He had even confided in them about his crazy plan to acquire a son and heir without bothering to fall in love with a woman before he married her. He had ignored them both when they had advised him not to do it.
Mike took a deep breath. He knew he was about to give Meg the shock of her life, which seemed fair to him. After all, he had received the shock of his life when Rebecca had called him yesterday.
“I want you to cancel all his appointments for tomorrow but don’t let him know that you’ve done it,” he ordered and heard her suck in a surprised breath.
For a moment he felt sorry for the series of shocks she was about to experience. If she thought she was surprised now, she should wait until she heard what else he intended to tell her in a moment.
“Have you been drinking?” Meg demanded suspiciously.
It was the only reason she could think of for his absurd behavior. Either that or he had suffered a mental breakdown.
Mike ignored her question, admitting honestly to himself that he could do with a drink or two at that moment.
“Rebecca’s in town and wants to see him,” he stated bluntly and waited patiently for her to get over her disbelief and amazement.
Two minutes later he was still waiting.
“Meg, you haven’t fainted on me have you?” he asked with a chuckle, and he was only half joking.
“Please tell me you’re serious, that this is not a joke,” she finally managed to gasp, her voice a curious mixture of hope and skepticism.
Mike decided to take pity on her and inform her of the arrangements he had made with Rebecca for the following day.
“I’ve just spent over an hour with her making arrangements for her to be in your office at ten o’clock in the morning.” He paused then sighed deeply. “She’s changed Meg.”
“Changed?” Meg asked suspiciously. “In what way?”
If Rebecca was coming here to hurt Dominic again then she would have her to deal with, Meg decided ominously. Her midnight flit five years ago almost cost him his sanity. There was no way she would allow that to happen again.
“She’s grown-up Meg. She’s not a ragamuffin child anymore,” Mike stated and there was a touch of sadness in his voice. “She’s a sophisticated woman now.”
Well what did he expect, Meg scoffed silently. Good heavens it had been five years, of course she had grown up.
She would be twenty-five now. No longer a naïve young girl and she wondered what type of woman she had become. Well, she would find out in the morning.
“Did she say where she’s been during the past five years?” Meg asked curiously and was surprised when Mike groaned loudly.
“You remember I visited a town in Queensland named Tannum Sands just after she disappeared?” he asked and when Meg answered in the affirmative, he added drily “Well, that’s where she’s been living.”
Silence settled over the line for a few moments, each of them recalling those hectic, first few months after Rebecca disappeared completely out of their lives.
“I’ll clear his schedule for the entire day,” Meg declared. “I’ll invent a family full of dying aunts if I have to.”
At ten o’clock the following morning Meg watched in amazement as Mike ushered a perfectly groomed young woman into her office, unable to believe that this refined woman was Rebecca.
Her memories of Rebecca were of faded T-shirts, torn jeans and a ponytail tied up with a piece of string.
At that moment she understood why Mike had been so surprised by her appearance.
“You look as if you’ve never seen me before Meg.” Rebecca smiled warmly as she walked across the room toward the front of the desk. “Mike had a similar expression on his face when he first saw me yesterday.”
Meg glanced across at Mike standing near the open door and grimaced. His expression clearly said I told you so.
Rebecca was surprised to find that Meg had not changed one iota. Her appearance still shouted executive secretary from her well-groomed short black hair, her tailored black suit with its white lace blouse down to her highly polished black, high heeled shoes.
“You have no idea how pleased I am to see you again Rebecca,” Meg greeted her warmly. “You can go right in.” She waved her hand toward the second door in the office. “I’ve cleared his calendar for the entire day.”
“Thank you,” Rebecca murmured but she did not move. The thought that Dominic was on the other side of that closed door made her hesitate for a moment.
Finally, she sucked in a deep breath and squared her shoulders. She had travelled thousands of miles to instigate this meeting it would be stupid to chicken out now.
Besides, she had nothing to fear. Dominic had always been kind to her and treated her with respect.
Her hand was not quite steady as she pushed the door open then quickly stepped into the office, the thick pile carpet muffling her footsteps.
Rebecca glanced around the room and noticed that nothing had changed. It was exactly as she remembered it.
Dominic was standing with his back to the room, gazing out of the window with his hands pushed deep into his pockets, and she wondered if he was appreciating the beautiful view of Sydney Harbour or gazing at nothing, his thoughts elsewhere.
A myriad of emotions swept through her slim frame as her eyes slowly inspected his body. Mike was right, he had lost a lot of weight, and his shoulders drooped as if he had the weight of the world on them. His suit hung on his large frame loosely as if it was a size too large and perhaps it was now.
This was not the suave, sophisticated man she remembered, and she knew then that whatever happened between them in this office today, she would forever be pleased that she had returned to settle matters between them one way or the other.
They had unfinished business and it needed to be resolved so they could both move on with their lives.
Her eyes softened with tenderness as she gazed at his broad back. She also knew now that whatever her future held in store for her, she would always be very fond of Dominic John Farrell.
With a silent prayer, she reached her hand behind her back and made sure she pushed the door closed hard enough that it made a loud click.
It was vital that she observe his expression when he first caught sight of her before he had a chance to conceal his reaction to her sudden, unexpected appearance.
Only then would she know what her next step would be. If she saw hate and condemnation in his eyes she would turn around and leave.
“What is it?” Dominic asked disinterestedly when he heard the noise of the closing door.
He knew it would not be anything important as he did not have any appointments until this afternoon.
Meg had decided that he would realize something was going on and become suspicious if she informed him that his entire day was free, so she had invented a few phantom appointments for the afternoon.
When silence greeted his query, Dominic frowned in annoyance and glanced over his shoulder expecting to see Meg entering the room.
Dominic sucked in a sharp breath and all the blood drained from his face when he caught sight of Rebecca standing across the room.
Rebecca took an involuntary step toward him; afraid he might faint as his face was so pale.