And here we are! Happy Valentine's Day! It's been a bit of a tall order to link all these fourteen stories, but t'has been done! Everyone knows someone who knows someone else and they are all heading for a crazy, beautiful and exciting ride. I'll be posting a link for the collection, packaged together and available to you for reading any time of the year. Romance isn't just for Valentine's Day, it's for all those other tricky days of the year as well!!
Stars and Moon © Billy London
Kamryn accepted the flower delivery with a gracious smile. If only they were for her. Linc was so thoughtful. Making sure Tallie knew she was loved before he even turned up. With a sigh, she put the flowers to the side in the kitchen, hid the key for Linc and decided to make herself some cheese on toast.
Tallie bounded down the stairs. “Afternoon!”
“Same to you,” Kamryn gave her an affectionate hug. “How are you doing today?”
Tallie gave a shrug that Kamryn knew hid a multitude of sadness. She missed the man she loved. “Not too bad. I’m going to take myself off to the bar for the longest shift in the world. Money’s money though, right?” She caught sight of the flowers. “Who are those for?”
“Me,” Kamryn answered swiftly.
“From who?” Tallie squealed.
“None of your beeswax,” Kamryn admonished. “Listen, don’t worry about today. If anything, come back here and we’ll have a meal together, and then maybe go see something happy and silly at the cinema.”
Tallie hugged her again, this time more tightly. “You’re gorgeous. I’ll see you later okay?”
Once Tallie left, Kamryn thought of food again. Once she’d eaten, she really should take herself off to the gym. Before she even turned on the grill, her phone rang. “Yellop?”
Omg. Him. He called. He had actually called. Kamryn was the good time girl. Never the girlfriend. Certainly not the wife. This was a shock to her that HE called her. The man who knew what he was doing with his body to her own. In the billiards room of a supper party last month (probably the most pretentious she’d ever attended) Iver did something to her. It turned her legs to rubber, her bones to water and her mind to mashed potatoes. One of his friends walked in just as they were getting dressed and Kamryn shifted it. She didn’t hang around for an awkward breakfast, just got the first available cab to the train station. Most likely, he got her number from their mutual friend.
“Are you busy?”
“No... I mean I have plans later...” Fuck. Way to make herself unavailable.
“Would you mind breaking them?”
For potentially passing out from too many orgasms? Er... Yes! “Why?”
“I want to make up for our miscommunication.”
“And what was that?”
“I let you think I only wanted something temporary. That’s not at all true.”
“Well, what do you want?” She could barely talk her heart was in her mouth.
“You. Alone. For good. Can you meet me?”
She didn’t hesitate. “I can.”
“That’s good. That’s really good to hear. Grab your passport.”
Hold on a minute. “Why...”
“You need one when you cross other countries' borders.”
Her stomach imploded in a combination of fear and excitement. “Do I get to know where I’m going?”
“Of course. As soon as you get your ticket.”
“What am I packing?”
“Light clothes. But something to cover up in the evening, as it gets a bit chilly. Enough for five nights. Don’t worry I’ve spoken to your boss. She’s more than happy for you to have a break.” He paused a beat before saying. “I’ll make this worth your time. I promise.”
What could she say to that? “I guess I’ll see you.”
They ended the call and Kamryn squealed to herself spinning in a circle, like a puppy chasing its tail. Five nights. Right, let’s go. She picked out her biggest suitcase and threw in her best underwear, silky kaftans she’d bought during sales for holidays she hadn’t taken in years, maxi dresses and strapless bandage ones. Chiffon shirts and broderie shorts went in with sandals and wedges. Her doorbell rang just as she found her passport and tucked it between her teeth. Still in her pyjamas, Kamryn answered the door.
“Good afternoon Ms Lenox. I’m here to take you to Gatwick.” He looked her up and down. “I can give you about twenty minutes but I don’t want you to miss your gate.”
“Of course.” She closed the door and had the fastest shower, throwing essentials into a handbag while she tugged on leggings and a jumper dress. Iver was insane. He had to be. More money than sense, which is what her parents always said about him, but since this was all for her to court her she couldn’t really complain. When she opened the door again the driver helped her with her case. The town car gave her the smoothest ride she’d ever taken to an airport. The driver took her case to British Airways Business Class travellers, where her ticket awaited. The assistant handed her an envelope. “Mr. D’Araines has included your hotel details as well.”
“Thank you,” Kamryn gushed. Opening the envelope, she found a credit card inside, stuck to a letter informing her that it had a ten thousand pound limit. And the ticket read, LGW to KGS. Kos. Greek island. Oh. Okay. Hold on. Hold on. Greek Island. Warm. Warner than London in any case. A boat ride from Turkey. A short distance to Istanbul thereafter. The man had GAME!
Armed with a PIN number Kamryn bought other essentials and a ginger beer to settle her nervous stomach. Sense told her to let someone know where she was being whisked to. She sent her mother a long involved text message. Deleted it and sent her an email instead. She sent the same email to her flat mate and to her sister. Bases all covered and a few bottles of Jo Malone in beautifully wrapped packages, Kamryn took another call from Iver. “I’ll see you in about three hours. Okay?”
“I am overwhelmed.”
“You shouldn’t be,” he said softly. “It’s nothing more than you deserve. Have a safe flight.”
On board she was treated to glasses of champagne, dinner on china with heavy cutlery. She tried distracting herself with her iPad and failed miserably. What was she doing? It was three hours and a flight too late for anyone else to talk sense into her. Fairy tales didn’t happen to her. Of course she’d doubt every single bit of it.
“Sorry,” she halted the air hostess. “Can I have another drink, please? Gin and tonic? Double?”
By the time the flight landed, she was a little bit tipsy and full to the brim with Dutch courage. When she collected her suitcase, she saw text messages from her mother and sister. None from her flat mate who was probably in the midst of her long-arse shift. Or doing her boyfriend. One of the two. Tallie’d certainly tell her to shut up and enjoy herself. Kamryn followed the other passengers to the arrivals lounge and saw Iver waiting for her, her name written on a large card.
“You are crazy,” she said, shaking her head in disbelief, as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her into an embrace that spoke volumes.
“A little,” he admitted. Without another word he beckoned for her case, and he took it from her hand, and caught her other in his own. He led her to another glossy looking town car, and tucked her carefully inside, while the driver put the case in the boot.
The car gently rolled off, the tinted windows shielding the beautiful scenery from her view. She gazed at him, her fingers warmly tangled with his. “You know a phone call would have worked just as well.”
He smiled, looking somewhere over her head. “Yes well. This way neither of us have a ream of excuses.”
“So what’s the plan?”
He leaned across her to lower her window. “Do you see that, in the distance?”
“That’s Turkey. We can stay here a few nights, and stay over there a few nights as well. We’ll take a boat, eat lots of seafood, I know that’s your thing. And smash plates, if you really want to.”
Kamryn had to take a breath. Was this really happening?
He seemed to sense her hesitation and offered. “You can book a flight back whenever you want. And you have your own room.”
In the sharp sunlight, and the heat that stilled the air between them, Kamryn tightened her hold on his hand. “That’s very thoughtful, but am I going to need it?”
Iver lifted her knuckles to his lips. “I really hope not.”