Wrapped in Lace

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Book: Read Wrapped in Lace for Free Online
Authors: Prescott Lane
Tags: Fiction
so much trouble. Remember that, Gwennie?”
    She nodded, smiling. “Remember how much you used to love it here?” Gwyneth asked.
    “I remember, Mom,” Drew said, but I could tell his smile was forced this time. “It was a great place to grow up.”
    “You used to say you were never going to leave,” Gwyneth said. “Said you wanted to live around the corner. It was so sweet.”
    Unlike my mother, Gwyneth Landon was as close to June Cleaver as any mom could be, but I knew maternal guilt when I heard it. This was definitely it, and it all seemed to be directed at Drew. His hand tightened around mine, and I knew he needed me. I lightly stroked his knuckles with my thumb.
    “Wish things would’ve turned out that way, too,” Drew said.
    Rob’s fork hit his plate hard, startling everyone. “Must be terrible to get to live anywhere you want, travel, have your own business and make your first million by age twenty-five.”
    “Rob!” Ellie said, touching his arm.
    “What?” Rob barked. “I’m just wondering how long he’s going to keep up this woe is me crap. It’s getting old.”
    “Daddy?’ Jack said quietly. “Why’re you so mad?”
    Drew released my hand. “That’s a real good question, Jack,” he said as he stood up and forced his chair back before turning for the door.
    “Drew?” his mother, father, and Nana called out in unison, but he simply walked out the door.
    I stared at the empty space where he used to be. I had no idea what just happened. Drew and Rob had always been so close. “Should someone go after him?” I asked.
    “No, honey,” his Nana said. “He’s got to come back to us. He’s got to find his own way home.”
    The rest of dinner was solemn. Everyone tried to put on their best masks, but I could tell it was all for Jack’s sake. I’d obviously missed out on some big drama while I was gone. Aside from me, Rob had been Drew’s best friend, but not anymore. Something had changed—big time.
    Granddaddy and I said our goodbyes fairly quickly after dinner. No one likes their family’s dirty laundry hung out for someone else to see. We hugged everyone, thanked them for dinner, and started down the front porch steps.
    “Piper?” Ellie called out.
    I motioned for Granddaddy to go ahead and get in the car, as it was getting really cold outside. “What do you need, Ellie?” I tried to keep my voice cheery, but Ellie only talked to me when she needed something. I was one of Jack’s teachers, so it seemed like that happened pretty often. The thing is, Ellie and I had been in the same class as young girls. We went to school together for almost ten years, and I don’t remember her even acknowledging my existence back then. Given the size of our town, outright ignoring someone took effort, so I suspected she didn’t like me very much. I know I shouldn’t hold on to those things because people change, but I wasn’t sure Ellie had.
    “Must be good to see Drew again?” she asked.
    What? She wanted to have girl talk with me now? I couldn’t control my what the hell? face. “Sure,” I said, trying to remain neutral. I wasn’t sure what was happening between Drew and me, but I wasn’t about to discuss it with Ellie.
    “You two were so close,” she continued, pulling her coat tighter, trying to block the cold. “He never knew any of us other girls were alive growing up.”
    “I don’t know about that.” I know my tone wasn’t as cheery this time. I didn’t know what her game was, but I really wasn’t in the mood to play.
    Ellie looked back towards the house, the twinkling Christmas lights creating a halo around her, but something was telling me she was no angel. She turned back to me, playing with her braid. Seriously, what woman her age still wears a braid? Maybe to the beach, but this was a family dinner. Come to think of it, I don’t ever remember seeing her in one before. “Looked to me like Drew still has eyes for you.”
    Don’t blush, don’t blush, don’t

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