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Part Three

A/N Please note chapter two WAS incomplete. It's now updated! If it didn't make sense to you check back and read the end!! Sorry wattpad was not letting me upload yesterday! Sorry!

                ‘Beep...beep...beep’

Laura opened her bleary eyes at the sound and it took a moment to realise that it was her alarm. Hitting it off, she reached for her phone and logged on to the internet to double check the tides, many times she’d got up, changed and down to the water’s edge to find an ocean as flat as a millpond. Six foot waves catchawave.com predicted, and smackthelip.com corroborated that. Immediately she jumped out of bed, her enthusiasm beating her fatigue into surrender.  Pulling on some Lycra shorts and a tankini top she was scraping her hair into a tight bun as she strolled into the lounge. The adjacent cloakroom didn’t house a single coat, instead it was home to a variety of full and half wet suits, beach shoes, towels and of course long and short surfboards.

Laura was almost into her wetsuit when Ben grunted a hello from the lounge. He was on cafe duty and wasn’t happy about it. Zipping up her suit she tucked her long board under her arm and followed him down the stairs to the cafe. As he opened the door, she waved sarcastically at him and made for the shore.

It was still quite dark as she waded into the water, diving under a breaking wave to help her get used to the icy water. Then sliding on to the board she battled through the waves to the calm beyond. She could see some waves in the distance and the wind was picking up. She only hoped that the wind didn’t get too wild, she really wanted to ride a few decent waves to clear her mind.

Astride the board she waited patiently, waving to Alana who was following her out to beyond the surf.

                “How was the movies?” She asked as the woman drew level.

                “Good,” she drawled, when she was tired her accent - part Hawaiian part Californian was more pronounced, after five years in Wales it had softened to an almost indiscernible lilt. She knew the other woman missed home. No matter how good the surf was on this bay, it wasn’t a patch on the variation or location of Honolulu, Laura was still amazed that she’d given up paradise to come here after Ben. Ben who loved her, she didn’t doubt that, but he hardly showed his appreciation of her very often. Poor Alana!

                “Ben fell asleep during it; his snoring almost got us thrown out!”

Laura covered her mouth to hide her laughter, and despite her chastising looks, she knew Alana found it funny now, last night maybe not so much! “At least we’ve got the surf today! Ben was not looking happy as he opened the cafe!”

Alana grinned, “Karma!”

Lying on their boards, they both started to paddle in the direction of the shore. As the wave lifted them, Laura’s body was taught, ready; as she crested the wave, she jumped to her feet. Alana was literally a split second ahead of her, and had timed her move to perfection, Laura wasn’t so lucky and a huge wave broke over her dragging her under water.

Laughing she surfaced in the aftermath of the wave and started all over again.  Within twenty minutes they’d been joined by a few dozen other surfers, most of whom they knew. The conditions were perfect and she caught several waves perfectly. But as was usual the tide was ever changing and all too soon the waves became a lot flatter. Some of the novices had better luck when that happened, but for Alana and Laura their jaunt was over.

Adam Purchase watched the women emerge from the surf from the discreet safety of his hire car. He could immediately tell that Laura Marshall was the taller of the two, the short curvy woman beside her was nothing like the woman photographed in the dossier sat on his knees, he could tell that even from this distance. No she was the taller one, and she was so unlike anything he’d imagined when he’d started this search. Then he laughed, the daughter of one of Britain’s biggest and richest business men hanging out on a distant Welsh coast. Though she could surf! He’d admit that, in fact she was brilliant. He’d admired her graceful moves and she’d seemed at one with nature. He’d almost felt jealous. It was a long time since he’d done the same. That would have to change.

With a smile, he turned the car and made for the hotel where he’d reserved a room.

Half an hour later Laura and Alana were showered and wrapped up warm eating bacon sandwiches and hot coffee in Early Bird, Ben was still working diligently to warm up all the other surfers. Once they’d finished Alana headed for the kitchen to start on the days’ supplies, Laura grabbed a broom and started the daily battle to clear the floor of sand.

By nine am the surf rush was over, and they were back to waiting for tourists, the weather dependent trade. There was a range of tasks that they almost religiously performed each day, and Laura was updating the surf forecast on a huge chalk board that sat in the window when Michaela came in, she visited most mornings for a takeout coffee to start her day.

Laura waved as she made for the counter, and Ben greeted her warmly.

                “So how was last night?” Ben asked her, and already Laura was cringing.

Michaela chuckled, “great! He was great...wasn’t he Laura?”

Ben started to laugh, immediately picking up on the tension emanating from Laura, “what are you hiding Marshall?”

Michaela feigned innocence, “oh I didn’t realise you hadn’t said anything! Then giving a conspiratorial wink at Ben she leaned over the counter and theatrically hissed, “Dom drove us home, but not until she’d dragged her face from Dan’s!”

Ben loved gossip; in that respect he was as bad as a woman! “Marshall! You dirty stop out!”

Laura groaned, “As if! So I had a bit of a snog, that’s it! Wowsers!”

Alana emerged from the kitchen and punched Ben’s arm, “leave her!” She then looked at Laura, “good for you! He’s VERY hot!”

She smiled gratefully at Alana, and then turned to Michaela, “you coming to Zumba tonight? I can pick you up?”

Michaela wrinkled her nose, “I’m not coming in that dog filled van! I’ll get you, ok?”

Two days later was D-day, her mother’s birthday. And what did you buy the woman who had everything? Her mother had been a twenty one year old model when she’d met her father, who’d been almost forty, a multimillionaire business man, and apparently the most attractive man her mother had ever met. Many times she’d wondered what had motivated her mother to marry him, after all she was gentle, graceful and very beautiful, her tall willowy figure had adorned so many magazines, and prior to meeting Stafford Marshall, Maggie Baker had been regularly photographed on the arms of actors and rock stars alike. But she chose the grouchy and rather sombre man, who at best was domineering in looks. His black thick hair was now white, but he still had those black eyes and the harsh angles to his face.

But her mother had chosen him, and they had a happy relationship, Laura couldn’t deny that. Her mother spent many hours fronting charities, holding balls, fundraising, speaking to the press, her father still spent fifty hours plus a week at work, despite having turned sixty five the previous year. Both her parents had everything they wanted, the only thorn in their side was her, initially it was their inability to have a child. After eighteen months of marriage a heartbroken Maggie had been told that she’d never be able to have a child. Her deep depression had only been lifted by the arrival of Laura a few months later; an adoption Laura knew had been sped up by her father’s money and status. At less than two years old, she’d been rescued from a foster home by her wonderful parents.

Her adoption had never been a secret; her parents had always been open about that. But their love was her was limitless. She knew that they disproved of her life, and that there may be some pressure on her this weekend, but they were still devoted to her. At sixteen her mother had taken her out for dinner and discussed whether she wanted to contact her birth mother. Laura had laughed out loud.

                “You are my mother, no one else. For whatever reason the woman who gave birth to me couldn’t’ look after me...that’s her problem, not mine. We all have the ability to make a choice mum, and she chose to have me when she knew that she couldn’t care for me.”

The relief in her mother’s eyes had warmed Laura’s heart, they were close as a mother and daughter and she wanted nothing to change that.

Stafford wasn’t as open with his emotions, but she’d wanted for nothing her whole life. He protected her from everything and that was the way he showed her love. She’d had a wonderful childhood, it may have been a lot different to others, but she was safe and secure in her own skin due to the way she’d been brought up, which was exactly why she wasn’t about to give up all that she enjoyed to toe a line her father had created twenty five years too late.

Laura wrapped the exquisite vase that she’d found in a small craft shop for her mother in beautiful fine tissue paper, groaning as she contemplated what the weekend would bring. Her father was a formidable man, he could negotiate the impossible, she needed more than her wits about her if she was to survive this weekend.

                “What time is your train?” Ben shouted from the lounge.

Grabbing her bags she dragged herself to join them, “nine...we’ve got an hour?”

He laughed, “You like cutting things fine, don’t you?! It’s at least a fifty minute drive to the station!”

The local station didn’t serve the express train to London, and the rickety train that stopped at every hamlet would take at least ninety minutes to get to the nearest station that did serve London. So Ben was driving her, and he never spared the horses when he drove, she just crossed her fingers that they didn’t encounter a hay wagon or tractor.

At five past nine, Laura settled into a seat on the train that was surprisingly quiet, resting the vase on the table in front of her, she pulled out her iPod, closed her eyes and tuned out. London would appear soon enough, she was using this moment to appreciate being alone.

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