Because of Low (Page 41)

But this was much more intense than I’d expected from the perfect family I pictured him to have. Especially after meeting his bubbly sweet gorgeous sister. He jerked his head toward me when I stopped beside him and the angry scowl melted and he frowned.

"I’m sorry Low. I didn’t mean to leave you just sitting in there."

I squeezed his arm, "It’s okay. I actually know how to open a car door."

My teasing only brought a hint of a smile to his troubled face.

"My dad was supposed to be here. He’s not." Okay. Missing family meals must really rank high on the shit list around here.

"Mom was expecting him. She was excited," he let out a sigh and reached down to clasp my hand in his.

"If she seems odd or upset just overlook it. Nothing that happens tonight has anything to do with your presence.

Everything is really screwed up right now."

"Trust me, I wrote the book on screwed up families. I can handle it."

Marcus brought my hand to his mouth and kissed it.

"Let’s go see what we’re in for tonight," he muttered and we headed up those massive stairs.

Marcus doesn’t knock. We walk right in. I guess he still thinks of this as his home. Must be nice. I have to knock at Tawny’s. The door is normally locked up tight anyway and I haven’t been given a key.

"hello," Marcus called out as he closed the door behind us.

Amanda immediately appeared, stepping out of a room up Amanda immediately appeared, stepping out of a room up ahead. Her smile falters and I can tell she is forcing it. I’ve done that enough to know it when I see it.

"Manda," Marcus replied in a cautious tone, "everything good?"

She shrugged and her gaze flickered to me then back to him. They need a moment. I could tell by the pleading in her eyes.

"Could you point me to the restroom?" I asked Marcus interrupting their silent conversation.

"Yeah, of course," he pointed to a door straight ahead and to the left, "Just use the powder room." The powder room? What the crap is a powder room?

"Okay"

Once inside, I sighed and sagged against the wall. Jeez the tension in this place was thick. I was in the way. Marcus wanting me here was sweet but now I think he made a mistake. Amanda obviously needed him and he’s saddled with me. And I know nothing. It bothers me some that he hasn’t opened up to me but then I haven’t opened up to him either about my family issues. No matter what is going on in this family it can’t be worse than what my sister has done.

My family issues are not the kind you share, ever. I needed to kill some time and give them a chance to talk privately.

Looking around the small room I noticed the sink wasn’t a normal sink. It was a fancy cracked glass bowl that sits on top of a marble stand. The faucet looked like a copper spout from a pump. Turning the water on I was instantly fascinated with the way it worked. Smiling at my childlike fascination with a bathroom sink I turned the water off and turn my attention to the rest of the room. There’s no bath tub or shower. A toilet sat on the other side of me and a chandelier hung from the tall ceiling. Who the heck puts a chandelier in a tiny room with nothing but a toilet and a sink.

A knock at the door startled me.

"Low, you okay?" Marcus’s voice sounded concerned.

I reached and opened the door then grabbed his arm to pull him inside with me. His shocked expression made me want to laugh out loud but I didn’t. The worry lines across his forehead tell me he has too much on his mind for fun and games.

"What," he asked as I close the door behind him. Turning I gaze up at his beautiful green eyes. God he is gorgeous.

"I’m giving you a chance to talk to Amanda alone. She seemed upset," I explained.

He let out a frustrated sigh and nodded.

"I’m sorry about all this," he began and I put my finger over his mouth to stop him.

"Hush. I know you’re having family problems and your dad not showing up has caused a major hitch in making things better. If my being here makes everyone uncomfortable because they feel as if they have to act happy and as if nothing is wrong I need to leave. I can call," Marcus grabbed my finger gently and shook his head.

"No. You aren’t calling," he pauses, "anyone. You’re staying here with me. I need you here Low. I’m sorry it’s all gone to shit but I need you here. Please stay with me." The pleading look in his eyes was my undoing. Of course I would stay with him. I closed the small distance between us and stood up on my tiptoes to kiss him chastely before nodding.

"Then let’s go do this."

He grinned for the first time since we’d drove up.

As we walked out of the powder room, Amanda was standing there waiting for us with an amused smirk on her face.

"Did ya need to go in there and help her out Marcus?" She asked with a teasing lilt to her voice.

"Shut up Manda," he replied and slipped his arm around my back. She winked at me before turning around to lead us to the dinning room. The table was huge and covered in food.

They really did family dinners up right around here. A tall elegant woman walked out of the kitchen. Her blond hair was almost white. Maybe platinum would be the best way to describe it. It was cut in a short pageboy style that suited her classic appearance. Her slender figure reminded me of Amanda. The white apron tied around her waist was so white it looked as if it had never been used. Underneath the apron she had on what appeared to be a black halter dress complete with black pumps on her feet. When you look at her one word comes to mind, rich.

"Marcus," she beamed at the sight of her son.

"Mama, this is Will ow," his hand tightened on my waist,