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A Very Corporate Affair 3(6)

By:D A Latham

There was a stunned silence for a moment. "That's fantastic. My brother in law said that something was happening at the top levels, but he wasn't privy to it, so couldn't get information."

"Apparently he's on his way to Moscow, and will give a press conference, so put your telly on. Also, can you call Marakov and get him to pull the ransom cash back to Retinski please. I'm hoping it wasn't touched."

"Consider it done. Can I ask though Elle, how you know all this?"

"That's confidential I'm afraid."

"I see, well, I don't know who your contacts are, but you must have some pretty powerful people behind you." I stayed silent. "I'll call Marakov, then the other directors. I'll call you back in a little while."

"Ok." I cut the call. Within 30 seconds it rang again. "Hi Oscar, have you heard the news?"

"Yes, just spoke to Darius. Great stuff. Can I come over?"

"Sure, I'll tell Roger to let you in. See you in a bit." I wandered back to the kitchen. "Would you tell Roger that Oscar's on his way over please? I'm gonna nip up and get dressed." Jo was beaming with happiness.#p#分页标题#e#

"Do you want some breakfast?"

"No thanks, I had toast earlier, and I'm sure Oscar would have eaten already. Do you know what Ivan's favourite dinner is? I want to cook for him tonight."

Jo thought for a moment. "He likes roast beef the most, I think. Tell you what, once I've seen this press conference, I'll nip to Waitrose and pick up everything you need for a roast."

"Great. He's probably gonna be worn out and sick of cabbage soup, so I'll spoil him a bit."

I ran upstairs, and threw on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, and ran back down, just as Oscar arrived. "Hey, great news huh? Come and have a coffee while we wait for the news conference."

"You look exhausted Elle, I bet you didn't get a wink of sleep. Hey girls, how's my favourite spaniels?" He bent down to pick up both spaniels, one in each arm, and let them lick his face enthusiastically. I watched in fascination, shocked that he seemed to genuinely like them. I would never in a million years had Oscar down as liking animals. "Shall we see if we can watch your Daddy on the telly?" he crooned at them, smiling as their ears perked up at the word 'Daddy'.

We all went into the lounge, and I flicked on the big TV. Jo brought in cups of coffee, and Oscar played with the dogs while we waited. They seemed to adore him, rolling around at his command, and giving paw.

Chapter 2

Ivan looked a little tired, and his suit a bit crumpled at the press conference, which was in Russian, with subtitles. I drank in the sight of his beautiful face, not quite believing my own eyes that he was actually alive, free, and in one piece. He briefly described how his guards had waited for the ideal opportunity to overpower the terrorists utilising the superior training gained from their time in the Russian military.

He fielded a few questions from the journalists, before telling them that he would be heading straight back to London to get on with running Retinski Industries, even though he would have loved a few days holiday in his beloved Moscow. He told the reporters that it wouldn't put him off returning to Russia, we'll see about that, and he hoped that terrorists would think twice before attacking people, given that he had proven that Russian military training had made his guards almost invincible.

I saw Nico in the background, looking a little uncomfortable as Ivan spoke. He thanked everyone for their concern, and stood up, saying that his plane would be ready for take off in a few minutes.

As soon as the press conference was over, Jo announced that she was going to Waitrose. Oscar and I decided to take the girls out for a walk through the woods. We walked for a while in companionable silence, before Oscar spoke, "Are you feeling a bit better now?"

"Oh god, yes. I was in full meltdown last night, what with the funeral, the kidnapping, and the hassle I had at Retinski. I came back here and just cried. It all just felt like too much."

"It's what your life will be like with Ivan.... Complicated."

"So you keep telling me."

"You must be able to see it, I hate to think of you living in fear of your life." Oscar spoke softly, but with conviction. I thought about my paranoia the night before in the Retinski offices.

"I know. In a lot of ways I know you're right, but I need to stay the course. Part of my meltdown was the fear that I'd never see him again."

"Are you in love with him?"

I glanced up at Oscar, "Yes, I think so. I have feelings for him."

"I think so, means you're not. When you're in love, you know. It's irrefutable when it happens to you."#p#分页标题#e#