You can now pre-order Next to Me. It goes live on January 2nd.
Katherine was causing trouble even when she was a teenager, as evidenced by this scene. Keep in mind that Rachel is never supposed to find out about the organization. Knowing it exists could put her life in danger. This is from Rachel’s POV.
“Are you Rachel?”
I turn and notice a young girl standing next to me. She’s very pretty. Long blond hair. Bright blue eyes. She’s maybe 14 or 15 and very thin. She’s wearing a black cocktail dress with thin straps at the top.
“Yes, I’m Rachel. And you are?”
When she says it, I see the resemblance. She looks very similar to her mom.
“It’s nice to meet you.” I smile at her. “I met your parents earlier. Your family has a beautiful house.”
She shrugs. “It’s not that great.”
Is she kidding? Most kids her age would love to grow up in a house like this.
“I’m guessing you’re in high school?”
“When did you start dating Pearce?” She says it in an accusatory tone, almost like I’m dating her boyfriend.
“Last September. So what grade are you in?”
“You know you can’t be with him.”
I raise my brows. “Excuse me?”
“He has to be with a daughter of a member. Someone like me.”
“You? You’re a teenager.”
She straightens up. “I’m 15, and I turn 16 in a few weeks.”
“And Pearce is 25, almost 26.”
“So? That’s not that big of an age difference.”
“It is when you’re 15.” This girl is getting on my nerves. I don’t like her tone or the way she’s looking me up and down, assessing me just like her parents did.
She sets her hands on her hips. “You can never be with him, so you might as well end this now.”
“Pearce and I are engaged. We’re very happy together. We’re not breaking up.”
“The wedding will never happen. They won’t allow it.”
“Who’s ‘they’? Who are you talking about?”
“The organization.” She smirks. “He hasn’t told you about it?”
“What’s going on here?” Pearce asks, as he comes up behind me. “What do you need, Katherine?”
“I was just saying hello to Rachel.” Katherine tilts her head and smiles at him. She’s trying to play sweet and innocent, but I won’t let her get away with it.
“Katherine was saying how we couldn’t be together,” I tell Pearce. “She said some organization won’t allow us to get married.”
Pearce starts coughing, almost like he’s choking.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
He nods. “Yes.”
I turn back to Katherine. “So, Katherine, what organization are you referring to?”
Before she can answer, Pearce says, “Katherine has a very active imagination. She always has, haven’t you, Katherine?”
Pearce Kensington. Age 25. Billionaire. Graduate of the Ivy League. Future CEO. Member of a powerful secret society.
His life is complicated. Dark. Lonely. Dangerous. So when he meets Rachel, a kind, sweet, beautiful grad student, he tells himself to stay away. He’s no good for her. And yet, she’s good for him. A ray of light in his very dark world.
She’s everything he’s ever wanted but didn’t think he could have. But being with her will bring her into his world. A world she doesn’t belong in. A world he wants to escape. A world he’ll have to hide from her in order to keep her safe.
He should let her go. But he can’t. He loves her. He needs her. And he’ll risk everything to be with her.
In Finding Us, Jade and Garret are going to a new college in California. This is a scene from Garret’s point of view as he watches Jade get ready for the first day of classes. Finding Us releases October 3.
When we get home, Jade packs her backpack for class. She’s like a little kid. She takes it so seriously. She puts pens and pencils in the little slots in the front of the backpack, then packs extras in a zippered pouch. Then she opens another zippered pouch and tosses in a calculator and a protractor.
“Why are you bringing a protractor?”
“Because it’s a mathematical supply,” she says, as if that should make sense.
“Those are for geometry. You’re taking calculus.”
“I still should have one.”
“You’re not going to use a protractor, Jade. You’re not going to be measuring angles.”
“Maybe not, but I need the calculator.”
“What does that have to do with the protractor?”