Marrying the Wrong Twin

By: Nicole Casey


I probably should have opted for the jacuzzi but it was too late.

Anyway, I’d need to use my legs at some point that day. It was my intention to be downstairs when Adare got home. I wanted to talk to him about lunch with Dad. It was unlikely that Morris would return to the mansion so early on a workday so I’d have some time alone with Adare. Or at least that was my hope.

I washed my dark blond hair with extra vigor and I realized that I was getting a wind of adrenaline.

Why do I still let Dad’s mind games bother me so much? He only does this because he knows it irks me.

What was more troublesome was that Adare didn’t seem to care. I could almost hear my brother sighing, exasperated, in my ear.

“He’s old, Rust. Just let him think he’s powerful and forget about it.”

It was easy for Adare to say because he believed that when Dad finally did kick the bucket, he’s leaving us equal shares in his company. Even if I accepted that as fact, which I wasn’t even sure was true, it made me angrier.

I was the oldest. The company should be mine. Adare didn’t have the backbone to run things the way I could.

It wasn’t trying to eliminate my brother or steal his inheritance from him. I could name him CFO or something trite to keep him placated but at the end of the day, I was the one who was best suited to get his hands dirty inside Sphinx and Sons.

Dad had sheltered Adare, I was sure. I knew the ins and outs of the pharmaceutical industry better than anyone. I was well aware of how gritty and dark it could be. Adare had no idea what was involved, at least not like I did.

He’s too soft for this. I’m doing him a favor by boxing him out.

“Babe?”

Carlie was knocking on the door and I sighed.

“Yeah?”

“I’m going to head out.”

“Okay.”

“Text me later!”

I didn’t respond, mostly because I had no desire to lie to her.

Don’t hold your breath, I thought but Carlie was probably already posting a pic of herself on Instagram, not waiting for me to answer.

I waited until I was sure she was gone before reluctantly turning off the taps and reaching for a thick, cotton towel to wrap around my sturdy waistline. Droplets of water spilled down the bronze of my skin and I peered at my angular face in the mirror.

Without meaning to, I found myself leaning in to study my face closer. Were there lines around my eyes that I hadn’t seen before? I squinted slightly, my green eyes narrowing to check out the marionette lines around my mouth.

What marionette lines? I hissed at myself, loathing how vain I was being.

Damn Carlie for putting the idea of age in my head.

But I couldn’t fault her, not entirely. Ever since my thirtieth birthday, two months earlier, I had been plagued with this sense of doom.

Everyone was married by now, weren’t they? At least had a couple kids?

Maybe I was still reeling from the visit that my friend Jude and his wife had paid me a couple days prior. Their kids were so damned cute—also twins but a boy and a girl.

Jude had razzed me about the whole settling down thing but it was easy for him to say—he was always on the road and Geneva, his wife, was perfect.

Was that what was bugging me? My mortality?

It’s not like I had considered marriage seriously. Why would I? I enjoyed the single life. The idea of settling down with one woman was neither appealing nor deterring. I could think of just as many pros as I could cons.

That said, it would be a plus for the company if the CEO showed stability with a wife, wouldn’t it?

That was me, always thinking about what was best for the company—even if it meant sacrificing my singledom.

I snorted to myself, wondering when it was I had gotten engaged. Anyway, who would marry me? Carlie?

The snort became a laugh and then a slight shudder at the idea.

Instinctively, I pulled myself up. Adare was home—I could sense him. Call it twin intuition or whatever but even without hearing him come in, I knew I was right. I hurried from the bedroom, running a hand through my still-wet hair in a half-hearted attempt to brush it. Hastily, I threw on a pair of blue jeans and a navy-blue t-shirt before stuffing my feet into a pair of socks and Nike kicks.

I almost ran directly into my brother as I threw open the door to my suite.

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