Sunday, July 20, 2008

rottnest romance #12

Another thrilling 500 words in the only Bills & Moon romance set on Rottnest: Rottnest Romance. It was titillation in Thomson Bay when we were last with our hero and heroine. Larissa had been forced, kicking and screaming, to sit at handsome Nick's table for dinner. It can't be too long before they're eating oysters and asparagus off each other's bellies...once they're done discussing peacocks...
He gave her a puzzled look, while Ashleigh snickered.

“That’s not quite what I had in mind,” he eventually said. Was he just a little peeved, she wondered? Too bad, then.

But he seemed to shrug it off. “When I was speaking to your sister this morning,” he said, “she mentioned that you’re quite an expert on anything to do with Rottnest.”

“I wouldn’t label myself as an expert,” she said, suspiciously.

“You’re being too modest, I’m sure. I’d like to take advantage of your local knowledge, and get your advice of some of my plans for Parakeet Bay.” He gave her an encouraging smile. “What do you say?”

Absolutely not, she wanted to firmly reply. “I don’t know if it would really be a good idea, actually,” she said hesitantly instead. “I’m in no way an expert on building or anything like that.”

“That doesn’t worry me in the slightest – I’m the builder. What I think would be good would be input from a local person – and I think you would be ideal.”

How could she get out of this? She tried a different tack.

“I’m actually involved in running a business of my own – or had you forgotten that? I don’t think I’d be able to spare the time.”

“Oh, I understand it would be business,” he said, looking surprised. “A fee would be payable to you, of course, for your time and expertise. That would only be fair.”

Once again the irony of the situation struck her. She was being offered money to do something which went entirely against her beliefs and ideals. It was obvious that her sister hadn’t told Nick about her rather passionate interests – if she had, then he wouldn’t be as keen to get her involved in his plans.

“Well, let me think about it,” she said, trying to sound unconvinced. “But I can’t promise anything, you understand.”

“Of course,” he assured her.

“Have you seen the peacocks yet?” she asked, wanting to change the subject.

“Yes!” he said, smiling. “At first, seeing them from a distance, I didn’t realise what they were, but then they spread out their feathers. They’re very striking.”

“They’re not as common as the quokkas – or as friendly – but they are another feature of the island.”

Linda appeared at their table, with their first course. As the plates were put on the table Larissa had a sudden thought about the offer Nick had just made. Why didn’t she act against her initial instincts, and accept? That way she could find out a lot about his plans for Parakeet Bay. Any information she could obtain would probably be extremely useful to her and her friends. They could be in a much better position to hinder the development.

How could she do that, she wondered, as she picked up a slice of bruschetta. If Marjorie found out she would never forgive her – Larissa would never hear the end of it. And, really, the ethics of the idea were a bit suspect. She would in fact be deceiving Nick if she agreed to give him advice, and instead only planned to try and sabotage his project. It would be wrong…it might even be criminally wrong.

All the same, it was a tempting notion.

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