he’s survived tragedies that would break men twice his age. And he owes it all to his father’s closest friend, Giovanni Spontagio, who took him in as an orphaned teenager. Pietro would give his life for Giovanni . . . but his heart belongs to Giovanni’s daughter.
become a prima ballerina, she escapes her father’s protective gaze long enough to audition for the ballet in New York City. Soon, however, Lucy realizes that she is not alone. Pietro is watching her back. And though he’s like a brother to her, Lucy cannot deny the thrill she feels knowing his eyes are on her.
“Here we are,” Bella sings out, pulling up in front of my place. “Call me later, okay?”
I lean over and kiss her cheek, then jump out of the car.
“Thanks for this, Bell. For making me go. I think I needed it.”
“That’s what I’m here for. I’ll accept Versace and diamonds when you’re a famous ballerina,” she says, winking at me. I laugh and wave at her as she drives off, waiting until her car rounds the corner before I buzz the security gate. The cameras zoom in on me, and I wave. A few seconds later, the gates swing open and I begin the trek across the grounds to the house.
I sneak inside, carefully closing the door behind me. I’m not ready to face my father just yet, though with all the cameras around the place he will know I’m home. I’m the world’s worst liar, and I know as soon as he starts grilling me about my day, I’m sure to crack. I slink upstairs and down the hall until I reach the safety of my room. Closing the door behind me, I sigh, the full impact of the day finally hitting me.
I’m exhausted, but too buzzed to rest. I lie down on my bed anyway. My mind is running a million miles an hour, and though I try to block them out, thoughts of getting accepted keep creeping into my head. I don’t want to dream, because if I keep my head grounded I can’t be disappointed—but what if I actually got in? A shiver races through my body. I want this so badly. I’d do anything for this opportunity.
Mom would be so proud of me for going today.
I wipe tears from my eyes, and think about Mom. Thinking about dancing always leads back to Mom. Before she died, she was my number one supporter. She made me believe I was capable of anything. When she died, a part of me died along with her.
Fifteen years ago today, she left us. I was six years old. She’d been sick for over a year before ovarian cancer finally took her. I treasured every day with her, because even at such a young age I knew what death meant. I’d never see her again.
If only she were here now, things would make so much more sense. I think about what she would tell me if she knew what I’d just done, and I smile. I know exactly what she’d say.
Follow your dreams, Lucy. Never let them out of your sight and take down anyone who tries to crush them.
Yeah. Mom was passionate when it came to protecting those she loved.
USA Today bestselling author who lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia, with
her husband and her confused pets (a dog who thinks that she is a cat, a cat
who thinks he is a dog . . . you get the picture). When she’s not writing, she
can usually be found looking for something to read.