Forbidden Surrender(2)

By: Carole Mortimer

Her Aunt Susan had instantly taken her to her heart, she and Uncle Arthur having no children of their own. Sara felt at home with them, felt at home with England, and in a way she would be sad to leave when the time came. Still, that wouldn't be for another couple of weeks yet.

'Who was that man?' her aunt frowned. 'The one I saw you talking to?'

Sara shrugged as they fell into step together, making their way back to the busy city centre. 'I have no idea,' she answered her aunt.

Her eyes widened. 'You didn't know him?*

Sara shook her head. 'No.'

'But I saw him kiss you!' Her aunt sounded scandalised.

Sara grinned. 'I think he was trying to pick me up. It wasn't a very good approach, though—he pretended that he thought I was someone else." She shook her head. 'Not very original!'

'Who did he think you were?'

She shrugged. 'Someone called Marie. I wouldn't have minded, but he seemed so insistent. Oh well,' she dismissed, 'he'll have to chalk this one down to a no-go-'

'Yes, I suppose so," her aunt agreed vaguely. 'Now, where were we? Oh yes, if we turn here we should be near the underground. Shall we go home and have a cup of tea? I'm dying for a cup.'

Sara grinned at her, her face alight with mischief, her features strikingly beautiful, the eyes wide and a deep dark brown, heavily fringed by long black lashes, the nose short, the mouth wide and smiling, her teeth very white against her golden skin. Her body was tall and supple, long-legged, and very slender. Her looks were invaluable in her profession, and she hoped to return to modelling when she went back to the States.

'You and your tea!' she chided. After only two days she was well aware of her aunt's weakness for the brew, the other woman seeming to drink gallons of the stuff. Sara preferred coffee herself, but she readily agreed with the idea of going home for refreshment; the visit to Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament had tired her out.

Uncle Arthur came in soon after they did, a short stocky man, going a little thin on top, his sparse brown hair going slightly grey now.

'I have a surprise for you, love,' he beamed at Sara as they ate their dinner. 'I've invited Eddie round tonight, my nephew by my sister Jean. I thought you would like a bit of young company for a change.'

Sara masked her irritation. Her aunt and uncle had been so kind to her, and it was ungrateful of her not to appreciate this extra act of kindness. They had no way of knowing of her recent disillusionment, of the way Barry had let her down when she needed him the most, had walked out on her when the accident had temporarily robbed her of the ability to walk into a room with him and make one of his grand entrances. Barry was an up-and-coming actor, had appeared in several television serials, and he ranked his worth much higher than any television producer had yet had the foresight to do. Sara had been dating him a couple of months before the accident, not realising that her main attraction had been her undeniable beauty and her original way of dressing. Barry had replaced her within a day of the accident, having no time for her bereavement or her own injuries.

So at the moment she wasn't particularly keen on men. 'That will be nice,' she gave a bright smile.

'I hope so,' her uncle nodded, settling back in his armchair. 'He's a good lad, works in a garage.'

'He doesn't work in a garage, Arthur,' his wife chided. 'He owns one, dear,' she told Sara. 'And he lets other people do the work.'

Sara felt sure Eddie wouldn't agree with that, the poor man was probably worked off his feet. It wasn't easy running a business, she knew that. Her stepfather had run an advertising firm, and he had often come home absolutely exhausted. Eddie probably felt the same way on occasion.

'It's nice of him to spare me the time,' she said in all honesty.

'Well, he took a bit of persuading,' her uncle told her, 'but I managed to talk him round.'

After Barry's desertion of her this wasn't exactly a booster to her morale. It was because of Eddie's apparent reluctance to meet her that she took special care over her appearance that evening.

Her silky suit was in a pale lilac colour, the narrow belt that fitted over the shirt top in a deep purple colour. Her shoes matched the colour of the belt, her legs were long and silky beneath the straight skirt. She was aiming to knock his eyes out, so her make-up was dramatic, just to show him that his time hadn't been wasted.

When she heard him arrive she checked her appearance. Her hair, newly washed, fell in gentle waves halfway down her back, shaped in casual curls either side of her face. Yes, she looked the top model she had rapidly been becoming until the accident, and if Eddie wasn't impressed now he never would be.

He was. It was obvious by the widening of his deep blue eyes, by the way he slowly rose to his feet, his gaze appraising.