For the Love of Fashion by Cara Riley

For the Love of Fashion by Cara Riley

Final Episode!
Can Caroline bounce back after her career takes a nose dive due to the negligence of an uncaring, disengaged man who ran her down without so much as an apology? Elliott Maxwell is busy saving his grandmother’s company from his scheming stepmother. He decides he needs a mole and thinks Caroline is perfect for the job. Previously… Elliott came to Caroline and talked about their future, and all the things they’ll do together. Unfortunately, he never mentions the one word Caroline needs to feel secure. She tells Elliott she can’t live with him, and breaks up, leaving him stumped.

Episode 20

Sighing, Caroline opened the card, and like all the others it read, “I can’t fix what I don’t know is broken. Please talk to me. I miss you. E”

Caroline felt tears come to her eyes and chided herself. She would not shed one more tear over Elliott. She placed the flowers on the credenza noting the place was beginning to look like a hospital. Or a funeral.

Later when the door opened, Caroline looked up expecting another delivery. Instead, several men, she’d never seen approached her. “Can I help you, gentlemen?”

“No, we’re here for Ms. Maxwell. However, Mr. Maxwell needs to see you immediately.”

Grabbing her purse, Caroline hurried over to the elevator. She did not want to mess with those men.

When the doors opened, Elliott was waiting, and by the looks of him, something was wrong. “El, what’s wrong?”

“Come into my office, Caro.”

Although it had only been a couple of days since she’d last seen him, he looked awful. His hair was a mess, and it looked like he’d slept in his clothes.

“Elliott, you look awful. What’s going on?”

“You mean besides my girlfriend dumping me?”

Looking down, feeling his hurt much worse than her own, she said, “I’m hurting too. I’m sorry. But who were those men?”

Elliott answered the easy part first. “They’re getting Kitty.”

“Arrest her?”

“Actually, no,” chuckling, he continued, “it appears my dear stepmother is innocent in all of this mess. She’s been a victim of blackmail.”

“What?”

“My father’s best friend, Michael Smith. It appears they had an affair years ago, and Simon is a product of that.”

Not sure she heard right, Caroline repeated, “You’re telling me Simon is not your father’s son?”

“Correct. Michael has been blackmailing Kitty and Simon for the past year.”

“How did you find all this out?”

“Simon. He’s a lousy drunk.” Seeing her confusion, he continued. “The night before last I went to the bar downstairs, and he was there. One thing led to another. I ended up telling him the love of my life didn’t love me, and he told me his father didn’t love him. I was just sober enough to ask more questions until the truth came out.”

What. The. Hell.

“Love of your life?”

“What?”

“You told him I was the love of your life?”

“Of course Caroline. I love you.” Touching her face, he continued, “Caroline, I’ve tried like hell to figure out what I’ve done to make you leave me.”

Leaning into his caress, she sighed. “Elliott, I love you so much.”

“Then why did you leave?”

“Because the other day when you talked about our future, love was nowhere in your words. I knew you cared, but without love…”

“Oh, my beautiful Caroline. How could I be so careless? I love you so much.” Pulling her into his arms, he held her tight, not wanting to let her go.

Pulling away, she said, “Elliott, l love you and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“It begins now,” pulling a box from his pocket, “Caroline, will you marry me?”

“Of course, I will.”

THE END
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