An excerpt from Margaret's book, Trapped.
Candra strode between the derelict warehouses, her heavy corn-coloured hair in its pageboy bob swinging from side to side, a big brown leather bag on one shoulder, a nylon suitcase in her hand. Her holiday in Spain had been totally enjoyable, but she was glad to be back.
A frown replaced Candra’s smile when she saw that a lot of the boats were missing. Her neighbours often went off for the day or the week, or a month even. But so many at the same time? It was unheard of.
(She then finds a letter from a Simeon Sterne to say that he was going to build a marina and convert the warehouses into a restaurant-cum-nightclub and everyone had to move. She is furious. Why hadn’t they stood up to him? She decides to pay him a visit)
Simeon Sterne had intense blue eyes and stood well over six feet. He wore a dark grey suit which sat handsomely on broad shoulders, but there was nothing welcoming in his blue eyes. They were utterly hard and cold, looking down at her with intense dislike. A shiver ran down Candra’s spine, but she straightened her shoulders and returned the stare haughtily.“Miss Drake?” He held out his hand.
Candra ignored it. She marched into his office and heard his swift intake of breath as she passed him, and he closed the door with a resounding thud. It should have warned her but she carried on regardless before turning swiftly around. “Mr Sterne, I don’t think I need spell out the reason for my visit. You do know why I am here?”
“Naturally.” He had thick black hair, so black as to be almost blue, brushed back off his tough, chiselled face. She judged him to be in his late thirties, and his bright piercing blue eyes looked at her and through her, and told her she was wasting her time. “As a matter of fact I’ve been expecting you.”
Candra frowned. “You have?” And just for an instant she was taken back.
“You find that surprising?”
“I’m only amazed it took you so long.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
An insolent smile curved his mouth. “Lady, you have quite a reputation. Didn’t you know that?”
“I have? In what way?” This man was throwing her off balance and she did not like it.
“I understand you’re something of a conservationist?”
Her chin lifted. Now she knew what he was getting at. “Maybe.”
“Quite a little battler when it comes to preserving your town’s natural heritage, so I believe?”
“You think that’s a bad thing?” she scorned, with a flash of her grey-green eyes.
“It’s admirable,” he said solemnly, but she knew he was mocking her. “And now you’ve come to tell me what I should or should not be doing with the warehouse site.”
“That’s right,” she snapped.
“Then feel free to go ahead.” With an amused smile he walked over to his desk and leaned indolently against it. He crossed one long leg over the other, pushed his hands into his trouser pockets, and looked totally relaxed, though Candra knew he was nothing of the sort. He was as wary as a jungle cat. He was poised to make his kill. He was playing with her.
Her anger deepened and she took a steadying breath before saying, “Did you know my grandfather used to own this land?”
His thick black brows rose, and Candra could see that she had surprised him. “As a matter of fact I didn’t, but I don’t see what difference it makes.”
“He intended pulling down the warehouses and turning the area into a nature reserve. He wanted to bring a breath of countryside right into the town and give the houses an uninterrupted view of the canal.”
“So why didn’t he?”
"He died a few months ago.”