Home > Promised (One Night #1)(14)

Promised (One Night #1)(14)
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas

Then he turns and strides out, without another word or look to suggest that he felt something too. Did he? What was that? Who is he? My palms rise to my cheeks and I rub furiously, trying to scrub some sensibility into me. I’m way too intrigued by him, and no amount of sightseeing or quilting with my grandmother is going to distract me from where my thoughts are wandering to, not after that brief but enlightening conversation. I’m getting into unknown territory – dangerous territory. After my years of avoiding all men, even the decent ones, I’m finding myself encouraging one who looks like he should definitely be left alone.

There’s a pull, though – a very powerful pull.


I’ve been away with the fairies all week. Every time the bistro door swings open, I look for him. But he’s never there. A dozen men over the last four days have asked me my name, my number, or they’ve told me what stunning eyes I have. And each one I’ve wished could be Miller.

I’ve been busy churning out perfect coffee after perfect coffee, and I even waitressed at another posh function for Del on Tuesday, hoping he’d be there. He wasn’t.

I’ve always tried to keep my life simple, but now I’m craving a complication – a tall, dark-haired, mysterious complication.

It’s Saturday, and Gregory has humoured me, tagging along for a walk through the Royal Parks. He knows there is something on my mind. He kicks a pile of leaves as we traipse down the middle of Green Park, towards Buckingham Palace. He wants to ask, and I know he won’t hold out for much longer. He’s made all of the conversation, while I’ve returned one-word answers. I’m not going to get away with it for much longer. I’m clearly absent in mind, and I could probably muster up the energy to feign my normal self, but I don’t think I want to. I think I want Gregory to press me so I can share Miller with him.

‘I’ve met someone.’ The words fall from my mouth, breaking the comfortable silence between us. He looks shocked, which is okay because I’m quite shocked, too.

‘Who?’ he asks, pulling me to a stop.

‘I don’t know.’ I shrug, lowering my bum to the grass and picking at some of the blades. ‘He turned up at the bistro a few times and also at a gala ball where I waitressed.’

Gregory joins me, his handsome face morphing into a big grin. ‘Olivia Taylor has been affected by a man?’

‘Yes, Olivia Taylor has most definitely been affected by a man.’ It feels like such a relief to share my burden. ‘I can’t stop thinking about him,’ I admit.

‘Ah!’ Gregory throws his arms in the air. ‘Is he hot?’

‘Stupidly.’ I smile. ‘He has the most amazing eyes. As blue as the sky.’

‘I want to know everything,’ Gregory declares.

‘There’s nothing more to tell.’

‘Well, what did he say?’

‘He asked if I was involved with anyone.’ I try to sound casual, but I know what’s coming.

His eyes widen as he leans forward. ‘And you said?’


‘It’s happened!’ he sings. ‘Thank the f**king Lord, it’s finally happened!’

‘Gregory!’ I scold him, but I can’t help laughing too. He’s right; it has happened, and it’s happened hard.

‘Oh, Livy.’ He sits up straight, looking all serious. ‘You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this. I need to see him.’

I scoff, pushing my hair over my shoulder. ‘Well, that’s unlikely. He appears quickly and disappears faster.’

‘How old?’ The excitement on Gregory’s face is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’ve made his day – probably his month, or even his year. He’s tried relentlessly to drag me out to bars, even willing to make them straight bars if it means I’ll tag along. Gregory has been in my life for eight years, just eight, although it could be forever. The ‘it’ boy at school, all of the girls swooned over him and he dated them all, but he had a little secret – a secret that saw him ostracised once it was discovered. The cool kid was g*y. Or eighty per cent g*y, as Gregory has always claimed. Finding him behind the bike sheds, beaten to a pulp by some of the college kids, was the beginning of our friendship.

‘I’m guessing late-twenties, but he seems older. You know, very mature. He always wears very expensive-looking suits.’

‘Perfect.’ He rubs his hands together. ‘Name?’

‘M,’ I say quietly.

‘“M”?’ Gregory’s face screws up into a disapproving frown. ‘Who is he? James Bond’s boss?’

A burst of laughter flies from my mouth, and I giggle to myself while my friend looks on, waiting for confirmation that my muse has a name beyond one letter of the alphabet. ‘He signed with an M.’

‘Signed?’ His confusion deepens, as does his scowl. I’m not sure if I should divulge this part.

‘He didn’t like my coffee and chose to let me know by writing it on a napkin. He signed it M, but I’ve since found out that his name is Miller.’

‘Oooohhh, sexy! But the cheek!’ He’s shocked, displaying a similar reaction to what I did, but then his face straightens and he narrows his eyes on me. ‘And how did that make you feel?’

‘Inadequate.’ I say the word without thought, and I don’t stop there. ‘Stupid, angry, irritated.’

Gregory’s smiling now. ‘He drew a reaction?’ he asks. ‘You got a little mad?’

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