Home > Secrets Vol. 3 (Secrets #3)(3)

Secrets Vol. 3 (Secrets #3)(3)
Author: H.M. Ward

“I do know you, Anna. And I’m here if you need me.” He glances at me on the bike for half a beat and adds, “Be careful with this guy, Anna.” He says it like he knows something I don’t, like it’s more than a general warning.

I wonder how he knows anything about me and Cole. It must have been Emma. She must have told him I was with Cole. Irritation shoots through me. I didn’t think it was necessary to tell her not to discuss my love life with her brother, but apparently I was wrong.

I start the bike and say, “I can take care of myself, Edward. And you better get to your interview or you’ll be late.”

He laughs, “I’m never late. I’m still early actually.” That was probably true. He is always early. It irritated me when we were dating. Everywhere we went, he had to arrive half an hour early. Edward looks from his watch to me and steps in front of the bike. He rests his fingers on the handlebars and looks up at me. “Just be careful, okay?”

I nod at him, wanting this conversation over. “I gotta go.” Edward steps aside and I rev the engine and pull away from him. I can feel his eyes on my back until I’m out of the garage and on the street zipping through early morning traffic.


I stop on the side of the Long Island Expressway and grab a cup of coffee. The morning air is cooler than usual. I breathe deeply, admiring the white fluffy clouds strewn across the sky. If I was still in high school, I’d be drawing clouds today. I had one art teacher who was always excited when those fluffy white ones appeared. I didn’t understand why until I tried to draw one. It turns out that drawing clouds is hard. Mine looked like floating bricks. There was nothing light and fluffy about them.

I pull out my phone and rest the coffee on my thigh. I won’t have time to see Emma until this weekend, but I have to know if she told her brother about me and Cole.

I text her as I sip my coffee.

Me: Hey Em. Saw your bro. Did you tell him anything about Cole?

A few minutes pass. Emma is in class. I don’t expect anything back right away, but my phone dings.

Emma: No. That’d be worse than talking to u about him. What happened?

Me: Saw him in the garage this morning. He warned me away from Cole. Wondered how he knew.

Emma: idk. I swear I didn’t say anything.

Me: OK. Just asking. Will u b around tonight?

Emma: Yup. Catch up then?

Me: Hell yeah. Lots to tell u.

For a second I just stared at the screen. How did he know about Cole? And did Edward really know something about Cole, or was he just screwing with me? I wasn’t sure, but it left me feeling very uneasy.

I poured the rest of the coffee down my throat and tossed the cup before pulling back into the traffic. Why I took the LIE is beyond me. It’s always crammed with traffic this far west. Once I got out onto the Island a little ways, it would clear up. In the meantime, I bobbed and weaved between cars and trucks, passing the occasional driver who was horrified of motorcycles. One woman nearly drove into the wall trying to get away from me. I zip past her and feel the rush of early morning air on my face.

I refuse to let my mind play games with me. Edward’s not a stalker. I dismiss my lingering apprehension from this morning and push it out of my mind, giving the situation with Cole full access to my entire brain.

Last night didn’t go the way I planned. I want more from Cole, but I don’t want to risk losing him. Finding out the woman in the red dress was his attorney doesn’t make me feel better. At first it did, then I realized that if she’s around that much something must be very wrong. I wish he’d ask me for help or at least lean on me a little, but Cole is so closed off. He keeps his emotions close to his chest and it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking. But after last night, I did learn one thing—I do mean something to him—I just have no idea what.


“Regina, we have a full calendar today so I need you to fix the sets as we rotate through. That way as soon as the next client is here, we can start.”

Regina looks up at me. Her copper hair dangles over her shoulders. The green top she wears makes the color more awesome and her crop pants are so cute. Like all Le Femme employees, she’s barefoot. She nods, “No problem. Oh, there was a message from your school. They said they hadn’t received your internship papers yet and they need them back by the end of the week.”

“By tomorrow?” My brows pinch together as I straighten and look at her. I drop the rug I’m holding and stare at her. That’s not right. The internship papers weren’t due until two weeks after the internship was over. That is four weeks away.

“Yup,” Regina says. She looks up at me when she sees my expression. “I wouldn’t worry about it. Cole probably lost the papers or something.”

I nod slowly and go back to what I’m doing, “Or something,” I say under my breath, trying to figure out what it is.


By the time I get to the campus, it’s nearly 5:00pm. They’ll close before I get to talk to someone. I glance at my watch. The line at the registrar’s office is moving at snail speed. When I finally get to the front, I’m really anxious and not looking forward to talking to some kid about the lost papers or why the university wants them back early.

I step up, ready to ask what the hell is wrong with them, when Jesse Oden looks up at me from the desk. “Can I help—” he smiles when he sees me, his expression completely changing. “Anna.”

“Jesse? What are you doing here? I thought you graduated?” The girl behind me audibly sighs and folds her arms.

He ignores her, “I did. I’m doing some grad work over the summer. Student job. So what do you need? Enrollment forms? Application for graduation?” he guesses.

“No, I’ve done all that stuff already. I got a phone call today that said my internship papers weren’t turned in. I thought they were due after the internship was over. I have two weeks left. Could you check my account and see what they want?”

“Sure,” he smiles tapping the keyboard. After I tell him my student number, he’s into my files. He grins, “Impressive GPA.”

“Snoop,” I laugh. He looks up at me and winks.

“Let’s see,” he says, his finger tracing lines on the screen, scanning it quickly. His expression changes as he does so. He glances up at me and I can tell something’s very wrong, but he says, “Yes, they want your papers early. There’s a note here for me to hand them to you when you come in, and schedule you an appointment with the dean.”

“The dean? What for?” Everyone is watching me now. This isn’t typical. Something is wrong, I just don’t know what.

Jesse nods as he collects the papers I need from the slots on his desk. Taking the stack, he taps them once on his desk and shoves them under the stapler, then hands them to me. “Get these back to me by tomorrow. And I’m scheduling you for an appointment with the dean for tomorrow at 4:00pm.” He hands me an appointment card. I’m annoyed and worried. I just take it and don’t look at it.

“Thanks,” I say and head out the door.

If I blow this internship, I don’t graduate. I want to pull my hair out. I exit the building and find a bench. Sunlight pours through the leaves forming a lacy pattern on the ground. Taking my phone, I enter the appointment time for tomorrow and notice Jesse wrote a note on the back of the card.

Wait for me.

I sit under a tree and watch the students as they head toward their evening activities. About ten minutes later, Jesse walks out of the building and sees me. He smiles initially, but it fades quickly. He sits next to me on the bench.

“So, what’s new?” he asks teasingly.

“Oh, my God! Is it that bad? I saw your face. Just tell me.”

Jesse looks up at me and I can tell it’s bad. His smile falters and he looks at his hands. “I’m not supposed to say anything, but it seems too insane to be true. Your internship was ended early,” he says softly. “Someone reported that you’re hav**g s*xual relations with your boss.” His dark brows creep up his face as he says it, looking at me like he can’t believe it.

I can’t breathe. I feel like someone hit me in the stomach with a board. I lean forward, panic flooding every inch of me. Even though Cole and I don’t have a sexual relationship, it looks like we do.

“So, it’s true? I’m guessing this is the guy who had your heart when I first met you, too—isn’t it?” He sounds sympathetic. He places his hand on my back and pats once like a friend. “It’s not going to go well if you tell them.”

I sit up quickly and stare at him, “There is no sexual relationship with him. There hasn’t been. It’s been all work. Nothing else.” My voice is soft, remorseful.

“But you wish it was,” he adds, and I nod. Blinking hard, I look over at him. “Thank you. I know you’ll get in trouble if they find out you told me. Did it say who made the allegation?”

He shakes his head, “No. The complaint was filed directly with your dean. The info wasn’t put into your main file.”

“This isn’t happening,” I clutch my face, horrified that I’m reacting this way in front of someone I barely know.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)