Ashleigh and Liam’s Engagement Weekend {A Fifteen Weekends Extra}

Ashleigh and Liam’s Engagement Weekend
London, United Kingdom

Emily Greene
“So this is the place, the place where it all started for you and Liam.”

“Yes, this is the place,” Ashleigh replied beaming with smile.

Running my hands across the cool marble, I asked, “This is the actual bar, where you two had your first conversation?”

Rounding the corner of the long bar Ashleigh nodded. With graceful elegance she eased into one of the high back chairs. Leaning up a bit, she extended her beautifully manicured hand and pulled a drink napkin from its holder placing it in front of her. Watching her trace the Northall logo with her fingers, I smiled in appreciation.

For a Saturday morning, the restaurant was relatively quiet. Only a few patrons were eating brunch and sipping tea. This really was a beautiful space, and to think tonight we get it exclusively to ourselves for Ashleigh and Liam’s engagement party. I was not at all surprised by the fact that Liam was able to reserve this venue on short notice just a few weeks ago—the man had connections.

“Miss Preston,” a lovely British accent greeted us.

“Yes.”

“I’m Daphne. We spoke on the phone. We are absolutely delighted that you and your fiancé have decided to share your special weekend with us here at the Corinthia.”

While Daphne and Ashleigh discussed specifics for the party over tea and pastries, I was only half listening to the conversation. My thoughts were consumed by my surprise run-in with my ex, Craig Walker in New York at JFK of all places. Our reunion lasted less than five minutes—after all this time. Almost six years ago, the man mysteriously disappeared from my life over Thanksgiving weekend. No trace of him remained in our condo on Lakeshore drive—clothes, cash, personal belongings all gone.

The mystery of Craig’s disappearance still remained unknown to me, but my raven haired soon to be married best friend held a key piece of vital information—she had his phone number. And, for how long? Better yet, when did she acquire his number?

Shock and amazement still coursed through me two days later. Craig Bennett Walker was alive and better looking than I remembered. His touch sent electric sparks pulsing through my entire body. His smile, that gorgeous fucking smile, still made me weak in the knees.

Daphne stood and excused herself from the table. Apparently there was some issue with the color of the table linens for tonight. With our cheerful hostess off on an errand I decided to question Ashleigh. Whether she liked it or not this conversation was happening.

“You’ll never guess who I ran into at JFK, Ash.”

“Who?”

“Craig Walker—my ex.”

Ashleigh’s eyes widened and she nearly choked on her tea. After brushing the napkin across her lips, she opened her mouth to speak. I waved her off.

Don’t make an excuse, Ash. I know you have his number, and I want all the details before we leave this restaurant.”

Bowing her head, she replied, “I’m sorry Em, but it’s not what you think. I was not hiding this from you, I promise.” Her voice was shaky, but I knew my friend was sincere with her words.

Grasping her hand warmly I said, “I believe you, but you have to tell me the story—today. I have been going out of my mind.”

“All right I can do that. He came to visit you at the hospital a few weeks ago; it was about 48 hours before you came out of your coma that I happened upon Craig standing at the foot of your bed.”

My heart thundered in my chest. Craig was in my hospital room? He came to visit me, and I had no clue he was there?

“What did he say?”

“Nothing much. We talked for about ten minutes. Craig asked a bunch of questions about the accident and what the doctors were saying about your condition. He was very concerned and…and,” her voice trailed off, leaving me hanging on as if it was the cliffhanger in a romance book.

“And what?!”

“And…I could tell that he was still very much in love with you.”

What did she say? Did I hear her correctly? Craig was still in love with me?

“Ashleigh, after talking with him for ten minutes you came to that conclusion?” My voice was full of emotion and more shock than I think I even realized.

“Em, yes, I am absolutely sure of it. Look I know you are happy and in love with Ethan now. And yes, it’s true I debated whether or not to tell you my thoughts, but people make better decisions when they have all the information.”

Opening her clutch, Ashleigh retrieved a small black card sliding it towards me. Already knowing what it was, I picked it up and read the embossed lettering.
Craig B. Walker, Senior Energy Markets Analyst
CME Group
(C) +1 555-888-6321

Ethan Carlson, the man whom I was completely in love with, and Craig Walker, the man from my past whom I still harbored feelings of love for, had both managed to presently occupy space in my heart. I blew out a breath sending my bangs flying upward. The weight of the situation— I could feel it squeezing my heart.

“Em, what are you going to do?”

The question rang in my ears. Over and over, my heart, my mind, everything raced at lightening quick speed. My years with Craig flashed in my brain, along with all my wonderful moments with Ethan.

“I told Ethan if the day ever came that I could get closure with Craig, I would. He told me he understood, but I don’t know that Ethan ever thought it would really happen. Not that this is a bad thing…it will be just fine. I can handle this.”

Did that sound convincing? Fuck! Craig better have a completely pathetic excuse for leaving me all those years ago—that way I can justify hating him.

Christy Pastore 2014 ©

This extra was originally released on November 3rd 2014 thanks to my friends at Smutty Book Friends.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more from the Fifteen Weekends crew! The Weekend Before I Do was intended to be a full-length novella released this spring/summer {2015}. However, I’ve decided to divide up the not quite a novella into several short stories FREE here on my blog and offer them to you, my fantastic readers, as a THANK YOU!

You will not want to skip reading this bonus collection of excerpts/stories. Liam meets up with one of his good friends and introduces him to Ashleigh. And Ethan runs into a not so friendly face in New York. SO MUCH MORE!

Christy Pastore

Author of Fifteen Weekends and Amazon Best-Selling unScripted (Romantic Erotica, Erotica Fiction and Holiday Romance.) Founder of FWU, Wife, Friend, Handbag Addict, Accent Slut, #RonanMaker Adores run on sentences, men in suits & wine. You can read about me here: http://christypastore-author.com/

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  1. […] A few months ago I released a sneak peek for The Weekend Before I Do – the Prologue, which takes place on Ashleigh and Liam’s Engagement Weekend. If you missed it click here. […]

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