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Authors: Juliana Haygert

His Allure, Her Passion

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

His Allure, Her Passion

Copyright © 2013 by Juliana Haygert

978-1-61333-498-0

Cover Art by Mina Carter

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work, in whole or in part, in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by Decadent Publishing Company, LLC

Look for us online at:

www.decadentpublishing.com

 

 

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Her Heart’s Secret Wish

 

 

His Allure, Her Passion

 

By

Juliana Haygert

 

 

~Dedication~

 

To my husband, my sweet Valentine

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Dylan revved the engine of his car in front of the wrought iron gates. It roared loudly, much like the anxiety building in his chest.

The guard approached him, remote in hand. “Sorry for making you wait, Mr. Deveraux.” With a click of his finger, the guard opened the gates.

Dylan sped down the stone road, accelerating more than necessary, but the speed calmed him. Besides, he couldn’t resist his car. It was his one true love, a special-order blue and silver Audi R8. Nobody could resist the allure of his car.

Nobody but his father.

The devil himself waited for him at the double doors of the mansion at the end of the road, wearing a fancy navy suit. Dylan never understood why the man wore a suit even when at home. He could feel the intensity of his father’s disapproving eyes as he stopped the car in front of the stone stairs. The urge to bolt and give up on this stupid family lunch was very strong, but his mother would be heartbroken, and she had already suffered too much.

With a trained pose—squared shoulders, high chin, elegant stroll—and self-control, Dylan slipped out of the car, gave the keys to the young valet, and walked up to his father.

Wearing only a thin jacket over his dress shirt, he braved the cold and tried to not shiver, lest his father think him scared or anxious.

“You’re late.” His father's face matched his serious tone.

Off to a good start. He opened his mouth to utter a clever retort. “It’s—”

“Dylan!” his mother yelped, interrupting them, and ran past the door and embraced him. Unlike her husband, his mother dressed casually. He was sure her dress was an expensive one, but at least she didn’t wear suits or gowns at home. “Thank you for coming, dear.”

He hugged her, his gaze still on his father’s. “You asked so nicely, I couldn’t say no.” When he pulled back, he forced a smile. His mother deserved a smile.

“Come on.” She linked her arm in his and pulled him inside the house. “Celine and Alexis are already here.”

Aware of his father’s movements behind him, Dylan walked with his mother past the foyer, through the tall corridor to the solarium. Somewhere along the way, his father left them.

Alexis leaned against the solarium’s glass wall. Dylan let go of his mother’s arm and tucked his hands in his jeans pockets. “Hello, sister.”

She smiled at him before approaching and hugging him. “Long time no see,” she said as their mother left the room, probably to check on lunch.

“I’ve been busy.” He winked, and she giggled. His older sister knew exactly with what he had been busy.

“Will you join us on Christmas? Or New Year’s?”

“Neither.” With only two weeks to Christmas, he couldn’t change his plans now, not even if he wanted to. And he didn’t want to.

She sat on the bamboo loveseat, a happy shine in her bright, baby blue eyes. “Care to tell us where will you be during the holidays?”

“Partying on a boat off the coast of Flic en Flac.”

Her smile widened. “And you didn’t invite me? So rude.”

Dylan sat beside her. “Would your fiancé approve of that?” Like most members of the family and their friends, Alexis’ fiancé didn’t like Dylan.

She leaned closer to him and whispered, “I wouldn’t tell him.”

He laughed. Yeah, right. As if Alexis would ever do something like that. She was madly in love with Mike. So was his father.

The laughter died as jealousy spread inside him. “By the way, where is Mike?”

“He was talking with dad in his study.”

Of course.

“There you are.”

He turned to the new voice in the room and stood to embrace to his younger sister. “Celine. When did you get here?”

“Yesterday. But it’s only for a few days,” Celine answered with a grin. She was an exact copy of Alexis, only five years younger. “What’s this I’m hearing about a party?”

“Were you eavesdropping?” Alexis asked, outrage flashing on her features.

“Of course not,” Celine said, rolling her eyes. I was coming down the hall, and you two were yelling so the whole house could hear.”

Dylan elbowed her in the ribs. “What are
you
doing for the holidays?”

“What do you think?” Celine asked. As rebellious as Dylan, Celine had spent her holidays skiing in Switzerland with friends since she was sixteen.

“And you condemn me for partying?” Dylan joked.

“Your parties are out of control,” Celine said, flipping her hair with a teasing superior air. “Mine aren’t that wild. My friends and I actually ski and drink hot chocolate in front of a fireplace. Besides, I go with my boyfriend.”

“Boring,” he said in a singsong voice.

“You’re hopeless,” Alexis muttered. The three of them laughed.

Though being home wasn’t the best thing, it was good to see his sisters. He missed them and the easy way they accepted him.

Their mother entered the room and motioned them out. “Lunch is ready.” She walked with them to the dining hall, her arms around the girls’ waists, the way he knew she liked it.

Mike, and Dylan’s father were already seated, his father at the head, Mike on his right side.

Dylan thought again about bolting. It would be so easy, to turn on his heels and save himself from several torturous hours.

His mother’s hand on his back reminded him of why he was here.

One of the maids served lunch. Tension built as chewing noises, sips, and clacking of silverware and fine china were the only sounds in the room.

After the second course was served, his mother broke the perturbing silence. “How is school, Celine?”

“Perfect, now that we’re on winter vacation,” she said. Dylan coughed to disguise his laughter. “But it was okay while the classes were on.”

“Is Robert with his family?” his mother asked.

“Yes. We’ll meet in London and go to Switzerland together from there.”

“Good.” Their mother turned to his older sister. “How is work, Alexis?”

Damn. The subject had turned to work. The tension returned.

“Great,” his sister answered. “I got twenty-seven new clients last week.”

True to the Deveraux line, Alexis worked in the family business—Deveraux, a French manufacturer of luxury cars based near Paris. At twenty-five, she supervised the sales office in Los Angeles along with Mike, who had joined the family business after asking for her hand in marriage a couple of months earlier.

A genuine smile appeared on his mother’s face. “Remarkable.”

“It is,” his father said. Dylan froze, his glass in his raised hand. Holy hell. It wasn’t like his father to talk during meals, especially if it was about work. “Unlike some others.”

Dylan closed his eyes and took a deep calming breath.

His mother’s hand covered his. “And you, dear, how is school?”

Opening his eyes, Dylan stamped a fake smile over his features. “Boring.” It wasn’t actually true, but he would never admit finally finding a program he liked. Not when his father could hear. “The parties, though, are getting better and better.”

His father threw the cloth napkin across the table. “That’s why I’m paying your expensive tuition? So you can party all the time?”

“Anthony,” his mother whispered, reaching to her husband, but he waved her away.

Dylan glared at his father. “Expensive tuition? I bet it costs less than your suit.”

“Do you know what I went through so you would be accepted into that school?”

“Through a heavy donation check, I’m sure.”

Dylan wasn’t stupid. When he got into Princeton almost one year ago, he knew his father had helped, but he hadn’t asked for it. If it depended on him, he would have applied to a public university. He would have loved it, especially because his father would have flipped.

His father stood. “When are you going to grow up? Take your classes seriously, graduate, and work? Perhaps in automotive engineering. How about you stop partying and choose a girl worthy of your last name? Don’t you get tired of being an immature drunken playboy?”

Always the same discussion. Always the same outcome.

Fists clenched, Dylan fought for control. “I’m not him,” he said. “I’m sorry, but I’m not him.” His mother gasped. His sisters stared at their plates. Mike ate as if nothing bothered him. “I’ll never be him.”

His father returned his glare. “He was a perfect son, and you should want to be like him.”

Dylan shot up, almost knocking down the chair behind him. “But I’m not!”

His father flinched, slight surprise flashing on his face for only a second. “I wo—”

“You know what?” Dylan didn’t want to hear the words his father had to say. “I knew I shouldn’t have come. Actually, I don’t know why you guys came here. I don’t even know why the hell you have so many houses. Isn’t Paris much better than New York?”

That was what he heard all his life.

“Don’t talk back to me, boy.” His father’s tone grew harsher.

“Boy? I’m twenty-three.”

“And I still pay all your bills,” his father said. “Even that car of yours. I can’t conceive why you don’t drive one of ours.”

Because Deveraux’s cars look old and are too big and formal
. The tension in his jaw pained his teeth, but it was all he could do to stop from cursing at his father. “Never mind,” Dylan muttered before turning his back to the table and storming to the door.

“Stop!” his mother shouted. Damn. Dylan loved his mother very much, and she never criticized him or compared him to his older brother. He stopped, but didn’t turn. “Please. Stop.” She sighed. “We haven’t had a decent family lunch or dinner in…almost two years.”

Since Bryan’s death. Since his father lost his partner, the man who would take care of his multi-million dollar business. Since his father noticed Dylan’s lifestyle and started harassing him about it.

“I’m sorry, Mom,” Dylan muttered. “But you know it’s better that I leave.”

She walked to him and pulled him closer to the table. “At least hear your father’s announcement before you go.”

His father sat back in his chair. “If you want him to hear it, you can announce it, Emily.”

His mother inhaled deeply and straightened her shoulders. “Fine. Your father is opening up a plant here, near New York, and to celebrate, we’ll have a ball on Valentine’s Day at the new location.”

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
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