The Secrets She Must Tell - Lucy King Page 0,1

her life.

She’d had dates, of course, relationships even, but they were casual affairs with guys at college or, later, with men she generally met at friends’ dinner parties, men she already faintly knew instead of random strangers picked up in bars.

And, while she’d liked and respected and fancied all of them, none had made her heart race particularly fast. Her last relationship—six months with a perfectly nice but ultimately unexciting banker—had fizzled out over a year ago and she’d neither lamented its demise nor been on the lookout for another.

For the last twelve months, in fact, she’d become so engrossed in the job she loved, so determined to get the promotion she’d been after, that she hadn’t given the opposite sex a moment’s consideration. She hadn’t wanted the distraction. She hadn’t needed the hassle.

Tonight, however, with her promotion in the bag and her foot easing off the accelerator a fraction, it appeared she wouldn’t mind some of both.

‘Good song,’ Carla said in response to a shift in the music as she bopped about on the seat a bit more energetically. ‘Want to dance?’

Not particularly.

In fact, Georgie wanted something quite different. Because, while hitting the dance floor with her friends and forgetting all about the brooding hunk at the bar would be by far the safest, most sensible option, she didn’t want to forget about him. And for once she didn’t want to be sensible. She wanted to meet him. Talk to him. Flirt with him. She wanted to give in to the scorching heat and the dizzying lust rushing through her and see where they took her.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d experienced such an intense and immediate attraction, or felt so alive. She hadn’t realised how much she’d missed the heady thrill of sexual excitement, how long she’d been treading water. Besides, it was her birthday. If she couldn’t let her hair down tonight of all nights, when could she?

‘Maybe later,’ she said, her stomach tightening and her pulse racing at the thought of what could happen if she went for it.

Beside her, Carla stilled, her eyes wide. ‘Oh? But you usually love dancing.’

‘I think I might go over and see if I can’t cheer him up instead.’

There was a moment of stunned silence, and then an incredulous, ‘Seriously?’

‘Why not?’

‘Because he does not look like the sort of suave, sophisticated professional you usually go for these days. He looks...untamed.’

‘I know.’ And that was the attraction.

‘Are you certain?’

‘Yup.’ Ish. Her chatting up skills were a bit rusty, and not only might he not be in the mood for company, he might also be spoken for. But what was the worst that could happen? If she crashed and burned, she could always give a nonchalant shrug and leave. If, on the other hand, she didn’t, and the attraction she was experiencing turned out to be mutual...well...the outcome could be explosive.

‘I thought you’d given up doing that sort of thing.’

‘It’s only conversation,’ she said while thinking, Well, maybe. To start with, at least.

‘Sure it is,’ said Carla with a wry grin that Georgie couldn’t help returning as she put down her glass and got to her feet, her stomach churning with nervous excitement.

‘Wish me luck.’

‘Good luck. Not that you ever needed it. One thing, though...’


‘Just in case it isn’t only conversation and you leave before we’re back from the dance floor, message me his name and a photo, and call me in the morning.’

Oblivious to the energy and buzz surrounding him, Finn Calvert stared unseeingly into his drink, his usually ordered thoughts a jumble, his legendary focus blitzed.

Twelve months. Eighteen at most. That was how long his father had left.

Details of the phone call he’d received an hour ago, which had ripped him apart and shattered his world, ricocheted around his head.

Four weeks ago, unbeknownst to him, his father had gone to his doctor complaining of a prolonged cough and shortness of breath. Subsequent tests had revealed lung cancer. Metastasised. Incurable.


Ever since his mother’s death when he was young his father had been his only family. He’d been the one who’d brought him up and who’d fished him out of the trouble he’d got into as an angry teenager. When, at eighteen, Finn had announced he wanted to buy the bar where he’d been working and which was up for sale, his father had been his initial investor. Over the years he’d subsequently proved a solid sounding board and his staunchest supporter, and the bond they shared was deep and unassailable.

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