All He Desires - Nate & Eliza (Crossroads #12)(7)

By: Melanie Shawn

He’d accepted a full scholarship to MIT and once he started college in Massachusetts he’d stayed away. At first he’d thought that he’d successfully put his past behind him. He’d thrown himself into his studies and the fact that he was so young surprisingly worked for him with the opposite sex. The girls in college thought he was some kind of prodigy and had been more than eager to educate him in things that you couldn’t learn in a classroom.

For two years he didn’t speak to or see the girl that he’d fallen in love with who happened to be dating his twin brother. But then one morning he’d woken up with a foreboding feeling of twin telepathy—or a “disturbance in the twin force”—as Neil put it. He’d picked up the phone and called his brother. Neil had assured him nothing was wrong, he was just a little stressed because he had decided that he was going to be breaking up with his girlfriend the following night. Which, also happened to be both her eighteenth birthday and grad night when all of the seniors were up at Whisper Lake. Neil’s reasoning was that she wouldn’t take it as hard since it was her birthday and grad night. He’d said that she would be distracted by graduation and becoming an adult.

Nate hadn’t pointed out the complete and total idiocy of his brother’s plan. Instead, acting on pure impulse he’d got in his car and driven eighteen hours to Whisper Lake. He hadn’t had a plan, which was extremely out of character for him. Maybe it was because he’d just finished a week of finals and barely slept so he wasn’t thinking straight, but all he’d known was he needed to be there. To see her.

Usually he had a good idea of what the probable outcomes would be. But he never could’ve predicted or prepared himself for what had transpired that fateful night. The night that he’d never forget. The night he’d never told a single soul about. The night he would never forgive himself for.

His phone buzzed with an incoming text and he wasn’t surprised to see that it was from his nana asking where he was. She’d never been a particularly patient woman and with each year that passed it seemed that what little patience she did possess was shrinking faster than her ever-declining height. She insisted that she was still five-one, but she was barely four-ten on a good day.

Another text came in. The Washington team that he was heading remotely on his current assignment had met their milestone a week early, which meant there was light at the end of the tunnel. He might even wrap this up within the next few days. All he wanted to do was be back in front of his computer. He did his best not to let this interruption frustrate him.

Thankfully, his grandmother didn’t live far and the dental office was only two doors down from the security company that he worked for. In fact he might even be able to go back to work while she was at her appointment.

Although, that wasn’t taking into consideration the fact that she was afraid of needles and if whatever procedure she was getting done included them, it was more than likely that she’d want him by her side. Or Dr. Lewis would. Nana tended to be in rare form at the dentist.

As Nate drove along the lakeside and up to Nana’s house he saw that she was already waiting outside for him. She was standing on her porch, her hair pulled up in a bun and her winter coat on over a dress.

It was a pleasant sixty-four degrees out, not jacket weather for most, but Nana always dressed formally when she was out in public. She’d been born into old money and was stuck in her ways. Back when it was trendy for girls to wear sweats with words spelled out across their butts, she’d practically had a coronary. It was so beyond the scope of decency in her firm moral compass that she’d even started walking up to those women and explaining the importance of decorum and presenting one’s best to the world. It was a miracle that the young ladies she’d lectured had all given her respect and/or humored her.

His truck bounced slightly as he pulled into the driveway as close as he could to the walkway. She wasted no time and was climbing into the passenger seat before he’d even unwrapped his fingers from the gearshift after placing it in park.

“Nana, I was going to get the door for you.” He leaned across the console and kissed her on her soft, wrinkled cheek.

She waved her hand, not making eye contact. “No time for chivalry when you’re late. Now floor it.”

Nate had to smile at his spirited grandma. He moved the gear into reverse and looked over his right shoulder as he backed out the way he’d come.

She fidgeted in her seat, gripping the handle of her purse that was on her lap as he drove down the residential street. “The gas pedal is the one on the right,” she pointed out sarcastically, still keeping her eyes pointed straight in front of her.