One Night with Morelli(9)

By: Kim Lawrence

She had no idea what had happened to make Charles Latimer, not only acknowledge the long-term affair with his cook after years of hiding it, but propose to her and then invite half the world to the wedding. She glanced out of the window at the sound of another helicopter coming in to land—another VIP, she thought sourly. Charles Latimer certainly moved in glittering circles.

Her jaw set as she turned away. ‘What’s keeping her?’ As far as Eve was concerned it was a disaster!

When the silence stretched Hannah’s expression grew anxious. ‘It’s very romantic.’

Eve’s brows lifted. ‘You think?’

‘You know, I agree with you totally that Dad has behaved very selfishly over the years to Sarah, but your mum is the best thing that has happened to him,’ Hannah said earnestly. ‘I’m just glad he’s woken up to it. I can’t wait for Sarah to be my mum.’

‘She’s a good mum to have,’ Eve said, a lump forming in her throat as she thought of all the sacrifices her single mum had made over the years. She deserved the best and she was getting Charlie Latimer. Eve’s small hands tightened into fists, her nails inscribing half-moons into her palms. ‘I think she already thinks of you as a daughter.’

‘I hope so.’ Hannah’s blue eyes filled with emotional tears, which she blinked to clear as the door to the interconnecting room opened to reveal the bride.

Her face almost as white as the dress she was wearing, Sarah Curtis stood for a moment framed in the doorway before taking a step and almost immediately grabbing onto a table to steady herself. Reacting faster than Eve, Hannah was on her feet in an instant, her beautiful face creased in lines of concern as she rushed to supply a steadying hand to the older woman.

‘Are you all right, Sarah?’

Eve blinked. She wasn’t seeing her mother’s pale face as she was transfixed by the miles and miles of tulle her mother was wearing. The first sight of the outfit on its hanger earlier had rendered her literally speechless and it had been left to Hannah to make the necessary congratulatory noises. Somehow she had managed to sound totally sincere.

Hannah had to be a better actress than she had previously thought because the get-up was quite memorably awful and—what was worse—inappropriate. Eve didn’t know what had possessed her mother to suddenly decide to channel her inner princess!

Sarah gave a wan smile. ‘All I need is a bit of blusher.’

Hannah threw her a knowing look, her hands on her hips, and the older woman sighed heavily, suddenly looking sheepish. ‘All right, I wasn’t planning to tell you girls till later because I’m not quite twelve weeks yet and—’

It had to weigh a ton, Eve thought, sizing up the intricate beading on the mile-long train that was many a girl’s dream. But not hers; she had never dreamed of wearing such an elaborate get-up. Did that make her weird? If so she was glad, she decided defiantly! How did a woman in her forties think that it was in any way appropriate to wear a white meringue wedding dress?

She dragged her gaze upwards just as Hannah, looking totally regal in her beautifully fitting dress—actually she was a princess for real these days, a fact that Eve still hadn’t got her head around—walked over and hugged her mother. Both women were crying, to Eve’s confusion. Had her mum finally realised that the dress was a disaster?

‘You could always ditch the train,’ Eve suggested, trying to remain practical and upbeat for her mother’s sake. She knew she just had to suck it up today and be there for her mum in the future when things went sour with Charles, as they inevitably would.

Sarah, sniffing, laughed. ‘I wish it were that simple. I didn’t have any morning sickness at all with you, darling, but this time…’ She rolled her eyes and accepted the glass of water that Hannah passed her.

Playing mental catch–up, Eve blinked. Morning sickness…? She must have misheard. You only got morning sickness when you were…pregnant!

A stunned vacant expression clouding her green eyes, she felt herself hit a mental brick wall. The impact made her mind go blank and she sat down with a gentle thud on the window seat. Paler even than her mother, she sat there not even breathing until finally her chest lifted in a long shuddering sigh and her lashes swept down in a concealing curtain. She stared at her hands and waited for the dull metronome thud in her ears to subside, but it didn’t.

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