A Model Romance (True Love Book 3)

BOOK: A Model Romance (True Love Book 3)
7.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub















Book Three in the
True Love



































Mine, Not Hers

Book One in the
True Love


A Love We Deserve

Book Two in the
True Love

























































Text copyright © 2015 Betsy Anne

All Rights Reserved















For my three wonderful children, Shelby, Hank and Jack, who have taught me what unconditional love is all about.





































~ Part One~




























Chapter 1

Come on, pal, look down, already. The slit of my skirt has been hanging open, revealing all of my leg and some of my bare hip, for at least five minutes now. The silky fabric is all but covering his left leg. Even in first class, the seats don’t allow for much personal space. My handsome row-mate has been chatting away on his phone and staring out the window since I’ve boarded. It never takes this much effort to get a man to notice me, but today I need it. I need some validation that at the ancient age of twenty-eight, at least by modeling standards, I’m still worth gawking at. 

Here comes the flight attendant’s announcement; he’ll have to turn off his phone soon. I hide behind my
magazine, of which I’m gracing the cover. As he finishes his conversation, I hear him whisper, “
.” Just what I’ve been waiting for. I lower my magazine, slowly close it and place it on my lap. That’s when I just
to notice that my skirt has gone wayward.

“Oh my gosh, I’m
sorry. This is a terrible outfit to travel in,” I say as I hurriedly gather the side of my skirt.

His eyes are glued to the side of my body, taking in my long, bare leg. He glances at my face, down at my lap and back up with a keen look of recognition.

He clears his throat before he finally speaks.

“I know you, you’re the woman from that gum commercial aren’t you? That’s you, isn’t it?” He points down at the magazine askew on my lap. He looks rather pleased with himself, and more than a little excited that he got so lucky to be in seat 1D.

“Oh, yes, that’s me:
Brightness Gum for the brightest teeth around!
” I throw him my best commercial-worthy smile, and he eats it up. I can’t believe I’ve stooped to the level of B-list celebrity, practically begging for someone to notice me.

We chat and drink for the entirety of the flight. Thankfully, Chicago to New York isn’t long, and we land before I get in too deep. He shoves his business card into my hand, and with Scotch-laden breath begs me to call him to meet-up while he’s in town. What an ass. Like I don’t notice the wedding band, shiny and new, gracing his left hand like a beacon in the night. It’s my own fault, though. If my self-esteem weren’t so battered right now, I wouldn’t have spoken to him about anything other than a polite mention of the weather.

A career in modeling will do that to a person. It skews perception of reality. Thirty-year-olds are washed-up hags, twelve-thousand dollars seems perfectly reasonable for the latest handbag, and a full meal consists of sixty ounces of water and half an apple.

I’d been blind to how everyone else in the world lives until the trip to Chicago for my older sister Melanie’s wedding. It was just the wake-up call I needed.

* * *

The line for taxis is a block long. I’ve been calling and texting Harrison since I landed, but no still no response. He
what time my flight was supposed to arrive, he confirmed with me last night. I would have scheduled a car to pick me up, but he was insistent he would do it.

The older woman in front of me keeps staring. I get that a lot. Modeling and commercials offer enough exposure to get you recognized, but rarely do people want an autograph from the gum lady. They would just prefer to stare. I’ve been edgy since I left Chicago, and now with Harrison blowing me off, I’m pissed as well. I don’t feel like being leered at right now, so I put on my dark Jackie Onassis sunglasses and step out of line to go back into the terminal. I call Harrison one last time; maybe he was stuck in traffic. No luck: The call goes straight to voicemail. I hang up without leaving a message, and instead call for a car service.

Two exhausting hours later, I make it to the Upper East Side, my home sweet home. My feet feel like freckled sausages stuffed into the heels I’ve been wearing all day. All I want to do is collapse on my bed. The doorman, Frank, rushes to help me with my bags.

“Goot afternoon, Miss London, how vas your treep?” He asks with a heavy eastern European accent.

“It was lovely, Frank, thank you for asking. Have you seen Mr. Bernard around today?” I ask, I’m curious if I missed him.

“No, ma’am, I have not.” He looks uncomfortable answering personal questions. He shuffles his feet as we ride the elevator to my floor. I change the subject and ask about his wife. His eyes light up when he speaks about her, which is daily, and it always puts a smile on my face. I’ve never had that with anyone.

Harrison and I met two years ago at a charity event sponsored by the investment bank where he works. I was there with a good friend, who happened to notice him first. Harrison is a strikingly handsome man who commands any room he’s in. He gave a speech before dinner, and my friend grabbed me to go with her to be the first to meet him when he got off stage. He walked right past her and took my hand to introduce himself. He oozed power and grace. After dinner, he sat with me and we talked until the end of the night. We dated for six months, and then he asked me to move in.

Our relationship has changed since we’ve been living together. Our once hot sex life has become routine, and the only time we go out is if there’s a business function for which he needs me on his arm. Otherwise, he works all hours and we rarely spend time together. He’s a nice guy; I just don’t know what changed. I thought I loved him and that we would get married someday, but now I don’t know. I need to feel more passion in my life.

Frank carries my bags to the door, and shuffles back to the elevator. I hear Harrison’s voice as he speaks on the phone when I enter our place.

“Yes, I will. She just walked in. I’ll speak with you soon,” he says in a clipped tone, almost as if he’s angry or nervous. “Hi, gorgeous, you’re early!” He crosses the room to greet me. He stops short when he sees the unpleasant look I’m sporting.

“Early? Harrison, you
me you would be there to pick me up! I had to wait for a car service for over an hour. I told you last night what my travel schedule was,” I huff, as I walk stiffly past him.

“What? You did? I’m sorry, Bec. My head has been all over the place lately. Please forgive me.” He seems genuinely contrite, but this behavior is so unlike him. He dots every “I” and crosses every “T,” He doesn’t forget things.

“Well, what’s done is done. Who where you speaking to on the phone?” I ask, innocently, almost robotically, as I sort through some mail on the coffee table. I look up and he’s white as a ghost. I’ve never seen him like this, ever. My stomach flips and I brace myself for what’s next.

“Becca, we need to talk.”

Oh, God. Does that ever end well?

“What is it, Harrison? You’re scaring me. Are you OK?” I ask, not really sure what I’m about to hear.

He walks over slowly, and sits down next to me on the sofa. He places his warm hand on mine.

“I’ve met someone, Rebecca,” he whispers quietly as if he’s trying to soften the news. I’m momentarily stunned, not feeling much other than confusion.

“What? When? Who?” All I left out was the “where” and the “why.”  I pull my hand out from under his, and move over to the next cushion. I need to fully see him.

“I haven’t cheated on you, I need you to know that. You mean the world to me, but I think we both know our relationship has been one of convenience for a long time now. I wasn’t looking, it just sort of happened.”

He looks sad, I almost feel sorry for him. He’s a good person; I’ve never had any doubts about that. If he says he hasn’t cheated, I believe him. That makes this news a tougher pill to swallow. He’s fallen for someone.

“Please tell me, Harrison, I need to know what’s happened,” I plead; I just want this over with.

“She’s in your agency. Her name is Cara; she’s a legal assistant in the corporate law division. We met at the Fashion Week party while I was waiting for you after your show. We started chatting, and it turned out she went to school with one of my firm’s partners. I didn’t see her again until weeks later at the Christmas party. Remember? You were in L.A. She asked her friend to invite her because she wanted to see me again. We’ve been speaking ever since. It began very innocently, Bec, I swear to you. I’m drawn to her, and I need to explore these feelings. I never intended to hurt you, please know that.”

He’s sincere. I vaguely recall who she is. I’ve had no interaction with her in the agency, no need to. I’m a little embarrassed that I don’t feel like crying and screaming. That must be a sign. He and I have a good friendship, but the romance part has cooled. We’ve been going through the motions, and for him, at thirty-eight, he needs more. He wants a wife and kids, and we never talked about it much beyond speculation. In a strange way, I’m happy for him. I’m also jealous; I wish we could have had those feelings for each other, but it wasn’t meant to be.

BOOK: A Model Romance (True Love Book 3)
7.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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