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Positives: Jeremy was actually quite cute. Maggie was actually rather sweet.

Negatives: Jeremy seemed like the perfect younger brother. Maggie was as mad as a hatter. They could only pay her in shares, in a zero-capitalised business that had zero prospects of earning any profit.

Unique selling point: The job was unique. It had no selling point.

She topped up the bath with more hot water and wished she could stay in it forever.

JEREMY BURNET KNEW that he didn‟t know much, if anything, about marketing or about females. But he was certain that Annie Clarke would not be coming back to Burnet Hall.

He‟d sent her an email anyway, with a link to a website with lots of information about salad burnet. Well, there wasn‟t actually a lot of information about salad burnet, but he was a true millennial -- as quick as lightening on the web -- and whatever was out there he‟d found and collated on an attractive set of pages illustrated with botanical drawings and photographs. The email would be waiting for her by the time she got home. He didn‟t explain that he‟d created the site himself, from at least a dozen sources, because she probably already thought he was a bit intense and he didn‟t want her to think he was a computer nerd.

He wanted people, and especially young women, to think he was smart, interesting, and likeable. He knew that was at heart a truthful description. If only he had the chance to show it, instead of saying stupid things without thinking because he wanted to sound interesting, then clamming up with shyness because he was also sensitive and knew how people reacted. If chance would just create a bit of space for him to show himself as himself.

He watched a single egg come to the boil and tapped into his laptop so it would beep when three minutes was up. He knew that it was time he made his own move. He‟d been telling himself this for about three years. His qualities of being smart, interesting, and likeable, had only really been tested through blogging, and he wasn‟t so sure how he would fare when it came to making his way unplugged. He buttered two slices of white bread and cut a ripe pear into quarters, and took out the core. Then he lifted the egg out of the pan with a teaspoon, sat it in an eggcup, cracked the top open, and took it through to G-Gramps on a tray.

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