A Remembered Love Ch. 01byNoirABNC©
Hey guys I'm back! Before you ask and yes of course I am going to finish His Cajun Moon, be on the lookout for upcoming chapters of that. I started this little baby so you guys could have something to pass the time over until HCM 6. Comments are welcomed and appreciated. I really want to know what you guys think. This is my take on those little Harlequin novels. You know the ones...Dashing gazillionaire long lost blah blah blah...lol. This is a short romance only about 3 chaps so enjoy!
I have an awesome and by awesome I mean Super Freaking Awesome editor Honeycaramelbits.
Enjoy you guys.
Stephanie put the last of the books on the shelf and dusted her hands off. She definitely wasn't going to miss walking up and down the aisles of the library she had been volunteering at, for the next couple of weeks she would be on a much deserved vacation. Making her way back to the front desk she shut down the computer and while she was putting her things away she noticed her aunt walking up.
"Oh Steph, I'm sure going to miss you and my little munchkin. I can't believe your going to Greece for three weeks" her aunt Verna sighed. Stephanie held back her laughter but she couldn't hold back her smile. Her aunt could be so dramatic at times.
"Auntie you're the one who told me to take this trip. You and uncle Sonny made my dad practically pay for the whole trip. Plus it's time I got over my fears and introduced Angel to her father's homeland and culture" she said as she unconsciously rubbed the place over her heart. Her aunt saw this gesture but said nothing.
Verna didn't mean to inadvertently bring up her niece's dead husband. It still made her choke up a little to think about the sad twists that life threw in people's path. That's why she had made her brother-in-law fork over the money so his daughter and grandchild could enjoy the trip. She was tired of seeing her niece in a funk and she knew that this trip was going to do her and the little munchkin some good. It had been almost four years and it was time for her Stephanie to move on with her life.
"You are right. That little girl is three going on thirty. She's got so much sass in her, in a minute you won't be able to tell her anything." Verna laughed just thinking about her great-niece's antics.
"I'm always saying that she reminds me of your mother my sister Shirley" she continued.
"Well you get going now; you can't miss the ferry off the island or you'll be late for your plane" she said shooing her away from the front desk.
"Ok, auntie I love you and I'll go say by to Uncle Sonny on my way to pick up Angel at the day care." Stephanie said as she kissed her aunt on the cheek and walked out the front door.
Stepping out into the August summer sun on the Martha's Vineyard always brought a smile to her face. It gently warmed her coffee colored skin. She walked to the library parking lot and hopped in her jeep. The short drive to the golf course her uncle haunted during the day was just up the road. She waved to the people that she knew as she drove the road, which eventually turned onto the course entry, she caught glimpses of men playing golf but she couldn't tell if any of them were her uncle. Stephanie parked the car and went to the main house. She waved to the concierge girl and went to the bar.
Thankfully she spotted her uncle sitting on the patio smoking cigars with his cronies. Her uncle was very handsome and well built man for the age of sixty-three. He was six two and still had muscles like a thirty five year old. His brown skin made his peppery colored hair almost look fake, his kind brown eyes hinted at his maturity. Even though he still looked like he was running one of the best law firms in Boston, now he just played golf spoiled his grandkids and her daughter. He and Aunt Verna had chosen to move to the island once he retired. He spotted me, smiled and motioned me over.
"Stephanie, my girl I thought you would have left already. And where is my little bumble bee?" He asked as he got up and gave me a hug and kiss.
"You know I couldn't leave you without coming to say bye first and I'm going to get her right after I leave here." She said as she pushed her sunglasses onto her head.
"Oh well, don't miss the ferry and make sure you call before the plane takes off." He said while sitting back down.
"I will, hi Mr. Radcliff, hi Mr. Jones, hi Mr. Chapzski." Stephanie greeted her uncle's friends.
"Hi, Stephanie, so where are you going again?" Mr. Radcliff asked. He was her uncles' best friend and business partner. He always reminded her of Frank Sinatra with the blue eyes although his hair was still naturally black though he was the same age as her uncle. In fact, her uncle and his friends reminded her of the rat pack. All that was missing was her father who was still in Los Angeles working at the firm that he and her uncle started in the seventies.
"I'm going to Santorini for three weeks" she said as she leaned against her uncle.
"So you're going with just your daughter. I don't think that's a good idea honey" he said thoughtfully.
"Oh, it's going to be Lizzy, Angel and I so I think it will be ok. You know Lizzy can be a hand full so I think it's safe to say that no one will mess with us" she said smiling at the older man she'd known most her life. All of these men went to college together in a strange way they were all family.
"My son isn't going to like that. In fact, I think you might get a visitor while you guys are there. So don't be surprised when he shows up" he said as he puffed on his cigar.
"Well that's if you tell him. Heath doesn't know that she is going on the trip with me. But I told her that once he finds out his going to hit the roof" Stephanie laughed. Her best friend did some of the craziest things for love at times. Like taking off of work and going to Greece with her with out telling Heath. She said it was to make him make the move from acting like her older brother and look more at me like I'm a grown damn woman. What was funny to Stephanie was that everybody could see that they had feelings for each, he just didn't want to take it too far because she was in fact his best friend's little sister. That made getting with her a dangerous situation.
"Yeah I think he will and no I don't think I'll tell him. That boy can run a mult-million dollar company but he can't run his love life. Sometimes I wonder about him" he said jokingly and the other men laughed too.
"Well I should be going, love you, Uncle Sonny. Bye gentlemen." She said as she kissed her uncle on the head.
She walked back to her car and quickly drove to pick up her daughter at the day care on the side of the island. It was in Edgartown by the house she owned. Stephanie made it to the day care in record time. As she retrieved her very excited daughter, Angel practically bounced to the jeep.
"Oh mommy, I'm so excited to go to Greek. I can't wait to see the pretty blue water and the white house with the blue tops." She said as Stephanie strapped her into the car seat in the back of the jeep. Every time Angel tried to say Greece it came out geese so she just told her call it Greek. Her daughter was a toasty cream color with tight ringlets that framed her face and fell to the middle of her back. She had her father's features. She had a perfect miniature version of his straight arrow nose and the same Mediterranean blue eyes. Every time she looked into her daughter's eyes her heart broke a little. Angel reminded her so much of Alexander.
"Grandpa told me to take lots and lots of pictures so he can put them on his desk at work. And I have to take a picture so Mrs. Carr can put it on the fun wall at school" Angel said as she ticked the things off on her finger.
"Ok, jellybean we can take lots and lots of pictures. You ready to get on the ferry?" she rarely got to take her daughter off island. So this was the beginning of an adventure in her three year olds eyes.
"Yes mommy I'm ready!" She shouted excitedly. Stephanie laughed and got in the truck. She made her way to the Oak Bluffs ferry. It took the forty minutes to reach the main land. During that time she called her dad. They had a brief conversation and he told her to use the credit card he gave her for anything she wanted. He said he loved them very much and couldn't wait for them to get back and that he already missed them. Then she called her best friend to make sure that they would be meeting at the airport.
After the ferry dock she made the two and half hour drive to the Boston Logan's International airport. Angel dosed off a little during the drive but was right back at attention when they arrived at the airport. She parked the truck in the long-term parking lot got all of their bags and took the shuttle to the entrance. That's where that met Lizzy, she was standing at the check in desk talking on her phone. She still had on her work attire which was a silk white blouse with I black pencil skirt and some black stilettos. Her best friend was a real estate broker for the elite class of Boston. She got all of the good listings because she was very best at what she did. Her motto was 'take no prisoners' her looking like and brown skinned Halley Berry, with long hair only helped her to be at the top of her trade. Stephanie got her attention and Lizzy hung up the phone.
"Oh my gosh, look at my little niece! You've gotten so big." Lizzy said as she scooped up the giggling three year old.
"Hi auntie, are you excited to Greek too?" She asked as she played with Lizzy's long ponytail.
"Yes honey bun we're going to have so much fun, get really tan and eat delicious food" she said loving the little girl's excitement.
"Let's get checked in. I want to get Angel situated" Stephanie said putting their two huge suitcases on the check-in counter. She had strategically packed all three weeks worth of clothes in the largest suitcase she could find. It was hard but she did it and as a result she and Angel were going to be wearing a lot of sundresses and flip-flops. If they needed more she would just buy it.
They got checked in, slowly made their way through the security checkpoints and finally made it to the boarding area. Stephanie asked them if they wanted to get anything to eat because they had awhile to want to board the plane. They didn't so she and Angel just played silly little games until Lizzy was finished with her phone calls.
"You know I saw Mr. Radcliff today with my uncle and I told him you were coming with me." Stephanie said nonchalantly.
"Oh no, he's going to tell his idiot son where I'm going now." Lizzy said looking exasperated.
"Don't worry about it he said he wouldn't say anything. Plus I think he is tired of the horror show that Heath and you call relationship. We all are, Lizzy. So you have an ally for now." She giggled remembering what Mr. R had said.
"Yeah it's really bad when his dad is forcing him to make a move." Lizzy said thoughtfully.
"I don't know what I have to do to get him see me more than just someone he has to protect. That is why I'm doing this you know? Leaving without telling him, I want him to see that he misses when I am not around. I want him to realize that he needs me as a woman, not someone he needs to protect a like a kid sister. Gosh he is more protective of me than my brother Johnston is. It's so frustrating! But you know what, I don't care anymore I'm going to one of the most beautiful places in the world with my best friend and my niece and I'm going to have fun and maybe meet someone while I'm at it too. Maybe I can find a man who will look at me like the woman I am instead of his best friends little sister" Lizzy said not really talking to Stephanie anymore.
"Trust me, he doesn't just see you as Johnston's little sister. Remember the Zaylen Inc. takeover" Stephanie mumbled.
"Huh, what you say?" Lizzy said while coming out of her personal thoughts.
"Nothing, all I'm saying is that he sees more than just Johnston's sister, he is hiding his feelings from you. The guy has been in love with you since forever. He just has this weird sense of honor, even though my brother Carl has talked to your brother about it and Johnston is perfectly fine with you guys having a relationship" Stephanie said while she was watching Angel color a few seats down from them.
"I know!" Lizzy gave another frustrated sigh. "He is so stubborn that I don't even think that he will truly do anything once he finds out I'm gone" she said while absently twirling her now loose ponytail. Stephanie gave a loud snort to that and began to laugh.
"Elizabeth Ashley Williams, you are off your rocker if you think he won't do anything about you going somewhere like this and not telling him!" she said while she continued to laugh.
"He won't I tell you, he will probably be to busy dating one of his new gold-digging bimbos to worry about little ole me" Lizzy sniffed while dusting imaginary lint off of her skirt.
"Four words Zalen. Hostile. Take. Over." Stephanie said.
"Ha, that was a very good opportunity for Radcliff industries and it had absolutely nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with me" Lizzy said looking straight ahead. Stephanie laughed at little harder and louder when she saw that Lizzy cheeks were turning burgundy.
"So it had nothing to do with what Peter Collins, the then vice president of Zalen Inc., pulled at Heath's thirty first birthday party in front of everyone last year?" Stephanie asked while smiling. She still chuckled about it from time to time.
The night was going well and the champagne was flowing and she was having a good time. Angel was with her father Carl Sr. for their grandpa and granddaughter weekend end so she could drink all she wanted. Heath had suckered Lizzy into being his date because quote unquote, he didn't want to bring any outsiders to his intimate affair. Forget the fact that is was at least three hundred people at said intimate affair. It was around the time that Johnston, Carl, and Zach his best friends were giving him raunchy toasts and well wishes. That Peter Collins ever the attention grabber in regular life and even more so when he was three sheets to the wind, said, no shouted in an impromptu and unwarranted speech to the entire party that seeing Heath saw Lizzy as nothing more a little sister, he would do Heath the honor of taking her off his hands for his birthday. He then ended the speech with a very slurred happy birthday.
You could hear a pin drop for about twenty seconds then Johnston, Zach, and Carl saved the day by laughing at the little out burst and continuing on with their toasts. While things went back to normal and people continue to enjoy the night, I could see that every time that Peter tried to get close to Lizzy, Heath would stare him down with his steely blue eyes until the guy would stumble away. The following Monday, the newspaper read that there had been a hostile takeover of Zalen Incorporated by Radcliff Industries. They stated that no one knew why the young owners of the companies were feuding but anyone at the party the previous weekend who were not blind, deaf and stupid knew. And as a result Lizzy's dating life took a sharp nosedive. It is sad and extremely hilarious at the same time.
"Like I said it was a great opportunity for Heath and Mr. R and that's all I'm going to say about that. They are starting to board now and we are in first class to lets go slow poke." Lizzy said not give Stephanie any time to retort.
All Stephanie could do was chuckle at her best friend. They gathered Angel, their tickets and carry-ons and boarded the plane. Once they got situated in their seats and made sure that Angel had everything she needed. Lizzy went to change into something more comfortable while Stephanie made all the calls to both of their parents and brothers telling them that they would be taking off soon and that they would call when they had there layover in Italy. About half an hour later they were taking off when Angel suddenly asked about her father.
"Mommy, what was my daddy like again?" Angel asked while looking at her locket, it had a copy of the only picture that she and Alexander had ever taken together. She had got it for her third birthday that had just passed because she was constantly trying to take the real photo with her everywhere. It pained her sometimes that she and Alexander never really talk about his personal life, so there wasn't much that she could say to her daughter about the man that stole her heart.
"Well jellybean, as you know his name was Alexander Petridis and you look just like him." She said smiling down at the little girl. "He was very funny and could make me feel better by just smiling. We loved each other very much. He liked to do lots of things like go sailing and draw. Oh and he was very smart, he was working on second college degree when I met him" Stephanie said while absently rubbing the place over her heart again.
"We met at NYU when I was taking summer classes there. We fell madly in love and got married, but he had to go see about his father back in Greece because he was really sick" she said while trying to hold on to her smile. Stephanie always felt like her heart was breaking into a million pieces all over again when she had to talk about Alexander with her baby.
"But before he could come back he had a terrible accident and went to live in heaven just like grandma" Stephanie watched her child look thoughtfully at the locket for a few seconds then back up to her.
"So he's in heaven watching over us just like grandma is too?" Angel asked.
"Yes jellybean he is" she said was kissing her little daughter on the forehead.
"Mommy can I see your ring again?" Angel asked as she leaned over to see if she could see it through Stephanie's t-shirt. Stephanie pulled the chain out of her shirt and unhooked it. On the chain was a three-carat heart shaped ruby that was surrounded by diamonds. It was the only thing she had left of Alexander besides Angel and that one picture.
"It's so pretty mommy." Angel said as she oh and ah'd over the ring. After a few minutes she gave it back to Stephanie and she put it back around her neck. Lizzy eventually stole Angel's attention away from Stephanie because she could see that her best friend was seconds away from losing it. Stephanie sent her silent thanks and turned to look at the window.
She promised herself that she wasn't going to cry over this anymore. But thinking about him was making her heart ache to touch him one more time. To feel his warm hands on her body while he whispered naughty things in her ear. For the words I love you to come from his lips just one more time. Stephanie couldn't help but remember the first time she'd seen him.
She had been walking on campus while looking at one of her course studies books and really wasn't paying attention to her surroundings when she suddenly found herself sprawled out on the ground. Stephanie was so shock that she didn't immediately notice the guy that was leaning over her and apologizing profusely.
"I'm so sorry are you ok? Are you hurt do you need any medical attention?" He asked her but she couldn't see him because the sun was right over his shoulder and shining in her eyes.
"Yes I'm fine just let me get up. I do have on a skirt you know." She said as she tried to get up. When she finally did get up, the verbal beat down she was about to give him died in her mouth. Standing in front of her was the most gorgeous guy she had ever seen in her life. He was six four, with a swimmer's build, lovely tanned skin, gorgeous blue eyes and looked like he had just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren summer ad. His wild dark locks were gently blowing in the wind and every few seconds he would run his fingers through it to keep it out of his eyes. It looked like the length stopped just below his popped collar. He had this European look about him that made his aura seem even more exotic.