Chapter Two

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Chapter Two 

One year later 

Scorpio: It is time to face your demons, scorpio, you are known to rise from the ashes so now is the time to move on and expect changes in your life. Travel is important in the next week which could lead to a few pleasant surprises. Good time to be with friends. 

On a typical Tasmanian Autumn day ,in April, crystal clear blue sky with steeley fingers of frost, Winter was ready and dressed for work early, her angel-blonde hair was coiffed and shiny, her lipstick red and confident, a facade hiding the heartache deep inside. With shaking fingers and her heart racing, Winter performed her daily ritual of reading her horoscope from the local paper. Like an addict needing a fix, she scoured the pages, needing to know the outcome of her day, she wished she had a crystal ball to reflect her life, but a day to day peek into her future would have to suffice. Arriving at the colonial brick building, housing the newspaper offices, where she worked, Winter felt her stomach tighten with nerves, she hadn't written much over the past twelve months, and hoped she hadn't lost her talent. 

"Good morning Winter, we're glad to see you back at work ! I hope you are ready to face the boss, he has asked for you to see him as soon as you arrive, he seems to be in one of his "moods" so be careful" said Melody, Winter's colleague. Although Winter was a free-lance travel writer and eco-tourism television celebrity presenter she still had to visit the newspaper offices to discuss articles with her editor. For the past twelve months, Winter had been trying to keep a low profile, not ready to return to her previous life as a celebrity television presenter. In Sydney, her status within the celebrity circuit, had grown to the point that she could not leave her house without being asked for autographs or constantly photographed by the paparazzi who hid in the bushes in front of her house, or in the carpark of the magazine headquarters waiting for her to arrive. Winter had been trying to sequester herself away from the world after her embarrassing wedding debacle, but as her popularity had grown, it was becoming harder to hide away. Winter decided she wanted to give away the high profile life and return to writing, where she could remain in her own private world. Which is why she had moved to Tasmania where her identity was relatively obscure, yet she was still able to afford to live in luxury as the house prices were lower than other states. Throughout Australia, her articles were highly sought after and she was the winner of many prestigious writing awards. Since leaving high school, she and Dan had always loved the idea of travelling around the world together, writing about their experiences and publishing them. Walking into the office she shared with her personal assistant, Melody, Winter dumped her handbag on her desk and her black jacket on the back of her chair. "Oh, I am not ready to face his wrath!! I had better come up with a good article to keep him off my back then". Winter turned around to face Melody and could clearly see the sympathy in her eyes. 

"Are you sure you're up to this Winter, it's not too early for you after everything that's happened?" Melody left the sentence unfinished, suddenly unsure how to express her concern without being nosy. "It's ok, Mel, I have to do this sooner or later, may as well get it over with". Winter checked her lipstick in her silver compact mirror and confidently stepped into the lift to take her to the fourth floor. Taking a deep breath, Winter stepped out of the lift and strode across the plush carpeting to the editor's office. Before she could knock, the editor's secretary said, "You may go in Winter, Adam is expecting you". Adam was in his late forties but due to his paunch and receding hairline, he seemed older. Without preamble, Adam said, "Winter, glad you could make it in today, I have an urgent assignment for you that I know only you can handle." Winter sat down in the large armchair opposite his desk and crossed her legs elegantly. With a practiced expression of feigned interest on her face she glanced at Adam. This story would be worth a lot of money and Winter needed the exposure after her long absence. But somehow, her passion for life and work had gone when Dan left. Life seemed to only be in black in white and full of straight lines, there was no colour, no fireworks anymore. Winter tuned back into what Adam was saying...."travel to Sydney to connect with the Sea Princess, I know you have a phobia about boats since your dad died, but really this is more like a floating palace, you won't even know you are at sea". 

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