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 seven, part four
It’s difficult to describe the way I felt when Sophie laid into me for saying I could catch up on a few things. Of course, I’d rather be at David’s side with her, but if that option wasn’t available to me, what should I have done? She surely couldn’t have expected me to sit in the relatives’ room, twiddling my thumbs and fretting. How would that have helped David? Or her? Or anyone else? I was hoping against hope that the doctor was right and that it was the stress talking, not herself.
Still, not much to be done. I settled down in the cafeteria, had a slice of cake and a coffee, and gave some thought to what I could do. I popped out to the car and retrieved David’s toy tablet. It may be called a toy, but it does have actual, usable applications on it. Applications like the browser, which had recently become my preferred window on the world. You see, with the browser, you can do all of your emails, your social media (if you like that sort of thing; I certainly don’t) and you can buy and sell anything. You can even make Skype calls from inside the browser. All the knowledge in the world is there, waiting to be found, and all the misinformation in the world is also there, waiting to trip the unwary.
I had thought I’d try calling Danny on Skype, but it would have been gone eleven o’clock at night in Singapore, and he wouldn’t have thanked me for that. So I called Henk.
“What’s new, Boss?” he asked.
“Not much,” I said, “we’re on holiday in Cyprus, as you know. Things got a little bit silly this afternoon and well, to cut a long story short, poor little David has ended up in hospital with heat exhaustion.”
“Poor little fellow. Is he going to be okay?”
“Hope so. Sophie is with him now. I’m not allowed. The doctor says fathers tend to excite kids instead of calming them. That’s a first for me. Never been accused of exciting anyone before. So, anyway, I’m stuck here in this cafeteria drinking tea and eating cake. I’d much rather be with David and Sophie, but hey-ho.”
“How long before you can see him?”
“No idea, Henk. Medic just kicked me out and said nothing else. I imagine he’ll have someone come and find me when things are settled.”
“While you’re here, Boss, can we talk a little about Lindy and Tanja?”
“Please do. If you have any information beyond that little incident in Knight Towers, I’d be grateful to hear it.”
“Well. I’ve been monitoring Tanja’s calls in and out. Not just hers, you understand; our phone bill peaked a few months ago, and I’m trying to pin down whom I should discipline for it; but in the monitoring, I’ve found that she and Lindy are having half-hour conversations at least once a week during business hours.”
“Does your girl know you’re monitoring calls?”
“Absolutely. She had to set it up – I couldn’t!”
“So she must know that her calls are being watched, too.”
“Yes, she must.”
“So, either her calls are innocuous, maybe even loosely business-related, or she is so confident in whatever it is they’re doing that she believes you wouldn’t do anything about it.”
“Wouldn’t or couldn’t.”
“Can you eavesdrop?”
“I’d rather not.”
“But can you?”
“If I have reason to believe that her calls are detrimental to the business or its good name, then yes, I can.”
“And do you?”
“Do I what?”
“Do you have reason to believe that her calls are detrimental to the business or its good name?”
“Let me think about that and get back to you Hannice.”
I followed that up with a call to Max.
“A propos of what we were talking about, Max.”
“Lindy’s relationship with Tanja.”
“You have something?”
“Henk tells me that they are on the phone for about half an hour at least once a week.”
“Does he know what it’s about?”
“No. He’s monitoring calls, but not their content. Not yet anyway.”
“Why don’t I talk to Lindy? Ask him outright.”
“Do you think that will work?”
“Only one way to find out, isn’t there?”
“Okay. Will you be able to let me know tomorrow?”
“I think so. Leave it with me.”
Some minutes later, Dr Kyriakis arrived and told me that David was out of danger and responding well. I walked with him back to the ward where my wife and son were. David looked less red, which was good, but still lacked his usual sparkle, which was not.
“How is he, and how are you doing?” I asked Sophie.
“His temperature is coming down nicely, and should soon be back to normal,” the doctor replied, “Your wife did well to keep him out of the sun, and I’m delighted to see there’s no sunburn at all; not like you, Mr Knight. You should probably get that looked at,” he said, pointing to the top of his head.
Until that point, it hadn’t registered with me that I had been walking in the full sun, and waiting around afterwards, for rather a long time, and the skin on my bald patch was feeling tight. I put my hand up to touch it, and immediately wished I hadn’t.
“You have some nasty blisters there. Weren’t you wearing a hat?”
“Left it in the car,” I said. “I know, stupid of me, but things were rather fraught at the time. Probably not thinking straight.”
Sophie looked at me in a way I’d never seen before. I didn’t recognise the flared nostrils and protruding eyes. In an unusually low, measured voice, she said, “If you had had the basic common sense to look at the petrol gauge before we left, this would never have happened. This is all down to you.”
“Sorry,” I mumbled.
“Sorry? Sorry? That might have worked the first time, and maybe even the second. But this is the fourth time in three weeks you’ve let the car run out of petrol and expected the hire company to come and bail you out. That isn’t forgetful. That isn’t absent-minded. That is careless. That is almost criminally negligent.”
“Steady on, old thing,” I said, “careless, I’ll grant you; negligent, even. But it’s hardly criminal, is it; forgetting to check the fuel gauge?”
On reflection, that probably wasn’t the best line to take. The clue was in Sophie’s response. She stood up and clenched her fists so hard that her fingernails must have drawn blood. Then, for the first time since I’d known her, she shouted at me. I mean really shouted.
“What if he had died?”
“I know,” I replied, “let’s be grateful that he didn’t.”
“No bloody thanks to you!” she yelled.