Mondays are for Excerpts

20 Oct

HIDDEN HEART– Excerpt

“Last night,” Tessa began, her voice cracking. She cleared her throat, “Last night, you said . . . you said you wish you could stop loving me.” She glanced again at him, holding her breath.

Alessandro shook his head, and rubbed his chin, “I’ve never had so much to drink.” He paused, sighed and shook his head again. “Again, I regret coming last night.”

She saw him walking away and said quickly, “I didn’t get rid of you because I wanted to be with another man.”

He waved a hand and glanced over his shoulder. “You don’t have to explain yourself, Tessa. It’s your life to live free and do whatever you want.”

Alessandro’s glacial tone made her shiver.

Tessa walked to him and when she was only a step away, she grabbed his arm, forcing him to stop and whispered, “And what if what I want is to be with you? Is that still an option?”

Alessandro turned around to face her. “Why, so you can break my heart again, throwing me away like a bad shoe?” His stern gaze froze her, his words jabbing her heart like boxing gloves.

Tessa let go of his arm. “I’m not seeing anyone,” she mumbled.

“What about the man you were with last night?”

“That man is my . . . my brother.”

Alessandro burst into a fake laughter and began applauding, “Bravo, Tessa, you’re quite a remarkable actress. My sister—your brother. How convenient. You forget I know your family? You forget I know both your sisters, or did you just forget to mention him while we were dating?”

She slapped him over his arm. “Stop it. He is my half-brother. His name is Cristian Mincu and I found him by finding my biological father. As is turns out, my mama had an affair and I’m the result of it.” Tears stung her eyes, but she’d be damned if she’d let him see her embarrassment. She turned on her heels and marched to the sink once more to finish cleaning up. She turned on the faucet, picked up a sponge and scrubbed a plate vigorously, as if she could scrub away the suffering disgrace since she read her mama’s letter for the first time.

“Is this true?” Alessandro’s voice sounded shaken.

“No, I made that up so I can try out my acting skills,” she snapped at him.

“I’m sorry,” she heard Alessandro’s soft tone behind her back.

She straightened her backbone, “Don’t be. I don’t need your pity.”

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