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Chapter 5

  • Jamie Knox was a freelancer. That much was true. She created Public Relations campaigns for small companies and non-profit organizations that didn’t have their own internal PR department, and whose values she believed in. She was also an advocate for animal rights and supported many causes to restore the environment.
  • She made enough for a living by doing what she was passionate about. Her communication skills were beneficial to persuade major companies, the government and the public to fund her campaigns, so she was often asked to deliver speeches or do presentations at fundraising events.
  • She often worked with Perry who ran his own small event organizer company. They referred each other to the company who hired them because their field of work intertwined. One of their recent projects was the annual charity event for Save The Animals Foundation. The largest environmental foundation in Lancaster.
  • Jamie was asked to be one of the speakers to introduce their activities in preserving endangered species all over the world.
  • Major business owners, CEO’s, government elite were among the VIPs. They bought seats or a whole table at the event to donate more money throughout the night. It was one of the most important fundraising programs of the year for Jamie. This was where she can meet with all the important people, decision makers of Lancaster and persuade them to financially support her cause.
  • She hated the lot, though, she needed their money but she hated their guts. Rich, successful, middle aged men, and women with power are the worst kind of species on earth. They were the ones who caused the deteriorating condition of the earth with their greed, so they’re the ones who have to pay for the damage. That was her core belief.
  • Her father was among the peers. Graham Knox owned the largest tobacco company in Lancaster and the majority shares of three palm oil companies. His businesses thrived and expanded to other industries. Graham along with his two sons were in the Lancaster’s elite 10, the richest businessmen in the country.
  • Jamie didn’t want any part of it. She rebelled from her family’s lavish lifestyle ever since she found out how tobacco companies and the palm oil industry destroyed the environment and killed animals and profited from it.
  • She started out handling her father’s companies PR to protect them from environmentalists who targeted them for the damages they caused. Instead of defending her father’s business, she exposed one of the companies for mass murdering a habitat of orangutans in a South East Asian forest. As a result, her father’s company was suspended, they had to pay billions of dollars for retributions and rejuvenation of the forest. Her family didn’t want to have anything to do with her again after that, and she had no plan for reconciliation.
  • Jamie was practicing her presentation at the backstage of Marigold Hotel’s banquette. Every speaker will get the chance to deliver their presentations of the cause they’ve chosen. Afterwards, they will have the chance to sit in one of the tables in the audience and discuss their campaigns in more detail with the guests and persuade them to donate more money.
  • It’s always nerve wracking before going on stage, even though she had done it dozens of times before. She re-touched her make-up, straightened her sleeveless top. Picking an outfit for such an event was even trickier because she had to look professional yet appealing at the same time to be in the audience with the filthy rich. Appearance plays a roll in the persuasion because these people were all about the surface.
  • “Is my hair okay?” she consulted her all-in advisor.
  • Perry was communicating with his team through the walkie talkie, he glanced at her, “You look radiant, honey.”
  • “Are all the tables full?” she peeked from behind the curtain.
  • “They’re still pulling in at the lobby,” he checked his watch. “We’ll be on time, if 80% of the tables are full, we can begin at 6 sharp.”
  • Jamie closed the curtain, all colors had drained from her face.
  • “Hey … relax … you got this … don’t stress out too much,” Perry was surprised with the sudden change of her expression.
  • Her eyes widened, she grabbed him by his shirt, “Do you remember that guy I hooked up with last time?”
  • Perry paused for a moment, “Oh no … he’s here?”
  • “He is! I just saw him … he’s sitting right in the middle of the table facing the stage,” she was hyperventilating.
  • “Whoa … calm down, babe, are you sure?” Perry tried to peek from behind the curtain.
  • She closed her eyes, clenched her fists, “I’m sure … shit! I’m so sure … he’s practically right in front of the stage,” she was breathing heavily and flapping her hands.
  • “You mean, that guy? Right in the middle?”
  • Jamie didn’t bother to look, “Yes, the middle … with the burgundy tux and red handkerchief in the left pocket.”
  • Perry covered his gaping mouth with one hand, “That guy … in the Gucci tux? With 5 o’clock shadow and perfect hair?”
  • “God … yes Perry! It’s that guy! That’s Richard … the one I told you about, the one at the Somerset Inn.”
  • He closed the curtain and held her arms, “You have no idea who that is, do you?”
  • She looked at him baffled, “What are you talking about? That’s Richard … who worked in a hotel … I didn’t realize it was THIS hotel! I never asked him actually.”
  • Perry took a deep breath as if to calm his nerves too, his hands were still on Jamie’s arms, “Sweetheart … that’s Gabriel Love.”
  • Her heart dropped to her stomach, “No … he said his name was Richard.”
  • “Richard … Gabriel Love …” Perry explained.
  • They looked at each other in complete silence for a brief second.
  • “Surely you know who that is?” he continued.
  • As if the muscles in her body shut down, and her lungs failed to breathe. Everybody knew who Gabriel Love was, but not many knew how he looked. Because Gabriel Love was the reclusive billionaire of Lancaster who was known to never wanted his face to be published in any way whatsoever.