Now it’s the next day and she’s in the airport, getting ready to board the flight to Amesbury, New York, that will change her life forever…
Haley’s head hurt.
She stood in front of the counter by Gate 7, waiting for the airline attendant to get off the phone.
“May I help you?”
Haley pushed her boarding pass across the counter like a note to a bank teller. “I’d like to upgrade to first class,” she said.
The attendant shook her head. “I’m sorry. We’ve got a full flight. There are no first class seats available.”
“I have miles,” Haley said, but faintly. She wasn’t exactly sure if she’d be able to use Sheila’s miles on a ticket paid for by Marla, the person at her father’s company who’d actually bought it.
The attendant, in any case, didn’t seem to hear. “I’m sorry,” she said again, and then picked up her microphone. “Okay folks, we’re now ready to begin boarding. First class. Anyone serving in the military. People with small children or who need special assistance—you may now board.”
Haley looked down at her ticket. 23F.
The printing pulsed slightly in the fluorescent light. Pulsed like her headache.
And she gave up.
At least it was a window seat ...
She pulled her rollerboard over to the rows of gray chairs near the gate, and squeezed herself into an empty one between two other fliers to wait for her turn to board.
² ² ² ² ²
The plane rose, tipped. Haley watched the red tiled roofs north of downtown shrink and then the plane tipped again and circled counterclockwise out over the bay. The water looked like rippled glass from this height. Still climbing, circling now back over land—over the mountains, the tawny desert mountains that flank San Diego to the east ...
She shut her eyes.
With her eyes closed she lost any sense that the plane was moving forward. There was only the jiggling turbulence and the roar of the engines humming through her body ... but that was people talking, too? How could their voices be so clear with the engines that loud, she could hear every word they said ... a woman telling someone about her son joining the Navy ... a father promising a child that he’d get the iPad when the seatbelt sign turned off ... now the jiggling and the vibration of the engine made it feel like they were moving backwards ...
I can’t believe my father did this to me.
What had that lawyer told her?
That Richard Molnare’s entire estate was tied up in the company he’d founded. And in two years—provided Haley met the terms of the will—she’d be able to sell RMB, get her money, and go home.
“So what you’re saying is, at that point I get my 70 million dollars,” Haley had said.
But the lawyer had waved her hand back and forth, a gesture signaling not so fast. “Not exactly. RMB generates 70 million in annual revenue. That’s not the same as the value of the estate. You understand the difference, right?”
And Haley had pretended that oh, sure, she’d understood the difference all along.
And the lawyer had gone on for a bit about how the company had been doing well for quite a few years in a row. Something about how it was part of a growth industry, and that a lot of other companies like it were buying each other up, which meant that when Haley’s two years was up, chances were good that RMB would be easy to sell.
“Of course,” the lawyer had continued—the lawyer had talked on and on for hours, it seemed like—“what you take out will depend, in part, on how well the company performs when you’re running it. If you can keep it on its current path, it should be worth more, in two years, than it is today. Several million dollars more, perhaps.”
Haley opened her eyes and leaned forward.
A thick manila envelope protruded from the tote she’d pushed under the seat in front of her.
Everything she needed was in that envelope, according to the lawyer. Including a Ziploc bag with a key inside—the key to her father’s house.
She turned and peered out of the window. The ground was gone, everything was gone, they were inside a cloud—the cloud so thick, so uniformly white that it didn’t seem like they were moving at all—they were suspended, motionless except for that slight jiggling, they weren’t moving forwards they weren’t moving backwards they were motionless ...
She pulled down the plastic shade and closed her eyes again, the sensation growing again that she wasn’t moving anywhere ... she was suspended in the air somewhere, suspended in a box ... in a box over which she had no control, and what choice did she have but to sit here, to let herself be jiggled and vibrated and hopefully go to sleep ...
The “seatbelt sign is on” bell-tone dinged and the pilot came on the intercom to tell them the flight time to O’Hare would be four hours and they’d be out of the turbulence soon and to enjoy the flight.
What was it that Oliver said to me?
She couldn’t remember it—not the words—only that he’d been ugly to her.
Her head hurt.
A woman's worst nightmare
Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.
But now her father is dead.
And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.
Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.
Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.
Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.
A web of evil.Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.
And he must control her. Any way he can.
Romantic suspense for your KindleWill Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
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