Authors: Lesley Jones
Copyright 2016 Lesley Jones
All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. Any references to real events, real people, and real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and incidents are products of the Author’s imagination and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, organisations or places is entirely coincidental.
All rights are reserved. This book is intended for the purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the express written permission of the Author. All songs, song titles and lyrics contained in this book are the property of the respective songwriters and copyright holders.
Editing by Ash Williams @
Cover design & Formatting by
Rebel Edit & Design
Cover image Copyright 2016
I will keep these short and simple.
Firstly my family, thank you for your patience and understanding. I know that I’m not easy to live with when I’m writing, which is constantly lately, so thank you for putting up with my crap and the absences when I travel to meet my readers. I love you and I think they do too.
To my PA Jen and her husband Tai, thanks for everything you do, but mainly the friendship.
Thank you to my beautiful Beta’s and my amazing admin teams for keeping my world running smoothly.
Thanks to my editor Ash, I will have speaking proper English soon my luv, I promise.
To my readers. My readers, what can I say about you lot? You’re passion never ceases to amaze me, thank you, thank you for loving these characters and all their flaws.
To Margreet, for another perfect cover. You just ‘get’ me every single time.
To all of the bloggers that have ever given me a mention, I have a career, because of you lot.
Thank you everyone that has loved Georgia since she was eleven years old, for staying with her through the years, her loves, her losses, her laughs and her tantrums. Thank you for loving Sean, Cam, Marley and all of the Layton’s. These characters have consumed my life for two and a half years and now it’s time to say goodbye.
That’s it, short and sweet, just like m
For my readers.
I hope I delivered.
I clear customs in record time. The upside of landing at two in the morning I suppose. I am tired and miserable and just want to get home. As I enter the arrivals hall, I scan the space for my driver, who should be holding up a card with my name on it. I could’ve called Benny but thought I’d spare him the task. He hasn’t been well lately, blood pressure and a dodgy knee are both causing him problems. I’d paid for him to start working out with a personal trainer three times a week, and as much as he moaned about it, he has lost over three stone this last six months, and I know he is feeling better for it.
I spot a bloke of about thirty, holding up a card with my name on it and looking right at me. I do my best to keep my name out of the papers as much as possible, but he obviously recognises me. Giving him a small tilt of my chin in acknowledgment, I head around the barrier, dragging my suitcase behind me.
I could use the company’s private jet to travel, but it seems like such a waste for just one person, so I fly first class instead. No hardship there.
“Mr King, let me take that for you, sir,” my driver says as I reach him. “My name’s Parker, sir. I’ll be your driver tonight.” I give him another nod and let him take my case as I contemplate cracking a joke and asking him to call me Lady Penelope, seeing as his name is Parker. Like I said, though, it’s two in the morning, and I am not particularly cheerful right now.
“If you’d like to follow me, sir, we’ll get you settled in the car and home in no time.”
I remain silent and follow him to the Jag that is gonna get me home. Home to my Kitten and my kids. I hate being away and rarely make trips without Georgia, but this one was too important for me not to attend. We have one club in Australia, one in Asia, and four clubs throughout Europe now, and this week I had to meet with the heads of security for each one. Gone are the days of trying to stop underage kids with fake IDs, hidden miniature bottles of alcohol, or drugs in shoes. Now, the staff are searching for guns and suicide bombers. The world is a scary place and nightclubs are not immune to terrorists or rampaging idiots with guns. Our clubs are all upmarket and frequented by celebrities, as well as average clubbers, and I want each and every one of them to feel safe. The meetings over the last two weeks were about upgrading all of our systems and brainstorming best practices. It was far from exciting but very necessary. On any given weekend, my clubs are filled with other people’s children, and I have a duty of care to each and every one of them. One day, my kids would be off out clubbing, well, not until they are at least thirty, of course, for my daughters it may be never! But anyway, when that time comes, I want the standards of club security to be at a lot higher level than they were when I first started out.
I couldn’t even think the words without smiling.
Two boys and two girls.
Those four little people and their mother are my world. One I never thought I would have with anyone, let alone their mother. My Kitten. The absolute love of my life
We’d taken a long and winding road, with unimaginable loss and heartbreak along the way, to get to each other, but we got here. Middle-aged and the happiest and most content we’d ever been in our lives.
We have been beyond fortunate to have brought four beautiful babies into this world as a bonus. Four little people that grow every day into young adults. Harry, who is fifteen now, is all legs, exactly the way I was when I was his age. We got lucky with that kid. As sad as it is to say, I’m relieved he has none of Tamara’s personality traits. H is generally the mediator amongst the kids. He’s pretty calm and easy going and no one would guess he is only a few months older than the rest of the kids, since he acts like an adult already. He is in the year above them at school and made sure everyone knew not to even think about breathing in the direction of his sisters, let alone looking at them when they joined him at secondary school they all attend. He steps in between their fights, which are frequent, and he helps them with their homework. He rarely argues with his brother or gives us any lip. He knows his background and that Georgia isn’t his birth mother. She’s the only mum he’s ever known, and since the day he came to live with us, that’s all he’s ever called her. I’ll admit that I was a little worried that her feelings might changes towards Harry when George and the twins arrived. That never happened, and the older he gets, the closer they seem to become. He goes to his mum for everything, and I mean everything. Hair product, girl advice, what T-shirt to wear to the shopping centre, all Georgia. The little shit never asks my advice on anything, his usual response to anything I say, is, “Get with it, old man”. He even sends her pictures of things before he buys them. I mean seriously, if you can’t dress yourself by the age of fifteen, then what fucking hope is there for the kids of today?
I watch the lights of the A13 pass by as we head away from City Airport and back towards Essex, to my home, my wife, my children, my world.
By the time I walk through my front door, it’s almost four in the morning. I need to be inside my wife. One week is far too long to go without feeling her skin against mine. I’ve gone beyond tiredness by this stage, so I head straight through the house towards the kitchen. I’ll have a coffee and some toast and then go wake my wife up with coffee with my extra special cream and a kiss … from my dick.
I take my shoes off so they don’t make noise on the hardwood floor. I’m home a day and a half early, and I don’t wanna be scaring the crap outta Georgia.
Walking down the hallway towards our family room, I pass my office first and then Georgia’s. We tried sharing, but I find her too untidy and distracting. Every time she leant forward or bent over, I’d end up fucking her and neither of us ever got any work done. I ended up moving the gym out to the pool house and turning the extra room into a separate office for Georgia. I had it soundproofed, too. Georgia likes to listen to music when she works, I like silence.
I stop in my tracks and take a step back as I see a light shining from the slightly open door to my wife’s office. Still holding my shoes in my hand, I push the door open slowly and take a look inside.
Georgia’s office is the complete opposite of mine. Where I have a huge wooden desk facing the door, Georgia has a deep ledge against the window that she works from with her back
the door. My walls have a couple of pieces of art I’ve collected over the years by Peter Granville Edmunds and my bookshelves have pictures of Georgia, myself, and the kids on them.
Georgia’s office furniture is made from what looks like drift wood, she has one wall painted with a pop art looking piece. It’s black and white and divided into squares. Each square is a continuation of the picture in the adjoining square. In the centre is a re-joined image of us kissing, around the edges are pictures of the kids. It sounds like a complicated mess, but the impact knocks my breath away every time I step into the room. On the opposite wall, she has the kids’ heights marked out, starting from the time they could stand. The rest of the wall is covered in ours and the kid’s handprints, and each one has something written in the palm: Love. Trust. Live. Family. Laugh. Be kind. Be honest to yourself. I love you all are just some of the words and phrases that jump out at me. Every time I look at this wall it gives me a lump in my throat. On the walls on either side of the door are the gold, silver, and platinum awards Carnage has won over the years, and on the shelves on either side of the window where her desk sits are the awards she’s won for all of her charity work, framed photos of us and the kids, and drawings the kids have made for her. Her office is all family, mine more professional-looking, which sometimes makes me feel like a bit of an old fart.
Georgia’s office is never tidy, but right now, the mess is off the charts. There’s what looks like an old tea chest, or packing crate sitting in the corner and piles of documents and books on every surface. I look at the floor, and my heart rate speeds up when I see her.
She’s lying flat on the floor in a pair of shorts and an old Carnage T-shirt. Her hair is piled on top of her head, and she has her pink Beats covering her ears.
She has a piece of paper pressed against her chest, and she’s crying. She makes no sound, there are no facial expressions, just tears. They track from the corners of her eyes, into her ears, around her neck, and into her hairline.
I fight the urge to go to her, to sweep her up and hold her tightly in my arms. To rock her and tell her to hush, that everything will be all right, because it won’t.
She’s crying for him. Her lost love.
She’s crying for them. Her lost babies.
And there’s nothing I can do or say to make it better.
There was a time when I would have gladly taken their places. When I would’ve given my life for theirs just to bring the light back into her eyes, but not now. Now, I’m a dad. Sacrificing myself for them would mean my,
children, wouldn’t exist. So, now I say nothing when she has her bad days. I just reassure her that she’s not a bad person.
Does it hurt? Of course it fucking does. I’m only human.
I’m always aware of when Georgia is having her bad days. I know that there’s a part of her that will forever mourn Sean and the babies they lost. I know my girl, though, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that even when she cries for them, she loves me with everything she has.
I’d be a fucking liar if I say I don’t feel just a little stab of jealousy when she has her meltdown moments and cries for the loss of another man—a man she loved with all her heart until she met me and gave me a piece of it too. A man she left me for and went on to marry. A man she cheated on with me when she let me fuck her senseless against my office door. A man she refused to leave so we could be together. I learnt a long time ago that being jealous of a dead bloke is futile and a complete waste of energy.
I know Georgia struggles with her guilt, and I understood that. Yet, neither of us could change the tragic events that afflict our pasts; twisted, bent, and moulded our futures; and then ultimately led us back to each other. What I can do is hold her when she cries and reassure her it is okay to let the tears flow. She loved him for most of her life and it is okay to still love him now to cry for her loss.
I knew when I married her there would always be a piece of her heart I could never mend. A piece that will always belong to them, but it’s part of what makes her Georgia, and I wouldn’t change her for the world. We both had to kick, bite, and claw our ways from the deepest depths of hell to find what we have now. It was hard, but we did it—against the odds, we fucking did it.
My wife turns onto her side and pulls her knees up to her chest as she gives out a sob. I don’t know what she’s listening to, as the music is being Bluetoothed from her laptop to her ear phones, but I would bet my arse it’s either one of his songs or something that reminds her of him.
I contemplate just leaving her to it and not interrupting what should have been a private moment. She’s not expecting me until tomorrow lunch time and will be mortified to know I saw her like this.
I hear a door creek upstairs and turn my attention towards it. The last thing I want is for one of the kids to come down and find her in this state. I take the stairs two at a time and see Kiki heading into my room.
“Kiks?” I call her name quietly, not wanting to wake the other three.
She turns and looks at me over her shoulder and her face lights up.
“You all right, Treacle?” I ask her as she steps into my open arms.
“I thought you weren’t coming home till tomorrow? We missed you,” she tells me, whilst wrapping her arms around my waist.
I breathe in the scent of her hair, long and deep. She smells like home. I kiss the top of her head and then tilt it so she’s looking at me.
“What you doing up?”
“I had a bad dream,” she tells me, not meeting my eyes.
“The same one?”
She nods her head.
Before Harry started at secondary school, we sat him down and told him what happened to his mum. He was eleven and had access to the internet, so we thought we needed to do it before some little arsehole at school got in before we did. There was a fair bit of publicity around Tamara’s suicide, mainly because she tried to take me out with her and that only made the news because of my relationship with Georgia. To this day, the press and the public seem to have a fascination with my wife. We’ve managed to protect the kids from it, but they are fully aware I was shot and that their mum was married to someone famous before me. They know the circumstances of his death and about the two babies Georgia lost.