DELIA'S DESTINY

This is a continuing story of a young singer's search for success in modern London. Please comment nicely!

LONDON - New Year's Day, 2019

Wandering along the street in an aimless sort of way, still a bit stunned by the way the girls at her old flat had simply rented her room to someone else, nineteen year old Delia Simms decided that she simply had to have a plan. Blake wanted Rita, not her. And the talented young singer and songwriter simply had too much pride to stay in the country with his aunt!

So now, back in busy London after a sleepless night on the train, she needed a job and a place to stay. Delia shivered in the early morning wind, tottering on a pair of high heels that weren't really meant for walking on pavement. It was annoying how the sexy green silk dress she'd worn to the New Year's Eve party last night didn't protect her from the damp winter air – or from the curious, hungry stares of young men passing by on the street. Some of them actually turned their heads to stare as she walked by, but Delia paid them no mind at all. She was through with men, with love. From now on she was going to be strictly practical about life.

It was no use hoping for breakfast at a place like Coffee Heaven. The upscale coffee bar was really only for powerful business types, men and women who worked in the City, London's elite financial district. All Delia could afford was a small cup of black coffee, just something to warm her up and keep her going while she scanned the employment notices in the job section of the free local paper. She had to find work, and she had to find it quickly!

"One small coffee, please. Yes, black." Delia fumbled for the few small coins in her purse, wishing she had accepted the crisp bills Blake's tearful aunt had freely offered her as she stormed out the door with the fancy party in full swing. But she couldn't touch the money, not after seeing Blake and Rita clinging to each other!

"Prices have gone up again, miss." The boy in the smartly trimmed uniform behind the polished coffee bar was really very handsome, dark-skinned and exotic like an Arabian prince. Perhaps he was a newly arrived immigrant from Pakistan or Indonesia. But he looked at Delia as though she were dirt.

"I don't . . . I haven't . . . just one moment please!" Delia pawed around in her empty little purse, feeling like a shabby disgrace. Tears of humiliation filled her tired emerald eyes as she imagined how she must look to the people waiting in line behind her. That very cold and proper-looking woman in the fur coat, for example. Something about her elegant looks and ice-blue eyes rang a bell, but Delia couldn't seem to drag up a name or even remember where she'd seen the chic and striking older woman before.

"Delia Simms? Is that you? How lovely to see you, dear. But what on earth are you doing in town?" Delia remembered now – Blake's sweet, silver-haired aunt had taken her to a children's concert to raise money for a local hospital, and one of the biggest donors had been Lady Violet March. Delia felt as though Blake's aunt had said something about Lady Violet not being quite what she seemed, but now the raven-haired older woman gave the boy standing behind the coffee bar a sharp, no-nonsense look. "Ahmad, Miss Delia is having breakfast with me. Please give her whatever she wants to eat and drink and put it on my card. I'll have my usual, of course. Black coffee, toast and fruit."

"Very good, Lady Violet." Ahmad smiled and bowed as if Lady Violet owned the entire coffee bar, or the whole city of London.

"I'm such a pig," Delia sighed, after wolfing down an enormous breakfast in a quiet corner booth. Coffee Heaven was clearing out now, as all the smart young business people frantically rushed off to corporate and banking jobs in the heart of the financial district.

"Too many women obsess about their weight," Lady Violet observed, watching with a smile as plump Delia pushed away her plate and slumped against the cushions in the cozy corner booth. "It can't be easy dating a man like Blake Barrington, struggling to look your best and fit in with his family and at the same time knowing half the women in London would kill to be in your shoes."

"I'm through with Blake," Delia proclaimed, feeling very brave and grown up but at the same time wanting very much to give in to her emotions and bawl in Lady Violet's arms. "He's back with Rita."

"Rita Bonita? Blake Barrington is dating the sexy American pop singer?" Lady Violet looked shocked, as though she couldn't imagine a well-born English billionaire dating a sexy Puerto Rican singer who made music videos where she stripped right down to her underwear and danced with dozens of half-naked men.

"They've known each other for ages," Delia explained, feeling her heart crack a little more with each word she spoke. "They both have the same financial clout, and they both support the same types of worthy causes. They worked together to put on that big Delia concert in New York last year. It all makes sense, if you think about it. The two of them being together, I mean."

"Yes, but what doesn't make sense is a stunning young woman like you with so much brain power and potential just giving up on her own career and pining over a man like Blake." Lady Violet fixed her electric-blue eyes on Delia's sweet and innocent face. "You and I need to make a plan, Delia dearest. A plan to get even with Blake and get your life back on track."