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"I would say that we've finally sorted everything out," Norah said extremely happy with the result of her meeting with Marianne. "Celeste," she added, looking at the young woman standing next to her, "tomorrow you'll have to talk to all our suppliers and make sure that everything will be here right on time. We still have a few days left until the opening and everything has to be perfect. This clinic is very important to me. Things have to run smoothly," Norah added, adjusting her white lace gloves better. Lately, arthritis has been unbearable. "In a few days, I will meet with all the members of the foundation board. Everyone is very curious about the latest news."
"Norah, everything we've agreed upon has been already done and all the other things are right on the schedule," Marianne answered taking off her glasses and looking for a moment at Norah. But she felt a pair of eyes staring right back at her and she gazed at Justin. He coughed slowly and her attention returned to Norah. "We will be ready in time for the opening, don't worry."
"I spoke with your foundation's lawyer yesterday," Michael added in a very calm voice, checking Justin and his reactions out of the corner of his eye. "We had to define better certain aspects. But I'm happy to say, Norah, that everything's perfect now."
"Michael, it MUST be perfect. I won't accept anything less than perfect." Norah warned him in a calm but very firm tone. "The clinic must function like a Swiss watch from the first second of life. A lot of people need this help from us."
"Don't worry, so it will be," Michael reassured her and a slight smile appeared on his lips.
Celeste closed her laptop and turned to Norah. This was the perfect moment to show everyone and Justin especially, how good and resourceful she was in her work. Today he was there with them. This was her moment of glory. He had preferred that insignificant and dull woman instead of her and she, Celeste Atkins, won't accept Justin's decision without a fight, without proving him once again, how perfect they were together, how much she was the right woman for him.
"Norah, Mrs. Huntington, I took the liberty of getting in touch with a friend who has a public relations agency. She can help us with everything that has to do with the public image of the clinic. She could even take care of all the clinic opening party," Celeste said waving her long beautiful red hair and looking at Justin with the corner of her eye. "I could ask Justin to accompany me to talk with my friend and put her in charge of everything. What do you think, Justin?" she added, staring at him innocently.
"I know nothing about all this, you know it well. Granny, trust me, I wouldn't know where to start... It would be much better to let Ash take care of this together with Celeste, of course," Justin replied touching Norah's hand.
"You're right, dear. Celeste, please call me tomorrow morning. Ashley will arrive at the villa around eight o'clock. So you will talk directly to her about this idea of yours. You two met only a couple of times during this whole project. The time has come for you two to collaborate a lot more," Norah added after giving some thought. "Marianne, as usual, your staff did a fantastic job. I have nothing to add, nothing to change. Let's go on like this."
"I'm glad you think so, Norah," Marianne said. "Working with you on this project, taking care of the new wing we added, made me feel very close to my son. Thank you again for accepting to work with us on this," she added looking at Norah, then at Justin. She started to move nervously in the armchair.
While he was staring at her, Justin couldn't understand why a woman so brilliant in her trade, loved by such a distinguished person as Michael Williams had been able to cause so much heartache and pain to the woman he loved so much?! She even 'advised' Ash to... take her own life only because in Marianne's twisted mind she couldn't understand that the death of her son was an accident and nothing more. Justin didn't know how to deal with Marianne. Whether to 'thank' her for Brandon's heart or look her straight in her eyes and say to her face what he really thought about her. Marianne kept smiling and complimenting his Granny, but Justin couldn't believe this 'I'm a good woman' image she was showing right now. He knew who Marianne Huntington-Steel really was... And she was anything but a noble and kind woman like she wanted to appear now.
"Isn't it, Justin?" Justin heard his grandmother's voice interrupting his train of thought.
Justin stared at Norah with a lost expression on his face. He had been so wrapped up in his thoughts that he didn't hear a word of what his grandmother had told him. He was a multitasker, he was able to do two or three things at the same time, but being in front of Brandon's mother had thrown him off the track. This woman had the power to make him nervous, to pull out the person who he didn't want to be anymore.