I have a surprise announcement for you all and I know it's way too early to release this and I don't have a date set for it yet but I'm so excited and utterly in love with the cover that I have to share.
I know quite a few of you loved Carrie and David and Aaron and Heather from Billionaire Brothers. I loved them too and finishing up book 7 which I said would probably be the last book was really difficult for me. I've spent so much time with the characters they're more like family to me.
The series will continue and the next book will be a Carrie and David book. I'm going to change it up slightly in regards to the titles etc and while this will be book 8 in the Billionaire Brothers, it'll have a subtitle of The Sovereign Club.
Precious: The Sovereign Club, Billionaire Brothers 8. What do you think of the cover? Are you as excited as I am?
Monday, 14 July 2014
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Adored by the Billionaire 5
Sitting in the hall, Paige huddled in against the coat Reynolds had given her and sipped on the steaming coffee in the plastic cup. It was supposed to have a taste, some kind of sickly sweet latte concoction. But right now, as she swilled the lukewarm liquid around in her mouth, it didn’t have a taste. Nothing had taste.
The latte wasn’t something she’d have chosen for herself, if she’d been given the choice but still she cradled it against her hands and sipped at it. The heat the cup held gave her fingers a sort of superficial heat, it was better than nothing and it helped to camouflage the numbness that had invaded all of her senses.
As long as she continued to stare down at the cup she didn’t have to meet the curious and probing stares of the other officers milling in and out of the apartment.
The sound of her name was almost startling and for a moment Paige allowed herself to be utterly lost in the pain and confusion she felt. Only he would call her name like that.
His name was the only word on her lips, it was the only word that mattered.
“Paige, is there anyone I can call to come and get you?” Detective Reynolds kept his voice low.
To Paige’s numbed mind it sounded as though he were addressing a child and it irritated her. She wasn’t a child and she didn’t need to be treated with kid gloves.
If she could just find the energy to get angry then she could fight the fog that had descended over her.
If she could just do that, then perhaps they’d take note of her, start answering some of her questions. She needed to know why they had taken Will, she needed to know what they were thinking and how they could have gotten everything so wrong?
“I don’t understand…” Paige started to speak, her voice betraying just how confused she really was.
“I know this is difficult but you need to move past Will. You need to forget about him and…”
Paige stood suddenly, clutching the coat around her shoulders in an attempt to stop it from slipping down her arms and exposing her body.
“Are you crazy? You expect me to just walk away from the man I love, that I could just walk away from him?”
“You don’t understand, Paige… He’s not a good man, he used you and the things he allowed Christopher to do to those poor women.” Reynolds shook his head and the movement made Paige want to lash out and slap him. Her hand tingled at the thought of just doing it and it took all of her strength to keep her hand down at her side.
“It’s not true, Will would never hurt those women, he helped save them. He stopped Christopher when none of the rest of you could.”
“And did you ever think why it was so easy for Will to get close to Christopher when no one else could? Did you never find it suspicious that Will knew about Freedom Island, that he could land there without issue?”
“Without issue?” Paige moved away from Reynolds, her tone filled with derision.
“You’re just like all the other cops, jumping to conclusions when you have no idea what you’re talking about.
“There were issues… There was a whole mess of issues and a high price was paid for that victory against Christopher.”
Paige started for the stairs and Reynolds moved after her. His hand wrapped around her upper arm and Paige struggled to shake him free but he refused to release her.
“What price was paid, Paige?”
“Let me go, Reynolds, I don’t owe you this.”
He tried to hold onto Paige’s arm but she twisted from his grip and started down the stairs. There was only one thought in her mind, only one person she could turn to in this situation.
Paige paused outside the apartment building, her stomach in knots as she stared up at the darkened windows. There was only one person who would understand what had happened at Freedom Island, only one person that she could turn to and ask for help. Of course if he wanted he could simply close the door in her face.
Paige started up to the door and pushed it open.
The stark and empty downstairs lobby was lit with an ugly yellow light and it cast everything with a sickly yellow glow. Paint had peeled from the walls, leaving entire patches of dry wall exposed. And as her eyes adjusted to the cruel lighting she could see the cobwebs that crowded the corners. It was as though the very building itself was sick and the lighting was only emphasising the issue.
Everything about the place made Paige want to simply get away from it.
She climbed the stairs, her feet feeling like lead weights as each stair squeaked in protest. Each step she took seemed harder than the one before.
There had to be a reason why the cops had come from Will but Paige had no idea why. Every time she’d asked Reynolds he’d ignored the question or rapidly changed the subject. Whatever the new evidence was, it had to be particularly damning and that frightened Paige. She had no doubt about Will’s innocence, someone had to be setting him up. But whoever it was, clearly knew what they were doing and how was Paige supposed to fight that?
She paused outside the apartment door, her hand raised and poised to knock. If he turned her away there was no one left. Anders couldn’t be trusted and part of Paige had already considered the possibility that Anders was in fact the one behind the the set-up.
If it was Anders then Paige knew it was just going to be a matter of time before he came for her. If he killed her then there was only one other who knew the truth about Freedom Island.
Paige knocked, her heartbeat echoing in her ears making her light headed as she waited for him to come to the door.
Aidan pulled the door open, his eyes alert despite the fact that he had obviously been in bed. His sandy brown hair had grown out from the severe army cut he had opted for when he had gone to Freedom Island. But that wasn’t the only change Paige noticed in him.
The haunted and rage filled look that had lurked beneath the surface of his eyes on Freedom Island was now gone. Something had erased it from him and it made him look younger. Vulnerable even.
There was only one thing on this earth that could do that and Paige knew it only too well.
To love was to leave yourself open, vulnerable. Loving Will had meant giving him the power to destroy her and it was something she had given willing, something she would do over and over.
Aidan had that exact same look and there was only one woman who could have changed him so completely.
He leaned against the half opened door and Paige caught sight of the gun he held in his hand. For a moment it surprised her and her heart raced within her chest and then it was gone. It was just like Aidan, something had changed in him but it seemed he still had his old habits.
“Hi, Aidan…” Paige shuffled outside the door, suddenly unsure of what she needed to say to him. How could she explain everything? It was all one giant jumbled mess.
“Paige? What are you doing here, where’s Will?” Aidan leaned out, his eyes scanning the hall.
Once his gaze returned to Paige’s she felt her eyes fill with tears and she struggled to hold them at bay.
“They’ve arrested him, Aidan. They’ve accused him of working with Christopher on Freedom Island and they’ve arrested him.”
Aidan’s mouth dropped open, his shock was genuine and it all suddenly became too much for Paige. The weight of the situation crushed in on her and she found herself crumpling to the floor as panicked sobs escaped her.
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Allow me to introduce you all to the wonderful Riley Reynolds, Stuart's older brother and the woman he just can't get out of his head, Holly. This is the first sneak peek at Chapter One of Breaker's Point Beau.
Gripping the picture in his hands, Riley’s heart constricted in his chest at the mere sight of the glossy photograph he’d slid from the large brown envelope.
Spying on her like this wasn’t right, it didn’t feel right to be intruding in a way that wasn’t like him at all. He’d never been the type to butt in where he wasn’t wanted and Holly had made it more than clear that she didn’t want him involved in her business.
But how could he ignore it?
How could he ignore the look of terror she wore in the picture he held?
His breath caught in his chest as he remembered the kiss they had shared that night… The night before it had all gone to hell.
He’d made a mistake and it was high time he set it all straight, that was if she’d allow him.
A quiet knock on the heavy oak door of his office had Riley quickly pushing the picture back into the envelope and sliding it beneath the heaped and colourful cardboard folders that sat atop the polished surface of the heavy desk.
“Come in,” he said, leaning back into his leather winged chair.
The door slammed open, the weight of it carrying it back until it smacked into the wall plaster with a resounding crack.
Holly McCombe strode into the room, her blonde hair streaming out behind her as her grey eyes snapped with anger.
“Who the hell do you think you are, Riley Reynolds? How dare you interfere, I told you, I didn’t want you involved!”
Riley lifted his hands in mock surrender as he struggled to keep his emotions in check.
It was one thing to see Holly in a photograph, it was something else entirely to see her in reality.
As far as Riley was concerned she was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. Of course it was too late now to be having revelations about how stunning she was. He’d screwed it all up a long time ago.
“And I’ve done exactly as you asked, I haven’t interfered.”
“Don’t lie,” Holly hissed, the words struggling to escape from between gritted teeth as she slammed her hands down onto the table and stared him squarely in the eye.
“I’m not stupid, Riley, and I know it was one of your men up there taking photographs…”
Riley shook his head and smiled, a wide smile designed to disarm the situation.
And perhaps with any woman other than Holly it might have worked. But Holly was different.
“I want the pictures, Riley, and I want them now.”
“Holly, you’re mistaken, I haven’t interfered. You told me you could handle this and I’ve left you alone to do just that.”
Something in her face shift, a sudden flicker of uncertainty in her eyes that hadn’t been there before and Riley nearly surrendered the photographs to her then and there.
If there was one thing he had learned since they had broken up, it was that he would do anything to try and help ease her fear and concern.
“If it wasn’t you, then that means it was…”
Holly cut off, her voice choked.
Riley stood and moved around the desk, catching her in his arms as she slumped against him.
The feel of her body so close to his sent his heart thudding in his chest and Riley felt his mouth going dry.
Being this close to her was a bad idea… It made him think of all the things he longed to do… Spin her in his arms and crush her rich and luscious curves against his chest, taste the sweet nectar of her lips…
Riley shook the image from his mind and guided her to the couch in the corner of the office.
Her face was pale and as he crouched down in front of her, he noticed the first tear track down across the apple of her cheek.
“Don’t cry, Holly, please…”
“I was so sure it was you, at least if you’d been the one to take the picture then I wouldn’t have to worry. But if it wasn’t you then… Oh God.”
Riley watched as she buried her face in her hands and started to sob.
“Holly, why won’t you let me help?”
“Because if you’re involved, I’m afraid of what he’ll do.”
“Is Marcus really that bad?”
Riley already knew the answer to that question. The look of terror on Holly’s face in the photograph as Marcus held her by the arm was enough to convince him of that.
She paused and stared up at him, the look in her eyes filling Riley with a hope he’d never dared admit even to himself.
“Holly, leaving you was a mistake, one I’ve regretted every day since I allowed myself to be persuaded to make it…”
She shook her head, her grey eyes a stormy mass of emotions that Riley felt mirrored within himself.
“Don’t say it… If you say it, Riley, it can’t ever be taken back. And I’m not sure what would happen if you said it.”
She leaned into him and pressed her fingers to his lips, effectively silencing him. Riley froze, the touch of her soft fingers against his lips made him want to throw caution to the wind.
“I have to marry Marcus, you and I both know that he’ll kill those I love, the ones I hold most dear if I don’t… He’d kill you…” Holly’s voice broke off but she didn’t shed any tears, despite the fact that Riley could see them trembling along her lashes.
“I have to go…”
She pushed away from him and up onto her feet.
Riley fought the urge to grab her hand, to confess to her that he had been the one keeping track of her. But she wouldn’t understand, she would see it as a betrayal and Riley couldn’t look at it that way.
As far as he was concerned if he could gather enough evidence against Marcus Stark, then Holly could be done with him.
Instead he remained on his knee next to the couch as he watched her leave, the ghost of her touch still tingling against his lips.
Sunday, 25 May 2014
If you enjoyed Billionaire Brothers, you're going to love the men of Breaker's Point!
When Stuart Reynolds arrives in Breaker's Point he hopes a new job will be the fresh start he needs to clear his head of the girl he left behind. What he doesn't expect is for the fiery, wickedly curvy waitress in the diner to accuse him of being someone he's not.
Ellie Blair's life has gone from bad to worse and when she meets Stuart for the first time, she assumes he's working for Grey Mattheson, the man who has made her life a living hell.
When Stuart's new job forces him into working with Grey, he's drawn into a web of deceit and corruption that only Ellie can help him untangle.
With everything beginning to crumble around Ellie, she quickly realises the only man she can trust is Stuart.
But can Stuart put the past where it belongs and take the chance Ellie offers him? Or will Grey just be one step ahead and tear them both apart?
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Breaker's Point Rogue
Staring down into the black pot of bubbling coffee, Ellie shoved a strand of hair back behind her ear. The day had been utterly normal until he had made an appearance. Dark hair that begged for Ellie to run her fingers through and his deep brown eyes. God, his eyes were amazing. He was just the type of guy Ellie had sworn she would stay away from.
Ellie sighed and slammed the pot back down on the kitchen counter, coffee sloshing up around the glass jug. He looked like one of Grey’s men, he had that look that security guys had and Ellie had seen her fair share of security men in Breaker’s Point. The fact that the town was a haven for the rich and famous made it impossible not to recognise security. And he had the look of a man who would be very good at protecting people…
“He’s an ass!”
Kelly’s voice rang out as she slammed the kitchen door open and dropped an empty plate down onto the counter next to Ellie making her jump.
“He clearly doesn’t know a good thing when he sees it.”
Her voice was filled with bitterness as she twirled her fingers up into her blonde hair.
“Kept asking after you. Wanted to know if you were alright… Maybe he’s one of them weirdos we get from time to time.”
“Why would that make him a weirdo?”
Ellie couldn’t help but bristle at Kelly’s words. They weren’t friends and Kelly seemed to enjoy sticking the knife in whenever she could.
“Because he kept on asking after you and staring at the kitchen. I’m just thinking of you, Ellie, you don’t want someone like that in your life…”
Kelly smiled but the emotion never made it to her eyes and Ellie knew it was just another attempt to make her feel bad.
“And anyway, I heard you accusing him of working for Grey, what’s the deal?”
Kelly’s smile faded and was replaced with a look of concern.
“It’s nothing, I was mistaken.” Ellie attempted to brush over it, the last thing she needed was Kelly poking her nose in and making it worse.
“But why would it matter? I didn’t think Tony had banned any of Grey’s boys from coming into the diner and they way you were behaving kind of gave the impression that they weren’t welcome here…”
“Really, Kelly, it’s nothing. It was a misunderstanding… I have customers I need to serve.”
Ellie snatched up the coffee jug once more and started for the door but as she pressed her hand against the white plastic veneer she paused, her mind instantly conjuring an image of the guy she had yelled at in the booth.
“He left, you can relax.”
Kelly leaned in over her shoulder, her words filling Ellie with a disappointment that took her by surprise.
Without a word Ellie pushed out through the door and into the diner beyond. Immediately her gaze drifted to the booth where he had sat but it was empty.
Get a grip, Ellie. Inwardly she scolded herself. You’re in enough trouble as it is without hankering after some guy you just laid eyes on. No way would he be interested in you like that anyway!
Ellie fought to keep her tears at bay, sometimes she couldn’t help but think she was too hard on herself. She caught sight of her reflection in the mirror wall that extended along the back wall of the diner and immediately turned away.
Her mom had always told her she had such a pretty face… It was just a shame about the rest of her. That was before it had all gone so wrong, a time when her mother could say things to her… When she could say anything at all.
No, she wasn’t being too hard on herself it was nothing more than she deserved. Guys weren’t interested in the fat girl with a pretty face, they wanted the perfect package and Ellie just wasn’t it.
Mentally she shook herself and plastered a smile across her lips as she moved away from the counter and began filling coffee cups as she went. Perhaps there would come a day when she didn’t care what others thought of her, for now she would simply have to fake it.
Ellie grabbed her handbag and flicked off the lights in the kitchen. Being the last one in the diner and locking up wasn’t her favourite job but she was just happy the day was finally over. In her mind she imagined getting home and sinking into a hot bubble bath, letting the soft scent of her rose bubblegum bath soak melt the day’s troubles away.
The back door of the diner smashed open and Ellie jumped, a small shriek of fear escaping her. She scrabbled for a weapon, something, anything she could use. If someone thought they could rob the diner as she was locking up then she planned on making them think twice.
Her hands closed around the handle of a wickedly sharp chopping knife and she whipped it down from its place on the wall mount. She turned in time to catch sight of someone closing the door slowly behind them, they were cast in shadow and Ellie couldn’t see their face but there was something familiar about the way they moved that made her hesitate.
The voice that came out of the darkness surprised her and without thinking Ellie lost her grip on the knife, letting it fall from her hands, it hit the floor with a metallic clang.
“Ricky, what the hell are you doing? You can’t just bust in here like that!”
“Ellie, I’m sorry but I’m in real trouble. You have to help me.”
He skidded around the counter and grabbed her hands in his.
He had always been in trouble, ever since he was little Ellie had known him to be a magnet for some sort of problem and they were usually of his own making and normally he wiggled his way out of them. But this time… Ellie could see the fear in his eyes and deep down she knew that whatever trouble he found himself in this time wouldn’t be something he could just laugh off.
“What happened, what did you do?”
He shook his head and dropped his gaze to the floor as he released her hands.
“You always think it’s something I’ve done. You never want to believe that maybe the trouble I’m in might be someone else’s fault.”
“You can’t blame me for thinking that, every time you come to me it’s because you’re in over your head. Last time I saw you was because you needed some money to pay off a gambling debt. Every time I see you it’s because there’s something wrong.”
He sighed and turned his back on her. She watched as he forced his hand back through his hair, frustration etched in the tension of his shoulders.
“I never meant to be such a screw up, Ellie. It wasn’t a part of my plan…”
He turned around, spreading his hands wide, imploring her.
“But it’s real bad this time. He’s going to kill me and I don’t think there’s anything I can do to stop him.”
Ellie stared at her younger brother, her eyes widening in shock. She couldn’t see anything in his eyes that told her maybe he was exaggerating. As far as she could tell he was being completely honest with her and that frightened her. Ricky wasn’t exactly known for his honesty, the fact that he seemed to be giving it to her now could only mean something terrible.
“Ricky, what happened? Who wants you dead?”
He dropped his gaze to the floor once more and Ellie instantly knew what he was going to say.
“It’s Grey isn’t it? How could you be so stupid, Ricky? You know what he’s capable of, you know what he’s tried to do to our family and you go and get caught up with him?”
Ellie’s voice lifted in panic and she found herself backing away from her brother. It was bad enough to think that he was in trouble but trouble with Grey Mattheson? She turned and moved into the main area of the diner. The darkness swallowing her up as she fought to stifle her sobs with her hand.
How could he have been so stupid?
Ellie’s legs buckled beneath her, her back slamming into the tall counter as she slid to the floor. Ricky knew that getting involved with Grey was a bad idea.
Grey lacked a conscience and he had the money to back him up. He practically owned the town and whatever he wanted he got, nothing was off limits to him…
Ellie shook her head and buried her face in her hands, an image of her father’s smiling face popping into her mind. The only man in town to stand up to Grey’s bullying tactics. He’d believed that his friendship with Grey’s father would mean something to the young playboy, he’d been wrong and he’d paid for that mistake with his life…
Strong hands wrapped around Ellie’s wrists pulling her hands away from her face.
“Ellie, please don’t cry, I won’t let him get to me, I promise I won’t end up like father.”
Ellie’s temper got the better of her and she lashed out with her hands. She caught Ricky by surprise, her open handed slap landing him back on the floor on his ass.
“Dad thought he was doing the right thing, he thought he could stop Grey from turning this entire town into his own personal playground. You on the other hand did something stupid, despite knowing what Grey was capable of, you still got involved with him!”
“I didn’t do any of this on purpose, Ellie, despite what you might think I didn’t draw him on me deliberately. He set me up…”
Ellie shook her head, she wouldn’t listen to him. Ricky was an adult now and it was time he started behaving like one. She couldn’t always be there for him, bailing him out whenever he got in over his head.
“Don’t lie to me. What happened, Ricky? What did you do?”
There was a girl, Melanie and…”
Ellie snorted in derision and pushed herself up from the floor.
“Of course, I should have known a girl would be at the heart of this.”
Ricky followed her the look in his eyes wild. He grabbed Ellie’s arm halting her progress and swinging her back towards him.
“Ellie, please, it’s not what you think. I thought she really liked me but she was using me to get back at Grey… She stole something and now he thinks I helped…”
“How could you be so stupid?”
Ellie scrubbed her hands across her eyes.
“Did you steal from him, Ricky, and I want the truth?”
He released Ellie’s arm as though the merest touch of her skin burned him.
“You think that little of me? You think I’d draw Grey’s attention back on our family?”
The look in his eyes was one of disappointment and hurt. Anger drained from Ellie, leaving her feeling limp and she sagged back against the counter.
“I didn’t mean that…”
He cut her off.
“Don’t, Ellie, don’t bother. I thought you of all people would understand how easy it is to get caught by Grey. At the end of the day, you were the reason father had to go against Grey, you’re the reason he’s…”
“Don’t, Ricky, don’t you dare say it.”
Ellie’s voice trembled with emotion and the guilt she had carried since the day her father had turned up dead crushed over her. The last thing she needed was Ricky to confirm what she had felt all these years.
Ricky shot her a look of disgust before he strode from the diner and back out through the kitchen. She started to follow him but by the time she made it out into the kitchen the backdoor to the diner stood open and there was no sign of her brother.
Tears started to trickle from Ellie’s eyes, her vision slowly blurring as she stared at the open door.
Ricky was right of course. She was the reason their father was dead, if she had just kept her mouth shut then he’d still be alive…
Time ticked slowly by as Ellie stood in the kitchen staring at the open door but it wasn’t the door she could see. Her mind conjured all the images she had kept bottled up inside. A year had passed and yet Ellie could still remember it like it was yesterday.
Cold air crept in around her and she shuddered but it was enough to pull her from her thoughts of her darkest hour. Pulling the keys to the diner from her pocket she moved to the backdoor and stepped out into the alley. She slammed the door behind her and jammed the key into the lock, turning it until it made a satisfying click.
It took a few attempts to pull the key back out of the lock but once she had she moved down the alley to where she had parked her car. Sliding in behind the steering wheel she dropped her bag onto the passenger seat and buried her face in her arms. All thoughts of going home and taking a hot bath was gone, replaced instead with a cold ache in her chest.
A sudden image of a pair of warm brown eyes flitted into her mind. There had been something in his eyes, something that told her he knew what it felt like to lose the people you cared about. Of course she had screwed all that up to and he probably thought she was some sort of crazy person and who could blame him if he did think that.
Ellie needed to stop thinking about him, there was nothing between them except her wild imagination and it needed to stay that way. Getting close to people only led to heartache and she’d had more than enough of that to last a lifetime.
Ellie flipped the key in the ignition and gunned the engine. It roared to life and without a second thought she pressed her foot to the accelerator, the car jumping forward in response. All she wanted was to get home and hide herself under the covers and try and bury the painful memories she had allowed to resurface. If she could do that, then maybe she could think of a way to help Ricky.
Thursday, 8 May 2014
The road wound around and around on itself and Stuart swung the wheel to keep the car moving in the direction he wanted and not off the edge of the cliffs. The sea battered itself against the rock and he contemplated pulling over and letting the wind drive the thoughts from his head.
An image of Carrie haunted his every waking moment, every time he closed his eyes he could see her smile. All he’d ever wanted was her smile and it was the reason he was now on his way up to Breaker’s Point. She had David and the last person she needed around, messing everything up was him.
Of course, knowing she had David didn’t make it any easier for Stuart to walk away.
Stuart sighed and punched the edge of the steering wheel. Riley had promised him work up here… Work and lots of rich, single, bored women searching for distraction. The last part made Stuart a little uncomfortable, he had no intention of just being someone’s distraction. That was definitely more Riley’s scene.
Stuart slowed the car as he crossed the town’s outer limits and the streets began to narrow. It had been a long time since he’d been here, it seemed since he’d last been here the centre of town had become a run down ghost town.
He pulled the car into a parking space directly in front of what seemed to be the only open diner on the street.
Stuart sat for a minute, his fingers idly tapping on the steering wheel. He could just keep driving, Riley didn’t live too far outside Breaker’s Point. There’d be plenty of opportunities to get food there and yet Stuart found himself pushing the car door open and stepping out onto the asphalt.
He needed time to think, time to get his thoughts in order before he met up with his brother and found himself bombarded with questions and lectures. Riley always knew best, it had to be an older brother thing, Stuart had watched the same thing happen between Aaron and David.
The sun was beginning to sink slowly in the sky and Stuart paused, closing his eyes and drinking in the salty breeze that was carried in from the beach. Part of him couldn’t help but feel a little jealous that Riley was able to afford a place up in Breaker’s Point. There had always been something about the place that made Stuart want to lay down roots and never leave.
But his type of work didn’t exactly leave him with a choice and Stuart went wherever there was work.
The feel of someone watching him had him opening his eyes slowly. He scanned the street surreptitiously but there was no one else around but him. Stuart started forward, his stride lazy as he stepped up onto the sidewalk and moved towards the front door of the diner.
The moment he pushed through the door the smell of apple pie hit him and his mouth began to water. His stomach grumbled loudly and all thoughts of being watched was washed from his mind.
The air in the diner was a little too warm and Stuart shrugged out of his leather jacket as he moved to a booth near the back. The moment he sat he instantly became aware of the silence that his sudden appearance seemed to have caused.
From the corner of his eye he watched the handful of other customers as they shot him curious glances. Stuart couldn’t help but wonder if he should have maybe made some sort of announcement to help them work out who he was and what exactly he was doing there.
The moment they found out he was a Reynolds they would all know exactly who he was. The longer he could keep that to himself the better.
Stuart dropped his gaze and kept it glued to the slightly faded menu he held in his hands. It wasn’t until an irritated cough drew his attention that Stuart lifted his eyes from the card in front of him.
A pair of sparkling blue eyes met his, a pair of sparkling angry blue eyes. Her dark hair was piled up into a high ponytail and it swung around her shoulders as she folded her arms across her chest. But it was the look in her eyes that really threw Stuart for a loop. As far as he was aware he didn’t know her and she certainly had no reason to stand there looking utterly delicious and utterly infuriated all at once.
“Something the matter?”
Stuart smiled and did his best to keep his tone low and friendly, the last thing he needed was to cause a scene in the town diner.
“You have some nerve coming in here.”
Her words left her in a hiss, her tone dripping with anger as she leaned down towards the table and attempted to snatch the menu from his hands.
“You can tell Grey Mattheson that sending his henchman over here isn’t going to endear me to him.”
Stuart spluttered, his smile fading as he kept a hold of the menu and lifted his hands in mock surrender.
“Henchman, what? Who the hell is Grey Mattheson and why would I be telling him anything?”
She dropped her voice to a furious whisper.
“Don’t play innocent you know exactly what I mean and I don’t take too kindly to being treated like a fool. Now I’d like you to leave.”
She straightened up after a second failed attempt to grab the menu and once more folded her arms across her chest.
Stuart shook his head and laughed, it was ridiculous.
“Lady, I have no idea what you’re talking about but if this is how you treat every customer who passes through your doors then I’m not sure how you expect to stay in business.”
Uncertainty flickered in her blue eyes and Stuart could see that the tension in her shoulders was beginning to loosen. Whoever this Grey Mattheson was, he had her tied up in knots and they weren’t the good kind.
“You don’t work for him?”
Stuart shook his head and lifted his hand making the scout gesture with his fingers.
“Scout’s honour. I just came in here for a coffee and some of that apple pie that smells so good.”
“Oh, God, I’m so stupid, I’m so sorry… I thought…”
Her voice faded a little as her lip trembled and Stuart was suddenly aware of the tears filling her eyes.
“It’s fine, really… Please don’t cry.”
Stuart started to stand, unsure of what exactly he was supposed to do. There was something about her that made him want to comfort her. The thought that he had reduced her to tears didn’t sit well with him.
She turned on her heel and fled, disappearing in behind the counter and through the heavy looking double doors that obviously led to the kitchen. Stuart had the overwhelming urge to follow her, to find out what exactly had upset her so completely.
Stuart took a step forward and walked straight into a small petite blonde who had planted herself firmly in his path.
“Hey, handsome, what can I do for you?”
Her voice dripped with suggestion and Stuart backed up and dropped back into his booth.
“Is she alright?”
He gestured towards the kitchen and the direction the first girl had run in. An image of her full pink lips caught between her teeth as she struggled to control her emotions popped unbidden into his mind. A bottom lip that cried out to be nibbled and sucked, a mouth that begged to be kissed…
Stuart swallowed hard and fought to clear the image from his mind, it wasn’t right. He’d just sent her running for the kitchen and he was sitting out here imagining the taste of her lips. What the hell was wrong with him?
The moment he tried to squash the thought of kissing the waitress his mind instantly conjured an image of Carrie and Stuart was suddenly swamped with guilt.
“Ellie? She’ll be fine, she just doesn’t know how to look after a man like you…”
The blonde standing before him smiled, a slow seductive curling of her lips that left Stuart cold.
“My name is, Kelly, I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before?”
She dropped down until she could lean across the table giving Stuart as much of a view down the top of her blouse as he wanted. Instead Stuart leaned around her and stared towards the double doors behind the counter in the hopes of seeing Ellie again.
“Are you sure she’ll be ok? She seemed pretty upset…”
The girl who had called herself Kelly sighed and attempted to lean into his eye line.
“What can I get you? You can anything on the menu but if there’s something not on the menu that you really want, I’m sure I could find a way to accommodate you.”
Stuart plastered a smile across his face. Girls like Kelly had never interested him and it really wouldn’t have mattered if she’d been leaning across the table wearing only lingerie.
“A piece of the apple pie and a coffee.”
Stuart kept his voice light and friendly and Kelly sighed and stood.
“Are you sure I can’t do anything else?”
Stuart shook his head and leaned back against the plastic covered bench he sat on.
Kelly’s face fell and Stuart watched realisation pass through her eyes. Her smile dimmed and she turned her back on him with a flip of her long blonde hair. If things kept on going this well it wouldn’t be long before he irritated the entire female population of Breaker’s Point.
Stuart slid his cell phone from his pocket and stared down at the screen.
He didn’t know whether he should feel elated or upset about it. It wasn’t as though he expected anyone to message him… Especially not Carrie, she was happy and David seemed to have everything under control. She was having David’s child and they were happy together.
Carrie was everything he’d always imagined he wanted. But the more he thought about the entire situation, the more he was beginning to realise that perhaps he’d only wanted Carrie because she was unobtainable.
That realisation alone was enough to make Stuart hate himself a little bit. He loved her, he knew that for certain but deep down he’d always known that there was no future for them. Knowing deep down that nothing could ever happen between them had made falling for her easy.
Stuart had decided a long time ago that he would never have anyone in his life. That he would never truly fall in love… Never truly give himself to another, heart and soul. His past had taught him that to give yourself completely to another was just leaving yourself open to being devastated and it wasn’t a risk he had ever been willing to take… Not even with Carrie.
Kelly reappeared and dropped a small plate with the smallest piece of apple pie Stuart had ever laid eyes on. It looked more like a child’s portion and he opened his mouth to ask her what was going on but one look from her had him closing his mouth once more.
She dumped a cup down in front of him and proceeded to fill it with black coffee from the glass jug she held in her hand. The moment she was done she stalked away from the table without a backwards glance and Stuart let out a sigh. Grabbing the sugar dispenser he poured some in and then lifted the cup of black steaming liquid to his lips.
The other diners continued to shoot him sideways glances and Stuart knew they were talking about him. He watched as Kelly approached another table and shot him dirty looks over her shoulder as she spoke to the two men sitting in their booth.
The feel of someone else watching him drew Stuart’s attention back to the heavy kitchen doors. They were propped slightly open and he could have sworn that someone else stood on the other side watching him.
Part of him hoped it was Ellie, an even bigger part of him hoped that she would make a reappearance. But as he drank his coffee and swallowed down the tiny piece of pie it seemed more and more unlikely that she would.
Pushing the plate away Stuart checked his cell phone one last time only to be greeted by an empty screen once more.
Reaching into his pocket he pulled some notes out and dropped them on the table before standing and dragging his leather jacket back on. The sun had set and if he was really lucky by the time he made it up to Riley’s house his brother would have left for one of his many social gatherings.
Stuart cast a look back over his shoulder once more as he pushed out through the diner door. A flash of blue eyes and dark hair told him everything he needed to know and a smile slid across his face.
Perhaps if he came back tomorrow Ellie might be a little more willing to appearance. Maybe, if he was really lucky she might even tell him who Grey Mattheson was and why she was so worked up about him.
Climbing in behind the steering wheel once more, Stuart gunned the engine and turned the car back onto the road. The road that would take him up onto the cliffs and out to Riley’s house.
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Loving the Billionaire Ever After
When friends become enemies, nothing is sacred.
Aaron's secretary Kirsty is kidnapped and Aaron is left carrying the guilt.
Dark memories from the past surface in his mind and he struggles to piece the fragments together.
It quickly becomes apparent to Aaron that Hank's real target is Heather Can he protect the fragile family and happiness he has worked so hard to build? Or will Hank succeed and destroy everything Aaron holds dear?
The explosive finale of the Billionaire Brothers Series.