Well this took its sweet time to come around! I started writing this story coming up to three years ago. Appalling isn't it. But like I said in another post, it was all getting a bit too close for comfort so I shelved it. Until the harassment... I mean, encouragement of Janet Eckford and Nikki Winter I felt threatened... I mean gently nudged into completing it. Now it's all done, polished, fighting fit and ready for reading. Oh and you may have a tingle in the brain that you've met Lily before. Have a lookie see in the last story in the Season of Love Vol 1 Wynne's Surprise. Lily makes a cameo...
Truth is stranger than fiction. I cannot say this enough. Trust me, the madness of this story wouldn't have been written if things like (well you'll see) hadn't happened and I hadn't a front seat to it all. I didn't have popcorn, but I may as well have. Strap yourselves in folks. It's gonna be a bumpy ride...
Russian boxer, Pasha Markovitch, has everything in his corner, looks, potential for Olympic greatness, and speed of powerful fists professionals only dream of. There’s just one small issue. If he can’t find a solution to his current visa situation, he’ll be out of the UK and ducking and weaving with government standard silver bracelets on his wrists. The pressures of his father’s greed and the anxiety of a past that continues to knock him down, steadily wear on him until chance leads him to green fingered, sarcastic mouthed, Liliana Asare who offers the light of a reprieve. Coming to an arrangement of mutual exchange, they both get what they want. Pasha gets to stay in the country and Liliana gets the financing for her florist shop. The whole scenario is perfect enough to list. Woman willing to marry him so he doesn't end up deported and she doesn't end up losing her livelihood? Check. Avaricious father satisfied? Check. Falling in love with his fake wife? Wait, that’s not on the list...
Pasha felt a poke in his chest and looked down at Lily. “I said, they’re not watching.”
He frowned. Had that been the point of getting up to dance? So their family members wouldn’t stare at them? In the lithe movements of their bodies, melded in the heat and dry ice of the club, lights catching Lily’s hair, the sheen on her cheekbones and the gloss on her lips... he’d entirely forgotten. He did suppose Lily had some explaining to do, now that he was the overlap between the end of her relationship with Steven and their forthcoming marriage. In his book, the less said the better. It wasn’t anyone’s concern or shouldn’t be anyone’s concern what Lily did with her love life.
“Do you want to go outside?”
She gave a short nod and with his hand curled around her arm, he led them to the smoking area of the club and sat her down at the far end, away from the smokers, huddling under the outdoor heaters. “What’s the matter?” he asked her.
“Isn’t this stressing you? All this lying?”
“I’m not lying, I’m simply not talking,” he corrected. She wrapped her arms around herself. “What did Lukasz say to you?”
“He said I was far too sexy to be getting married and certainly too sexy to be marrying you.”
Pasha grimaced. “He’s an idiot.”
She didn’t disagree with him, which concluded she felt the same. “Agnes keeps flirting with you.”
He noted her tone and tilted his head to the side. What was that about? “I’m not paying attention if that helps.” She gave a shrug and rubbed her arms faster. “Are you cold?”
“I’ll be alright, if it gives us breathing space from the theatre in there.”
“So this Steven...” he trailed off. Interested in the response, he shuffled closer until their bare arms were pressed together.
“You’re like a radiator,” she murmured, frowning at him. “Oh, Steven. I thought we were going to get married and all the joys that come with it. I wouldn’t have moved in with him otherwise.”
“But now your family thinks you cheated on him. With me.”
She glanced down, her curls tumbling around her face. “Better that way.”
He sighed heavily. “You shouldn’t have done that. You’ve made your life unnecessarily complicated.”
“Haven’t you ever?”
His mouth tightened in disapproval. “No. I see it as senseless. If you’re so enamoured, you can wait. You should wait until that person is free to be with you. Why cause such destruction over a relationship that has little to no chance of success.”
She pushed a hand through her curls, her eyebrows drawing together in confusion. “Why say that?”
“I’m like you, remember? Child of divorce. There are very few people worthy of trust and I don’t give it lightly. People behave very selfishly. Not conducive to a successful relationship. The world we live in, in a short few years, every single marriage will be doomed to failure.”
“That’s a sad way to think of things.”
Life was sad. “Realistic,” he corrected. “Nothing lasts forever. Certainly not an emotion as fleeting as love.” She didn’t take her eyes from his face and he saw the pity in her eyes. “It’s better that way.” He assured her, getting up and pulling her to her feet. “Less chance of being disappointed. Come on. You’re cold.”
Her acquiescence pleased him. Fighting would always cause more damage than good, inevitably leading to a wider range of feelings he should not for one minute have for his fake bride to be.