Wednesday, October 01, 2008

rottnest romance #24

Time for the latest eye-popping instalment of Rottnest Romance, the only Bills & Moon romance set on the beautiful island. And a warm hello to our regular readers from Iceland and Israel! Nick and Larissa are still on the beach having their lunch. Will there be a rockfall, entombing them under limestone? Unlikely - we still have seven and a bit chapters to go. When is the horizontal folk dancing going to start? A bit of post-prandial action coming up, perhaps? Read on with bated breath to find out...


He gave a contented sigh. “This really is a perfect setting for a quiet lunch. How often do you come here?”

“Not often enough,” she said ruefully. “With our ferry, I have to be near Thomson Bay most of the time. It’s not a lot of work, but I have to be around in case there are any problems.”

“How is the ferry business, anyway?” he asked casually.

“Not bad,” she said, “summer’s our best time, of course. So at the moment business is good. I don’t know, though…”

“What?” he prompted her.

She paused, uncertain. She had felt a sudden urge to confide in him – to tell him how she really felt about the ferry business. Was it wise? Impulsively she decided to go ahead.

“I wonder if I’m really cut out for business life. Lately I’ve been losing my spark for it.”

She had his attention. He was propped up on an elbow, looking at her. “Go on.”

“At first it was fun, setting it up. Struggling through the first couple of years. But lately…I think Marjorie’s the real driving force behind it these days.”

“Why do you think you feel like that?”

“I don’t know,” she said with feeling. “Maybe I need to do something else…” Her voice trailed off.

“Hmm,” he mused, looking out at the sea again. After a moment he said slowly, “Could it be that, deep down, you’re worried about the effect of your ferry?”

She raised her head. “What do you mean?”

“Think about it. Your ferry brings people to Rottnest. They have a good time, and come back again. You carry across more people. They have to be catered for, with restaurants, facilities…places to stay, like cottages. So you have a direct hand in the development of Rottnest as a popular tourist place.”

She gave him a sharp look. “You’re saying that unconsciously I’m upset at the role I have in the way Rottnest is changing?”

“Does it sound right?”

“No,” she replied with some force. “I mean, I know what I think about things – there’s no deep mystery to it.”

“OK,” he shrugged, “so my theory isn’t right.”

Frowning, she glanced at him as he looked out to sea again. He was basically hinting she was like him – using the island for personal gain. Her mind drew back sharply from the notion – because it wasn’t true. She had a sudden slackening in her recently improved opinion of him. If he had come out and said it bluntly, she would have been rather cross.

“Incidentally, why is your boat called the Daisy?” he asked.

“It’s named after a wildflower that grows here – the Blue Lace Flower. It’s actually a light purple – it grows all over the island from September to November. At that time you can see whole stretches of the island covered in daisies. We thought it would be a nice name when we started the business,” she explained.

“It is,” he agreed. “A wildflower! I was racking my brains and though you had named it after your mother or someone like that.”

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