Half my Age Plus Seven – Too Good to be True?

Half my Age Plus Seven – Too Good to be True – is the sequel to the companion novel with the subtitle A Sinful Confession.
If the first book is filled with antagonism and nuisance, this is quite the opposite.
Men are not all the same.
Drefan is a sensitive and sensible person, committed and wise, loving and funny. He knows when to speak and when to stay silent. The ideal man for many women on the planet. Tara plunges body and soul into a perfectly imperfect union. Bliss, sacrifice, consistency. A doubt torments her: Is it too good to be true?
A telephone ringing. “It’s not mine.” A roar. Oblivion. Thousands of miles away.
“I am sorry… Come back to me. The world is empty without you. Mi reina, please.”
Teardrops. Perfidy. Tremendous loss.
“So, so tired. I want to go home.”
A rhapsody of love and hope. Only for the soulful.

295 pages
Publication Date: August 27, 2017
Barefoot in the rain 

That day I stayed at the office until 8 pm. It was 9 when I got inside the house. Drefan was home and already asleep as the flat was dark. On the fridge, there was a note, “I missed you this evening. Please, have something to eat and come into my arms. I am in the other room feeling so, so cold. Hurry up.” 
My hands started trembling and my heart filled with gratefulness. 'He's absolutely amazing.' I didn't eat, but had an extremely quick shower, went into my room and prepared my outfit for the next day, a black work dress with tiny yellow flowers printed on the front; black tights and yellow high heel stilettos. I was grateful for the fact that Drefan went to sleep in the other room. I couldn't have been free to move around and do my things in peace otherwise. He was so thoughtful. 
When I finished, I opened the door to his bedroom and slipped under the fluffy white duvet. He put his arms around me and placed a kiss on my forehead. We didn't speak but understood each other in a heartbeat, we both were exhausted and needed to sleep. So we did. 
My alarm went off at 5 am, I didn't want to get out of bed. I loved sleeping so much, but I had to. So I went to the toilet and then into my room to get ready for going out. 
Drefan was in my bed looking curiously at me, “Why so early this morning, mi reina? You normally leave at 6:10 am.” 
“How do you know what time I leave?” I asked surprised as I had no idea he knew my rituals. “I did my best not to wake you up.” 
“I know, mi reina. But I am not an animal. I can feel you. Anyway, you start work at 8 but need to be there by 7, so you can have a shower and get dressed. It takes you fifty minutes to get there. You're like a Swiss watch. Your alarm goes off at 6 am. Six minutes in the bathroom, three to get dressed and you're out in ten. I did the Maths. Why an hour earlier this morning?” 
I was blown away by his spirit of observation and the perfect summation of my timing. “I start at 7 from today and finish at 8 pm. Plus I will work a few Saturdays too.” 
“What? Why? From 7 to 8 is 13 hours straight, mi reina. You can't do that! What is going on?” asked Drefan in shock. 
“Drefan, my love, I need to leave now. I will explain everything tonight, all right?” 
“No, you will sit next to me and let me know what is happening. I will give you a lift today.” 
I looked at the clock, 5:07 already. I didn't like that but I understood Drefan's point. He deserved to be informed, so I sat on the bed with a sigh. “Promise me you won't get upset,” I started. 
“Not sure I can promise that as I can feel something is extremely wrong here. However, I will try to reason.” 
I nodded “Okay” and explained it all in less than 15 seconds. 
He didn't go ballistic, but his face turned red. He was vexed and did his best to breathe properly. Then he hugged me tight and said he was sorry. 
“Why?” I asked surprised. 
“It’s my fault. I shouldn't have bought the tickets without discussing it with you first. I never met anyone like you, I didn't know about your deep sense of duty. I thought you’d simply resign, as many people would have done in this situation. Are you an alien, Tara? Do they appreciate your efforts? Are they even aware of your loyalty and reliability?” 
“Yes, they are, my love. It's a good company, and I love the job. It helps me with my confidence and self-esteem.” 
“Oh, mi reina. You take my breath away. Your beauty is not only external but internal too. You're the full package. A role model.” 
I kissed him on the lips, and I wanted him inside me. Right then. We made love like there was no tomorrow. I bit his torso, dug my nails into his clean skin, breathed his perfume inside my lungs. He moaned and groaned and made me scream in ecstasy. 
Then I had a shower and left the room for Drefan. I opened my backpack and got ready for work. Drefan had a shower too and got dressed as fast as me. Then he went to bring the car in front of the building, and I locked the doors. I ran down the stairs in my yellow stilettos and waited for him on the pavement. It was 6:45, the streets were deserted. I was afraid I would be late. But Drefan reached my company's location at 6:56. I was late, in my opinion, as I've always arrived at work at least twenty minutes before the start of the day. I got out and thanked him dearly for the lift and the perfect morning. 
“You look amazing, mi reina,” shouted Drefan after me. I turned red and looked around to see if anyone heard that. Luckily, no one was so crazy as to be there at 7 am. Except for the cleaner who looked at me and smiled. “He's right. You do look amazing.” 
That was the first time that man spoke to me. I always saluted him when I got there in the morning and he always replied with a mumbled “a' right?” but that was all. I thanked him and ran into the office. No one in sight. 'This is heaven.' I thought. I loved quiet buildings and empty offices. 
 The day went by as any other day. I was so busy that I didn't even realise it was time to go home. A man came from behind to tell me it was almost 8 pm and he had to lock the doors and set the alarms. I looked at him in trance, apologising for being there at that hour. 
“It's okay,” he said, “but it's unusual to see someone else in the office so late. I have server updates to do every evening, that's why I am here. What about you? What's your reason?” 
“I'm a spy!” I replied all serious. 
The man looked at me trying to find the appropriate reaction to that. It was funny seeing his expression, so I started to laugh. “I am sorry,” I said all red in the face, “It was a joke. I would never confess I was a spy, even if I was.” 
The man got more and more confused. It's not common to hear people admitting to a joke with another. It made no sense whatsoever, and I felt guilty. He didn't know me so he couldn't get my dry sense of humour. To be honest, nobody ever managed to understand it. It was truly complicated. My father's heredity. So I explained, “I need some holiday, and it's a busy month. There is a lot to do so I came up with this idea of recuperating the hours. I am supposed to work to get everything done as planned. I will be here at 8 pm until the 20th of December. I thought people were informed. I am sorry if you weren't.” 
The man hit his head with his right hand, “Right. Yes, I was told during a meeting this morning. I've completely forgotten, though. You're Tara, then.” 
“Yes, nice to meet you,” I replied reaching my right hand to him. 
The man was caught by surprise, it was an unusual gesture for a British person, absolutely normal for East European people. He hesitated for a millisecond then he reached out to me and shook hands, without saying his name. I didn't ask, I was not very interested anyway. I had no memory for names. I saw the guy many times like many others but I never knew names. It didn't matter to me. 
I took my bag and realised with annoyance that I didn't have the backpack under my desk which meant that I left my walking outfit at home. I looked at my high heel stilettos and felt like crying. There was no way I could walk in those shoes for three and a half miles. 'Drefan gave me a lift this morning and I forgot I needed to get back on foot.' I sighed and decided I would walk barefoot, what else? It was going to be quite an experience as I hadn’t done it since I was a child. 
“Have a great rest of the evening,” I said walking towards the exit. 
“Is something wrong?” asked the man all of a sudden. 
“No, no,” I said, “I just realised I forgot my trainers at home and I am supposed to walk for almost four miles. Not doable in these shoes.” 
“Oh, I am sure I wouldn't manage to even stand in those shoes for a second.” 
“Well, thank God you don't have to then,” I said laughing. 
“Do you want me to give you a lift?” offered the man. 
“Where do you live?” I enquired. 
He said the name of a city I can't pronounce. I kind of hoped he lived in my city, but that place was in the complete opposite direction. “Nah, I will walk barefoot, it's no big deal. It will remind me of my childhood. I used to love having no shoes on my feet.” 

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