Home > Betrayed Love (The Montgomerys #3)

Betrayed Love (The Montgomerys #3)
Author: Brynne Asher

 

 

1

 

 

TRUTHS

 

 

Quinn

 

 

Perfection is ugly.

The expectation of perfection is downright vile.

I should know. Perfection has weighed on me for as long as I can remember.

It was ingrained in every crevice and suffocated every ounce of my being.

Private instructors were the norm. I was scheduled with more lessons than any child should have along with usual schoolwork. Heaven forbid, I wasn’t the most well-rounded daughter.

Arts and sports took care of that.

But honestly, I never knew anything different. My classmates might have attended the same elite private schools and were held to the same rigorous standards, but they were allowed to hang with friends, go to parties, and participate in the one true norm of our society—social media.

I was not normal.

I guess I can’t blame my parents. They were raised in a different time, in different cultures. Talk about overachievers. But doctors are overachievers by nature.

People come from far and wide seeking miracles from my parents, and as statistics go, they find them more often than not. My father is the most renowned neurosurgeon in the region and my mother is a pediatric cardiologist who fixes the most important organ in the tiniest of humans.

So miracles aren’t random or, quite frankly, miraculous.

They’re expected.

The norm.

You know … because of perfection.

My parents are just that good.

And because I’m theirs and started out in life the way I did, I had to work twice as hard to live up to their standards.

Doing it was a miracle in and of itself.

I beat every odd.

Defied every statistic.

Crushed every stereotype.

Valedictorian.

Yale.

Fluent in three languages.

I play the flute and piano by ear.

And during high school, I led my soccer team in scores more often than not.

I even studied a year abroad at Oxford to get my master’s.

You’d think Oxford would play into my level of perfectionism, but the doctors were not happy about that achievement. By the time they found out, I was already accepted, and there was nothing they could do to stop me. It was Oxford, for heaven’s sake. That program is as hard to get into as Yale was.

It took me until my senior year of college to figure out how to play the doctors to get what I wanted. They even managed to keep me under their thumb when I was an undergrad. They had their friends keep track of me. After my freshman year in the dorms, I even lived with them.

But there was no way they could put a stop to Oxford after I was accepted.

After all, the doctors’ pretentious friends were impressed. They weren’t the only ones. My professors at Yale were ecstatic.

I lived in Europe for a whole year.

It was the best year of my life.

I made friends with people my parents would never approve of. I went places my parents warned me about. If my parents found out about the things I did, they’d need one of their own miracles to recover.

It was the year I learned how to not be perfect.

I found me.

And do you know what?

It turns out I love the imperfect me.

I was riding the high of the best year of my life. But where there are highs, there are falls. Sometimes big ones. And mine was a steep plummet. An unexpected, stomach-dropping one—courtesy of the big, fat secret I recently discovered.

See, the same perfect doctors who pass out miracles on a daily basis, they’re also kidnappers.

This is a new development.

And since I’m the kidnappee, I’m still coming to terms with their new titles.

I guess that’s putting it mildly.

Their little secret shook me to the core.

I glance over at the box that holds all the truths that tore apart my life like a Texas tornado. It rides shotgun, like any good partner should. There was no way I would leave it behind. Nothing I own is as important as this box.

Since I lived with a tight rein growing up, my best friend was my live-in nanny, who was more like a grandmother.

Faye Barrett.

She started as merely the housekeeper who came in a couple days a week to maintain the mansion I grew up in. But soon after, they brought Faye on full-time to help raise me while my parents worked their long hours.

She was a constant in my life until cancer ripped her away from us.

But the thing is, Faye—sweet, kind, Godly Faye—was as deeply enmeshed in the lies as the doctors. She was as much of a kidnapper as they were.

In the end, I only learned the lies and secrets she and my parents wove like an intricate web of deceit because Faye was a packrat. I found the box after she died.

I should be equally angry with Faye. I’ve tried. I really have.

But it turns out being angry at the dead is harder than it seems.

All are complicated emotions I’m still working through.

My year in England was the only time I was truly independent. In demanding perfection, they made me a people pleaser.

It seems that’s a hard habit to break. Even when it comes to the doctors.

Or, the kidnappers.

I shouldn’t paint such a bleak picture of my life. They might be kidnappers, but they love me. Deeply.

But it’s the kind of love that stirs desperation and fear.

The kind that spirals out of control.

Now that certain secrets have turned into truths, I see how their love had an underlying anxiety so deep and so wide, it suffocated them.

In turn, it’s suffocating me too.

Which is why I’m about to move into the underground garage of my new home. Let’s just say the perfect doctors aren’t dealing well with life right now, but there’s nothing they can do about it.

I’m done being a people pleaser.

I’m done being perfect.

And I’m done living my life according to someone else’s wishes.

Who knew learning how to embrace life outside of the doctors would be the most important of all the lessons I learned at Oxford?

Imperfection. It’s my new goal in life, which is good because life just turned on its head.

I have a job that the doctors don’t approve of. It’s as basic as they come, part time, and not at all world changing. And since I was raised to be my best and make a difference, the doctors are less than pleased with my current employment choices.

I also have a whole other family I didn’t know about—one that certainly didn’t know about me. I not only have an aunt and an uncle and a slew of cousins, I have a brother.

Yes, after living my life as an only child, I have a brother.

Okay, so he’s a half-brother.

But I have a brother.

And since my new family was as surprised by my existence as I was of theirs, it’s been … an experience. It seems my new family has their own woven webs, just as complicated as mine.

These new life developments are a lot to get used to. I need space. So when I informed my new family of my plans to move out, my brother offered up his bougie downtown condo he hadn’t yet put on the market.

Not exactly digs I can afford on my part-time hourly wage as the office manager of a dance studio. I might have a trust fund the size of Texas, but using it right now feels as suffocating as living under my parents’ roof.

My brother, Easton “Trig” Barrett, offered and my new cousins insisted, saying it was a safe building with secure parking. Given what I went through last month, I’m down with secure and safe.

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