Knights Mistress Page 98

Miss you,

Dominic

Then she acted like a mature, rational adult, opened the bottle of Krug that had been set on top of the luggage pile in her living room and that she\d had the good sense to refrigerate despite her monumental grief, and drank it down for her breakfast at two o\clock.

Nana said, \You\ve been drinking,\ when she called her.

\I\m celebrating being back home.\

\Did you enjoy yourself?\ Nana had just received notice by personal messenger of an anonymous gift of two million dollars for the local school. A well-dressed older man had arrived in a limo two hours ago, introduced himself as an attorney from a private educational foundation and informed Nana - over her coffee and homemade oatmeal cookies that he had politely accepted when it was clear that he would have rather gotten back into his limo and returned to the Duluth airport - that the foundation was donating the substantial sum to their tiny school ... for confidential reasons. Which was often the case with private foundations, he calmly explained. And she, Mrs Roy Hart, had been designated Administrator of the funds.

Since Nana hadn\ been born yesterday, or even the day before, and no one had ever bestowed such a magnificent sum on their backwater area school, she surmised that either things had gone really well in Hong Kong or they\d gone badly and the gift was in the way of reparations.

\I did enjoy myself. It was a good experience,\ Kate said, her voice neutral, or marginally neutral, considering the bottle of champagne.

Not exactly a definitive answer. \No regrets, sweetie?\

\Not a single one.\

\Why don\ you come home for a few days?\ Nana suggested. \Rest a little after your busy two weeks abroad? I\ll bring you breakfast in bed.\

It took a fraction of a second for Kate to reply, her amorous breakfasts in bed with Dominic on The Glory Girl still vivid in her memory. \Maybe I will in a week or so,\ she said, a shade too brightly. \I have to see about getting a job. I don\ have to. I was really well paid, but sitting around doesn\ appeal to me.\

Poor baby, something was wrong. \I miss you, sweetie. So come as soon as you can. By the way,\ Nana said, hoping to lighten Katie\s mood, \your pictures were a big hit at the bridge club. Steam was coming out of Jan Vogel\s ears. You did good.\

Kate laughed, liked that she could still laugh. Found it life-affirming that she could still laugh. And in homage to all those self-help articles in women\s magazines that appear with great regularity because she wasn\ the only woman scarred by love, she sat up a little straighter which took an extra second or so after a bottle of champagne, lifted her chin and said under her breath, F*k you Dominic Knight!

\I didn\ hear you, dear.\

\I said, I\ll be home in a couple weeks, Nana. As soon as I check out my job offers. You know I had six companies who wanted me.\

\You deserve all your success. You worked hard for it. Now remember to give me a little warning and I\ll have hot caramel rolls waiting for you when you walk in the door.\

\Umm ... tempting.\ Kate blew out a breath, the thought of Nana\s caramel rolls making her mouth water. \But I better look for a job first. Soon, Nana. I\ll be there soon.\

\I\m always here if you need something, sweetie. Just give me a call anytime, if you want to talk or you\ e at loose ends or bored.\

\Will do. Thanks, Nana.\

Kate put away her phone a moment later, lay back on her pillow and felt her restlessness lessen, the tumult in her brain mellow out. Nana was her rock, her source of unconditional love, a best friend, a shoulder to cry on. The most tolerant person she knew - besides Gramps. He\d always said that he\d killed so many people and so many people had tried to kill him that he never sweated the small stuff.

Everything was small if you were still alive.

Which clearly put Dominic into perspective, she decided. She\d enjoyed his company, the two weeks had been beyond fabulous. But it was over;her life would go on very nicely without him - thank you very much.

She even half believed it.

She believed it enough to email him back.

Thanks for the numbers. It\s good to be home. Miss you too.

How totally adult was that?

Casual, super-casual.

She did a quick fist pump, threw back her covers and leapt out of bed, debating what food she wanted delivered. She didn\ have to worry about Dominic scowling if she ate nothing but junk food.

It was a cardinal act of liberation, she decided sometime later, lying among the debris of fast food wrappers and boxes scattered on her bed, stuffed with non-nutritious, highly processed, additive-clogged food.

She was moving on with her life.


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