The Heir and the Spare (Untitled #1) - Emily Albright Page 0,1

your father doesn’t even know about. It’s time you know who I was and discover who you really are. I’ve designed a series of quests for you to complete. You need to understand why I chose the path I did. And to know your options, before you, too, must choose. Bear with me, it’ll be worth it in the end, I promise.

Task one: graduate high school and gain acceptance to my alma mater, Oxford. Another letter will find its way to you there.

How will it find me?

I sighed, refolded it, and carefully tied the letters back together before slipping them into my desk drawer.

I went to my trunk and popped it open. On top of the books, shoes, and favorite munchies from home, sat a wrapped photo. Inside, I knew I’d find the picture of my parents the day they graduated from Oxford. It was my favorite. They looked so young and happy.

Picking it up, I pulled the edge of its pillowcase wrapper back. I stopped when I saw the corner of a plain white envelope peeking out from behind the frame.

Here it is.

Tearing off the protective layer, I sat the photo on my desk, and looked at the letter left in my hands.

What did she have in store for me next? And why was I suddenly so nervous?

“Hi. You must be new,” a voice chirped from my open doorway.

I turned, facing a girl with long blond hair who looked like she’d just come from riding at her country estate.

“I'm Suzy Rees,” she said and smiled.

“Evangeline Gray.” I tossed the letter on the desk and went to shake her hand.

The first thing I noticed was her height. Or lack of. She was tiny. Granted, I considered myself quite tall at five-eight. But she looked like she was barely squeaking in at five feet.

“Evangeline, that’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?” Her accent curled around the syllables of my name. “Do you have a nickname?”

“Everyone calls me Evie.” I glanced at the snarled ponytail of strawberry curls draped over my shoulder and envied her smooth golden perfection. “Are you on this floor?”

“I am, just a few doors down. Caroline’s your neighbor.” She pointed to the wall behind the wardrobe. “She’s fabulous; you’ll love her. She’s on a date at the moment, but you’ll meet her soon, I’m sure.”

“Great.” I smiled as she sat on the couch.

Suzy gave me a quick once-over and arched an eyebrow. “You should meet the rest of the gang.”

“The gang?”

The corner of her mouth turned up. “My group of friends. There’s Caroline.” She pointed back toward the wall. “And Marissa, Preston, and Edmund. They’re really top drawer. You’ll love them.”

“I hope I get to meet them.”

“You will,” she said with a grin. “I should probably go finish unpacking, but I’m absolutely famished. Want to grab a bite to eat?”

“Love to.” I grabbed my sweater and followed her. Closing my door, I bit my lip and stole a glance at the unopened letter.

“So, are you a first year?” Suzy asked as we walked down the hall.

I scrunched my nose. “Yes and no. I did a year in Seattle, but Oxford won’t let me transfer my credits. So, technically, yes, I’m a first year.”

“What made you come all the way to Oxford?”

“My mom. She went here.”

“She must be very proud of you.”

“Thanks.” I smiled. I didn’t know her well enough to delve into my tragic little family history. “So, what’s your major?”


“Math? Really? I had you pegged for an English major.”

She curled her long blond hair around a thin finger and laughed. “I get that a lot. Mathematics has always just come naturally to me, I don’t know why.”

“You’re lucky, it definitely doesn’t for me. I wish it did.”

We stepped into the dining hall. Shiny wood floors and huge windows looking out onto the campus greeted us. Scattered around the room were long tables filled with students. Above us dark wood chandeliers hung from the ceiling.

Suzy and I grabbed trays and got in line. With a plate of spaghetti, I followed as she wove her way to a table by a window.

“What are you studying?” She glanced up as she popped open a can of Coke.

“Art history.”

“Oh, you’ll get along great with Edmund then. He’s studying history and loves old artifacts and all that crap. Math I get, history, not so much. It’s all so boring.”

“Really? I love learning about the people who came before us. I find it fascinating.” I laughed. “It’s a good thing it takes all kinds."