There, in the Shadow of a Snow Angel

Agoraphobic and alone, Grace Bell is too scared to change her life for the better. That is, until she meets the gallant and dashing Henry Beaufort who is determined to save her. But can he save her from herself?

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6. Slowly and thoroughly

I frowned, shoving the now creased and crumpled letter carelessly back into my pocket, and standing up. I had read and reread the letter hundreds of times now- hoping the contents might have somehow changed, or that I had just read it wrong before... maybe, somehow, just maybe if I read it again then everything would be different, would feel different. But it was always the same. And I was always left frowning.

 

The letter had made me realise something that I wasn’t too happy about. I did like him. I liked him a lot. He was right. But it had also made me realise that I didn’t want him to get to know me. I’d gone to great lengths to make sure no one got too close. I barely knew my neighbours and I made sure they didn’t know me. I was of course aware of who lived in the houses directly either side of me, but that was just in case anything ever happened.

 

Frustrated, and confused, I skulked back to my bed where I curled up into a ball and spent the rest of the day sulking into my pillow. This is all I had done for the last few days and it was starting to feel like a routine. I needed to get over this and stop moping. But right now I just wasn’t in the right headspace to do anything else. Tomorrow…I thought to myself before falling deep into a heavy sleep.

 

XXXXX

 

Two days later, as I was adding some new designs to my online clothing store, a small messaged popped up on screen- along with the usual alert sound- telling me I had mail. I had sourced a material that I was hoping to purchase in bulk and use quite heavily in my collection and was trying to arrange the shipping with the supplier. Hoping the email would be from them, I excitedly opened the page only to find that I didn’t recognise the name of the sender. I quickly skimmed through the email and found myself so completely gobsmacked by what I had seen that I took the effort to read the email again more slowly and thoroughly:

 

To: Grace Bell <grace.bell@bluebell.co.uk>

From: Tom South <TSouth@BFboutiques.com>

Subject: Business Proposal

 

Dear Ms Bell,

 

My name is Tom South, and I’m the Director of Creative Partnerships at BF Boutiques Ltd. As you may already be aware, we are a global company that invests in small designer boutiques and online stores. We also exhibit their work for sale through our own international network of small boutiques.

 

Having recently come across your work, I decided to take a look through your online collection and was ultimately very impressed by what I have seen. I would love to meet with you and discuss your work in more depth. If this is something that you would be interested in, please do contact me to arrange a meeting. If this were to go well, I would hope to offer you the opportunity to work with us in the future.

 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Best Wishes,

Tom South

Director of Creative Partnerships,

BF Boutiques Ltd.

7 Broadhouse Place,

London,

N12 8PP

TEL: 020567894

FAX: 020567895

Email: TSouth@BFboutiques.com

 

I was amazed to find that it had said what I thought and I couldn’t believe this was happening. Of course I’d heard of the company; when I’d started my online store I had always hoped to secure a big sales contract so that my designs could reach a wider audience without my having to be more than the silent clothes designing partner, and BF Boutiques was one of the biggest and most respected companies for one off and bespoke designs and out there.

 

This is exactly what I’d wanted for my career, but I found myself in a quandary: I would have to meet with him, and I wasn’t sure if I could face this.

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