Grounded

Grounded by Neta Jackson Read Free Book Online

Book: Grounded by Neta Jackson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Neta Jackson
agency—and ultimately you—will have to repay the advance
with
a penalty. And, I hate to say it, it’s not so good for your rep.”
    Grace’s shoulders sagged. She hadn’t thought about the cost of canceling. Hadn’t really had time to think it through—hadn’t thought through much of anything the past few days, for that matter. Or prayed. Or asked God what to do. All she knew was that she couldn’t do that sweetheart banquet, even if her voice did recover. “I’m … I’ll be seeing a doctor. I’ll send you certification.”
    She ended the call—and then felt bad that she hadn’t even said good-bye or thanked him for his concern. But she was so close to tears again, she was afraid she’d end up blubbering if she didn’t get off the phone.
    Picking up her plate from the floor, Grace dumped the dishes in the sink and checked the thermostat. Sixty-four degrees and climbing. At least the furnace was working. She should call Mark back, let him know everything was okay … then she should call Samantha … no, first she better make that call to her doctor and get an appointment.
    She left a message with the doctor’s receptionist for a callback and had just stepped into the shower when she heard “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” from the bedroom. Wrapping a towelaround her wet body, she hurried into the bedroom and snatched up the phone. “Hello? This is Grace Meredith.”
    â€œGrace? Good grief, you sound awful.”
    Roger
.

Chapter 7
    Grace stood in the middle of her bedroom clutching the cell phone in one hand and the towel in the other. She didn’t want to talk to Roger.
    But what if he was sorry? Didn’t mean what he’d said. Wanted to make up.
    â€œI’ve got laryngitis.” It was the only thing she could think of to say in the moment.
    â€œI can hear that. I … was just calling to see if you made it home all right from Memphis. And, well, it’s been a few days. I thought we should talk some more about, you know, ending the engagement. But if your voice isn’t—”
    â€œNo, I didn’t.”
    A silent blip hung between them. She could just see the sudden frown on his handsome face—square jaw, strong chin, gray-blue eyes, dark-blond hair he wore in an Ivy League style, short on the sides, a bit longer and slightly spiked on top. Probably dressed in gray slacks, white dress shirt with sleeves rolled up, a silk necktie loosened at the collar—proper, conservative, just a tad casual. No doubt calling between meetings at the financial consulting firm in downtown Chicago where he was climbing the corporate ladder. The firm didn’t take coffee breaks.
    Roger finally spoke. “Uh, you didn’t … what?”
    â€œDidn’t make it home all right.” Her voice was barely above a whisper. “You asked if I made it home all right from Memphis.”
    â€œOh.” Another silent blip. “What happened? Are you okay?”
    â€œI can’t … can’t t-talk about it right now.” She was shivering now, still wet from the shower and only partially covered by the wrappedtowel. “My furnace went out. House is c-c-cold. I was in the shower. This isn’t a g-g-good time.”
    â€œOkay. Sure. Maybe we—”
    She clicked Off and threw the phone on the bed. Why did she do that? She’d whined like a four-year-old. But it made her mad that he assumed everything was hunky-dory just because she’d answered the phone. And then he’d gone straight to wanting to talk more about ending the engagement.
    Probably wanted his ring back.
    She’d make him beg first.
    Grace got back in the hot shower until her teeth stopped chattering, finally dried off, blow-dried her long hair, dressed in a pair of slim jeans and a clean turtleneck—and on impulse dug out the old flannel shirt she used to wear horseback riding

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