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“You want me to do what?” Kari yelled.
“I want you to interview Dr. Lane for the next issue. He has an interesting story and I think our readers will enjoy hearing it.”
Kari was angry. She had spent her entire time at the magazine writing fluff pieces, always being promised that the next story would be an ‘important’ one. Now her editor was suggesting, no , assigning, an in-depth article about some bigwig who had created some industry from nothing.
Damn, the things she would do for money! Kari kept planning to quit, but then her addiction to luxuries, like food and clothing, got in the way. All the way home, she argued with her editor in her mind, giving all the reasons she shouldn’t have to write this article. She should be assigned to interview a political leader or some Armed Services officer. She was good, dammit, and deserved a chance to prove what she could do. But instead, she was going to interview some old man who had started some industry in the Dark Ages and made his name and fortune continuing it.
At home, she jumped on the computer, ‘googling’ Dr. Duncan Lane, printing off articles that had been previously written about the bigwig. Apparently, he developed some new technique to save the tidal waters. AND he was instrumental in creating methods to harvest what he needed while being environmentally thoughtful. AND he was involved in his community and his region. AND he didn’t like being interviewed. Each article she found mentioned his reticence. He was depicted as a do-gooder who happened to be very successful. She compiled all the information she had found, noting there were no pictures of the man. Well, there was one much-used picture, but it was fuzzy, a generic man in jeans and a heavy jacket, a hat shading his face.
The next day, Kari spent hours on the phone, trying to make an appointment for an interview. His secretary, Jeannie, was pleasant, but very protective. She couldn’t make an appointment without conferring with Dr. Lane, and, apparently, that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. Kari was her most charming, hoping to find out something about the big man, but Jeannie was careful, choosing her words, saying exactly what Kari had already read.
Jeannie promised to call back in the morning, after she was able to contact her boss, with an appointment time. Kari just had to wait.
The next day, around noon, the phone rang. After a moment of small talk, Jeannie said, “I can give you an appointment tomorrow. I am afraid, though, it will have to be early. Dr. Lane can see you at 5:30.”
At first, Kari was puzzled. 5:30 didn’t sound early. In fact, it sounded quite late. Then the realization set in. This woman was saying 5:30 A.M. The man must be a maniac! No one was awake at that hour. God didn’t even have the lights on!
“I am afraid that is impossible, Jeannie. Surely, he has time at a more normal hour? I will take anything he has available.” Kari was nearly purring with charm.
Jeannie laughed. “That is it, Kari. He leaves tomorrow for a week in the capital, testifying on conservation issues. If you want him, that is the only time you can have him.”
Kari was tempted to be truthful, admit she really didn’t want him at all. She could just give up, tell her editor the man was impossible to reach, that there were too many roadblocks to interviewing him. Then, she thought of her editor and his ‘unhappy’ face. Sighing, she agreed to the appointment, making a mental note of all the sacrifices she was making for her career.
The next morning, when the alarm went off at 4 AM, Kari thought there had to be a mistake. It was so very dark. And cold. And her pillow nest was just right, her head gently cradled in the down pillow. Her quilt had molded to her body and she was perfectly warm and snuggly. To get out of this bed would be a sin! Then, in the darkness, she envisioned her boss’s face and heard his sarcastic voice. Then she remembered her silly habits of eating and buying clothes and paying bills. Sighing, she tentatively slipped one arm out from the covers. Damn, it was cold out there!
Throwing back the covers, she jumped from the bed, her naked body covered with goosebumps as she searched for her robe. Without giving herself time to think, güvenilir bahis she went directly to the bathroom and started the shower, climbing in and allowing the hot spray to warm her.
Showering always relaxed her. She lathered up a sponge and washed her body with fragrant soap, inhaling the soft scent of vanilla. Lingering there, Kari began composing questions for the great man. It would have been easier if she was interested in the interview. She would have been able to think of insightful and clever angles. As it was, she was just mad about the whole thing, feeling very mistreated.
She dressed in dark corduroy slacks with a heavy cream sweater. She chose her walking boots over warm, thick socks. She pulled her hair into a functional pony tail, and decided against makeup. Starting her car and pulling away from her cozy little house, Kari was amazed at the sky full of twinkling stars. She mused for a moment on the beauty of be found at this hour, then concentrated on picking a good CD and heating the car to ward off the chill.
Jeannie had given her instructions to the compound. Dr. Lane lived on the same property as his plant and his lab, all within walking distance. As she drove toward the coast, Kari was again struck by the beauty of the night. The moon was directly overhead, full and white, lighting her path. She paused long enough to appreciate a moonlit field full of deer, so graceful and lovely.
Finally she pulled into the long drive marked with a mailbox. She could make out the white letters, LANE, printed on the side. She drove up the dirt road, her little car bumping along, the moon continuing to guide her. She could just make out the many buildings ahead of her. Jeannie had said the office was to the left, and she turned her car in that direction. It was nearly 5:30, and all the lights shone into the darkness. The office building was large, with huge windows on all sides, and a large deck surrounding it. She thought the view must be spectacular at sunrise and sunset. As she stepped from the car, she noted the air was laden with a wet freshness. It was lush, moist, and heavy; redolent with the sweet smell of berries and apples. She inhaled deeply, appreciating the feel of the clean air in her lungs.
As she approached the office, Kari wondered once again about Dr. Lane. There were no pictures of him, not really. He was described as serious and intent, too involved in his studies and his work to be photographed. Frivolous was not a word used to describe him.
The door opened as she stepped onto the deck. She was greeted by a man. Quite a man. He was tall and solid. His hair was a bit wild, brown with graying sideburns. His hands were large and capable-looking as they held the door for her. When Kari entered the brightly-lit office, the first thing she noticed were his eyes. They were an incredible blue, honest and deep, totally mesmerizing. She found herself wondering if she could interview him while looking into those magnificent eyes. She found herself being pulled into him. Suddenly, she was aware he had offered his hand and was introducing himself. She extended hers and he wrapped both of his around it, surrounding her with a warmth and softness that she found extremely comforting. His voice was lighter than she would have imagined. He spoke smoothly, easily. He invited her to sit in his office, near the window. She could see the fleet of boats loading to go out for the daily run. He offered her tea, bringing her a huge mug as she settled into the white leather chair he indicated. She found herself wishing she had worn makeup or nicer clothes. Kari had a sudden desire to impress this man.
As Duncan prepared the tea, he was thoughtful. He hated interviews and fought hard to prevent them. But Jeannie had taken a liking to this woman and promised her some time, so he was committed. He had suggested an early morning meeting, hoping to scare her away. Instead, here she was, right on time and dressed sensibly. But even in her very sensible clothes, Duncan found her extremely attractive. When she entered his office, he noted her slight frame, her just discernible soft scent of vanilla. Her face was dewy from the night air, giving her a luminous quality. Even her severe hair style türkçe bahis had been softened by the moisture, tiny curls framing her heart-shaped face. His life was one of discipline and he was not used to being sidetracked, but he sensed that Kari could easily do just that.
They sat together, talking and chatting like old friends, while the sun rose over the water. She seemed intrigued by the beauty that he took for granted. He watched it every day and failed sometimes to be impressed by nature’s display. Today, they watched it together and it was as if he could see it for the first time. Then he found himself watching her more than the sunrise. Her questions were good, important. She seemed to already have some idea of how special his work was to him, how much it mattered. He found himself relaxing even more, enjoying her company. Usually, the early morning hours were completely his. He relished being here, alone, doing his work and sipping his tea. Now, he felt that it would be nice to have someone here with him, sometimes.
All too soon the time was up and he needed to get ready for his trip. But he hated to say goodbye and let Kari walk out of his life. He stood and offered her his business card, complete with his e-address, encouraging her to contact him with any further questions. Almost shyly, he added, “I will be alone in my hotel room every night for the next week, and would welcome your questions or comments. Just email me, if you like.”
Kari felt it too. The desire to maintain the connection, to stay near this man in any way necessary. She had enjoyed him on an intellectual level, but more, she had felt a primal pull to him.
All day, she thought of him. His eyes, his voice, her hand in his. She wondered how his trip had gone, if he had a nice room, if he had been met at the airport. Amazing! A few hours in his company and he was constantly on her mind! She worked on the article, pleased with many of the quotes she had gotten, hearing his voice in her head as she read over her notes.
Damn! Here was something that needed clarification! She could call Jeannie to find out the details, but then she thought she could also email Dr. Lane and ask him. Yes, that seemed like the thing to do. She should ask him. That would be the best thing to do, for accuracy. Now she couldn’t wait for tonight, when she could sit at her computer and connect with him again.
She carefully worded her email, trying to sound intelligent and interesting. Finally, she was satisfied with it and hit SEND. Now, she would have to wait. She began checking her mail, waiting to hear those magic words, “You’ve got mail!” It seemed to happen very quickly. With trembling fingers, she pressed the ‘READ’ button and looked at the incoming name. There he was! He had responded! She opened his note, finding all the information she had requested. The email went on to tell her about his trip to the capital, his hotel, and even the dinner he had just attended. He was witty and clever, and she found herself giggling as she read. He seemed very relaxed in this medium. Too soon, the message ended, and she was disappointed.
Hitting the ‘REPLY’ button, Kari began typing. She told him of the lovely drive home that morning, how the sky continued to change colors, how the scented air had filled her with delight, and, she added shyly, how much she had enjoyed meeting him.
Back and forth, the emails flew. It seemed she no sooner hit ‘SEND’ and his reply was there. Finally, she asked if he had Instant Messenger. She waited breathlessly for his reply. “Yes, I do have it, but have rarely used it. My screen name is ‘TheDocIsIn’. Shall we chat instead?”
Kari replied, “My screen name is ‘ReadyWriter’. Yes, please, I would love to chat!” Suddenly she heard the briiiing of the IM arriving and she smiled, reading his clever words and asizzle with happiness. They spent the next hours sharing ideas and then getting more personal, telling life stories to each other, something they didn’t do often.
Duncan had been widowed at an early age and had decided to spend his time with his work, not really trusting love. Kari had the usual relationships, even a few serious ones, but nothing had worked out. She knew exactly what she wanted and güvenilir bahis siteleri despaired of ever finding it. She, too, did not really trust love.
But now, with each other, they both felt safer somehow. There was a feeling that things could work out well, even “happily ever after” well. Neither voiced these thoughts, but both were aware of them. Finally, they had to say goodnight. Without actually stating it, both knew they would meet the next night and spend time together. And both of them went to sleep happily, to dream of a special new friend.
The rest of the week was wonderful. Kari worked on her article, which she now delighted in writing. Duncan spent hours with congressmen, teaching and explaining what his work involved. Each night, they came together on the computer, fingers flying as words poured from them, so happy to have found someone to share their thoughts.
Finally, Duncan was returning home. The last night of his trip, they seemed even closer. She asked about his late wife and he began tying, then stopped. “May I call you, please? I want to hear your voice. Typing is not enough anymore. Please?”
Kari happily typed in her number and then sat back, waiting for Duncan’s call. When the phone rang, she moved from the computer into her living room, snuggling into the corner of the couch, in the dark, letting his voice wrap around her. This was better. Duncan told her the story of his great love and how she had died.
Kari found herself crying, listening to him, wishing she could take the pain away. Duncan was deeply moved to have someone to confide in, to share his story, and to comfort him.
Everything changed that night. The attraction they had felt the first day blossomed, ripened. When Duncan asked if he could see Kari when he came home, she quickly said yes. They began making plans for the next night, then Kari had an idea.
“I could pick you up at the airport tomorrow. I have the time and I would love to do it. When does your plane come in?”
So, they made plans. Kari could barely sleep that night, she was so excited about being with Duncan again. The next day, she was nervous. Now she was intent on making an impression.
She was up early, taking a long soak in a hot bubble bath. She could feel her skin softening and plumping, her mind wandering to the feel of Duncan’s fingers on that skin. When she stepped from the tub, she stood before the large bathroom mirror, taking stock. Her skin was pink and glowing. Her hair was pulled up in a clip, looking slightly disheveled. She liked the way the curls escaped around her face, giving her a softer appearance. She carefully made up her eyes, which she considered her best feature. As she applied the pink lip gloss, she became weak thinking of Duncan kissing it off. Dressing was so much more complicated this time. She wanted him to be impressed, but didn’t want to seem to be trying too hard.
As she selected lacy blue under things, Kari tried not to imagine Duncan discovering them. It was too tantalizing. But she was more conscious of him, of his hands and his eyes, with each passing moment.
Kari stood in the closet, trying to decide what to wear. Finally, she selected a pretty, softly womanly dress. It was sky blue, lightly skimming her full figure, draped softly over her breasts and hips. She admired herself in the mirror, hoping that Duncan would like her as much as she liked him. She sprayed on her vanilla scent and then it was time to go. The trip to the airport was filled with misgivings. Maybe he only wanted a friend, maybe she was reading more into this than was really there. What if he was just pleased to have someone to confide in, share with, someone who apparently had lots of spare time? What if his heart didn’t pound when he thought of her or saw her name?
Kari blushed, thinking of the sexy blue lingerie she so happily wore. She thought she should never had done this, she should have stayed his buddy, in blue jeans and a t-shirt. If she had more time, she would have turned around, gone home to change. As it was, she was nearly late. So, she parked and entered the airport, limited by security. As she looked up, she saw Duncan, coming toward her. His eyes were lit with happiness, his mouth grinning as he moved toward her. Any doubts she felt were nearly gone when she saw him, when he hugged her, lifting her into the air. The last doubt vanished when he kissed her. The kiss changed everything.
TO BE CONTINUED…..
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