Take Tara and Rick who originally parted through a misunderstanding, and now after much angst and heart searching their lives at last back on fairly even keel. Yet he's forced to leave her behind when he would rather she go with him, all because of something she feels obliged to do before she can settle to married life.
The following snippet reveals Tara's worst fears (post telephone call asking "Where in hell is he"?) and why he's failed to ring her for six days.
By eight Giorgio was the first guest to surface in the sitting room. ‘Any news?’
What could she say, I feel numb, lacking emotion. ‘I wish.’ How could there be news? No one knew for sure when Rick had disappeared.
She noted the casual way Giorgio draped his jacket over the arm of the chair, athletic swing of his hips before sinking his backside into the plush cushion seat. Liza was right. He was the epitome of elegant debonair man about town with hint of darker side yet to be revealed. His suit black, his Sicilian heritage more than evident in suntanned olive skin and dark eyes, oh yes, he was a handsome young individual and he knew it.
His eyes met hers and she saw ally not opponent as Liza had suggested might be the case. There was empathy reflected in his dark sultry Mediterranean eyes, unlike on the previous evening when he and Liza had embarked on a sparring match. His eyes then, had given the impression that if asked, he’d kill to keep Trans Europa Shipping under the Easterly flag, despite his name that of Giorgio Denaro.
‘Miss Tara,’ said Beattie, entering in haste waving a newspaper. ‘You better see this. It bad news.’
Tara leapt to her feet and took hold of the newspaper. The front-page headline said it all: Ricky Lindon Missing. The sub heading: Air Crash in South America and the article said: Yesterday morning rumors of a missing aircraft strafed the airwaves. Coastguards and air sea rescue crews were scrambled to go search for the golden boy of Hollywood, who failed to turn up on a location shoot for his latest movie. That was some six days ago, and hopes were raised late yesterday evening when a spotter plane reported a crash site on a remote beach. The crew saw no sign of life in or around the wreckage. A senior coastguard official today confirmed the wreckage to be that of Ricky Lindon’s Learjet.
She felt sick, but read on: A helicopter air rescue team located the remote crash site early this morning, and reported the largest section of the Learjet’s fuselage as partially submerged. It’s also been confirmed no survivors nor bodies in or around the crash site.
She couldn’t bear to read more. ‘Yes, but it’s a week since he left. What if someone else has rescued him? A boat perhaps . . . sailing past. Fishermen? I don’t know, someone . . . some how. It’s possible, isn’t it?’
Oh god, she was clutching at straws, but she couldn’t give up on him. Heart pounding her stomach cramped, and bile rose in throat. The silence in the room became a deafening void and she hardly felt Giorgio ease the newspaper from her clutches. Beattie meantime wrapped arms around in a motherly way, and tears could not be held back.
As soon as Liza and Max entered they feared the worst, and Giorgio handed the paper to Liza. Max leaned over her shoulder, each absorbing the reality of what had happened, Liza the first to speak. ‘Oh Tara, Tara. I am so sorry.’
She simply couldn't respond. She needed time to think, to seek sanctuary in her own room. If she didn't she'd scream, every ounce of strength and self-restraint fast diminishing. What had happened, and why had he crashed? CNN would surely be reporting the latest on Rick’s crash. ‘Give me a minute or two, Giorgio, and then we’ll go through your proposal thoroughly.’ She turned to leave, addressed herself to Liza. ‘Can you go through those pointers I mentioned yesterday, and let Giorgio have the file to read through.'
Thankfully no one tried to dissuade her from leaving, and the room again fell silent. As soon as she stepped inside her room she cried her grief, sobbed her hurt and despaired the longing. She felt so empty and lost without him, but she had to know for sure that he wouldn't be coming back, and had to know why his plane had crashed. Was he too tired to fly that distance, after . . .? Oh God, why had he left in the way that he had?
She switched on the television, and there it was: Ricky's Learjet.
What have I done, what have I done? Oh God, that we should be so cruelly torn apart like this. I can't, simply can't go on without him.
Of course, Tara does go on without him but events that follow take her (she thinks) to the brink of insanity, until the night of a masked ball (held in her honour) when truth becomes stranger than fiction. Suddenly feeling as though caught up in some bizarre fairytale she finds herself the heroine in a Beauty and the Beast scenario. Oh how I love writing romance and putting heroes and heroines through emotional hell. ;)