His Untamed Innocent

His Untamed Innocent by Sara Craven Read Free Book Online

Book: His Untamed Innocent by Sara Craven Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sara Craven
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women
Mason’s next book’s a stinker.’
    She was equally upbeat about Marin’s future prospects over supper.
    ‘Up to this point you’ve had clients singing your praises. And if the worst happens you can stay on here while you’re job-hunting.’ She paused. ‘I’ll have to clear it with Rad, of course, as it’s his flat and he’s letting me camp here as a favour. However, there shouldn’t be a problem.’
    Marin hastily swallowed some chicken and was about to say, ‘Actually…’
    But Lynne was going on, ‘Of course, I won’t be here myself for much longer. Mike and I are starting to look for a flat to buy next week.’ Her sudden smile was rapt and tender. ‘We’re planning the wedding for next year, and you have to be bridesmaid.’
    She paused, frowning a little. ‘And I shall also have to find my successor and train her up.’
    ‘You’re going to leave the agency?’
    ‘Not immediately. But a married assistant will never do for Rad. He requires total commitment, and my priority is going to be Mike.’ She cut herself another sliver of pie. ‘I know you weren’t keen a couple of years back,’ she added thoughtfully, ‘But you might consider working for Rad yourself, if push comes to shove.’
    Marin drew a deep breath, telling herself that she had to break the news at some point. ‘Oddly enough,’ she said, trying to sound casual, ‘I’m doing precisely that—in a manner of speaking.’
    There was a silence, then Lynne put down her knife and fork, her eyes narrowing. ‘Explain,’ she said. ‘Speaking in a manner I can understand.’
    Marin considered and rejected a number of openings, and was left with the unvarnished truth.
    She said baldly, ‘He’s hired me to be his girlfriend.’
    She saw Lynne’s expression turn to horror and added hastily. ‘Well, pretend to be, anyway. He needed someone to take to a party. His real girlfriend couldn’t go, and you were away, so he picked me.’
    ‘Then he can just unpick you again,’ Lynne said grimly. ‘And I shall tell him so. When is this party?’
    Marin bit her lip. ‘Last Friday.’
    Lynne closed her eyes. ‘Dear God.’
    ‘No, it’s all right,’ Marin assured her. ‘It was business. It was fine. Nothing happened.’
    Give or take a kiss, she thought uncomfortably, the memory of his arm around me and the warmth of him near me.
    ‘Fine?’ Lynne echoed derisively. ‘After what’s just happened in France?’ She snorted. ‘I’d say it’s out of the frying pan into a very hot fire. Oh God, I could murder Rad for this.’
    ‘If you really want to kill someone,’ Marin said, ‘Try a woman called Diana Halsay.’
    There was a silence, then Lynne said wearily, ‘Oh, bloody hell. Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water…’ She sighed. ‘I thought she’d finally abandoned the chase where Rad was concerned.’
    ‘She has, in a way.’ Marin pushed away her empty plate. ‘Now she’s trying to convince her husband that Ja…’ She swallowed. ‘That Mr Radley-Smith is chasing her instead.’
    ‘So that the agency loses the Torchbearer business,’ Lynne said grimly. ‘My word, she must want her revenge very badly.’ She looked at Marin. ‘And, of course, Friday was the Torchbearer reception. It’s been in the diary for weeks. I should have remembered.’
    She paused. ‘But I assumed Jake would be taking Celia Forrest.’
    ‘She was ill.’
    ‘I don’t doubt it.’ Lynne pulled a face. ‘A condition brought on, no doubt, by the realisation that her application for the post of Mrs Radley-Smith, like so many others, has not been successful. She added cynically, ‘But she’ll get over it. One of his girlfriends told me that falling for Jake was rather like catching a virus—except that it was much easier to recover from once you’d got out of bed.’
    Marin’s face warmed. She said, ‘I can’t imagine why any woman would want him. He’s far too fond of his own way.’
    Lynne gave her an

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