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75443262 Jessica Steele Runaway From Love

75443262 Jessica Steele Runaway From Love

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Published by: klamboy555 on Mar 23, 2012
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Runaway from LoveJessica Steele
 All's fair in love and war. But there was no way that Delfi could steal her sister's fianceeven though she knew that he returned her feelings. A complete break was what wasneeded. So the offer of a job in exotic Thailand seemed almost heaven sent. But Delfiwas to discover that her problems were only just beginging. Bangkok was no place for awoman on her own with dwindling funds and a job which turned out to carry extracurricular duties which Delfi had no intention of providing. The only person prepared tohelp was Boden Mclaine. But could she trust such an infuriatingly arrogant man?
CHAPTER ONE
HER decision, Delfi mused when, keeping her unhappy feelings down, she paused in he packing that Sunday evening, had not been so much a decision she had made after weeksof thinking things over very carefully. Or even, she solemnly reflected, of days of thinking things over very carefully. If the truth be known, it had been more a case of everything snowballing on from that one incident last Monday when she had finally losther temper with Mr Yardley, her boss-now her ex-boss-and had walked out of her job.Prior to that she had, of course, known for some time that something, something verydrastic, would have to be done if her sister Raina was not to be desperately hurt for asecond time. But what that something was had not become clear to Delfi until after thingshad come to a head at the office last Monday. Usually, she was slow to anger, but, insteadof biting her tongue when yet again Mr Yardley had pushed the blame on to her for something which he had left undone, she had found that it proved to be once too often.She had exploded, and followed through by clearing out her desk.Delfi, her mind elsewhere, took a rest from her packing and went over to the paddedchair in her bedroom. She was barely aware of her actions but, in no time, thoughts of Mr Yardley were replaced by other thoughts. And as ever Hugh Renshaw, the man her sister was going to marry, was there in her head.Her thoughts flew back to how Hugh had come to declare that he loved her and notRaina. She admitted that she was a little confused about how it had all happened, but oh,how she wished that it never had. Surely things would not have been as impossible asthey now were if Hugh had never taken her in his arms that time when, her parents out,Raina not yet back from some errand, he had arrived early and found her alone.Raina was twenty-seven and had been engaged to Hugh for eight months, and had noidea that Delfi, her junior by five years, had grown to love the same man. Delfi had beenmost careful that no one else should know of it either, but somehow, she had realisedonly on that fateful day Hugh had arrived and found her the sole occupant of the house,he had known.
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"Little Delfi!" he'd exclaimed softly, the way he called her "little Delfi' thrilling her despite the fact that he at five ten was only two inches taller than she was. She smiled athim, and suddenly he was pulling her into his arms. And she, to her everlasting shame,forgot all about her sister.She welcomed his lips, his embrace, and returned his kisses mindless of everything as,there in the hall of the home she shared with her parents and her sister, there was nothought in her head for anyone except Hugh."Who could resist your provocative, inviting mouth?" Hugh murmured as he briefly pulled back. Then, just before he kissed her again, "Or who could fail to love you?" heasked."You-love me?" she asked, as soon as she had breath left to ask anything, her violet-coloured eyes large, questioning."As you love me," he admitted, and had been about to kiss her again when all at once, tomortifyingly bring Delfi crashing abruptly back to earth, the sound of someone insertinga key in the front door penetrated.Guiltily they sprang apart. "Raina!" Delfi choked, horror-struck, pulling away fromHugh, and, absolutely swamped by the sudden and most dreadful feeling of remorse, she pelted up the stairs to her room, too shamed to be able to face her sister.She stayed in her room and remained there even when fifteen minutes later she heard her sister and future brother-in-law leave the house. She heard Hugh's car start up but couldnot even go to the window. All she could think of was how Raina had been engaged once before. Of how, four years ago, she had been jilted and how she had taken it so badly thatfor an age they had feared that she would never get over it.With her spirits swung so swiftly from the heights to the very depths, Delfi knew thenthat there was no future for her with Hugh Renshaw. It was clear, by the very fact that heand Raina had gone out for the evening as planned, that Hugh had told Raina nothing of what had so recently taken place in the hall downstairs.Nor must he. Nor, most definitely, Delfi realised, would she. What happiness could there be for her and Hugh if, as a result of being jilted a second time, her sister had a breakdown that was worse than the time before?Delfi spent a sleepless night hoping and praying that Hugh had said nothing of their lovefor each other to her sister. With fear in her heart she went down to breakfast the nextmorning and felt so mixed up then that she didn't know whether to laugh or cry whenRaina, as sweet as ever she was, greeted her with a friendly, cheerful and even teasing,"Will this be the day that sneaky Yardley gets your notice?"
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Delfi managed a grin. "Did I tell you what he did yesterday?" she tried for normality,and later went to her office with Mr. Yardley and his sneaky ways the least of her worries.During the next few days she came to the resolution that, while her feelings for Hughhad not changed, she and Hugh were going to have to pretend that those shared weak moments between them had never happened.The only problem there, she found, was that Hugh was not of the same mind. For whileDelfi was putting everything she had into being strong, Hugh constantly tried toundermine her strength by seeking to get her alone at every opportunity. At thoseinstances she strove hard, in the short space of time available, to try and get through tohim that they could not hurt Raina. But, to undermine what remaining strength she hadstill further, he would render her words as nothing-by taking her in his arms.Matters had gone on like that for a month with Delfi starting to panic that if she didn'tsoon do somethingthough without knowing what she could do-then Raina was bound toguess. Either that or Hugh-for all he made an outward show of being as much in lovewith Raina as ever-might crack if he was feeling the strain anywhere as near as much asDelfi, and might end his engagement. Delfi panicked some more at that thought.Whatever happened, he must not do that.Things reached a peak though when, for the first time ever, Hugh rang her at her place of work and suggested that she met him away from her home that evening. Delfi knew thatRaina had not arranged to see him that night, but she couldn't, just couldn't, go behind her sister's back in such a blatant fashion."I can't," Delfi heard her own voice refuse, and started to panic again in case he insistedand made her weak to the point of blatant treachery-she had honestly done her best toavoid being left alone with him on those other occasions. It was then that Delfi, whocould not remember the last time she had uttered a lie, forced the words out, "I alreadyhave a date for tonight." With that, and with what little moral fibre she had left, shequietly put the phone down.When at lunchtime that day one of the other secretaries with whom she was friendlyinvited her to a party that night, Delfi accepted with alacrity. A party was the last thingshe needed just now, but it helped to ease her irritating conscience about her lie-even if the lie was in a good cause.It was at the party that she met Melvin "Call me Mel' Dalloway. He was about the sameheight and build as Hugh but, where Hugh was a fairly confident type of man, MelDalloway seemed confident to the point of being brash. And, where Hugh had lived allhis life in London, Mel, to hear him talk, had been everywhere. He was, it turned out, at present on leave from his manager's job in an export and import company in Thailand."Do you get home to England often?" Delfi, since she'd accepted the invitation to the
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