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London was their town.
Sure, New York was where they had met, but SW1 was where they fell in love. Hyde Park Corner to be precise.
And if there was one attribute Tom admired in himself it was his aptitude for precision, especially when it came to affairs of the heart. As he boarded his flight from JFK he imagined Arabella in her office in the West End: the call from reception to say there was a chauffeur waiting for her outside in a silver Bentley, the surprise on her face, and then the thrill as she reached for her jacket, realising that Tom had something arranged.
Tom’s plan was executed with immaculate precision (appropriately enough) by Claude, his Essence dedicated concierge. With just one call, Tom knew that everything would be taken care of, as impeccably as he demanded for such an occasion, and as exquisitely as ever. This time it wasn’t just Tom’s last-minute flight to London, or a window table at Oblix with its glittering view of the city in the summer, to secure. There was also the matter of a room at The Dorchester that evening, and, most importantly of all, his anniversary gift for Arabella. Now, where in the world Claude was going to find a first edition copy of The Corrections, Tom had absolutely no idea, but his dedicated concierge had never let him down.
As the waiter poured their Californian Old Vine Zinfandel, Arabella reached her hand across the table. Tom’s fingers wrapped around hers as she once more glanced at the cover of the book she had always adored and realised she couldn’t wait any longer to give him her present. Now, where in the world Claude had been able to source it for her, she had no idea.
But then Claude had never let her down.
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