A Year In France – Episode 60

Supplied © A Year In France illustration by Mandy Dixon

When Luc suggested they meet in Covent Garden before their cinema date, Maddy immediately said yes.

“And I’ve got some wonderful news for you,” she told him.

Luc was waiting for her in the café where they’d first met and greeted her with his now customary kiss when she rushed in.

“Sorry I’m late,” Maddy said. “I’d forgotten how busy it gets at this time of day.”

“You’re here and that’s all that matters,” Luc said. “I’ve ordered cakes and coffee, is that OK? So, tell me this wonderful news before I ask you something.”

Before Maddy could answer, they were interrupted by a shrill burst of laughter and she turned to look, only to come face to face with Kirsty and Leah making their way out of the café.

“Well, if it isn’t my old friend Maddy. Long time no see,” Kirsty said, eyeing Luc up and down. “And who are you?”

“I’m Maddy’s boyfriend and my name is Luc. Not that it’s any business of yours.”

Maddy caught her breath. Thank goodness he hadn’t mentioned his surname. She knew that Kirsty would have heard the rumours buzzing around the publishing industry already about this mysterious debut author

  1. Edrich who was set to be the next bestseller.

No way did she want Kirsty putting two and two together and discovering who Luc was before they were ready to reveal his identity.

Kirsty gave him a withering glance and turned her attention back to Maddy.

“Managed to sign up any authors yet to your little agency? Leah is gathering quite a list herself, including . . . No, I shan’t tell you. You’ll have to read it in ‘The Bookseller’ next week.” Kirsty turned away, indicating to Leah with a jerk of her head that she should follow her.

As Kirsty and Leah left, Maddy took a deep breath.

“Sorry about that.”

“Wow,” Luc said. “She’s a piece of work.”

“You can say that again,” Maddy said, shaking her head. “To think she and I were friends once upon a time.”

“Forget her,” Luc said. “I need to ask you something. Christmas is only a few weeks away and I always go home for it. I was wondering whether you’d come with me this year?” He looked at her anxiously.

“Oh, Luc, I’d love to, but I can’t,” Maddy said, sighing. “It would mean leaving Dannie on her own, but how do you feel about spending the New Year in France with me?

“We have an open invitation from Julia. Dannie will be going back to Scotland for Hogmanay,” she added, “so there’s no problem there.”

“France for New Year it is, then!” Luc smiled. “So long as you promise to come home with me in January to meet my parents.”

Maddy smiled at him happily. Life was beginning to look good.

“Now, tell me your news,” Luc said.

“I hope you’re ready for this. Your book has gone to auction. That means we shall soon be discussing which major publishing contract you want to sign.”

A big smile appeared on Luc’s face.

“Really? That’s amazing. Stand up and come here, Miss Crack-shot Agent. I want to kiss you.”

Laughing, Maddy pushed her chair back and complied with Luc’s request.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.