“That was quite a meeting,” Ben remarked as he and Ruth made their way back to the office. They had a business meeting in the Angel Meeting Room at Frequency Angel with eight other people.
“Yes. It was very productive. And the meeting room was spacious with lots of natural light. It’s ideal for board meetings and workshops.”
“Yes, and the staff was great. They served us the finest coffee I’ve ever had.”
“And the place just five minutes away from the office. I think we should have more off-site meetings there in the future.”
“You head on up,” Ruth told him. “I’ll be there shortly.”
“All right.” He walked away and Ruth waited until he had disappeared inside the building before she took her cell out of the pocket of her jacket. Taking a deep breath, she dialed a number which she knew by heart.
“Good morning, London Stockbrokers Ltd. How may I help you?”
“Good morning. May I speak to Dushan Krasnova, please?”
“I’m sorry, but Mr. Krasnova isn’t here.”
“When you expect him back in the office?”
“I’m afraid not until next week Monday. He’s away on vacation.”
“Yes. He’s in Buenos Aires. Would you like to call back next week Monday or could another one of our brokers help you?”
“No-no thank you.” She ended the call. Dushan was in Buenos Aires. Was he there alone or was she with him? The mere thought of them together filled her with gut wrenching pain and bitter jealousy. She leaned against the building as tears threatened to fall.
How could he do this to me? How could he go off to Buenos Aires with her? This woman was more of a threat than she thought. Was he in love with her? She closed her eyes in torment. Please, don’t let him be in love with her. I couldn’t bear it if he was.
The ringing of her cell startled her and she almost dropped it. She was tempted not to answer it but saw that it was Chelsey. “Yes, Chelsey.”
“Hi, Mom. I just called to remind you that you and I are supposed to go shopping after you leave work this afternoon.”
“Yes. For Gideon. It’s his birthday on Thursday, remember?”
“Oh, yes.” She had completely forgotten about going shopping with Chelsey and that it was Gideon’s birthday on Thursday. She had been so cut up about Dushan and their breakup that she hadn’t thought of anything else, except perhaps, her job. “Chelsey, can we do it tomorrow instead?”
“Tomorrow’s the day before his birthday.”
“I–I can’t do it today.”
“All right. We’ll do it tomorrow.”
“Mom, are you all right?”
“Yes, I’m all right.”
“I only asked because you sound a bit off.”
“I have a lot on my mind, that’s all.”
“All right. Well, don’t let me keep you then. I’ll see you later.”
“Yes. I’ll see you later.” She ended the call.
Chelsey stared at her cell. Something was up with her mother. She had been acting weird since Boxing Day. She wondered if Gideon had noticed that too. She dialed his number.
“Hello, Chelsey,” he sounded pleased to hear from her, unlike her mother.
“I hope I’m not calling at a bad time.”
“No, you’re not. What’s up?”
“I was wondering if…you are free for lunch.” She had been about to ask him if he had noticed her mother’s odd behavior but then changed her mind.
“I’m sorry, Honey but I’m up to my neck with work. Can I take a raincheck?”
“Sure. I’ll see you later.” She rang off.
What on earth was she going to do now? She had just come back from horseback riding. It was ten thirty-five in the morning. She had the whole day ahead of her and didn’t fancy spending it indoors. Perhaps, she would go into the city and do some shopping or see if any of her friends were free for a late lunch.
Why didn’t her mother want to go shopping for Gideon’s birthday gift today? Why put it off until tomorrow? She didn’t even remember that they were supposed to go shopping. What on earth was wrong with her? Was she unhappy? Was she sorry that she had married Gideon?
She observed her mother whenever she interacted with Gideon and she sensed that something was missing. It had been missing with her father too. She knew that her mother hadn’t married her father because she loved him and she had the feeling that it was the same with Gideon. Poor Gideon. He honestly believed that her mother loved him. It would devastate him if he were to discover that she didn’t and never did.