By Natasha Tate
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Extra resources for An Inconvenient Obsession
Three minutes later, after a silent ride to the top floor in an executive elevator paneled in mahogany and brass, he and Cate entered her father’s office. “I see you haven’t changed a thing,” Ethan said after she’d flipped on a muted lamp and moved to place the cash box on the wide, polished surface of her father’s desk. ” Mr. Carrington’s taste, as robust and pompous as that of any seasoned purveyor of horseflesh, had left a stamp of ownership his mere death could not eclipse. Deep burgundies and greens, accented by a backdrop of Harvard plaid, dominated the space as surely as if its previous owner still lived and breathed in the oppressive office.
You didn’t have to say it,” she said. ” Not wanting to sink any further into inconvenient memories, he turned to face her with his arms crossed over his chest. This place felt old. Stuffy. It brought all his youthful insecurities to light, inciting feelings he hadn’t entertained for years. As if he weren’t good enough. Still. ” He rolled his shoulders, relaxed his jaw and strode toward the wall of black windows, staring sightlessly past his own reflection in the black glass. He had nothing to worry about.
It’s a good one of Father,” she said after another unsuccessful swipe. Giving up, she turned to spin the combination lock on the cash box while averting her gaze. ” “It’s a good one of you, too,” he told her. He gently returned the frame back to its position next to the ink blotter and traced a fingertip over her shiny ten-year-old braids. He remembered that summer, when Cate had given Ethan her cherished ribbon, telling him he was her first place best friend. He’d ached to kiss her, his heart squeezing in his adolescent chest.