Read Pathway to Tomorrow Online

Authors: Sheila Claydon

Pathway to Tomorrow (27 page)

“Shame! A film like that!  Just think of the box office! Your music, her story…children, animals; it couldn’t fail.”

“Maybe, but it’s something you’re never going to know…now have you seen enough? Are you ready to do what you actually came for, and talk about Izzie’s next release?”

Marcus’ agent grinned as he finished his beer and crushed the can. “Okay I know when I’m beaten! Is she in the studio already?”

‘No. See the girl in the bright pink beanie leading the child on the small pony…that’s Izzie. She says she’s just keeping her hand in but, truth be told, I think she misses the countryside when she’s away on tour. The first thing she does whenever she comes home is to change into her
jodhpurs and go riding with Luke.”

The older man shook his head. “And you won’t even let me take a promotional shot of that will you, despite the fact it would help sell thousands more of her songs? Bella Blue on a horse, riding bareback, with those long, long legs dangling. Just think how fantastic it would look. Come on Marcus, you know it would be an absolute winner.”

“Not a chance! And don’t try to get there through Izzie either because she isn’t Bella Blue when she’s here, she’s just Izzie, and she values every minute of her privacy. She’s very protective of Luke too, and Jodie, and she’d never countenance anything that would push them into the limelight.”

Okay! Okay! I know when I’m beaten, even though I think you should be shouting from the rooftops about the work that’s going on here. Think of all the accolades you’d get if the public knew how much money you pour into this therapy centre.”

“For what…just so I can feel good about myself. You know me better than that. If I sold out on Jodie and her principals, and on Luke, then all I’d have left would be a sour taste in my mouth and a very angry wife.”

“I guess, but she’s one lucky lady to have you at her back.”

Marcus shook his head. “You don’t know the half of it. I’m the lucky one here, and I aim to keep it that way.”

 

* * *

 

Their meal over, and confident Izzie and Luke would remain on the couch in the family room for the next hour or so while they watched a film and ate popcorn, Marcus and Jodie slipped into the adjoining sitting room with conspiratorial smiles.

“Why do I feel like I’m doing something wrong in my own house,” Marcus whispered as he sank down into a recliner and pulled her onto his lap.

She grinned at him. “Because this is how it all started, remember?”

“You mean that weekend in London when all you’d let me do was snatch a few moments with you when Izzie and Luke weren’t looking?”

“Mmm…and I refused to come to your bedroom even though I was sure it was the only reason you’d invited us to stay with you.”

“It was not! It was so we could get to know one another better.” Even to Marcus’ ears, his protest had a hollow ring, and soon they were laughing at the memory. As always though, it was laughter that quickly settled into something else as their lips touched and their bodies ignited into a familiar passion.

Eventually, with a groan of frustration, Marcus settled her more comfortably on his lap. “Unless you want me to disgrace myself right here, just lie still.”

Searching for somewhere to rest her head she found it in the angle between his arm and his shoulder and relaxed into it with a sigh. “You started it.”

“So I did but that was before I remembered how long it is until Luke and Izzie go to bed!”

 

* * *

 

Much later, when all the windows were in darkness, they walked together across the garden to the horse therapy centre that stood next to Marcus’ studio, and which was now such an integral part of their home. The scatters of stars were pinpoints in the midnight blue of the sky and for one brief moment the silence was absolute. Then it was broken by familiar night sounds: the occasional complaint of a roosting bird; the rush of wings as an owl flew overhead; the snorts and grunts of resting horses. Listening to the rustle of straw, the occasional whinny, the sound of a heavy body accidentally knocking against a stable door, Jodie gave a sigh of contentment.

Marcus smiled down at her. “This is where your heart truly belongs, isn’t it?”

“Only if you’re here too.”

“Well I’m not going anywhere…not even to California in the foreseeable future. Writing songs and arrangements for Izzie’s next tour is taking up all of my time these days.”

Jodie didn’t answer until she had checked all the horses and given Buckmaster one last pat on the long blaze of white on his forehead. Then, with the doors to each stable securely locked behind her, she turned back to Marcus, slipped her arms around his neck and raised herself up on tiptoe so she could kiss him.

“Thank you.”

“For what? For bullying you into marrying me?”

She laughed. “Yes…and for helping Izzie to realize her dream…and for forgiving me for having such a bad temper…and for making me see there’s nothing wrong with giving up a little bit of independence if you love someone …but most of all, for this. You’ve helped me do something I didn’t even know I wanted to do before I met Luke. To be able to concentrate on horse therapy full time without having to worry about livery charges and riding lessons and all those other things that kept the riding school afloat…it’s a dream come true. I wake up every morning and pinch myself to check it’s real.”

He returned her kiss with force. “And here I was hoping it was all about me.”

“It is! It is! You know it is Marcus…always and forever.” Then her laughing protestations were lost as his arms tightened around her again until they became a single black shadow against the bright backdrop of the moon; and soon their own sighs were added to the small sounds of the night.

 

The End

 

 


Note from the Author

 

Pathway to Tomorrow
is the first book in a Trilogy.  It is, of course, Jodie and Marcus’ story, but in the telling the reader also meets Izzie and Luke. At the end of the book Izzie has just begun to realize her dream of becoming a singer, and Luke, although he doesn’t know it, is starting down a new path in his life.

 

In
Pathway to Success
,
to be published later this year
, readers can catch up with them both as they face challenges of their own. They can also peek back into Marcus’ and Jodie’s life, just to check that all is as it should be.

 

About the Author

 

Born and brought up in the south of England, Sheila has lived and worked in the UK all her life. She had several books published in the 1980s, but then a busy job and family life got in the way and she stopped writing fiction for more than 20 years. Now she has time to write again she identifies with the author Ray Bradbury, who said ‘First, find out what your hero wants. Then just follow him.’ Plot, chapter outlines, characterization; she knows all the rules and faithfully follows them each time she starts to write a new book…then her hero takes over...

Lucky enough to have done a lot of travelling she also frequently sets her stories in exotic places so, as her website says, reading her books is a ‘ticket to romance.’

Sheila’s earlier books were published under the pseudonym Anne Beverley. Now she is considerably older and no long shy, she writes under her own name. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted on her website at
http://sheilaclaydon.com
where all her books are listed, and where she also writes a blog.

 

Also by Sheila Claydon from Books We Love:

 

Cabin Fever
– the Osprey cruise ship is in trouble. Can Ellie Masters and Andy Smith solve the problem? When they join the ship in New Zealand they soon discover that it’s going to be hard work all the way to Australia. Not that either of them intend to let long hours get in the way of their blossoming love affair...until Ellie develops feet of clay…or is it Andy who is the problem? Is he really who he says he is? They joined the ship to help the crew, but now it’s Ellie and Andy who need help. Will they get it or is it already too late?

Reluctant Date
- In a rut, and with her love life at an all time low, Claire Harris makes a New Year’s resolution to join an Internet dating agency. Her challenge is twelve dates or twelve months, whichever comes first, unless she is lucky enough to meet Mister Right along the way. On her final date, and convinced that only frogs are left in the dating pool, she is relieved that it’s nearly over…until she meets enigmatic American, Daniel Marchant. The only problem is, his brother has set him up, and Daniel makes it very clear he’s not interested in dating anyone at all.

Double Fault
- when Kerry Farrow falls for star player Pierce Simon, she doesn’t hesitate when he asks her to join him on the international tennis circuit. She doesn’t care that he isn’t ready to settle down. In her experience happy families are a myth anyway. Then she discovers she’s pregnant and her world falls apart. Unable to turn to Pierce for support, and disowned by her wealthy father, she is on her own. Two years later Kerry is a single mother of twins when Pierce comes back into her life. When he finds out the children are his, he gives her an ultimatum: either she can marry him or she can fight for her children through the courts.

 

The Sheila Claydon Holiday edition, a trio of Sheila’s books

 

Kissing Maggie Silver
will be available soon

 

From the Publisher

 

http://bookswelove.net

 

 

 

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Best Regards and Happy Reading, Jamie and Jude

 

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