This Love

By: Emily Snow
DEDICATION



To Lisa Pantano Kane, Heather Orgeron, & Crystal Spears.

Thanks, ladies, for all your amazing feedback.

You all ROCK!





THE PLAYLIST



"This Love" by Maroon 5

"Fallin'" by Alicia Keys

"Take On Me" by a-ha

"Dirty Laundry" by Blackbear

"Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers

"Move Bitch" by Ludacris

"Cold" by Crossfade

"Heartless" by The Fray

"Blame It" by Jamie Foxx, T-Pain

"I Will Follow You Into the Dark" by Death Cab for Cutie

"If Our Love Is Wrong" by Calum Scott

"Brooklyn Baby" by Lana Del Rey

"Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5

"Unhinged" by Nick Jonas

"Decode" by Paramore

"Let Her Go" by Passenger

"What If" by Safetysuit

"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve

"Tangled Up In You" by Trapt





CHAPTER 1

VERONICA



July 2002



Sometimes, I forget how different their world is from mine.

I was thrust into this one twelve years ago, after my mother came home with the news she had gotten a new job—working as nanny to the Delaney boys, Cain, Bennett, and Graham. There’ve been summers in The Hamptons, winter breaks on Lake Placid, and, eventually, a full-ride scholarship to Birchwood Academy, from where I graduated last month.

But the truth is, to these people, I’m an outsider. Lucky. To be included, to breathe their air, to be here tonight, even if Graham Delaney is one of my closest friends. Nights like this remind me of that.

Nights where girls decked out in the latest from Saks prance around the main living area of the penthouse’s first floor, boasting about who’s vacationing in Europe or screwing the heir to whatever empire. Then there are the guys. The ones destined to rule those empires. Tonight, they take advantage of the Delaneys’ infamous hospitality: a DJ, open bar, and a multi-million-dollar view from the top.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what they’re wearing or who they’re hooking up with—not when he’s in the room. Standing less than ten feet from me, by the terrace doors with Judson Frasier and Zeke Hunter. Golden Boys. That’s what someone started calling the three of them a few years ago. The name fits; they’re all tall and blond and stunning. Royalty.

Bennett, though, is the prodigal prince, recently returned from college in North Carolina.

He’s taller than the rest, with blue eyes framed by thick, dark lashes and a strong, straight nose bisecting a bronze jawline. That jaw, his entire face and body, seems to be carved from granite. And all those elements together are the ones that cause side effects: loss of breath, vertigo, and irregular heartbeat.

Which is why a collective sigh floats up around me when he sweeps his palm out and says, “I’ve always wanted a Mustang. Especially a Cobra.”

Forty-eight hours. Bennett’s been home two days, and already, he’s throwing parties and racing cars and triggering my pulse. It speeds at the crook of his finger. The sad part is, the gesture isn’t directed at me but to the pink slip in Judson’s hand.

The veins on Judson’s neck strain while he watches the paper vanish into the back pocket of Bennett’s jeans. “Your Supra is still a piece of shit.”

Bennett’s mouth turns up. “Your car title in my pocket said you can suck a dick.” That earns him a piercing glare from Judson before Zeke passes them each a bottle of beer and tells them they’ve wasted enough of his “Fucked-Up Friday” on cars and other bullshit.

That’s another reason I know I’ve transitioned from Queens to the Upper East Side: The rules. There are none—not for the beautiful, the staggeringly wealthy, the elite. Where else does someone accept losing his car with only a two-minute, half-hearted argument before having a beer with the winner?

“Can you believe that?”

Though I recognize Charlotte’s voice, it takes a beat too long to wrench my gaze from Bennett. He’s laughing about something, oblivious to the appreciative looks from almost every female in the room and his ex-girlfriend, who’s made it a point to situate herself by the grand piano—right in his line of sight.

“You should ask him for a ride in his new car,” my friend continues.

I knead my earlobe between my thumb and forefinger and frown. “What? Why?”

“Because the view is probably better with only a stick separating you.”

That snags my attention. I whirl around to face her. She’s over half a foot shorter, so her knowing eyes land on my flushed chest first.

Folding my arms beneath my breasts, I poke my tongue in my cheek. “I wasn’t staring.”

Hot Read

Last Updated

Recommend

Top Books