Authors: Edwina J. White
THOSE ANGSTROM MEN!
A COLLECTION OF THREE SHORT STORIES
EDWINA J. WHITE
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE CRUISING TO LOVE
EDWINA J. WHITE PRESENTS
HER FIRST SHORT STORY COLLECTION...
THOSE ANGSTROM MEN!
Wealthy, handsome, fit, clever, all three Angstrom men are a woman’s dream...
Ian, the billionaire business consultant, pursued by all the
twenty (and thirty) somethings who read Britain’s leading women’s magazine, because that publication voted Ian
Britain’s Most Eligible Bachelor
. Could he find somebody who wanted him for himself, and not all the hype?
FOR THE LOVE OF SUSAN
Alec, the solicitor who was in love with a family friend, a married family friend who was eight years older than him.
Then the family friend caught her husband in bed with another woman, and Alec handled the divorce. Would Alex ever get a chance to handle Susan?
David was Ian’s younger brother, not as rich, but even more handsome. He had an ongoing correspondence happening with a magazine publisher...who he pictured first as a man, and then as an older spinster type. Imagine his shock when the reality was
anything but...oh yes, she was the one who put Ian on that stupid list, and now she had David targeted for the same torture...oopsy Daisy!
Ian Angstrom smiled cynically at the cover of the gossip magazine discarded on the seat beside him.
had his picture on their cover, with Anjelica Jones on his arm. She was gazing up at him adoringly, with lots of cleavage exposed.
Well, he supposed it would sell copies. Anjelica was pretty famous now that she’d made that steamy film with George whatever his name was.
It was too bad for
that he and Anjelica had only been out twice. She bored him silly, and he hadn’t asked her out a third time.
He sighed. Ever since he’d been on that woman’s magazine list of Britain’s Most Eligible Bachelors last year, he’d been stalked by the paparazzi
as well as a lot of single women. It was even worse this summer, now that they’d put him on it for the second year in a row, in the Number One spot, for heaven‘s sake!
He flipped the magazine over, to hide his face.
Ian didn’t get it. He was a businessman, not an actor or athlete. Yes, he was rich, yes, he was single, and yes, he supposed he was somewhat attractive. He was tall, very fit, with streaky blonde hair and deep gray eyes that many hack writers described as smoldering, with a deep cleft in his strong chin.
Ian Angstrom was actually very handsome, especially today, with what the hack writers dubbed designer stubble emphasizing his masculinity.
His net worth was even more attractive, rumoured by the tabloids to be over Five Billion Pounds, partly based on his adroit manipulation of the gold market a couple of years ago, and partly on the success of his numerous business interests.
He glanced around the holding area for the plane he was catching back to England.
Hello, what have we here?
She was lovely, absolutely lovely. Her warm brown hair was pulled back into a messy bun, strands escaping and tickling her lightly tanned neck.
She was reading a book, a very serious look on her face. He craned his neck.
Ah, it was a book he’d enjoyed himself, about the current state of the British economy. Obviously the girl had a brain or two, in contrast to Anjelica and her legion of beautiful, clueless airheads.
She seemed to be travelling by herself. He wondered if by some stroke of luck, she’d be in first class with him.
She glanced up, saw him looking at her, and smiled slightly.
Wow, she was even prettier when she smiled!
He checked her hands. No rings…good…he’d make his move.
Ian got up and sauntered over to the Reservation Agent at the desk.
“I wonder...I know this is highly unusual, Brian” Ian eyed the name on the agent’s identification badge, “but I think I recognize that girl over there, the one reading that book with the yellow cover...and I can’t remember her name.”
Brian recognized Mr. Angstrom. He
recognized all the First Class passengers who had checked in with him. “I think that’s Miss Maggie Parker, sir.” He checked his computer screen. “She’s in seat 22F, smack in the middle of the row.”
. Can I upgrade her to First Class and get her the seat next to mine?”
Brian shook his head. “Sorry, Mr. Angstrom, First Class is actually sold out.”
“Oh, I really wanted to sit by her, renew our acquaintance. It must be a year or more since I saw her, she’s a friend of my sister,” lied Ian smoothly. He didn’t have a sister.
“If you really wanted to sit with her, I could switch you to 22G. 22G, a Mrs. J. Finstead, hasn’t checked in yet, and I could bump her up to your seat in First Class.”
Ian winced. Tucking his six foot four frame into the middle of the Economy section of a stretch 747 wasn’t his idea of fun. But Miss Maggie Parker was enticing, so naturally enticing, an intoxicating enticing so unlike the women he usually met.
“Do that, please, Brian.”
Ian walked over to an empty seat at the end of a row of empty seats to wait for the flight to be called, his new boarding pass tucked into his pocket.
As he sat down, a buxom redhead dived for the seat beside him. “Aren’t you Ian Ang...
“Armstrong,” interrupted Ian “My name is John Armstrong, not the other guy. I know
, I’ve been mistaken for him before. Wish I had his money, not easy with three kids on what I make. Would you like to see their picture?” He smiled nicely at the girl.
“Uh, no thank you.” She got up and moved back to her friends. Ian could hear her telling them he wasn’t one of Britain’s Most Eligible Bachelors.
“He’s married, with three kids and doesn’t earn much money.”
“Maybe he’s just saying that, he looks like a picture I saw of Ian Angstrom on a magazine the other day.” “Naw, look at his jeans, they’re quite worn. A billionaire would be wearing designer jeans and a sports jacket, not a beat up anorak. Besides, he was ready to whip out a picture of the kids and bore me with it.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Too bad...”
Ian breathed a quiet sigh of relief.
Another narrow escape from a young lady eager to meet his money.
Maggie smiled to herself as the tanned hunk squeezed into the seat next to her on the plane.
She’d noticed him eying her in the waiting room, and then go and change his ticket. Maggie was flattered….
He had to be a surfer or a sailor, with that windblown, streaky dark blond hair and magnificent tan, that lean, muscled body. The laugh lines around his deep gray eyes enhanced his strong good looks.
“Probably about thirty three or thirty four,” she thought to herself.
“Probably used to every woman he meets swooning over him. And if he‘s half as nice as he looks, I‘ll be one of them.”
He smiled as he fastened his seat belt. “Hello, there,” he said. “I’m Ian, er, Ian Armstrong.
“Maggie Parker,” she replied, matching his smile.
“Coming home from a holiday?” he asked.
“Yes, I’ve been staying on Corfu for a week.”
“I’ve been sailing the Greek Islands with my brother,” he told her.
“I was staying at my uncle’s holiday villa. He rents it out most of the year, and since it was vacant last week, he offered it to me.”
She’d needed the break after caring for her grandmother for the past year and a half until Gran was so frail she needed proper nursing care in a home.
That year and a half out of the workforce had made job seeking a little difficult, but she was employed again now, or would be Monday morning. She’d gratefully accepted the airline ticket from Auntie Anne and Uncle John’s offer of the villa he and his wife owned. If she hadn’t stepped up to look after Gran, one of them would have had to.
They were grateful, and she was happy to let them express their gratitude. After eighteen months with no income, her bank balance would not have paid for a week on Corfu.
The drinks trolley came round.
Ian quirked his eyebrow at her. “Beer, wine or something stronger? I’m having beer....”
“Thanks, a beer would be good.”
“Are you a keen sailor?” she asked as he poured her beer into the plastic cup.
“I used to be, just don’t have much time anymore. I do have a sloop
moored in Devon. My brother and I own a cottage down there. However, David gets much more use of it than I do.
“He took a couple of months off this summer, and picked up a new thirty foot yawl in Sardinia, sailed it to Minorca, and I met him there and sailed with him for two weeks. It was a great break from London.”
“I start a new job Monday and my relatives insisted I needed the rest. Luckily Uncle John’s villa wasn’t rented out last week, so I had a great holiday, just lazing, doing nothing.”
“Is the new job in London?”
“Yes. I used to live in London, but I’ve been in Chipping Camden for the last eighteen months. My grandmother is ill, so I cared for her until we had to place her in a nursing home.”
“You’re a very kind girl, obviously, Maggie,” he smiled.
“Well, I was the one in the family who could actually give the time.”
“What do you do?”
“I was a reporter for a small women’s magazine, but it went under when Gran began to fail so the timing was opportune.”
“What are you going to do in London?”
“Edit reports, write a corporate newsletter and press releases and such for a large consulting company, Angstrom and Associates.”
Ian looked at her sharply, then remarked, “That won’t be as exciting as a women’s magazine, no matter how small.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I used to have to create a romance quiz every fortnight. You know, ‘How Do You Know if He’s Mr. Right?’, or ‘How do you Know He Isn’t Cheating On You?’
“They wouldn’t publish the one I did that I called ’How do You Know
If Your Boyfriend’s A Married Man?’ The Publisher decided it was too racy for our readership!
“No, editing and rewriting business proposals and reports seems quite attractive to me. I have aspirations to be an editor at a business magazine one day. The women’s magazine was hiring when I got out of Uni, and the business publications weren’t.”
Ian laughed. “And how do you know if he’s cheating on you or a married man? Not that your boyfriend would cheat on you, Maggie, you’re very pretty. Those hazel eyes are mesmerizing.”
Maggie blushed. “I don’t have a boyfriend, Ian, but thanks for the compliment. How do you know your partner is cheating? Well, I said not being available weekends and holidays, mysterious calls, not answering the telephone when he’s with you, never taking you to his place, only yours, never calling you by your name, only endearments...that kind of thing. I said basically the same thing for the boyfriend‘s married quiz they wouldn‘t print.”
“You said? Did you make it all up?”
“Of course I did, that’s what my job was. Interviewing minor celebrities, covering worthy causes and the romance quiz...that was about it.”
Ian laughed heartily, and for the rest of the trip they kept each other amused. They both had a wealth of funny stories from their school and University days. They had a lively discussion about the book she was reading. Then they moved on to favourite films and television programmes. The trip to London seemed very short.
“It’s nearly dinnertime,” he said as they were landing. “Any plans for tonight?”
“No, as I told you, I’m staying at my cousin Jillian’s flat near Marble Arch until I find a place of my own, and she’s away for the weekend.”