I am really pleased to be hosting Day 6 of Choc Lit’s Mother’s Day round-robin love story. Today’s contribution is written by Amanda James.
Seven Choc Lit authors have contributed to give you one exciting story. Each author has to continue the tale left by the previous author. They have no idea where the story will take them! Not an easy task but makes good reading for us all. Read Part One by Alison May on Chick Lit Reviews and News, Part Two by Laura E James on Jera’s Jamboree, Part Three by Henriette Gyland on Laura’s Little Book Blog. Part Four by Berni Stevens on Cosmochicklitan and Part Five by Beverley Eikli on Chick Lit Uncovered now!
The Grande reception was in full swing. Damien flashed smiles, kissed cheeks and shook hands, but all the while his heartbeat thumped in his ears, almost muting the chamber music and tinkling laughter. His head kept re-running his conversation with Ade and what he needed to do that evening to make amends.
How could his father have been so conniving? Not only had he offered Kelly money, but Ade later revealed that he’d also been behind Kelly’s rapid move to Prague. Ade had an answer to why she’d not answered Damien’s calls too. Kelly had been given a new phone – a token of the company’s appreciation. Damien’s number had been blocked – courtesy of Mr Grande senior. His dark eyes found Janine’s sharp green ones appraising him and she blew him a kiss across the room. Damn her! Apparently she was the one who’d told his father about he and Kelly, but how did she know?
At the back of the room after slipping in late, Kelly leaned against a pillar behind a conveniently tall man, to watch Damien work his magic on male and females alike. Despite her deep resentment of the man, she was no exception. As he ran his fingers through his hair, gave that lopsided sexy smile of his and leaned to whisper in some woman’s ear, a stab of pure jealousy twisted Kelly’s gut. He was looking at the woman as if she was the most important person in the world; exactly how he’d once looked at Kelly. All just an act of course, Kelly now realised. She drained her champagne glass and grabbed a full one from a waiter’s tray.
Janine tottered past on her skyscraper heels. Kelly shook her head, why ever had she trusted her? On her return from Prague, Janine had caught Kelly in tears in the ladies after she’d told Damien he was the father. Because Janine had been so warm and sympathetic, stupidly she’d spilled the beans. Once the news was out, all pretence at caring had vanished. Janine tossed her hair and snorted, ‘I guessed something was going on when I saw you leaving that party together. Well if you think he will stand by you, you’re delusional. Damien has slept with most of the women at work, including me. He makes a game of it.’
Kelly wondered at the time if it was a case of a woman scorned, but then Mr Grande senior had put paid to that idea. He’d arranged a meeting, confirmed what Janine had said and offered her money and sympathy. ‘You see, it is a delicate situation and my son wants to be removed from it. I’m sorry my dear, but Damien is a lady’s man, pure and simple ... and he makes mistakes.’
Mistakes! Kelly downed the champagne. How dare the old goat refer to Lucas as a mistake? As she looked for the waiter, she saw Damien making a beeline for her and her stomach flipped. She turned to escape, but there was nowhere to go. Then the heat of his hand on her back burned through her thin cocktail dress.
‘We need to talk ... about us,’ he whispered, sending tingles down her neck.
Hardly able to believe her ears she whirled round to face him, the champagne fuelling her anger, ‘Us? There is no us, ever since you washed your hands of me and our son!’
‘You hardly gave me a chance, just walked in after ignoring my calls and messages for months, said you were pregnant, that you wanted nothing from me and stormed out again.’ His voice was soft, his lovely eyes full of anguish. ‘But yesterday I found out why and ...’
Kelly took a deep breath. There was no way she was falling for this. ‘You tried to buy me off. That was low.’
‘That wasn’t me. My father set up the whole thing—’
Kelly held up her hands. ‘Oh please, give me some credit.’
‘But you have to listen—’
‘No, Damien. I don’t.’ Kelly pushed past him and walked out of the room with as much dignity as she could muster.
Read the final instalment by Margaret James on One More Page (Mother’s Day!)
About Amanda James:
Amanda James was born in Sheffield and now lives in Cornwall with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook! Amanda recently left her teaching role (teaching history to sixth form pupils) to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.
Amanda is a published author of short stories and her first novel with Choc Lit, A Stitch in Time was chosen as a Top Pickin RT Book Reviews magazine in the US in July 2013 and won a 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. Amanda’s Choc Lit novels include: A Stitch in Time and Somewhere Beyond the Sea (April 2014).
A big thank you to Amanda James and Choc lit for sharing a great story!