I'll be out a lot today as I'm going to London to meet my agency and to attend the launch for the wonderful Loves Me, Loves Me Not anthology but the party is still on and tomorrow I'll draw the first door prize from all the comments posted up to now for a free download of His Darling Nurse - if you already have your copy then I'll send you something gorgeous instead!
Here's another snippet to entertain you while I'm gone.
Wake up, Mummy. Wake up!”
Juliet groaned. Her bed dipped and sagged under Charlie’s weight as he bounced on her quilt. She squinted at the alarm clock, blinking in horror when she realized the time.
“Oh no, Charlie, we’re late.”
Scruffy barked with excitement as she chivvied Charlie along to get dressed. She put on her uniform and headed to the kitchen. So much for being up early and looking poised and professional.
“Charlie, toast’s done!” She poured him a glass of orange juice as he clumped downstairs with his shirt hanging out and his tie under his left ear.
Juliet tucked his shirt in and straightened his tie before he took his seat at the table for breakfast. She hurried to prepare his packed lunch for school. A few quick glances out of the kitchen window while she buttered his bread revealed the extent of the damage from yesterday’s fire.
She hoped Neil knew of some cheap fencing contractors. Her budget for renovating the house had been small to begin with, and the extra expense of paying for repairs to someone else’s property would blow her budget wide apart.
Scruffy yapped from by the back door so Juliet slipped on his lead to let him out into the garden. She didn’t want to add to the damage by allowing Scruffy to rampage across Neil’s bowling-green-like lawn.
There were no signs of life at Neil’s house, and Juliet wondered if he’d already left for work. It didn’t look like she would be likely to bump into him in his pyjamas coming out to the dustbin.
A peep at her watch told her she needed to speed Charlie along or they would both be late, so she hurried back inside. She had her key ready to lock her front door when Neil emerged from his house.
“Good morning, Juliet—Charlie.”
“Morning. How’s the hand?” Juliet flushed at his unexpected emergence. His neat suit and crisply ironed shirt contrasted vividly with the image of him in pyjamas that she had conjured up just minutes before.
He flexed his hand. “It’s fine. By the way, did Rose mention that we have a practice meeting today?”
Juliet blushed deeper and stammered an acknowledgement of the meeting, but he appeared oblivious to the heat in her cheeks.
“Then I’ll see you later.” He walked off towards a shiny new estate car.
By the time Juliet had dropped Charlie at his new school, spoken to his teacher and watched him file inside with his new classmates, she was ten minutes late.
“This is not a good omen,” she muttered. She rushed around the corner to the surgery and buzzed for entry at the staff door. “Way to go, Juliet.” Now she could add poor timekeeping under arson on her list of faults.
(c) Nell Dixon 2009
Available from Freya's Bower