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Authors: Mia Loveless

Love Jones For Him

BOOK: Love Jones For Him
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Mia Loveless

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Mia Loveless on Amazon Kindle



Love Jones For Him

Copyright © 2012 by Mia Loveless













Chapter One

The plane trip. The weather. The whole purpose of her visit to London. It was all starting to catch up with her.

However, once inside the black London cab, she threw her head back and let out a deep, relieved sigh. She was here. She’d face what needed facing, and then she’d return to the world she knew, in New York.

Victoria Wakefield bit on her full bottom lip, and tried not to think too much about what had happened recently, and what she had to face. Over-thinking was not going to get her through this.

After all, that was what her best friend and confidant, Jeff Nielson, had told her before she’d gone on the plane. He’d been at the airport to say goodbye. She wished now that she’d let him come along like he’d suggested.

She hadn’t been to London since she was four years old; nothing of the beautiful, kaleidoscopic city was familiar to her. It would have been great to have a strong arm to lean on while she was here. And Jeff would have offered that, and much more.

Smiling as she thought of her very handsome, very caring “friend”, it made her wonder why it was that she’d never let things go deeper. Her work as a successful interior designer kept her much too busy to properly date. She’d met Jeff through friends and they’d hit it off from the start. But she’d never had a thing for him. And Victoria was all about feeling that “thing” before getting seriously involved with a man.

Jeff Nielson certainly had everything it took to make a girl’s heart race. He was handsome, dark-haired with those gorgeous grey eyes she favored, and was a very successful financial consultant himself. His looks and charm could have got him any girl he wanted. But he stayed single. Victoria tried not to think she had anything to do with that. Was he waiting for something, someone? She kept telling herself that he must have given up on any idea about them getting together. Especially after that fiasco of a night six months ago.

They still laughed over it whenever it came up, and it made Victoria smile now. It was good to know she had someone waiting when she returned from this trip.

Half of her heritage was rooted here, in London, but it had never felt like home. Home was what was waiting for her in New York. Her friends, her family, her work. And just within an hour of arriving in London, she already looked forward to her return to everything she held dear.

Just a few more days, she vowed, taking another steadying sigh. The taxi was slowing, turning into a plush residential section of the city. Suddenly, they came to a stop in front of a wrought-iron fence. It was a bay-fronted mid terrace Victorian structure, fringed by tall, leafy trees on either side of it.

This was it? Victoria wondered, staring up at the house. Then she thought to herself, this was it. In more ways than one.


The house was beautiful. In a rambling, slightly run-down sort of way. Her critical eyes took in the worn down paint and décor, the old fittings. It was a large, comely place that had simply been kept the way it had been for the past two decades or so. There was plenty of antique furniture and gorgeous family portraits, but she could tell that much would need to be done to make this house properly livable.

First, a shower, she told herself once she’d picked out a bedroom and brought in her things. A long and refreshing one. It helped clear her senses and revived her outside and within. She could tell that the bathroom would need serious updating too. In fact, the whole house needed to be modernized, not simply renovated. As she towel-dried her long, dark curls, she padded back into the bedroom, telling herself she would have to start looking up estate agents. The sooner she could get the house fixed up, the sooner she could leave.

Victoria dressed quickly into jeans and a tee shirt. The casual clothes fit snugly to her slight, shapely frame. She stared at her reflection for a moment in the dressing room mirror. She was mixed race African American and British, and usually she was proud of her five foot six frame, her glowing complexion, and her slender figure. But right then there was a pale cast to her caramel-toned skin, and her face was all shadows, thanks to the strain of the last few weeks.

Finding out she’d lost her maternal grandmother, and then being told about the reading of the will, had all been one surprise after another. And that hadn’t been all.

The reading of the will in New York had been…awkward, to say the least. What with most of her extended family on her mother’s side being from another country, it could hardly be called close-knit. Some of them she hadn’t even met before that day.

Victoria had never really known her mother’s side of the family. Her aunt, for example – her mother’s sister. Diana Wakefield. An elegant, slim woman with perfectly coiffed blonde hair and a slight pinch to her lips. She’d given her niece no more than a cursory greeting at the start, when they’d all started arriving. Well, by the time the will was read, their scant relations had grown decidedly cooler, on her aunt’s part at least.

Victoria had been honestly surprised to have been left this lovely but somewhat dilapidated house. And something told her that her aunt had been far from pleased at the development.

“You have to go see it,” Bette said once she heard the news. “You need to go to London.”

Bette was her paternal grandmother, who’d raised her since both Victoria’s parents had died. Now they lived together in a gorgeous brownstone house that Victoria had careful decorated to suit her warm, cultured style. It was Bette who told her that coming to London was the best thing to do.

“It’s what your mother would have wanted,” Bette said, her dark-skinned face still lovely even at age seventy, her frame energetic though stocky. She had iron-grey hair, still full yet fluffy and kept in an elegant afro cut. Like her granddaughter, she loved to make stuff beautiful, and still kept busy with her hobby of restoring precious quilts and other family heirlooms. Victoria adored her, one of the solid people she could count on in her life. Now, even at twenty-nine and a woman of her own, she knew she would always need Bette’s sound judgment when it came to important decisions.

So she’d booked this trip to London. Not to bond or explore like her grandmother Bette believed, but to ensure closure. She hadn’t needed this connection to her mother’s family in twenty-five years. She certainly didn’t need it now.

Chapter Two

“So happy to have you here, Victoria. Your grandmother was such a dear friend to my mother and of course to me.”

Victoria returned the friendly smile of her next-door neighbor, Abbey Thomas. It was the next day after her arrival. She’d spent the morning doing some spring cleaning, just to make the place habitable for what was to be her brief stay. Then, just after noon, there was the ringing of the doorbell.

When Victoria opened her front door earlier to find the beautiful blonde woman standing on her doorstep, she’d been taken by surprise.

Abbey had quickly explained that she was from next door, and a close friend of the family. Victoria invited her in, and offered some coffee which was all she had with her. She mentally made a note to go shopping for groceries soon.

Apparently Abbey had lived there since she was a young girl, and had returned to stay ever since her recent divorce. Both women talked easily over their coffee, and Victoria decided she liked the woman, who couldn’t be more than a few years older. She had a nice, curvy figure, her bust full and stretching the fabric of her grey jersey dress. Her blue eyes were ever smiling, as were her red-coated lips.

She told Victoria she worked as a shopper for one of the major high-end clothing shops in London. There was a breezy, easy way about her, and Victoria felt more and more comfortable talking with her, especially since she was great to relate to. It had been a lonely night and a strained morning cleaning and washing up.

“It’s great to meet Mary’s daughter at last,” Abbey said with a grin. “I must have been seven or eight the last time Mary visited London with you – you were four years old then. Mary was so beautiful; she had the most gorgeous auburn hair. And you look just like her, you know. I mean the bone structure and of course, her lovely smile. It’s really great that you’re here – I can’t say that enough, love.”

“Thank you,” Victoria said, unable to keep from returning Abbey’s smile. It was getting easier to follow her British neighbor’s quick, lilting sentences; in fact Victoria found the accent quite pleasing to the ear. She’d told herself not to expect much from her stay in London, but it looked like she’d already found a friend in her next-door neighbor.

“You know, over the past few years, I started popping over here all the time for tea and cakes with your grandmother, Elizabeth. I loved sitting out on the terrace over her garden and listening to her talk about her beautiful flowers. So what do you intend to do with the house now that it’s yours?”

“I intend to sell it,” Victoria said promptly, then smiled a little wryly when she saw Abbey’s face. “Sorry, that sounded too abrupt. But I have given much thought to it. I know nothing about this place; I never used to come here. This is my first time back in London in more than twenty years. I know you’ve had some beautiful moments here with my grandmother, but I can’t imagine holding on to it.”

“I know it needs a lot of work; it’s run down a bit since your grandmother had to be moved to a home last year,” Abbey was saying quietly, “But I still think it’s a place worth keeping. It’s got such history, you know, in your family. Your mother, Mary, was born in this house and grew up here before she went to university in America. That was when she met your father, I believe?”

Victoria nodded, rising to refill the teapot. She wasn’t big on talking about her father, Nick Jameson. All she had of him now were photographs. Her memory of her parents, who both died when she was four, was much too dim and felt more like fanciful thoughts than real memories. She had a particular framed photo of him, smiling into the camera, his teeth a flash of white against his dark, smooth skin. He had deep brown eyes, much like hers were. Every time she saw that particular photo, her heart seemed to ache for some reason. It just seemed sad not to have known him, to never remember who that nice, handsome face in the photo was. She was so sure he would have been a cool person to meet.

He’d died when he was just thirty five, while her mother had been thirty four. They’d both been in a fatal car crash. Her grandmother Bette had never given her any details, except that the other driver had been drunk. It had been a big case at the time, since the drunk driver had survived. Victoria had heard it mentioned that the man had been made to serve time, but she wasn’t sure now. It didn’t matter. Her parents were gone, long before she could even remember them. Keeping this house would just hold her down to memories she didn’t have.

“I hope you change your mind,” Abbey was saying encouragingly. “Who knows, a few days here and you may never want to leave. And with a bit of sprucing up, I’m sure this will be a place you’ll be reluctant to give up.”

Victoria didn’t want to go on about it. What was the point in keeping a home that would just sit empty year in year out? She certainly wouldn’t be making trips over. The best decision would be to put it on the market and get it snapped up by those who could really make good use of it.

She could understand Abbey’s concern, and Victoria was touched. But she already had a home she’d be reluctant to give up – in New York. So Abbey mentioning about Victoria wanting to stay, ever, was almost like a joke. But she kept her thoughts to herself, and the visit came to an end soon after. She gracefully accepted the woman’s invite to dinner the following night.

BOOK: Love Jones For Him
12.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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