Chapter Twenty-Six

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For some indescribable reason, I felt angered by Xavier's words.

"I don't have a story to tell." I turned abruptly and began to walk down the hallway, not sure where I was headed to, but I had had enough of standing in the middle of the staircase and pausing after every step. 

On the floor of the narrow hallway lay a long grey carpet that stretched all the way down the hall, and the walls were a light shade of beige and covered in almost every inch with various-sized frames containing family photos; some in black-and-white, and some tracing back to what looked like centuries-old original drawn portraits.

"Nora," Xavier called out for me, and I forced my feet to stop and plant me to the ground. I turned around to meet his gaze, and he stopped a foot away from me. "I thought you said we couldn't build a relationship without knowing the whole truth."

I did say that, and I bit my tongue for having done so. The ugly truth was that I couldn't ask Xavier to tell me everything about his life while keeping my own in the dark; if he trusted me enough to tell me his family secrets then I must have the courage to let him in on my past as well.

But I couldn't bring myself to do that.

"I did say that; and if there were any significant truths you needed to know, I would tell you them in every detail. But there's nothing worth knowing." I clenched my fist so tightly by my side, my nails dug deeply into my palm.

"We both know that's not true." Xavier's jaw clenched tightly, and I watched the muscle tick on the side of his face. "Why are you lying to me?"

My chest ached as I identified the pain in the tone of his voice, and I hated myself for being the cause of it. My eyes began to sting as I bit the inside of my cheek.

"I'm no-" I began to deny it but he cut me off sharply.

"What is it with the whole 'history repeating itself'?" He asked.

My heart took a sudden leap out of my chest, and it began to beat rapidly against my rib-cage that I felt it would break free at any second.

"What do you mean?" I whispered, feigning ignorance.

Xavier sighed frustratingly, his jaw once again ticking in annoyance. "I've heard your fights with Elliot, Nora. Don't take me for a fool."

My eyes began to burn more intensely as I fought against the tears, knowing I no longer had a way out.

Xavier noticed, and his eyes softened a bit. He stepped closer to me until my nose was almost touching his chest. Gently, his index finger traced down to under my chin and he tipped my head back so I could look up into his striking, determined, and promise-filled gaze. "You can trust me enough to reveal your past to me."

My heart clenched in my chest, my mind going over everything he had done for me and my friends so far. And the one thing he was asking for in return, I was struggling to provide. But he deserved the truth, at least that much I owed to him after the lengths he had gone to to protect my friends and I. So hesitantly, I nodded my head.

Xavier's eyes brightened gradually, and he took a step back. Turning towards the other side of the hallway, he motioned with his hand for me to head that way. We walked slowly as I felt my stomach clenching, my nervousness increasing the nausea and leaving my mouth dry. At the end of the hallway, we arrived at a wide double door. Xavier stepped forward and reached into his back-pocket, retrieving a golden key and inserting it into the lock. He turned it and we heard a light click as the door was unlocked and he pushed it open, gesturing for me to enter first.

The insides of the room took my breath away, as every other part of the house had. It was an office, only so dreamy with three walls entirely covered in bookshelves stretching from the wooden floors up to the high ceilings, filled with hundreds of books. Directly across from the door was a wide mahogany desk packed with papers and a laptop, and behind it - the fourth wall of the room - was a huge glass window that spread across the entire wall, and gave a marvelous view of the garden below.

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