[Book 3] Chapter 28

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Violet still hadn't responded to my text by the time I reached New Edge.

When I didn't hear back from her after a quick shower, I decided that no response wasn't the same thing as a flat-out refusal to speak to me and hopped in my car, fingers crossed her phone died or she was too busy working on the song to answer me.

But as I pulled into the parking lot, Alec stepped outside. He looked liked he was leaving—there was a messenger bag slung over one of his shoulders and car keys in his hand. I swung my car into the nearest spot, not caring if it was parked between the lines, and jumped out.

"Alec, hold up a sec!" I called, rushing across the blacktop. He paused at the edge of the sidewalk to wait for me. "Is my sister still here?" I asked when I reached him.

Alec ran a hand over his perfectly styled bangs. "Sorry, Indie. She left as soon as we wrapped everything up. That was about fifteen minutes ago." The uncomfortable look on his face was enough to tell me he knew exactly what was going on between me and Violet. And that she must have received my text and chosen to ignore it. After everything, I couldn't blame her.

"Okay, thanks," I said, my shoulders slumping. "I take it you guys finished the song?"

He shook his head. "Almost. There's something missing I can't put my finger on, but it will have to wait until we get back."

"Back from what?"

"The next leg of our tour. We leave for Dubai Sunday night," he explained. "I wish we could get more studio time in tomorrow, but Violet's busy all day with her party."

"Oh, right," I said, even though I had no knowledge of said party. Was she hosting it at our house? Even if she was, I bet I wasn't invited. "I take it Xander's left as well?"

Another shake of the head. "No, he's still here. Should be right behind me. I think he had to run to the bathroom." Frowning, I glanced around the parking lot but didn't spot his SUV. Besides mine, the only other car was a black Cadillac. As if he knew what I was thinking, Alec added, "We drove together."

"Gotcha," I said. "Is there any chance you wouldn't mind waiting around for a bit? I need to talk to Xander about something, and while I have no problem offering him a ride, I don't know if he'll accept one from me right now."

Alec waved me off, already pulling a pair of earbuds from his pocket. "No worries. Tell him I'll be in my car. Good luck."

"Thanks," I said, turning toward the front entrance and squaring my shoulders. "I'm definitely going to need it."

Inside, the studio was dark and cool. A ten foot aquarium ran the length of the reception, casting the room in a blue glow. Tropical fish flickered through the water like a moving rainbow, and I smiled when I noticed the pineapple house ornament positioned at the bottom of the tank. The building was larger than it looked from the outside, and before I could figure out which way to go, Xander rounded a corner to my left.

The sight of him made me suck in a breath. He was wearing a green Triforce t-shirt, dark wash jeans, and a pair of worn sneaker—nerdy, but in a hot, boy next door sort of way—and his golden red hair was a tousled mess. When his eyes locked on mine, he stopped short.

"Indie." There was no trace of his usual smile as he adjusted his glasses. "What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you. I was hoping we could talk."

Xander shoved both hands in his pockets, his gaze darting toward the exit before flickering back to me. "I don't know. Alec is supposed to give me a ride and I don't want to keep him waiting."

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