Dana Cherie Andersen (nee Graham) was born in Townsville in 1985. She started
working as a legal secretary after graduating form
She married her husband, Jimmy, in 2009. In 2010, she relocated to the Gold
Coast, which she and Jimmy plan to call home and have their own family.
illow could see her father pacing up and down the hall. He was stressed—she
could tell by the way he furiously rubbed his hands together in front of him.
His voice boomed as he made orders, his secretary tapping away feverishly on her
laptop, her eyes not leaving the screen in fear of making a mistake.
‘Ssh,’ she snapped, tapping the teaspoon on the side of her mug, ‘Dad is having a meeting.’
Oscar rolled his eyes. ‘Just for something different. Doesn’t he have an office for that?’
‘He is on holidays,’ she retorted.
Oscar snorted, grabbed a juice and left again.
The younger two, Olive and Alessandro, didn’t seem to mind as much. Olive was going through a bad rebellious stage, so any time away from her parents was like heaven to her. Alessandro was more serious than the other three and a lot more private, so he wasn’t as worried either.
Harvey James stalked into the room, glancing tiredly at his eldest daughter. ‘I
would give anything to be in
‘Me too,’ she said quietly, watching him lower himself onto a chair. He looked older and very tired, and her heart ached for him. He worked so hard for the family, and was a good man. ‘Relaxation would do us all the world of good.’
‘When do you start back?’
She stretched. ‘Three long weeks. I
was thinking of flying to
‘Oh Lord, that will be trouble.’
‘Smashed them,’ Sadie enthused, twirling her tennis racquet. ‘And now I am beat. How is the crisis coming along?’
Her father chuckled, rubbing his greying temples. ‘Things are coming along fine.
One more threatening meeting with this damned company and I think it will be
over.’ He stood up, wrapping an arm around
Sadie clucked her tongue, ‘I think she is getting far too old for grounding,
Harv.’ She looked across the hall to their small library. ‘Has
Her husband nodded. ‘I think I need to give her a raise. She was supposed to be on holidays too.’ When both his daughter and wife nodded in agreement, he sighed. ‘Damn, I was hoping you’d say I paid her enough.’
‘You scrooge,’ Sadie laughed. ‘I am going up and making myself a scalding bath
with lots of bubbles. How about dinner with your father and I,
‘Okay,’ his wife pretended to be disappointed. ‘In that case, you pop the cork on the bottle of wine and pour me a glass please; I will be waiting in my bath!’
Her parents taking off in different directions,
There was a carved wooden shelf next to her large bed, which was just a foot off the ground. The shelf was home to many of her book collections—years and years worth of reading stacked up. She loved buying books, especially preloved ones. There was something mesmerising to her about an old book; its browning pages, the smell, its travels. She often opened a book just to inhale the scent of the pages.
Her phone vibrated around on top of her dresser. Peering at the screen, she beamed as she answered, ‘Hey, Baby.’
Noah cleared his throat, ‘Hi, girlfriend. How are you?’
‘Great, and you?’ She flopped onto her bed, wishing he was there with her.
‘Just fine. And out the front.’
‘Now?’ she shrieked. ‘You’re back?’
Noah laughed throatily. ‘Yes. We have dinner reservations.’
Giggling, she raced to her window and saw her boyfriend’s car across the street. Mentally abandoning her plans for the evening, she grabbed her bag and ran through the house, shouting goodbye to her family.
Noah Parker waited for her calmly, listening to his music. His dark hair bobbed in time to what he was playing, and a wide smile took over his face as his gorgeous girlfriend ran out of the front door towards him.
Greeting each other with a long kiss, they chatted animatedly on the way to the restaurant. Noah had been away for work for a week, and for them, it was a long time apart. They had been together for a few years, falling in love instantly after being introduced by a mutual friend. They had moved out into an apartment a year after meeting, but Noah being away all of the time with his work had made Willow lonely, so she had moved back home to be with her family.
They had a long dinner, dining on seafood and drinking wine. They laughed a lot
and when it was getting late, decided to go home to her place where he
practically lived anyway, and watch a movie with her family. Harvey and Sadie
loved Noah, which made
The next day, Noah,
‘He sounds like such a dick,’ commented Alessandro, pushing his cornflakes around with his spoon.
Noah hid his surprise at Alessandro’s passion. ‘Yes, he most certainly is. But he pays me well, so he can be as much as a dick as he wants to be.’
Oscar, who looked at Noah in admiration and regarded him as a brother, agreed. ‘As long as you are getting the money for it, who’s complaining?’ He held up the coffee pot. ‘Anyone want more coffee?’
‘Nice,’ Noah said thoughtfully. ‘Not much in the mini bar.’
‘Shit, hey?’ Olive offered, buttering her toast.
Harvey and Sadie walked in the room, both dressed in matching yellow silk
Sadie clapped her hands and beamed at her children. ‘We are leaving in two days!
Noah nodded, ‘I think I could manage that.’
Olive, suppressing a groan, looked at her father. ‘So do we all have to go?’
There was a screech behind her, and it was only later
Then everything went black.
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