This ebook is part 2 of the Jordan-McKeon Trilogy.
Ben and Mikie are very happy, and they have their family and businesses to keep them grounded. Mikie's ex-boyfriend, who is obsessed with her, is a thorn in her side and casts a dark shadow on their relationship. As a consequence, this puts Ben's life in danger and a lot of trauma and heartache is heading their way.
Download Book 1 and Book 3 free on Obooko.
He was in a reflective mood as he packed the small suitcase. After the death of his friend and business partner Jack Stanmore, Ben had travelled to northern England to find Jack's ex-wife Michaela McKeon. He had been ecstatic when Mikie had returned the feelings he had had for her for years. When they married, he had thought that his life was complete. He had taken Mikie's children Alesha, Brett, Tamara and Gregory as his own, but was also happy when Mikie also gave him two babies, Jessica and Thomas. When Greg fell ill and he was tested as a suitable bone marrow donor, the results proved that Tara and Greg were his children, the result of a night he spent with Mikie while she was still married to Jack. They were both devastated when Greg died. There was a point when he thought he would lose Mikie, when she was diagnosed with cancer, but she had fought through it and was now in remission.
He was idyllically happy, although a little worried about taking the trip. Was he really doing the right thing in leaving her so soon? Was he certain that no-one else could handle this, somewhat, trivial matter? No. He was the only person for the job.
'It's okay to go, Ben.' she had said. 'You need to sort this out.'
He was more worried that she would be left with the
children, the older ones had made lives of their own. Ali had made her own home, Brett shared his time between two countries and Tara was away in England at university. Which left the two youngest children, Jess and Tom.
Ben was proud of his family and would tell anyone who cared to listen.
Jess was now nine years old and spent most of her time playing music on various instruments. She was the image of her mother and had the same temperament. Tom, at six, was a
bright child who was two grades above other children of the same age, he loved helping Mikie and Ben with their work. Tom could type faster than even Mikie and would often allow her to dictate letters to him while he tapped the keys of the typewriter. He also loved fixing things and would take various pieces of machinery apart and reassemble them.
Mikie was still recovering from cancer and found normal, everyday things tiring. She had lost her long hair and took to wearing hats and scarves to cover her bald head. Ben stayed by her side and only went to the office for a couple of hours a week. He understood why Mikie was depressed and said nothing when she snapped at him.
The big test was now that Ben had to go to the New York office to sort out a problem with a client who was unhappy with his new contract and threatening to go to a rival company and even blacken the name of Jordan-McKeon.
"I'll only be gone a couple of days, darlin'. I wish I could send someone else but you're really the only other person I'd trust to sort this out." Ben smiled at Mikie.
"It's okay, Ben, I know you have to go. I think it might do us both good to have a break from each other." She replied, reflectively.
Ben stopped what he was doing and looked at her. "I'm crowding you?" He sounded hurt.
"No. It's just that we've been together almost twenty-four hours a day for weeks, I just think that being apart will be a good thing just now."
"You're starting to worry me." He said, confused.
She sighed. "This isn't coming out right. I love you, you know that. It's just that I think it's not good for either of us to spend so much time together."
"You've never complained before."
"I'm not complaining now. You've put up with a lot from me
lately and I think you need a rest from it."
"I haven't put up with anything I didn't want to."
"Me biting your head off every five minutes isn't good, Ben. I know you feel it. I know sometimes it hurts and that's why I think you need this break."
"I didn't think you realised that it hurts." He put his arms round her. "All I want to do is help you get back to normal."
"I don't think I'll ever get back to normal Ben. If I was ever normal in the first place, that is." Mikie smiled at her husband.
"I still don't like leaving you like this. I should be here with you."
"Ben, please. Just go, will you? I'll be fine. Besides I have Jess and Tom to look after me."
He zipped up the case and looked at her. "I'm gonna miss you." He whispered.
"I know, I'll miss you too."
Rather than enduring a tearful goodbye at the airport, Beth, the housekeeper, had offered to drive Ben so that Mikie could stay at home.
"She'll be fine, Ben. We'll look after her." Beth had said when they arrived at the airport.
"Thanks Beth. I don't want to leave her, but I know she'll be fine for a couple of days. I just hope this thing doesn't drag on for longer than that."
"Even if it does, try not to worry too much. Besides, what is it they say about absence making the heart grow fonder?"
"Mmm..! Maybe you're right. If anything goes wrong you'll call me?" Ben's tone was pleading.
"Nothing is gonna go wrong. Everything will be fine. I'll take care of things till you get back."
"Okay, Beth. I trust you."
Ben found walking away from Beth very difficult. It was as if leaving her standing there meant leaving everything in his life