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Authors: Ara Grigorian

Game of Love

BOOK: Game of Love
10.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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P.O. Box 2160
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Tel/Fax: 800-998-2509

© 2015
Ara Grigorian

Cover Art by Eugene Teplitsky

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ISBN 978-1-62007-852-5 (ebook)
ISBN 978-1-62007-853-2 (paperback)
ISBN 978-1-62007-854-9 (hardcover)

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When we were both nineteen, you asked, “What is your dream career?” Without hesitation I said, “Writer.” When we were both thirty-nine, you asked me to stop dreaming. This book exists because of you. My first reader. My best friend. My wife. Delia.
To my two boys, thunder and lightning — dream without limits, live fully, work tirelessly, never give up.
To my grandfather — genocide survivor, war hero, actor, playwright, author, poet, angel — you are why I have a passion for storytelling. I hope I’ve made you proud.

Australia: January

he Porsche’s tires screeched as the skidding car plowed into a row of parked cars. Gemma Lennon’s body slammed against the door as her head struck the passenger side window.

A few moments passed before she was able to focus on her surroundings again. The car stood motionless. The chase was over.

She glanced to her right and saw a smeared stain on the glass, then smelled the choking odor of burnt tires, and felt something warm flowing from her temple onto her ear. The music that had been blaring from the speakers moments earlier was now muffled, and the outside world’s colors muted.

Then she saw the paparazzi, jumping off their motorcycles, clamoring around the car, snapping pictures. The world began to fade.

“Are you hurt?” a distant but familiar voice screamed.

She blinked as she turned to face the driver: Johnny, her boyfriend.

Something thick and warm trailed from her forehead and into her right eye. She wiped at the viscous liquid.

“But… tomorrow…” she said, before her world went dark.

“Tennis begins with love.”
~Author Unknown

“We are made strong by the difficulties we face, not by those we evade.”

~Author Unknown


Paris: Four Months Later

emma’s security flanked her, their grip tight on her arms. Bedric, her coach, rushed ahead, slamming open the hotel’s glass doors to the roar of the French paparazzi–a cacophony of questions, comments, and insults.

Gemma moderated her breathing, prepared for another three-second spurt of chaos.


“–What happened in your hotel room?”

They knew.
Dozens of cameras from all directions chirped and flashed. She kept her eyes trained on her goal: the awaiting car.


! Gemma! One smile.”

The paparazzi bore in from her right.
Only a few more steps
. A knee rammed into her thigh. That one would leave a mark. A bruise that the papers would dissect and analyze gratuitously.


“–Why were you hiding for four months? Were you going to quit tennis?”

Don’t react. Say nothing.
Bedric forced the car door open, giving Gemma the opening she needed to squeeze in. He followed.


The door slammed behind them, and the sounds of commotion lowered to a gentle hush. Black tinted windows offered a veil of privacy. Bodies, camera lenses, and faces smashed against the glass. Only inches separated her from the paparazzi. There had been a time when she used to move to the center of the car, creating as much separation as possible. But now she knew better. Distance was a mere illusion of safety.

The locks engaged, and the car accelerated away.

She didn’t like surprises–particularly on game day–but in this case, her security lead’s demand to move her to another hotel had been spot-on. It was one thing for the paparazzi to gather outside. It was quite another when one found his way into her hotel suite… while she slept. The French paparazzi were setting a new standard.

BOOK: Game of Love
10.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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