For All Their Lives

Free For All Their Lives by Fern Michaels

Book: For All Their Lives by Fern Michaels Read Free Book Online
Authors: Fern Michaels
    â€œHell’s bells, no. You’re an Ashwood. You’ll distinguish yourself. Ashwoods always distinguish themselves.” The laughter bubbling in Mac’s throat died when he realized the old man was serious.
    â€œYes, sir, I’ll do my best.”
    â€œI don’t like this place, did I tell you that?”
    â€œI kind of figured, Uncle Harry.”
    â€œWell, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t. Right now, I don’t like it. It’s always here, waiting for me.” He pursed his mouth into a round O of disapproval before he got into his car, jerked it into gear, and drove off without a backward glance.
    Mac wore a smile all the way to the airport. He turned in the rental car, checked his bags, and headed for the nearest restaurant. He had a three-hour wait for his flight to California, where he would board a military flight to Vietnam.
    It was time for Mac Carlin to soar, time for the dream to come alive.

Chapter 2
    C ASEY A DAMS SMILED as she hugged each of her guests. “Thank you for coming. I’ll miss you. Yes, yes, I’ll write even if it’s just a postcard. If I find a rich American who wants to marry me, of course you’ll be invited to the wedding. Adieu, my friends. Don’t forget me, for I’ll not forget you.”
    When the bright blue door of the apartment closed for the last time, Casey fell into her friend’s outstretched arms. “It was wonderful of you to give me this party, Nicole. I’ll treasure the memory of it. Everyone had such a good time though, it’s hard to believe we fit thirty people into this tiny apartment.” Her voice broke and then strengthened when she stared down into Nicole’s misty eyes. “We’ll be friends forever, Nicole. The United States seems far away, but I can come back sometimes, and you can come to visit me. Promise, Nicole.”
    â€œOf course I promise, but I don’t know about me coming to visit you in California. The airfare alone must be outrageous. I’ll marry a rich Frenchman and then I’ll come. With my seven children. Will you have room for all of us?” Nicole teased.
    â€œOf course. I’m going to miss you, Nicole. Danele too.”
    â€œFor a little while you will. But you’re going to have a new life. I’m so happy for you, Casey. I cannot comprehend how, after all this time, all those years we spent in the orphanage . . . I just. . . you had a father. You really did have an American father. I hate him for never claiming you,” the tiny French girl cried passionately. “You should hate him too. He claims you in death. How is that fair?” she demanded hotly. “Well?”
    Casey shrugged. She was a spitfire, this tiny creature she called best friend. Ninety pounds of pure energy with great luminous eyes that blazed with love or anger, depending on her mood. She was dressed now in an outrageously clingy dress that was hiked above her knees to reveal matchstick-thin legs that ended in spike-heeled shoes, which made her all of five feet tall. She was brushing now at what Casey referred to as her “nineteen hairs,” her pixie bob.
    â€œAnd a grandmother. You had a grandmother. Oh, Casey, you are going to be so happy. I’m jealous.” Nicole pouted. “Come, come, there is one bottle of wine left that I saved for you and me. We’re going to curl up on the floor with pillows and have our last talk. Oh, Casey, what am I going to do without you?”
    â€œYou will go on making women beautiful. Without you, what would your customers do? And, it isn’t every beautician who has Madame Chanel for a customer. Besides, Jacques is going to ask you to marry him. I saw it in his eyes tonight when he looked at you. Will you say yes?”
    Nicole became coy. She shrugged. “Maybe yes, maybe no. He’s poor. I need to be rich to have seven children. How many will you have,

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