Luke

Luke by Jennifer Blake Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Luke by Jennifer Blake Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jennifer Blake
the affair. It will convince Martin you’re not interested. Besides, withany luck, you might get some nice research out of it. What do you have to lose?”
    April stared at the woman across from her a frowning moment. Then as she saw the glint in Julianne’s eyes, a laugh shook her. “You’re impossible. People don’t have affairs just to improve their writing.”
    â€œAnd a darned shame, too. Inspiration for the love scenes might be so much easier that way.”
    â€œThere’s more to romance than love scenes,” April said with some asperity.
    â€œToo true,” Julianne agreed, her voice softening. “I wondered if you’d forgotten.”
    â€œNot—quite.”
    â€œOn the other hand,” her friend continued with a flashing grin, “there’s a lot to be said for sex. Some mighty hot affairs have begun with physical attraction that turned into something more.”
    â€œThat’s the way it happens in our books, at least,” April said in dry disparagement.
    The afternoon turned into evening as they talked. Beyond the windows, the lavender-rose light of sunset gave the Quarter rooftops a melancholy air. Shadows filled the courtyard below, sliding over the ancient bricks with their coating of green moss and niches filled with tiny ferns. A breeze from the direction of Lake Pontchartrain stirred the banana trees in a corner to a slow, tropical rhythm. Suddenly the light was gone and it was night.
    Julianne insisted April stay for dinner, saying it would be no trouble since she would just whip up an omelet. The two of them puttered in the kitchen, chopping green onions and mushrooms, mincingham and grating cheese. The result, served with fresh crusty French bread and a marvelous Chardonnay, was light, golden brown and delicious, but it was the banter between the two friends that made the meal memorable.
    April didn’t linger afterward, since she needed to look over her notes for the keynote speech she’d be giving in the morning. To walk back to her hotel at night was not a good idea, even if she wanted to risk it. Julianne called a cab, then came downstairs to put her in it with a hug and a promise to show up at the conference. By the time April reached the Windsor Court she was yawning, almost done in by mint juleps and wine, good food, good conversation and the release of the last of her tension.
    An hour later, she’d had a bath and wrapped herself in the thick terry bathrobe provided by the hotel. It was only then that she noticed the message light flashing on her bedside telephone and picked up the receiver to check it out. A floral arrangement had been left for her with the concierge. It would be delivered whenever convenient.
    The flowers were a nice gesture from the organizers of the writers’ conference, April thought. She asked that they be brought up immediately so she would know what to say when she saw the conference chairperson in the morning. She considered slipping into a pair of jeans and a knit shirt, but was afraid she’d be caught half dressed. Besides, the robe she wore was perfectly respectable.
    The bouquet was lovely when it arrived, an elegant arrangement of peach roses amid spikes of blue Russian sage. April tipped the bellman and closedthe door behind him, then carried the flowers into the bedroom where she put them on a table. She was still searching among the foliage for a card when the suite’s door chime rang again.
    It was more flowers, this time a large arrangement of gladiola and daisies that obscured the bellman’s face when she looked through the fish eye viewer of the peephole.
    â€œI think you’ve made a mistake,” she called through the door. “You just delivered my flowers.”
    â€œSorry to disturb you again, Ms. Halstead,” the bellman said in muffled reply. “I didn’t notice this second arrangement for you on the cart.”
    It was a natural enough

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