Copyright © Barbara Jeffs 2021.
Published in 2021 by Tablo Publishing.
All rights reserved.
This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Dominic suddenly stopped writing mid sentence, the pen falling from his trembling fingers onto the desk.
It was completely illogical and unexplainable, but he felt a sudden urge to take the lift down to the old conference rooms on the first floor.
He had not been on that floor in thirty-five years. In fact, no one ever visited that particular floor. The rooms there were last used to conduct meetings forty years ago.
Nevertheless, some instinct was telling him that he had to go down there now.
Why? Why did he suddenly feel compelled to return to where it had all begun?
His gaze fastened onto the framed photograph of Rebecca sitting on the desk, his fingers twisting the wedding ring around the third finger of his left hand.
It was the weirdest sensation he had ever experienced. He felt an icy chill up his spine.
Although it made absolutely no sense to him at all, he accepted that he was powerless to resist the impulse and he quickly walked out of his office.
His secretary opened her mouth to ask him where he was going, and then closed it again with the words left unsaid as she watched his back disappearing down the hallway.
Worried by his odd behavior, she lifted the telephone receiver and promptly made two calls. The first was to call security to instruct them to organize a search for her wayward boss. The second was to call his children who fortunately, were both in the building at that time
After all, he was an old man approaching his seventieth birthday and he had behaved in a most unusual manner.
Shortly afterward a multitude of people began frantically searching for their missing employer throughout the building.
Standing alone in the lift, Dominic was unaware of the mayhem he had created by his uncharacteristic behavior. He would not have cared even if he had been aware of the chaos.
One consuming thought filled his mind---he must reach the room where he had first met Rebecca.
The lift doors slid open and he was immediately aware of the musty smelling air. The stale air did not surprise him as the air-conditioning had been deactivated on this floor many years ago.
Entering the conference room, he sucked down a sharp breath as the same weird sensation he had experienced in his office returned even stronger than before. He was suddenly overcome by a feeling of déjà vu.
The old leather couch was covered in dust and beginning to split and tear in places, and as he sank down onto the middle cushion he experienced once again all the joy, happiness and heartache he had shared with his beloved Rebecca for such a short time.
He had thought he had lost her forever when she had walked out of his life, but fate had given him a second chance at happiness with her telephone call to Mike on a stormy summer day.
He could remember that day as if it was yesterday----not thirty years ago.
Thirty Years Ago.
It was a normal Wednesday morning for Mike Conway until the telephone on his desk began to ring.
From that moment on the day became anything but normal, and his staid, unexciting life would never be the same again.
Mike continued to write his signature on the official document in front of him with his right hand as he lifted the telephone receiver to his ear with his left hand and absentmindedly recited his name.
A female voice came down the line.
“Hello Mike. This is Rebecca.”
Mike was so shocked he dropped the receiver onto the desk and his other hand jerked so badly the pen left a long, ink-filled line across the face of the document. Then his shaky fingers dropped the pen onto the desk beside the phone.
It was a voice from the past. A voice he never expected to hear again. But it was also different to how he remembered it. More mature, not as bubbly and carefree. Nevertheless, it was Rebecca’s voice.
“My God,” he gasped in astonishment, his heart thundering in his chest. He hastily picked the receiver up and asked doubtfully. “Rebecca? Is that really you?”
Rebecca put his rather stupid question down to shock and incredulity and decided to ignore it. After all, who else would be calling him claiming to be Dominic’s long-lost wife?
“I want to arrange a meeting with you, but I don’t want Dominic to be told that you’re meeting me,” she stated firmly.
Mike sucked down a shocked breath. “I can’t do that.”
The line went dead.
Quickly, he disconnected the call and waited until he heard a dial tone, then punched in the number for caller ID and cursed savagely when it came up as ‘Private’.
Smart girl, he conceded reluctantly. She was using a prepaid mobile which meant she could be calling from anywhere in the country. But she had asked for a meeting with him, didn’t that mean that she had to be in Sydney?
If she was in the city, he knew it would be pointless attempting to locate where she was staying. She knew the areas of this city where the firm’s investigators would stand out like flashing neon signs.
Now what the hell was he supposed to do? He asked himself despairingly, gazing blankly at the ink smeared piece of paper on his desk, aware he would now have to get his secretary to apply for another form to replace the one he had just ruined.
But hell, he would gladly ruin a dozen government forms and happily stand in line all day to get a replacement if it meant getting Rebecca back into their lives.
Should he tell Dominic about the call or should he wait on the slim chance that she might call again?
Dominic was the owner of Farrell Enterprises. A chain of luxurious hotels located throughout Australia.
Mike was his lawyer, and his loyalty would always be to Dominic and the firm.
They had started out in the business together fifteen years ago when Dominic had purchased his first hotel.
Yes! He had to tell Dominic at once.
But Dominic was more than his employer, he was also his friend, and this might be his one and only chance to finally find Rebecca for him after years of fruitless searching. Although to be technically correct she had found him so to speak.
Rebecca! He shook his head in dazed amazement, still finding it hard to believe that he had actually spoken to her a few moments ago. In fact, one corner of his mind was convinced it was all just his imagination.
Had he really received a telephone call from Rebecca after all these years, or was he suffering from some kind of breakdown or delusion and was not able to realize it?
For the past five years he’d had