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Authors: Heather Graham

When Next We Love

BOOK: When Next We Love
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When Next We Love
Heather Graham

Trapped by a storm and with no way out, Leigh must face the man that she both despises and desires After the death of her rock star husband, Richard, Leigh swore off musicians. When Derek, her husband's best friend, summons her to his Star Island estate in the Florida Keys, it is with trepidation that she makes the trip. Leigh and Derek never got along, and their bitterness toward each other has lasted beyond her husband's death. When she arrives at Derek's home, Leigh is stunned to learn that he wants to complete Richard's unfinished music. As a tropical storm hits the Keys, Leigh is stranded with nothing to do but give it a try. But what will happen when they realize that beneath their mutual distrust lies an abundance of undiscovered chemistry? This ebook features an illustrated biography of Heather Graham including rare photos from the author's personal collection.

When Next We Love
Heather Graham

For E. D. Graham,

who taught us dreams could be real.

Contents

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

EPILOGUE

A Biography of Heather Graham

PROLOGUE

S
HE HAD KNOWN HIM
for years, yet she didn’t know him at all. They had been the best of friends, the worst of enemies.

But tonight it didn’t matter. There was no past, and of course, as only she knew, there would be no future.

Just the night.

And she hadn’t even planned it. Things were simply working out that way, and she was powerless to call a halt. She didn’t want to call a halt. In the back of her mind she knew she had wanted him for an eternity. But consciously, even with the surrounding magic and music—and the fair amount of liquor she had consumed!—she would never admit that it was really him she wanted, or that want had a deep root in her emotions involving him.

And it wasn’t really
her
who wanted
him.
It was the exotic belly dancer of her disguise who was falling in love with the handsome and noble King Arthur of his whimsical attire.

And he didn’t know who she really was.

The opportunity was too good to miss. He would never know. The rinse had successfully colored her hair black; the blue-tinged contact lenses completely hid her own eye color. Heavily applied bronze-toned pancake makeup had taken her normally cream complexion to a much darker hue, while carefully drawn lines and heavy shadows of dark rich color had given her eyes a mysterious, Far East cast. The lower portion of her face was misted by a veil of fine silk gauze. Perpetually leaning to the slim side, the trauma she had endured over the past few months had taken its toll upon her weight, and her costume, floating and flaring over curves now highlighted by gaunt shadows, did the rest to assure her complete change of person so that not even her mother would have recognized her.

It had started as a lark. She had intended to announce her identity later in the evening. Then it had all gone so well … of course, it was understandable. She hadn’t seen any of them in a very long time.

He had singled her out immediately. Their eyes had met across the room, and his had swept over her with astute appreciation. And before she knew it, she was in his arms.

And it felt so good, so
right!

Had he been King Arthur in truth, Lancelot would have never stood a chance. He was everything wonderful—tall, strong, arrogantly masculine, and yet unceasingly tender.

When he suggested that they leave, she didn’t blink an eye. She didn’t bother to think about the deceit she was weaving; it didn’t occur to her. She was caught in her own fantasy, unmindful of the repercussions that could follow. To her, they were strangers who had known one another forever, timeless lovers, partners in a dance that had just begun.

She vaguely noted that Pinocchio and a Dresden doll were discussing the London Company as they neared the pair, lamenting the death of the lead guitarist, Richard Tremayne.

“They’re still on top, though,” Pinocchio said admiringly. “I always did say that Derek Mallory was the talent behind the group.”

“Yes, but Tremayne was exceptional,” the Dresden doll commented.

“Umm—a genius,” interrupted a Fruit of the Loom grape. “I hear his wife helped him, too. Has anyone seen her? They say she clammed up, wouldn’t see or talk to anyone.”

“I invited Leigh,” Pinocchio said. “I guess she couldn’t make it”

“Maybe she knew Derek would be here,” someone snickered. “And he knows—”

“He knows what?”

The demand came curtly from King Arthur. She was forced to stop and snap into reality for a moment as he challenged the group.

“Nothing, nothing,” was the mumbled reply.

“Leigh Tremayne is a sweet lady,” Pinocchio said sincerely.

“She was my best friend’s wife,” King Arthur returned in a deadly voice that held definite warning. “I don’t like to hear gossip about either of them. Richard is dead. Let him rest in peace.”

“We all loved Richard,” the Dresden doll said softly, easing the tension that had risen. Then she smiled at Arthur. “You’re not leaving, are you?”

“Yes,” Arthur said. “But thanks for a super party.”

Pinocchio glanced longingly at the belly dancer by King Arthur’s side. “You can’t leave! We still haven’t figured out the true identity of your lovely lady here.”

“Neither have I!” Arthur chuckled, grinning at her. “But I intend to.”

She almost panicked. They were scrutinizing her too intently. But she held on to her composure and smiled, then affected a superb Irish accent learned from a doting grandparent. “You’ll have to think on it then, friends, for we are indeed leaving. But I add my thanks for a terrific night.”

They were watched as they left the party. He, because he would always draw attention by the authority of his regal size and unusual eyes, she because she was simply stunning, an enchantress tonight. The eyes that observed their departure mirrored many human emotions—admiration, wistfulness, curiosity, envy, and downright jealousy.

They were barely conscious of the stares that followed them. He was too enamored; she was too busy fighting her nervousness and pushing all the little fears that confronted her to the back of her mind.

He’ll never know!
she repeated over and over to herself. And finally, she was convinced.

And so began the fantasy, the most wonderful night of her life.

It was slow and easy and wonderful. He took her to a house he was borrowing from a friend for the weekend nestled among the magnolia trees, and they listened to the gentle strains of classical music before the light radiating from the mellow fire. They talked for hours, as the embers cast their dying glow, and she was relieved as the shadows became deeper, and the darkness became the protector of her identity. Even after he had asked her to remove her veil, he learned nothing of her, nor did he press. He too seemed to know that the night was mystical, a fantasy spun with silken thread.

Their talking tapered into comfortable silence. He rose slowly and offered her his hand. By mute agreement she trustingly accepted him, and when she, too, was standing, he swept her as effortlessly as Stardust into his arms and lay her tenderly on the bed, where he began to disrobe her with loving reverence.

She was naked now, more susceptible than ever to discovery. But she was lost in an endless field of longing and desire, totally absorbed by the magnificent male form before her, framed in a silhouette by the pale light of the moon like a true king. His lips touched her flesh and created a wildfire, his hands worshipped her, his limbs, against hers, demanded and possessed. He teased and tormented, feathery light, soft as a breeze. Then his tongue traced the mound of a firm breast and he drew his teeth over a hardening nipple. She moaned low in her throat and her fingers sank into his hair. Gentleness was lost in a swirling, urgent vortex of passion as darkness surrounded them. He whispered husky words to her, words of hunger, of thirst, of sweetness, of awe. He would never have his fill of her.

And she whispered back. Shyly at first, then boldly as she learned she held the same captivating power over him that he did over her. She did, in fact, learn much that night, for he had not lied. He could not drink his full of her soft enchantment. He possessed her as she had never been possessed before, loved her with a beauty she had never imagined. Through the night she marveled at the wonder of giving herself to such a man, of being so completely his. He demanded, he took, and he gave her ecstasy, a ceaseless cloud of sensual adoration and pleasure.

Too soon the dawn broke across the heavens. She awoke with a start to find herself entwined with him, her head resting on his golden-haired chest. Pain raged through her mind with the acuteness of a cruel stabbing. It was over. Carefully, very carefully so as not to waken her sleeping king, she disengaged herself and quickly redonned her costume. The contact lenses were cutting her eyes like a thousand slivers, but she didn’t dare remove them until she was far away. She scampered to the door, but stopped. She had to go back. Just for a moment. Just to kiss his sleep-eased brow one more time.

Her lips touched his skin, then she backed away. His eyes were beginning to flicker. She made it to the door before he awoke and called for her to stop. Begged, demanded. But he knew that she was fleeing. “I’ll find you!” he assured her, stumbling for his pants.

“No,” she said, and her voice was torn with sadness. “You don’t know where to look.”

Then she was gone, racing away, plummeting back to undeniable reality. She knew he chased her, but the gods of fantasy were with her. Like the magic created, she disappeared into thin air.

Well, actually, she disappeared into a city cab. But it made no difference. She was gone to him forever.

Because she was a real woman, and he despised the real woman who she was.

CHAPTER ONE

L
EIGH TREMAYNE SHRUGGED AWAY
the chill that assailed her as an unattached voice demanded her name and business after her Audi pulled to a halt in front of the massive iron gate. It wasn’t really the voice that bothered her, she realized. She had been to Derek’s Star Island estate before and knew what to expect. What was disturbing her, she admitted, was that she was coming closer and closer to the inevitable—her meeting with Derek.

“It’s Mrs. Tremayne,” she called irritably. “And you’ll have to ask your boss what my business is!”

The gate rolled silently open. For a moment she merely stared at it, her fingers frozen on the wheel of her car. She was suddenly panicking, wishing she had never agreed to come. Then she pushed such ridiculous notions aside and turned the key in the ignition. There was no reason for her not to come; there was no reason for her to fear an encounter with Derek Mallory.

BOOK: When Next We Love
11.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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