After her bitter divorce, Paola moves to Vancouver for a fresh start. She and her twenty-three-year-old daughter, Bianca, have new jobs working at a firm owned by a father and son team. Complications develop almost immediately when Paola discovers Bianca thinks she’s in love with Fritz, her fifty-year-old employer. Luckily, their relationship is platonic. So far. Karl, the thirty-seven-year-old son, is attracted to Bianca, but hesitates to make a move because he assumes the elder pair are sleeping together. Things go from bad to worse when Paola finds herself drawn to Fritz, but won’t act on her feelings because she doesn’t want to hurt her daughter.
When tragedy strikes, nothing is certain, and the lives of four people hang in the balance.
Paola looked out the window of the commuter jet as it headed into Vancouver International Airport. She hoped Bianca was there to meet her. That was the plan, but her twenty-three-year-old daughter seemed distracted these days, and had been for months now.
Paola was starting a new life. Her husband of twenty-seven years had run off with a nineteen-year-old and tried to take everything, but she’d had a good lawyer. That wasn’t by accident. Paola believed in research and references. She ended up with more than half, which in no way made up for the loss of the man she’d thought of as her soul mate. She’d then sold everything, quit her job, and with Bianca’s help, found new employment here in Vancouver, one hundred and sixty miles north of Seattle.
She’d married and raised her family in Seattle, but it was time for a new start and a clean separation from her ex. She would be working with her daughter, who had followed her into the same profession and became a video game designer.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, was one of the international hubs for video game design, and her new employer was known worldwide as one of the best.
Net One Co. Ltd., was started twenty-nine years ago by the far-seeing computer programmer and all-around genius, Fritz Felkner. The fifty-three-year-old and his only son, the twenty-five-year-old Karl, ran the company. It was one of the largest private companies in Canada and she understood both father and son refused to go public, in spite of lucrative offers. Much of this information came from her daughter, Bianca.
It seemed to Paola that taxiing to the de-boarding ramp had taken as long as the short flight from Seattle. She felt invigorated, with none of the jetlag from trips overseas or other long flights. After making her way through a very polite Customs and Immigration—she had all the paperwork in order, including her shiny new work visa—she followed the signs to the luggage claim area. Before she even looked for her bags, she sought her daughter.
She must have overlooked the sign three times in her excitement to see Bianca, but at last, it clicked in her mind that her name was written in black, on a large off-white sheet of craft paper.
Ms. Paola Vasquez
A bored-looking man held it, who must have been less than thirty. When she took a moment to examine him, she caught her breath. He stood a head taller than those around him, had broad shoulders, with the quintessential square chin and blonde hair of German stock. It was a young, handsome face well, actually, it was gorgeous, and attached to a luscious body in the bargain.
Yum, yum, she thought, then chastised herself, but reconsidered. She was now single, and as such had every right to look at such a scrumptious piece of manhood with as much lust as she desired. He was a boy, after all, not much older than Bianca. It’s not like she would do more than enjoy the view. She strode toward him with a warm smile on her forty-seven-year-old face.
He must have realized who she was, because his eyes widened in clear surprise and his green eyes glowed as they roamed over her body. Yes, she’d put on a few pounds over the years, but her body was still something close to voluptuous. Usually the stares of men as she walked down the street annoyed her, but in this case, she felt a thrill, in spite of the fact that he was a puppy.
“Yes. I would be Paola Vasquez,” she said, looking way up into those lust-filled emerald eyes.
“Uh…hi, I’m Karl Felkner…um, ah…Bianca was…um, busy and couldn’t make it to, ah…pick you up, so Dad sent me. It’s just you look different in person than from the video conference.”
“Yes, I didn’t recognize you at first either. I’m unhappy not to see Bianca, but you’re not a bad recompense.” She gave him a cheeky grin.
His eyes grew wide as saucers and then in an instant, he became the ultimate gentleman, offering her his arm. “Shall we go in search of your bags?”
“That would be an excellent idea.” She smiled at him again and enjoyed his flustered look. “Bianca has seemed a little distracted the last while,” she said. “She seldom answers her cell and when she does return calls, which is not often, she acts a little…otherworldly, if you know what I mean?”
“Ah…at work, Bianca is the consummate professional.”