Title: Bittersweet Truth
Series: The Patricians Series
Antoine St. Vincent is a lot of things – a clown, an hedonist, a party boy, the heir of the St.Vincent family fortune. At least that’s what the world labels him. But he sees himself differently – as a fraud, a coward, a liar hiding who he is in the fear of losing his parents’ money. But he’s content to pretend what he’s not in order to keep his more than luxurious lifestyle.
That is, until he meets Grayson Clay. Grayson, the openly gay artist who is not only supremely hot and extremely talented, but who also makes Antoine feel things he didn’t know he could feel. A man who shows him how to be happy, how to love and be loved for who he is rather than what he presents.
Now is the time for Antoine to decide what matters the most: the legacy or his heart? Money or love? The freedom of the truth or the prison of the lie?
Truth is the ultimate price of love… Will Antoine be willing to pay it?
This is Antoine’s novella – set in The Patricians world.
Whilst it can be read as a standalone reading the whole series will help with the other characters which appear in the novella.
Note this is a MM romance – with some MM intercourses.
Today had been a shitty day. I had to go visit Grand Mere in Neuilly. I had to listen to her go on endlessly about my mandatory attendance to the Debutante ball in the Spring to choose a conventional spouse. I was only twenty, but I was not dating enough; people talked and my grandmother wanted to shut them up.
‘Gays are abominations meant to populate hell,’ she had spat one day when one of the aristocrats close to our family had revealed his homosexuality. If anybody in my family was such a creature, they would be cut off from everything.
I sighed again at the memory. That was the issue wasn’t it? I was what she hated the most and ironically, I was her favorite grandson. I looked around my thousand square feet, state of the art apartment in one of the most prized neighborhoods of Paris. The problem was I liked the money too much. I liked the easy life and nothing had yet come to trump that – even though keeping my secret was slowly killing me inside.
I sat on the windowsill of my third floor two-bedroom apartment on Boulevard St. Germain and looked at the busy Parisian street illuminated by tens of different colors. The cheerful Christmas lights almost managed to make you forget about the grayness of Paris in winter.
I sighed, letting my eyes wander, following a woman with a red coat. She pulled a reluctant child down the street, trying to dodge the people with their arms full of their Christmas shopping.
I shook my head. That was the masochist part of Christmas, whether here in France or back in the US. I’m sure Tay was experiencing the same in England. People always waited until the last few weeks to do their shopping. Me? I did my shopping online because contrary to popular belief, I’d never been a fan of crowds.
As I took a sip of my Midnight Mint hot chocolate, my phone rang to the familiar tone of ‘Shake it off’, the ringtone assigned to Taylor Oppenheimer, my best friend, my person, my soulmate in so many ways. The girl who did everything to help me, including faking a relationship with me.
I smiled. “Lover.”
“Are you drunk?”
I chuckled, “Not yet, no, but the night’s still young, and I got double the dose of crème de menthe in my hot chocolate, so…one can hope.”
“Long day?” she asked and the concern in her voice was clear.
I rested my head against the wall and closed my eyes.
“Yeah. The exams were harder than anticipated and I’m just tired.”
“Okay.” I knew she didn’t believe me, but she knew me well enough to know when she needed to quit. “I’m returning your missed call. Also, who does that? Cold call people? We text man! We’re not fifty.”
I chuckled. “I missed your voice.” I said it as a joke, but it was true. I knew a lot of people here. Actually, I was rarely alone, but I sometimes felt very lonely, terribly so. Taylor was one of the only people who saw past most of my walls, and it made her so unique, so important to me. I loved her truly.
“What do you need?” she asked as I heard her bounce on a bed.
“Now that exams and classes are done, I was wondering when you’re planning on flying home, so I can take the same flight. Heathrow, right? So we can suffer traveling like paupers together.”
She chuckled. “You know that travelling first class is not pauper, right?”
I rolled my eyes. “But it’s not a long-haul private jet either, is it?”
“I’m going back on the twenty-third. I’ve got an internship.”
“Oh, Do you? Is this internship called ‘avoiding Archibald Forbes’?”
She was silent for so long on the other end of the line that I would have thought she’d hung up if it wasn’t for the soft music in the background.
I took another sip of my now luke-warm chocolate and looked out of the window again. A couple exited the Brasserie across the street, hand in hand.
“It’s been two years, Tay. You’ll have to face him one day.”
“I have an internship,” she replied stubbornly, but I knew better. She had managed to dodge returning to Stonewood for the past two years. She’d convinced her family to come spend the holidays with her the year before, and subsequently, she’d spent the summer with them on a rented yacht touring the Greek Island.
“You’re full of shit.”
She snorted. “Look who’s talking.”
I nodded. “Touché.”
“I didn’t mean that,” she corrected almost immediately. “You do what you need to do, A. I’ll love you always.”
“I know, babe, likewise.”
She yawned and I smiled tenderly. I could picture her balled up on her king size bed, listening to some cheesy music like Redhead sheeran. “Speak to you soon, lovely. Thanks for calling back.”
“Anytime.” She yawned again. “Love you.”
“Love you too,” I replied softly, but the line was already dead.
I spent the next couple of hours looking for flights home, but knowing that Tay would not be coming back with me left me unmotivated to really try. I’d seen my friends recently anyway. Caleb and Esme had stayed with me a few days during the Thanksgiving Break as Caleb had wanted to show her Paris. Archibald had come with, albeit really sullenly because every time he came, he failed to see Taylor .
I sighed again, looking around my empty apartment. The silence and loneliness of the place was deafening…overbearing.
Was this what my life was bound to become?
“Fuck that shit!” I muttered, changing from my PJs to a pair of skinny jeans, tight shirt, and leather jacket.
Tonight I wouldn’t wallow in self pity. No, tonight I was going out, drinking, and fucking in that order.
And tomorrow? I couldn’t care less about tomorrow.