Outback Affair An Affair Novel Online - Annie Seaton Page 0,1

outback. The morning sunlight had glinted invitingly off the sapphire blue water, and a line of resorts and sailboats had edged the coastline. Now it was late morning, high thunderclouds were building over the sea, and it looked like a tropical storm was on the way.

“Are you listening to me?” Monica’s voice was getting louder with each word.

“Yes, I’m listening.”

“Well, as soon as you get there safely, call me. Gareth said as long as you have the application in by the end of the month you’ll be fine. He heard through the grapevine that they aren’t interviewing for the new position for a couple of weeks.”

“How thoughtful of them. Just in time for Christmas.” She glanced down at her watch. She did the quick time calculation and realized it was only eleven o’clock the night before in New York. “Go back to bed, hon. You’ve got the whole night ahead to sleep, and don’t worry about me. I’m determined to get this job. And you know me, I never give up until I get what I want.” She ended the call and leaned back on the seat, closing her eyes.

Two weeks. She had two weeks to track down the elusive wonder boy who’d created the innovative bush tucker chef school at Cockatoo Springs resort and made it a worldwide phenomenon in less than a year. Then get an interview with him and write the best damned article she had ever written about this unique establishment that chefs from all over the world were clamoring to get into. Once the article was subbed, the interview for the fulltime job coming up at Cuisine magazine would be in the bag. The job would be hers, she just knew it. It had to be. Since she’d bought her apartment she couldn’t afford to just walk away from the PR job she hated. Working for media magnate Larry Bartholomew was not what she wanted to do with her journalism degree. It was her off-the-cuff freelance interviews that always ended up as her most successful pieces, but it had been over a year since she had last produced the article that resulted in mega sales for the Christmas issue of Cuisine magazine.

Once she got the permanent job at the magazine, she would enjoy giving in her notice to sleaze ball Larry. But no matter how bad things got, there was no way she was going to run begging to her father for help, even if it meant losing the new little apartment she loved. She’d done her journalism degree, she’d written some fabulous freelance articles, and now she was determined to prove to herself she could be a top food journalist. She was already well on the way to proving to her father she could stand on her own two feet. There was no way she was going to run back to him to access her trust fund. He’d be lucky if she ever spoke to him again after the way he’d treated her last year.

Jess opened her eyes and looked down, surprised to see her hands clenched in her lap, and she took in a deep breath. The cool air from the air conditioning unit fanned across her hot cheeks and restored a measure of her calm.

Food journalists had been trying to get a feature interview with this guy for the last six months, ever since the outback cuisine trend had hit the top restaurants of New York and Europe. No one had been successful in getting an interview, and there wasn’t even a photo of him anywhere, but she had done her research.

Alessandro Gabrielle Ricardo. I am going to track you down and write the best damn article I can.

Jess reached for her phone again, connecting it to her laptop so she could collect her email. Scrolling through, she quickly located Monica’s message.

Daly River. The Banyan Tree trailer park.

She reached over and entered Daly River into the GPS.

The small colored screen indicated she had two hundred and nineteen kilometers to travel south. Doing a quick conversion to miles, she calculated she could do that in less than four hours and would be there well before dark. She slipped her sunglasses down, started the car, and turned right toward the boom gates at the exit. A horn blared in front of her, and she quickly angled the car to the other side of the road when she remembered they drove on the left in Australia. She barely missed the silver Mercedes and smiled apologetically