Chapter Twenty-Four

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The silence provided throughout the car ride was like a cool blanket that engulfed my body and diminished the raging flames, bringing me back to a moderate state where I felt like I could finally breathe without my chest aching in the process. I don't know how long we spent in that silence as Xavier drove calmly, but eventually I felt like I had to speak a word and break the stillness.

"Where are we going?" I croaked out, my voice coming out rough. I cleared my throat and turned from the window to face Xavier. He had one elbow resting on the arm-rest between our seats while he steered the wheel with his other hand. His facial expression was relaxed as he gazed down the road.

"Anywhere you'd like."

His response surprised me; I thought we were already headed somewhere, but according to his answer he must have been driving around aimlessly. My heart fluttered, appreciating his way of trying to subdue my anger and hurt, no matter how small the act was.

"I don't know anywhere in this state," I replied.

Xavier glanced over at me, reading my expression. "Do you like flowers?"

I blinked, taken aback by his random question. "Uh.. yeah, I do. Why?"

He turned back to the road, a faint of a smile on his lips as he took a turn. "Would you like to take a stroll through the garden at our estate?"

My face brightened at his words. "You have a garden?"

Xavier nodded in response, not hiding his smile anymore as he noticed my excitement. "It's my favorite place at home."

"I would love to see it." I smiled appreciatively.

"Then we shall go see it," Xavier grinned as he glanced at me once more.

As I finally turned to gaze outside the window, I noticed that we'd strolled far away from town. We were surrounded by great trees that rose so high above the ground they blocked the sun rays from shining down on the road.

"We appreciate our privacy, that's why we live a bit further away from town," Xavier explained.

We... I wondered who he meant by that. "Who do you live with?"

"My family."

I frowned, now confused. "Your siblings? I didn't know you had any."

He shook his head. "Not siblings. We're not blood-related."


Xavier glanced at me, and he must have caught on to my confused expression because he smiled slightly. "We are three leading families; the Kanuho's, the Tapaha's, and the Secatero's. Our families have been well acquainted since this country's first discovery."

My eyes widened. "I can't tell if you're exaggerating or not."

Xavier chuckled out loud. "I'm not."

My eyes widened further, if that were even possible. "Tell me more," I squeaked a bit too enthusiastically. Xavier's eyes widened in amusement as he glanced at me, and my cheeks instantly reddened. "That just sounds incredible. How is that even possible?"

Instead of replying, Xavier slowed the car down and when I glanced out the window, I was greeted by a wide golden gate that was gradually and gracefully opening automatically. My jaw involuntarily fell, and I gaped at the extravagance of what only appeared to be the front entrance to the estate. The estate. It looked like a place out of a fairy-tale, too breathtaking and extravagant and elegant and everything beautiful.

Xavier drove through the automatically opening gates, and we were once again surrounded by trees on both sides of the narrow road, only this time they were neatly trimmed and in the brightest shade of green, looking so earthy and alive. My voice had gotten stuck in my throat as I gazed at the beauty of the estate while Xavier drove slowly, clearly giving me time to take in every detail - although there were too many to take in at once.

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