Authors: Grace Harper
Copyright © Grace Harper 2015
The right of Grace Harper to be identified as the author of this book has been asserted in accordance the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Copying of this manuscript, in whole or in part, without the written permission of the author and her publisher is strictly prohibited.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
All sexually active characters in this work are 18 years of age or older.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales are entirely coincidental.
Published by GAVON Publishing, 2015
All rights reserved
Charming Olivia, Loving Lilly and Breaking Jane, tells the family saga of the Geary and Harrison family.
Each book can be read in isolation. However, if you want to read them all then this boxed set has them in the correct order.
Adult Reading Material
“Are you ready yet Cecily? We need to leave, or we’ll be late for the exhibition.” I yelled through the bathroom door. I was standing in front of a wooden door with my hands on my hips. Impatiently tapping my foot on the wooden floor at the woman inside, I wondered if she would ever come out. Of the two of us she was supposed to be the confident one, the one that took life by the balls and shook them in the air.
Cecily Hendry, my best friend and neighbour, was attending her debut exhibition tonight at a gallery in Brighton. She’d been in her bathroom for the last half an hour and wouldn’t speak to me or open the door. I wouldn’t usually be so concerned, but she’d been ready to leave over an hour ago. This would be the first time she’d shown her work publically and had been nervous for weeks. I’d encouraged her to take part in this exhibition where local photographers were going to be showcased.
She took brilliant photographs and had been producing these photos for years but never showed them to anyone but me. I thought they were stunning and would buy them all, but Cecily didn’t believe anyone would pay money for them. She refused to sell me any and I wouldn’t let her give me one for nothing.
I’d tried to get her to take part in a show for a long time, but she let exhibitions go by time and time again. Cecily hadn’t been too thrilled when she’d received a letter from the gallery accepting her entry. Mainly because she hadn’t entered, I had, on her behalf. On the day that she’d received the letter of congratulations, I managed to duck out of the way of the flying objects that had been hurled my way. She wasn’t shy about her constant threats of revenge when I least expected it. She didn’t scare me, well not too much. I ignored her warnings for me to keep one eye open when I slept, only after the third sleepless night.
When the gallery inspected the artwork, they were blown away and tagged each picture with a ridiculous price sticker. I wished I’d purchased one from her before I entered her into the exhibit because now they were way out of my price range.
We needed to be at the gallery before anyone arrived, and that was half an hour ago. I didn’t want to arrive late and behave like a diva, but Cecily clearly was too nervous to come out.
“Cecily, get your skinny arse out here now.” I demanded, hammering my fist on the door.
The door swung open as I kept hammering and I narrowly missed punching her in the eye. She stood there ashen faced. Looking stunning in her off the shoulder black dress that fitted her perfectly she pushed past me. Her face, however, looked pale, and her eyes betrayed how worried she was. I stepped forward and enveloped her in a hug. I could feel her shaking in my arms as she wrapped her arms around me. I tightened my squeezes until she struggled from not being able to breath and I giggled.
I pulled away and walked to the living room to finish off the glass of wine that I’d poured while waiting for her. I gestured the glass towards her, and she shook her head.
“I’m so scared Olivia, what if I’m booed out of the exhibition or heckled? Oh God, what if I’m a laughing stock?” She asked, breathing deeply and making fists with her hands. She paced back and forth in front of me stretching out her hands, splaying her fingers wide and then back into fists. I understood her nervousness, the first time I pressed publish I’d convinced myself that no one would buy my books. Then if they did buy the books they would go out of their way to leave a review slating the story. The books were ready months before I pressed the publish button and then I threw up through the stress of putting my work out into the public.
I knew how she felt, but I also knew how good her work was. I didn’t know Cecily when I released the first Olivia Gage novel, but I wish I had. Cecily moved in next door a few months after I published my second book and she read all my drafts from book three onwards. I’d shared my motivation for writing books, and she kept me sane when I wanted to stop writing. The least I could do is support her in her passion and get her to take the next step.
“Your photographs are beautiful, and if I’d that amount of spare money, I would buy the whole collection. You’re going to be an overnight sensation, and I’ll be proud to be there to tell everyone how wonderful you are.”
“You’re a good friend Olivia best-selling author Gage and pain in my arse, I don’t know what I would do without you.” She grinned at me and then put on her grave teacher face. “I want to say though if I catch you on your bloody phone tonight, talking to lover boy I’m taking your phone and throwing it out the nearest window.”
Cecily had tried to get me to admit that I had an addiction to social media, but I didn’t think I had. Well, not really, I was a little obsessed and secretly stalked a few timelines but that was as far as it went. Not as much as Cecily made out, I could put it down, occasionally. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t write any books. There had been a few occasions when she’d confiscated my phone. Mainly when we’re out for dinner or that time during a wedding ceremony.
“Firstly, he is not my lover boy, he is a fellow author and friend. We haven’t even met. Secondly, throwing my phone out of the window is way too harsh, you’re going to be schmoozing with your new clients, and I’ll be wandering around like a lost soul. I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll not talk to him. He knows that I’m going to your exhibition, so it’s only natural I would speak to him.”
“I still think it’s weird that the two of you talk every day and still have not met up. He lives in the same country as us. You should just meet him, he has asked you enough times.”
It’s true he had asked me countless times to meet up, but he is just after sex, he lives a life full of bedding stunning women. I’ve no desire to be another notch in his little black book. Our friendship started a week after I left a review about his company’s corset. I loved the garment and wrote a review to say so, but I was a little sarcastic. It wasn’t long before email addresses were swapped, and we were chatting online. Then we exchanged phone numbers and talked through text and then phone calls. I clicked with his sense of humour immediately. Jack Geary was intelligent, smart, with a sharp wit. I had a mini crush on him.
“You know my feelings about meeting up with him, with his lifestyle he will want more than just friendship and I can’t offer anything like that.”
“Whatever you say Olivia, now stop this chit chatting and let’s get going, so I can wow all of Brighton with my fabulous photographs and be as rich as you.” She declared. She was back to her usual self, and I was relieved.
I mock saluted Cecily as I followed her out of the flat and down to the pavement to flag down a taxi to the gallery. The journey didn’t take long and before we had time to argue about my mobile phone usage again, we had arrived. After paying the taxi driver, we stood outside the art gallery showing Cecily’s work.
I held her hand and squeezed hard until she winced with pain.
“Look at me Cecily.” I demanded she turned and looked me straight in the eye. “You look beautiful in that dress, you’re an amazing photographer and you have the longest legs I’ve ever seen. You’re going to be a sensation and I would be very surprised if you don’t get laid tonight. So get your shit together and go and kick some arse.”
“Interesting pep talk Olivia, I appreciate that. Now, you look fabulous in that purple dress. Your arse looks edible and if I wanted to bed a woman, you would definitely be her. Let me take a picture of you, give me your phone.” Cecily held out her hand to me, I looked down at my phone and didn’t want to let it go. What if she didn’t give it back? It would be my comfort blanket while I was left alone.
“I promise to give it back, now hand it over.” Cecily asked again. I passed the phone over and she took a full-length photo of me and then gave the phone back. “See, I can play nicely, now let’s go in.”
Linking arms we walked into a glass fronted building and were greeted by the owner.
“Where the hell have you been? I thought that you were never going to turn up. There are a lot of people who want to meet you. There is one gentleman that has been waiting over an hour and you need to talk to him first.”
The manager was a glorious vision of red and left us no room to talk. Everything she said was rhetorical and she made no apology for it. I loved her. I’d spent many evenings with her looking through Cecily’s portfolio deciding which ones were going to be exhibited before she sent a letter to Cecily.
Cecily was whisked from me immediately and was out of sight in seconds. I wandered over to the make-shift bar and took a glass of white wine. Walking over to the other side of the room, my heels clicking on the wooden floor I took out my phone. I checked where Cecily had disappeared to and opened my phone to see if Jack had sent me a message. He had.
: How is the exhibition?
: We have just arrived. Cecily has already deserted me so I’m wandering around the room checking out the other artists’ work. She has warned me that I’m not allowed to use my phone when I’m here. I need to be wary because she’s threatened to throw my phone out of the window and I know she will. What are you doing?
: I’m hard at work, socialising and selling knickers.
: Have you sold any yet?
: No, but then I’m checking out the hot women that are here. One of them has caught my eye, I can only see her back and I’m telepathically willing her to turn around, but she is not complying. She looks stunning and I want to grope her bottom.
: Why don’t you go and talk to her, wow her with your witty charm. If she has stunning shoes then just tell her which company you own and she will be yours for the night.
: Would that work with you? What should I do to wow you?
: You know you can’t wow me. I’m not available to be wowed.
: I wish you were available. I still don’t understand why you won’t meet me? I’ve offered to help you with your little problem. I don’t see what the issue is?
My little problem. At times, I wished I hadn’t told him about it. I was about to answer him when my phone was snatched from my hands. I looked up to see Cecily’s back disappearing away, my phone in her hand. She was walking towards the open window at the end of the room and I started to jog after her. My tight dress and high heels were not aiding my efforts and I heard someone chuckle as I passed them. Managing to catch up with her I tried to take my phone back but she held it away from me.
“What did I say Olivia?” She asked with a huge grin on her face.
“I was talking to Jack, you left me on my own, what was I supposed to do?” I whined and pouted.
Cecily looked at my phone and grinned evilly at me and started typing and then handed it back to me.
“That is your punishment for not staying by my side and for entering me into this exhibition without my permission.” Cecily said and waited for me to read what she’d sent.
: I’ve no real reason to keep turning down meeting you so I will. Name the time and place and I’ll be there. Oh and check out my dress this evening.
“Oh my God Cecily, why did you say that? Why did you send the picture of me?”
“You have a problem and he has offered to fix it. You need to do this, so I made the first step. You look hot and sending him a picture will do no harm. You will thank me for it later, I promise. It’s no different to what you did to get me here this evening.” She said and winked and walked away.
I checked my phone to see if Jack had replied, he hadn’t. I chewed on my thumbnail and waited for a long time, which in reality was two and a half minutes.
: Tomorrow, 9pm, Blue’s Bar on South Street, Edinburgh. You look stunning.
Shit, double shit, how was I going to get out of this? I stared at the screen silently cursing Cecily. Looking up to locate my so called friend, I found her and glared at her from across the room. Cecily didn’t notice me throwing daggers at her, she looked perfectly fine on her own and she didn’t need me here at all, which meant I didn’t need to be punished. I couldn’t believe that she told him I would come and now he wanted me to meet him tomorrow. I could drop everything and go tomorrow, but he didn’t know that.
: Cold feet?
: I don’t know what came over me. I can’t arrive tomorrow, I’ve a busy week next week.
Damn, that was the problem when you talked to someone every day, they got to know your schedule.
: What is the worst that can happen? Your husband can do without you for a week, you have told me that he is not there next week, so get on a plane and come and see me.
: You want me to come for a week?
: When we discussed your little problem you gave me the scenarios you wanted to see and we agreed it would take a week. We have talked about this for months, we have even planned out how we’ll do it so why not now? I’ll show you my lifestyle so that you can sort out that the problem of yours and then you can go back to your ordinary life. I promise I won’t fuck you unless you ask me to.
I gasped out loud, I don’t know why I did, his forwardness shouldn’t shock me after this long but it did. I heard a man laugh from across the room and I saw Cecily laughing with a client she was standing with. She didn’t need me here, I wondered if I could slip away without her knowing.
: I’m not staying with you, I’ll book a hotel and you need to keep your hands to yourself the entire time.
: Deal. I’ll see your beautiful face tomorrow sweetheart.
I sighed at my phone and put it away without answering. I looked around the room to find Cecily to tell her what damage she’d done with her comment and mentally made a list of what I needed to do to go to Edinburgh tomorrow.