Bryony released the tension in her shoulders as she scanned the people waiting on the other side of baggage reclaim. This was her chance to act like the professional she wanted to portray. But why did her contact have to be Richard Harrison, of all people?
As she wheeled her trolley case towards the main exit from Paphos Airport, she caught sight of the tall figure just as he raised a hand. A quick appraisal showed her he hadn’t changed that much. In fact, he’d matured nicely and was both more handsome and more serious-looking.
Pushing such unwelcome thoughts aside, she waited until he reached her.
“Hello, Bryony, it’s good to see you all grown up.” He held out his hand.
“Hello, Richard. It’s been a while.” At least he didn’t try to hug her or kiss her cheek, and he offered no false platitudes. Maybe she could keep this strictly professional, after all, and forget the past while she was here. She followed him as he headed for the door.
When her boss had recommended her for the business trip to Cyprus, she’d been overjoyed at being taken seriously at last. She loved her job in the travel company and genuinely wanted to find the best options for her clients, so to actually go out and check over the new apartments was a dream come true. She’d never been to the island before, but loved all things Greek, and the Paphos area was firmly in Greek Cyprus.
“I’ve hired a car, as driving is on the same side and it makes it easier to get around. Let me take your case.” He suited his actions to the words and hoisted her luggage into the boot.
Bryony slipped into the passenger seat, hoping they could continue the journey in such a civil, non-confrontational manner. As he pulled onto the main road towards Paphos, she kept her attention on tantalising glimpses of the deep blue Mediterranean. But he obviously hoped to talk.
“So you went into the travel industry? Do you still paint and draw?”
Surprised he remembered her teenage passion for art, she turned to reply to his first question. “It’s a good job, though this is the first time I’ve been sent overseas for the company. And yes, I do still like art, and I’ve added photography to the mix.” She wasn’t going to discuss her reasons for dropping out of art college for the moment.
He was silent again as they reached the outskirts of a more touristy area, with hotels and apartments commanding the best views of the sea. She had relaxed some more when he spoiled it.
“And Gilli? Is she well?”
So here it was, the spectre between them: her older sister, his ex-fiancée.