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Battle of the Hearts - Chapter 1

From the author of - Winning Hearts, Drown Me in Love, Together as One, Fated Love, Until You, and Last Chances!
*Donna's POV*

I glance around the graveyard.

Most of the people left as soon as it started drizzling. At least the rain waited until the end of the service.
There are a few people around the cemetery, visiting their loved ones, and with one last glance, I leave. Sighing, I make my way around to the parking, exhausted.

What started out as a typical Monday morning, turned out to be anything but. I'd woken up to my boyfriend's alarm, which is half an hour later than when I'm supposed to. I was out of the house twenty minutes later, just in time to catch the tube to work.

I'm busy going through my emails on my Blackberry when for the fourth time in a fortnight, it decides to die.
On the tube.
On my way to work.

Frustrated, I'd pushed it into my bag, wondering why on Earth it was hard for me to remember to charge it.
When I walked into my office building fifteen minutes later, Alisha, my best friend since college, was waiting by the reception.

"Hey, I'm sorry! My phone died."
"I need to talk to you." She pulls me into the waiting room where guests usually wait if they haven't gotten an appointment.
That's when I notice that she hasn't smiled and she looks really tense, her eyes devoid of her natural happiness.
What's going on?
"What's wrong?"
"Don, I'm very sorry to be the one to tell you this." She pulls me down on the couch as my heart starts pounding.

I'm fired.
She's leaving the country.
She found out I lied about going to the gym yesterday.
All these things run through my brain as I scan her expression.

"What is it?"
"I'm really sorry Donna. I don't know how to tell you this. They tried contacting you but when they couldn't, they contacted Lawrence and he asked me to tell you." My boss. Crap. What is going on?
She takes in a deep breath, watching me closely.
"Your aunt passed away earlier this morning."

The next 24 hours were a blur. When I'd arrived upstairs at my office, my boss, Lawrence was waiting inside, with a letter letting me off work for a week, a two-way ticket to London and a supportive hug.

I got home, Alisha by my side, in a daze. After helping me pack my bags, she drove me to the airport.
I'd called Harry on the way and although he insisted on coming with me, I declined.

I didn't really see the point of him coming if he never wanted to visit her when she was alive.

The flight was long and tiring. My mind was in overdrive, thinking of a million things at once, and not even coming up with one solution.
When I landed in London, I was exhausted.
Thank God my aunt's friends had pitched in and helped with the funeral arrangements because I'd have been lost.
Sighing, I glance over my shoulder one last time.
Hopefully, I'll get to sleep a bit, if not much, without having to constantly worry. It's just going to be me and the bed.

That's until I start cleaning up my childhood home.
That's going to be painful.
Swallowing the lump in my throat, I try to hold back my tears.
As I get near my rented car, a groan escapes my lips as I notice a familiar tall, lean figure leaning against it.
Groaning, I slow down.
I am SO not looking forward to this.

"What is it, William?" I ask, yanking open the rear passenger door and dumping the flowers inside.
"Is that any way to greet your best friend after all these years?" He asks, smirking.

Best friend my ass.
I look up at him.
He's changed a lot in the six years I haven't seen him. That boyish handsomeness is gone, replaced with this... dare I say it? Sexy man that would have any woman drooling.

His chestnut brown hair is as untamed as ever, the breeze blowing through his thick locks.
Any woman but me of course.
Blinking hard, I glance down at my watch.

I did NOT just think that.
"I've hardly slept for more than five minutes the past thirty six hours. I've constantly been surrounded by people I don't know. And let's not forget the fact that I've just buried my aunt, my last living relative. So forgive me if my patience is a little thin."

"I'm really sorry about your Aunt, Donna. I truly am. She was a wonderful person."
I rub my hand over my eyes, exhausted. "Yeah, she was." I glance down, holding back tears.

"She... she'd asked me to give you this." He straightens up and pulls out a package from inside his coat. "She said that you have to open it on the 12th of Jan. For your birthday."
I slowly look up from the package and stare at him.

Since when does William Crawford know when my birthday is?
He starts to say something but then changes his mind. After a second of hesitation, he gives a small nod.
"Take care."
I stare after him as he walks across the parking lot toward a dark blue Mercedes, gets in and drives away.
Now THAT was weird.

He was actually being nice!

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Published: 6/4/2013
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