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"Well, my answer it's an absolute yes, François, you know that everything will be arranged as we've already decided together. My lawyers will take care of all the details of the contract. This way, when we meet in London next week, we will decide together the best strategies to satisfy both your team and mine. D'accord, mon ami! Anytime you want to. Give my regards to Heloïse! Au revoir!"
Nicholas put down the phone and finished reading and signing a couple of documents looking at Iris from time to time. She was finishing translating the draft contract sent by François Bertrand, his French business partner, but a longtime friend also. Iris was biting her lower lip, a sign that she was extremely focused on what she was doing and her fingers were sliding easily on the laptop's keyboard. Looking at her, Nicholas silently congratulated himself for taking one of the best job decision offering Iris the job as his PA.
He recalled the odd situation between the two of them that morning and the fact that they talked very little during breakfast. Their dialogue was very cold and impersonal, there was much talk about work, especially about the meeting that he had later that morning. Iris avoided looking closely at him for much of the time spent together, keeping herself busy with the preparation of the necessary paperwork to be taken at the meeting with Bertrand. After that, she sent all the e-mails and the messages requested by Nicholas. For the rest of the time, Iris preferred the company of Alice, chatting happily and playing with his little girl. Nicholas was convinced that she was using his daughter as an excuse not to talk about what had happened between the two of them the night before, but he also knew that sooner or later he would return on this matter.
His meeting with François Bertrand took almost the whole day. Nicholas asked his business partner without too much tiptoeing around if there had been any kind of contact between him and Gerhart Steiner. He told François that he had seen Steiner the night before at the same restaurant and that in his opinion, his presence in Paris was extremely suspicious. François was very honest, telling Nicholas that there had been a couple of messages from Steiner, but he refused to answer them, considering the long-standing friendship and partnership with Nicholas much more important than anything else. Nicholas was satisfied with his answer and on that same day, they arranged the last points on their agendas, agreeing that during the following week they would make the final decisions. Before returning to the hotel, Nicholas decided that he had one last important thing to do; it was something crucial for his future and for that of the woman he loved.
Nicholas had finished everything he had planned to do that afternoon, he couldn't wait to return to the hotel to his "girls", to pack up their suitcases and to leave Paris for a well-deserved vacation in the south of France. He knew for sure that this trip would change all their lives forever. Nicholas wanted to spend the rest of the week with Alice and Iris, this way he would've had the time to know Iris better, to understand what she really thought about him and about that whole situation created between the two of them. After all that had happened in those last few days and not only, now he was sure, one hundred percent, that Iris was his better half. The end of their journey would've brought an important change for everybody; it would've been the answer that providence would've given to the many requests expressed recently by everyone.
"Iris, are you through with that document?" Nicholas asked her.
"I'm almost done, I still have a few lines and you'll have the translation of the draft contract ready. Just one more thing... ok, there you have it! I've already installed in your laptop a program that contains all the contracts already signed, the most important are in the file A and the rest had been moved to the file B. The password remained the same, even if I was pretty tempted to change it, for security matters. I sent to Mr. Anderson an e-mail with all the details you told me to and I also attached a scanned copy of the translated draft. So, when you'll be back in London, all the documents will be ready and you'll just have to take one last look before signing them."
"Very well, thank you, Iris. I don't know what I would've done without you."
"I was just doing my job. Besides, I'm quite sure that you could've handled all this very well without me," she answered smiling to him for the first time that day.
"I doubt it, but this is another matter," he said quickly and switched off his laptop. "Ok, very well! All we had to do has been done, so all my meetings are over. We have the rest of the week to relax. So, girls, do you think one hour will be enough to prepare our bags?"
"Why, daddy, are we going back to London already?" Alice asked a bit confused.
"No, kitten, we will take a nice trip to the south of France. The departure will be almost immediate. So, go and start packing!"