And The Bride Wore Prada. Katie Oliver

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Название And The Bride Wore Prada
Автор произведения Katie Oliver
Жанр Контркультура
Серия Marrying Mr Darcy
Издательство Контркультура
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781474024617

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the door ‘I’ll start the truck. I’ll take you up when you’ve finished.’

      His peremptory manner irritated her. ‘Take me up where, exactly? Can you tell me that much?’

      ‘To the castle. You can call for a towing truck from there. Not that anyone’ll be out to get your car anytime soon,’ he added.

      ‘Right,’ Helen said tightly, and swung her legs – still clad in yesterday’s trousers – over the side of the sofa. ‘Would it be possible to have a shower before I go? Or is that asking too much?’

      He jerked his head towards the narrow staircase. ‘There’s a bathroom at the top of the stairs. Mind you don’t use all the hot water.’

      ‘I wouldn’t dream of it,’ she snapped.

      Colm cast her an unreadable look and slammed out of the back door without reply.

      Natalie dreamt she was Snow White, walking through a thickly treed Scottish wood as birds twittered and swooped around her. She was hopelessly lost.

      Suddenly a bluebird flew down from a branch and landed on her shoulder.

      ‘Have you seen the castle?’ she asked the bluebird. ‘I can’t seem to find it, and I really need the loo.’

      In answer the bird twittered into her ear, and the soft tickle of its tiny beak and feathers made her giggle.

      ‘Such a funny little creature,’ she murmured, and rolled over in bed.

      ‘Little? I’ve been called a lot of things, darling,’ Rhys said against her skin as his lips moved along her neck to the slope of her shoulder, ‘but little’s not one of them.’


      She sat up on her elbow, clutching the blankets to her chest.

      He raised his brow. ‘Who else would it be?’

      ‘I was just dreaming about the sweetest little bluebird,’ she began as he pulled her back down next to him and nuzzled the skin behind her ear. ‘I was lost, and it was dark, and I really needed to find a loo...ooh,’ she sighed, ‘that’s nice...’

      ‘I thought,’ Rhys said as he began to unbutton Natalie’s nightgown with leisurely motions, ‘that we might christen this room, you and I.’

      ‘Christen it?’ she echoed, and giggled. ‘Rhys! You mean…?’

      He gave her a lazy smile and lowered his mouth to kiss her. ‘Yes. That’s exactly what I mean.’

      ‘Good thing there’s lots of blankets on this bed,’ Dominic grumbled as he burrowed under the duvets and pulled Gemma closer, ‘otherwise we’d be a pair of effin’ icicles by now.’

      Gemma, still half asleep, mumbled something incoherent. She’d been dreaming that she’d just topped 300,000 followers on Tweeper...




      ‘Ahrm.’ She snuggled deeper into her pillow. She desperately wanted that blue celebrity checkmark on her Tweeper page, and she was close, so very close to getting it...

      ‘Babes!’ Dominic hissed.

      Gemma’s eyes flew open. ‘What?’ she snapped. ‘I’m trying to sleep, Dom!’

      He slung an arm around her and kissed her bare shoulder. ‘Don’t you want to start trying for that baby, then?’ he asked.

      She levered herself up on one elbow and stared at him. ‘You mean…you mean you’re ready for us to have a baby?’

      Dominic slid his hand along the warm curve of her hip and nodded. ‘Yeah. Yeah, Gems, that’s exactly what I mean.’

      Fifteen minutes later, Helen emerged from the cottage and made her way cautiously – her ankle still twinged a bit, despite the aspirin she’d gulped with her morning tea ‒ to the waiting truck, an ancient Range Rover.

      Although Colm had started the engine earlier, the interior was still frigid, and Helen could see her breath as she climbed inside.

      Bloody cold. Bloody man. Bloody Scotland.

      Colm, who was looking at something under the bonnet, slammed it shut and opened the driver’s-side door. As he slid behind the wheel, his shoulders filled the cab’s interior.

      Without a word – not that Helen had expected him to make anything like conversation, God forbid ‒ he shifted into gear, and the Range Rover lurched forward as he drove them up the snow-covered road to the castle perched at the top of the hill.

       Chapter 7

      ‘Crikey!’ Natalie exclaimed the next morning as she and Rhys stood in the dining room doorway. ‘You could land a plane on that table.’

      As he followed her gaze, Rhys realized that for once, his wife wasn’t exaggerating. The dining table, its polished mahogany expanse stretching half the length of a football pitch, could easily accommodate fifty.

      The sideboard was laid out with a generous assortment of eggs, kippers, stacks of toasted brown bread, baskets of scones, a fruit platter, and silver urns of coffee and juice and pots of jam and marmalade.

      ‘Looks like quite a spread,’ Dominic announced as he scanned the plates and platters of food with satisfaction. ‘Time to tie on the old feed bag, eh?’

      Natalie eyed him quizzically as she slid into the seat Rhys held out for her. ‘I thought you stayed away from carbs and calories, Dom. You’re always watching your weight.’

      He took a seat across from her, next to Gemma. ‘I’m on holiday, Nat. Besides,’ he glanced over at Gemma and leant over to kiss her ‘I’ve worked up a right appetite since we got here.’

      Gemma blushed. ‘Shut up, Dominic.’

      ‘Yes,’ Rhys said as he cast a dark glance at the rock star, ‘please do.’

      ‘Good morning, everyone,’ Tarquin said as he entered the dining room with Wren. ‘I trust you all slept well?’

      ‘Fabulously,’ Natalie confirmed.

      ‘Never better,’ Rhys agreed.

      ‘Not at all,’ Dom said smugly as he eyed Rhys.

      Tarquin turned behind him with a smile and added, ‘We have another stranded traveller on our doorstep this morning. This is Helen Thomas, everyone.’

      Curious, they focused their attention on the woman who hovered just behind Tarquin. She had short-cropped brown hair and a hesitant smile and she looked a bit ill-at-ease.

      ‘Hello, everyone,’ she said, and waggled her fingers. ‘Sorry to interrupt your breakfast, but my car slid down an embankment last night. I’ve come to use the telephone, to see if someone can come and tow it out—’

      She broke off as she caught sight of Dominic Heath and Gemma, and her eyes widened. ‘Oh. Oh, my. Isn’t that—?’

      ‘I’m sorry, Miss Thomas,’ Tarquin said quickly. ‘Let me introduce everyone.’ He went around the table, starting with Natalie and Rhys, and finished with the rock star and his fiancée.

      Dominic barely glanced up from his toast. ‘Yeah, hello,’ he mumbled through a mouthful of crumbs. ‘Could someone pass the butter, please?’

      ‘But how awful!’ Natalie exclaimed, and eyed Helen with sympathy. ‘You must have been petrified. Are you all right—?’ She broke off with a frown. ‘Wait...I remember you! We spoke in the lounge at Heathrow.’

      ‘Oh...yes! So we did,’ the newcomer said, with equal surprise. ‘You’re Natalie Dashwood. I mean Natalie Dashwood-Gordon,’