The hotel phone rings and shakes me from my rage. Please let it be good news. Please let my luggage be here. I am so sick of wearing this peach tank top, what I wouldn’t do for a basic cotton tee. I cannot believe this shirt was ever my favorite. I answer the phone.
“I need help,” a voice mumbles.
“Who is this?”
“The albino guy with the sunburn.”
“It’s six o’clock in the morning. How did you know I was awake?”
“I didn’t. I need help.”
Huey’s room is actually one of twelve cottages that sit on a small cliff beyond the pool area looking out over the ocean. I use the term cottage loosely. Each one looks to be twice the size of the cottage I shared with Dan in Encanto. Floor to ceiling walls of privacy glass provide an unobstructed view of the ocean. Under a faux thatched roof is a private lanai with hammocks and patio furniture straight from the pages of a design magazine. The door to his unit is unlocked just as he said it would be.
If the outside was impressive, the inside is jaw dropping amazing.
The furniture is several notches above what was in Ted’s room. Really fluffy, deep cushioned cream colored sofas and chairs that I just want to jump onto and crawl up in.
“Huey?” I call out. “I’m here.”
His voice calls out from another area of the house. “I’m in the bathtub.”
Generally if a man calls me to the bathtub I know what to expect. But this is Huey, and even though he is calling me to the bathtub, I don’t expect him to have any ulterior motives. Because it’s Huey. He’s not manipulative. I walk past the living room and through the sliding pocket doors that lead to the bedroom. To my left, a door is half open. I approach it carefully and stand just outside it without looking in.
“What can I do to help?”“Come in.”
“If you’re in the tub, I’d rather not.”
“Have you never seen a man naked? Or are you just afraid you’ll be so overwhelmed by my sex god physique that you will jump me.”
“I thought so. That is why everything provocative is covered. You will be safe in my presence.”
I take him at his word and poke my head around the door. The tub is huge. HUGE. It’s one of those Jacuzzi tubs built for two. Huey is in it. His man parts are indeed covered from view by lots of bubbles and a tray that stretches across the width of the tub, on which sits his laptop. This is not surprising to me. What is surprising to me is that he is submerged in water and bubbles the color of dirt.
“Why is the water brown?”
“It’s tea.” He fishes around in the water and holds up three tea bags. “There are a hundred tea bags in here.”
“Because Google said so.”
“For the burn?”
“Where’d you get the tea bags?”
“So you called me because what? You need cream and sugar?”
“If I wasn’t in so much pain I’d laugh at your witty observation. But not right now.”
“Fair enough. How can I help?”
“I can’t type. My arms hurt too much to type any longer. And I have to get this done. I need you to type for me.”
“I’m not getting in the tub.”
“I wasn’t asking you to. Though now that you mentioned it, that could be interesting, the tub is built for two.”
“Is it? I hadn’t noticed.”
“Best you not get in, you won’t be able to keep your hands off me. You can sit there and type.” He points to an area of the bathroom out of my view. I step further inside the bathroom. There are two white chaises, just as fluffy as the sofa in the living room.
“There is a living room in your bathroom,” I say. “I can’t fit a towel rack in my bathroom. And you have chaises in your bathroom.”
“Technically, it’s not my bathroom. And if you help me I will buy you a towel rack that fits in your bathroom.”
“Okay, Huey, I’ll type for you under two conditions.”
“And they are?”
“One, I get to order breakfast.”
“For someone so thin, you do eat a lot. The room service menu is on the desk in the bedroom.”
“And two, I’m out of here at ten to sit by the pool.”
“Do you realize you continue to put yourself in grave danger?”
“Wow. You can spell big words. Impressive.”
“I mean it. Why do you worship the sun? Don’t you know it’s bad for you?”
“I’m twenty-six. I am allowed a vice or two. You’re like thirty-two going on sixty. Would you relax a little?”
“I did relax. With you. In the pool. And look what happened.”
“Okay, if you’re trying to make me feel guilty −,”
“It’s working. I’m going to go order breakfast, want anything?”
“Really or are you being facetious?”
“Orange juice and the buckwheat pancakes with chocolate chips and maple syrup, please.”
I don’t know why he makes me chuckle but he does. He’s so formal and offbeat at the same time. I’m fairly certain he would have been the kid in my high school who had been tormented by the cool crowd. If I had known him then, I probably would have dismissed him, just as I did the first day at the pool. But in his own odd way, he’s kind of cool and fun and funny.
“Hello,” I say into the room phone, “I’d like to place an order please.”
“Yes, Mrs. Anders, what can we get you?”
Why does everyone here think I’m married? Oh, right, because everyone here except me is part of a couple.
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Vacationista by Tara Simone
A broken heart. A ticket to paradise. A resort full of honeymooners … the last thing newly single Patience De La Rosa needs if she’s to find a candidate for a casual rebound. Her luggage catching a flight to Mauritius instead of Maui doesn’t help matters and a maxed out credit card doesn’t buy a girl a fresh pair of panties. Then there’s the annoying weird guy, the one who’s married to his laptop, sitting beside her at the pool. Odds for a fling improve when three single, sexy and willing candidates cross her path. Though Patience’s luggage may be M.I.A., her breakup baggage crossed the Pacific with her. Will Patience cast it aside, throw caution to the tropical winds and indulge in island debauchery? Or will a tea leaf reader’s prediction about her romantic excursions come true in unexpected ways?
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Excerpt from Vacationista by Tara Simone