Authors: Rebecca Turley
About the Author
Rebecca Turley lives in the captivating town of Malvern in Worcestershire with her husband Jon and cat Millie. With a view of the Malvern Hills from her writing desk, all she needs for inspiration is to look out of her window.
A hopeless romantic like most women, she enjoys becoming lost in a love story almost as much as writing one
Notice Me’ is her debut novel.
For my husband Jon and my parents. Without their love and encouragement this book would never have been written.
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
By Pablo Neruda. Sonnet XVII
The right of Rebecca Turley to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.
Any person who commits any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.
A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library.
Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.
25 Canada Square
I sat in my seat fidgeting, this dress was ridiculous. The pale champagne colour I could just about bear against my dull skin, but the tight bodice was almost stopping me from breathing.
How had I got myself into this nightmare, but worst of all how would I get out of this car in my four inch silver stilettos without falling flat on my face?
“Oh, Shannon smile. You are going to love it.” Megan was beaming. Of course she was excited to be going to the new night club near Oxford Street, it was ‘
her sort of thing’
. I smiled back, but she could see straight through me. “Really Shannon I wouldn’t worry. No one will even notice you.”
I just laughed to myself staring out of the window. It didn’t bother me that no one knew who I was. I liked it that way.
Night was falling. I could see a pink haze spreading across the night sky. In the distance the sun began to set behind the tumbling clouds.
The city was lively, street lights flashed by in seconds as we glided through London town in the black Mercedes. People hustled around the streets laughing and joking as the car slowed. I pressed my hand against the cold glass window wishing I could have been one of them, anyone rather than me tonight.
“Shannon, are you really that scared?” Megan looked at me in disbelief, but what did she expect? I told her not to bring me.
“I’m just not used to the red carpet treatment that’s all.” It was a true statement, although there was a lot more to it than that.
“Oh, it’s hardly the red carpet. There will only be a few hundred people there, and I doubt the press will even show up.” Megan took her silver compact mirror and began to touch up her lipstick. Of course the press would be there, she was ‘Megan Field’. Megan knew it too.
I watched her look at herself in the mirror. Megan was heart stoppingly beautiful. Her long light blonde hair fell down her shoulders in soft ringlets, her big blue eyes sparkled like rare diamonds, her faultless cheekbones complimented her small perfect nose, and her pink lips brightened her whole face with even the slightest smile.
I could tell we were getting nearer as Megan began to clap with excitement. My stomach turned nervously.
As we pulled up, flashing lights came from every direction. Megan squeezed my arm in encouragement as she stepped out of the car effortlessly.
I was frozen to the seat. I knew I had to move, but I just couldn’t. Unexpectedly I felt Megan’s hand touch mine to help me out of the car.
She was a truly wonderful friend. In moments like these I realised how lucky I was. Megan linked her arm in mine as she sashayed her way down the red carpet. She looked amazing in her baby pink wrap silk dress. It clung to her body in all the right places. I couldn’t even imagine what I must have looked like next to her.
She stopped for photo opportunities and made small talk with the press. Everyone was in awe of her, including me.
“You see Shannon, I told you it would be fine.” We had reached the end of the red carpet before I had even realised.
“Is that it? Well I guess that was okay.” I breathed in relief.
“We still have to go into the night club remember.” I nodded, thankful the worst was over.
As we entered the night club it was incredible. The ceilings were covered in mirrors reflecting the lasers from the DJ box positioned high up in the air. You could almost mistake it for a UFO with all the multi-coloured lights streaming from it. Large purple streamers hung off the walls, the main bar was lit up like Las Vegas. Huge comfortable purple sofas and tall glass tables were scattered around the room. I noticed the squared black and white dance floor was packed with London’s finest. I felt so out of place.
“Well my dear friend lets go and have some fun,” Megan whispered in my ear as she took my hand, dragging me to the dance floor. On the way she picked up some glasses of champagne. I had downed mine and grabbed another one before we even began making our way through the crowd. I was a light drinker, which was a good thing. I was already giggling when we reached the dance floor.
“Shannon, slow down. I don’t want to leave early. You know Charlie will be here tonight.” Megan took the glass off me. I didn’t mind as I had almost finished it.
Megan scanned the crowd as we danced. I had never seen her like this before. With her beauty Megan could have any man she wanted. I couldn’t understand why she was so anxious.
“Seriously Megan, what is wrong with you? He is just a man.”
Her eyes looked at me in shock. Had I said something wrong? I couldn’t see how, he was a man I knew that, but then she hadn’t shut up about him since last week. Thinking about it, this was the first time she had ever needed
on a red carpet night out.
“Just a man Shannon, have you been listening? He is amazing. You wait until you see him.” Megan was shaking me now, almost frantic. She appeared to be going crazy, all I could do was laugh. “Oh, thanks for your support Shan. Glad to see I amuse you. Some help you are,” Megan rolled her eyes at me.
“It’s not that Megan, it’s just have you seen yourself tonight? You look breathtakingly beautiful. I really don’t know why you are scared or needed me here for that matter.”
Megan smiled and hugged me tight. Now I really couldn’t breathe as the bodice pulled against my ribs. “Thank you Shan. I would be lost without you sometimes.”
She was scanning the crowd again, just as her hand caught my arm I saw him. I knew it had to be Charles Collins as Megan had described him in so much detail over the last week.
Slowly he made his way through the crowds of people, his dark blue suit moulded around his perfect body, his deep brown hair was slightly long and uneven, but it suited his perfectly shaped face. I couldn’t tell the colour of his eyes because he was still too far away, but I could see the draw, he was the male version of Megan – utterly gorgeous.
I took another glass of champagne. It was going to be a long night with these two and with me a gooseberry in the middle.
“Oh my God, there he is. How do I look?” She really had lost it now, trying to fix her already perfect hair. I just looked at her. Had she forgotten what I had just said to her? “Oh yeah, I look beautiful… Oh… I really can’t breathe. Help me… Shan.” Megan was a mess. I had never seen her like this before – ever. I took her hand to help calm her breathing, and it was a good thing the dance floor was so crowded or he would have reached us sooner.
“Just breathe Megan, remember he is just a man, you are a woman.” Megan just looked at me and tilted her head in his direction as he made his way through the crowd “Ok, he is a very good looking man, but he is just a man not a God.”
Megan began laughing, which was a good reaction when he finally reached us.
“Did I miss the joke?” His voice was soft, and tingles went down my spine as his eyes caught mine, blue with a hint of green. I became instantly mesmerised. Then I snapped out of it before I started going into a panic like Megan.
“Oh, it was just girlie stuff. You must be Charles?” I smiled at him, still trying to hold Megan up. I wasn’t even sure if she had snapped out of her attack yet.
“Yes I am, but people call me Charlie, and you are?”
I was shocked he was still talking to me, especially with Megan standing next to me, perhaps he was just as nervous as Megan. Most men were afraid of her beauty and wealth. I was the average girl next to the beauty queen, so it would be easier to start a conversation with me in order to gain the courage to talk to Megan.
I couldn’t really understand how he could be so nervous either. To me Megan and Charlie appeared equals.
“I’m Shannon, Megan’s ...”
“My best friend.” Megan had obviously snapped out of it as I was almost pushed out of the way as she beamed her beautiful smile at him.
“Oh, lovely to meet you Shannon.” He smiled a devilish grin towards me.
The three of us made our way to a free sofa. I managed to grab another two glasses of champagne. I really was quite merry. Megan shot me a disappointed look, but I didn’t care, I needed something to help me through the night.