Chapter Two

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"How do you like London? Is this your first time?" Margery Elliot asked me in a soft, gracious tone.

Apart from the terminal and the view from the cab, I hadn't seen much of the city.

Making a small smile, I made a curt nod. "Yes." Ma'am? Madam? Everyone was so formal here; as a result, I wasn't sure how to address her. Maybe Mrs. Elliot would do, like how the rest addressed her in her household? Yeah, it sounded much better. "I ... uh ... This is my first time."

Margery was very well poised, and with the way she spoke, it was as if she was saying something beautiful all the time. It was impressive and hypnotizing at the same time, which made me wonder if she even knew or remembered how to yell at all. She was very soft spoken, very unlike my spontaneous, temperamental yet passionate mother.

After inquiring about my mom and my life back in Cali, she then directed her attention to her son, asking about some event they were organizing. The opportunity of them conversing gave me a chance to study him unnoticed.

After our peculiar introduction upstairs, I was surprised Cruz stuck around to join his mother and me for tea. If the situation were reversed, I would most likely stay the heck away from someone who couldn't stop staring at me, which was, by the way, hard to do, even when I was sitting across from him and his mother.

It was like my eyes were trained on him. Whatever he did-clear his throat, smile, speak, or the way he sipped his tea-I took it all in, and thus far, I hadn't found anything repulsive about him. For the past thirty minutes, I had been trying to find something that would turn me off, yet he still remained perfection.

The ends of his hair curled on the sides, and I was itching to touch them. It reminded me of JFK Junior's hair, but much better because Cruz had silver eyes, like hot molten mercury, indefinable, untouchable, unattainable.

It was extraordinary for me to be sitting here, sipping tea, mindlessly having a conversation, all the while day dreaming about the guy sitting across from me. Apart from niceties, he hadn't really said much to me.

"I'm home!" a loud voice came from down the hall, making me instantly tense, while Margery perked up at the booming voice.

"That must be Archer, my youngest son," she informed me with a proud smile. "Archer?" she gently called out to him.

"The one and only," Archer loudly responded as he entered the sitting room.

Dressed in all black, he took the available seat next to me before extending his hand. "Ah, you must be the mysterious Serena. Welcome to the family."

Oh, God. Brothers, two blindingly hot brothers, one with silver eyes and the other blue, but almost alike. The only difference was the height and muscle mass. Though Cruz was clearly the better looking of the two, Archer, I assumed, was the friendliest because he already felt comfortable around me by the way he was sitting too close for propriety's sake.

"Are you here to join us for dinner?" Cruz asked him in a cool manner.

"Not entirely. I'm just here to check-in is all. I have this thing tonight that I have to attend ..." He trailed off before granting me his sole attention. "Want to come? I'd like to show you around."

Before I had the chance to respond to Archer's question, Cruz butted in by asking, "And what do you mean by this 'thing'? Your usual parties and conquests, I take it?"

Archer rolled his eyes at his brother. "Oh, do cheer up, Cruz. You act as if you're not merely a few years older than myself. It's a bloody party, not a funeral."

"Why don't you both take her?" Margery cheerily proposed, lightening the mood after the short-term burst of tension. "I'm sure Serena would love to see what people your age do around here."

Yes, please do, I silently encouraged, too giddy at the thought of having alone time with Cruz, even if it was with his brother.

"The scene wouldn't be fitting for Cruz," Archer stated in a mocking tone.

"And what scene would that be?" his less than pleased brother flung the question at him, seeming more irritated than before.

"Fun folks. You're more into uptight, bore fests and air kisses."

The irritation that was pasted on his face seconds ago seemed to have disappeared, and in came the cool, collected Cruz. "Just because I'm the responsible one, it doesn't make me a boring person."

"You really need to stop fighting like hounds. Your father would be aghast to see you two bicker like ten-year-olds," Margery reprimanded them, hoping to put a halt to their nonstop counterarguments.

Archer shrugged. "Fine. All right. I'll lessen the jabs." He cocked his chin towards his brother before giving him a shit-eating grin. "All jests aside, dear brother, I do highly respect you."

"Brilliant, then I'm coming along," Cruz stated, seeming pleased with himself.

"That settles it, then," their mother commented, finalizing everything.

Oh, dear. Two brothers who were competitive against each other: check. One chick who was hyperventilating at the thought of partying with not one but two gorgeous men on her side: check.

This ought to be an interesting night.

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