Cataline Mercier Wintour had spent her whole life training to be an Olympic athlete, but when a tragic accident lands her and her party-oriented sister, Carson, across the country back in their old childhood home in Cape May, New Jersey. Cat can't help but give up on her dreams, but when she unexpectedly runs into striking, young, Frenchman Archer Corbett Henri Demonte and his group of strange friends her entire world is flipped upside down. Old secrets from the past start to unravel and when Cat becomes entrusted with the secrets of Archer and his friends things start to become a little complicated...


15. Chapter 15

   The day was finally here and honestly, I couldn’t be more excited. I know that sounded crazy, but I was happy to finally become a real part of Archer’s world. I had always felt more at home in Le Ménage amongst the renaître. I practically sprinted all the way to Archer’s house, the bright sun and clear sky warming me as I ran through the chilly, December morning. I reached the large wrought iron gates and punch in the digi-code Archer had given me in case Grace ever decided to lock me out again. I strode through the door to Le Ménage and was practically bouncing off the walls in an attempt to control my excitement.

    “Woah woah woah, Kitty-Cat. What’s gotten into you?” Luc laughed as he held my shoulders to keep me from jumping up and down.

    “Today’s the day Luc.” I squealed.  A smile grew on Luc’s family as he wrapped his arms around me.

    “Welcome to the family little sister.” He whispered, kissing my forehead softly.

    “Where’s Archer?” I asked, pulling out of Luc’s embrace.

    “As far as I know he’s upstairs, you know where his room is.” I nodded and skipped up the stairs, smiling to myself as I heard Luc laugh. I walked down the long hallway, towards the light of Archer’s room.

    “Hey, Archer…” my sentence broke off and my smile faded as I approached the doorway. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, Archer with someone else? My heart felt like it had been ripped from my chest.

    “Enjoying the show, Cat?” The other girl said to me, tossing her bouncy, brown curls as she turned around to look at me. Grace. Her shirt was half off and her hands were still under Archer’s shirt, who was staring at me wide eyed, mouth open to say something, but no words came out.

    “You evil, manipulative, bitch.” I growled as thunder clapped outside, lightning flashing in the sky.

    “Why thank you.” Grace laughed bitterly, turning back to Archer, pressing her mouth to his. I snapped, the glass in the windows shattered, as I strode into Archer’s room and ripped her off of Archer as my grandmother’s words flashed in my mind.

    If she tries anything with your boyfriend...kick her ass.

I swung my arm back, clocking her in the face, sending her flying backward into the wall of books Archer kept stored away. I smiled satisfactorily and then turned around to see Archer and it felt like my heart was breaking all over again.

    “Cat…” He started, but I held up a hand to stop him.

    “Don’t, Archer. Don’t say anything. In fact, stay out of my life, stay out of my family’s life. I never want to talk to you, I never want to see you. Do whatever you want with her,” my eyes flitting over to Grace, who was still sitting in a pile of books, trying to stop her nose from bleeding, “because, as far as I’m concerned...this is over. We’re done.” I walked out of the room and down the stairs. I saw Luc and Eli standing at the bottom of the stairs, confused looks on their faces.

    “Cat, what happened?” Eli asked, extending his hand to help me off the last step. I pointed up to Archer’s room, where Grace had now run out and was staring over the balcony her shirt still half off, her nose bleeding, and a crescent shaped bruise was beginning to form around her right eye.

    “Karen Grace Karamakov!” Eli boomed as he bounded up the stairs, grabbing her shoulder and pulling her down the hallway. I winced as I heard a door slam a few seconds later.

    “Are you okay, Kitty-Cat?” Luc asked me, as he wrapped me in his arms. I shook my head no, as I tried to keep myself from crying. Luc smoothed over my hair, trying to calm me down.

    “I can’t believe he was stupid enough to give up someone so amazing as you.” Luc said softly. I pulled away from him, as I wiped my eyes.

    “Thanks Luc, but I think I should be going now.” I said solemnly as I hugged him.

    “You ever need anything, don’t hesitate to call.” I nodded, releasing him as I walked towards the door and then out of it for the last time. Once, out of the wrought iron gates I broke into a run and I ran and ran until my lungs burned, because the pain of oxygen deprivation was better than feeling anything else at this moment in time.




    The rest of the day was absolute hell. I kept receiving calls, from Eli, Luc, and Madelaine asking if I was okay and then of course there were the phone calls from Archer, which repeatedly got declined. He kept leaving me messages, asking to give him a chance to explain and meet him. I couldn’t even talk to him, let alone see him. I groaned as I sunk down against a light post, burying my face in my hands.

    “Cat?” I looked up at the sound of my name being called only to see a red-head boy walking towards me.

    “Hi Matthew.” I said wiping my eyes.

    “Archer told me to give you this. For all its worth you weren’t the only one that got hurt by Grace and Archer.” He said as he handed me a letter and then looked at the ground. The realization of what he said set in, I remember seeing Matthew always with Grace when I was at the house. He looked at her the way Archer looked at me, Matthew was in love with Grace.

    “I’m so sorry Matthew.” I whispered, rising from my spot to wrap my arms around him.

    “It’s okay,” He replied bitterly, “I should’ve known better. I mean it’s Grace.” He shrugged out of my hug and took off down the street, shoving his hands deep in his pockets. His words rung in my ears, he expected this from Grace and yet he was still in love with her. I didn’t expect this from Archer and that was why I was in love with him, because I thought I could trust him, because I thought he’d never hurt me, I couldn’t believe my instincts were wrong.  I stared down at the letter in my hand, my name scrawled across it in Archer’s handwriting. I wanted to open it, to read everything he wanted, needed, to say, but I couldn’t bring myself to. I loved him so much, and despite everything that happened I still loved him. I didn’t want to think that something in that letter that said he didn’t love me back and that’s why he kissed Grace. I just couldn’t know. I stared down at the tear stains on the envelope that smudged the beautiful cursive writing and then when I brought my eyes back up to the street, there he was still looking as handsome as the day we met, but instead of the dazzling smile that made my heart skip, he was now wearing a dark look on his face that made my heart break.




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