Home > The Tycoon’s Captured Heart (The Boarding School #5)(2)

The Tycoon’s Captured Heart (The Boarding School #5)(2)
Author: Elizabeth Lennox


Oh, goodness, she remembered the day that they’d all graduated and gone off to college. It had been the second worst day of her life, her parent’s funeral being the worst. But today ranked up higher than the day these five men had left her to go their own way.

Thankfully, the six of them, now ten with each of their wonderful wives, remained friends, coming together often to have a meal and catch up. Barely a month went by when several of them didn’t get together. It used to be just a meal at a hotel or restaurant. Now that there were so many of them, the arrangements were a bit more complicated, but they all still got together as often as they could.

What was going to happen now?

She glanced over at Grayson, finding him staring right back at her. She wasn’t sure what to think about that look.

And right now, she was too confused, too sad and hurt, to figure anything out.

“The other mourners will be here soon,” she finally said, the first words spoken since the burial.

All of them nodded. “The caterers have prepared food.” She took a deep breath and lifted her head. Looking into each man’s eyes, she smiled. “Let’s make this a celebration of his life and not…” her voice broke as she tried to speak and Grayson came over, putting his arm around her shoulders. Instantly, she felt better. “Let’s not make this sad,” she said even though her chin was still quivering. “Uncle Charles made a difference in so many peoples’ lives. We should celebrate everything he was – not dwell on the fact that he isn’t here any longer.”

The men nodded their heads and Livia, Stefan’s wife, stepped out of the room. She came back a moment later with a tray filled with champagne glasses and Scarlett smiled her thanks as each of them took a glass.

All of them stood in a circle, none exactly sure what to say. It was such a poignant loss and each of them experienced a deluge of emotions as they replayed memories of a man who had acted as a father to each of them, often more so than their actual blood relatives.

“To Uncle Charles,” Grayson finally said and lifted his glass into the air. A mummer of agreements chimed around the group and ten glasses lifted up in a sad celebration. “To Uncle Charles,” they all said, then sipped the cold, sparkling wine.

 

Two hours later, it was once again just the six of them. The men’s wives had all gone to their hotel rooms and Scarlett was looking around at the five men, laughing at all of the stories, their memories.

This had been good, she thought, feeling better. Uncle Charles had died several days ago, and the time between then and now had been filled with decisions and arrangements to make. Although the details had given her something else to concentrate on, before Uncle Charles died, she’d been by his side constantly, holding his hand. Now, talking about all of the wonderful times she and the others had shared with Uncle Charles, she felt better. The sadness was gone, replaced by a happiness that she’d been given so much time with the wonderful man.

For the first time in several weeks, she felt as if her heart was lifted. The sadness was gone. At least for now. She knew she’d have moments in the future, moments when she would miss him again, but for now, she could breathe easier. This was good. These men had helped, Grayson’s touch had helped, and talking had brought about a form of healing.

She smiled as she sipped her whiskey, impressed when the others slammed back their drinks and held their glass out for more. For a while now, there had been only laughter between them, sharing fond memories of the man who had been so much more than their headmaster. Scarlett was curled up at the end of the sofa, her shoes long gone and the tears a distant memory. At least for now.

“You doing okay?” Grayson asked softly. He was sitting beside her but they weren’t touching even though she’d like nothing better than to crawl onto his lap and lay her head on his shoulder. He wasn’t drinking as much as the others, but he could still slam them back.

“I’m okay,” she told him and was surprised that she really was. They’d all had months to get used to the reality of him dying, had slowly watched him lose the unbeatable battle with cancer and now, as they all sat around the living room, there was a sense of peace. A rightness in being together.

He took her hand, squeezing it slightly. It was a silent message that he was there for her.

A moment later, Malik stood up. “We need to go. Our wives will be wondering what’s happened to us.” He looked at Grayson. “Can you stay and take care of Scarlett?” he asked. The four other men stood, each of them looking at Grayson as well, as if they were trying to tell him something important.

“I’ll be here,” he said and stood up, keeping her hand in his. “For as long as she needs.”

The four others reached out and kissed Scarlett’s cheek, giving her their brotherly support. It was a wonderful feeling to know that these men were there for her. There was nothing they couldn’t do, she thought. They were all so powerful, so amazingly intelligent and wealthy. Each of them was a force, but put the five of them together and it was like a powerful coalition. No one messed with these men!

And she loved them all!

When the door closed on the last one, she turned to find Grayson collecting the glasses. His tie had long ago been tossed to the side, his jacket was probably over a chair somewhere which meant that she had an unfettered view of the tailored material stretching across the muscular expanse of Grayson’s shoulders. He was so well put together, she thought, still leaning against the door.

Grayson felt her eyes on him and looked across the living room to where she was standing, leaning against the front door. “What?” he asked, amusement in his eyes.

Scarlett sighed, wishing she had the courage to just tell him how much she wanted him to take her into his arms and make love to her. She shivered, thinking how he could touch her gently and her mind turned to mush.

Unfortunately, he was probably dating someone again.

She laughed at that, looking up at the ceiling, thinking of how ridiculous that thought was. Grayson didn’t “date”. He had mistresses. He had them tucked into apartments wherever he needed them.

“What’s so amusing?” he asked as he carried the glasses to her kitchen. The room had clean lines and pretty colors, reflecting the owner’s preferences. As an interior designer, Grayson knew that Scarlett tried very hard to make sure that the rooms reflected the owner’s preferences. He should know. He’d bought many properties and allowed Scarlett the freedom to create. In every instance, she’d done an outstanding job. Most of her projects appeared in the decorating or home magazines and her business had grown exponentially in just the short amount of time that she’d been on her own.

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