The Petrelli Heir. Kim Lawrence

The Petrelli Heir - Kim Lawrence

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       ‘Did you try and find me?’

      ‘How could I? Where would I have started?’

      Roman took a step closer, a tall and overpoweringly male presence that made her feel trapped. She lifted a hand to her throat to cover the pulse she could feel beating there.

      ‘Do I make you nervous, Isabel?’ He stepped in closer again, his nostrils flaring as the scent of her perfume brought back memories. His body responded hungrily, making him uncomfortably aware of the heaviness in his groin.

      His husky voice sent a secret shiver down her spine. Her pale skin was dusted with a layer of perspiration with the effort of concealing her emotional turmoil and presenting a semblance of normality when all she wanted to do was run away. ‘Not Isobel—Izzy. People call me Izzy.’

      ‘I’m not “people”. I’m the father of your child.’

      About the Author

      KIM LAWRENCE lives on a farm in rural Anglesey. 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 which have adopted them. Always a fanatical consumer of fiction, she is now equally enthusiastic about writing. She loves a happy ending!

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       THE THORN IN HIS SIDE (21st Century Bosses)

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      The Petrelli Heir

      Kim Lawrence

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       June 2010

      IZZY let out a startled yelp as her heel caught in a hole in the pavement and brought her to an abrupt stumbling halt. Wincing, she flexed her narrow ankle experimentally. Fortunately it held her weight when she put it back down again.

      No damage but her feet hurt.


      It took her a few moments to connect the ache in her feet with the time she’d been walking. She glanced at her watch, scrunching her eyes to read the face concealed by the cuff of her thin jacket. What time had she started walking?

      Her smooth brow furrowed as she tried to sort out the confused sequence of the day’s events in her head. It had been afternoon when she had shaken the hand of her mother’s solicitor and thanked the funeral director. There had been no one else to thank, no one else to exchange amusing anecdotes of the departed with.

      Her mother, Dr Ruth Carter, famous in the academic world all her professional life and famous outside it since her one attempt at a populist book landed her with an international best-seller that had broken all previous records for a non-fiction book.

      The royalty cheques still kept dropping on the doormat—Izzy’s doormat now. She was almost rich … Was that a bit like being nearly famous …? Izzy shook her head. For no reason at all she suddenly wanted to laugh or was that cry? No, not cry, she didn’t think she had any more tears available to shed. They were all frozen in the lead weight that lay hard and heavy pressing against her breastbone.

      Dr Ruth Carter had enjoyed her fame as a celebrity psychologist, and had become a firm favourite on breakfast television shows. There were probably many people who would have liked to come and pay their last respects, but Ruth Carter had had firm views about funerals.

      No religion.

      No fuss or flowers.

      No wake.

      No fuss and no tears.

      Her only child, actually her only living relative, Izzy had respected her wishes and she hadn’t cried. She hadn’t even cried when she had found her mother’s body and the neat handwritten note, written as she spoke in that distinctive bullet-point dogmatic style.

      In the weeks that followed both the police and then coroner at the inquest had praised her composure and bravery, but Izzy hadn’t been brave. She had been numb, and now, today, she was … angry, she realised, identifying the emotion that was making her chest tight. She had kept walking because she was afraid that if she stopped all that anger would spill out and she had a mental image of herself enveloped in an angry toxic cloud.

      She wasn’t angry with her mother for choosing the time and manner in which she died. The insidious terminal disease that had slowly been robbing her mother of her ability to function independently, keeping her locked in a helpless body, had been terrible. No, her mother had made her choice in her time, the note had said.

      And to hell with everyone else!

      Her mother hadn’t said that, but during the clinical goodbye today Izzy had thought it. So, yes, she was angry! The doctors had said her mother had at least another twelve months of relatively normal life, months when Izzy could have said all the things she would never say now.

      Not even goodbye.

      And now today her mother had reached out from the grave and … Izzy unfolded her stiff fingers from the typed letter that lay scrunched in her pocket and lifted a hand to her head. The dampness on her skin and her hair came as a surprise and she stared at the wet shiny pavement. She hadn’t even realised it had been raining.

      She didn’t even know where she was! Or for that matter who she was …? She knew she wasn’t the product of a contribution by an anonymous sperm donor.

      It turned out she had a real father, one who was right now receiving a similar letter to the one the solicitor had handed her this afternoon. Apparently, the poor man had been an eighteen-year-old student at the time, selected as a suitable genetic father and seduced by her forty-something mother, who had been reacting to her ticking body clock.

      Why had her mother lied?

      Why had she told her now?

      Why had she left her alone?

      Izzy straightened her slender shoulders and gave herself a strong talking to. Focus! You can’t fall apart, you’re capable—everyone says it, so surely it must be true.

       Where are you, capable Izzy?

      As she looked vaguely around a door opened to a nearby building and sounds of people talking and laughing spilled out, all so normal … how weird.

      Without meaning to she followed the sound and found herself in a bar. She loosened the button on her jacket, aware that she was thirsty.

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