Saturday, October 11, 2008

rottnest romance #25

Time for another pulse-racing, adrenaline-rushing, brow-fevering instalment of Rottnest Romance, the only Bills & Moon romance set on the beautiful island. Before we get to the fabulous fiction, you may want to check out this ad in today's paper. Cleaners on Rotto! The ferry leaves at 0730 and the gig pays a whopping $18 an hour. We are seriously tempted. We could stand outside units and shout at people waiting hopefully to get in before 2pm: "It's not fucken ready yet, whaddaya lookin at cunt?" This ad could be just the thing for our RR heroine Larissa - you'll recall she's dissatisfied with her ferry work. She might become a cleaner and have the contractors using Enjo and no chemicals within a week.

The ad says call ISS on 9445 4467 or text ROTT to 0438 965 407. We texted immediately, but no response as yet. Keep you posted.
That made her pause. Why would he be racking his brains over what they had named her ferry? It gave her a peculiar feeling – the thought he would be thinking about her. For a moment she wondered if any other aspects of her life had also claimed his thoughts…

He leaned over and poured some more water into her cup. Casually he asked, “How old are you, Larissa?”

“I’m twenty-six. Why?”

“Just wondering. You’ve been involved with the ferry for five years, yes?”

“That’s right.” She curled her toes in the warm sand, slightly uncomfortable with his questions.

“What did you do before the Daisy?”

“I went to university in Perth. I did a degree in environmental studies…”

“I should have guessed,” he interrupted dryly.

“…while Marjorie did a business degree. She’s the brains behind the operation.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” he said quietly. “How long have you been on Rottnest?”

She hesitated, and decided to fib. “A few months. Marjorie and I are supposed to swap every now and then, but we haven’t got around to it lately, for various reasons.”

He stretched out on his back, placing his hands behind his head. There was a smile playing around his lips.

“That isn’t what I heard,” he murmured.

“Why – what did you hear?”

“Your sister told me you haven’t been off the island in nearly a year – not even across to Perth for a weekend.”

She was indignant, and felt her face colour. Marjorie again! She had a mouth as big as the Sydney harbour Bridge.

“Well, I suppose that’s right, now I come to think of it,” she admitted in a tight voice.

“Isn’t life here…well, a bit quiet?”

“By that you mean dull, don’t you?” she demanded.

“Not at all – I just meant that it…”

She cut him off with a curt tone. “I find it suits me. Maybe I’m not as outgoing as everyone else, but I don’t need hundreds of other people around me to keep me happy.”

He sat up again and seemed about to say something, but kept his silence. Just as well, she thought. She was tiring of his questions and opinions about her lifestyle. Just because it didn’t match his busier, high-powered existence didn’t mean that it was wrong.

She decided to start probing with some questions of her own, as he ate the last of his salad.

“Where do you call home, then, Nick?”

“Home for me is where the project I’m working on is,” he replied, “although I suppose I most relax on the Gold Coast.”

“Do you have a wife and family?”

He laughed. “Not me – no time!”

She had thought as much. No doubt it was quite convenient for him, having his assistant for his girlfriend – or did he regard that arrangement the other way around? She noticed a dab of mayonnaise from his salad was on his chin, and she had a sudden urge to lean across and wipe it off.

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