The Perfect Match

The Perfect Match by Katie Fforde Read Free Book Online

Book: The Perfect Match by Katie Fforde Read Free Book Online
Authors: Katie Fforde
evening with extra cups of coffee in the conservatory, they discovered they did have a lot in common. Alice found Michael very easy company and she hadn’t laughed so much in ages. She even let him pay for dinner without a fight.
    Eventually she forced herself to look at her watch. It was nearly midnight. ‘Oh my goodness! I should go!’
    ‘Must you?’
    ‘Yes! Apart from anything else the waiters want to clear up. I’ll phone Bella.’ She reflected for a moment. ‘I didn’t have all that much to drink but I don’t want to take the chance.’
    ‘On the other hand, I didn’t have anything to drink. I can drive you home.’
    It didn’t take her many seconds to decide that this was absolutely fine. ‘I’ll just text Bella to tell her she can go to bed.’
    ‘Goodness me! She waits up for you?’
    By now Alice didn’t feel obliged to pretend she had a hectic social life. ‘Not usually but young people are very cautious, and frankly, in our case, the adult/child relationship is reversed. She said she’d pick me up.’
    Alice got out her phone and saw several missed messages. She decided not to read them now and just sent a text.
Getting a lift home. Lovely evening. Don’t wait up.
The chances of Bella not waiting up were slim, but she should find the message reassuring.
    As they drove through the summer night Alice reflected that the joy of being escorted home by a charming, attractive man was as strong now as it ever had been.
    ‘It is a lovely house,’ he said, as he brought the car to a halt in the drive.
    He’d got out and walked round to open her door before she’d even located the door handle, which seemed very well concealed. As he handed her out she decided she wasn’t ready for him to kiss her goodnight properly. He obviously felt the same, because although he gave a brief hug, he just kissed her cheek.
    ‘It’s been a really wonderful evening,’ he said. ‘I do hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.’
    ‘I probably did,’ she said, laughing gently. ‘Thank you very, very much. It was lovely.’
    ‘It was,’ he said. ‘Absolutely perfect.’
    ‘Not many things are perfect, but that was.’
    ‘I’ll be in touch very soon,’ he said. Then he kissed her cheek again.
    ‘No need to ask if you had a good time!’ said Bella as Alice came in and dropped her bag on a chair.
    ‘I had a very nice time, thank you.’ Alice tried to sound serious but she couldn’t help giggling.
    ‘Do you want to tell your Auntie Bella all about it? Over a nice cup of cocoa?’
    ‘If you make me tea I’ll give you edited highlights,’ Alice agreed.
    ‘So?’ Bella asked a few minutes later. ‘What was so special about him?’
    ‘He made me laugh!’ said Alice. ‘And he seemed just as interested in me as I was in his life. That’s rare, I find.’
    Bella sipped her tea thoughtfully. ‘Yes it is. Very rare.’ She tried to remember when Nevil had shown an interest in her as a person, separate from him. Had he ever?
    While Bella locked up and wiped crumbs from the worktop, she reflected that Alice seemed to be having more fun than she was at the moment. If only Dominic hadn’t reappeared in her life, then she’d be happy jogging along with Nevil. But Dominic reminded her of the fireworks love could produce, and seeing Alice obviously enjoying sparklers, if not actual rockets, made her feel discontented and thoughtful.
    She looked around at Alice’s lovely kitchen – her eclectic collection of storage jars on the shelf above the Rayburn, the postcards and birthday cards pinned to a spare wall behind the fridge. It revealed her personality and Bella knew that if she and Nevil lived together it wouldn’t be her favourite things that decorated the kitchen, it would be his.
    She wondered then what Dominic would be like to live with, and realised with a start that she hadn’t managed to erase her feelings for him quite as thoroughly as she’d thought.

Chapter Seven
    BELLA PUT THE phone down and

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