The Ultimate TreasureBy: Melody Anne
Book Five in the Lost Andersons Series
Lance Storm sat warily in a large armchair in a massive office feeling like a bug being analyzed while his father, Richard Storm, and his uncles, Joseph and George Anderson, sat before him, a look in their eyes not to be trusted.
“What do you think, boy?” Joseph asked, his voice thundering through the room.
Lance took another drink of his fine glass of Scotch as the words his family had been speaking for the past hour filtered through his brain. He wanted to agree with the men, but he knew there was a catch. When it came to his father and uncles there was always a catch. But, at this particular moment, they were holding the bait he so desperately wanted a large bite of.
Still, he sat silently, wondering if he had the strength to turn them down. By giving in to what they wanted, he was playing right into their hands. It was a difficult decision for him to make.
“We aren’t growing any younger,” George said, a frown appearing between his brows.
“I don’t understand why you want this. What’s in it for you?” Lance finally asked.
“We care about our family. We just want to help you and help Lexie,” Richard said.
“How is this helping me?” Lance asked.
All three men gazed at him with innocent expressions he didn’t at all trust.
“You’ve been lost. This will mean as much for you as it does for Lexie,” Joseph told him.
Lance really couldn’t think of a negative to the plan the old men had come up with. Then again, he’d never been one to back down when he was afraid. If anything, that only made him push that much harder.
“Let’s do it,” he said. He leaned back and grinned. The old men might have thought they’d gotten exactly what they wanted, but Lance would make sure he was the one who came out the victor.
The music pulsed through the room, the lights were muted, and bodies merged as Alexa Mills closed her eyes and let the beat take her away. It might have been minutes, or possibly hours, but soon she was bumped in the arm, and her sister, Savvy, was smiling at her before tugging on her hand to lead her to the quieter alcove where they had a table waiting and they could actually speak without shouting.
“When you decide to unwind, Lexie, you really let it all go,” Savvy said with a grin as she took a long pull of her water. Her sister’s skin was gleaming. Lexie wasn’t sure if her own flesh was covered in red spots or not. She was burning up from dancing for so long.
“This is my last night in the States with my favorite sister. I wanted it to be fun so you won’t forget me,” Lexie told her.
“You’re only going to be gone for a month. You promised,” Savvy said in a threatening way. “I will come and get you if you try to extend it any longer than that.”
“I can’t miss too much time away from my beautiful niece,” Lexie assured her.
“Good. ’Cause she might find another favorite auntie if you do,” Savvy teased.
“Ugh, since you and Ashton have gotten married you have become far too domesticated. You should be envious of this great adventure I’m going on, not sad that I won’t be stoking the home fires,” Lexie told her sister.
Savannah had spent a summer working for Ashton Storm, and the two of them might have had a bit of a rocky start, especially considering he’d had a fiancée when her sister had met him, but their love couldn’t be denied. They were perfect together — almost too perfect, actually. As much as Lexie was happy for her sister’s happiness, she had to admit, at least on some level, she felt a slight twinge of jealousy too.
Lexie assured herself she was too young, at twenty-seven, to be thinking those thoughts. She had plenty of time to live her adventures and see the world before she settled down. That was, if she settled down. Her father hadn’t been the best example of a loving man. She didn’t want to end up with someone like him, someone who would suck the life out of her instead of giving her wings to fly.
Now, she’d been funded to go to the Philippines to help children still suffering from a deadly typhoon several years ago. She wanted to go around the world and make a difference one step at a time. The grant she’d been given was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and she wasn’t giving it up for anything.
Even as a child, Lexie had known she wanted to make something more of her life and that meant helping others. She’d been abused by her father and abandoned by her mother, and she’d always had to lean heavily on her sister. She wanted to pay her sister’s love forward. Savvy had sacrificed so much so Lexie could have as normal of a childhood as possible. Now, more than ever, Lexie was determined to help other youth.