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HOME >> Product 0405 >> CHASING RAINBOWS>>

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CHASING RAINBOWS

Ellen Farrell

In the cafeteria of a Frankfurt gallery Anna Amalia Reitner is surprised to meet Jago Nicholson, whom she had last seen when she’d accidentally disrupted the celebratory reception of one of his company’s MRI machines at the Oxfordshire hospital where she works. He is pleasant, if a shade distant, so that when weeks later he telephones her office quiet, gentle Millie, overworking in the aftermath of her mother’s death, is, again surprised. However, she is happy to drive to his children’s school, take over supervising the children from their teacher Adelaide Thomas and remain with them until Jago arrives.

$5.99

It is clear that Jago loves his children and Flora and Henry love him. Millie, asked by Flora if she would like to come back with them to their house, is disappointed to have to refuse but meets Jago once again at Covent Garden. She is with her colleague Cecilie Kemp Smith’s cousin Philip and Jago is with his cousin Laura Fitzgibbon. When Philip, Jago and Laura realise that Millie has travelled to London by public transport Jago offers her a lift back to where she has left her car. The children, he tells her, would like to invite her to a summer fair at the manor house home of Adelaide Thomas which is next door to his own property, and this time she is delighted to accept.

The event is a huge success. The children learn more about the gaps in Millie’s knowledge of her German family, while Millie is charmed and amazed by their absorbed interest in everything around them and delighted when Jago arrives in time for tea. He has further problems arranging the occasional supervision of Flora and Henry and Millie offers to help, not explaining that this will prevent her CEO, Walter Hemingway, from worrying about her long working hours.

Millie tells Jago something of what she knows about her grandfather and his death during the second world war; Jago tells her about the death of his wife. Millie, an only child, learns that Jago has a sister, a brother-in-law and nephews, and many cousins.

Increasingly involved with the children and becoming friendlier with Jago, Millie, now wondering if Walter is interested in Mrs. Thomas, Adelaide’s mother, is struck down by flu and taken care of at Jago’s house, where she meets his sister and brother-in-law. Once fully recovered she is taken to meet Jago’s uncle, Hector Nicholson, a considerable landowner and art collector.

On the evening of the reception Jago takes Millie in his arms so that she arrives at the reception in a daze of happiness. She meets, briefly, Laura Fitzgibbon, then Hector, who is eager to show her his collection of paintings, drawings, and other works of art.

With a mixture of shock and disbelief she recognises work by her grandfather; hitherto supposed to have been destroyed, it has been obtained for Hector by Jago from bank in Switzerland. Stunned, she asks Jago to take her back to her car; insisting on taking her home, he asks what she has seen that has so upset her . . .

At her house for the first time, he immediately recognises a painting which is clearly by the artist of the works on Hector’s walls. Told that before and immediately following her grandfather’s death everything he did or wrote or made was destroyed, Jago immediately assures her that Hector’s works were not stolen, but, concerned that she may express similar suspicions to the children, he advises her to make no such assertions, that she is wrong and plainly knows nothing of Hector or indeed of him. He lashes out asking if all her friendliness has been in order to obtain what might in other circumstances have belonged to her. When he spells out the history of Hector’s works of art, he tells her that at the time of his own transactions he had never heard of her grandfather. Despite their unresolved conflict and mutual absence of trust he sends a note asking her to accept if she wishes to so an invitation from the children to join them at Tate Modern on a trip for family and friends. Jago, arriving towards the end of the outing, impersonally thanks Millie for her kindness.

She in turn experiences devastation that the wall of distrust that has sprung up between them…and every time she sees following, it becomes more difficult to hide her feelings for him. Can there be a happy ending….?

 

eBOOK STATS:

   

Length:

39567 Words

Price:

$5.99

Published:

05-2016

Cover Art:

T.L. Davison

Editor:

Copyright:

Ellen Farrell

ISBN Number:

978-1-77217-043-6

Available Formats:

PDF; HTML; Microsoft Reader(LIT); Palm (PDB); Nook, Iphone, Ipad, Android (EPUB); Kindle (MOBI);

 

EXCERPT

   

MILLIE REITNER LEFT FRANKFURT Cathedral by the foyer door, and in the Domstrasse she stopped to admire a window display of tee shirts and long sleeved pullovers and knitted sweaters. The sweaters were piled according to colour: not quite cornflower blue, not really quite sage green, several shades of blueberry and raspberry, and all were silk or cotton or a silk and cotton mix. Millie, wanting several, blinked enquiringly at the prices and hesitated; caught by the breeze, for an instant her hair, reflected, was transformed into a golden halo. Admiring the tubs of what might have been forget-me-nots she continued to the junction with Braubachstrasse, where she crossed the road and went from the bright sunlight the papers were calling a heat wave into the shadows of a building which, basically triangular, might have been a carefully cut slice of a terra cotta brick cake. Well, terra cotta brick and off white something else, if such a cake were possible . . .

Inside the ground floor café every place appeared to have been taken, but there were tables on the pavement terrace and a smiling waitress pointed to the half-opened floor to ceiling windows. Millie asked for coffee then murmured excuses and begged forgiveness as she struggled to work her way out to what in the end, was the only free seat available. Already an admiring waiter was pointing to the chair and Millie halted, surprised.

Perhaps it wasn’t free at all.

The chair was one of a pair; the other was taken by a dark haired man who rose immediately to his feet. He looked at Millie and frowned.

“We know each other.” He was clearly puzzled. “Don’t we? Haven’t we met?”

He had spoken in English. Millie was staring and though on the point of a gentle but dismissive denial, she was quite aware that they had met, at least in a fashion. She’d seen him before—but not here in Frankfurt, and certainly not at a table on the pavement area of a cafeteria in a gallery of modern art. They had been in an English hospital and under a vast canopy where a new machine was being demonstrated.

“At work?” Her quiet words weren’t exactly a question.

The waiter had retreated and she put her hand out to move her chair, then stepped forward as the man who’d recognised her, also attempted to pull the chair out further. The chair collided with that of another customer who also stood up but slowly sat down again as Millie’s new acquaintance beckoned to the waiter now approaching with her coffee.

“Please,” he said. “Won’t you sit down? And have a cup of coffee?”

Millie’s expression was rueful. His tone was just a little patient.

“There’s nothing to worry about.”

Millie’s dark blue eyes widened. “I think it’s just the way I look,” she said, and smiled.

He nodded silently, sitting down again once Millie, her bag beside her and her book on the table, was safely seated. He then offered her sugar, which she declined. She still couldn’t quite believe what was happening. He looked much as he had when she’d seen him before, disquietingly formal, a business man, while she, Millie, was wearing crumpled linen; The White Company, but rather crumpled. “Who—?”

“Am I? And what am I doing here? Shouldn’t I first remind you where we met?”

“The South Oxfordshire Hospital,” Millie conceded as she stirred her coffee. She’d arrived late at the reception, and in the hushed silence in an attempt to see better what was going on, had moved carefully backwards – and had sent a loaded tea trolley clattering. “And a table fell over.” That had been even worse. “A tremendous racket.” Then, alarmed that she should seem quite so incoherent, she added, “It was—”

“Don’t tell me. Entirely your fault?” He wasn’t smiling.

Nor was she. “Entirely. A domino effect.” She was aware only that his eyes were grey, that his brow was lined with quizzical scrutiny, that his straight hair was slightly longer than it had been the first time she’d seen him.

He said, “So, I know where we met, though I’m afraid, not who you are.”

Millie registered straight white teeth, dark hair and again, slate grey eyes. Nervous, for a moment she said nothing.

“Jago Nicholson.” He held out his hand. “And you?”

Disconcerted but disarmed, she smiled. “Anna Amalia Reitner.” As she gave him her hand she added, her voice as quiet as his, “But my friends call me Millie.” She knew she was blushing and aware that she had in all probability, made a very bad mistake. She picked up her cup, only to set it down again with a plonk.

 

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