Authors: Kia Carrington-Russell
Published by Crystal Publishing (Australia)
Copyright © Kia Carrington-Russell 2015
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
Cover Design: ©
Interior Cover Design: ©
All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or partially used by any means unless prior permission by the publisher.
To my editor, Ashley Patterson— so much love and gratitude for what you do for me. Without you my books would not be the same. You and I make beautiful books together, someone once told me.
To my family, I love you all dearly and thank you as always for helping me in my book cover decisions and the random messages you get from me for “honest opinions.”
To my partner, Scott, thank you for being my outside-of-the-box person. I love your advice and thoughts on all of the things I do. I love you dearly.
To my best friend, Keeley, thank you for listening to my every thought on the book. One by one they are manifesting, and a huge thank you goes to you for that. Thank you for believing in me and thinking of me as a star. Wouldn’t be here without you.
To my readers, thank you. You have supported my writing endeavours and it really brings me confidence in my books. Thank you so much.
A relationship is to find that one person who will be your one exception,
that one person you will attempt to better yourself for,
whether they see you as flawless or not.
It will be a rollercoaster of emotion. You must find yourself,
not because they force you to, but because you want to be their equal.
You will work on yourself, so you can work on your relationship.
A beautiful friendship and progression of love.
An exception in your life no matter what has happened to you in the past.
This person is your one weakness, your love, and your life.
will be back before you know it. I’m packing my bags now, checking out of the motel, and then leaving for the airport. Stop sulking,” I joked, adjusting the phone between my shoulder and ear. I grabbed the souvenirs on the bed and packed them roughly into my bag before eyeing the room appreciatively one last time. The wooden frames of the bed contrasted nicely with the light beige of the walls. This was my first time in Singapore, and although I hadn’t the biggest room, it was still very luxurious.
“Clover,” Damon’s voice growled through the phone. “You have a man here whose workload has been far greater this month than usual while you traipse all over the countryside. I need a release and I can only think about one thing,” he pleaded. The rough edge to his voice sent shivers down me as I thought of how he might welcome me home.
“And yet that tight behind of yours is not here. I am starting to fear you don’t care about my needs...” he trailed off dramatically.
“Aww. Baby had to go without for a week,” I teased, moving to the opulent bathroom and collecting the last of my cosmetics.
“Clover, your tone hurts. There is a ridiculous amount of hours in one week,” he retorted sharply.
I rolled my eyes, imagining him here with me. It would’ve been so wonderful if he could have come. But for the past six weeks, his sister Michelle had had a few medical issues, and because of this, Damon had been temporarily made CEO of
magazine. I wanted to support him, and I did, but being away so much every month was difficult at times. I wanted to see inside of his head and ask what he was really thinking. He hadn’t said much on the matter of his sister, which alarmed me. After his mother was taken by cancer, he worried about the fate of his sister. She had been so quiet about her scans and reasons for going to the doctors.
I pushed the thoughts from my mind. “And have you been feeding Pudding every night?”
“Please Clover, me and Pudding are so close I could hardly imagine myself neglecting him. I would more likely forget to feed you than that amazingly handsome fat cat.”
“How many times has he scratched you?” I asked, raising an eyebrow as I carried my small cosmetic bag back into the main room.
“No more than you usually do on a daily basis. You can’t see it, but I’m winking,” he laughed through the phone, making me miss him more.
“I can only imagine your goofy expression. Oh, did my parcel come yet with Mom’s gift in it?”
“Not yet, but it will shortly. Stop panicking, her birthday is still two weeks away.”
The upcoming birthday would be the first time my sister Megan and my mother would meet Damon. I knew that they would love him, but still, I was nervous. “Do you think you will still be able to come, what with Michelle taking time off and you running
?” It came out quieter than I expected, more like a whisper.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” He was silent for a moment before continuing. “Michelle called me this morning; when you come back from Singapore she would like it if we could go over to her and Phillip’s house for dinner. She wants to talk with us.”
“Of course. Are you okay?” I sat down on the edge of the bed.
Damon was silent again. I never knew what he was thinking when he went so quiet. I could imagine his hard face, his dark eyebrows slightly furrowing as he considered what to say next. “It will be okay. Hey angel puff, I have to go. A client has just arrived for our meeting. I’ll pick you up from the airport.”
“Oh! My very own personal escort,” I teased, trying to lighten his mood once again. If he didn’t want to discuss it right now, I was okay with that. I would much prefer to speak with him when I was home.
“I will see you then, tantalizing lady.” I could hear the smile through the phone.
“Don’t call me that,” I snorted.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
I slipped the phone into my lap, looking up at the painting that hung above my mid-sized TV in the hotel room. It was a picture of a purple distorted cat. I inhaled deeply, deliberating over what Michelle might say. I knew what Damon’s greatest fear would be right now. His silence cut through my chest every time. He was so masculine, charismatic, handsome, clever, and confident. Yet I had seen his vulnerable side. I knew his secrets, and seeing that sensitive and so damaged part of him made me want to heal him. Sometimes, when I reached out to him, he would brightly brush my hand away, confident he could fix everything himself.
My thoughts drifted to Michelle. Without her presence in the office, it was quiet. That woman was professional through and through. I had much respect for her, as did all the workers there. She was hard but fair. Her expectations of her workers and magazine were extreme, but that gusto was what made it one of the leading magazines in Manhattan. Although she didn’t show her more playful side to others, often she would slip into my office now and then for a five-minute break, just sagging into the chair and kicking off her shoes.
Damon and I often went over to her home, for drinking of course. She was an alcoholic, hands down; she drank every night. But she was happy and gleeful all the same. The stress of her position would most likely have forced her into the excessive drinking. I enjoyed drinking wine with her. I even bought one of Singapore’s more renowned wines for her. It was not of origin from Singapore as they only imported wine. I trialled a few and after drinking so many nights with her, I figured this particular wine would best suit her palette.
I clicked the side of my phone so my screen would light up, revealing a photo of Damon and I at one of
Candice and Clive’s’s
events. I smiled; this was the first photo taken of us, when he had been my escort and pretended to be my boyfriend. How far we had come since we first met on that night. I loved this man more than I could describe; he was the first and only man who had kept my attention for so long. Now, I couldn’t imagine myself without him. The distance was a killer when I had to leave for my work as a travel columnist. It was what I had always aspired to do, and I loved my job. I never thought it could affect my relationship. I slapped myself internally. Damon and I had no issues; I simply missed him was all. At least this time I would have two weeks at home before travelling on to Fiji.
I slid my phone into the back pocket of my jeans, brushing my fingers through my very curly hair and pushing it to one shoulder. I collected my bag and headed for the reception.
Less than one day now until I see my man
, I told myself.