Dear River,

I have written this email a thousand and one times and each time I fell short. I can say all the sorries I want I know it will never make a difference to you and I know you have a right to be mad at me and nothing I have to say will make a difference but I am sorry.

I know your mother has told you about the baby. Raymond and I would love for the children to be at his christening. Please. I know my word carries no weight with you but I would appreciate it if you think about it. Please.


River deletes the message. Since his mother’s visit he has been uneasy. He knew Bree was going to contact him at some point. He blocked her number on all fronts as well and Raymonds’ he has no desire to talk the both of them, none at all. But it doesn’t change the fact that his children now have a step sibling and his nephew is also his step son. Fuck sake. He cannot think about this now, he has more pressing issues on his hands like the expansion into Europe thanks to BREXIT everything is so damn complicated.

‘Ms Sinclair is here.’

River’s assistant’s voice punctuates his thoughts. Ava Sinclair and her cute beyond cute son. ‘Thanks Ada.’ He puts on his jacket and heads into the boardroom adjacent to his office. Ava Sinclair is sitting at one end of the table, her long twists frame her beautiful face.

‘Good morning.’


‘Would you like tea, coffee?’

‘No thanks I’ve been offered.’ This is a short meeting, she sent River and email late last night about their outpost in Paris, Huxley’s popularity in Europe is only hampered by the madness of BREXIT. She thought the email was explanatory but she felt the flutters when he asked to see her this morning. Dressing up was with extra care; black leather skirt, jumper that sits just above the high waist and her favourite Louboutin knee high boots in Navy suede. Her hair is freshly retwisted by her trusted hair stylist.

River fixes a cup of coffee for himself and takes a seat on the other end of the table from Ava. ‘I wanted to talk about your plans for Paris. Are you sure about that?’

‘It’s the holidays and we need to make some sort of splash for the warehouse, a gift hub in the heart of the city just in time for the last minutes shoppers would along the Seine would be ideal. I know with the Cartier launch coming up its tight, so I have a team in situ working up a spec for me. It’ll be dressed as Santa’s workshop. Guests will place their orders via the app, and within ten minutes it is in their hands. Hot chocolate and marshmallows whilst they wait, a creche for mums. Warehouse up top, hub downstairs. If we hit all the right press this week, we can make a splash. We will have a preview for some key editors, bloggers, podcasters. We’ll host Instagram lives with different people for ten minutes each. The works.’

‘Sounds good.’ River is always in awe of Ava Sinclair’s smarts, she came up with the concept over night without even seeing the space and has strapped everything out without much fuss. It makes his recent thinking an easier decision but he will have to run that by her at a later date.

‘I’ve run the numbers up by Gabriel.’

River laughs a little. ‘He must love that.’

‘He does.’

‘I’ll handle him.’

‘Thanks.’ Ava stands to leave and River gets the full wattage of her look.

Damn, from the tip of her head, long twists, down to the point of those boots, Ava Sinclair is one beautiful woman. ‘How’s Oliver?’

Ava smiles, ‘he’s well.’

‘Give him my love.’

‘I will.’ Ava stops short of inviting him over for dinner, but it’ll be too weird for Oliver. Weirder for her; she cannot confuse her son with having another man around him. The shit with Wendy is messy enough. And why the hell is she thinking about him like this?

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