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though it had been carefully and painstakingly arranged to fall in a
way that made the most of his physique.
 Yes? Adrien asked, his tone guarded.
Cristian jerked his gaze up to meet Adrien s and saw wariness
there, too. He started to speak, but as soon as he did, all the words
dried up on his tongue. With any other guest, it would have been
simple, the words so practiced they d have practically fallen from
him unbidden. Hello, I hope you slept well, I ve just come to
change the sheets and make the bed for you.
But he couldn t make himself speak those words now, not to
Adrien Grant. The last thing he wanted was to do work for the
man. He could sleep on the same sheets his entire stay, for all
Cristian cared.
 Did you need something? Adrien arched one brow when the
silence had gone on too long.
Cristian drew himself up.  I just came to ask if you wanted
fresh towels, he said, resenting every word. He raked his gaze
over Adrien again, only barely managed not to sneer.  But I can
see you re still using yours.
 Well, I m just about done. Come on in. Adrien turned away
from the door and walked across the room.  I ll just put some
clothes on and you can have it.
His words were perfectly pleasant, but even that goaded
Cristian. He said it so casually, like he just expected Cristian to
wait on him, and be happy to do so.
Cristian s hands curled at his sides. He glared at Adrien s back
so hard it seemed impossible he could ignore it. Rage boiled up
within him again.
It didn t help at all that the man looked like a fucking god.
They both had the same genetic code, they should have looked the
same, shouldn t they? But no, of course he looked like he d just
stepped off of some swimsuit calendar as he strode across the
room, tanned and golden and perfect. Cristian was fit and strong,
and he d never had reason to doubt himself, but Adrien made him
look like a rough draft. If Cristian spent every day for the rest of
his life lifting weights in a gym, maybe he d be that ripped.
Probably not. It was probably something inherent in him that
Cristian had missed out on. Fame and money and good looks all
flocked to him like it was the natural order of things. Cristian
worked to stay in shape, but Adrien made him look like a sloth in
When Adrien reached for the edge of his towel like he meant to
take it off right there, standing next to the bed with no concern at
all for the fact that Cristian was in the room with him, Cristian
groaned and threw up his hands.  For God s sake, is that
necessary? If he was forced to witness just how good Adrien
looked naked, he d lose it for sure.
Adrien turned to look at Cristian, his brows furrowing.
 Just because we share a genetic sequence doesn t mean there
shouldn t be boundaries.
Adrien s expression cleared, but it didn t become any happier.
He faced Cristian squarely, arms crossing over his incredibly well-
defined chest.  All right, let s get something straight here. How old
are you, anyway?
Cristian rocked back on his heels, startled by the question.
 How old are you? Adrien looked him over with a critical
gaze.  Twenty-four? Maybe? When Cristian didn t answer, he
continued on.  I was two years old when you were born. I don t
understand why it s such a problem for you, but whatever it is, it s
not my fault. So stop biting my head off every time I dare to be in
the same room as you. If you don t want me here, just say the
The temptation was nearly irresistible. The words rose up
within him like a tide. Yes, please, get out of here, just leave us
alone. But the anger rose in him, too, and it didn t want him to
leave. Not yet. Not until Cristian had had a chance to speak his
 You don t know why it s a problem? He slammed the door
closed and strode forward.  Of course, you wouldn t. You re not
the one who s spent his entire life living in a stranger s shadow.
You re not the one who s had to deal, every day of his life, with
people s faces lighting up when they see you, only to turn
crestfallen when you tell them the truth, because the person they
actually wanted was someone else. No, you wouldn t know
anything about that, would you? Everyone wants you, and I m sure
you had nannies and servants and who-knows-what waiting on you
since the day you were born. You can t even cook your own damn
bread, but you re living a life of luxury and ease because you ve
got a pretty face and a famous dad.
Cristian came toe-to-toe with him, glaring, so furious he shook.
 Well, I ve got both those things. I ve got exactly what you do,
and what has it gotten me? Twenty-four years of pinching pennies
just so I could buy this place, and then endless days of working my
ass off to keep it running. So go fuck yourself, asshole. You don t
know a damn thing about me or my problems.
Adrien s brows lowered. His jaw hardened.  You think so? he
asked, deadly soft.  Well, newsflash, Cristian. You don t know
anything about my life, either, and if you did, you wouldn t envy
it. Sure, I ve got money. I don t have to worry about keeping a roof
over my head. But I also can t step foot outside my door without a
dozen people shoving cameras in my face. Every move I make is
instantly on the Net for millions of people to scrutinize and
criticize. Have you ever had a stalker?
Cristian drew breath to answer, but Adrien kept right on talking
without waiting for a response.
 Because I have, and it s awful. You have a home and a
business and a place in this community, with people who like you
for exactly who you are. You have Felix, who loves you. I don t
have anyone. His hand clenched at his side.  Nobody loves me
like that. Nobody cares about me beyond how many millions they
sank into my last vid, or how I can advance their career. You ve
got a nice life here, Cristian, and you shouldn t be so quick to envy
 You re wrong, Cristian snarled, outrage twisting beneath his
breastbone.  I have to fight every day to get people to treat me like
I m any other person, and not you. I don t have a place here.
Everywhere I go, people are whispering about you. If they like me,
it s only because I look like you.
Adrien stared at him for a long moment, then laughed. He
shook his head.  You re completely wrong about that, and I know
it. I walked around this town yesterday, I saw it for myself.
Everywhere I went, people were friendly and warm and
welcoming, because they thought I was you. You have friends
here, and if you don t even realize that, then you re doing them a
Cristian snorted and started to turn away, but Adrien grabbed
his arm and wrenched him back.  I m serious. I don t know how
you can t see it. The girl at the bakery was very happy to see you,
you know. And trust me, it wasn t my pants Diego was wanting to
get into last night. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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