Drawn to You: Volume 2

By: Vanessa Booke

The paparazzo Nicholas hit slowly stands and cautiously inches back from the two of us. He massages the side of his face as the skin beneath his eye starts to swell. The rest of his skin is inked in angry red blotches.

“You owe me a fucking camera!” he says, spitting right in front of us.

Nicholas turns with a scowl. “You wish, asshole. I’m not paying for shit.”

“Nick, let’s go.”

“Yeah, go home, rich boy. I can’t wait to sell these to US Weekly. I bet they’ll fetch big bucks.”

The look of pure satisfaction on the paparazzo’s face sends a rush of anger through me. What a dick. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised the StoneHaven family is still a main target for the press, though. After their brother, Alex, died, the paparazzi became vicious. There wasn’t a single press member that didn’t want to scoop a story about the death of the heir to a multi-billion dollar publishing company. I can’t count the number of articles I read on the subject. I wanted to burn down every newsstand that carried them.



“SO WHERE ARE we headed again?”

My roommate, Augie, looks over at me with an irritated expression on his face. He’s pissed because we’re late to a dorm party at NYU, and we’ve been driving around Manhattan trying to get a hold of my drunken brother.

“We’re looking for the Somerset Hotel.”

“Have I mentioned I’m going to kill Nicholas?”

“Take a number.” I laugh. “I’m pretty sure my father will handle that one for you.”

Augie rolls his eyes as he pulls a cigarette from the pocket of his T-shirt. He lights it up and hits the window before the puff of smoke can hit me in the face.

“Em, I was supposed to meet that sexy tuba player named Harvey. I think he was going to ask me out.”

He is never going to let me live this down. If Augie misses his chance with the sexy tuba player, he’s going to hate me for the rest of this school year. And that’s not something I want when I have to sleep in the room across from his.

“I promise you we’ll make it to the party. We just need to pick up my brother first.”

I shake my head in frustration as I hold my phone to my ear and re-play my brother’s voice message on my phone. Sis, I need you to pick me up. The habit of his is getting older by the second. Why didn’t he just call a private taxi? And why didn’t I just ignore his text. Any smarter, younger sibling would.

Damn, Nick. I love my brother but for once, I wish I could be the younger sibling in this situation. I should be out partying with my friends and getting drunk. Not him. Instead, we’re spending Saturday night speeding across Manhattan. Maybe, I’m just looking for an excuse to get out of this party. The only reason why I’m going tonight is that Augie and my best friend, Ceci, convinced me to. Apparently, I act way too old for my own good. At least that’s what they keep saying.

“I think I can see the hotel.” I point to the towering gold building down the street.

“Are you sure? It’s going to be a bitch trying to get over,” Augie says, pushing his way to the left side of the road. “And why the hell didn’t your brother just take a taxi? There’re dozens of them here.”

Ignoring Augie, I unlock my phone and tell my voice command to dial Nick’s number. To my dismay, his cell goes straight to voicemail. Fuck. We better not have driven all the way down here just to have him not be here.

“Nick, pick up your phone! I’m here. Call me back.”

I turn to Augie with a sorry expression.

“So you’re going to have to park, and I’ll run in to get my brother.”

“Just remember, Emily… Harvey.”

“I know, I know. I’ll flag you down when I get back.”

My dress flares as I speed-walk past the valet and head toward the front of the Somerset Hotel. A flash of cameras draws my attention toward TAP, the lush outside bar that frames the side of the hotel. There’s a crowd of men in suits hanging near the front watching the beautiful women as they trickle in and out of the bar. Not too far from them is a growing crowd of paparazzi. Perfect. I’ve almost gotten used to not having to deal with them, but they seem to hang around like vultures in this area of the city.

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