sword to contact mine, the movement so perfectly controlled that I was overcome with the sense that he could cut a hair in half if he wanted to. “It doesn’t signify,” he assured me. “I’m a Hawthorne. As a general rule, we’re press-ready by our seventh birthdays.” He stepped back. “Your turn,” he told me. “Control.”

I didn’t talk at all until my sword had touched his—a little harder than I’d meant for it to. “I’m still sorry that you got dragged into this interview.”

Grayson lowered his sword and began cuffing his sleeves. “You’re sorrier about an interview than you were when I was disinherited.”

“That’s not true. I was sorry—you were just too busy being an asshole to notice.”

Grayson gave me his most austere look. “Let’s try to avoid using the word asshole, shall we?”

His Landon impression was spot-on. Grinning, I swung at him again, letting the sword lead me this time, aware of every muscle in my body and every inch of his. I stopped the sword a microsecond before it touched his blade. He stepped forward. Once. Twice.

Longswords weren’t meant to be wielded at such close range. And still he came closer, forcing my blade vertical, until there was nothing but inches and two swords separating him from me. I could see him breathing, hear it, feel it.

Muscles in my shoulders and arms began to ache—but the rest of me ached more. “What are we doing?” I whispered.

His eyes closed. His body shuddered. He stepped back and lowered the sword. “Nothing.”

You'll Also Like