Tamzin tended to work right up until lunchtime. She liked to get on with the jobs that needed completing and then have her lunch. Her manner had made it very clear that she wasn't interested in making friends with any of her colleagues. Some had made the effort over the years but she had politely made her excuses and declined their invitations. So now, no one really spoke to her. There might be a polite enquiry about her weekend or plans for holidays. But she never gave much away. Her holidays, Christmas, well any spare time she had, was spent in the small cottage she owned in the Lake District. It was in the middle of nowhere. she would take her dog, a couple of bottles of good red and a bag full of books and enjoy the darkness and silence of the place.
The cottage had been her inheritance from an old aunt. A spinster who had lived in the cottage for most of her adult life. Maybe she had recognised something in Tamzin; something more than blood. An intellectual kinship, not just family. Whatever the reason, Tamzin loved the cottage and was looking forward to her imminent escape to it's simplicity.
She took her ruck sack and made her way to the stairs. She didn't like the lift. She walked down to the lobby and stepped into bright summers day. She wandered over to the park, avoiding eye contact with anyone and found the bench under the oak tree. She took her sandwich, apple and bottle of water form the bag and then took her ancient copy of 'Wuthering Heights' and found her page.
She loved this book. She loved the language, the atmosphere, the passion. She wanted the love that was represented in this book. She didn't want the shallow love so many seemed happy. She wanted the kind of love that left you breathless. She wanted the passion felt by Heathcliff and Cathy. She wanted to know what it felt like to be with a man like Heathcliff. Hell, she wanted to know what it felt like to be with a man. She had never been with anyone. It embarrassed her to think that she was still a virgin.
She finished her lunch and went back to the office. She switched on her monitor and, to her surprise, was another message from Rochester.1. "I had to escape the office too. What were you reading today? You seemed engrossed so I didn't disturb you."
She looked around the office. Everyone was busy, or at least pretending to be. Who had sent the message? She clicked it away. But was surprised to notice that hr heart was racing.