The Accidental Life Of Greg Millar
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Lucy Arigho’s first encounter with Greg Millar is far from promising, but she soon realises he possesses a charm that is impossible to resist. Just eight whirlwind weeks after their first meeting, level-headed career girl Lucy is seriously considering his pleas to marry him and asking herself if she could really be stepmother material.
But before Lucy can make a final decision about becoming part of Greg’s world, events plunge her right into it. On holiday in the South of France, things start to unravel. Her future stepchildren won’t accept her, the interfering nanny resents her, and they’re stuck in a heat wave that won’t let up. And then there’s Greg. His behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre and Lucy begins to wonder whether his larger-than-life personality hides something darker—and whether she knows him at all.
Revised edition: This edition of The Accidental Life Of Greg Millar includes editorial revisions.
his door wide open. He runs to the back and bangs at the window. The bird flies up front, and out. In a blur, it’s free. ‘Now that’s what I call spooky,’ he says. ‘I know. Weird.’ We stand looking at each other. ‘An omen,’ says Fint, eyes wide in an effort to look menacing. I smile. Fint is about as menacing as a sandwich. We get back in. Fint looks over his seat. ‘By the way, he shat on your upholstery.’ ‘Thanks.’ He smiles, pulls out his laptop and opens it up. The diversion has
crap?’ ‘You won’t. Just do the edits for A River Too Wide. That will get you into the swing of things.’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Go out to the pool, have a swim, clear your head. I’ll tidy your desk. I won’t throw anything out. I’ll just file it…’ ‘Dump it. Dump the whole bloody lot of it.’ ‘OK. I’ll dump it. Now go.’ I shred what he’s written so he never has to face it again. I clear away books, magazines, DVDs, returning them to their cases. Any real rubbish, I bin. The only thing that remains,
‘Ben’s on the phone.’ ‘Tell him to fuck off.’ I laugh, assuming he’s joking, then turn on the air-conditioning . ‘Go away,’ he says. ‘I’m sorry?’ ‘Please. Leave me alone.’ ‘What is wrong with you?’ ‘I just need peace. Is that too much to ask?’ ‘OK, OK, I’ll tell him you’ll call back.’ Jesus. ‘And turn the air-conditioning off. The noise drives me mad.’ Biting my tongue, I do as he asks. Then head for the door. ‘Lucy?’ ‘What?’ ‘Can you keep them a bit quieter?’ The children aren’t
rights? ‘What are you doing back? Was there a problem?’ ‘Yes.’ I’ve worked it out. ‘The heat. It was too hot for the children.’ ‘Ah, yes. As a matter of fact, I’m surprised you didn’t come home sooner.’ ‘Well, we’re back now.’ ‘Is Greg there?’ ‘Not at the moment.’ ‘Why is he never available when I call? Is something going on, something I should know about?’ ‘Ben. Nothing is, as you put it, going on. You can see your grandchildren any time. I’m sorry you had a problem getting through but
at me. ‘I knew you were good at drawing,’ says Toby. ‘I’m learning how to sew, Gran,’ says Rachel. ‘Lucy’s mum is teaching me. She’s really good.’ ‘You see Lucy’s parents?’ ‘Yeah, we go all the time, when Lucy’s at work,’ says Toby cheerfully. She turns to Greg. ‘Is Lucy living here? Where’s Hilary?’ There’s an awkward silence. ‘Yes, Lucy is living here,’ says Greg. ‘Just until Dad gets out of…’ Rachel stops. ‘We let Hilary go,’ Greg says. Phyllis’s eyes widen. ‘You fired her? Why?’