Sherry – Melanie, you protected liam for three years before you acted on your love for him, how hard was it for you to conceal your feelings from him?
Melanie – Not hard at all, he just didn’t see me until the night we worked together to save the foal.
Sherry – What abot the eveing at the Glasgow restaurant? It was obvious he wanted you then, why didn’t you let him make a move on you?
Melanie – Because I wanted him forever, not just one night, and if I’d succumbed that night not only would I have lost any chance, however slim, of marrying the man I love, but I’d have had to walk away from my job too.
Sherry – When Liam discovered your role as his securtiy guard, did you think he’d ever forgive you?
Melanie – *sighs deeply and shrugs one shoulder.* What can I say? I thought it was over between us.
Sherry – How did you feel when Prince Henri fell in love with Monica, your best friend and business partner in His Chosen Bride?
Melanie – Elated. Monica deserved someone spepcial and Henri was perfect for her.
Sherry – *fails to hide the irony in her voice.* That’s not the impression I got when Herni first arrived in Scotland.
Melanie – *throws her head back and roars with laughter.* The stupid man had his head messed up with pre-conceived ideas about the kind of bride he thought his parents would choose for him.
Sherry – What about the twins, Sacha and Simeon? Do you have any plans for them?
Melanie – What’s with the ‘Have I got any plans?’ You’re the one who’s writing their stories. If you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, how do you expect me to know anything? * She tries to hide her sly grin, but Sherry sees it.*
Sherry – We both know you feed me the infomation as and when you feel like it…
Melanie -*feigned indignation* How can I do that when I’m not included in any of the scenes you’ve written so far. You even changed the title of Sacha’s story from ‘Jubilee’ to ‘Royal Intentions,’ without asking me!
Sherry – * triumphant* See? You know what’s going on even when I don’t tell you. How do you know that, anyway?
Melanie – I have my ways. *Her eyes light up and she holds out her hands.* Here’s Liam, I have to go, we have to fly home in good time for the King’s Jubilee firework celebration.
Sherry – *rises at the same time as her hostess.* Thank you for talking with me today. Do you have anything else you’d like to share with your readers today?
Melanie – *offers a suddenly shy smile and leans into her husband’s embrace.* We are expecting our second child. *She lifts her face for Liam’s kiss, and together they leave the room, stopping long enough for a shared wave in Sherry’s direction.
Liam Fitzwilliam Gasquet stared in amazement at the blooming patch of red milliseconds before the pain exploded in his arm. Some trigger-happy idiot had fired in his direction. Indignation didn’t have time to take root before another bullet kicked the dust at his feet.
The rebels had found the fourth and youngest son of Jean-Phillipe Gasquet, ruler of the tiny kingdom adjacent to the Swiss border. When had they discovered his whereabouts?
With a reluctant sigh, he faced the truth of it. They hadn’t ‘found’ him at all. They’d followed him.
She lost track of time until the flames caught her attention once more. They flickered from orange to gold, to silver, to white.
A flurry of snowflakes masked the flames and for a second Monica watched the most beautiful, pristine snow-scene she’d ever seen. Her lips curved in longing. How she’d love to get a toboggan and slide down that slope. She knew where it was, and had done just that many times in her childhood, first with her parents and then, in clandestine manner, with her brother. Sneaking an old tin tray from the back of her mother’s walk-in pantry, she’d then grabbed Billy’s hand and they’d rushed out the back gate, heading for the lakeside track that led up into the hills.
Darkness, dense and thick with grief dropped over the scene. Startled and disconcerted by the strength of emotion emanating from the vision Monica shifted to her knees, ready to stand, when a voice, a deep male voice, sharp with fear called out her name.
She knew she’d never heard the voice before, and yet—it was as familiar to her as the image she saw in her mirror each morning.
“Help me, Monica.”
Desperate for more clues, she searched the darkness within the flames until it sputtered and faded. With a curse she jumped up and ran for the phone. With her outstretched hand hovering over it she halted and let her hand drop to her side once more. What could she say? What would the police or rescue team think of her if she called them and told them she’d seen a vision of a man in distress?
They’d laugh in her face and classify her as a lunatic. Well, maybe not. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d contacted them with positive information but something—an instinctive gut reaction told her what she’d seen this time hadn’t happened yet.