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"Do you get any weird, super fanatical ones?"
"No," she snorted. "My readers are mainly very nice. A couple of them have even
become my pen friends."
"Really? Why?"
She shrugged. "Something just connected I guess."
Kane kissed her hair before straightening up. "I almost forgot to tell you I'll be
coming home late tomorrow night. I'm having dinner with my fellow directors for some
serious pow-wow. Two of the properties I designed have just been nominated for
international awards and we want to maximise whatever exposure we can get out of
that."
She jumped up and threw her arms around him. "Really? Wow? Congratulations,
honey! Which ones?"
"An executive retreat in Singapore and a country estate in Kangaroo Valley."
"I'm so proud of you, baby."
"Thank you," Kane beamed at her.
"What do you think your chances are of winning?"
"Don't know," he answered with a shrug. "The other properties nominated have
their own strengths. The main thing would be managing the press this would generate.
There was a firm that won a prestigious award a couple of years ago but instead of
getting good publicity, some nosy tabloid journalist aired the architect's dirty laundry
instead."
"What kind of dirty laundry?"
"Something about his predilection to call girls. I think that shouldn't have been
anyone else's business. But somehow, these things do get out and get magnified at
inopportune times. Anyway, their firm lost out on a couple of big contracts because of
that. The clients preferred not to get attached to any negative publicity so they chose not
to go with them even though they were originally the front runners. I know this because
we picked up those clients."
"Wow. That was tough for your competitor. Why were the clients so strict? Why
should the expos on the architect affect them?" she asked.
"The clients were big multi-nationals. When those types of corporations build new
developments they themselves seek, even drive, good PR for themselves. They don't
want any news about their big projects muddled with undesirable associations."
"I see."
"So I'm sorry I can't have dinner with you tomorrow night, but I should be home
before eleven."
She sighed, a bittersweet feeling engulfing her.
"I'm really sorry, sweetheart," Kane murmured as he pulled her to him and nuzzled
her neck.
"It's okay," she assured him. "I wasn't sighing because you have to work tomorrow
night."
"Then what's the sigh for?" he asked, tilting her chin with a finger.
"I was just thinking how very soon, we'll be spending more time apart than together
for two whole months. The past month has got me used to having you around every
night."
"I know. Me too," he said, sighing deeply himself. "And unfortunately I will have to
do some travelling for work in the near future. Do you think you could take some time off
to travel with me?"
She played with his shirt collar as she thought about his question. She didn't think
her boss would allow her to take more time off so soon after being away for five weeks.
Oh, but his offer was so tempting. And she could already see herself missing him like
crazy.
"I'll see what I can do," she said eventually.
"Please try hard."
"I will," she promised, although she didn't really know how she'd manage it.
"In the meantime, let's make the most of the next few days," Kane said, hoisting
her up and tossing her on the bed.
She giggled, resolutely pushing away a deep sense of foreboding that arose out of
the blue.
CHAPTER TWELVE
"I'm back!" Jasmine cried as she hugged Kristen McCann, who opened the door for her.
"I missed you!" Kris responded, hugging her back tightly. "Sam's trying out a new
recipe," Kris whispered, shaking her head in mock exasperation.
Jasmine laughed, already thinking of the cleaning up they would have to do after
dinner as she walked into the large open plan living room/dining room/kitchen of the
apartment shared by the cousins Samantha and Kristen. After dropping her bag on a
chair, she went up to Sam, who was frowning as she tasted the food she was whipping
up.
Sam loved being adventurous with her cooking and judging from the number of used
bowls and cups on the counter top and her friend's scowl, this was another one of those
times when she pushed her creativity too far.
"What are we having tonight?" she asked as she gave Sam a quick peck on the
cheek. She knew not to distract her too much when she had that intense look on her face.
"Hi Jaz. Just give me a minute to fix the flavour in this dish. I think I might have
added too much of something."
"Okay. You want us to leave you alone?"
"Yes, please. We should be ready in a few minutes, once I'm happy with it."
Jasmine smiled and followed Kris to the sofa. As she looked around, melancholy hit
her. This had been her second home for so long. She and her two best friends had shared
some of their innermost secrets and biggest dreams in the very room she was standing
in. But soon, she'd be too far away from them to simply get in her car and drive the ten
minutes it took to get from her current apartment to this place.
"What's wrong, Jaz?" Kris asked, hands on hips. "Don't tell me that Kane guy has
hurt you already?"
She chuckled at her friend's stance. Kristen was a highly emotive person who would
defend the people she loved with everything she had. Sometimes she went overboard
with her expressiveness and rubbed people the wrong way, but those who understood
her knew she had a massive heart of gold.
"No. I was just thinking how there's not long to go until I'll only see you guys
occasionally instead of a couple of times a week."
"Oh, I know, hon," Kris cried, her arms dropping to her side. "We hate the thought
too, but we know you have to take bigger opportunities for yourself."
"Yeah," she said as she slumped down on the sofa.
"So, have you told your boss you're taking the Sydney role?"
"No. I have until Monday to tell him my final decision. I'm still moving to Sydney, but
there's another option that's been playing in my mind. I want to talk to you and Sam
about it."
"Okay. We can discuss it over dinner. But first, I have something to show you." Kris
picked up an open laptop and placed it on her lap. "What do you think of this?"
She gasped in delight. It was the book cover for her fourth novel and she loved it.
Kris had done another marvellous job with her cover design.
"Thank you so much," she gushed, placing an arm around her friend's shoulders and
squeezing her tightly. "This is perfect, Kris. You really should start marketing yourself for
this. You're so good at it." [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]