She shook her head. “I’d like a few minutes by myself. If that’s all right?”
“Yeah. Take all the time in the world.” He stopped next to her on the way out. “I meant what I said. I’m glad your home.” David laid a kiss against her temple before he left.
Anna stared at the closed door of her bedroom. How she wished she could have leaned into his touch. Three years she’d starved herself.
Going to her bags, she pulled one up and began to unpack. In her drawers, she found the clothes she’d left behind. Shirts, jeans, dresses and skirts. One by one she pulled them out and placed each item against her body. Some would have to go. Pulling all of her old clothes out, she stacked them on the desk next to the far wall. She’d go through them next week and see what still fit her. The rest she’d bag up and take to a second hand clothing store. Someone else might find some use in her old clothes.
Turning round to go back to the bed, she knocked something off the corner of the desk. Frowning, Anna bent down and picked up the picture frame.
The picture was a photo of Paul, David and herself, taken on the day of her eighteenth birthday. She stood between the two brothers. Paul had one arm wrapped around her waist, and David had one across her shoulders. Taking the picture, she sat on the edge of her bed. They looked like a happy family. Who would have thought within two years, she’d have left?
A splash of water hit the glass, and Anna was shocked to find herself crying. The biggest mistake of her life had been running out of the house. She should have taken the time to think her actions over, not react at the first hint of trouble. Growling at her own stupidity, she put the framed photo by her bed and finished unpacking her stuff.
So much time had passed. Loving the Steer brothers seemed to cause her nothing but trouble. In the photo she’d been so happy. Her life had been perfect. In her own little ideal world she’d imagined being married to them. A fairy tale if she’d ever heard of one. No one married two men. The idea was scandalous.
Running fingers through her hair she went into her bathroom and started the shower. Travelling had left a nasty feel to her skin.
David found his brother in the kitchen pouring a drink.
“Where’s our house guest?” he asked.
“Getting herself together. She might take some time.” David sat at the counter and took the cup offered to him.
“How do you think she’s feeling?” Paul asked.
“I don’t know. She’s quieter than usual. Still as beautiful as ever. There’s something missing from her, though. The sparkle, maybe? I don’t know.” He took a drink of the scalding liquid and welcomed the burn as it went down his throat. David wanted to be able to feel anything after the encounter in her room.
“She’ll come around.”
“There’s something different about her, Paul. I love her so damn much.” When she’d left, David had confessed to his brother his growing feelings for the younger woman. At first he’d been confused. They’d known Anna from a young girl, but with time he’d grown to accept he couldn’t control his feelings. Nine years wasn’t a particularly long age gap.
“We can’t do anything about it,” his brother said.
Hanging his head, David waited for the sound of her approaching footsteps. Listening to his brother constantly telling him what he couldn’t have was driving him crazy.
“Have all the people responded to the party invitations?” David asked instead.
“Yes. Everything is set up for tomorrow night.”
“Wow, never thought I’d see the day the Steer house had most of the Cape Falls residents coming to play,” David said.
In the past, the Steer family had tried to avoid any such entanglements.
“It’s her twenty-third birthday. We couldn’t be there for her twenty-first. We’ll do it now.”
“You don’t have to on my account. I’d be just as happy to get a pizza and a movie. It would give us chance to catch up,” Anna said as she walked into the room.
“Coffee is already made,” Paul told her and pointed across the kitchen.
David watched her ass swinging from side to side as she moved about the kitchen. The Anna in his kitchen was all woman, and his cock was doing a dance of joy.
“We want to throw you a party,” Paul said, interrupting David’s little image of a semi-naked Anna.
“Okay. Don’t put yourself out. I’m happy with us staying in and no one coming.”
“The invitations have already gone out,” David said.
“Did you invite Henry and Laura?”
“Your friends have all been invited,” Paul said.