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Authors: Kelly Jamieson

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary

Crazy Ever After

BOOK: Crazy Ever After
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This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

 

 

Crazy Ever After

Copyright © 2012 by Kelly Jamieson

 

ISBN: 978-1-880370-15-5

 

 

 

Cover by Hot Damn Designs

 

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews

PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF KELLY JAMIESON

 

 

“Jamieson creates an emotionally complex, well-written story about relationships.”

—RT Book Reviews

 

 

“Ms. Jamieson is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors.”

—Just Erotic Romance Reviews

 

 

“Her characters are intelligent, believable and heartwarming.”

—Night Owl Reviews

 

 

“Ms. Jamieson once again gives the reader a richly detailed story that is brimming over with sexual tension, intoxicating desires and intriguing carnal needs that is edgy and psychologically intense...”

—The Romance Studio

 

 

“...I love Kelly Jamieson’s books and the way that she depicts her characters...”

—Sizzling Hot Book Reviews

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

About the author

Chapter One

 

 

“Sorry to interrupt, Samara, but Travis Murray is on the phone, and he needs to speak to you urgently.”

Samara Hayden paused, holding up the remote control for her PowerPoint presentation on second quarter sales figures, gaping at her assistant Jennifer standing in the door of the conference room. The only thing that would have stunned Samara more was if an earthquake had started shaking the office building in which she stood. Her arm slowly lowered to her side.

“Travis Murray?” she repeated.

Just saying his name sent a rush of remembered heat through her body. She blinked at Jennifer.

“Yes.” After a short pause, Jennifer repeated, “He says it’s urgent.”

“Oh-oh,” said someone at the long conference table in a teasing tone of voice. “It’s the big boss. Maybe you’re in trouble, Sam.”

She forced a smile.

“Nah, probably a big promotion,” Barry said, also joking. “Better go talk to him, Sam.”

“I’m so sorry for the interruption.” She set down the remote control. “I’ll be right back. I guess when the VP of Wholesale and Retail Operations calls, I answer.” None of the others knew of her relationship with Travis. Her heart raced and her hands trembled, but she flashed an apologetic smile as she exited the meeting room, leaving the district managers and supervisors of Cedar Mill Coffee Company sitting around the long table. “Please excuse me.”

Outside in the hall, Jennifer said, “Do you want to take it in your office?”

Samara swallowed. “Sure. Thanks, Jenn.” She strode down the carpeted hall as fast as she could in her narrow skirt and high-heeled pumps, her mind racing with a million thoughts and questions. Travis? Travis was calling her? Why on earth...?

Technically, he was her boss, heading up the wholesale and retail operations office in Los Angeles, but several layers of management separated them, and in the two years since she’d been in a management position at Cedar Mill Coffee, he’d never had occasion to call her. Why would he? What was this about? It wasn’t likely to be a promotion, as Barry had joked, nor could she be in any kind of trouble. Her forehead tightened as she closed the office door behind her.

She stood behind her desk and paused with her hand on the receiver, gazing out the large window of her office where the Transamerica Pyramid thrust its sharp white tower into the cloudless blue sky above the San Francisco skyline. Her hand hovered over the telephone, as if she was afraid it was going to electrocute her if she touched it. Then she drew in a deep breath and picked up the receiver. “Samara Hayden,” she said crisply.

“Samara.” Travis’s deep voice, still so familiar after all these years, made her knees go weak. She sank into her leather chair.

“Hello, Travis.”

“Hi.” A short pause followed. “I’m sorry to interrupt your meeting. Your assistant told me you were doing your quarterly update meeting.”

“Yes.” Why are you calling me? She wanted to shout the words into the phone. With a shaky hand, she pushed her hair off her face.

“I have some bad news for you, I’m afraid,” Travis continued, his voice going even deeper. “It’s about your father.”

Samara frowned. “Dad? What is it?”

“He...he was in...Matagalpa.” Travis’s hesitancy was unusual for him. He’d always been so confident, so sure of himself. “On business.”

“Matagalpa? Really?” Her frown deepened. “We haven’t done business there for quite some time, I thought.”

“That’s true. But he was there talking to some growers. Apparently last night he’d been at a fiesta, and on the way back to his hotel, he had an...accident.” Another pause. Samara’s skin went icy, and she straightened in her chair. “His vehicle crashed and caught fire and burned with him in it. He’s...he’s dead, Samara.”

Samara’s office began to slowly spin around her. She rubbed her forehead. “That can’t be true. There must be some mistake.”

“No. God, I’m sorry, no. I spoke to the Matagalpan authorities myself. I...had the same reaction―it must be a mistake. But apparently not. They contacted your mother this morning, and she called me. Then I called them.”

Samara’s stomach contracted painfully. Her mother had called him. Of course she had. Who else would her mother contact? Samara didn’t even need to ask why her mother hadn’t called her.

“I still don’t believe it,” she whispered.

“I’m sorry.”

Silence built. Again, her mind raced with thought fragments and questions, confusion swirling inside her.

“I...I...” Good Godfrey, could it be true? Her dad...dead?

“You okay?” His voice went even huskier with concern. “Are you alone, Sam?”

“Y-yes. I’m in my office.”

“Samara. I’m leaving for Portland in a few hours. You need to come home too.”

Home.

She hadn’t been home for seven years.

And the man talking to her on the phone was the reason.

She pressed a hand to her stomach. Her father was dead... How could that be? It was ridiculous! Agony stabbed through her to her core, and she briefly closed her eyes again.

She couldn’t go home. She couldn’t. But she had to.

She swallowed through a dry, tight throat and tried to speak. “Yes,” she finally said. “I’ll...make arrangements.”

“Let me know your flight,” he said. “I’ll pick you up at the airport.”

“No!” The word burst from her lips before she could stop it, and she fought for control. “No, that’s not necessary. I don’t know....when I’ll get there.”

She gazed around her office helplessly. What...? How..? Oh Godfrey.

“Samara, are you sure you’re okay? What can I do? Let me talk to your assistant.”

“No. That’s okay. I’m fine.” She blinked. “I’ll...I’ll be fine.”

“Sam.” His voice softened again. “I’m so sorry.”

His words sunk in. Travis and her father had been friends and business partners for many years. This had to be hitting him hard too. Her throat closed up even more. “I’m sorry too,” she choked out. “Travis...are you okay?” She shouldn’t ask the question, shouldn’t even care about the man who’d hurt her so deeply, but...she did. Hell.

She heard his soft exhalation. His image appeared in her mind— the shaggy mop of dark blond hair, deep blue eyes, and tanned face with strong cheekbones and chin— as clearly as if she’d seen him yesterday and not seven years ago. The breath she drew in quivered.

“I’m okay,” he said. “Still in shock. This is...”

“I know,” she whispered. “Oh Travis. What will we do?” The words sounded wrong, as if she meant the two of them. Yes, they, along with her mother, would personally feel her father’s loss. But she’d meant, what would the company do? The death of the popular, charismatic CEO of Cedar Mill Coffee would devastate the entire organization.

“We’ll figure it out,” he said, his voice strong and reassuring. She nodded. “Take my cell number, Sam, and call me or text me if you need anything at all.”

She picked up a pen and wrote down the number even though she knew there was no way in hell she would ever call him about anything. Except possibly business.

“I’ll see you back in Portland,” he said as they hung up.

She pressed her hands to her cheeks and sucked in another shaky breath. She’d see Travis.

Oh my damn.

This was a family crisis, and she needed to put aside all that old hurt and humiliation and deal with this like the adult she now was.

Tears stung the corners of her eyes, and more pain swept through her in a shocking wave at the thought of her father being gone. Despite her efforts to blink them back, tears slid down her cheeks. She grabbed a tissue and swiped them away before rising to find Jennifer.

Jennifer looked up from her computer with a smile at the sound of Samara’s door opening, but her smile quickly faded. “What’s wrong?” she immediately asked.

Samara leaned against the small counter in front of Jenn’s desk. “My father...he had an accident on a business trip. He’s...dead.”

“Oh my god!” Jenn rose to her feet, covering her mouth with her hands. “Parker? Oh my god!”

Samara straightened her shoulders with another deep breath. Not only was this a family crisis, it was a business crisis, and she had staff that she had to consider too. Staff and clients and other stakeholders in the business. “I’m afraid so,” she continued quietly. “I can hardly believe it myself. I have to go back to Portland right away.”

“Of course. Of course. What can I do?”

“Book me a flight,” Samara replied. “The soonest you can get me on. I’ll need to finish a few things here and then head home to pack.”

Jennifer was already clicking with her mouse, going on-line to book the flight. Then she paused, rose from her chair and circled around from behind the counter, arms outstretched. She enfolded Samara into a big hug. “I’m so sorry, Sam. He’s our CEO...but he’s your father.”

More emotion welled up inside Samara at Jennifer’s sympathy, and she hugged her assistant back. “This is awful,” she whispered. “So awful.”

They pulled back, and Jenn’s eyes gleamed with tears too. “We’ll all do whatever we can,” she said, voice shaky. “Barry can take that meeting you have scheduled tomorrow. I’ll reschedule your other meetings. I’ll finish up the reports, and I’ll get Jason to check them over. You’re so on top of things it will be easy to cover for you for a few days. Just tell me...whatever you need. We’re here for you.”

Samara could have burst into tears at that, at what a loyal and caring staff she had working for her. Normally she hated having to accept help from anyone, but she was so agitated by this turn of events she just nodded, lips pressed tightly together in an attempt to smile. “Thank you, Jenn.” Rumors would fly about what was happening. She needed to communicate with her team before she left, make sure things were looked after... She focused on business, pushing her disbelief and grief to the back of her mind as she prepared to―at long last―go home.

If she’d ever imagined going home again, she’d always thought her father would be there to ease the way. But now he was gone. And she was going to see Travis again.

 

 

* * *

 

 

 

BOOK: Crazy Ever After
10.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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