Authors: Andrea Grigg
|A Simple Mistake|
|Wombat Books (2012)|
When teenage sweethearts Nick and Lainey meet again after more than a decade, so much has changed. Nick is now a famous celebrity and Lainey is the girl he left behind. As a member of a highly successful band and with an emerging acting career, Nick can have any girl he wants. Now he wants Lainey back. Despite Nick's promise to keep in touch when he left to seek fame and fortune, Lainey never heard from him. Now that time has passed, she has moved on from what she felt. Or has she? After discovering what kept them apart for so long, they tentatively rekindle their past romance. The feelings are just as strong as before but can Lainey accept Nick's lack of faith? And can their new relationship survive Lainey's secret?
* An Australian romance about faith and trust by debut author Andrea Grigg.
A Simple Mistake
Published by Even Before Publishing
a division of Wombat Books.
P. O. Box 1519, Capalaba Qld 4157
© Andrea Grigg 2012
Cover Design by Melissa Dalley
Layout by Even Before Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-921633-58-4 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-921633-59-1 (epub)
ISBN: 978-1-921633-82-9 (kindle ebook)
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1984. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
To my husband Geoff,
who never doubted for a minute I could do it.
First of all, my heartfelt thanks and praise go to my God, for taking me on this journey. He has provided me with many people to help me along the way and the following deserve special thanks:
To my family, who support my writing whole-heartedly and put up with my absent-mindedness when I emerge from my cave. To my wonderful husband Geoff – all those cups of tea and coffee really paid off, didn’t they? Melissa, Hayley and Jackson – your encouragement has meant everything to me. You are amazing people and I’m so blessed to have you in my life.
Extra special thanks to my daughter Melissa, for designing a fabulous cover.
My parents, Ross and Olwyn Davison, the best anyone could have.
My book buddies: Claudia, (I’ll finish Penny’s story one day, I promise!) Christine, Caroline, Jean, Kate, Marion, (did you find the word ‘cacophony’?) Melissa, Rebecca, Stacey and Val (I shall consider your special request). You ladies are simply the best. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Mary Hawkins, author, friend, and mentor extraordinaire. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Rowena Beresford – I’m so glad God caused our paths to cross. And Monique? I’ll never forget our conversation that day. It still gives me goosebumps. God bless you.
My publisher, Rochelle Manners, and Anne Hamilton from Omega Writers. You ladies have taught me so much. I’m forever grateful.
And to all who read this book – Thank you. My prayer is that it not only entertains, but encourages you to draw closer to the One who loves us more than we can ever imagine.
Lainey Sullivan didn’t think she’d
been this nervous. She’d managed to eat breakfast but didn’t dare attempt lunch – there was no way it would stay down. Playing her violin at a wedding was something she’d done hundreds of times before, but this wedding was different. A nerve-wracking kind of different.
Her flatmate smiled as they shared the cramped space in front of the bathroom mirror. ‘You look very pretty today.’
‘Thanks.’ The compliment barely registered as she concentrated on not damaging herself with her mascara wand.
excited. I can’t believe we’re doing this for
our last gig. I’ve idolised The Mavericks for years and today I’m going to play at one of their weddings, see them close up, perhaps even
to them. Do you think they’ll sing? I mean, it would make sense if they did, especially
, seeing as how it’s really a wedding song and it’s their own number one hit and …’ Lara stared. ‘You’re really nervous, aren’t you?’
get nervous. I know you went to high school with the drop dead gorgeous Nick Cusack and—’
‘Please, can we not talk about it?’
And God, please don’t let me throw up all
over my music.
Lara frowned. ‘What’s going on?’
‘I promise I’ll tell you later.’ And she would.
They had been best friends for ages and there wasn’t much they didn’t know about each other, but this? Lainey had kept this to herself for a long time.
She’d had five months to get used to the idea of seeing Nick, but it hadn’t helped. Her body wanted to collapse in a quivering heap. After ten years, would he even recognise her?
She knew what
looked like. There were plenty of photos of Nick in magazines and newspapers, always with a stunning female hanging off his arm. The inevitable ripple of jealousy annoyed her. She had no right.
Lainey ran a finger down her nose. In her opinion, it was still too long, but at least it was straight. She wondered if Nick would notice the difference then chided herself. He’d have his mind on more important things. Like being best man for James Harrington, another one of The Mavericks.
James’s fiancée had heard their quartet at a charity function and booked them on the spot. It was a perfect finale. For a variety of reasons, after six years together, this was Heartstrings’ last gig.
By the time they got to the hotel’s function room, she and Lara had shown their security passes five times to big, burly men in dark suits and earpieces. Lainey’s heart slowed from a gallop to a canter. The groom and groomsmen weren’t anywhere in sight. Yet.
Kevin and Meredith, the other half of the quartet, were setting up music stands and chairs in a corner up the front. Lainey greeted them, then unpacked her gear with trembling hands, her eyes constantly darting to the entrance.
The tiny part of her brain not attached to her emotions let her attention be caught by the extravagance of the room. Roses of various shades of pink spilled out of massive urns, vast numbers of chairs were covered in white fabric with pink satin bows and clusters of candles were everywhere. The effect was exquisite, romantic, like in a bridal magazine.
Lainey gulped and dropped her bow. As she bent to retrieve it, she knocked her stand and sent her music tumbling.
‘Are you alright, Lainey?’ asked Meredith. ‘I’ve never seen you so jittery!’
Kevin laughed. ‘I think she’s overawed by the thought of all these pop stars.’
Just the one
. She threw him a tight smile as she sorted her music and sent up yet another desperate prayer, willing her hands into submission. How could she play without sounding like a complete amateur?
‘She’ll be fine.’ Lara drew her bow across her strings and made some tuning adjustments. ‘Aren’t the flowers amazing? No prizes for guessing what colour the bridesmaids are wearing—hel-
!’ She sighed. ‘Don’t you just love God’s creation?’
Lainey’s head jerked up so fast she gave herself whiplash. She heard Meredith’s giggle but didn’t spare her a glance, searching for Nick amongst the four men escorting James Harrington.
He was there alright, strolling down the carpet straight towards her, hands in pockets, looking like a photo shoot for Hugo Boss.
He was taller than she remembered, well over her own six feet. His dark blond hair was still longish and he had the stubble that was so fashionable these days. Lainey thought it made most guys appear lazy and unkempt. On Nick it was perfect.
James acknowledged the musicians with a nod and a smile and turned to greet the celebrant. Nick followed, flicked them a cursory glance – and then stopped.
Could her heart thud any harder? As their eyes locked, she found it could.
‘Hello, Nick.’ Oh, she was proud of herself! Her voice sounded normal, calm even. Too bad the rest of her was trembling like a jelly
hadn’t she found someone else to do the gig? Perhaps she could still make a run for it. Grab her handbag and—
‘I can’t believe it’s you!’ To her astonishment, Nick strode over and grabbed her wrist. ‘Come here.’
She had no idea what happened to her instrument but she didn’t care. Nick’s arms were around her and he held her for an achingly, wonderfully, long time. ‘Don’t leave until I’ve had a chance to talk to you, okay?’ The whisper in her ear was intense.
It took all her willpower not to shiver. Lainey nodded, breathing in his aftershave, her skin tingling from the roughened jaw on her cheek.
Nick let her go, squeezed her arm, then rejoined James and the others, all watching with undisguised interest.
Very aware of another three pairs of eyes, Lainey sat back down and accepted her bow from Meredith and her violin from Lara.
‘You,’ said Lara, jabbing her in the ribs with the tip of her own bow, ‘you are in so-o-o-o much trouble.’
Lainey tucked her violin under her chin and grinned. Nick may have been the one to break off their relationship but he was happy to see her now. The feeling was indescribable.
‘Told you I knew him.’ She turned to Kevin and Meredith, mirror images of stunned amazement. ‘Are we ready?’
* * *
With an effort, Nick focussed on the reason he was here. James and Mia were getting married and he was the best man. When he’d discovered Lainey sitting there, watching him with those sensational blue eyes of hers, the impact was not unlike receiving a bullet in his chest. At least, that’s how he imagined it would feel.
He admired the way she sat as she played, her back straight, head tilted to one side, her hair piled on top. His fingers itched to let it loose, to see it cascade down her back.
Her nose was straight. When had she had that done? She’d always hated it but it had never worried him. He had loved her just the way she was.
The last time they’d seen each other had been at the airport, over ten years ago. They’d been very young but he’d not forgotten the intensity of their feelings – or the memory of the afternoon just before he left.
As he moved into position beside James, Nick became aware of the other people in the room anticipating the sound of the bridal march. Some were famous Australians from the entertainment industry. Nick couldn’t have cared less who they were. Lainey’s presence overshadowed everything.
Risking a glance, he found her doing the same and smiled when she went pink.
He wished the wedding was over so he could go and talk to her again, then felt guilty for the thought.
Nick pulled himself together and concentrated on the ceremony. He produced the rings without a hitch and sang
with the rest of The Mavericks. It had the effect they’d come to expect; most of the female guests went diving into their handbags for a tissue.
After the ceremony there was an interminable amount of time before he was able to leave the wedding party. Lainey’s quartet played while everyone mingled, but by the time he’d endured what seemed like thousands of photos and got back to her, she was packing up.
Lainey smiled as she closed her violin case. ‘Hi. It was a beautiful wedding wasn’t it?’
Before he could respond, the dark-haired ‘cellist held out a hand. ‘Hello, I’m Lara, Lainey’s flatmate.
pleased to meet you.’ She flashed a grin then spoke to Lainey over her shoulder. ‘I’ll meet you at the lift. You are so dead.’
Lainey looked flustered. ‘Don’t worry about her. She, um …’
There wasn’t time to find out what was going on. ‘May I please have your phone number? Can I call you?’ He was nervous and the words came out stilted and formal. Not his usual style at all.
‘Of course.’ Lainey found a pen and paper and scribbled down her details.
‘You’re not married? Going out with anyone? Got a boyfriend?’
Her cheeks reddened a little, but she tilted her chin and looked him in the eye as she handed him the piece of paper. ‘No, none of the above. What about you?’
‘No, no boyfriends.’ She laughed, and he felt more at ease. Nick kissed her cheek, lingering longer than he should. ‘I’ll call you later tonight.’
She gave him a shy smile. ‘I’ll look forward to it.’
When he glanced back, Lainey was watching him. She gave a little wave and he smiled back. He would definitely phone her tonight.