Sunday serialisation – A Bump in the Knight, 3.4

In Knight & Deigh, confirmed bachelor and businessman Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

On his father’s death, Hannice inherited a global business and great wealth. Then, together with Sophie, he embarked on a series of activities designed to give him some of the excitement and the freedoms that he felt he had missed out on, by being tied to his father’s business for two decades.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and found himself drifting into a relationship with her that neither had anticipated or intended, and for which neither was fully prepared.

This book follows Hannice’s new adventures as he tries to juggle business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

But all doesn’t go quite as he had planned…

Beginning on 14 January 2018, I am publishing Knight & Deigh here as a serial; one part each Sunday.

A Bump in the Knight. Chapter three, part four

Over the course of the following weeks, a number of important things happened: Sophie’s morning sickness came to an end and her tummy started to show larger, the building and decorating work in the new master suite was completed to everyone’s satisfaction, and Mrs Fan signed me off. Dr Harry now only wanted to see me once a year, to make sure there was no relapse or complication.

With the completion of the structural work, Kanene had gone back to Dar with Max. She had specified all the furnishings and fittings before her departure, and Sophie busied herself selecting and engaging suppliers to complete the bedroom, dressing room and bathroom fitting to Kanene’s specification. I had been excluded from all discussions about the design of the rooms and barred from going near the floor until the work was finished and ready for us to move in.

When that day came, Sophie bundled me into the lift and blindfolded me whilst we were ascending. She helped me out when the door opened, guided me to the spot where she wanted me to stand, and removed my blindfold. I was staggered.

“Is this how Kanene designed it?” I asked.

“It was a joint enterprise between Kanene and myself, but it would be wrong of me to describe myself as anything more than a very junior partner. So, yes. It’s fair to say that this is Kanene’s design.”

“So what’s she doing working as a house-girl? She has so much more to offer.”

“I think you’re right. With a bit of training, she could be a fine interior designer.”

“She doesn’t need training as a designer,” I said, “I think she could benefit from business training, so she knows how to run an interior design company, but she’s already a capable designer. A design course would most likely replace her ideas with theirs. Let’s give it some thought, and I’ll talk to Max. After all, she’s Max’s housegirl, not mine.”

We walked around some more, and Sophie pointed out some of her favourite features.

“All we have to do now is move our stuff in,” I said.

“Already done,” she said.

“When?”

“Yesterday afternoon.”

“You are supposed to be resting, Sophie.”

“Don’t worry. Mrs Cooper helped me, and I used the lift to save walking around too much.”

“I still would have preferred if you’d let me help.”

“You were busy. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

I set up a Skype call to Max and walked around the master suite while I was talking to her, so she could appreciate what I was talking about.

“Wow, Hannice. Did Kanene really do all that?” Max asked.

“Can you see why we think Kanene deserves more than a housegirl’s job?” I asked.

“I can, Hannice, but I don’t know what we can do for her.”

“I’ll give it some thought. Perhaps we can talk about it some more later. Meantime, how is Lindy doing? Was he okay while you were over here?”

“Lindy’s in his element. We have two clients now, and he’s managing accounts and admin for them, in addition to the Jaxsons joint venture and our own stuff. And he’s doing it without any extra staff.”

“Does he still have some ex-Jaxsons people with him?”

“Yes. Just the two he started with. They’ve settled in well and are giving him good support.”

“You did a good thing there, Max, promoting him like that.”

“I think you would have done it eventually, Hannice. I just got in there first.”

This new master suite really is something. We’re using the largest bedroom and its attached dressing room with its built-in wardrobes and dressers at one end and the en-suite bathroom/wet room on the other. So far, the nursery is an empty room, devoid of furnishings and with bare walls, waiting for us to call Kanene back to design its décor and furnishing. Across the corridor is the small but splendidly equipped gym, the nanny’s room; again, fully fitted and ready for anyone to move in, and the large room that can be used as a games room, a den, an office or a family room. Over its lifetime, it will most probably be used for all these purposes, and more. For the moment, it’s furnished and fitted as a den, with its full-wall television, wrap-around cinema sound and luxury sofa and armchairs.

Dr Lockhart has been coming in two or three times every week, monitoring Sophie’s and the baby’s health and condition to the minutest degree, and we have been visiting Mr Fillingham-Smythe at the KGT clinic every week. On our last visit, he carried out another detailed scan and pronounced himself well satisfied with the result. He also confirmed to us that Kanene was right about something else: baby is a boy.

“Does that mean we can start thinking about a name now?” Sophie asked me.

“I’d like to name him after my father,” I said.

“Maurice?”

“Yes, Maurice.”

“No, Hannice. These days, he’ll be called Mo in school, and that’s horrible.”

“It was good enough for my father,” I said, pouting.

“Let’s compromise, and have Maurice as his second name.”

“What’s your idea for his first name?”

“I’d like to name him after my Dave if that would be alright.”

“David Maurice Knight. Hmm. I can live with that.”

“That’s agreed then?”

“That’s agreed. David Maurice Knight it is.”

“Let’s get Kanene across to design the nursery, then; unless you want to do it yourself.”

“No, I’d like to let Kanene do it. I’m beginning to find things quite tiring, and I don’t want to take on anything that involves a lot of running around.”

“I’ll call Max.”

“Can you get Max across, too? I enjoy her company.”

“I can. I’d like to move to the next stage with this India proposal, so I’ll set up a meeting with Henk and Danny Cho, as well.”

“Here or London?”

“Here, I think. Do we have enough guest rooms ready?”

“I’ll get Mrs Cooper on it tomorrow.”

“Allow for Lindy and Tanja, too.”

“You match-making, Mr Knight?”

“You may very well think that, Mrs Knight. I couldn’t possibly comment.”

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