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Chance
Author:Deborah Bladon

"Don't go." He gestures towards the concrete stairs. "We need to talk about this. I need you to understand what he did."

"You know how hard it's been for him." I spit out the words. "What if he starts using again? He's been clean for almost six months. "

"I'm not responsible for his choices." He tugs at my elbow. "It's his own fault that he was arrested."

"He was arrested?" I turn so quickly on my heel that I have to reach for his arm to find my balance. "When was he arrested?"

"It was right before noon at the corporate office." His jaw tightens. "We didn't have a choice. He was out of control."

"No." I push against his hands but his grasp doesn't lessen at all. "You didn't do that to him. Tell me you didn't have your brother arrested."

"Technically I wasn't the one who made the call to the police," he points out. "My assistant did it."

"Don't do that." I stomp my foot against the concrete floor in exasperation. "Don't divert. Why would you do something like that? We're supposed to be helping him."

"I have gone out of my way to help him." His hand flexes as he grips the handrail. "I've done more for him than anyone else ever has."

The words bite through me. Caleb knows that I carry a burden of guilt with me. I wasn't there for Asher when he needed me in college. I'd turned my back on him at a time when he felt desperately alone. I've never forgiven myself for it.

"You had him arrested, Caleb." I push my finger into his hard chest. "How the hell is that helping him?"

"He was lashing out." He grabs my hand and holds it tightly in his. "I had to step in before he hurt himself or someone else."

"This is unbelievable." I feel my pulse race as I yank my hand free. "I can't believe you'd do this."

"Believe it." He turns towards the door of the stairwell. "He's in jail and this time he's going to have to figure it out on his own."





Chapter 2


"Does Gabriel know?" I follow Caleb's large frame back into his apartment. "Gabriel will know what to do."

"Gabriel is in Italy." His hands run over the lapels of his dark grey suit jacket as he turns to look at me. "He doesn't need to know about this. It's been handled. That’s final."

I lower myself into one of the chairs in Caleb's living room. The apartment he lives in is extravagant, yet tastefully decorated. Caleb flaunts his wealth. He's never been ashamed of the fact that his parents built a clothing empire from the ground up. They had handed the keys to their fashion kingdom to their three sons when they divorced. Gabriel, Caleb's older brother, had taken over much of the day-to-day duties. His head is always in the game, which explains why he's in Italy. Right now, it is fashion week in Milan and one of the designers they brought on board last year is making big waves.

Asher, Caleb's younger brother, couldn't shoulder the responsibility that came with being thrown into the position of Director of Sales before he even graduated from college. He was still reeling from his parents' divorce when he was forced to take on a corporate role he wasn't ready for. The luxuries and attention that came with the position were too much and he'd fallen into a life that was filled with reckless abandon. He was rarely lucid and would spend days locked in his apartment with women he'd pick up in clubs and the drugs they brought with them. Gabriel had been able to convince Asher to check himself into a rehab facility nine months ago. He'd come back refreshed, strong and determined to make both of his parents proud. Although Caleb and he didn't always agree on business dealings, they both have the same focus, which is building and expanding the brand their parents began.

"We have to tell Gabriel," I point out as I begin to tap out a text message to Gabriel Foster on my smartphone. "He'd want to know. He's so close to Asher."

I don't look up as I feel him approach me. I know the words have to sting him. Caleb's sole focus for much of his adult life has been the business. He'd watched his twenty-three-year old brother come apart at the seams and the only thing he seemed concerned about at the time was keeping it all away from the sharp eye of the media and the judgmental glances of the public. Keeping the Foster brand untarnished had been his main goal and it had splintered his relationship with his family whether he wants to admit it or not.