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The Primrose Bride

The Primrose Bride

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Published by romantic lady
Romance
Romance

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Published by: romantic lady on Jun 10, 2013
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02/12/2014

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THE PRIMROSE BRIDE
byKathryn Blair
 
Karen was young and vulnerable and very much in love with her new husband, and it was ashattering blow when she found, only a few days after the wedding, that he had only marriedher to further his own career—as a Government official in the romantic South Sea Islands.What was she to do now?
One thing was certain—she could never stop loving him.
 
CHAPTER ONE
The floor of billowing white cloud was gone now, and Karen could see an expanse of pewterocean and a long string of green islands which looked uninhabited. She didn’t want to askagain. “Are we nearly there?” The nearer they came to the Leaman Islands, the more shy shefelt of Andrew’s amused glance. He made allowances for her excitement, her wonder andtrepidation; but obviously he couldn’t for the life of him see why she should dither at thethought of making her home on Nemaka Island. To him, the Leamans or other islands very likethem had been home for many years, and perhaps he couldn’t remember how he had felt onhis first trip to the South Seas.Not for a moment did Karen permit herself to question his calmness; she was only toothankful for it. And all, it was the bride who had qualms, wasn’t it? A groom such as Andrewtook everything in his stride and knew that tomorrow was another day not so very different,fundamentally, from today.She gave him a quick sideways look, without turning her head. Seated comfortably besideher with one long leg stretched into the aisle, he looked totally at ease as he read thenewspaper he had bought at Hong Kong airport. His almost black hair was brushed back froma deep forehead, and his strongly marked brows were part of the slightly Romanesque profile.A thin, high-bridged nose, a firmly cut mouth, a well-formed chin, and a jawline that ratherhardened his looks and added to the seasoned air of command.“Andrew ... my husband,she thought queerly, for the hundredth time. “We ... belong to eachother.”And yet, deep down, she knew that though Andrew loved her he would never entirely belongto any woman; he was his own man. And that was the miracle of it, really; her being here withhim, approaching the home they were to share, and the future they would shape together.Andrew Eliot, the lordly young man she had worshipped when she was ten and he twenty-one, the charming, experienced man of thirty-two whom she had married the day beforeyesterday.
 
Was it only the day before yesterday? Yes, no more. After the ceremony they had lunched with her two aunts, received tearful kisses of farewell and driven to London Airport in a hiredcar. And since boarding the first plane they hadn’t been alone together, not even for a fewminutes. They had winged through day and night, stopped about half a dozen times forrefuelling, and changed planes at Hong Kong. As she looked back over the past forty-eighthours, it seemed to Karen that the period at Hong Kong had been by far the worst. She hadrested in a small hotel lounge, been served a very good lunch and been surrounded by readingmatter. Andrew had given orders to the hovering waiter that she was not to be disturbed, hadkissed her forehead lightly and gone off to see an old friend of his who was stationed in HongKong. Far wiser for Karen to rest, he had said, and she hadn’t dared to suggest thatmovement was what she needed.That was her trouble, she decided. Though she loved Andrew with every fibre of her beingand was determined to make their marriage idyllic, she was still so shy of him that sheaccepted whatever he decreed. But all that would alter, of course, once she was established with him in his house. She had to get over the first day or two, that was all.He leaned her way and said, “We’ll touch down in about twenty minutes. Feel all right?”“A bit shaky,” she said, “but wonderful too. Getting near the end of our journey is exciting.Andrew, I do hope everyone...”“Now stop worrying. They’ll all adore you, and I’ve come back early for the specific purpose ofavoiding an encounter with the Governor for at least a week He’ll be touring the other islandsand his wife always goes with him, so you’ll be able to feel quite settled before you meet them!The men are a good bunch and you’ll like their wives too, though I’m not saying there won’t bea spot of jealousy,” he ended with a smile. “You’re younger and prettier than any of them.“But ... but I don’t really want to be. If you’re their superior officer I’m not likely to be verypopular, anyway.“My dear girl,” he said, patting her hand, “You’ll get by, whatever your position. I’ll be rightthere with you. I know things have been pretty hectic this last week or two, but you’re youngand resilient. After a couple of days’ rest you’ll slide into place with no trouble at all. No oneknows we’re arriving today, so you’ll have nothing to contend with except...” an almostimperceptible pause, “except a couple of servants and the house layout. And as I’ve saidbefore, I shan’t be far away!”She smiled gratefully, grasped the hand close to hers and felt the reassuring squeeze of hisfingers. “I wouldn’t worry at all if I weren’t so terribly anxious to start off on the right track witheveryone. You mustn’t mind if I ask you once again if there’s anything else I should know aboutyour colleagues.“They’re just men in the Administration,” he said casually, “but there’s one thing I’d like youto remember. A fortnight ago, when you agreed to marry me, I cabled my closest friend inNemaka that I was getting married at once. He’ll think we’ve been hitched at least ten days,and so will everyone else. We’ll let them go on thinking it. It’ll be easier for you that way.She felt color rise from her neck, looked down at her hands and then through the window atthe intensely blue sky of early evening.‘Yes, it will,” she nodded. “Very well, Andrew. Thank you.”

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