At the Greek Tycoon's Bidding(3)

By: Cathy Williams


‘You need more than just a sip of this. It’ll restore some of your energy.’

Heather took a bigger mouthful and felt the alcohol burn pleasantly in the pit of her stomach.

‘You don’t recognise me, do you?’

‘Recognise you? Why on earth should I recognise you? Look,’ Theo said decisively, ‘I have a lot of work to get through before I leave here tonight. You can sit on the sofa till you feel rested enough to leave, but if you’ll excuse me I’m going to have to return to work.’ He was struck by a bright idea. ‘If you like I can get that security guard chap to come and take you downstairs.’

‘Sid.’

‘Sorry?’

‘His name’s Sid. The “security guard chap”. Shouldn’t you know that?’ Heather asked curiously. ‘He’s been working for you for over three years!’ But, like with her, he would have seen him and not registered his face. To a man like Theo Miquel he was literally invisible.

Not liking the accusatory tone to her voice, Theo momentarily forgot the half-read financial report lying on his desk.

‘It beats me why I should know the name of every security guard who’s ever worked here…’

‘You employ him!’

‘I employ lots of people. And anyway, this is a ridiculous conversation. I have work to do and…’

‘I’m an interruption. I’m sorry.’ Heather sighed and felt tears well up as she contemplated the disappearance of her job should she be ill. It was the middle of January. There were a million and one viruses flying about, most of them apparently winging their way from the Far East in an attempt to find more victims.

‘You’re not about to cry, are you?’ Theo demanded. He fished into his trouser pocket and extracted a handkerchief, cursing himself for his good nature in carrying the girl into his office. A complete stranger, no less, who now seemed intent on chatting to him as though he wasn’t a very important man—a man whose valuable time was money!

‘Sorry.’ Heather took the handkerchief and sniffled miserably into it. She blew her nose, which made her feel light-headed all over again. ‘Perhaps I’m just hungry,’ she offered, thinking aloud.

Theo ran his fingers through his hair and cast one despairing glance at the report on the desk. ‘Hungry?’ he said flatly.

‘Doesn’t that sometimes bring about fainting spells?’ Heather asked, looking at him questioningly.

‘I haven’t quite got to that part of my nutrition course as yet,’ Theo said with thick sarcasm, and she smiled. It was a smile that lit up her face. Could have lit up an entire room, for that matter. He felt inordinately pleased at having engineered this response in her. With a stifled sigh of resignation, he decided to put the report on hold for few minutes.

‘I have a call to make,’ he said, walking away even as he took his mobile phone from his pocket. ‘I’m going to give you the land line. Use it to call for some food.’

‘Oh, no! I couldn’t just order food in!’ She shuddered at the cost involved.

‘You can and you will.’ He looked across at her in the middle of handing her the telephone. ‘If you’re hungry then you have to eat something, and there’s no fridge in my office with a handy supply of food. So just order whatever you like. Call the Savoy. Tell them who I am. They’ll deliver whatever you want.’

‘The Savoy?’ Heather squeaked in consternation.

‘On the house, Miss…Miss…I don’t know your name…’

‘Heather. Heather Ross.’ She smiled shyly at him, marvelling at his patience and consideration, especially when you considered that from what she’d gathered, people found him scary.

Theo, she noticed, did not bother to give her his name, but perhaps he assumed that she would already know it—as indeed she did. She saw it every evening in gold plate on his door. Buoyed up by the kick from the brandy, and the realisation that hunger had brought on her unaccountable loss of strength, Heather dialled through to the Savoy, even though the practical streak in her knew that it was a ridiculous nonsense when all she probably needed was a cheese sandwich and a bottle of water. She was vaguely aware, in the background, that an urgent and hushed conversation was being conducted, one to which he clearly did not want her to be a party, and as soon as he was off the phone she turned to him with stricken eyes.

‘I’ve messed up your arrangements for this evening, haven’t I?’

She could tell that this line of conversation was not falling upon fertile ground, but her tendency to blurt out what happened to be in her head did not go hand in hand with the silent approach he clearly wanted. He would order in food for her, or rather get her to order in her own food—which she had sensibly confined to sandwiches, astounded at the effect his name had had on whoever was in charge of the reception desk at the Savoy—but beyond that he did not want her chatter.