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Sweet Little Lies (Sweet #2)
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After facing a truth she never imagined, Beulah has to find a new path. Build a life without help and take care of her sister alone. Or does she…
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I’D DRIVEN FOR OVER AN hour with nowhere to go. Tears were blurring my vision, my chest ached, and I wanted to curl up in a ball and sob freely. But there was no time for that. I had Heidi to think of. My sister. She was my first concern. Always my first concern. She could never know what had happened.
I no longer had a home or a job. I had this car I was driving. I had my sister. That was it. Heidi’s care had been taken care of—or I thought it had been. Jasper had said he was going to pay ten years in advance but I wasn’t sure he’d had a chance to do that yet. Even if he had how could I let him after what we’d learned? She was my sister. Mine. I should take care of her. Not him.
Just three hours ago my life had seemed perfect. I’d been happy and I was almost at the point where I could accept the security that came with Jasper Van Allan’s love. I didn’t blame him because he was an innocent bystander of the dark past too. Our circumstances weren’t his fault or mine, but I should have known better than to trust love. It was a dangerous path that eventually uncovered lies that always led to ruin.
The home that Portia Van Allan had placed Heidi in for her long-term care loomed up ahead. I pulled over to take a breath before walking inside to face Heidi. She wouldn’t understand why I was upset. I didn’t want Heidi to know the ugliness of the world. Her heart was too big and her smile was too bright to ruin them with our reality. The lies that I now knew regarding her birth were secrets I’d keep. Heidi wouldn’t understand them anyway. She loved our mother as I did. Our mother was a saint and I knew we’d never be the same without her.
The fact Heidi had been born to Portia Van Allan was a secret I would keep from her. Sharing who her birth mother was with Heidi was pointless, even if she could understand—I wasn’t sure that was possible.
Heidi had been the most important person in my life for as long as I could remember. Even as a kid I knew Heidi’s difference made her special. Precious. Easier to love.
As much as I hated Portia for tossing Heidi away because she’d been born with Down syndrome and that hadn’t fit into her life, I was equally thankful she left her to my mother. Portia had given Heidi to us and she’d completed my family. It had always been the three of us. A perfect three that I would always cherish. Our mother had left us with beautiful memories. She had taught us that family was everything.
I pulled off the road and shifted the car into park. Crossing my arms over the steering wheel, I continued to cry. At this point, crying was all I could do. It’s what I needed to do. I would cry and let it all out—my fear, my pain, my disbelief. Then I would dry my face, walk inside, and see my sister. When I walked inside, I planned to hug Heidi tightly and I would not fall apart in front of her. I was strong. My mother taught me to be strong. But right now, I needed Heidi. I missed her more than ever.
Beyond visiting Heidi, I had no idea what to do next. I had no idea where to turn.
Just as a loud sob escaped me, the passenger door of my car opened. My head jerked in the direction of the intruder and I was ready to scream when I realized it was Stone Richmond taking the seat beside me. His face was hard and cold like always.
Jasper’s best friend hated me. I wasn’t sure I liked him that much either. Stone was closed off and unfriendly. He didn’t approve of Jasper and me. It was no secret Stone didn’t think I was good enough for Jasper.
“Crying won’t make it go away. Crying has never fucking fixed a damn thing,” he said looking straight ahead out the window. His jaw clenched and his chiseled face appeared determined.
“I’m out of his life. What do you want?” I said as my voice cracked. Being taunted or corrected by Stone wasn’t what I needed or wanted. Now or ever.
He turned his head to look at me. “I was expecting this,” he said.
How could he have expected this? He didn’t even know the details of what had transpired. I wanted to slap him and scream at him to release some of my pain. But I had never been violent.
“You want her to stay here, don’t you? She likes it here,” he nodded his head at the home Heidi lived in.