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