Second Chance

Second Chance by Jane Green

Book: Second Chance by Jane Green Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jane Green
to the house. Work can wait, surely. I mean, this is more important.’
    ‘More important than me preparing for a hearing?’
    Marcus says coldly. ‘I understand you’re upset, Holly, but if you’d given me notice that this was going to be longer, I could have made different arrangements.’
    That’s it, Holly thinks. Make it all my fault as usual.
    ‘I’ll bring her home,’ Saffron says brightly. ‘You go off and do your work, don’t worry about Holly.’
    ‘Oh thank you, Saffron, that’s incredibly gracious of you.’ Marcus smiles, giving Holly a perfunctory kiss, and then Saffron the standard double-cheek air kiss. They stand watching him stride off towards wherever his car is parked.
    Holly turns to Saffron. ‘Gawd. I’m surprised he didn’t try to stick his tongue in your mouth.’ Holly rolls her eyes.
    ‘Oh behave,’ Saffron says. ‘He’ll get over it. Frankly it’s bloody nice to be appreciated, though, particularly at a memorial service.’
    ‘Yes, nothing like a spot of inappropriate flirting at a memorial service,’ Holly says.
    ‘Speaking of which, horribly and entirely inappropriate to even mention this, but did you see Will?’
    ‘You mean, cute and cuddly little baby brother Willy, who we used to occasionally let in to watch us being horrible teenagers and play spin the bottle?’
    ‘That’d be the one. But did you see him?’
    ‘Big brown eyes, messy longish hair, gorgeous smile with dimples and an undoubted six-pack under the suit? That one?’
    ‘That’d be the one.’
    ‘Nope.’ Holly shrugs. ‘Can’t say I noticed him.’
    ‘Who would have thought he’d grow up to look like that!’ Saffron says.
    ‘Actually I think he looks just like Tom,’ Holly muses. ‘A messier, more laid-back, younger version of Tom. Imagine him with a short back and sides in a polo shirt and jeans, and he’s basically Tom.’
    ‘Maybe, but I never fancied Tom and I do quite fancy Will.’
    ‘Saffron!’ Holly glares at her. ‘That’s sick. This is his brother’s memorial service.’
    ‘I know, I know,’ she grumbles. ‘And I’m not actually interested, just observing, that’s all. Oh come on, Miss Holier Than Thou, just because you’re married doesn’t mean you can’t look. You’re married, my darling. Not dead!’
    ‘Well, ask me again when today is over. Right now I just want to find Tom’s mum and dad.’
    Holly hovers a few feet away from where Maggie and Peter are greeting a line of people. Maggie looks up and catches her eye, turns back to the people who are giving her their condolences, and then she looks back at Holly. ‘Holly?’ she says, and Holly nods shyly, then Maggie opens her arms for her to go running up for a huge hug. ‘Oh Holly!’ she says. ‘It’s been too long. Years and years. Look at you, Holly! Peter! Look!’ she calls over to her husband. ‘It’s Holly Mac!’
    After Holly’s parents divorced when she was fourteen, her mother had moped for the year after the divorce, then had got out of bed, got a job in the trendiestinterior-design shop, and suddenly turned into the mother from hell.
    She started wearing tons of make-up, all the clothes that Holly and her friends wanted to wear but couldn’t afford (although no one’s mother was supposed to be wearing Vivienne Westwood, for heaven’s sake), and going out clubbing every night, staying with a series of friends, each one seemingly younger and funkier than the last.
    In short, she’d had enough of being a mother. Even though Holly, at fifteen, was more or less old enough to take care of herself, she didn’t want to. Her friends adored coming over because, save for a Spanish au pair who didn’t seem to want to have anything at all to do with Holly or her friends, there were no adults to tell them what to do.
    At Holly’s house, they didn’t have to sneak cigarettes on balconies or stick their heads outside open windows in the middle of a freezing winter. Hell, at Holly’s house,

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