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.An executive spa bathroom blended with the other elements to become a retreat within the home.Kate was taken by the home, and made arrangements with the realtor to submit a proposal.Before leaving, she took a series of measurements, so that furniture could be ordered.She returned home to prepare a generous offer on the Westover property.She insisted on a short closing date, hoping to take possession of the house before the election.The divorcing homeowners were suddenly able to agree on something and were more than delighted to accommodate her request.A day later, Kate walked out to the front lawn of the house that she had shared with Dwayne, and pounded a “for sale” sign into the lawn.She created a detailed flyer and posted the listing online.Kate spent the remainder of the evening purging all evidence of Dwayne from the house.His clothing and shoes were packed neatly into boxes, and loaded into her car for delivery to the local goodwill store.She wanted to call on Laura to help, but knew that this was a cathartic process that she needed to work through on her own.She made it a priority to dismantle Dwayne’s man cave.She spent an hour carefully dismantling his television, satellite feed, gaming system, video player, and sound system.She emptied the room of all furniture and wall hangings.When her work was done, she sank to the floor, and spent a moment grieving the child that was meant to spend their first years in this room.Kate had spent so many years re-assuring Dwayne about their infertility that she hadn’t taken the time to explore how she truly felt about the lost opportunity to nurture and care for the flesh of her flesh.After an hour of sobbing on the nursery floor, she formulized a plan for her future.* * * *The following Saturday, with the help of Laura, Kate hosted an open house to showcase the home.She greeted visitors, offering each a mimosa while Laura escorted guests through the house.For two hours, agents, couples, and families traipsed through the house, admiring the spacious rooms and elegant décor.One realtor commented that she had underpriced the house.Overhearing the comment, a quick-witted Laura quipped, “As someone who works on commission, I’m not surprised that you find it undervalued.”Calming Laura down, Kate added, “If you feel the house is undervalued, please feel free to have your clients submit an offer that you feel is acceptable.” The realtor huffed off, assuring them that she was quite sure that none of her clients would be interested in such a discounted property.On Sunday, Kate rallied her friends together and hosted the biggest garage sale that the neighborhood had ever witnessed.From sofas to dressers to lamps, she dragged every last piece of furniture out onto the driveway.Kate had marked down each item to ten percent of its original value.Neighbors stopped by to quietly pay their respects while scavenging through her possessions.Within forty-eight hours of the garage sale, she had a stack of real estate offers-to-purchase to comb through.She slowly reviewed and set aside each offer, finally selecting the document submitted by a young family that she remembered from the open house.She had the feeling that they would fill the house with joy and laughter, as it was meant to be.She signed the acceptance letter, scanned the document into her computer, and e-mailed it back to their legal counsel.When Kate arrived the next morning at her mid-week yoga class, she was more than a little surprised to see Bradley Taylor unrolling his mat at the front of the class.She quietly unrolled her mat at the back of the room, pondering the significance of this new addition.Having stood face-to-face on a number of occasions, she knew that he was tall, estimating him to be at least six foot three inches.Observing him in a T-shirt and yoga pants, she realized that she had only ever seen him in a suit.She was very much enjoying the view.He was obviously a fitness fanatic.His broad shoulders were well-defined.The lines of his chest and torso were precise.She continued to observe him as they followed the instructor into a Warrior pose.As she transitioned to Downward Dog, she mused about Mr.Taylor’s salt-and-pepper hair and piercing blue eyes that were almost always offset by a boyish grin.She found herself wondering what his original hair color had been…and if there were any remnants left to discover.As she transitioned to the Mountain pose, Kate caught his reflection out of the corner of her eye.He was much more advanced than she, being able to pay attention to the moments leading into and out of the poses while observing other class participants throughout room.That boyish grin made its appearance, as their eyes connected in the mirror.Sixty minutes later, he was barely breaking a sweat when the instructor bowed, saying “Namaste” to the class.As Kate rolled up her mat, he casually walked over to her.His scent reached her first, and even after a workout, he smelled deliciously expensive.“You’re quite nimble, Kate.You should try the afternoon advanced class sometime.”“I’m not sure I’m ready for the advanced class, Bradley,” she added, walking from the room.“And besides, these days, my afternoons are spent giving speeches and smiling for the camera.”* * * *As the election drew nearer, Kate stopped by Nigel’s office to greet his staff and drop off the information he had requested on election hours, locations of polling stations, free transportation options, along with a bucket full of Elect Kate pins and buttons for his employees.After speaking to the crowd, sharing her vision for the future of Lowden, she ducked into Nigel’s office for a quick chat.“Hey, kiddo, how do you think these last few days of the campaign are going?”“It’s close, Nigel.Last week we were ahead in the numbers.This week, Jim’s exploitation of Dwayne’s affair is hitting us hard.He is using it at every opportunity.I feel like it really could go either way next week.”“Is there anything more that I could do?”She laughed.“You don’t happen to have any dirt on Jim Freeman, do you?“You should talk to your father, Kate.He has spent so many years in the D.A.’s office.I’m certain he knows more about the mayor’s personal life than most people.”“You’re right.” She made a note to call her father before the day was out.“You’re a tremendous asset to the team.” She paused [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]