But later, Angelina discovers that Andy, a trusted colleague who is also her boss, had kept his desires for her concealed. Now, with the possibility of losing Angelina forever to James, Andy reveals his own feelings for her. When faced with rejection, he sets out to prevent this new love from blossoming any further.
As Angelina finds it difficult to maintain a professional working relationship with Andy, unexpectedly the past returns to haunt her. Angelina suddenly finds that her world had started to turn upside down, leaving her to make decisions she thought she would never have to make.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A Chance Encounter
By Yashoda Mann
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2014 Yashoda Mann
All rights reserved.
I selfishly thought, why is there never enough time in a day or night for me, and so much for everyone else? The thought I wake up with every morning. Having had only a few hours' sleep, I feel tired, overworked, and underpaid, just another nightmare I share with society in London. I live in my own apartment for twenty years, with a ten-minute journey on the train to work.
Coffee, being the only cure for everything in my life, is what I am looking forward to. Yes, that moment where I step into the office, and one presents me with a ridiculous large mug of warm, smooth, and mighty full black coffee and whatever treats one delights me with. This is the norm for each of my working day. Being part of an Investigation Team, operating in and around London area, this is that daily traditional routine that one looks forward to—the coffee and cake hour. Life can be so tough on an officer.
Although there are those within my team who believes that if I am sweetened with a little love and some home-made delights, there may be a likelihood of a smooth running day.
As a matter of fact, over the years within this line of work, such smooth running day does not exist, but one should not be penalised for the hope anyway.
I am at the train station on my way to work. Quick tap with my oyster card and I am nearly there. Before me is a rush of people that just step off the train, and it feels like I am in a stampede amongst a herd of animals and faces of those I recognise who are returning home from work. People I can never remember names of. I increase my speed to the platform occasionally, trying to read the graffiti on the walls. As I get closer to a familiar face, I could hear my subconscious mind pleading loudly, 'Please don't see me, don't stop me for a chat, I'm in such a hurry. Please, please don't say hello, not now.'
I am relieved to see the very train I want is before me. The doors are about to close, I step on in time to avoid getting caught in between. I breathe triumphantly, taking a moment to straighten myself and scan through the crowd. There is a man occupying the space where I like to stand. He wedges himself into the corner. Headphones in his ears, an iPhone firmly held in his hand. I quickly profile him, making useless mental notes:
Male, white Height approximately 5'7" A forest green round neck T-shirt and a silver necklace around his neck. Mmmmmh. Sand beige cargo trousers Matching heavy military-type boots Blue eyes Black North Face jacket. Yeah, you may need that for where you are heading, my subconscious mind speaks out. Blue eyes, blue eyes looking at me, beautiful blue eyes.
Oh heck, he caught me staring at him. No, or it could be I who caught him staring at me.
I find a vacant seat and place my royal bum unto it. I question my subconscious mind with disbelief that I have wasted my time to profile a man who I have no interest in.
I stare at the reflections of myself from the window before me. And found the face of this strange man staring at me. I glance to my side where he stands and he looks away. My eye wanders to the rucksack and a small travel case on the floor beside him.
I stare at my reflections again and caught him staring once more at me. Again I glance to my side where he stands and caught those baby blue eyes staring right back at me. I feel caught out and a strange feeling of weakness surges through my body. I need to breathe. And when will this train arrive to the place I need to be, my subconscious mind cries out.
The train pulls into the station and comes to a halt. I stare at the doors closing and notice that the man I profiled is out on the platform. Our eyes meet and we hold gaze at each other for a moment. I hear the train driver making an announcement. I cannot pay attention to it. My mind is occupied with the cheeky smile this blue-eyed man wears. I take a moment to wonder if I should return the smile. My stubborn subconscious mind tells me not to. I nod politely to him, our eyes still holding a gaze until the train pulls away and he disappears from view.
Suddenly, my heart sinks. I feel like I am saying goodbye to someone I knew all my life and every life I ever had before this one. I feel so lonely. Weird!
My subconscious mind needs to connect with the Lord.
My Lord, you are the only one I choose to have so close in my heart and share my feelings with. If you were this man, with such beautiful blue eyes, please don't play with my emotions. It would be much easier, Lord, if I knew your mobile number so I can connect to you and clear this matter up in a way I will understand, and not through one of your miraculous moments waiting to happen, where it will take me a lifetime of lessons to learn before I'm able to translate the meaning for my brain to understand.
Finally I am at my destination and looking forward to that coffee moment. I have only seven minutes' walk to reach the office and feeling a little out of breath today. Might be a sign of age, or maybe more exercise, my subconscious mind warns.
Taking three flights of stairs and panting breathlessly before I reach the doors to the office. As always, Anton Murray, my work colleague in his fifties, welcomes me with a kiss on each side of my face, hands me a mug of coffee, and shows me the chair by my desk. He never seems to grow tired of this ridiculous routine.
Cathy Scott, who, also in her fifties, loves to show off her baking skills, slowly removes the lid off the plastic container and places it before me on my desk to release the sweet aroma of her home-made sponge cake. She serves us each a slice.
Just then, young Colin Wilson arrives. Colin is the baby of our team. This handsome twenty-five-year-old leans to place his usual kiss on my cheek. Anton interrupts Colin by his deliberate coughs. A normal day of course.
'You ought to sort yourself out, Angel,' Anton mutters.
'What do you mean?' I ask.
'The boys been talking, they like to give you a head start up the stairs and admire you skipping a step as you go, then wait to listen to the explicit sounds you make as you gasp for air.'
I laugh hysterically and look at each one's reaction.
'And you are part of this?' I ask.
'Yes. I look forward ... Very much,' Anton informs me.
'You are all so sad,' I smirk.
'Yeap ... We are,' he mutters.
'I like to time how long it takes for you to catch your breath,' Cathy scoffs.
I gaze over at her and frown. She notices me and giggles.
'You're a very strange woman,' I reply simply.
'I am waiting for you to collapse ...,' Colin says tightly.
'Son,' Anton shouts across to Colin. He cocks his eyes and stares over his spectacles at Colin.
'Stop it right there, it's my duty to put life back into this woman,' Anton shouts tightly.
'You are all sad, so sad,' I smirk and sip my coffee.
Anton looks at me speculatively as I got up to distribute the radios he had neatly laid on my desks.
'Guys, you've got issues, now gear up and get out of here. We need a good day's work today.'
I distribute the radios while Anton helps to distribute the daily report. The rest of the team arrives in time for a meeting. Then we are ready to deploy ourselves to duties. I lead the team, and on our way, Anton strolls up next to me.
'You know we all love you very much,' he says calmly.
'Just don't love me too much,' I reply appreciatively.
Anton is an understanding man. We have been able to have conversations on all levels without offending each other. Anton identifies himself as a pagan believer and we often spend our lunch breaks talking and discussing paganism since I have had some interest in this religion through my respect for nature.
Giles Angus, who I've known for several years from a previous job role, has joined my team. He takes great pride in delivering excellent performance at work. Giles often shows great motivation and sometimes trip over himself along the process to please.
It's been a busy day so far and I think I will be late to take my break. Cathy makes an announcement over the radio.
'Just to remind you, Angel—mainly you, Angel, and rest of team, listen please. We will commence lunch break in five. Do you copy, Angel?'
'Roger that. See you in ten. Got some loose ends to tie up here.'
'Cathy to Angel.'
'Angel. Go ahead, Cathy.'
'We are on route to join you. Over.'
'No need, go ahead and start your breaks and I'll join you when I'm done. Do you copy?'
I feel a hand on my shoulder and quickly spin around. It is Cathy and Anton smiling cheekily at me.
'We will break together, lass. How can we assist you here?' Anton insists.
'I am done, come on, guys. Let's go. I need coffee and I am hungry.' I sigh heavily.
'Giles to Angel, do you receive?'
Anton pushes me lightly but intentionally. 'Your boyfriend needs you.' He sighs.
I look at Anton and frowns, then smile at him. 'You are just jealous that he is not your boyfriend.' I chuckle.
'Giles to Angel, do you receive?'
'Angel to Giles. Go ahead.'
'Angel, I got you a large Americano, nine sachets of sugar, and I am having a bacon and brie panini, would you like the same or something else? Over.'
Anton hears it all. I look for his reaction and smiles. He cups his chin and strokes it, then strolls closer and whispers in my ear, 'He likes you more than any of us here.'
I push Anton away and take a step back.
'Roger that, Giles, I will have the same as you. See you shortly in the office. Over.'
'Anton, you do know that Giles and I take turns in getting the coffee, lunch, and brunches, and take it from me, I am not the one his heart desires. We are just good friends.'
'Okay, Angel,' he mutters.
We arrive at the office just as Giles was setting my desk up with serviette and cutlery. I see Anton and Cathy trying desperately to contain their laughter. The rest of the team arrives and Giles has an audience. He carefully removes the packaging from the panini and places it onto my plate. He looks up and saw us staring at him, showing no signs that he is affected by the audience. Giles pulls a chair away from the table to allow me to sit. There is silence for a few minutes in the room. I moan as I bite into the panini. I look over to Giles and he winks at me. I choke and takes sip of my coffee. I feel slightly embarrassed and scan everyone at the table for their reaction.
Feeling relief that no one noticed, I gaze over at Giles and catch his stare. I give him a thumbs-up. He smiles at me proudly.
I break the silence in the room and start to discuss the final part of our day and is disturbed by the office phone ringing. Cathy answers and then relates the message back to us. We are required at the local airport and this changes our planned actions for the day. I deploy myself and the team immediately.
Anton strolls alongside and we discuss our plans ahead. I ask him to be second in command as we may have to split up. We reach the platform to travel by train and note we have to wait eleven minutes for a train to the destination. I look around and make a mental note of all officers present.
Warm finger slides slowly into my hand at my side. I know it can only be Cathy and turns around to find it is Anton, his face hardened. He squeezes my hand for a moment and releases it.
'What is it?' I ask impatiently.
Anton stares deeply into my eyes.
'Angel, I want you to know now ... today, this moment, that
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with you by your side. This means so much to me.'
My eyes quickly wander off to the clock on the information board I could see at the side of Anton's head. We had five minutes yet to wait. Anton squeezes unto my hand again for my attention, then releases slowly.
'I spoke with the others.' He pauses and takes a deep breath.
'Angel, I feel that we owe you a special gift.'
'You don't need to give me anything. Not you or the others.'
'Angel, you cannot refuse. You must not refuse.' Anton's voice is sharp.
At this moment, I want the conversation to end.
Anton reaches for his jacket pocket, takes something out, and holds it tightly in a fist.
'Angel, I have listened attentively to you when I needed your advice.' He pauses for a moment. 'You are responsible for making some positive changes in our lives. We cannot think of a gift that is good enough for you, please take this from my heart and with the love from the high priestess.'
Anton opens his hand to reveal the symbol of the ankh in silver used by the Egyptians for eternal life.
'The loop at the top represents the sun, while the vertical bar represents masculine energy and the horizontal represents feminine energy. When combined together, they represent fertility and magical powers. This powerful symbol will protect you even in death,' he explains.
'I cannot have this Anton.'
'Please take this with a good heart as it means more to me than life itself. And from this day forward, your life will change. And what must be will be.'
Anton forms my hand into a fist and taps it twice. I feel hot and overwhelmed. I watch him walk away to stand on his own. I feel numb. I want to say something to him, and I'm lost for words.
'Anton?' I shout.
He turns and faces me.
'I ... I wish you well.'
'Angel, take this seriously, I don't know where those words came from, please believe me and watch your life take a turn.'
Not only has he confused me, but he also leaves me in a state of despair. The train arrives and I look to make sure all officers are getting on board. The journey is seven minutes but feels much less. The train arrives at the airport. We are screened by security before reaching the airside where we are required.CHAPTER 2
I observe Anton and Giles as they work. They are professional, and as their leader, I feel proud.
Daisy Gill, lovely Daisy who is still studying at university and working part-time within my team, rushes to me.
'Angel, can I stand with you?' She smiles cheekily.
'Sure, Daisy, while you are here, you can be of some assistance, judging by what I can see, I think Anton and Colin needs me. Maybe you can join us?'
Anton scans the area. I stroll over to him.
'This flight's taking off in thirty minutes. Can you buy some time for me?' Anton hands me a passenger boarding card.
'I will do my best, Daisy will give you further assistance if you require.'
I leave Daisy assisting Anton and Colin, and stroll to the gate where the passengers will be boarding later. No staff sighted, so I position myself where I could see the airline staff when they arrive at the desk, at the same time with full view of my colleagues.
A group of passengers steadily approaches.
For a moment, I feel invincible and take a couple of steps back to accommodate more room. My eyes follow the passengers as they walk past. A strange feeling came over me. And cool breeze hits my face as if I am by the seaside on a cool breezy day. I feel a bit unsteady. My subconscious mind informs me to find more time to sleep. But these are feelings I have never experienced before until today.
I tilt my head to the left to relieve my tired eyes, an exercise I use when I am working. I am stunned to see the man from the train walking towards me. I close my eyes tightly and open them again and he is only a step away. His eyes focus directly on my face. I nod politely at him and my eyes wander to my feet. My eyes follow his feet as they stroll past. Then they stop and stay still. I look up at him. He turns back and looks at me.
His voice rockets through my ears. 'You, the lady from the train.' He takes a few steps closer towards me. 'I thought I recognised you, the lady from the train.' His eyes are searching my face repeatedly.
'Yes ... you are the man from the train.' I giggle silly.
We stand silent for a moment, and our eyes search each other. He gets out his boarding card and looks around with expressions of being unsure of his surroundings.
'Can I help you, sir?'
He turns, stares at me, this time his eyes wanders over my uniform, then unto the radio and my hand holding some documents.
Mmmmmh ... profiling me, perhaps you are in a similar position in career as myself. You are taking some mental notes of this lady, mister, my subconscious mind speaks out.
'Can I offer you some assistance, sir, where are you travelling to today?' I ask eagerly.
Excerpted from Destiny by Yashoda Mann. Copyright © 2014 Yashoda Mann. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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