Ok. So my granny always told me never to swear so before I get into any more trouble, here's part 10.
This story refuses to 'done' as as we Bajans say so more is yet to come. Enjoy.
Monique took a hasty step backward when she saw shock give way to fury in Maya’s eyes.
“Look, before you go all Naomi Campbell on me, let me explain,” she stammered.
Maya barged past the woman. “I don’t need to hear shit from you. Liam!” she yelled as she stumbled blindly through the two-bedroom suite. It was unthinkable that after all they meant to each other he would cheat on her, and with the office tramp of all people!
Monique secured her bathrobe and grabbed Maya’s arm as she started to enter the bathroom. “Wait! Don’t go in there!”
The sound of water running could be heard on the other side of the door. Incensed, Maya shrugged the other woman off and threw open the frosted glass door of the shower enclosure.
It was anyone’s guess who shrieked louder, Maya or the robust man inside the shower who was definitely not Liam.
“Oh my God! Sorry, sorry!” Maya groaned in apology as Ryan Medford, Liam’s friend and the paper’s top stills photographer, made a valiant attempt to shield his privates.
Back outside, she rounded on Monique, who was trying her best not to laugh. “What the hell is going on? Where’s Liam? And what are you doing here?”
Monique held up a hand and collapsed on the sofa in a fit of laughter.
Maya propped her hands on her hips and shot her a dirty look. “I’m glad you find this amusing. I probably traumatised poor Ryan back there.”
Monique gasped for breath. “Don’t worry about him. You probably fulfilled one of his fantasies.”
She motioned for Maya to sit, which the actress did warily. “Ryan and Liam are sharing the suite. Liam left after today’s match to go meet with some bigwigs from the West Indies Cricket Board in Mobay. He’ll be back tomorrow morning in time for the next Twenty20 match.”
“Ok, but that doesn’t explain why you’re here,” Maya challenged.
Monique smirked. “For the same reason as you. To surprise my boyfriend.” She jerked her thumb towards the bathroom.
When Maya raised an eyebrow Monique gave her a rueful smile. “You really don’t like me, do you? You really thought I was here with your man?”
Maya snorted. “Your track record isn’t exactly clean, lady. You’ve made a play or two for Liam in the past.”
“And he shut me down every time,” the reporter countered. “I can take a hint, trust me.”
Just then a blushing, fully-dressed Ryan entered the room. Maya greeted him with a hug and an apology.
“You’re here to surprise Liam and he may have a surprise of his own for you,” Ryan began.
Maya rolled her eyes. “I think I’ve had enough of those for the day. What’s going on?”
He was hesitant. “I don’t want to steal his thunder but the WICB is looking to hire an experienced sports journalist to tour with the team, as a PR boost. They want the best and Liam’s it.”
Though elated for her boyfriend, Maya couldn’t hide her disappointment. There was no doubt that Liam would be ideal for the job; not only did he have an extensive knowledge of the game of cricket, he was a diehard Windies fan. Damn.
“Do you think he’s going to accept the job?” she asked quietly.
Ryan shrugged. “I would be surprised if he doesn’t. It’s a great opportunity.”
Just then, Maya’s cell rang. “Hey, pretty girl, guess what!” Liam began excitedly.
She listened as he outlined the WICB’s offer. “It’s going to mean a lot of travelling,” he added somberly. “I don’t like the idea of moving even further away from you.”
Maya laughed softly even as tears sparkled in her eyes. “Well, I guess I can be the one who pays you the visits this time around.”
“Are you sure you’re okay with this, babe? If I take this job, I’m locked in for at least a year.”
She glanced over at Monique and Ryan, who had moved away to give her some space. “I’m cool with it. I know this is your dream, Liam. I got to fulfill mine, now it’s your turn to do the same.”
On the other end of the line Liam sighed heavily. “What is it with us and timing? I was hoping to surprise you in LA in a few weeks, now I might be heading to cover the guys at training camp ahead of the Australia tour.”
Maya swallowed the lump that had suddenly formed in her throat. “You’ll do great, my love. Go tell them yes and we’ll take it from there.”
They exchanged a hasty goodbye. Maya pondered for a few seconds before punching in a number.
Monique sat next to her as she ended the call. “Why did you tell your pilot to ready the jet? Aren’t you staying to see Liam?”
Maya wiped her damp cheeks with the back of her hand. “You were right when you said before that I never liked you. Well, this is your chance to prove me wrong. Don’t tell Liam I was here.”
She silenced Monique’s protests with an impatient gesture. “I have my reasons, just trust me. Please, Monique.”
“She won’t say a word, neither will I,” Ryan said firmly. Monique nodded, though it was clear she thought Maya was crazy.
“I never thought I would agree with Maneater Monique, but you are crazy,” Trisha groused over the phone a day later.
Maya curled up on the jet’s leather sofa and groaned. “Please, Madeline made me feel bad enough already.”
“You should! You’re taking this noble shit too far. And I can’t believe you went all that way and didn’t at least stick around to get laid!”
Maya muttered an expletive, and the bodyguard hired by Madeline to accompany her to Goa, India, looked up in alarm. She reassured them with a wave of the hand.
“I already told you why, smartass. If I had waited for Liam I know I would have told him about the job in LA and he probably would have felt pressured to accept. This opportunity with the Windies team is what he really wants, Trish. I’ll be okay.”
Her best friend sighed. “I still think you should’ve let him decide. I just hope he can make the wedding.”
Terry and Trisha’s wedding was set for December at the historic James Street Methodist Church in Bridgetown, with the reception to follow at the luxurious Emerald Bay House on the West Coast.
Although details surrounding the event were top secret, the international media had their stringers in Barbados keeping their ears to the ground for any news of the impending nuptials. It was likely to be an even larger celebrity wedding than Tiger and Elin’s.
Maya was still apprehensive about her two friends getting hitched, but she admired how Trisha and Terry were not letting the stress of merging two drastically different lifestyles get in their way. Maybe she was overthinking her situation with Liam.
Maya said goodbye to her friend and buckled up as the pilot began his descent into Dabolim Airport in Goa, where she would be making her return to the runway to assist an international charity in raising funds for a children’s hospital.
Her bodyguard steered her through the humid, crowded airport facility. In the distance she could hear the sound of construction as a new wing was being erected, and over the din flights were being announced on a tinny sound system.
Flashbulbs exploded as a small group of paparazzi huddled near the taxi bay spotted the tall, slender actress, dressed down in distressed jeans, white t-shirt and leather vest. Still smarting from her recent ordeal, Maya ignored them, stopping instead to sign the several pieces of paper thrust under her nose by adoring fans.
An hour later, her vehicle pulled up in front of the well-appointed hotel on Miramar Beach in northern Goa. Glumly, Maya stared out at the blue waters of the Arabian Sea. It sucked that she was in such an exotic location without Liam.
She was met in the lobby by a representative of the charity, who facilitated her check-in and outlined her itinerary for the next few days.
As she approached the bank of elevators she heard someone call her name. She turned to see a strikingly beautiful blonde strutting in her direction.
“I heard you were participating, darling. Are you sure you can remember how to work a runway?” the woman teased as she greeted Maya warmly.
“Just promise to catch me if I fall on my ass,” Maya laughed. Helena Humphrey was not only a top model, but a notorious gossip. The two women had always got on well, because Maya was smart enough to keep her business to herself.
“Thank God that geriatric Naomi isn’t going to be here. Now she might break a hip,” Helena giggled as the elevator finally arrived. Out of the corner of her eye Maya saw her bodyguard discreetly scoping Helena’s behind, encased snugly in black leather pants.
“You better not let her hear you say that. Who else is going to be appearing?”
“Giselle and Allesandra are still on maternity leave so it’s just us, Adriana, Karolina, Liya and a few lesser-knowns.”
The two women chatted until they parted ways on the top floor of the hotel. Helena grabbed Maya’s arm as she moved away.
“Meet me for dinner later, love. I really must find out more about that delicious man who was all over you in those pictures.”
Maya shrugged in a non-committal manner and strolled away. Talking to Helena Humphrey about her love life would be like issuing a press release. Now she was forced to order room service just to avoid her.
Image: Fustic House, St. Lucy, Barbados
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Many apologies for dragging it out so long, but I had a few details to tie down and needed time to concentrate to make sure it flowed.
Thank you all for your patience, and for my two most loyal readers, S and Nikki, this one's for you!
Madeline met her at Van Nuys Airport the next morning. With a dour expression, the agent placed copies of several tabloids in Maya’s hands. She waited as the actress scanned the articles and the accompanying grainy images.
“Not exactly how I wanted you to make the cover,” the woman drawled. “We have a meeting with the studio people at 10:00.”
“What’s the game plan?” Maya dragged her eyes away from one headline screaming “Maya’s Secret Lover!”
Madeline grunted. “Prayer. And hoping that someone else does something really, really stupid.”
Maya spent the next few days meeting with sponsors and film executives, trying to maintain her dignity despite their obvious displeasure. Everywhere she went the media swarmed, seeking a comment on the matter. Liam and Francine, who were fighting their own media battles back in Barbados, called her on Skype daily.
As she sat in the makeup chair backstage at the Maxwell Miller Show a week later, Maya regretted not taking Madeline’s advice and canceling her appearance. Miller was usually a sympathetic interviewer, but salacious details boosted ratings.
As expected, after discussing her upcoming projects, Miller questioned her about the incident. She started to repeat the statement rehearsed with Madeline when she stopped.
“I know I’m being portrayed as promiscuous and irresponsible, but the truth is I’m in love with the man in those photos, and I have been most of my life. I don’t regret being with him. What I regret is that someone pried into my private life and made a mockery of that love. You tell me who should be ashamed, Max. Me or the media.”
The talk show host’s response was drowned out by the thunderous applause of the studio audience. Backstage, Madeline sighed in relief.
“You did good, kid,” Madeline said as they settled into the limousine to depart the studio lot. “You nearly gave me a coronary when you went off-script but it went well.”
Maya sighed wearily. “At the rate I’m defending myself you would think I killed someone.”
The agent squeezed her hand supportively. “I know it’s been difficult, but trust me, you’re being judged on how well you recover from this. So far, you’re doing great.”
“Yeah, but it’s bloody ridiculous. Half the studio execs who’re treating me look some fallen Madonna hit on me at some point, and most of them are married! Who are they to judge me?”
Madeline nodded in agreement. “I know it’s unfair but it’s the great Hollywood irony. Live and learn, kid.” She eyed Maya speculatively. “I listened to what you were saying earlier. You really love him, don’t you?”
When Maya pulled a face Madeline waved dismissively. “It’s a rhetorical question. I know you love Liam. But now that the chips are down I really see you do. And, more importantly, I can see he loves you.”
Maya cocked an eyebrow in surprise. Her agent had never been a fan of her relationship with Liam. “Where’re you going with this, Maddie?” The agent shifted uneasily in her seat. “I know I haven’t been very supportive of you two but all I ever wanted was the best for you.”
She sighed suddenly. “What do I know about love anyway? My handbag is worth more than the three losers I married put together,” she chuckled, patting the black crocodile Birkin on her lap for emphasis.
Maya hooted with laughter. “If I didn’t know better I would say you’re getting soft on me.”
Madeline rolled her eyes. “A momentary lapse, trust me. Anyway, I made a call to a friend at the LA Times and sent over Liam’s CV. There’s a job waiting there for him, if he wants it.”
Maya gasped at this unexpected announcement. In the past, Liam had considered moving to LA so they could be together, but after several fruitless months of job hunting, he had abandoned the idea and returned to Barbados.
“I know Liam is a proud man and may not want to accept my help, but one of you has to give up something to be together. I’m just saying, you have more to give up,” Madeline said matter-of-factly.
“Thank you, Maddie. I appreciate what you’ve done,” Maya hugged the older woman. “I don’t know if he’ll accept the job but thanks anyway.”
“Thank me by convincing him to move here so you can stop moping about,” the agent teased. “Call him now.”
Maya rummaged in her handbag for her cell phone, then sat back and groaned suddenly. “I forgot, he’s on his way to Jamaica to cover a cricket match. I’ll have to wait until later tonight.”
Madeline pulled out her electronic diary. After a few seconds of frenetic tapping, she looked up.
“I can spare you for three days, before you head of to the fashion benefit in Goa. Why don’t you go surprise him?
Maya giggled. “First a surprise job and now a secret rendezvous in Kingston? Boy, when you’re on board you don’t joke!”
Madeline snorted. “Shut up before I change my mind. Now, before I forget, what’s this I hear about Terrence Bridges getting engaged to that crazy friend of yours?“
Normally, the sight of the magnificent Blue Mountains would hold Maya in awe as she flew past on her way to Kingston’s Norman Manley Airport, but as she prepared to land a day later, but all she could think about was seeing Liam.
Even the sunset ride across the Palisadoes Road didn’t hold its usual charm, and she practically jumped out of the taxi when it pulled up before the stately, high-rise hotel in New Kingston.
Intent on surprising Liam, she slipped past the concierge and headed for the elevator. A quick call to Elise earlier that day had revealed that Liam was staying on the fifth floor.
Maya paused outside Room 507 and glanced at her watch. Providing Liam hadn’t decided on having an early dinner, he should be inside.
The door swung open after the second knock and the smile on her face faltered.
“Oh shit!” Monique Chambers exclaimed.
Ok, I promise to post the final chapter within a week, if not before. I swear....
Image: Fustic House, St. Lucy, Barbados
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Two days later, Madeline was up late working when she received a call from one of her media contacts. The news he shared, and his follow up email, had her scrambling for her cell phone.
“Have you lost your God-forsaken mind?” she yelled when Maya answered. “Do you know the shit storm you’ve created!”
Maya eased away from Liam’s warm body and tiptoed out of the room.
“What the hell are you talking about, Madeline?” she asked crossly. “Do you know what time it is?”
“Yes, time for you to get your ass back to LA,” Madeline snapped. “I knew I shouldn’t have let you go down there alone. Then you wouldn’t have the opportunity to make out half-naked in some pool!”
Maya sank into a chair, mortified. “It was 3:00 in the morning, Maddy!” she cried. “I wouldn’t expect the fricking paparazzi to be around!”
“The story is running tomorrow but I got a heads up. What the hell am I going to tell Bill when he calls?”
Maya buried her head in her hands. It was not unheard of for a Hollywood starlet to be caught in a compromising situation, but when the one in question was on the verge of promoting a movie and held several lucrative sponsorship deals based on her squeaky clean image….
“I take it that was Liam in the photos?” Madeline asked suddenly. She had hoped at first it was Terry Bridges caught in flagrante delicto with Maya; now that her PR machinery could capitalise on….
“Yes,” Maya groaned, preparing for the onslaught of disapproval.
The agent sighed. “Well, at least you got some. I was beginning to wonder if I should check you into a convent.”
“I love him, Maddy.” Tears rained down her cheeks. “I can’t lose him over this.”
Madeline rolled her eyes. Thank God she had given up on love three ex-husbands ago. “I’m sending the jet back for you. Andrea will call with the details. Just be ready to do some damage control.”
Maya disconnected and returned to the bedroom to break the news to Liam.
“Are you going to be alright?” he asked after he got over his initial shock.
Tears welled in her eyes again and he gathered her in his arms. “I don’t want you to hate me over this,” she sobbed. “Our families, your work mates, seeing us like that.”
Liam caressed her back. “I don’t blame you, baby. I blame the bastard who took the photos. Look at me.” He eased her away from his chest and cupped her face. “We love each other and we were doing what came naturally. There’s no shame in that.”
Explaining to her grandmother why she was leaving early was painful, but Maya couldn’t let her find out through the media. After a tearful goodbye to Liam at the airport, she winged her way back to LA later that evening.
Terry, who was already back in LA, contacted her en route. “You okay, kid?” he asked sympathetically.
She sank deeper into the jet’s leather seats and rubbed her eyes. “I just feel numb, Terry. The studio is going to blast me on this.”
He gave a derisive snort. “If they knew what Trish and I got up to when I was in Barbados their hair would curl.” He pondered for a few minutes. “Hey, you want me to tell them to ease off you or I’ll come out before the premiere?”
Despite her depressed state, Maya laughed loudly. “You would let Hollywood think you’re gay to help me out?”
“That’s what friends are for. Besides, because of you, I think I met the woman I’m gonna marry.”
The final chapter is coming soon!
Image: Fustic House - St. Lucy, Barbados
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Hey, peoples! Sorry for the delay in continuing the story but I was travelling. Anyhoo, it would have given you a chance to get caught up, haha. To make up, I'm going to add a longer segment this time. I hope you're enjoying it so far.
Happy Endings Part 7
Saturday dawned bright and clear and an excited Maya arrived at the villa where Liam’s party was to be held to assist Elise and other relatives with preparations. Much to her disappointment, Francine decided to sit out that evening's festivities and remain at home.
Later, she twirled before the mirror in the villa’s guest bedroom. The metallic-coloured dress shimmered in the light, and showcased her tall, curvaceous figure to full effect.
Happy birthday, Liam, she sighed softly at her reflection. If I wasn’t so chicken, both of us might get lucky tonight.
If Maya had any doubts about Liam’s feelings for her, they were banished after their dance at Trisha’s nightclub. When the song ended, she began to pull away but he drew her closer.
Emboldened by his strong arms enveloping her, she laid her head on his chest. His hands rose to caress her shoulders and when she lifted her head to give him an enquiring look, she nearly gasped when she saw the light of desire blazing in his hazel eyes.
“I’m not sure if it’s what you want to hear but I’m still in love with you, Maya,” he whispered huskily.
Her breath caught in her throat. “Liam, I…,” she began, but was interrupted by a bright flash exploding in her eyes. She instinctively shielded her face as Liam whirled around to confront the photographer, a local paparazzo.
In the commotion, she retreated to the VIP lounge and used the incident as an excuse to leave the party early.
Her reverie was broken by the sound of a throat clearing. She whirled to see Terrence Bridges standing in the doorway.
“Terry!” she exclaimed with pleasure, “you made it!”
The actor flashed his trademark megawatt smile. “Barely, but I’m here. Missed me?”
Maya and Terry had remained in touch after filming for “Happy Endings” ended. The flirtatious banter of their early meeting had since then settled into an easy, platonic relationship. When he had called her a few days earlier to check on her, he had expressed interest in paying her a visit. Still heartsick and indecisive about her feelings for Liam, she had impulsively invited Terry to spend a few days at the plantation.
“Thank God you invited me down. I was between gigs and bored out of my skull at home,” he chuckled as she hugged him.
She threw her head back and laughed. “Only you would be bored in a den of iniquity like LA.”
He shrugged nonchalantly. “I think I’ve done all there is to do, that’s the problem.”
“You look scrumptious, by the way,” Terry added after Maya had given some last minute instructions to the caterers. “Is it for the benefit of the birthday boy?”
“Who says I haven’t gotten dressed up just for me?” she teased, pausing to fix a bouquet of fresh flowers.
“Give me some credit, M. We were on set for eight weeks and you were happiest in jeans and no makeup.”
She hesitated before answering. “Last night he told me he still loves me and I don’t know what to do about it. The last time I hurt him so badly and I don’t want to go there again.”
Terry nodded sagely. “I always knew you had unfinished business down here. Madeline is always trying to set you up but I could tell your heart wasn’t in it.”
They paused on the poolside deck and Terry placed his hands on her shoulders. “If you love this guy and want him back, let him know. You can figure out the other details later.”
She gave a half-laugh. “Just my luck. The devil’s always in the details.”
When Liam arrived later that night he was immediately thronged by the well wishers lying in wait. Maya stayed back and allowed him to spend time with his parents and other relatives.
She and Terry were posing for photographs with some of Liam’s star-struck workmates and chatting with Trisha when he came over.
“Happy Birthday!” Maya grinned, reaching over to hug him, “were you really surprised or just pretending?”
Liam ignored Terry’s outstretched hand and turned to stare coldly at Maya. “I had no clue. I guess I’m not very perceptive,” he said bluntly before excusing himself.
“You want me to talk to him or are you going to?” Trisha asked concernedly as a red-faced Maya gaped after Liam.
“Trust me, I’ll go talk to him,” she said through gritted teeth.
Trisha nudged Terry and grinned. “Come on, Hollywood, I have a dance to teach you.”
Maya found Liam on the moonlit beach just beyond the villa, a beer in hand and a grim look on his face. She slipped off her high heels and strode across the sand.
“There was no need to be so bloody rude,” she snapped as she halted in front of him, “Terry is a close friend of mine.”
Liam took a swig from the bottle and threw her a sour look. “So it seems. Do you want me to go thank him for honouring my party with his presence? What about you, Ms. Hollywood? Are you going to charge an appearance fee?”
He caught her hand before it could connect with his cheek. “Don’t start something you can’t finish, Maya.”
He dropped her hand and stepped away but she grabbed his arm. “Damn you, Liam, don’t walk away from me!” she hissed, furious. “This has nothing to do with Terry and everything to do with your lack of respect for my job!”
He wheeled around, anger awash on his handsome face. “I don’t have problem with your job! The only issue I ever had was that it took you away from your home and me!”
“Then why are you acting this way?”
“Because I’m a fool.” He exhaled deeply and shook his head. “I still love you, but there can’t be anything between us now. You’re a superstar, a household name. You need someone like Terrence Bridges to complement you, not a nobody sports writer like me.”
Maya stared at him in stunned silence. It never occurred to her that the usually self-confident Liam, to whom most men probably compared themselves unfavourably, would be experiencing such emotions himself!
She regained her composure. “You’re not a nobody, Liam. You’re everything to me. I’m the one who feels you can do better than me and my drama.”
He swallowed hard and stepped towards her. “What exactly are you saying?”
She responded by stepping into his arms and raising her lips to his. Liam’s hands instinctively slid down to her buttocks to lift her body snuggly against his, while his tongue teased her lips open for pleasurable exploration.
Breathless, Maya broke the kiss and rested her chin on his chest. “What I’m saying,” she whispered, “is that I love you and I miss you. I need you in my life, Liam Carter.”
He embraced her tightly, his face wet with tears. Sounds of laughter drifted across the beach, and they both chuckled.
“We’d better get back. They’ll be wondering where the birthday boy is,” she smiled as she wiped his damp cheeks.
He kissed her tenderly once more before reluctantly stepping away from the warmth of her body. “Promise me we’ll talk after the party.”
She nodded as she slipped her hand into his. One thing she could promise, she thought, was that talking was the last thing she wanted to do with Liam.
The party raged on well into the early hours of Sunday. Terry spent most of the time entertaining the guests with his gyrations to the latest calypso hits, with an enthusiastic Trisha in tow. When her two friends departed arm-in-arm around 2:00 a.m., Maya wasn’t sure if she should be happy or alarmed.
After escorting out the last guests an hour later, Liam returned to find Maya sitting on the edge of the pool with her toes dangling in the water.
“I didn’t get a chance to tell you how great you looked tonight,” he said as he joined her. “That is one fantastic dress.”
Maya hesitated, then lifted her hair and turned her back. She held her breath as he unzipped the dress, and stood to let it pool at her feet. Liam’s gaze travelled upwards to take in the filmy lace covering supple thighs, a trim waist and ample bosom. Desire flickered in his multi-hued eyes.
“I need to cool off. Join me,” she said before diving in. She nearly made it to the other side before Liam caught up and pressed her to the wall.
“You know you’re crazy, right?” he whispered, stroking away wet strands of hair from her face.
His lips parted hers and their tongues met in a tender duel. Maya moaned as his hands roamed down to tease her erect nipples and she responded by brushing her body sensually against his hardness.
“I love you, Liam,” she gasped, clutching his muscular back as he pleasured her breasts with his tongue.
“We better get out before we drown,” Liam said when they came up for air. Weak with desire, Maya clung to him as they climbed out. They barely made it to the bedroom before tearing off their remaining clothes and collapsing on the bed.
Image: Fustic House, St. Lucy, Barbados
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
“Why did I let you talk me into this?” Maya groaned as she posed for yet another photograph with her best friend Trisha Lowe.
All around her, women were taking photos with their cell phones and whispering among themselves, while the men were casting admiring glances in her direction. This must be what a goldfish feels like, she mused, knowing that most of the photos taken would end up on blogs or websites all over the world.
“Because you love me and you know your being here is a boost for my club. Say cheese!” Trish planted a kiss on her friend’s cheek and hugged her affectionately.
Maya shook her head and laughed. She would do anything for Trish, but when her childhood friend had invited her to the opening of her hip night club Silk, she was tempted to turn her down. Frankly, the only reason she had summoned up the energy to get dressed was because she knew Liam was attending.
The past few days had been productive, spent observing the centuries-old process of harvesting cane and assisting with the care of her grandmother.
The evenings had been especially entertaining, when Liam stopped by to visit. The two often ended up sharing drinks on the verandah, enjoying the sun’s descent over the horizon. Afterwards, he would insist on following her home. A tempted Maya came close to asking him to stay on more than one occasion, but she held back, aware that she had to leave the island again in a few days.
“He’ll be here soon, don’t worry,” Trisha chuckled as Maya glanced furtively at her watch.
The two women escaped to the relative peace of the club’s VIP section, where they settled on a plush sofa and accepted glasses of champagne from a waiter hovering nearby.
“So, are you and Liam thinking of getting back together?” Trisha began.
Maya plucked nervously at the skirt of her Fendi cocktail dress. “I still care about him, a lot. But what would be the point of trying to start over? Our circumstances are still the same.”
Trisha rolled her eyes as she sipped her champagne. “You kill me. You have a hot ass man who loves you, you love him, and you have to think twice? What you gonna do, let Ms. Society Page have him?”
It was Maya’s turn to roll her eyes. “Girl, please. I would like to think any man who claims to love me wouldn’t mess with a cheap trick like Monique.”
Trisha clutched Maya’s hand suddenly. “Remember the time she pretended to get drunk at their office party and tried to get Liam to take her home?”
Maya smiled wickedly. “You should have seen the look on her face when Liam asked me to go along for the drive. Sobered her ass right up.”
Liam found the two friends laughing heartily as he entered the VIP room. The merry sound faded instantly as they saw who was immediately behind him.
“Hi, Maya, it’s good to see you again!” Monique Chambers breathed excitedly, flicking her waist length mane over her shoulder. “I hope I can get an interview with you before you go.”
Trisha rose, towering over the petite Monique in her stilettos. “Media personnel are not allowed in the VIP section. Come with me, please,” she snapped, marching a red-faced Monique out of the room.
“I should feel sorry for her, but I don’t. Am I a bad person?” Maya grinned.
“It’s a shameful way to treat your number one fan,” he chuckled, ducking as she playfully swatted him. “I had a feeling when I walked in with her it wouldn’t go well. For the record, it’s not a date. I came here straight from work and I gave her a lift as she’s covering the opening for the paper.”
Maya sniffed reprovingly. “It’s not my business who you hang with. You could do a lot better, is all I’m saying.”
“Can I?” he asked evenly, amusement glinting in his hazel eyes.
Yes, with me, she almost blurted out. He looked so handsome in his dark slacks and fitted shirt, and his spice-scented cologne was wreaking havoc with her senses.
She was spared from responding as Liam rose suddenly to his feet and held out his hand. “Dance with me.”
“Liam Carter dances now?” Maya gasped in amazement as he twirled her expertly. “I used to have to threaten bodily harm to get you on to a dance floor.”
He cast her a hurt look. “Can’t a man change?”
Maya willed herself to relax as he slid his arm around her waist. She barely bit back on a moan as their bodies made sweet, familiar contact. As they swayed to the music, the crowd around them faded from her thoughts. Her mind filled with memories of loving this man, and she wondered if she let him go, if she would ever feel the same about anyone else.
Image: Fustic House - St. Lucy
Monday, February 20, 2012
After a tense 30-minute trip, Liam and Maya pulled up in front of the large plantation house, where they were met by her grandmother’s housekeeper, Rosalind.
While he unloaded the luggage, the women exchanged a warm hug and ascended the front steps arm-in-arm. Maya glanced around the large, tastefully decorated coral stone house fondly. Drama aside, it was good to be home, she thought.
After grabbing a quick shower, she drew on her favorite silk bathrobe and went downstairs to grab a snack. She was surprised to find Liam seated at the large kitchen table.
“I wanted to make sure you were settled before I left. Are you going to be okay here by yourself?” he said as he rose.
She tightened the belt of her robe. Be careful, you’re starting to sound like you care, she wanted to retort but instead said, “I’ll be fine. Your mother wanted me to stay with them but I wanted to be close to the plantation.”
He nodded. “Well, make sure you leave the security lights on. And remind Ros to set the alarm if you’re not here when she leaves,” he added.
She gave a small smile. “I see you’re getting bossier with the big 3-0 coming up.”
His lips curved slightly. “Seems like just the other day we were entering secondary school. Now I’m practically an old man.”
Maya chuckled wryly. “Now who’s fishing for a compliment.”
They both broke into laughter and Maya’s heart quickened at the sight of his gorgeous smile. It felt good to share a laugh after all the tension and resentment.
Liam turned serious. “Look, Maya,” he began, rubbing his stubbled jaw, “about earlier… I had no right to say what I did.”
“It’s all good,” she began, but he interrupted.
“No, it isn’t. You made a decision about what you want to do with your life, and instead of supporting you I tried to make you feel guilty. That’s wrong and I apologise.”
She exhaled. “I’m sorry too, for hurting you when I turned down your proposal. It wasn’t because I didn’t love you, Liam. It’s just the timing was totally off.”
Eyes glistening with tears, she turned away abruptly before he could notice but he placed a hand on her arm. Heat radiated through her at his touch, igniting the slow flame of desire in her belly.
“I know you’re right, but it’s been still difficult moving on,”’ he replied.
Hesitantly, he drew her close, inhaling her fresh scent. Maya’s heart beat a wild tattoo as she returned his embrace. It would be so easy to raise her lips to his, to run her hands over his broad chest and back...
Instead, she reluctantly stepped back and cleared her throat. “As you’re here, do you want to share dinner? Ros always make too much.”
He nodded his assent, and the two spent the next few hours enjoying a tentative truce.
Friday, February 17, 2012
“Did you two have a fight again?” Elise asked Maya quietly, looking over her shoulder at a grim-faced Liam who sipped a beer in the living room with his father.
Maya shrugged, savouring her lemonade as she admired the sun setting over the west coast of the island. In the distance, she could see a cruise ship sailing out of the harbor, destined for a week of fun and frolic on the Caribbean Sea.
Francine, her broken leg set in a cast and resting on a chair, leaned forward to grasp her granddaughter’s hand.
“When are you two going to stop punishing each other and just be together? He’s unhappy, you’re unhappy, what’s the point?”
Elise nodded in agreement. “You both think too much. You can make this work if you really wanted to.”
Maya shook her head. “Nothing has changed. I live in LA and he’s here. He wants… deserves someone who’ll wake up next to him every morning, cook him dinner, sit around at night and find out how his day went. I can’t be that person.”
"Besides," Maya exhaled, "in case you haven't noticed he hasn't gotten past my refusing his proposal."
The two older women exchanged a solemn glance. “That was nearly two years ago, and if he's still upset about that, that means he still cares," Francine insisted.
"Apart from the odd date, he hasn't had a serious relationship since then. He still loves you, Maya," Elise added.
Maya glanced around and saw Liam gazing in her direction, his expression unreadable.
"Gran, I came home to see how you were doing, not to get caught up in any drama. Can we just forget about it for now?" she pleaded.
Francine sighed. "Will you at least come to the surprise party on Saturday for his 30th birthday? All your old friends will be there,” she asked.
“Sure. I guess I can manage that.” Maya chatted a while longer before kissing the women goodbye and heading to her grandmother's home in St. Lucy.
More on Monday! Have a great weekend.
Image: Fustic House, St. Lucy
As the world prepares to bid farewell to one of the greatest singers of our time, I want to add my voice to those wishing the family and friends of Whitney Houston my deepest condolences.
A few years back I did a post in her honour, which you can view here.
And this is how I will always remember her; her powerful stage presence and breathtaking vocals. May she rest in peace.
A few years back I did a post in her honour, which you can view here.
And this is how I will always remember her; her powerful stage presence and breathtaking vocals. May she rest in peace.