Chapter 8 Clarabella

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Chapter 8

Berkley crawled out of bed and stretched her arms and legs.  She wondered how long Dane had held her before leaving?  She hated knowing that she was weak and that he had seen that side of her.  He mentioned to her on more than one occasion that Ethan needed stability.  Berkley could not give Ethan the stability he needed.  It would have to come from Dane.  Several Nanny's had already come and gone and if Dane or Cybil didn't fire her then she would only be around for two or three years, depending on how soon she could finish her degree.

She walked into the bathroom and brushed her teeth then splashed a little cold water on her face.  Her eyes were a little puffy this morning.  She dried her face and made her way down to the kitchen for a cup of coffee.  The house was quiet.  No coffee.  No little feet patting up and down the hall.  No Dane?

She made a pot of coffee and warmed a bowl of oatmeal.  She sat down at the counter and skimmed the headlines checking the business section.  No news regarding Knight International?  She skimmed an article about the hospital's black tie event to raise money for the new Children's Cancer Care Facility that was to be held downtown. Alan Knight would be the guest speaker and C.E.O. Dane Knight would be presenting a check to get the project off the ground.  Tickets were on sale for a ridiculous amount of money.  Yes it was a good cause but $50,000 for exclusive seating (party of four) was astronomical in her book and standard seating was $5,000 per plate.

She continued to read through the article and noticed that Cybil was a member of the development committee.  She was pictured with a small group of people.  There was a stunning woman standing beside her and she had her arm laced through Cybil's.  She must be a close friend in addition to being on the committee.  Berkley scrolled the cutline and identified the woman as Analise Benson.

Berkley pulled her eyes away from the paper to see Dane come bolting in from the garage.  He was soaked in sweat and wearing a blue pair of athletic shorts.  He pulled his ear buds out and smiled at her closing the door behind him.  "Good to see you're finally up."  He was still winded from his morning run.

"I overslept.  What time will Ethan be home?"

"Why?  Do you have plans?"  His eyes looked hesitant.

"Not really, I was thinking if I had time, I might possibly run by the mall to pick up something."

"Oh."  Dane smiled.

"I was thinking I would take you shopping for your birthday today.  Afterwards we can stop by and pick up Ethan then grab some dinner.  That is if you weren't meeting your girlfriends at the mall."

"Okay!"  Berkley was beaming with excitement.  "So when are leaving?"

Dane smiled back at her a little surprised at how eager she was then checked his watch with a raised eyebrow?  "Uh, it is only eleven.  How long can it possibly take to pick out a dress?"

"A dress!"  She exclaimed.

"Yes, a dress maybe two.  I thought you might want something special to wear for your birthday.  So what time do you want to leave?"

"How soon can you be ready?"  She smiled.

"Let's say one.  I need to check my email and get shower."

...

Berkley ran upstairs to get ready.  She curled her hair and let the long black locks swirl loosely down to her shoulders then dusted her face with the basics but nothing too heavy.  She kept her look soft and natural.  With that out of the way she rifled through her closet looking for something suitable to wear to dinner and easy to come out of since she was going to be trying on clothes.  She tried on several things but settled on a yellow sundress.  She rummaged through the box of shoes and found a pair of wedges.  She slid them on and studied her reflection in the mirror.  The dress came to her mid-thigh and the wedges gave her a little lift.

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