Authors: Kacey Hammell
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
Editor: JS Cook
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of
this copyrighted work is illegal.
part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without
written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and
places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales,
organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
To the real-life Andy…
you for sharing your story with me. Your friendship
means more than you know.
And for all those who have
loved and lost, and then picked yourselves up again, this is for you too.
Though the settings of Ottawa, Wolfe Island and
are actual places in Ontario, Canada, some
businesses’ names and locales have been constructed or modified imaginatively
within this fictitious story. Any allowances and/or mistakes are my own.
Copyright © 2013
walked through Club Splendor, head down and uncertain as to why she was there
exactly. When the thought entered her mind earlier in the week, she’d
immediately dismissed it. But the more she pondered it, the harder it was to
She’d never been at the club
on her own. Patrick had always made their plans and accompanied her.
Her stomach clenched just
thinking about him. She missed him so much.
The decision to come here was
not easy. But she thought she’d also feel closer to him just being there. She held
that hope close, desperate for a connection to something they shared.
She lifted her head as she
drew closer to the maître d. He gave her a bright smile, as well as a look of
pity. She’d come to expect it from a lot of people these days.
he grinned and looked down at the black leather appointment book in his hands.
“It’s wonderful to see you. I hope you’ve been well?”
She smiled and nodded. “Thank
. It is good to see you, too.”
He looked at her and frowned.
“I don’t have you on the books for tonight. Perhaps you called and spoke to one
of the day staff?”
Uncertain of what the normal
protocol was, she’d hoped to get into the club based on past visits. “I’m
sorry. I didn’t think to call ahead. Patrick always…” Andy trailed off, unable
gently smiled. Again, the pity in his eyes was not what she wanted to see. But
to get in tonight, before she lost her nerve, she would face it.
“Yes, you’re right.” He
looked around, and she could see his mind working. “Why don’t you go on ahead
and we’ll keep this to ourselves. Please do contact me personally anytime.” He
drew a card from his book and handed it to her. “I’ll make sure you’re taken
care of in the future.”
“Thank you so much. I really
need to be here tonight.” She slid his business card into the small pocket of
her black miniskirt.
His hand brushed her shoulder
softly. “I understand. Go right on ahead. I’ll contact Bridget and let her know
you’re here. If you’ll head to the bar, she’ll meet you there.”
“Thank you again. If I could
request one more favor?” she asked, biting her lip. She hated to ask anything
more of his kindness.
“If I can,” he checked his
watch then gave her his full attention.
“I’d really like to keep my
presence here tonight quiet. I’m not sure what room I’ll visit and would just
brows drew together. “But Mr. Sullivan will want to know you’re here. He always
made a point of greeting you and your
“No,” Andy ordered. “I don’t
want Mr. Sullivan to know I’m here. Is he on the premises now?”
The last thing she needed was
to see Hunter. Patrick’s best friend and owner of the club, Hunter made a point
of checking in on her daily. Leaving messages on her machine, texts, and even
resorted to calling her in-laws to see if she was all right when she refused to
contact him. He was driving her crazy.
She ran a hell of a risk
bumping into him here, but she desperately needed to do this. To be somewhere
she and Patrick loved to enjoy, and where they'd found so much pleasure. Her first
time without him by her side was something she had to find the fortitude to get
interrupted her thoughts. “I’ll inform Bridget that
you wish privacy and make sure the rest of the staff is aware. Are you sure
Andy met his gaze and hoped
her smile was enough to appease him. She wasn’t sure of anything, except the
need to get out of her house and find someone to take some of the agony away.
“I’m fine. Thank you again,
.” She pulled out a couple twenty-dollar bills from
her pocket and held them to him.
He shook his head adamantly. “I couldn’t. Please, just enjoy and please come
find me should you need anything.”
She grabbed his hand and pushed the bills into it. With one last smile, she left
his station and walked down the dim hallway toward the bar.
Club Splendor always stole
Soft and warm jazz filled
the air, and her heart thudded. Patrick had introduced her to the genre of
music when they were dating and it was something she adored making love to. She
drew in a deep breath and looked around the room as she leaned on the bar.
Nearly eleven months since
she’d last been there. The room still had that warmth to it, but the colors of
gold and black had been replaced with silver and red. In the far corners of her
mind, she recalled Hunter talking about remodeling some of the rooms to keep
things fresh and exciting for the patrons.
She had to admit his choices
were sensual and inviting. She’d always admired his business savvy and taste in
the finer things. So different from Patrick, who always had a difficult time
just matching his tie and dress shirt. Their friendship was something she’d
always wondered about. They were so different, it was almost like opposites
attracting. But their bond was unbreakable.
A light touch on her shoulder
made her jump.
“I’m sorry, Mrs.
. I didn’t mean to startle you.” Bridget, the club’s
hostess, smiled at her.
Andy jerked in surprise when
Bridget’s arms came around her in a light hug.
Throat tight, she patted
Bridget on the back. The young woman always had a soft spot for Patrick but
never felt an ounce of jealousy whenever he would flirt with Bridget. She often
found it sweet and delicious that someone would have an innocent crush on her
husband. Patrick was a man who liked to flirt but would never stray.
She pulled back and smiled
for the first time in a long while. “Thank you.” She caught the tears forming
in the other woman’s eyes and clenched her hands tight. “Here now, it’s all
A lump formed in Andy’s
throat and her body trembled with sorrow. She couldn’t allow tears to fall, or
it would take forever to stop them again. “Could you get me a glass of white
It was best to keep Bridget
focused so she wouldn’t shed any tears of her own. That she’d cared so much
about Patrick was kind, but she wasn’t here for condolences.
Bridget breathed in deep and
Any room in particular you’d like
to be taken to?”
She turned and waved
the bartender closer.
“A white wine,
please, David. No tab.”
“I can’t allow you to do
that. David, please make sure you put that on our—my usual tab.
.” She narrowed her gaze at him, brooking no
“Yes, ma’am,” David replied
and set about pouring her drink.
I hear Mrs. and have to look around for my mother-in-law,” Andy
reminded her. “And Patrick would give you a good slap on the ass if he were
Bridget smiled gently and
blushed. “Yes, you’re right. Andy, I…”
“It’s okay, go ahead. What is
“I’m surprised to see you
here. I’m glad you are, but nonetheless, I am surprised.” Bridget handed her
the glass of wine that David passed to her.
Andy accepted it, and took a
small sip. The liquid was cool and gentle as it slid down her parched throat.
“Yes, I imagine a lot of people would be surprised to see me. But I needed to
get out of the house. To be somewhere Patrick and I enjoyed together.”