Monday, June 23, 2008

rottnest romance #4

A brush with a root, thinking about Nick's heavy equipment and heavy breathing outside her window - it's heating up for Larissa Kidd in the next gripping instalment of Rottnest Romance...

He had started to walk away from the hotel – in the direction of her cottage. She hastened to catch up, and spoke again as they moved along at a brisk pace.

“I asked you where you’re going.”

He looked ahead as he spoke. “If you won’t let me in your cottage there’s no harm in having a look at it from the outside, is there?”

She nearly tripped over an exposed Moreton Bay Fig tree root as she hurried to keep up. She was suspicious of his intentions, but she had to admit she couldn’t stop him taking a look from the outside.

“I suppose she told you where it is, too, as you seem to know your way around without having been here before,” Larissa said testily.

“No, Marjorie didn’t tell me,” he said, striding along. “In the process of drawing up my Parakeet Bay plans I studied maps of the island, so I know my way around pretty well.”

She wanted to respond by saying he wouldn’t need her as a guide – he was obviously quite self-sufficient. Which was just as well – she certainly didn’t relish the idea of having to escort him around her island, and thereby helping him with his business.

But she held her tongue. After all, she had her own business priorities to think of. Marjorie had mentioned over the phone that Nick would be in a position to provide them with some business. She now realised what her sister meant. If Nick’s blasted development went ahead he would need workers, materials and equipment transported over from the mainland. The Rottnest Daisy would be ideally placed to meet his needs…

They had reached her cottage. “Here we are,” she said. “If you’re really so interested in the layout I’m sure Marjorie could find the original plans for you. There: that should sound as thought she was trying to be helpful.

It was as though he hadn’t heard her. He gazed at the cottage, stroking his chin thoughtfully. “An old, traditional-style cottage like yours is what I’m aiming to base my designs on. Yours looks ideal. I’d really like to see the interior, though…”

He took a few strides up to the front door, paused for a moment, and then suddenly darted into the courtyard.

“Hey!” she exclaimed. Stop – come back.” She followed, and once inside found him stooping at her kitchen window. “Mr Montagu, I didn’t say you could go into my courtyard.”

He was peering in through the glass. “You just said you wouldn’t show me the inside. You didn’t say anything about the grounds, if I remember correctly.”

She was rapidly tiring of his antics, and was about to order him off her property immediately…

“It’s a lovely place you’ve got here, Larissa. Your sister said you had transformed it into something beautiful – and I can see that she was right.” He glanced at her, and beamed a dazzling smile. He had very white teeth.

She wondered if he was trying to charm his way into her good books – and her cottage.

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