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New Partners, part IIsabelle shaded her eyes with her hand as they walked along the beach. “I’ve just bought myself into the shipping business, Jack.” Jack quirked an eyebrow in question.
Isabelle laughed. Subconsciously Jack noticed that she seemed genuinely happy. “I’ve just become part owner of The Rattler with David and Mauriri.”
Unsure how to respond, Jack went with what he hoped was the obvious. “Congratulations.”
Isabelle hooked her arm through his and guided him off the beach and back towards town. “I’m so excited. I’ll finally be able to learn more of the trade business. I have so many ideas all swirling around in my head, I don’t know where to even begin. But, that’s a side issue. What I need you for is to help me with the stables.” Before Jack could formulate a response she continued. “I know, I know, you’re a seaman. But, Jack, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. You’re a natural with the horses. I know you hated working at the stables when you were a boy, but this would be different. I mean, you’d still have to help muck out the stalls and such, but we could be partners. Quit looking at me as if I’ve lost my mind. I told you I’ve been thinking about this for a couple weeks now, since I got back from visiting William and Alea on Somoa. I’d planned to ask even before this situation with The Rattler came up and I—”
Jack came to a stand still, forcing Isabelle to stop, too. It’s true he loved working with horses, had even as a child when he’d been forced to work such long hours at Lord Blackthorne’s estate. He immediately shut down all memories of his painful childhood and turned to Isabelle. “Why me?” he asked, genuinely curious.
“Because you love horses. Because, whether you know it or not, you need some direction in your life, Jack. Because you’ll do a good job and we can help each other. Because…because I can trust you.”
Jack did not, as a rule, act impulsively.
So, he couldn’t precisely say why he’d answered yes without even a whole minute’s thought. Isabelle shrieked with delight and threw her arms around him. Unaware that Clare was watching them from the back door of the bar, he spun Isabelle around and they laughed like school children all the way to the stables.
They spent over an hour discussing the details. Ever the savvy businesswoman, Isabelle had had a slew of legal documents already drawn up. They headed over to the courthouse, dragging Paiku along as a witness. A little over two hours after he’d left the bar, Jack was a full partner in the newly named Reed/McGonnigal Stables.
Jack and Isabelle
the bar grinning from ear to ear. He was eager to
share his news
with Clare. He knew she’d be happy for him.
So, it came as
quite a shock when she wouldn’t even listen. He’d no
one of the barstools than she muttered something he
couldn’t quite make
out under her breath and stalked off to the other side of
the bar and
to take drink orders from a new batch of French
The next morning,
were awoken by a loud pounding noise. Stumbling to
the front of
house, Mo opened his front door to find an angry Isabelle,
to pound some more.
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