The Chocolate Lovers' Diet

Free The Chocolate Lovers' Diet by Carole Matthews

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Authors: Carole Matthews
Tags: Fiction, General
I can’t just stand by and watch him self-destruct.’ She wrung at her skirt with her hands. ‘He’s in deep. He was using a bit of coke – recreational.’ She repeated the lie he’d often told her. ‘Now it’s different. While he’s been away he’s moved onto heavier stuff. I thought he really wanted to clean his act up this time, yet I realise now that he simply went to America to get away from his problems here. Nothing more. To be honest, I don’t even know if he’s been to a rehab clinic at all. Some hard men were after him for money. Drugs related, of course. It was bad enough to scare the life out of Richard.’
    Addison raised an eyebrow. ‘And to think you were worried that your parents would be shocked by me.’
    Autumn laughed. ‘Thank goodness the nut roast escaped unharmed. What would we have had to eat otherwise? Perhaps for the first time in their lives my parents were grateful that I’m a vegetarian.’
    ‘You don’t have to cope with Richard by yourself, Autumn,’ Addison told her. ‘I can help. Lean on me.’
    Autumn felt tears spring to her eyes and Addison pulled her to him. ‘Thank you,’ she said.

Chapter Fourteen
    I wake up next to Marcus and I’m appalled at what I’ve done. He’s lying beside me, arm slung across his pillow, his leg over mine. He’s comfortable. So comfortable. And I am not.
    I lie stock still, unable to move. Now what? That really wasn’t a good idea at all, was it? Even the fluffy polar bear, which is now sitting on top of my cupboard, is staring at me judgementally. Gingerly, I ease myself away from my ex-fiancé. If I wasn’t already at my own place, at this point I’d get up and sneak off home.
    I sigh at my predicament – a bit too loudly – and Marcus’s eyes open, so I make a grab for the sheet. Yeah, where were you last night, modesty, when I needed you?
    ‘Hello,’ my unwanted guest says sleepily. Already, he’s all smiles and I check for any trace of smugness, but can find none. His fingers lightly caress my arm. My fucking traitorous body gets nice goosebumps all over. Stop it! This is bad, bad news.
    Marcus snuggles against me. His skin is searing hot – very good for putting feet on in cold weather, not so good for resisting sexual temptation. I try to push him away.
    Summoning up all of my courage, I say, ‘I think you should go, Marcus.’
    Now he’s wide awake. ‘Go?’
    ‘Last night was a mistake. I shouldn’t have let it happen.’
    He pushes himself up onto his elbow and doesn’t look at all put out, as he should. His fingers continue a languid journey over my weak, weak, weak and too-bloody-willing-by-half skin. ‘You didn’t protest too much at the time.’
    I know now that I should have stuck to my best friend chocolate for comfort. That’s why chocolate is better than sex – you never have to feel guilty after chocolate. Well, not that much. ‘I was lonely and vulnerable.’
    ‘You were
sexy,’ he tells me with a slight raising of his eyebrows. I know Marcus well enough to realise that at any minute, he’s going to be making a tent in my duvet. I have to get him out of here now before my resistance is further lowered.
    ‘We’ve been here too many times before,’ I say, gradually pulling more of the sheet around me. ‘I can’t go through this again.’
    Marcus looks unconvinced and I realise that I’m in a poor bargaining position – being naked and in bed with him.
    ‘We don’t have to make love again,’ he says, tent forming. ‘I could stick around and we could go to one of the parks for a long walk.’ Huh. Next he’ll be offering to wear jumpers from Gap and do the technically impossible toasting marshmallows thing – all of the activities I’d planned with Crush.
    ‘No,’ I say firmly. ‘Thanks for the offer, but I’d really like you to leave now.’
    ‘Don’t I even get breakfast?’
    I wonder how to get out of the bed and make it to my dressing-gown without exposing myself. Can’t

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