Chapter 15: His House, His Rules

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Battling against the strong currents of wind that made my hair flap against my face, I slipped my hands deeper into my pockets as I walked quickly along the perpetually curving stone path that led me to the white oak double doors that opened up to the Millers' residence.

Hastily, I pulled a lock of hair away from my mouth and rocked back and forth on my heels when I reached the porch. Standing in front of the door, I think I stood there for a full minute before my finger managed to push the gold doorbell for three seconds. Receiving a negative response, I frowned and was about to try the brass lion knocker when the door swung open.

"Ashley dear!"

Immediately, I was enveloped into a warm hug and crushed into the arms of a woman who smelled just as prettily as she looked. Lavender, soap detergent and Chanel No.5 wafted around me like a blanket up my nose receptors went crazy with ecstasy, coaxing me to inhale deeply before I blinked with surprise and realised what was happening.

"Mrs M-Miller?"

I took a step back as she released her grip on me just enough for me to make out her fiery red locks and startlingly beautiful green eyes.

"You just keep on getting prettier and prettier."

I blushed at her comment and tried to hide behind my hair as her soft cat eyes searched my face and ran over my full length, taking in my distressed stonewashed jeans, battered chucks and wooly sweater. I wasn't exactly dressed to impress but if I'd know she'd be back home from one of her numerous business trips with her husband, I would've made more of an effort.

"Is Tyler home yet?"

She beamed at me as her eyes flickered towards the clanging sound coming from the kitchen.

"He's in there with Rosemary trying to make a wreck of my kitchen."

As we both laughed, her silvery one mixed with my nervous one, I took the opportunity to notice the new changes about her. I'd seen her a couple of times after the funeral but she was always dolled up for her joint-role at the company she shared with her husband, holding a bursting briefcase with numerous court cases. I mean, she was exceptionally beautiful but there were fine lines that were permanently etched around her eyes, lining her forehead to make her look heartbreakingly sad when she wasn't smiling or laughing.

Although those lines only appeared after Taylor's diagnosis, they never faded away and I was pretty certain they wouldn't ever disappear. Other than that, her auburn curls were cropped closer to her neck and she was decked out in a robe and fluffy slippers with a magazine in her hand.

Noticing my gaze she tugged at her robe and laughed.

"Daniel and I are home for a month before we fly to New York for our final case of the year and then we're back for Christmas."

I nodded and felt glad they were back. As a kid, I always thought they spent too much time away from the twins but since Taylor had died, their mom spent far more time concentrating on her job whilst their father stayed with Tyler for half a year before joining his wife. They came back whenever they could but I think the house just held too much memories for them.

"Is that Ashley?" I heard Rosemary call before her head poked around the doorway.

Smiling at Mrs Miller, I walked toward the kitchen, instantly drooling at the soft aroma of lemon that danced around me as I welcomed the sight of Rosemary tiptoeing over Tyler's shoulder and humming an encouragement at him.

"Am I late?" I asked as I approached them.

"No dear!" Rosemary turned around and gave me a brief hug.

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