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