“I am doing this out of obligation,” Traevyn finished, “not by choice.”
Evie stared at him, dumbfounded. He moved quickly, making her jump, and
motioned her inside. She hurried to obey, grasping Seth’s wrist and hauling him in
“Follow,” Traevyn commanded, shutting the door.
Evie trailed behind him up a staircase, her hands shaking horribly. The entire
house was so dark, full of mahogany, black leather furniture, and wrought iron.
She could even see a few tapestries on the walls, but her chance to take a look
was limited as she hurried after Traevyn.
He led them down a hallway to a door, which he opened. “This will be your room,”
he stated. “The boy can have the one across the hall. You will find it slightly less
prepared as I was not expecting him.” He fixed his eyes on Seth.
Seth retreated behind Evie.
“The kitchen is downstairs and the guest bathroom is at the end of the hall. If you
have a problem that you can’t seem to solve on your own, my room is at the far
end of the other hall, if you make a left at the top of the stairs instead of a right.
When I feel like teaching, I will find you. Other-wise, please do your best to stay out
of my way.” He turned and strode back down the hall, disappearing around a
Evie stared, acutely aware of her own heartbeat drumming in her ears. She
swallowed, her mouth dry.
“Evie!” Seth hissed. “Dude, I told you!”
She blinked and looked at him. “That was not what I expected.” She poked her
head in her room and turned on the light. There was a queen sized bed with a
headboard and footboard of rich oak and a vanity made of the same. The curtains
were a deep, dark purple, as was the bedspread. On one wall hung a thick
tapestry of a Celtic pattern in black and gray. “I feel like I walked into a Bronte
sister novel,” she whispered.
“That guy is freaky,” Seth muttered.
“Seth, go get our bags,” Evie demanded as she fingered the tapestry.
His eyes bulged. “Are you out of your mind? That guy probably has a dungeon
and a torture chamber. If I get in his way, he’ll do awful things to me!”
Evie scowled at him. “Then don’t get in his way!” she cried. “Just go, Seth! I’m not
going back home! This is an opportunity for my future. I don’t care how much of an
ogre that man is, I’m staying. Now go!”
Seth threw his hands up in the air and started to grumble incoherently as he made
his way back down the hall.
Evie heaved a sigh and flopped down on the bed. Her hands were still shaking.
She was good at putting on a front for Seth that she didn’t care how evil Traevyn
Whitelaw was, but the truth was, after that display, she had no idea how she was
going to survive the next three months. This was not at all what she had expected.
She’d pictured Traevyn Whitelaw as this insanely passionate, yet somehow normal
man who would be patient, show her his technique, and share his life experiences
with her. She had not expected a devastatingly handsome Heathcliff with no desire
to have her in his home at all. The way he had spoken to her, like she was an
intruder in his entire universe, made her uneasy. How was she supposed to learn
anything when her teacher didn’t even want her there?
Barrett deBoer’s insensitive words flooded her mind and made her frown. Maybe
she could just get by on her intelligence, but she doubted it. This man seemed
much worse than Barrett, if that was possible. Maybe if she was some gorgeous
supermodel he would have reacted differently to her presence.
She all but groaned aloud. What she had imagined was going to be an amazing
experience, she was now convinced was going to suck horribly.
It was going to be a long summer.
Art student Evie Austin has spent the last several years idolizing
the famous and elusive painter, Traevyn Whitelaw. After an
agonizing final report on the man, who also happens to be the
most private and secretive person Evie has ever tried to do
research on, her professor picks her for the once in a lifetime
opportunity to be Traevyn Whitelaw's apprentice for the summer.
Ecstatic, Evie knows that her summer is going to be amazing, filled
with lengthy discussions on art and beautiful things with the man
she admires above all others. What she doesn't expect is to get
stuck taking her sullen, sarcastic, seventeen-year-old brother with
her at the last minute, and she definitely doesn't expect Traevyn
Whitelaw to live in an isolated Gothic mansion by the ocean.
What's worse is that the man she imagined to be so cultured and
refined is no more than a sinister, snarling ogre who acts like
having Evie and her brother in his home is the worst intrusion
imaginable... He's also the most gorgeous man Evie has ever laid
There is more than meets the eye to the dark, brooding artist with
the painful past, and spunky, outspoken Evie plans on finding out
just exactly what the man is made of…if she can only figure out
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Book Three in the Serendipity Series
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