Authors: Maggie Marr
Tags: #FIC027020 FICTION / Romance / Contemporary; FIC044000 FICTION / Contemporary Women
“I just haven’t found anyone,” Prim said. “No one that I want to be with.”
“Don’t have to keep the man, just have to use the man. Don’t keep the pig for a pet, just use it for what you need.”
Prim smiled. She liked the way Layla thought.
“Done,” Layla said. She tickled Prim’s right toes. Prim sat up and pulled the sheet around her body.
“Lady leave tomorrow?” Layla asked. She wiped her hands on a towel.
Prim nodded. “Early. I return to work on Monday.”
“Maybe you get lucky tonight. With all the massage your muscles are ready for a man. The heat will explode for you. Maybe you find one at Devils and Angels?”
Prim screwed up her face and shook her head. “Not going.” She slid from the massage table. She grasped the table with her hand. The first few steps, after a massage, were always tough. “Leaving early tomorrow morning, spending the night here.”
Layla’s smile slipped from her face. “Lady must go to Devils and Angels party.” Her grey hair was in a long thick braid. The skin around her eyes was etched with tiny wrinkles but Prim could neither tell Layla's heritage nor, for certain, her age. She seemed timeless. “Someone you must meet. I feel it in your body.”
Okay. A little too much voodoo with the massage. Prim reached for the envelope she’d prepared and handed it to Layla. “I can’t thank you enough for this week. You’ve made my body feel,” Prim pulled the sheet tighter around her body. “Well you’ve made my body feel better than it has in years.”
“Eighteen months,” Layla said. “It’s been almost eighteen months since you’ve been with a man.”
“How do you-?”
“You still not believe what my fingers feel? I can feel it all in your muscles, in your bones. We carry the body through life and life, it infiltrates all of the body.” Layla said the words as if it all was obvious. “You go tonight. You meet someone take away the tension these hands can’t reach.” Layla reached for her bag of oils and hefted it over her shoulder. “You go.”
“Not going,” Prim said, again, and followed Layla toward the door. “But thank you.”
“You are going,” Layla said a smile plastered to her face. “The man who will take the tension from you will be there. You will find him tonight.”
Prim’s smile remained fixed to her face. Perhaps it was the language barrier. She’d had similar conversations with Layla over the course of the last six days and instead of arguing or trying to explain Prim had simply nodded and smiled. The last one was when Prim emphatically denied that she would go snorkeling but then she....had?
Layla’s smile remained in her lips as she descended the front stairs. She raised her hand and waved over her shoulder. “Lady have fun time tonight. More fun than the last 18 months.”
Prim closed the door behind Layla. She was not going to the party at the resort’s disco tonight. She’d already scheduled an early dinner and she had to pack. Her flight left for Los Angeles early and the car was scheduled to pick her up before sunrise. She walked to the open French doors. The surf pounded the shoreline. A breeze gently lifted her hair from her shoulders. Beautiful. Luxurious. Glorious. Relaxing.
The muscle in her left shoulder tightened. How was that pain happening already? Layla had worked on Prim’s body ninety minutes a day for six days. How could there still be tension in any part of Prim’s body. She reached her hand to her shoulder and rubbed. Because of two men in Los Angeles. Two men that she’d left behind. One a seller and one a buyer who had forever changed the carefully crafted landscape of Prim’s life.
Monday she would return to an office fundamentally changed by the sale of Ryan Murphy’s beloved Metro Media to the near recluse and old codger of a man: William Rhodes. If only Prim's best friend Meg had managed to convince Cole to buy Metro Media. Prim could be happy working for her best friend’s husband. But Cole didn’t bite. No he was too smart for that. Prim knew the financial details of the deal between her former boss Ryan and her soon-to-be boss Mr. Rhodes, and she was still uncertain how Ryan had managed to get the purchase price he did for Metro. And why would a seventy-year old man who'd made his money in steel suddenly have an interest in a media company?
Prim closed her eyes. A breath of fresh air tinged with salt entered her lungs. She opened her eyes and exhaled. The black rocks on the edge of the shoreline created a protected and private cove for her own enjoyment.
She still had twelve hours of paradise. Twelve hours without the changes that would inhabit her life for the next three months, until she finished her commitment on the transition team and earned her very healthy bonus. She’d heard that proving one’s worth to William Rhodes was a near impossibility. He was one tough customer and an even tougher boss. She’d scoured the knowledge of her former B-school mates trying to determine whether she should tough out the buy-out or leap before the sale. Ryan had begged her to stay and for a guaranteed bonus and a limited engagement of ninety days she’d agreed to remain at Metro Media for a while.
Prim dropped the sheet that she'd wrapped around her body to the ground and stepped out onto the deck. Her beach was private. The resort offered this privacy for an exorbitant fee but Prim had paid it. She’d needed the privacy and the time alone after the shock that she’d just experienced at work. She hadn’t thought Ryan would ever sell his beloved Metro Media. And to retire? Who retired at thirty-three? Even after the tragedy of Paloma's passing, Prim had thought that Ryan would eventually come back to lead Metro Media. But Ryan wasn't coming back. Instead he was selling, and he had been more than a little cagey about what he planned to do with all his time and his hundreds of millions.
Prim had needed this privacy to prepare herself. She needed to be alone to think and to process the inevitable changes she’d confront when she returned to work on Monday. Prim stretched her arms up over her head and let the sun warm every inch of her skin. She hadn’t been naked on her beach the entire time she’d been in Tahiti. Not once. But today was the last day. Why not be wild? Why not be free? Why not go to the Devils and Angels party at the disco tonight? After six days of sun, surf, and sand, she deserved to be tension free.
LAST CALL FOR LOVE
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NLA Digital LLC
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