Twin Seduction

By: Cara Summers


WARE House.

Jordan gave the Long Island mansion a cursory inspection as she slammed the taxi door behind her. The overcast sky shrouded the place in even more gloom than usual. With its turrets and weathered gray stones, the three-story structure her great-great-grandfather had built looked as mysterious as ever. She’d always thought it could have served as the setting for the Gothic novels she’d enjoyed reading as a young girl. The kind of house that held lots of secrets.At least that much hadn’t changed. Because in the last week, everything else in her life had.

When pain squeezed her heart, Jordan rubbed her fist against her chest. You’ve gotten this far. You can get through the rest.

Seven days ago, two policemen had come to her apartment door with bad news. Her mother, renowned jewelry designer Eva Ware, had been killed by a hit-and-run driver as she’d crossed the street to her apartment building.

Her mother was dead.

A week had gone by and she was still struggling to accept that. Eva should be with her right now. They’d always come to Ware House together. But her mother wasn’t here. She would never be here again.

Closing her eyes, Jordan ordered herself to take a deep breath. She couldn’t fall apart. She had too much to do. It would be her responsibility to make sure that her mother’s legacy lived on.

A quick glance at her watch confirmed she was a good half hour early for the reading of her mother’s will. She could take a moment to gather her thoughts, her strength. Turning, she began to pace on the flagstones in front of the huge entrance door.

You can get through this.

And she could. Hadn’t she made it through identifying the body at the morgue and making arrangements for the funeral? Her Uncle Carleton and Aunt Dorothy had insisted on helping her with that.

Jordan had been both grateful and surprised when they’d contacted her because her mother and her uncle hadn’t been on the best of terms for as long as Jordan could remember.

From what her mother had said, the little feud stemmed back to her grandfather’s will. Carleton and Eva had each inherited half of Ware Bank, half of Ware House and half of his stocks, bonds and cash. Carleton had wanted his sister to invest her share in Ware Bank, the family business, but Eva had insisted on putting her cash into her fledgling jewelry design business.

To Jordan’s way of thinking, it had turned out to be a wise decision since Eva Ware Designs was one of the most exclusive jewelry stores in New York City. Eva had tried to placate her brother’s feelings by moving out of Ware House and letting him have the place to himself. Her Uncle Carleton, Aunt Dorothy and cousin Adam had lived there ever since, but the strain on family relations had never quite faded. Every time she and her mother visited, the chill in the air was so noticeable that her mother had rented a room at a small inn in nearby Linchworth when ever they intended to stay overnight.

In spite of all that, her aunt and uncle had been helpful in planning the funeral. Dorothy Ware had a great deal of expertise when it came to organizing social events, and Eva Ware’s funeral had turned out to be just that. Thousands had come to pay their respects to the award-winning jewelry designer.

But the one person Jordan had wanted there hadn’t been able to come—Jase Campbell, her apartment mate and closest friend.

She and Jase had first met during her freshman year at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Jase had been a senior and they’d met by accident when they’d both shown up to rent an off-campus apartment. Instead of flipping a coin to see who’d get it, they’d moved in together and become fast friends. A year ago when Jase had left the navy to start up his own security business in Manhattan, they’d become apartment mates again. But for the last three and a half weeks, he’d been in some remote area of South America negotiating a hostage situation. She hadn’t even been able to talk with him via cell phone.

He didn’t even know that Eva was dead.

And he certainly didn’t know about the other big change in her life. She’d acquired a sister.

Edward Fitzwalter III, her mother’s longtime attorney, had called with that shocking news on the day after her mother’s funeral. Even now, Jordan was tempted to pinch herself to see if the last week had been a nightmare that she could just wake up from.

She had a sister she’d never met. Madison Farrell. And she was coming here today for the reading of their mother’s will.

Each time Jordan thought about it, her heart took a little leap and nerves knotted in her stomach. She’d only had two days to try to absorb it, and although she prided herself on her efficiency and adaptability, she wasn’t sure she had.