Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Endings Part 6

“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

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