True Colours

By: Mandy Lee

The You Don't Know Me Trilogy Book 2


True Colours


Reeling from the shock of discovering Dan’s true identity, Maya struggles to make the right decision. But she’s incapable of resisting the man she loves, and soon finds herself drawn back into his world - a world of intensely sexual passion.



While his love and support help her to confront her fears and blossom as an artist, what she needs more than anything is the ability to trust. Determined to discover the truth and build a future with Dan, she makes it her mission to find out what transformed him into the man he is now.



However, the shadows of the past won’t leave them alone. And when those shadows converge, the consequences are far more dangerous than anyone could have predicted.



True Colours, an erotic romance, is the second book in the You Don’t Know Me Trilogy.





Acknowledgements


Huge thanks to Jackie Bates for her wonderful editing skills, and to my Beta readers.

I'd like to dedicate this book to my sister, Sarah, who's never been vile to me in her entire life!





Chapter One


Southwark is darkening. Clouds thicken. The waters of the Thames deepen in colour: charcoal grey, indigo, raw umber, olive green, black. Definition disappears from the cathedral, the Shard, the office blocks. Consumed by the storm, the buildings are barely recognisable now, and I’m spellbound by the colours, the shapes, the light and the shadows. Caught in a trance, I’m not thinking, just painting.

For the first time in hours, I stand back from the canvas and take it all in: the stormy skies, the snarling mass of water, and there, right in the middle of it all, fifteen storeys of darkened glass reflecting the seething weather: the headquarters of Fosters Construction. Exhausted, I slump onto the end of the bed, sitting perfectly still, clutching the paintbrush, and survey the end result. It’s not my usual style; no simple landscape. Instead, this is a landscape of pure emotion. Perhaps I should send it to him as a gift, a message. This is what you’ve done to me with your secrets and lies, Mr Foster. You see, if there’s one thing I don’t put up with, it’s deception. I don’t stomach it and I don’t tolerate it. I simply defend myself against it. Lowering my head, I tear my gaze away from the scene and I feel it again: an ache deep in my chest. It’s been with me all night and no matter what I do, no matter how I distract myself, it just won’t go away.

‘Hey.’

I turn and find Lucy in the doorway.

‘How are you this morning?’

If she wants an honest answer to that, she doesn’t have to look far. It’s right in front of her, propped up on the easel.

‘Fine.’

‘Oh, come off it.’

Irritation snaps into life.

‘What do you want to hear?’ I demand, as if there’s any need to ask. I know exactly what Lucy wants to hear. She wants me to break down in front of her, to sob, release the anger and admit that I’ve made the wrong decision. Well, she’s getting none of that, because I’m a fortress. Unbreakable.

‘You haven’t said anything,’ she forges on, apparently oblivious to my resolve. ‘You haven’t cried. It’s not normal.’

‘It’s normal for me.’

‘It’s not healthy.’

Dropping the paintbrush onto the palette, I run my fingers through my hair, remembering too late that my hands are smeared with oil paint.

‘What time is it?’ I ask.

‘Just after seven. You’ve been at it all night.’

I flex my shoulders. My muscles seem to have stiffened. ‘And what time did we get back here?’

‘I don’t know.’ She shrugs, and then inches her way into the room, carefully. ‘Ten o’clock, maybe. You’ve been painting ever since.’

She inches further. Glancing uncertainly at me, and then at the picture, she comes to a halt. Her eyes widen, her lips part company, and I’m curious about what’s going on inside that brain of hers. Perhaps it’s shock. After all, I’ve never painted anything like this before.

‘I’m worried about you,’ she remarks absently.

‘Don’t be.’ I wipe my hands on my shorts. ‘I just needed to finish it.’

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