Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 2.1

Knight after Knight250

In Knight & Deigh, 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.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended, and for which neither was fully prepared.

A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.


Knight after Knight. Chapter two, part one.

Pepu and Jen were at the door just before 9 o’clock the following morning. Sophie and I had been up for a while and were about to have breakfast.

“Care to join us for breakfast?” I heard Sophie ask as she let them in.

“I don’t think that would be our place, Madam,” Pepu replied, “Jen is your cook/housekeeper now, so she should prepare your breakfast. If you will allow it, just for today, I would like to take breakfast with Jen in the kitchen. We didn’t have time to eat before we came. I’m afraid we were up until very late telling our friend of our good fortune and, as a result, we overslept this morning. It won’t happen again, Madam.”

“Overslept? If driving in from wherever you came from and turning up ready for work at 9am is oversleeping, I think we’ll get along fine. Yes, be our guest, have breakfast with your wife. But I’d prefer you to call me Mrs Knight. I’m not comfortable with Madam all the time.”

“Of course, Ma— er, Mrs Knight.”

“Thanks. Jen, come with me and we’ll discuss breakfast.”

Having heard the conversation, I was ready when Jen came in.

“What would you like for your breakfast, Sir?” she asked.

“I’d like two eggs, lightly scrambled, on wholemeal toast, please. I’ll have some cereal whilst you’re doing it. Oh, and coffee. There’s a bean-to-cup machine in the kitchen. Are you happy with that?”

“Yes, Sir. I’ve never used such a machine, but Pepu worked as a barista during the Christmas period a couple of years ago, so he’ll be able to show me.”

“I’ll have the same, please, Jen,” Sophie said, adding, “let me know if Pepu isn’t sure about the coffee machine – I have lots of experience with it.”

“Thank you, Mrs Knight,” Jen said and went back into the kitchen.

Breakfast was good. In fact, it was very good. Without being asked, Jen had added some spices to the egg; I couldn’t make out what it was, it was nothing like strong enough, but it was enough to give the egg a hint of piquancy.

“You’ll have to find out how she does that,” I said to Sophie.

“Why?”

“It’s good – I like it.”

“I don’t need to have the recipe, we have the cook.”

“She may leave, one day.”

“Not if I have anything to do with it.”

Jen came in to clear the table, followed by her husband.

“What are your orders today, Sir?” Pepu asked.

“My solicitor will be here at ten with contracts which we need to read through and sign.”

“I’m sure they’ll be correct, Sir. I don’t think you’ll cheat us.”

“Even so, Pepu, I want you both to read them and make sure you’re completely happy with them before you sign. Mr Green, my solicitor, will explain anything you aren’t sure about and he’ll witness the signatures, yours and ours. By the time we’ve done that, your mobile phone should have arrived.”

“Why do I need a mobile phone, Sir?”

“Sometimes, Pepu, I’ll send you out on your own, either to run a particular errand or to pick up guests from the airport or railway station. I need you to be able to get in touch with me or my London office if you have any difficulties. All the relevant numbers will be on speed-dial.”

Joe Green arrived, as expected, at exactly ten o’clock. You always could set your watch by that man. I secretly believe he was parked for some time just outside the grounds, driving up to the door to arrive with split-second accuracy. That was just one of the many things I respected about him.

At my request, Joe had prepared a contract for each of the Kunongas covering their employment, and a single contract covering their accommodation. He read the contracts aloud, pausing to explain and simplify legal and technical terms that he judged from the Kunongas’ expressions were new or confusing to them. Once he’d finished, he checked that we had all thoroughly understood the contracts then passed them to each of us in turn for our signatures. When he departed, he left us with a copy each of the contracts; the third copy would remain on file in his office.

“That’s it, then,” I said after Joe had gone, “I think we have something to celebrate. Let’s—”

“With respect, Sir, we don’t take alcohol,” Pepu said.

“I think Mr Knight has a nice cup of tea in mind,” Sophie offered.

“And a plate of biscuits,” I said.

“Mr Knight likes double-chocolate chip cookies, Jen, you’ll find some in the larder,” Sophie said.

 

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