Secrets That We Keep by Linda Kage


Wow, how much had I had to drink? My vision was royally messed up. Trying to blink the foggy world from my eyes, I crawled to the edge of the bed and draped myself over the side, trying to reach for the spilled glass. It hadn’t broken, thank goodness, but a puddle of alcohol and melting ice was staining my carpet.

Ah, fuck it. My fingers couldn’t reach. I’d just deal with cleaning shit up tomorrow.

Returning my attention to my phone, I gave the screen a goofy grin to wake it up, only to snort at the messaging app I still had open, revealing a group text with the girls.

HAVEN: Then what am I supposed to do?

BENTLEY: Whenever he comes back from shopping, just try again. And if you get so close that he tries to escape…

LUCY: Don’t let him.

BELLA: Don’t let him.

TEAGAN: Girl, don’t you dare let him!

Poor Haven had been getting cold feet about seducing her roommate, but we’d encouraged her to try again, anyway.

If all was right in the world, Haven and Wick were currently having a hell of a good time at their place.

Which made misery rumble through my stomach. I wanted to have a good time, too. But a totally different kind. Ergo, I needed my Gracen. Bad.

Flicking my way out of the text messages, I went into my address book to call him. As soon as I saw the Gs, I pushed on his name. At least, I think it was his name.

Close enough.

“Hello?” he answered a few seconds later.

Huh, he sounded funny. Or maybe that was just my drunk ears hearing funny things. Whatever. As soon as he was here, curled up on the couch with me, stuffing me full of hot chocolate and popcorn while we watched reruns of our favorite show together, he could sound as funny as he wanted to.

So I said, “Can you come over? Right now? I really need you tonight.”

And I hung up the phone before he could answer.

That was all I ever needed to say when talking to my twin. He always showed up, just as I knew he would tonight.

Because he got me. We were like—well, imagine me crossing my fingers right now. Yes, we were like that together. People called our close sibling bond weird and unnatural. But we didn’t care. We were each other’s best friend, and we were content with that.

Twenty minutes later, my doorbell rang.

“About damn time,” I grumbled, frowning over the fact that he’d rung the bell. Why in God’s name was Gracen ringing the doorbell? He typically just walked right in whenever he dropped by. Even if the place was locked, he had a freaking key.

“Why are you ringing the—Oh!” I blinked when I saw who was standing on the other side of the entrance.

Definitely not my twin brother.

My shoulders slumped. I shot the uninvited guest a scowl. “What’re you doing here?”

“Uh…” His eyebrows lifted in surprise. “You called me.”

“No.” I shook my head. “I didn’t.”

“Yes,” he countered. “You did.” Stepping past me into the front room without waiting for me to even let him in, he glanced around as if looking for more people, since there were always other people around whenever he came over.

But tonight, there was just me.

And Jim Beam.

Plus, now him.


Turning back, he added, “You asked me to come over, saying you really needed me.”

“No.” My brow knit with confusion. I kept shaking my head. And was it just me, or did it seem like I was shaking my head a lot here? “I called Gracen. I said that to Gracen.”

Catching my face between his hands to get me to stop with the whole back-and-forth head action I had going on, he looked me straight in the eye and answered, “You called me.”

Narrowing my eyes, I slapped his hand away and whined, “But I don’t want you.”

He was not my sweet, reliable, goofball twin brother.

“Wow.” He tipped his chin just enough to shade his eyes under the bill of his hat. It was a look he gave people whenever he thought they’d said something incredibly stupid. “Thank God I have a healthy self-esteem. That might’ve actually stung.”

“I thought I was talking to Gracen,” I ground out. “Your name is just one off from his on my phone. It was a stupid misdial.”

“Well, you got me anyway, baby doll.” Rubbing his hands together, he started for the kitchen. “Please tell me there’s some decent food around here. I’m starving.”