Monarch Beach

Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes Read Free Book Online

Book: Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anita Hughes
Tags: Fiction, Psychological, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women
crunching a few numbers while you girls were in the kitchen,” Glenn said, slurring his words. He wasn’t as good at holding his liquor as he was at working his figures.
    “Glenn is a real whiz with numbers,” Andre complimented our host.
    “A French restaurant in town might have potential,” Glenn said, looking well lubricated.
    “Please, please,” Stephanie purred. “We could call it La Petite Maison.” She turned to her dinner guests. “Glenn lived in a pension in Paris called La Petite Maison. It holds special memories.” She turned back to Glenn and gave him a secret smile.
    “La Petite Maison,” Glenn faltered.
    “I’ll pull out the Dom Perignon and we’ll make a toast!” Stephanie jumped up and flew into the kitchen to grab the champagne. I thought if I saw any more bubbles I’d throw up on their Persian rug. I looked at Andre, who was quietly wiping his plate, and thought I’d be sick anyway. I couldn’t fault Andre for encouraging Glenn and Stephanie. He needed a partner. I stood up and excused myself to the bathroom.
    When I returned everyone was toasting “La Petite Maison.” Stephanie was jabbering about calling the Realtor about the space on the commons. Andre and Glenn were discussing “cash flow” and “reserves.”
    “Honey, have some champagne.” Andre reached for my hand and squeezed it tightly.
    I couldn’t be in their house another minute. I pushed my chair back and smiled weakly at everyone. “I’m actually not feeling well. I think we better go.”
    “But I made the most wonderful dessert,” Stephanie protested. “It’s a Belgian chocolate mousse.”
    “I’m practically allergic to chocolate at the moment,” I insisted. “Pregnancy is playing havoc with my stomach. And I just want to be asleep by eight p.m.” I grimaced.
    “Oh, you poor baby,” Stephanie cooed. “Next time just send Andre over. There’s so much to discuss!”
    “He doesn’t like to leave me home alone,” I said.
    “It’s true.” Andre nodded. “We will start looking for a place to live in Marin.”
    “Ooh, I’ll help you! Amanda, call me tomorrow, we can go house hunting.” Stephanie kissed me on both cheeks. She turned to Andre and he practically disappeared in her bear hug.
    Glenn drained his second glass of champagne. “I’ll have my attorney get some numbers to you next week.”
    *   *   *
    Finally we were in the car. At first I was so grateful to have escaped I was silent. But as we neared our apartment, my horror of going into partnership with Stephanie surfaced.
    “I can’t believe you would consider being partners with that human piranha,” I said as we neared our building.
    “Amanda, you should be thrilled the evening was a success. We are going to have our restaurant.” He put my hand to his mouth and covered it with kisses.
    “You are not opening a restaurant with that hussy,” I hissed.
    Andre pulled up in front of our apartment and turned off the engine.
    “Are you telling me what to do?” he asked in a low voice.
    “How could you even consider it? She just wants a new boy toy.”
    “Don’t you trust me?” he asked in the same stony voice.
    “Of course I trust you,” I replied. “I just don’t trust her. She was doing half the male faculty when we were in high school. We don’t need her.”
    “Actually, Amanda, we do need her. She is the only potential partner we have.”
    I took my hand away from him and placed it firmly in my lap.
    “Andre, we can’t,” I said plaintively.
    “Why not?”
    “She’s just too awful,” I begged him.
    “Amanda, jealousy is an ugly trait. It does not suit you. We need an income.”
    “But you can’t commute to Ross,” I said, trying another approach.
    “You did all through prep school,” he reminded me.
    “I had a driver, and I didn’t have a wife and baby to come home to. You wouldn’t get home till midnight.”
    Andre was quiet. I thought I had convinced him the new restaurant needed to be in the

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