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Carole Mortimer - Cherish Tomorrow

Carole Mortimer - Cherish Tomorrow



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Published by luvmena

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Published by: luvmena on Nov 17, 2012
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Cherish TomorrowCarole Mortimer 
Chelsea Stevens's father packed her off to London to distance herfrom the shock waves surrounding her mother's death. But he could'thave known the shock that awaited her there... neither Chelsea norher childhood idol had recognized each other. And Lucas McAdamsseemed to have changed, but not for the better. So she decides to teachhim that in love age doesn't matter.
Chelsea kept her head down against the driving rain, the suitcase she carried heavy in her hand, the cab driver having dropped her off a fewbuildings short of the one she wanted, despite the fact that she had shown him the slip of paper she had with Lucas's address written on it. And thefare had been exorbitant too, considering she had had to drag her own case in and out of the cab.Not that she would have minded these few minutes respite from the rush and bustle of the last couple of days, if only it hadn't been raining.This trip to London had been unplanned, a last-minute thought of Jace's, and now that she was actually here and able to think a little more clearlyherself she didn't think it was such a good idea. She hadn't seen Lucas McAdams for the last seven years, not since she was twelve years old, andshe had no idea what he was going to make of her visit now. Jace had assured her it would be all right, and in Los Angeles it had seemed that itwould be. Now that she was actually in London she wasn't so sure; Lucas may not even remember the small, silver-haired child whose huge blueeyes had once followed his every move. It had been an embarrassing time in Chelsea's life, one she would rather forget, although at least she couldbe confident Lucas had been unaware of her hero-worship; the only thing Lucas had been interested in seven years ago had been advancinghimself up the legal ladder as quickly and as far as possible. And as Chelsea picked up her own case with a frustrated glare in his direction,walking on several feet more before realising she, too, should have entered that apartment building. She only hoped that the rude man didn't turnout to be a friend of Lucas's; it would be a bad beginning.The man was standing waiting for the descent of the elevator when she struggled through the entrance door with her case, sparing her only acursory glance as not a hint of recognition entered the dark brown eyes. He had literally knocked her flying seconds before, and he had alreadydismissed her from his mind!They stepped into the lift together, the only two occupants, the man pressing the button for the eighth floor before turning to her with politequery, his hand still poised next to the floor buttons.'Eight suits me fine,' she murmured in a husky voice.His haughtiness seemed to increase as he looked down his nose at her. 'Floor eight happens to be the penthouse apartments,' he told her in a harshly cold voice.'Oh,' she nodded interestedly.'It's private,' he added pointedly.'Really?' she was determined to be polite, although this man's condescending manner was certainly pushing her to the limits of thatpoliteness. What did it matter to him that she was going up to the eighth floor; he certainly didn't look as if he worked for the security! Maybe he was just one of those interfering neighbours who liked to know who everyone was and what they were doing here. Well, Lucas could be the one to tellhim about her, if he chose to do so.'Yes,' the word was bit out precisely, the man's manner more icy than ever.'Nice,' she said appreciatively for the want of something better to say, wondering what this man expected of her. It was certainly an exclusive-looking building, she could tell that at a glance, but despite her casual appearance she was accustomed to a certain amount of luxury at homeherself; no one could look their best after a ten-hour flight. Although looking at this man perhaps he would, he gave the impression—and she wassure it was a true one—that he always looked immaculate whatever the occasion, even the rain that had so dampened her hat had only slightlydarkened his already dark hair.The elevator had stopped on the eighth floor by this time, and with one finger pressed firmly on the "Door Open' button the man made nomove to get out. 'I believe you have the wrong floor,' he told her abruptly.'I'm sure I don't,' she said equally as certainly, not needing to consult the piece of paper in her pocket to know this was where Lucas lived;
she had looked at it enough during the flight.The man's mouth twisted disdainfully. 'Let me put it another way—''I wish you would,' she sighed with weary impatience. 'I'm in a hurry.'His mouth firmed now, his eyes coldly assessing. 'I'm not interested,' he stated icily.'Sorry?' she frowned her puzzlement.He sighed. 'This ploy may have worked with other men but I am not in the market for helping you find your air fare home. That was to be theroutine, wasn't it?' he scorned.'What routine?' Chelsea demanded impatiently. 'I don't know what you're talking about, I don't need an air fare. I only just got here.''And you are just about to leave again,' he told her with grim determination.'I don't think so.' She shook her head.'I do,' he nodded. 'You see, I was on to you the moment you entered the building.''On to me?' she repeated, her brain a little slow after her flight. 'Maybe you would care to explain that remark?''Certainly,' he bit out tautly. 'It was a wet night—a very wet night,' he added derisively. 'And you obviously need somewhere to stay tonight,' helooked pointedly at her suitcase. 'And I was unfortunate enough to be the one to bump into you.''At least you admit that now!''I admit nothing,' he ground out. 'We simply walked into each other, what I said just now was a matter of speech. But the moment you walkedon after our collision, stopped, thought for a minute, and then turned back and came into the building after me was when I realised what you weredoing.' And she had thought he had entered the building without giving her a second glance, now it appeared he had been aware of her everymovement. 'What was I doing?' she prompted, still puzzled by this conversation.'Deciding I was a suitable candidate for you to spend the night with—''
?' she gasped disbelievingly, staring up at him as if he had gone insane, the rest of the conversation now falling into place. 'Now youlisten here—''No, you listen,' he told her in a controlled voice, the brown eyes cold. 'You're too damned young to be up to tricks like this one—''"Tricks" being the operative word,' she scorned angrily. 'That's what you thought you were going to be, didn't you, my "trick" for the night?'His expression softened a little at her vehemence, although not much. 'I'm sure that you wouldn't have thought of it in that way—''Don't you believe it, buster,' Chelsea snapped, her eyes flashing darkly. 'What you're talking about is soliciting, and they're called hookerswhere I come from too!'His expression became chilling. 'If you want to be basic—''Oh, let's be basic,' she derided furiously. 'You can tell me what my next move should be!' she challenged.He shrugged broad shoulders, not at all disconcerted by her angry aggression. 'You watch which apartment I go into, leave it an appropriateamount of time, then knock on my door pretending you have the wrong address for the friend you were supposed to spend the night with, and thatyou would like to use the telephone. The telephone number conveniently turns out to be a false one too, and I'm supposed to offer to let you spendthe night with me.''For a price!''Not necessarily, I've heard that picking pockets after the event is quite popular nowadays,' he commented calmly, looking at her with cooldisdain.'I don't know what sort of company you've been keeping,' she scorned. 'But I don't go through any man's pockets before
after the event.But you're right about one thing…'

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