I am delighted to share an extract with you today on Blog Tour for Outreach by Shelly Berry.
When Emily was offered a new job in London, she was sure that her life was about to change – new friends, a career in the big city and the boyfriend she always wanted.
Her new life turns out to be more complicated than she expected. Her flat mates don’t understand her. Her colleagues mock everything about her. Even her father doesn’t support her. The only person who offers her any encouragement is David.
He’s married. He’s her manager. To Emily it’s clear that they have something special. As their relationship develops, everyone seems to want to sabotage their chances.
But some things are meant to be…
Page 43 – Fran and Emily are joined in the pub by their colleague Jim and manager David. Whilst Fran is convinced Jim is interested in Emily, Emily can’t help but take more notice of David…
Her laughter stopped abruptly. “Oh gawd. Don’t look now but the boss has just walked in.”
Automatically I turned around. David was walking towards the bar, deep in conversation with Jim. I watched him as he ran his long fingers through his already mussed hair. His pale blue shirt hung loosely over his jeans, creased from a day of restraint under his waistband.
“Hey, Emily! How you doing?”
Blinking, I looked at Jim. He was smiling at me widely, no doubt in amusement at my apparent fascination with my manager. On cue, David turned to follow his gaze. His eyes widened as he grabbed at Jim’s arm.
“Oh, no. Jim, we’re going to have to do something. Fran’s already trying to corrupt the newest member of our team. Bloody hell, Fran, give her a chance, she’s only in her first week.”
Fran sat back in her chair and folded her arms across her chest.
“Ha ha, very bloody funny. Anyway, what are you doing here? Haven’t you got a wife and two bairns to go home to?”
David mirrored her stance.
“Erm, yes, actually I do, but after a particularly long day I thought I’d grab a swift pint with my old mate Jim here, if that’s okay with the Queen of Glasgow?”
“Fine by me. I just hope your missus doesn’t mind you going out having fun whilst she’s running around after two kids, that’s all.”
A slight frown betrayed his act of indifference.
“I’m sure that she will be very understanding about it.”
He turned to look at me. My face automatically burned.
“So, Emily, having lumbered you with the lovely Fran all week I owe you a drink. What will it be?”
I looked down at my glass. It was almost empty. And we had only been in the pub half an hour.
“Oh, no, it’s okay. I’ve had enough, thanks.”
“Yeah, sure. I know you young people. Really, there’s no need to stand on ceremony. Now tell me what you want or it’ll be tequilas all round.”
“Get her a red wine. That’s what she’s just had,” Jim suggested. He was looking at me intently again. He caught my eye and smiled. Instinctively I looked away.
“Right, red wine it is. Fran, I’m assuming you’ll be having another pint. Jim, care to join me at the bar?”
I studied the chipped polish of the table as they walked away, my hands in my lap.
“Well, well, what do you know?”
I looked up so see Fran smiling at me, her chin resting on her hand. My flush deepened. She had clearly seen me staring at David.
She lifted her head from its resting point and leant across the table.
“Well, forgive me if I’m wrong, but I think you might have a secret admirer.” She jerked her head towards the bar. I looked past her. Jim was talking intensely, emphasising the point he was making with wildly gesticulating hands. David was leaning on the dark wood, nodding periodically as his gaze wandered around the pub. He caught my eye and smiled. I looked back at Fran, my mouth slightly open. She was draining the last of her pint.
“You really think so?” I whispered.
She dumped her empty glass on the table and looked me in the eye.
“Emily, I don’t think so. I know so.”
“But… he’s married!” I exclaimed, hoping my expression of horror would hide my excitement. The thought of a man like David finding me attractive made my stomach flip. Okay, so he was a bit older than me, but he was still really handsome and, well, attentive – something I had never experienced with a man before.
Fran was looking at me blankly. Suddenly she clamped her hand over her mouth, her laugh mocking me through her fingers.
“No, not David, honey. Jim.”
She sat back in her chair again. I stared at her for a moment before looking over to the bar. David and Jim were walking over, drinks in hand. Jim was a good four inches shorter than David, and, although he made up for his height with his strong build… I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. In comparison to his younger friend, David didn’t need to make up for anything.
Author Bio –
Shelly Berry lives in Waltham Forest, London. Having gained a BA Joint Honours Degree in Visual Art and Sociology at Keele University and a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, she has since worked in the public sector with vulnerable adults and children – including those affected by mental illness, drug and alcohol misuse, disability, criminal behaviour, homelessness and domestic and sexual abuse. During this time, Shelly developed and nurtured her love of writing. As well as writing fiction, she has previously written for a number of blogs and now writes for the Waltham Forest Echo.
Social Media Links – twitter @ShellyBerryUK
Author Photo credit Bianca Kirby.
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