“Helen, have you heard from Neville?” Lady Edgewood asked her sister-in-law. She sounded exasperated and frantic at the same time. “I’ve been trying to reach him all day.”
“Have you tried his cell?” Helen asked, concerned.
“Yes, but it’s turned off.”
“What about his hotel suite?”
“I called there too but there’s no answer. I called the concierge but they said that they haven’t seen him since he left this morning.”
“Perhaps he’s in a meeting, Cicely. A business trip is the reason why he’s in Johannesburg in the first place.”
“Yes, yes, I know that, Helen.” Lady Edgewood replied irritably. “It’s just so vexing that I can’t reach him when I need to.”
“Is there something wrong?”
“No, no nothing’s wrong. I just wanted to tell him that the Earl and Countess Von Hauer have invited us to dinner next week Saturday. I will go ahead and RSVP.”
Helen rolled her eyes. Really, Cicely, she thought, annoyed. Here I was thinking that there was an emergency and it’s just you wanting to tell your husband that you’re invited to a fancy shindig. “Well, I’m happy that it wasn’t a real crisis,” she said now. “If I hear from Neville, which I doubt, I will tell him you telephoned. Have a good evening, Cicely.”
“I consider not being able to reach one’s husband a crisis.” Cicely sounded offended. And instead of wishing her a good evening, she said, “Goodbye,” in a clipped tone and hung up.
Helen slammed the phone down, bristling. That woman really gets on my nerves. I wish she wouldn’t call me every time she couldn’t get in touch with Neville. The next time I hear from that daft brother of mine, I will give him a piece of my mind. What’s he up to now anyway. Why isn’t he at the hotel or answering his cell? She had a bad feeling about this.
Neville reached up and pulled Zola down on top of him. His eager mouth found hers. They were in the cabin he rented for the week he was supposed to be in Johannesburg. Outside it had just finished raining and the air was fresh. The landscape with its stark beauty and tranquility was a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the city. He had left his cell back in the hotel suite and there weren’t any phones here. He didn’t want to be disturbed because all he had was this one week out an entire year with Zola. A week with her wasn’t enough for him any more. He wanted to be with her forever. When he returned to London, he was going to ask Cicely for a divorce. She could have everything. All he wanted was Zola.