Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
A Startling Discovery ...
With the contracts signed and congratulations being spoken amongst the group, Ava is more than ready to return to Hatteras Island and enjoy some quality time with Jared. However, Jared has some exciting news for her.
“Ava honey! I’ve just spoken to Anton and he has invited us to visit his Chalet in honor of his being able to boot Greg off the Board of Directors for Andersson Industries and his sister Holly’s emancipation!” Jared replies with glee.
“You don’t mean—”
“But I do mean. Holly is totally resolved with the fact that Gregory only wanted her because of her connections with Andersson Industries. When he found out during the Board of Director’s Meeting that it was you responsible for her losing her dual controlling interest, he wanted no part of it or her.” Jared tells her.
“Oh poor Holly!” Ava laments, understanding how bad it feels to be rejected.
“No, it’s not like that at all. Holly has suspected Gregory’s motives for some time, but she couldn’t bring herself to leaving him. She didn’t want to lose face and shoulder the embarrassment. But because of your daughter, Alexis—”
“Wait a minute, what does my Alexis have to do with all this?” Ava is thoroughly confused.
“Your daughter has been keeping in touch with Holly. Anton told me that she has been a wonderful listener and supporter of his sister. He is amazed at how well Alexis and Holly got along considering how she married your ex!” Jared exclaims.
“There are very few people who are wholly blind to the real Greg Fairchild. Now, enough of that. You say we have been invited to Anton’s Chalet. Just where is it located?” Ava tries unsuccessfully to hide her enthusiasm.
“On the Aland Island.” Jared chuckles at the squeals coming from Ava. “When you arrive in Hatteras Island, we will be journeying to Stockholm. Then a special charter will continue the trek to the island.” Jared announces.
“My bags are already packed. Yamamoto International’s minivan will be taking Ralph and me to the Hong Kong Airport. As soon as I get back to the States, I’ll be heading home for a change of wardrobe and to check up on my residence.” Ava rejoinders.
“Hurry, my love. I can hardly wait to have you in my arms again!” Jared pronounces and the two hang up.
For the last time, Ralph and Ava meet with Akira Haru and Victor at Yamamoto International.
“It has indeed been a pleasure working with you Ava, Ralph. I am sure that this is only the beginning of a very successful association.” Haru smiles.
“The pleasure is all ours.” Ava replies speaking on behalf of Ralph and her. Haru bows graciously and leaves to attend to other matters. Victor smiles at both and rejoinders.
“I’d heard that you were a shrewd negotiator, Ava. But I’ve got to give you credit on how wonderfully you defused the situation between Gregory Fairchild and his Andersson Industries takeover plot.”
“I wish I could take all the credit, Victor. Jared got be connected with Anton and he was more than willing to cooperate. That’s one thing my ex-husband never understood—team effort! When people come together for a common good, there isn’t anything they can’t achieve.” Ava proclaims.
“That’s right! Greg could be even more successful if he didn’t allow his egotistical means to hamper his ends.” Ralph adds.
“That’s what made squashing his plans so easy.” Ava admits.
“At any rate, I’d better get you guys to the airport. I’ll be driving you to the airport in one of our limousine instead of the minivan. As I stated before, it has been a pleasure.” Victor remarks as they all stand for the departure.
Twenty-four hours later, Ava is on her way to Hatteras Island. She is excited to be on yet another adventure. When she arrives, instead of the usual plane charter, Jared is there to greet her.
“It’s good to see you again, honey!” Jared acknowledges as he sweeps Ava into the air and commence showering her with kisses. When she is finally able to respond, she does.
“Jared, I feel the same way!”
“Let’s collect your luggage. We will be taking a rental car to Norfolk in a couple of hours. Then we will be off to Stockholm.” Jared replies.
“Would it not have been easier for you if I had just met you in Norfolk? It seems like—” However, Jared interrupts her.
“I wanted you to see what I’ve done to the house. I brought one of my yachts here so that we can get there by waterway.” Jared says and he practically drags Ava after him to secure her luggage.
Soon Jared is helping Ava into the yacht, along with all her belongings, and they begin their trek. She begins to notice that the direction in which they are heading doesn’t seems to be that of his house. Nevertheless, there is something mysteriously familiar about the locality, as if visiting an old friend.
Suddenly it hits Ava like a rogue wave. This area is the same as the one in her living room. Her painting has come to life!
“Jared—I can’t believe it! This is incredible! It’s my painting! It’s my painting!” Ava sobs as tears swell in her eyes. “How did you know about this location?”
“Alexis sent me a photo of your painting. She asked me to find the location of the scene. I was completely floored when I saw it. I never told you that Olivia was a gifted artist. I remember the day when she create that masterpiece!” Jared is now misty eyed.
“I happen to see that painting in a little antique store and fell in love with it instantly. I’ve often wondered why it was never signed.” Ava thinks back to that moment in time.
“Olivia didn’t want any notoriety for Ocean Autumn so she told the buyer that she would sell it to him only if it could remain unsigned. Her cancer was just really beginning to take a debilitating affect and she knew her time was limited.” Jared reminisces sadly.
“Oh Jared, then the painting really belongs to you!” Ava says as she puts her hand on his shoulder. He captures it and tenderly kisses each finger.
“The painting belongs to us, dear Ava. Because of it, you were drawn to me. I never thought I would ever love again until you came into my life. So strong and yet so vulnerable—a kaleidoscope of emotions and contradictions.” Jared rejoinders softly, holding Ava ever so close.
“So, it’s not really about the house, is it?” Ava questions tenderly.
“Oh, I have done some renovations, this is true. But what I really wanted to do is to introduce you to The Sea—It’s Calling to you!”
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS