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Authors: Carla Krae

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My Once and Future Love

BOOK: My Once and Future Love
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My Once and Future Love

 

By Carla Krae

Published by Carla Krae at Smashwords.

Copyright 2011 Carla Krae

The right of Carla Krae to be identified as
the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with
the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Cover art created by Caro Mio.

First printed 2011

First Edition

All characters in this publication are purely
fictitious and any resemblance to real persons--living or dead--is
purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted, in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic,
photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written
consent of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form
of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and
without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent
purchaser.

This e-book is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
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purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of
this author.

 

MY ONCE AND FUTURE LOVE

 

Part One
Absence Makes the Heart

 

Chapter One

2002

I sat at an LAX airport gate waiting for them
to call our row, my foot tapping impatiently. Daddy wasn’t too
thrilled I found a way to circumvent his decision, but I didn’t
care. In a matter of hours, I’d see Jacob again! He knew his mother
was coming, but she hadn’t told me if he knew about me tagging
along, as well. I hoped to surprise him.

“Elizabeth, that’s us.”

“Okay!”

She grinned. “You know you can’t bounce on
the plane, yes?”

I blushed. “Sorry. This is just a big deal
for me.”

She hugged me with her free arm. “I know,
dear. Strange as it may sound, I remember being eighteen. I met my
husband at university here.”

“In L.A., here?” I knew his dad had been
American, but I assumed they came from England when he started at
my school.

She nodded. “I wanted to get out on my own,
away from what I was used to, you know, and met this brash young
man in my Philosophy class. I turned him down twice before we went
on a date, and then I discovered he was sweet, too. A lot like
Jacob.”

We handed the attendant our boarding passes.
“Wow. So you were sweethearts?”

“Goodness, yes. Probably quite
sickening.”

We made it into the tunnel and onto the
plane. The seats were spaced farther apart than I was used to. I
actually had room to stretch my legs.

“Do you mind if I take the window seat?” I
stowed our carry-ons above while she stepped aside to let people
continue down the aisle.

“Not at all.”

Never left the US before--flown
cross-country, but never across an
ocean
. I wasn’t sure how
I’d bear waiting five hours just to get to that part. My book would
be killed in four. Then, what? “I should’ve brought a second
book.”

“What’s that?”

“I was just thinking about the length of the
flight. My book isn’t long enough to keep me occupied for eleven
hours.”

She smiled, understanding. “Well, they will
show a movie, though keep in mind it’s likely you’ll doze off at
some point.

I shook my head. “I’m too excited to
sleep.”

“Mm-hmm…”

We chatted for a while, me picking her brain
about famous stuff close to her house. She’d insisted she had
enough room to put me up and assured me I wouldn’t be a burden.
Still, I hoped it wasn’t far from his apartment.

I read until they served a meal, then
finished off the book before the in-flight movie started. It was
some think-y drama about adults with issues and I nodded off from
boredom. A light sleeper, though, I woke when we got dinner.

“Hey, it’s dark on this side of the world.”
We’d left Los Angeles at 10:30AM, which made it around eight in the
evening now, but with the time difference… “What time is it in
London?”

“It’ll be close to six in the morning when we
exit the plane.”

“Oh, wow. No way Jacob will be up to meet us
at the airport.” It was a bummer I had to wait longer to see
him.

She laughed. “Indeed! He didn’t like waking
early as a
baby
.”

A clear summer night, I could see the moon
reflecting off the water below out my window.
Far
below, but
hey…scenery.

We landed around 6:00AM. Ten at night at
home, so I would be thinking about bed in another hour. Instead, I
was looking at breakfast. A car with personal driver picked us up
and I started to wonder about the family Mrs. Lindsey came from.
When the car eventually stopped in front of a
manor
, I knew
she’d been holding out on me.

“Friend’s place?”

Her cheeks colored slightly. “No. It belonged
to my parents, and my grandparents before them.”

“No wonder you don’t have a job in L.A.”

“I have been fortunate, yes, but one does not
need to be blatant with one’s wealth. And I was quite happy to be a
young bride in California, once upon a time.” By appearances, she
was younger than my parents.

People opened doors for us and more people
took our luggage to other rooms. I spun in a circle in the foyer,
taking in the grand staircase, chandelier, and gold-framed
paintings. My sneakers squeaked on the marble tiles.

“Elizabeth, it’s not polite to gawk,” she
whispered in my ear.

I dropped my chin and my eyes and followed
her upstairs. She took a right and stopped at a door.

“This is your bedroom. I’m just down the
hall. There is an intercom system throughout the house, so if you
need a servant for any reason, just buzz.”

“Servant?” I asked, my voice taking on an
airy quality as I took in my bedroom.

“It’s a long way to the kitchen if you crave
a midnight snack.”

My room had a four-poster bed and a window
seat. Fresh flowers graced every table and the duvet looked to be a
silk blend from the subtle sheen of the fibers. More exploring
revealed a huge closet, and a luxurious bathroom with a claw-foot
tub. I ran my hand over the fluffy towels.

“The room is satisfactory, I hope,” she said
from the door.

“It’s amazing and you know it. Are they all
like this?”

“Identical? Gracious, no. But each
individually beautiful, yes.”

“Jacob never mentioned this place.”

She didn’t look surprised. “He spent most of
his time at school while we lived in London, coming home for
holidays. California was where he was born and where we came back
to. I imagine he’ll end up there again, too.”

“I won’t mind.”

She smirked. “Undoubtedly. Try to take a nap.
Then we’ll have brunch and try to rouse my son.”

I folded back the covers of the bed once she
left and opened my luggage to get my pajamas.

A few hours later
,
a ringing telephone
awakened me.

“Hello?”

“Did I wake you?” Mrs. Lindsey asked. Her
tone said she knew she did.

“A little. Did I miss breakfast?”

“No, dear. We’re setting the table now.”

“I’ll be down in a few minutes.”

I hung up and rolled out of bed, then washed
my face, ran a brush through my hair, brushed my teeth, and dressed
in a blouse and shorts. Hearing voices when I walked down the
stairs, I followed the sound. The object of my affection stood at
the kitchen island munching on strawberries.

He talked to his mother with his back to me.
At twenty now, his body had matured since I last saw him two years
ago. His shoulders were broader and he was no longer adolescently
skinny. The bleach had grown out to only being on the tips of his
hair.

“Ah, there you are,” his mother said.

He turned around.

“Bethie!” The biggest smile I’d ever seen
spread across his face. With two strides, he wrapped his arms
around me and twirled me around. “What are you doing here,
love?”

“Surprising you.”

He set me down and backed up to arms-length
to look at me. “Bloody hell, you changed in two years.”

My cheeks turned crimson. “A little bit.”

“Little! You barely fit under my chin now.
How was graduation?”

“Salutatorian. Got beaten out for first in
class by a tenth of a grade point.”

“Aww,” he teased. “Want me to beat ‘im
up?”

“It was a her, and no, but thanks for the
offer. Should I ask about
your
grades?”

He coughed. “Maybe later.”

Same ol’ Jacob
.

God, he looked good. His face had matured a
bit, too, bringing out his cheekbones. His skin was paler than in
California, but no less attractive. Today was Saturday, and he wore
a tee and low-slung jeans with a studded belt through the loops.
Only man I knew who refused to wear shorts unless at the beach.

“Come eat, kids.”

He took my hand and led me into the dining
room. What Vivian called “brunch” was no simple spread. The
polished table probably sat twelve and was set with china and
sterling silver flatware.

“Is this what they mean by an English
breakfast?” Several serving dishes were spread before us.

“That you can stuff yourself silly on a good
fry-up? Pretty much,” he said.

“A little variety never hurt anyone,” his
mother said. She sat at the head of the table, her plate already
filled.

He handed me a plate and asked, “How long do
I get to keep you?”

Forever,
my heart answered. My
rational side said, “Uh, I’m not sure? I have to be at UCLA in
September, but your mom made the travel arrangements.”

“Well, any mother that brings me a Bethie
present earns my everlasting devotion.”

She shook her head, but said, “You’re
welcome, dear, though this is just as much for Elizabeth, if not
more so. Traveling abroad diversifies a young woman’s
education.”

He sat down with his pile of food. “On that
note, you have to come see us play tonight.”

I smiled. “I’d love to. I brought the
t-shirt.” I sat to his right, since he’d chosen the corner seat
next to his mother.

My internal clock thought it was three in the
morning. Mrs. Lindsey, on the other hand, was still bushy-tailed. I
don’t know how she did it. With eggs, fruit, pastries, and sausage
in my belly, I felt like another nap. A yawn escaped my mouth while
they caught up. Embarrassed, my hand flew up to my lips to hide
it.

He poked my side. “I heard that.”

“I’m sorry. My body thinks it’s the middle of
the night.”

“Aww, past Bethie’s bed time?” he teased.

“Shut up. You’ve had jet lag before.”

“Not
my
fault you didn’t plan your
flight around your natural schedule.”

“In the same room thirty minutes and you’re
picking on me.” I propped my chin on my hand. “Hmm, why did I miss
you again?”

He leaned closer, blue eyes sparkling.
“’Cause I’m irresistible. A magnet for females young and old.”

“Watch it,” his mother and I said in
unison.

He laughed, and stretched in his chair. “So
easy.”

I hit him with my napkin and stood to take my
empty plate into the kitchen.

“Elizabeth. Someone will take care of that
for you,” she said.

“Pffft, nonsense. No offense, but I carry my
own weight.”

I brought my dirty dishes into the kitchen
and set them by the sink, then looked for the dishwasher. All I saw
were drawers. Well, fine, guess I’d do it by hand
.
Yeah, I
had a bit of guilt over the cost of bringing me here. Even though
it was obvious now Mrs. Lindsey could afford it and then some, I
still didn’t feel right letting her staff wait on me hand and foot.
I didn’t incur debts.

“Pet, what are you doing?” Jacob asked behind
me, amused.

“Washing my dishes, duh.”

“Looks like you’re puttin’ someone out of
work.”

“Huh?”

He took the glass from my hand. “They’re paid
to do a job, Bethie. They’re not
slaves
.”

“I know that.”

“Then remember you’re on vacation and
relax
.”

Hard to do when he smelled so good
.
“You haven’t called in a long time,” I said.

“Keep me busy, school and the band. Lose
track of the days.”

I glanced down at his wrist. “It’d help if
you wore a watch.”

He nodded once, conceding to my point.
“Probably. Wanna see my world, or do you need that nap?”

“I can make do with caffeine.” After two
years away, he wasn’t getting out of my sight today.

BOOK: My Once and Future Love
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