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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Romance/Love · #724745
Chapter 26

After an exhausting day of flying and then dealing with Dina Derson at the airport, all Oliver wanted in the world was to hear Sara's soft southern voice on the telephone, but it was not to be.

He tried to log on to Writing.Com, but there was a problem with the Internet Service at the hotel. When he inquired, he was told that they expected it to be fixed by morning. So, he reluctantly settled in and kept trying to telephone her, growing more and more frustrated until long after midnight (his time) when there was still no answer.

Early Tuesday morning, after a virtually sleepless night, Oliver knew in his heart that something was terribly wrong.

At precisely 5:00 that morning, he started trying her office in Charlottesville, since it was 8 AM on the East Coast. At first, the phone just rang and rang, but finally a man answered. To Oliver, it sounded like the same annoyed voice from the afternoon before.

"May I speak to Sara Riley?" Oliver asked forcefully.

"She's suspended. She won't be coming in," John Miller snapped, then slammed down the phone, wondering who the man was who was so urgently trying to contact Sara.

Smiling smugly, he was more than a little satisfied with having Sara out of the way. He was focusing his attention on another young student, who seemed as if she would be much more willing to cooperate than Sara Riley was.

Oliver held the receiver out and glared at the phone, knowing in his heart that it was John Miller, who hung up on him. But, Sara was his first priority now, and she was nowhere to be found. The news that she was suspended from her job terrified him.

"She needs me and I'm 3,000 miles away," he explained miserably when he at last got through to Ben at the video store, two hours later, telling him about his wonderful weekend and how in love he was with Sara.

"I don't get it. If you had such a great weekend, why wouldn't she just call you in L.A. and tell you what happened? And then you could explain all that airport stuff to her too..."

Oliver winced at the simple and straightforward logic in the question. Of course it was logical and made perfect sense.

At first what Ben said about the airport didn't register with him.

"Because...I didn't give her my number out here. It was a last minute trip and I didn't get a chance to tell her about me being Oliver Lane." Hesitating, Oliver added, "What do you mean tell her about the airport stuff? What airport stuff?"

Ben whistled, then said, "Uh oh!" covering his mouth with his hand.

"What do you mean, uh oh?" Oliver asked impatiently. "Uh oh what? I'll explain it all to her next weekend."

Ben swallowed. "Didn't you see Entertainment Hollywood last night, Ollie?"

Oliver gulped.

"No, why?"

"Well, you and Dina Derson were the featured story - her meeting you at the airport," Ben explained, adding, "That was quite a welcome home kiss she gave you, Ollie."

"Oh, God....no," Oliver moaned miserably. "That wasn't on TV. Tell me that wasn't on TV."

"Yeah, well, it was and there's more," Ben continued. "Dina gave this big interview where she implied that you two are planning a Christmas wedding. She even had me convinced."

Oliver groaned again.

"And, she said you were doing story research or something like that in Virginia over Thanksgiving."

"Oh shit."

"Yup, that's what she said."

"Story research?"

"You got it."

"Oh God, no!" Oliver moaned again. "What am I gonna do? I'm stuck out here until Friday. How am I going to get in touch with her? She isn't answering her phone at home," Oliver lamented miserably.

Ben looked around the Video Store. It really was slow that morning, so he decided to offer to take the initiative and intercede to help his best friend.

"Maybe I could close up and go over to the Corbins and try to talk to her in person," he suggested, then paused. "But first, level with me about this Dina thing, Oliver."

Oliver frowned. "What Dina thing?"

"You didn't exactly look like you were pushing her away there, my friend. Not that I blame you or anything."

"She surprised me. I was tired and she pounced on me. I suppose they didn't show me push her away afterwards," Oliver fumed.

If it looked that bad to Ben, he could just imagine how it must have looked to Sara.

"Nah, it was a still of you guys kissing. It looked pretty hot to me. You sure nothin's goin' on there?"

Oliver sighed heavily.

"The only thing going on is Dina's using me to get publicity. I'm in love with Sara. There's no one else for me and there never will be!" he insisted.

Ben couldn't remember hearing his friend sound so determined or discouraged, so he agreed to go to the Corbins and try to talk to Sara.

Continued in "Sara's Port, Ch. 27
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