Mistress by Mistake. Kim Lawrence
“I’m not interested in getting involved with you, Drew.”
“I think you are.”
“Then think again,” Eve advised grimly.“You really expect me to amuse you until you decide to go back to Lottie? It’s obvious that’s what you’re going to do!”
“Is that a fact?” he asked with interest.
Even he hadn’t the gall to deny it, she noticed.“Of course, it’ll have to be when you decide. I expect a man has to salvage a bit of pride in a situation like this.”
“You seem to have thought this through very thoroughly.”
She turned her head sharply to shut out the amused glow in his eyes.“Let me out, Drew.”
“Only out of the room, sweetheart, not my life!”
KIM LAWRENCE lives on a farm in rural Wales. She runs two miles daily and finds this an excellent opportunity to unwind and seek inspiration for her writing! It also helps her keep up with her husband,two active sons and the various stray animals that have adopted them. Always a fanatical consumer of fiction, Kim is now equally enthusiastic about writing. She loves a happy ending!
Mistress by Mistake
MILLS & BOON
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‘WE DON’T have to…you know…?’
Eve took pity on the teenage youth, who was looking more like the traditional sacrificial victim by the second. ‘Kiss? Definitely not,’ she said firmly. A ghost of a smile touched her lips as, with an unflattering sigh of relief, he slumped farther back onto the leather Chesterfield, his thin shoulders hunched.
‘Nothing personal,’ he added gruffly, casting a quick glance in her direction, just to see if she was holding up to the weight of his rejection.
‘Don’t fret. I’ll live,’ she promised with a gravity that was belied by the humorous light in her wide-spaced dark brown eyes.
It said a lot about her brother’s powers of persuasion, she thought, experiencing a tweak of resentful admiration for her manipulative sibling, that they were both sitting there like a pair of ill-matched bookends on Daniel Beck’s parents’ sofa, in Daniel Beck’s parents’ rather awesomely magnificent house. Eve was trying hard not to be over-awed by her surroundings. She hadn’t realised until today what sort of background her brother’s quiet, earnest friend came from. Everything in this magnificent house spoke of taste and money—serious money.
She doubted the black silky bias-cut creation that clung to her slim hips and thighs was the only designer label this particular sofa had seen. It was certainly the only designer label her body had ever worn—or was ever likely to for that matter!
That wasn’t just because her income didn’t run to such luxuries; Eve chose her clothes for comfort rather than impact. Her wardrobe boasted one skirt, which she wheeled out for weddings, funerals and interviews with her bank manager. She probably looked just as uncomfortable as poor Daniel, who was looking—well, frankly he looked ready to bolt!
‘Not long now,’ she said, glancing at the chunky, utilitarian watch on her wrist—a watch that definitely didn’t match her slinky outfit. Nick hadn’t exactly said synchronise watches, but he’d still managed to instil a strong sense of edge-of-the-seat tension when he’d given his detailed instructions.
My thought exactly! She summoned a smile that was meant to be maternal and comforting. The maternal part wasn’t that difficult, chronologically a mere five years might separate her from this boy, but in every other way she felt centuries older!
‘How long are your parents away for, Daniel?’ I’ll kill Nick for talking me into this, she decided as her high, curving cheekbones began to ache from the effort of smiling. What’ll I do if he faints before they all get here? Or, worse still, throws up over the carpet—a carpet that incidentally looks far too rich and sumptuous to actually walk on. The voice of impending doom in her head was growing stronger by the second.
‘Mum’s book tour of the States lasts another week or so,’ he said listlessly. ‘Dad might come back a few days early—business, you know.’
I could do with him walking through that door right now, she thought, eyeing the wooden panelled entrance hopefully. On the few occasions she’d met Alan Beck he’d seemed a really warm, friendly person, who’d be quite capable of sorting out his son’s problems without any outside help.
‘Lucky them. I wouldn’t mind being there now.’ Being anywhere would be an improvement on here. Soft-hearted? I must be soft-headed!
‘Mum doesn’t like being away from home.’
With this home who can blame her? Eve thought with a tinge of envy. Next month she’d make herself afford that paint they needed for the kitchen. She didn’t actually need a new winter jacket; the old one was more than adequate.
‘Not like Uncle Drew. He’s been everywhere.’
Not Uncle Drew! Eve’s groan was hastily transformed into a soft grunt of interest, which was enough to encourage Daniel to expand eagerly on the theme—she’d known it would be. Her expression glazed over slightly as he warmed to his subject, his pale features becoming animated as he extolled the virtues of his hero.
Eve knew all about Uncle Drew. She could have written a thesis on the man and all the daring, manly things he apparently excelled at! Since the uncle had moved in while his parents were away he’d been Daniel’s main—no, only topic of conversation, with the exception of the predicament this crazy charade was meant to extricate him from.
To Eve, Uncle Drew sounded as if he had a bad case of arrested development. She could easily imagine him as an indulged rich kid growing into just the sort of brash, immature action-man type she couldn’t stomach—a prize pain in the posterior!
She gave a small shudder of distaste as she mentally contemplated carefully nurtured biceps and an outsize ego. She strongly suspected half his supposed exploits were very probably fictional. He had to be the world’s worst role model for a sensitive type of boy like Daniel, who already had a budding inferiority complex about his lack of sporting ability.
‘Uncle Drew says…’ Daniel suddenly froze mid-sentence, and she was spared further worshipful