My job doesn’t allow for love.
But I’m not letting her go.
I’ve built my fortune on being covert.
Innocent lives depend on my silence.
Living a double life leaves no time for love.
But Lilly makes me want to leave it all behind.
Show my true colors, and see hers too.
Her eyes give new meaning to ‘top-secret.’
Her innocence disarms me.
We could build a life together, but my past gets in the way.
They’ll take her from me if they get the chance.
It’s too late for us now, she’s in too deep.
I won’t let them touch her.
Or the baby she’s now carrying.
They’ll have to kill me first.
Buy this steamy suspenseful romance now if you want to be satisfied later. 60,000 word full length novel. Happily ever after, of course.Books by Author:Kira Blakely Books
I sipped my glass of wine idly as the sky darkened in the west. It was only March, but warm air from the south had pushed into the colder remnants of winter. Forecasters dusted off their monitors and issued severe thunderstorm warnings"apparently, I had a front-row seat. Wind smacked the budding leaves in the parking lot, but the trees were impervious and mocked the assault. I checked my phone for the time. My mother was late, at least by most of the world"s standards. Like those slender, unencumbered trees, she floated through most of her life on her own sense of time. She was famous for it, as much as she was for her beauty.
We were to have lunch at The Bourbon Tea Room, named as a dual salute to the distilleries that lay an hour to the east and the sensibilities of women who sought an elegant place to sip and gossip"or better yet, flirt with a lover. It was one of those places with an exterior that discouraged the fast-food crowd, and if that didn"t work, their menu prices erased any doubt.
The clouds could hold back no longer, and rain bounced in quarter-sized splats off the asphalt. I could smell her distinctive cologne even before I saw her, its scent heavy on the humid air.
"Bolt!" She greeted people by name, followed by an audible exclamation mark, which she insisted made them feel special. It was my mother"s trademark"making people feel special.
I stood to pull the chair out for her, feeling pride at the way men"s eyes followed her approach to our table. Even at fifty, she could put younger girls to shame. "Did you get wet, Mamounette"" I asked as I kissed her soft cheek.
"No, no. It knows better than to test me so," she sang in her melodic French accent.
I signaled the waiter who, having witnessed my mother"s entrance, was waiting like a runner in his starting block. He and my mother were of a similar age, but the comparison stopped there. He stared and bent low to place a menu carefully into her hands while I had to grab mine as he tossed it in my direction. I was used to that sort of reaction to her. I"d inherited her dark, Gallic coloring and stormy charcoal eyes. On her, it promised a spirited temperament, mystery, and charm. On me, it was just brooding, or so I had been told. Luckily, the only thing I"d inherited from my father was his towering height. In my opinion, it was his only redeeming quality.
My mother ordered her usual lettuce leaf with lemon, and I asked for a Reuben. "So, mon ch"ri," she began when the waiter finally drifted away. "You look so sad today," she empathized, taking my chin in the palm of her hand. "You have trouble with your work""
"No, Mamounette, nothing for you to worry about. Maybe it"s just the gloomy weather."
She shook her head, pulling the white linen napkin from around the silver and spreading it over her lap. "You work too hard. Life is made for romance!" Her voice gushed with enthusiasm. I never saw my mother sad. She could be angry"oh, god, she could get angry"but generally she brimmed with positive, loving thoughts and plans. There was no one like her in the world, in my opinion. She deserved so much better than my father.
The waiter obviously had some pull in the kitchen, because our meals arrived in roughly two minutes. My mother had just picked up her fork when a delicate jingle from the direction of her bag interrupted us. She rolled her eyes. "Mon Dieu, that"s your father"s ring." She quickly reached for the bag to pull out her phone.
I put my hand over hers before she could tap to answer. "Let it be, just this once" I"ll be out of town on business again soon, and you"re so busy. I was looking forward to spending the afternoon with you"like we did when I was a kid and you took me everywhere in the world. I miss those times." When I heard myself talking, I felt like that young boy again.
She nodded. "I do, too, and we shall have them again. But, I must live with your father, and it will not make my life easier to ignore him now." She tapped the answer icon, and I could hear him shouting from where I sat.
"Where are you"" His voice even sounded like the mottled red I knew his face was displaying.
I calmly took the phone from her grasp and said, "She"s having lunch with me. She"ll be home later this afternoon."
"Bolton, is that you" Put Leila back on the line. I come home early, and she"s gallivanting around, spending my money like it grows in the field." His voice was furious.