Below is another extract from Margaret's latest book UNWELCOME STRANGER
To re-cap, Frazer found Grace trying to commit suicide and saved her life. She did not thank him. In fact she was furious.
Frazer had a dream. A dream where Grace was his girlfriend, vivid and beautiful, laughing and talking animatedly, kissing and cuddling. And he felt truly disappointed when he woke up and found it was not for real.
What had gone so wrong she no longer wanted to live? He couldn’t begin to imagine and definitely wanted to visit her again despite her categorically telling him he wouldn’t be welcome. He couldn’t turn his back on her, not after he’d saved her life. If he could get her to talk to him, or at least to his friend, something could surely be done. She was a good-looking woman, far too young to be contemplating suicide.
He waited a couple of days, hoping she might have a change of heart. It made no difference. She was still not pleased to see him.
“What are you doing here?” were her first accusatory words. (She’s still in hospital)
She looked much better, colour had returned to her cheeks and her hair was neatly combed. Her eyes, though, shot daggers. He ignored it and smiled. “I have a vested interest.”
“Really?” Her brows shot up. “You saved me when I didn’t want to be saved. In my eyes it makes you an interfering busybody and I repeat, I don’t want to see you or even speak to you ever again. Please go.”
He smiled once more, trying not to show hurt. “That’s not going to happen, lady. You need to talk. You need professional help.”
“You mean I need a shrink?” Her eyes flashed hostility. “It’s already been suggested. I need no one.”
“You’re trying to tell me that when you leave here you won’t attempt to kill yourself again?” Without giving her time to answer he added, “If you refuse professional help then let me be your friend. Talk to me. Tell me what’s gone so horribly wrong in your life you cannot bear to live.”
He drew in a breath and waited. No response was forthcoming. Instead she closed her eyes and turned her head away. Without even thinking he reached out and touched her hand.
As expected she tried to snatch free but he was ready for her, tightening his grip, looking straight into eyes that were wide and luminous and shockingly angry.
“It’s not good bottling things up.”
“Nor is it good being interrogated by a stranger,” she retorted.
“A stranger who saved your life, one who actually does want to be friends?”
“I don’t need friends.”
But she turned her head away as she spoke and Frazer guessed deep down she knew that she needed someone. She could not endlessly carry on bottling up whatever was troubling her.
“What a ridiculous statement. We all need friends.”
“Maybe,” she accepted reluctantly, “but we choose them and I don’t want to be friends with you, Mr Whatever-your-name-is.”
“It’s Frazer, Frazer Benedict. And you are?”
It took her a little while to answer but eventually, grudgingly, she said, “Grace Anders.” And then she snatched her hand away, tucking it beneath the sheets and almost shrinking back into her pillows.
He was a little shocked by her actions but kept his voice calm, not wanting her to see his reaction. “How old are you, Grace Anders?”
“Twenty six, not that it’s any of your business.”
“Very young to want to end your life. I cannot imagine what could have gone so drastically wrong that – ”
“Of course you can’t imagine it,” she cut in fiercely, green eyes shooting sparks. “No one knows what it was like. Nobody cares.”
Something speared uncomfortably inside him. “Are you sure?”
“You’re calling me a liar?”
“Of course not.” She was so pretty when her hackles were up. Eyes bright, faint colour in her cheeks. Something that had been sadly missing. A shame anger had created it. “But from my point of view you’re too young not to have any family.”
“That’s all you know,” she said, her voice fierce. “My mother died having me and my father resented me because of it. He emigrated to Australia and I’ve not heard from him since. Neither of them had siblings. And now not even my grandparents are alive. So you see I am totally alone in this world. And you, dammit, saved me from a living nightmare. My life was not worth living.”