The Billionaire from Her Past (19 page)

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In the early days, Mrs Billionaire had planted a rose garden to the north of the house. It had looked stunning for half of one summer, but then a storm had hit and her rose bushes had last been seen flying towards the Antarctic. It had then been decided that an Italian marble terrace would look just as good, although even that was now pitted from flying debris.

‘I hope I'm imagining things,' she told Rocky. Rocky was sniffing for lizards under the carefully arranged rock formations that during summer visits formed a beautiful ‘natural' waterfall. ‘The forecast's still for calm.'

But then she looked again at those clouds. She'd been caught before.

‘If we lose sun for a couple of days we might even lose power. I might do some cooking in case,' she told Rocky.

Rocky looked up at her and his whole body gave a wriggle of delight. He hadn't been with her for two weeks before he'd realised the significance of the word ‘cooking'.

She grinned and picked him up. ‘Yes, we will,' she told him. ‘Rocky, I'm very glad I have you.'

He was all she had.

She'd been totally isolated when she'd left Sydney. There'd been people in the firm she'd thought were her friends, but she'd been contacted by no one. The whispers had been vicious, and who wanted to be stained by association?

Enough
.

She closed her eyes and hugged her little dog. ‘Choc chip cookies for me and doggy treats for you,' she told him. ‘Friends stick together, and that's you and me. That's what this six months is all about. Learning that we need nobody else.'

* * *

The wind swept in from the south—a wind so fierce that it took the meteorologists by surprise. It took Tasmania's fishing fleet by surprise, and it stretched the emergency services to the limit. To say it took Raoul's unprepared little yacht by surprise was an understatement.

Raoul was an excellent yachtsman. What his skills needed, though, was a thoroughly seaworthy boat to match them.

He didn't have one.

For a while he used the storm jib, trying to use the wind to keep some semblance of control. Then a massive wave crested and broke right over him, rolling the boat as if it was tumbleweed. The little boat self-righted. Raoul had clipped on lifelines. He was safe—for now—but the sail was shredded.

And that was the end of his illusion of control.

He was tossed wherever the wind and the sea dictated. All he could do was hold on and wait for the weather to abate. And hope it did so before
Rosebud
disintegrated and left him to the mercy of the sea.

Copyright © 2016 by Marion Lennox

ISBN-13: 9781488003233

The Billionaire from Her Past

Copyright © 2016 by Leah Ashton

All rights reserved. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical,
now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of publisher, Harlequin Enterprises Limited, 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

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BOOK: The Billionaire from Her Past
2.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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