Home > Stealing Rose (The Fowler Sisters #2)(17)

Stealing Rose (The Fowler Sisters #2)(17)
Author: Monica Murphy

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Daddy.

“Oh, come on. It’s a big group of us. Not a bunch of couples or anything. And it’s not too far from where you’re staying,” Violet says pointedly. She’s still unhappy that I’m not staying with her at her place. Instead, I’m at an exclusive little boutique hotel for at least the next few weeks.

“The pub is in Covent Garden?” I ask as I settle on the edge of the bed. The hushed silence of the room is starting to get to me. Being on my own too much is making me realize that I’m lonely.

“Yes, the White Swan. I think it’s like a five-minute walk from your hotel. Please, just … just stop by and see if you want to stay. If not, you can bail. But at least give us a chance.” Violet pauses. “You’ve been cooped up in that hotel room too much. Have I mentioned I’ve lied to Father about you when he’s called?”

“What do you mean, you’ve lied about me?” I sit up straighter, waiting for Violet’s answer.

“I told him you’ve been in the office all week,” she stresses. “Instead of telling him the truth. That you’re moping around feeling sorry for yourself.”

“I am not.”

“You are too,” she returns, her voice harsh. “You won’t come into the office, you won’t leave your hotel room. You act like you’re depressed.”

“Maybe I am depressed,” I mutter, glancing out the window. I stare at the building across from me, the open windows full of happy people in their sunny flats. I see a couple enter their living room, holding hands as they turn toward each other and kiss.

Ugh. Romance. I look away.

“What happened to my tough, feisty little sister? The one who always had a smart comment and loved to give me endless crap?” Violet asks, sounding incredulous. “Because I know I’m not talking to that girl right now. It’s like she’s disappeared.”

“She sort of has,” I admit with a sigh, flopping backward so I lie sprawled across the bed. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“You know what I think? You need to do something different. After you graduated college, you immediately threw yourself into Fleur, and there’s been no looking back. It’s all work, work, work. It’s not healthy. You need to take some time for you.”

Really? The nerve of Violet. She’s no different. “You did the same exact thing,” I point out to her, and she laughs nervously.

“Yes, well … then I met Ryder. And he’s turned my world completely upside down in the best possible way.” I swear to God I can feel her blushing over the phone. My silly, embarrassed older sister.

“Are you saying he taught you how to take some time just for you?” I’m digging and I don’t really care if she gets mad or not. She’s the one who started this conversation.

“He’s taught me a lot of things,” she says softly. Vaguely. “More than anything, he taught me it’s okay to give up some—control.”

I don’t believe it. “Really? You, the ultimate control freak, learned how to give up control?”

“I’m not talking about business. I mean more like with my personal life,” Violet admits.

Hmmm. I think I know where she’s going with this conversation. And I’m delightfully shocked. “Are you talking about your sex life?”

“Rose!” She laughs nervously.

This conversation is hilarious. And enlightening. I didn’t know Violet had it in her, talking about sex. She’s always so straitlaced. She leaves the wild stuff to Lily. And lately, to me. “Give me a break. You’re the one who started this.”

“Fine, fine. You’re right. Yes. I’m talking about my sex life. There’s something rather … freeing in letting a man take over,” she admits, her voice low.

“Why, I never imagined you saying anything like this to me. Ever,” I say, stressing the last word. “Though I knew the minute I first saw him that Ryder McKay had a sexy streak in him a mile long.”

“I don’t even want to talk about this with you,” she says.

Now it’s my turn to laugh. “What? You’re not going to tell me Ryder’s penis size? Because I’m sure he’s got a monster in his trousers.” I’m trying to irritate her, like the old days.

It feels good.

“You’re disgusting,” she says good-naturedly. And that tells me all I need to know.

Ryder McKay’s penis is most likely ginormous. Lucky bitch.

“Whatever. Your protesting is way too happy.” I pause with a little sigh. “Okay, I’ll go.”

“Wait. What?”

She’s going to make me say it again on purpose. Fine. I’ll play along. “I’ll stop by the pub and have a drink. If it’s not my scene, I’m out. Are you happy now?”

“Yes, I’m happy.” And she really does sound happy, too, which makes me feel bad. I’ve let my sister down. I’ve worried her, and I hate that. “It’ll totally be your scene, I swear. Very low key. You know me. I don’t like to party and get drunk.”

No. She really doesn’t. We’ve both seen what happens when someone loses all control and parties nonstop, thanks to our big sister.

“Just stop by, have a drink, maybe eat dinner with us if you’re feeling comfortable,” Violet continues. “And if you’re not, you can leave after one beer.”

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