Conveniently His(8)

By: Penny Jordan


Jon looked apologetic. ‘Well, it would save me having to find a new nanny. You can’t stay on here, living here while I’m living here too if we’re going to get married, Sophy,’ he told her with surprising firmness.

She wanted to laugh. She was going to laugh, Sophy thought, on a rising wave of hysteria.

Catching back her nervous giggles she expostulated, ‘Jon, this is the nineteen-eighties. You’re talking like someone out of the Victorian era.’

‘Your mother wouldn’t think so.’

His shrewdness left her lost for words for a moment. He was quite right. Her mother would most definitely not approve of her living beneath Jon’s roof once she knew they were getting married. Neither, she realised hollowly, would her mother be at all pleased by the fact that they were getting married. She closed her eyes, imagining the scenes and recriminations. Jon was not her mother’s idea of what she wanted for a son-in-law. She would also want a large wedding with Sophy in traditional white, a June wedding with a marquee and...

Groaning slightly she opened her eyes and said faintly, ‘Yes, you’re right. A special licence would be best and then we needn’t tell anyone until afterwards.’

There was a strange gleam in Jon’s eyes and this time she was almost sure it wasn’t the sunset, reflecting off his glasses, that caused it.

‘I’ll, er...make all the arrangements then. Do you want to tell the kids or...?’

‘I’ll tell them tomorrow when you’re gone,’ she suggested. ‘They’re always a bit down after you leave, it will cheer them up a bit.’

Although outwardly well adjusted and cheerful children, Sophy knew that neither of them could have gone through the experience of losing their parents without some scars. They were both passionately attached to Jon and she had thought him equally devoted to them. It had shocked her immensely to hear him talk of sending them away...it didn’t equate with what she knew of his character somehow.

‘I, er...think I’ll have an early night,’ she heard him saying. ‘My flight’s at nine and I’ll have to be at the airport for eight.’

‘Do you want me to drive you?’ Jon did not possess a car; he could neither drive nor, it seemed, had any desire to do so, although he had hired a small car for Louise’s use.

‘No. I’ve ordered a taxi. Don’t bother to get up to see me off.’

Picking up their coffee cups, Sophy grimaced slightly to herself. She always saw him off on his journeys because she lived in perpetual dread that if she did not he would lose or forget something of vital importance. She made a mental note to tell the cab driver to check the taxi before Jon got out of it and then, bidding him goodnight, carried their cups to the kitchen.

She was tired herself. It had, after all, been an eventful day. On her way to the room she always had when she stayed over at the house and which was next to the children’s room, she had to walk past Jon’s room. As she did so, she hesitated, still amazed to think that Louise had actually gone into that room fully intent on making love to its occupant. That earlier and extraordinarily disturbing mental vision she had had of their bodies sensuously entwined she had somehow managed to forget.





CHAPTER TWO

SHE WAS AWAKE at half-past-seven, showering quickly in the bathroom off her bedroom. The room which she occupied was what the estate agent had euphemistically described as ‘a guest suite’. Certainly her bedroom was large enough to house much more than the heavy Victorian furniture it did and it did have its own bathroom but after all that it fell rather short of the luxury conjured up by the description bestowed on it.

She dressed quickly in her jeans and a clean T-shirt. Her body, once gawky and ungainly, had filled out when she reached her twenties and now she had a figure she knew many women might have envied; full breasted, narrow waisted, with long, long legs, outwardly perhaps, as her friend had once teased, ‘sexy’, but inwardly... She was like a cake that was all tempting icing on the outside with nothing but stodge on the inside, she thought wryly, pulling a brush through her hair and grimacing at the crackle of static from it.

There wasn’t time to pin it up and she left it curling wildly on to her shoulders, her face completely devoid of make-up and surprisingly young-looking in the hazy sunshine of the summer morning.

As she went past Jon’s door she heard the hum of his razor and knew that he was up. Downstairs she checked that the cases she had packed for him the previous night were there in the hall. In the kitchen she ground beans and started making coffee. Jon was not an early morning person, preferring to rise late and work, if necessary, all through the night and despite the fact that she knew he would do no more than gulp down a cup of stingingly hot black coffee, she found and poured orange juice and started to make some toast.

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