Sunday serialisation – A Bump in the Knight, 11.1

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…

A bump in the Knight is now being published here as a serial; one part each Sunday.

A Bump in the Knight. Chapter eleven, part one

Over the following months, the working party had a number of meetings. Initially, there was a lot of ground-work to be done, setting out and agreeing on the locations, types and sizes of businesses they would go after, then looking into the possibilities for expanding the investment and services wings, including Kanene’s interior design business.

Eventually, the day came for the party to go out into the world and start putting some flesh onto the bare bones of their deliberations. They had previously agreed that wherever they went, the relevant Regional Manager should go with them. To ease them into their work, the first calls were made in India, accompanied by Danny Cho, and by K K Subramanium. This trip ultimately resulted in the acquisition by Knight Trading (India) of two import/export companies, one in Chennai and one in Mumbai. K K Subramanium was appointed CEO of Knight Trading (India), responsible to Danny Cho. At the same time, Max started looking into setting up franchises in India and Singapore for the newly formed Knight Global Investments. This was a longer-term project, though, that we didn’t see coming to fruition for a few years, at least.

After India, Sophie received, out of the blue, an invitation from Jason and Noelani Reeves on Honolulu to spend a holiday with them. They had obviously been keeping up with us, as the invitation was to Hannice, Sophie and David.

“There’s more,” Sophie said.

“What more could there be. We’ve been invited to spend a holiday on Honolulu. Isn’t that enough?”

“No, listen; it’s signed Jason, Nell and Jess. No more.”

“So is Jess a boy, a girl or a dog?”

“It would be unusual to sign a holiday invitation from a dog, wouldn’t it?”

“I know a lot of people include their pets in greetings card signatures.”

“I’ve seen that, too. But – holiday invitations?”

“I’ll call Jason to accept and start a conversation about dates.”

I dialled Jason’s phone.

“Jason; thanks for inviting us. We’d love to come and see you. Hopefully, purely for pleasure this time.”

“My thoughts, too, Hannice. Neolani was so taken by Sophie. She’s really excited at the thought of seeing you again, and we’d both like to meet your son David.”

“I don’t think he’ll complain at the prospect of an island holiday, either. One question, though.”

“I know what you’re going to ask. Who’s Jess?”

“How did you guess?”

“It’s the question I’d be asking in your shoes. Jess is our daughter; our only child. She’s just turned fifteen, and not terribly happy.”

“Why ever not? I would have thought a fifteen-year-old girl living with you and Noelani in that beautiful house of yours would have everything she needed for a happy life.”

“And so she has, my friend, with one single exception.”

“Which is?”

“Friends. Jess is a serious, studious girl in an environment where those qualities aren’t appreciated. I’ve been following some of the public statements coming out of your outfit, and it seems to me that your David is also serious and studious. I was hoping they might become friends.”

“David is serious and studious. He is also ambitious, career-wise, and had a clear picture of how he wants his life to move forward. He, too, has few real friends of his own age. Kids who befriend him at school do so mostly for what they think they might be able to get out of him; he’s smart, hard-working and, compared with many of his peers, shall we say financially secure.”

“And he goes to a regular day-school?”

“I was determined, as soon as he arrived, that there were three things I would never do to him: send him away to school, induct him into the business unless he asked me to, and send him out to run a region, again, unless he had specifically asked for it. I want him to go through life liking, respecting and trusting me.”

“When can you come?”

We arranged half a dozen possible dates, which I ran by Sophie and David. We finally settled on three weeks in June. I called Jason to confirm it and let Max and Henk know so we could plan the time out as far as the working group was concerned. I let the firm know officially through Emily’s current PA, who also acted as my gatekeeper.

It always amazed me how time could drag between deciding on holiday dates and destination, and the arrival of the chosen date.

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