Obsessed (BBW Billionaire Light Romance)

Obsessed

 

J
ULIET
M
ICHAELS

 

Copyright © 2015 Frisky Publications

Cover Images © 2015 egal – Depositphotos.com

All rights reserved.

ISBN
:
1522902279 

ISBN-13:
978-1522902270

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Leah stirred the pasta carefully. "If Lucy doesn't come soon, it’ll go all rubbery," she wailed.

Emma looked up from the science textbook she was reading at the kitchen table.

"Turn it off, warm it up later, she's always late," she said.

"But we have to talk about the rent," Leah replied. She turned off the hob and sat down at the kitchen table, pouring herself a generous glass of cheap red wine.

The three friends had shared the small terraced house in Clapham for the last two years and Leah desperately wanted it to continue. The house was only tiny: a kitchen/diner and separate front room downstairs, which Leah had as her bedroom, and shower and two bedrooms upstairs, one each for Emma and Lucy. It was partly furnished, and the three friends had searched markets and junk shops to provide their own extra small tables, chairs and lamps. The agents were putting up the already high rent, and decent rental properties in London were so difficult to find and so expensive – they needed to make some plans.

Not for the first time, Leah considered just how different they all were and how lucky it was that most of the time they managed to house-share so well.

Emma, small, dark, intense, and highly intelligent, worked at a research laboratory attached to a large London university. Her boyfriend Simon was away on a project in the Antarctic for six months, and she was quite happy to spend her time quietly studying for further qualifications in the evenings and at weekends. Her ambition was to join Simon on one of his many expeditions, but she needed to study first. Occasionally she allowed herself to be dragged to the local pub or wine bar, but always returned early. She was sensible, steady, but with a wicked streak of humour just below the surface, which kept them all grounded. Emma was the first person that Leah and Lucy turned to for advice, even though they didn't always take it.

Lucy, however, their third housemate, was a different case altogether. Long legs, slim, blonde and beautiful, Lucy lit up any room she entered. She worked at an exclusive beauty and hair salon in Kensington and took full advantage of any of the latest looks or products which she felt might improve her already dazzling looks. She had a natural sense of style and could look good in anything from designer clothing to charity shop bargains.

Men fell over themselves to open doors, vacate tables or chairs, buy her drinks and give her their mobile phone numbers. Lucy accepted all the attention in her usual sunny way, but it never went to her head. She'd had a stream of casual dates and boyfriends until last summer, when she met a married man who broke her heart. It was the first time that the two friends had seen Lucy so down-hearted and they both wanted to see her back to her usual self. Over Christmas and New Year, they’d done their best to help and try to cheer her up. She reminded Leah of a beautiful, dazzlingly coloured butterfly, fluttering from vibrant flower to flower, but with such delicate, fragile wings that could easily be broken.

The close friendship between the quiet, studious Emma and the glamorous Lucy amazed most people. They seemed such an unlikely pair.  When Leah first joined them, Emma had explained about their long and deep friendship:

"We lived next door to each other in Surrey when we were growing up. We played together all the time as I was on my own and she had a really spoilt little nuisance of a brother. We shared everything, dolls, toys, clothes, and we spent most of the school holidays sleeping at each other's houses. We were closer than sisters. Later, when I went to uni, and Lucy went to work in a local hairdresser's, we still kept in contact. I often wished I looked like Lucy, but I was never jealous of her."

When Lucy got a job at a top hair salon and needed somewhere to house-share in London, it was natural that she turned to Emma, and later Leah had been happy to be the third person sharing the little house.

Leah sipped her wine slowly, trying to make it last. It was February, a dark and gloomy month, Christmas celebrations were over and credit cards had been dangerously over-stretched. On cold nights they tried to keep warm by wearing socks and jumpers in bed. The last thing they needed was for the wretched rent to go up. They really must come up with an idea to sort out the finances. She was happy sharing the tiny house and really didn't want to have to give it up.

Three could be a tricky number, but Emma and Lucy never made her feel like a newcomer or an outsider, even though they had been friends all their lives. Leah felt that she was really lucky to have met Emma and Lucy. She thought to herself that other people probably looked at the three of them and quickly judged them – the clever one, the pretty one and, lastly, the plump one. Not
fat
, she tried to avoid the word, but definitely a little overweight, hovering between a tight size 14 or a more comfortable 16. Leah had started the New Year with all her usual good intentions - to diet, give up wine, join a gym, go running, take up some form of exercise, but so far she hadn't kept any of her promises to herself. With her curly brown hair, which could become streaked with blonde in the sun, hazel eyes and golden skin, she had the potential to be stunning. People mentioned her good points, but the unspoken criticism was always there: why didn't she lose weight? She could look good if she tried, if only she had the answer.

Just then, the door crashed open and Lucy swept into the room, bringing a gust of the cold February air with her. She was dressed in a short, tight black wool coat, knee high black boots and a long purple scarf wrapped several times around her neck.

"Sorry, sorry, I know I'm late, but the most fantastic thing has just happened," she looked at them, her sapphire blue eyes shining as she carefully unwrapped the soft scarf. Emma and Leah waited, wondering what the next chapter in Lucy's mostly charmed life would be. How many times had they sat around the kitchen table listening to her excited chatter about her latest conquest or some exciting thing that had happened to her during the day? It seemed to Leah that Lucy lived in a separate universe, one where the slim, pretty people had the most fun. But Leah tried not to mind. Lucy couldn't help it if life smiled on her.

"I've met him.
The
most fantastic guy. He's the one! I just have a feeling this time, it's real, he's the one I'm going to marry."

Leah moved to the stove to revive the pasta. She added tomatoes, pesto, crumbled mozzarella into the mixture and poured Lucy a glass of red. Emma put her book down and took off her reading glasses. Then they both looked at the excited Lucy.

"What happened?" Emma asked quietly, as though she hadn’t heard a similar story several times before.

"I was at work,” Lucy replied, “waiting to cut the hair of one of our best clients, she comes in twice a week and spends a fortune. We have a new junior who was washing her hair and she sloshed some conditioner onto the floor. When Mrs Dalby stood up, she slipped on it and fell over. It was just terrible, she made an awful fuss and started moaning. Pete, the owner, was worried about compensation if she was really injured, so he ordered a taxi and asked me to take her to Accident and Emergency. He thought that I was the best person to calm her down."

Lucy stopped for breath and another sip of wine.

"We had to wait some time, then this gorgeous young doctor came and took us to a cubicle. He examined Mrs Dalby and asked all sorts of questions, and he kept glancing at me. We had to go to x-ray then back to see him for the results.  It was a sprained ankle, but he went into a lot of detail and asked me if I was a relative. I just couldn't take my eyes off him. I've never believed that love at first sight could really happen, but it has. Just like that. I gave my mobile number to him in case the hospital needed any further information and when I got back to the salon, he rang me!"

Emma and Leah looked at each other and Leah raised her eyebrows. They had seen the effect that Lucy could have on men, but this time it seemed that
she
had been bowled over at the same time.

"His name’s Sam and I'm seeing him later tonight when he finishes his shift," Lucy concluded.

"Don't do anything rash on the re-bound," Emma warned.

Lucy removed her coat and draped it over a kitchen chair. She gazed dreamily at them.

"I have a strange feeling this is really it, and I'll want you both as my bridesmaids," she stated with a grin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

CHAPTER TWO

 

 

"Pink! Pink? No-one over seven should ever be asked to wear a
pink
bridesmaid's dress," Leah sighed, as she stared at herself in the full length mirror.

"It could be worse," Emma replied. "It could be yellow or long or fluffed out with frills of tulle. At least they’re straight and short."

Emma looked unusually pretty, without her heavy glasses, her hair properly styled and with a delicate string of pearls around her neck, she was quietly elegant.

The same style looked rather different on Leah - the dress a little too short, a little too tight, and her curly hair had refused to be tamed.

"Thank God it's a fairly simple wedding,” Leah said. “The formal bit could be finished by early evening and we could get changed and enjoy the rest."

"Oh, just go with the flow, enjoy the day, and there's no way we can change out of our bridesmaids dresses before the end," Emma advised.

"Why
pink
?" Leah asked again.

"Something to do with when Lucy was small. She was supposed to be a bridesmaid for a cousin, she had a really special frilly pink dress and was looking forward to the wedding. But then she got measles and couldn't go. She was so upset, but always said she would have bridesmaids dressed in pink."

"So we have to suffer?" Leah smiled.

They’d both been amazed when Lucy's fairy-tale romance moved so quickly to marriage plans. Sam had applied for a job at a large hospital in Canada before he met her, and they felt that an early wedding would make things easier for Lucy to join him there. They didn't seem worried about the fact that they would be going to live in another country, just the two of them who still hardly knew each other. They seemed to be dazzled by love.

 

§

 

The Spring had flown by as Emma and Leah helped with the arrangements. A date was set for a late Friday afternoon in early May at Westminster Registry Office. They shopped  for dresses and shoes, and joined in the stress about what to do after the ceremony. Lucy had hardly any savings and Sam seemed to be just a hard-pressed junior doctor.

"We could all just go to the pub afterwards," Leah suggested, one afternoon when were all seated around the small kitchen table, going over lists of last minute ideas. "The actual wedding service is the important thing."

In May the weather
could
be warm, and they had all tried to think of suitable places with a garden, which would be able to offer simple food and wine. The stress levels began to rise at the end of March when there was only just over a month to go and nothing suitable had been arranged.

"We'll never find anywhere. We've tried to keep the numbers down and only asked fifty people, but where can we go? We have to let people know," Lucy replied as she frantically searched web sites.

Sam, surprisingly, came to the rescue.

"We sent an invitation to an old family friend," he said, "James Willoughby, remember?"

Lucy shook her head.

"I haven't met him have I?" she queried.

"Not yet. Well, he's not sure if he can be there, as he might be out of the country working, but as a wedding present he’s offered us his house in Belsize Park for the reception."

They all looked at Sam in amazement.

"Belsize Park? One of the big houses?" Lucy blinked.

"
Huge
,” Sam grinned in reply. “And a great garden, too. He's offered to pay for a marquee, buffet
and
champagne. We’d just have to arrange any extras such as flowers, music and so on. I'm sure we could manage that. Well? What do you think?"

Lucy squealed with excitement.

"Think?" she said. "I
think
it's the answer to my dreams! It's just so generous of him. You must get in touch immediately and thank him, and say
yes please
!"

Sam put his arms around Lucy. "Sure thing," he answered.

"He must be a very good family friend," Emma commented quietly.

And very rich
, Leah thought to herself.

"I've known the family most of my life," Sam replied after pause, as if he seemed to be having some difficulty with the idea himself. "I mean, he can certainly afford it and he says he wouldn't have a clue what to get us, so it sounds good."

Lucy was over the moon; a large garden, a marquee, champagne and food, all paid for!

"I can get the flowers for a special price," Leah added. She worked at a florist shop in Putney. It was a change of job, after making a serious mistake about her career, which she was still just getting used to.

Lucy and Sam went out to get some wine to celebrate the good news, and Leah and Emma continued sitting among the lists.

"Don't you think it's a bit strange?" Emma said seriously, as she started to tidy the table.

"How do you mean?"

"Well, Sam's never mentioned this family friend before, and suddenly this man is providing practically the whole wedding package.  I mean, who can afford to do that? I just wonder who he is. Maybe Sam's  godfather or something?  To be honest, we still don't know much about Sam really, do we? He hasn't mentioned any of his own family who might be coming, yet, and it just seems to be uni friends or people from the hospital."

"It's all been such a rush," Leah agreed thoughtfully. "I just hope Lucy knows what she's doing."

"She
can
rush into things," Emma said quietly, "and she could still be on the re-bound ..."

 

§

 

The big day was sunny and warm, and London basked in the Spring sunshine. 

Lucy looked more beautiful than ever in her short, cream lace dress, fresh daises threaded through her long hair and clutching a delicate posy of sweet peas.

Emma and Leah followed her into the Registry Office; Emma calm and Leah trying to hold in her stomach which strained against the pink, shiny, clingy material of the dreaded dress.

Leah looked around, there was a nice crowd there, mostly young friends from uni, as well as some from the hospital for Sam and from the beauty salon for Lucy. Emma's parents were there, too, and Lucy's family, of course, but no sign of anyone older who might be related to Sam. 

As the simple service finished, they all spilled out onto the steps again and a friend of Sam began taking photographs.

Leah turned to see a tall, aristocratic-looking woman making her way towards Sam. She was expensively dressed in pale grey silk, and carrying a designer handbag. Her silver hair was pulled back into an elegant French pleat. Leah hadn’t noticed her during the ceremony and thought she must have been sitting at the back. The woman held out her arms and put them around Sam, pulling him gently towards her.

"Mrs Willoughby!" Sam replied, kissing her cheek. "Great to see you."

"Congratulations, Sam. I just
had
to be here. James is delayed, but hopes to be back tonight," she murmured.

"Are you staying at the house?" Sam asked.

"No," she said, shaking her head, "I've booked a couple of nights at the Dorchester. I didn't know if the party was going on late. I thought the celebrations might be a little noisy for me," she added with a laugh.

Leah was straining to hear more; she was intrigued, and heard something about having travelled from Italy, but the photographer re-arranged everyone for a few shots and she had to move away.

She guessed that Mrs Willoughby must be the wife of this elusive James who’d provided the wedding venue. She was obviously very fond of Sam, but how strange to be staying in a hotel, when they had a large house in North London ...

Other books

Lila: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
The Savage Gorge by Forbes, Colin
The Last Portal by Robert Cole
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Lord's Fall by Thea Harrison
The Rancher's Dance by Allison Leigh
Ratner's Star by Don Delillo
A Tree on Fire by Alan Sillitoe


readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2020