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The Luna Choosing Game by Jane Above Story

Chapter 481
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Chapter 0481 Bridget watched me expectantly, waiting for an answer. An answer I was far too stunned to give.

Which brother did I love? Was there any way to answer that wouldn't implicate me? Veronica knew that my relationship with Julian was just for show, while my feelings leaned toward Nicholas. But neither Jessica nor Bridget did.

I supposed I should have lied and said julian, but with his feelings for Bridget in the mix, I wasn’t sure if that was the answer he would have wanted me to give her. And then there was Nicholas’s feelings to consider.

| was trapped. There was no way out of the question without revealing myself

or hurting someone else My hesitation only seemed to make Bridget more suspicious. Her brow lowered. Her frown deepened. Yet, just as she opened her mouth, presumably to speak, she was interrupted.

“Bridget, stop,” Nicholas said, voice firm and strong. “You've had too much to drink.” Softly, Jessica whispered, “I don’t like this game very much.” “It’s a simple question, Nicholas,” Bridget said.

“One you wouldn't have asked if you didn’t have so much wine,” Nicholas said. “You need to sleep this off. You'll be mortified in the morning, when you realize what you did here tonight.” Bridget crossed her arms, but since she

was still holding her glass of wine, she spilt some of it down along her side She immediately jumped. “Shit.” “You should go get some sleep,” Nicholas pressed.

Bridget dropped her drink down to the ground. “I don’t need sleep!” She was belligerent as she pushed herself up to her shaky legs. “I just need a little walk to help wake up, that’s all!” She turned from us and began walking in the opposite direction Julian had gone.

Nicholas sighed as he rubbed his forehead. He glanced at me. I looked back at him.

Veronica, perhaps noticing something between Nicholas and I, turned to Jessica and pulled her into a conversation.

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“The game isn’t always like this,” Veronica said. “One time when I was...” She went on.

“Piper...” Nicholas said with a sigh. I stopped listening to Veronica to focus on him. “I have something to ask you.” He was building to something important. My insides were twisted up.

He wasn’t going to ask me more about Bridget’s question, was he? Surely he already knew the answer? Did I need to explain my feelings to him once more? “Can you check on Julian?” Nicholas asked, and my thoughts came to a screeching halt. Nicholas sighed again.

His hands curled into fists. When he was sure Jessica wasn’t listening to him, he added, “I hate to ask this of

you. The thought of you and he alone...” His fists clenched tighter “You don’t have anything to worry about,” I told him. Sometimes Julian and I had tension between us, and perhaps in another life where I hadn’t been with Nicholas, perhaps Julian and I would have found each other instead.

But as it was, my heart was right here, sitting with this man beside me.

“1 know that, deep down. That’s why it has to be you. You're the only one he might actually talk to.” I watched him a moment longer, seeing the tension in his body, the tightness of his straightened shoulders, the way every muscle was clenched. It took everything he had to 2sk me to do this. He must truly care for his brother, despite their many

arguments and differences “PI speak with him,” 1 said. As moved to stand, I let my hand gently and subtly brush up the length of his arm. His eyes closed and he leaned into the touch. I hoped the motion was as reassuring as I meant it to be.

Then, I turned and followed the way julian had gone, down the length of the beach.

I found Julian in a more secluded part of the island, a beach separated from the rest by a rocky outcrop. He had fished some shells from the damp beach and was tossing them back into the ocean as far as he could.

with only the starlight to brighten the view, it was difficult to see back here.

sometimes a shimmer would highlight the crest of a wave. Even Julian was

only visible in hazy outlines.

He threw a shell and it plopped into the water. The sound was quickly swallowed by the crash of the ocean waves.

“Julian!” I called as I came nearer. I didn’t want to startle him.

He didn’t acknowledge me at all, just kept throwing the shells. He had a few more in his hand.

Bridget was the only person I knew who could render such a talkative man absolutely speechless. And I hated her for it. She always managed to dim his bright light. I wished he could see how unhealthy she was for him. Her very presence poisoned him.

[ walked to his side and silently watched as he threw the last of his

shells. Then, as we stood there, both staring out into the darkness, I said, “Do you want to talk about it?” “What's there to talk about?” Julian demanded. “The lie was me. She never loved me. She never will love me. I've always known that. It’s nothing new.” He laughed a little, self-deprecatingly, and I hated how broken it sounded.

«1t still hurt you to hear,” I said, because it was obvious, and avoiding saying it aloud was helping no one.

Julian was quiet for a while. Between the crashes of the waves on the sand, I heard him utter a tiny, “Yeah.” Then, he side-eyed me.

I didn’t return his gaze, but I could feel his eyes trace down over my face.

“Piper,” he said.

I finally turned to look at him. “Hm?” “Why couldn’t it have been me and you?” he said.

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Then, at once, he lifted his hands, cupped my face, and kissed me.

My brain short wired. I stood completely still, frozen in shock.

His touch was gentle. The kiss was soft, non-probing. He made no attempt to delve deeper. He simply let his lips rest against mine ina feather light touch.

My heart raced out of control. I felt shaky, like I might jump right out of my skin.

[ didn’t know what to do, what to

think. What did this mean? What did he want from me? But then, before I could pull myself together to have a reaction, the kiss was over. Julian pulled back. His hands fell away from my face.

He looked away from me, back to the ocean. I did the same. Like this, we were as we were before the kiss, yet something felt different, shifted. I felt as if I wasn’t standing on solid ground anymore.

“1'm sorry,” he said. “I shouldn’t have done that.” “No,” I agreed. What did the kiss mean? What would happen to our friendship? Was everything different now, or --? «We don’t have to ever talk about it

ever again,” Julian said.

“That might be for the best,” I said.

Yes, let me file the kiss into the back of my mind and never have to face what happened here today. That seemed the best way to save our friendship.

Tonight had been a wild night of alcohol and mistakes.

If Nicholas found out...

«'m sorry,” Julian said. “I overstepped. It will never happen again.” I nodded, not trusting my voice anymore.

Julian turned then and walked straight by me, back toward the mansion. He didn’t say another word.

He didn’t even look back. |