The Edge Of Heaven - E.M. Lindsey

Chapter 1

“Um. Sir?”

Julian startled, then looked up, his face going faintly hot at being caught reading a romance novel in the middle of his students’ final. The room should have been deathly silent in the wake of the test they were taking before winter break, and he was met with a pair of blue eyes that looked a bit concerned.

“Yes, Miss Williams?”

She cleared her throat, then her gaze flickered to the door twice, and he glanced over and fought back a heavy groan at the sight of half his sister’s face pressing to the thin, rectangular window. “Someone’s been knocking.”

“Fuck’s sake,” he muttered under his breath, and the front row of students snickered a little. Julian was usually good about paying attention, but he’d turned his hearing aids down since the room was meant to be quiet, and he had been just a little too engrossed in his current chapter. Pushing to his feet, he held up a finger. “I’m going to step out for a second. I will know if you attempt to cheat, and I will have you expelled.”

It was a lie—one all the teachers told the kids, and one all the kids knew was an empty threat. But he wouldn’t have survived teaching high school AP English for this many years if he didn’t know how to throw bullshit at the students who would easily and happily eat him alive.

He pushed the door open to see what she wanted, and he let out a startled gasp as his sister’s fingers curled in the front of his shirt, yanking him out. He heard the faint laughter of his students as the door slammed, and he yanked himself away from her claw-like nails, fixing her with a firm glower.

“So, are you trying to undermine what little authority I have left with these kids, or…”

“He’s getting married.”

Julian blinked at her, confused. “Okay? Could you use more than three and a half words, and at least try to make sense?”

“Bryce,” she said, but she kept the name gentle, like she knew it was still sharp and wounding.


His ex. His ex-husband. The ex-husband who had married him with a reluctant pre-nup, and then found something bigger and better down the genetic line by way of his first cousin with three extra million dollars in his trust fund. Ashton and Bryce had met at the family’s Fourth of July get together two years before in the Keys. Two weeks after he and Julian got home, he woke up to divorce papers Bryce had left on the kitchen table.

In reality, it hadn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, he’d spent the full week watching the pair of them gaze across buffet tables at each other, and find not quite surreptitious ways of casual touching. It was probably the salsa dance lessons that did it, really. Julian’s hearing loss caused vertigo and he always made an ass of himself when he tried to dance. So he gave his blessing for Ashton to take his husband’s hand and give him a few pointers. His mother had stared at him, disgust on her face the entire time, probably wondering why Julian sat back and did nothing.

But it was hard to care when you married someone simply because you spent your life feeling very…unmarriageable. And Bryce tripping and falling into Ashton’s arms—Ashton, who was younger, and better looking, who didn’t have a massive scar running from his lip to his nose—was just proof that he was right all along.

Losing Bryce had cut his pride far worse than it ever cut his heart.

“I wish the happy couple well,” he started, but Corinne was shaking her head, biting her lip. “Don’t. Don’t give me that look. I know why you’re here and I’m not going to the fucking wedding.”

“Mom’s going to pull Dad’s health card,” she warned him, and he knew he was powerless against it. His mother, Jacqueline, was ruthless when it came to using her husband, mostly because Julian had grown up far closer to his dad than his mom. Julian was four years old when his dad was taken down by a stroke. He came out of it blind and with limited use of his left arm, but he still managed to keep his law career going and raise the hell out of both of his kids while Jacqueline spent most of her time organizing charity events and shuffling Corinne and Julian off with the nanny.

Fredric Pedalino was a good man. And he was Julian’s Achilles’