Oh, lookie - the dreadfully dreaded Mrs. Hemant (Neha's mum!) makes her loud appearance. Who said Neha had an easy life?
Catch up with the previous excerpts
pages 1-5 here;
pages 6-8 here;
pages 9-11 here;
pages 12-14 here;
pages 15-17 here;
pages 18-20 here;
pages 21-23 here;
pages 24-26 here.
And catch the whole story here: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Decadent Publishing ~ Barnes & Noble (Nook) ~ AllRomance Ebooks ~ Smashwords
Afternoon turned to evening in a haze of red-toned anger and grey disbelief, the intense colours merging in her brain to provide a strangely disturbing, stomach-heaving hue that made her want to wretch as bad as morning sickness. Trust such a beast of a man to turn everything topsy-turvy, so even morning nausea happened late in the evening. When she realized what she strung together with Logan’s name, mortification flamed through her. Morning sickness meant pregnancy, which, in turn, meant sex. Sex with a hunk like Logan—
No! She had to push these notions into the dark, unused corner.
But late in the evening, the idea of a scornful expression on the big blond man’s handsome face still taunted her, refusing to remain confined behind the lock she’d placed inside her brain. Somehow, this wrong perception would haunt her until she set the record straight and erased the disgusted smirk from his features.
Once alone in the kitchen while the children watched TV in the adjoining room, she scrolled through her cell’s call logs for Griffin’s number.
“Hi, it’s Neha,” she said as soon as he picked up. “So, he’s rejecting me because of some notion he has, not because of my capabilities.”
Griffin didn’t answer right away. “You could say that.”
She’d guessed Logan Warrington would be an inflexible man, but to push it this far? “This makes no sense and you know it. Why would I do this? He needs to see the reasoning behind all this, Griff.”
Griffin gave a small, sarcastic laugh. “I’m not sure reason and Logan are acquainted. Believe me, I tried to explain, but he would have none of it.”
Just what she needed to hear. She would really need to spell out everything as it had taken place, and in person, face to face. No other way to ensure such a false idea did not remain clinging to her. “I need to speak to him, as earliest as possible.”
“I’m not sure it’s to be advised. You’ll need guts to stand up to him. Not that I don’t think you have them,” he hastily said.
“Can I come to your office tomorrow, to meet with him?”
He didn’t say anything.
“Griffin, please help me here.”
After another long pause, he spoke. “He won’t be coming in tomorrow. He’ll be working from home through the office VPN connection.”
“But I need to see him. What about Monday, then?” Neha had no trouble decoding his silence after a few seconds. “He’ll refuse to see me. Is that it?”
“You could say so….”
She fell in a slump on a nearby sofa in the corner of the room. “What have I done to him?”
“Neha, it’s not your fault.”
She snorted, allowing the unlady-like sound to escape her and not bothering how it’d make her appear. “Just my luck, huh?”
“Aw, come on,” Griffin said in a coaxing tone.
She had no way out.
Taking a deep breath to steel her resolve and fuel her courage, for the idea tickling her brain struck senseless at best and totally crazy at worst, she asked, “Where does he live?”
“Why would you ask this?”
“Griff, I need to present my case. One chance. Then I promise I’ll give up.”
The emotion thrummed heavy in her voice; Griffin must’ve heard it, too.
“I don’t know why I’m doing this but I’m going to do it.” He paused. “I don’t really know the roads here, so I can’t give you precise directions to his house. But you can catch him early in the morning at the Flic en Flac beach, near the fish landing station. He goes for a swim every day, usually around eight on weekends.”
She had her opportunity. “Thanks, Griff.”
“Good luck, Neha,” he said and cut the call.
When morning came after a restless night where a snickering, laughing face haunted her erratic sleep, Neha reckoned she sat on the fence.
Should she, or shouldn’t she go meet Logan?
They said night brought wise counsel when you slept on an issue. So far, she hadn’t found any counsel whatsoever, wise or stupid. The only thing she’d achieved were bags under eyes and kinks in her whole body for having tossed and turned so much.
The clock on the mantel in the living room read quarter past seven.
If she left right away to go to the Flic en Flac beach, she’d reach there in no less than forty-five minutes. Right at the time when Logan would be out at the seaside.
Think about it, girl. He’s got the wrong idea about you.
Why that mattered, she had no idea, but the mere thought of knowing someone thought her to be despicable, especially when the notion arose from skewed circumstances, proved enough to get her hackles rising. And when the someone happened to be Logan….
With a deep inhale, she went into the kitchen, straight for the side table where she reached for the car keys with one hand and for the pen with another. She scribbled a note to the children: she was going out and they needed to put their breakfast together. The kids were old enough to take care of themselves, and none of them would even surface from sleep before eleven. Good thing they were heavy sleepers.
As she crossed the threshold of the kitchen to go out to the garage, a sight stopped her in her tracks.
Her mother strolled down the driveway.
Neha groaned. Not her, and not now. She’d have to wing her way through an explanation as to why she was going out; her mother hadn’t been named the Inquisition Row for nothing.
Thinking of the reason for her leaving, and how her time ticked down if she wanted to meet him at the beach, she took another deep breath and faced her mother. “If there’s something you want me to do, I can’t. I need to go out.”
Her mother made a face. “Well, good morning to you, too.”
There it would come, the deluge of questions.
“Where are you going in such a hurry?”
“I need to meet someone.” The older woman needn’t know the whole truth, either.
“Who?” The reply came accompanied by an equally dry stare.
Drat, she really had no escape, and the more she dallied around, the more time she’d lose. “It’s about a job.”
Her mother gave a startled gasp as she reached out and clasped her arm. “What is it with you? Why a job? Do you forget you have your children to look after? Who’ll take care of them if you’re at work? Is it because you’re suddenly free that all sort of silly notions are going through your mind? I thought you were more sensible than this, Neha, not one to try and emulate what your sisters have been doing all along.”
The eternal reminder she wasn’t like her sisters…. That, perhaps, she hadn’t been cut out of the same cloth as them and wouldn’t be able to do anything other than be a mum and housewife.
If her smouldering anger had needed anything to be revived, this comment would’ve done the trick.
Full novel available at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Decadent Publishing ~ Barnes & Noble (Nook) ~ AllRomance Ebooks ~ Smashwords
From Mauritius with love,