Page 19

“So . . .” Utah says. “You’re Victoria’s brother?”

“Half brother,” he specifies.

I chuckle under my breath because he seems to want to claim Victoria as much as we do.

“Where are you from?”

“Everywhere,” Luck says. “Victoria and I have the same father, different mothers. She lived with her mom and I lived with our father and my mother. We moved around a lot until my parents divorced.”

“Sorry to hear that,” Honor says.

“It’s fine. Happens to everyone,” he says, matter-of-fact.

No one follows that comment up with a question.

“You didn’t tell me you had an identical twin, Merit,” Luck says, directing his attention at me.

“You talked the whole time we were in the car,” I respond, looking away from him and out the window. “Wasn’t much room to fit in my whole life story.”

“Not true, because your life story was precisely what I was trying to get out of you,” he says with a laugh.

“And you didn’t get very far, did you?”

“Far enough to know all about the guy you have a crush on,” he says.

My head snaps in his direction. I raise an eyebrow in warning, letting him know he went too far with that comment.

“Wait,” Honor says, turning around in her seat. She looks at me. “You have a crush on someone?”

I roll my eyes and look out the window again. “No.”

“Who is it?” Honor says, directing her question at Luck.

I scratch at my jeans nervously, hoping he doesn’t open his mouth. I don’t know him at all. He might get a kick out of embarrassing me.

“I can’t remember his name,” Luck says. “Ask Merit.”

Honor turns back around in her seat. “Merit doesn’t tell me things like that.” Her voice is accusatory.

I glance at Luck and he’s staring at me. “You two have a weird dynamic for identical twins.”

“No we don’t,” I disagree. “There’s a false stigma attached to twins.”

“Exactly,” Honor says in agreement. “Not all twins have things in common beyond their appearance.”

“I think you two have more in common than you think,” Sagan says from the backseat. Honor glances over her shoulder and glares at him. I’d like to turn around and glare at him, too, but I actually feel things when I look at him, unlike Honor. I don’t even know if Honor is attracted to him. She doesn’t look at him like I would look at him if he were my boyfriend. And if he were my boyfriend, I’d be sitting in the backseat with him and not in the front seat where Honor is sitting.

I feel bad for him. He’s got so much more invested in this relationship than she does. I could tell that simply by the way he kissed me when he thought he was kissing her. He’s moved in and committed and she’s just waiting around until a less healthy guy comes along.

Luck turns around and faces Honor’s boyfriend. “How do you fit into this family?”

“He fits in with me,” Honor says from the front seat, answering Luck’s question that was actually posed to Sagan.

If he were my boyfriend, I’d let him answer his own questions.

“How did you and Honor meet?” Luck asks him.

I keep staring out the window, but I listen closely. I’ve never asked either of them this question directly, so I’ve only heard bits and pieces from eavesdropping.

“I had an allergic reaction to something I ate,” Sagan says. “Ended up in the hospital and that’s where I met Honor.”

Luck faces forward. “Were you in the hospital, too?” he asks Honor.

Honor just shakes her head, but she doesn’t elaborate on why she was in the hospital. I have half a mind to tell Luck that Honor was there saying goodbye to yet another boyfriend when she unknowingly set her sights on Sagan, incorrectly assuming he was about to meet his demise.

“Honor was visiting a friend,” Sagan says, now answering for Honor.

They can’t answer their own freaking questions?

No one speaks for a few minutes, even though I have a million questions for Luck and a million more for Sagan. When we pull into the long driveway of the hotel, Utah finally throws a question over his shoulder.

“Why does your sister hate you so much?”

“Half sister,” Luck clarifies. “She’s still mad at me for something I did over five years ago.”

“What’d you do?” Honor asks, unbuckling her seat belt.

“I killed our father.”

My hand pauses on my seat belt. I look up and Luck unbuckles his seat belt and slides open the minivan door. He gets out, but the rest of us are paralyzed by his last comment. Once he’s outside the van, he straightens out his kilt and then looks back inside at all of us.

“Oh, come on. I’m kidding.”

Honor exhales. “That’s not funny,” she says, throwing open her door.

When we get inside, Honor walks up to the front desk and rings the bell. A few seconds later, one of Honor’s friends from school, Angela Capicci, appears from the back office.

I’ve never liked Angela. She was a year ahead of us in school, but she and Honor have been casual friends since we were kids. Being as though most of our friends aren’t allowed over at our house due to the rumors (founded or not) about our family, the friendships Honor and I form with other people are almost always casual. I keep more to myself than Honor does. I’m not as good at hiding my distaste, and I’ve always distasted Angela. She’s the type of girl who allows the attention from guys to value her worth. And from the way she’s eyeing Luck right now, she must be in need of a little valuing. “Hey,” she says to him with a flirty grin. “You’re new.”

Luck nods and returns her flirtatious smile. “Fresh off the boat.”

She raises an eyebrow, unsure of how to respond to his comment. She looks back at Honor. “My shift ends at eleven. If you guys are still here, I’ll join you.”

“We have to be home by ten,” Honor says. She holds up the key card. “Thanks for this.”

Angela nods, bringing her gaze back to Luck. “Anytime,” she says, her voice dripping with invitation. Her eyes remain glued to Luck as we make our way toward the bathrooms to change. Honor and I walk into the girls and she immediately pulls her shirt off and begins changing without walking into one of the stalls. I’m a bit more modest than she is, and the idea of someone walking into the bathroom while I’m squeezing into my bathing suit is enough to force me into the stall to change. I have my jeans and T-shirt off when Honor says the inevitable.

“So who was Luck referring to?”

I pause for a moment, then begin pulling on my swimsuit. “What are you talking about?”

“In the van,” she says, clarifying what I already know. “He said you told him you had a crush on a guy. Do I know him?”

I close my eyes and try to imagine the hell that would break loose if I admitted to her that the guy I have a crush on is her boyfriend. It would be the end of what little relationship we have left as sisters. I open the door to the stall, pulling my T-shirt over my head. “He was lying. There’s no one. I hardly even leave the house; how would I meet someone?”

Honor looks a little disappointed in my answer. She also looks . . . stunning.

“Is that a new bathing suit?” I ask her. She’s in a red bikini with black trim. It covers her as well as a bikini can cover her, but the color and the cut are perfect. I look down at my oversized T-shirt that’s covering up my ill-fitted, plain black one-piece, and I frown.

“I’ve had it a few months,” she says, slipping her hands into the top to push her cleavage together. “You just never come swimming with us so you haven’t seen it.”

“You know I don’t like swimming,” I mutter.

Honor folds her jeans and sets them on the sink counter. Our eyes meet in the mirror. “Is that the reason?”

Although it would appear otherwise, the question is rhetorical. Honor knows the reason I don’t swim with them has nothing to do with how I feel about the water. I don’t come because of my strained relationship with her and Utah. The relationship that’s been strained for five years now.

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