Read Sweet Peas in April Online

Authors: Clare Revell

Tags: #christian Fiction

Sweet Peas in April

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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Praise

A Romantic Suspense for Every Month of the Year

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Thank you

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Sweet Peas in April

Clare Revell

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

Sweet Peas in April

COPYRIGHT 2016 by Clare Revell

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or Pelican Ventures, LLC except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

eBook editions are licensed for your personal enjoyment only. eBooks may not be re-sold, copied or given to other people. If you would like to share an eBook edition, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with.

Contact Information: [email protected]

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version
(R),
NIV
(R),
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com

Cover Art by
Nicola Martinez

White Rose Publishing, a division of Pelican Ventures, LLC

www.pelicanbookgroup.com
PO Box 1738 *Aztec, NM * 87410

White Rose Publishing Circle and Rosebud logo is a trademark of Pelican Ventures, LLC

Publishing History

First White Rose Edition, 2016

Electronic Edition ISBN 978-1-61116-997-3

Published in the United States of America

Dedication

For LaVera

Thanks to the Custody Sgt for his help in writing some scenes.

Praise

Aussie Christmas Angel

Do you like to visit new places? Do you like Christmas themed stories? Do you enjoy a sweet romance? Then you might want to check out this tale, based on a condensed version of a true story as explained in the author's note at the end of the book. The major take-home value of this short story is a great one! God can use anything and all circumstances to bring about His purposes. -JoAnn Carter

Carnations in January shake the foundations

Violets in February are an aid to salvation

Daffodils in March bring betrayal and loss

Sweet peas in April consume all the dross

Lily of the Valley in May brings danger untold

Roses in June show hope in a heart filled with gold

Water lilies in July a town will submerge

Gladioli in August love from the ash will emerge

Forget-me-nots in September are on the front line of fear

Marigolds in October will test her career

Chrysanthemums in November show the burden of choice

Holly in December lets a broken family rejoice

Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old. Lamentations 5:21

1

Sweet peas in April consume all the dross

The traffic was heavy. Not unexpected at this time of day, but solicitor Adam West had purposely wanted to avoid the main road for this very reason. However, things just seemed to be conspiring against him today. Irritation filled him, as he tapped his fingers on the steering wheel and glanced at his pupil, Katy, in the passenger seat.

She was part way into her practical training and was supposed to be shadowing him on all his cases. That involved her helping with the donkey work and learning the basics of how to be a solicitor on the job. But that wasn't going to happen.

At least, not today.

And perhaps not this case, depending how long it took her to make alternative arrangements. It would be better if she didn't do this case at all, as he didn't want to waste several hours waiting for her to catch up. He'd assign her to someone else for the rest of the week.

Her six-month-old baby screamed from the car seat behind him.

He gripped the wheel tighter, knuckles turning white, as the high-pitched wailing his already taut nerves to breaking point.

“I really am sorry, Mr. West.” Katy apologized. “Theo seemed fine when I dropped him off at the nursery this morning.”

“It's fine. I understand.” What else was he meant to say? Should he just give her the whole truth and say that it wasn't fine, and this was actually the last thing he needed? And he didn't mean merely the disruption to his carefully planned timetable, but having a child in such close proximity?

No, Adam couldn't tell her that.

“But you'll be late,” Katy continued. “I should have called my mum and got her to pick Theo up. My husband is at a conference in Wales, which is why he couldn't do it.”

“Kids want their mum when they're sick, anyway.” The constant crying was an unwelcome reminder. He shoved the memories resurrected by the baby's sobs back into their box and attempted to shut the lid.

He didn't need the trip down memory lane.

He pulled up outside the small terraced house and pulled up the parking brake. He looked at Katy as she got out of the car. “Take tomorrow off, and I'll see you Wednesday. That will give him time to get better, or for you to make other arrangements if he's still sick.”

“Thank you. And I really am sorry.” She took the car seat out and shut the door.

Adam sighed and speed-dialed the chambers, hoping his secretary was at her desk and not running errands for someone else. “Jo, its Adam. I need two favors. First, ring my next appointment, Wyatt Finance Incorporated, and tell them I'm running about forty minutes late. Apologize profusely—grovel if you have to—but promise I'll be there as soon as I can. Then meet me outside chambers. I'll need you with me.”

“I thought Katy was following you this week.”

“Change of plan. She's looking after a sick kid the next couple of days. I'll pick you up in ten.” He hung up and pulled away.

He reached the office seven minutes later and was relieved to see Jo standing outside waiting for him. At least something had gone right. He stopped only long enough for Jo to hop in and fasten her seatbelt.

She glanced at him. “I don't know the first thing about this case. And I'm not a pupil or a paralegal, I'm a secretary.”

“That isn't going to matter. You know enough for what I need, plus it could give us an advantage. You might be able to swap boss-tyrant stories over the water cooler or something.”

Jo grinned. “You a tyrant? You don't want to believe everything you hear.”

Adam smiled despite himself. “Really?”

“You're one of the best. The pupils fight to be assigned to your cases. In fact, I heard on the grapevine that they apply to chambers purely because of you. Rumor has it you are in line for the next head of chambers.”

Adam was flattered but wasn't going to say as much. “I'll bring you up to speed en route, so here goes...” He glanced her way long enough to see a nod before he turned back to the road and accelerated, keeping to the speed limit as he spoke. “The contact there is the CEO, Sam Reece. It's an embezzlement case, but the firm is also being sued for unfair dismissal.”

“Rightfully so?”

“That's what we have to find out. I'll need you to take notes. I assume you brought your laptop?”

Jo nodded. “And I can type one seventy words a minute.”

Adam smiled. “Pretty impressive—but that would be why I hired you, right?”

She chuckled. “Well, I like to think it wasn't
just
my blonde hair.”

Adam laughed. “I'm not that shallow.” He pulled into the only free parking space outside the tall glass building. He eased his long frame from the car and grabbed his briefcase from the boot. He locked the car and headed up the steps to the offices.

The receptionist glanced up as he and Jo approached the desk.

“Adam West to see Sam Reece. I'm a little behind schedule I'm afraid.” He finally gave himself time to imagine what Mr. Reece would look like. Probably mid-fifties, greying, creased shirt, overweight, with a suit that needed cleaning.

Adam straightened his tie. He was glad he had Jo, typist extraordinaire, rather than Katy. This way he would have a complete record of everything said at the meeting. Transcripts were always useful, as some of his clients were less than savory and had a tendency to change their stories either in court or just before.

Adam turned with a smile. “Sorry I'm late. The traffic was horren…” The words died in his throat, and the smile froze on his face as his gaze fell on the woman in front of him.

Her black hair, once short, tightly woven plaits, was now long, sleek, and hung in waves over her shoulders. Her dark skin—as flawless as ever—glowed, and her brown eyes narrowed in recognition. “Mr. West.”

His throat constricted, and his tie threatened to choke him. His gut knotted, his belt too tight. Why hadn't he made the connection? Sam Reece. Samantha Reece. The one woman he'd hoped and prayed never to run into again.

Forcing himself into professional mode, Adam stuck out his left hand. “Ms. Reece, I apologize for my lateness.” He didn't want anyone to know they had a past and prayed desperately she'd be just as professional.

Her handshake was no warmer than an iceberg and lasted no more than a second. “I'm grateful you could come at such short notice.”

“This is my assistant, Jo Verso. She'll be taking notes.”

Sam shook hands with Jo and led them down a corridor to her office.

It was sparsely furnished. A vase of sweet peas sat on the desk—their fragrance filling the air. A couple of photo frames faced her chair. A painting of a waterfall hung on the wall opposite the window. He recognized it instantly. He'd bought it for her just after she—

He broke off the thought. The past had to stay locked firmly away. And more importantly it needed to stay buried. Especially if he stood any chance of working this case.

“Would you like something to drink, Mr. West?” Sam asked.

“Coffee, please.” He paused, then added, “Black, no sugar.”

She nodded. “Miss Verso?”

“White with one, please.” Jo looked and sounded surprised. But then it wasn't protocol for the PA's to get coffee, too. They were just there to take notes, not to be seen and definitely not heard.

“Have a seat. I won't be a minute.” Sam left the office.

He watched her go. Was she as fazed by this as he was?

The door shut behind her, and Adam sat down. He crossed his legs and dug his nails into the palms of his hands.
If this is Your idea of a joke, Lord, it's not funny. I haven't seen or spoken to her in ten years. You know how things ended between us. Thirty years wouldn't be long enough.

****

Sam shut the break room door and rubbed her hand over her face. Why him? Of all the lawyers in Headley Cross—or in the world—why did it have to be Adam? Weren't things bad enough right now without this added complication? Though to give him his due, he'd looked as stunned as she felt but had done his best to conceal it.

She moved to the side and made three cups of coffee.

Esther Parks, one of the HR consultants, came in. “Who is that
hunk
in your office?”

Sam straightened. “Adam West, a lawyer.”

“We need a
lawyer
? Have I missed something?”

“It isn't common knowledge yet, but no doubt it will be now that people know there's a lawyer in the building. I'm simply covering all the bases and finding out where I stand from a legal point of view. If Troy persists with this unfair dismissal suit then we will need a lawyer, and it's best to have one already up to speed.”

“Makes sense…” Esther paused. “Wait a minute. Did you say his name was Adam
West
?”

Sam put the cups on a tray, silently sighing, wishing Esther would stop emphasizing one word every single time she spoke. She added a plate, tossing several custard creams onto it. Adam had always liked those biscuits. “That's what I said.”

“Isn't that your
married
name? You and he could be related.”

“We could be,” she said as straight-faced as possible.

“That would be awkward. Can't you get another lawyer?”

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