Dark Angel. Lynne Graham
our prices. How they can afford to do that on top of a rapid expansion and a nationwide marketing campaign I have no idea, but your father’s giving me a lot of grief over it.’
‘I know that working for Dad isn’t easy.’
‘I don’t think you’re following me…Salut is hammering us. We’re already facing the prospect of closing our smaller outlets and cutting back on staff.’ As Miles took account of the time, he frowned and got up. ‘I’d better get changed for this dinner do.’
Fifteen minutes later, Harold Linwood arrived to pick up his stepson. When Kerry answered the door to her father, a guarded expression tightened the older man’s features. A stockily built man with greying hair in his sixties, he spoke to her much as though she was a distant acquaintance. It was even more embarrassing when Miles tried to suggest that Kerry could join them that evening and her father stiffened with visible irritation.
‘I’m so tired, I couldn’t face going out again,’ Kerry cut in hastily.
When the two men had gone, Kerry compressed her tremulous lips hard. Why was it that she was still cut to the bone by her father’s total lack of interest in her? Why was it that memory would always plunge her right back to her ten-year-old self? Unhappily, she was unlikely ever to forget overhearing her father talking to her stepmother on the phone from Ballybawn.
‘How would I describe Kerry? Set beside Miles and Rochelle, she’ll definitely be the runt of the litter. Expect red hair, buck teeth and specs. Yes, I do accept that I’m asking a lot of you, Pamela,’ Harold Linwood had snapped, ‘but how can I leave her here? No, I’m not exaggerating…the O’Briens are as nutty as fruit-cakes…if I don’t intervene now, the kid will go the same way her slut of a mother went!’
Exhaustion sent Kerry to bed long before her stepbrother’s return. She knew she would need her wits about her when she met with Luciano again. Only she had no need to sleep on what she had to tell him! But wasn’t it pitiful that she should still feel gutted and humiliated by his infidelity? For her grandparents’ sake she had to fight Luciano with every weapon she had. If he truly had no suspicion that she had found out about his night in Rochelle’s bed, he was about to be caught at a severe disadvantage. Surely that fact could be made to work in her grandparents’ favour?
Luciano would not be able to deny that he had wronged her. Wouldn’t he feel guilty? Didn’t he deserve to feel guilty? All she needed was a few months’ grace on that repossession order and one good summer season of visitors to prove that the Ballybawn estate could bring in sufficient money to start eating into those loan arrears.
Tomorrow was another day, Kerry reminded herself bracingly…
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