Mallorcan Magic – Episode 05

Back at Vista el Oceano, Eira decided to while away her afternoon beside the pool. She changed into her swimsuit, a dark chocolate one-piece. Its severity made its plunge back even more daring and the high-cut style highlighted her long slim legs.

Helen had shown her how to access the pool area, so she placed everything she needed in the bucket bag she’d purchased that morning, shrugged into Helen’s spare towelling gown and took the elevator.

In the reception area, she smiled at the concierge, waiting for him to recognise her.

“You are free to visit the pool whenever you wish, señorita,” he said in English as he left his desk. Eira thanked him as he pushed open the door marked La Piscina which led to the pool for use by residents and guests.

Eira put on her sunglasses and looked around. A few people were using the reclining chairs and half a dozen or so frolicked in the water. She walked almost as far as the deep end where there were fewer people around, selected her spot, shrugged off her gown and relaxed.

The sun warming her pale skin reminded her to use her sun lotion. Soon she was deep in the story of “Valley Of The Dolls”. Dimly aware of happy laughter and chatter mingled with splashing sounds, she laid down her book and closed her eyes. A gentle breeze ruffled her hair and her thoughts travelled back to the little café where she’d sat earlier.

She was far too hot to remain where she was one moment longer. Eira stood, wriggled her feet from her pink flip-flops and walked along the poolside to start swimming from the shallow end. She sat on the edge, dipping her toes in water that felt warm and silky. Soon she was wading and then pushed off, swimming slowly towards the deep end. She turned and, speeding up this time, returned to the shallows.

Hoisting herself up the steps, Eira headed for her chair where she pulled off her swimming cap, shook her hair loose and, closing her eyes, lifted her face to the sun.

“First day’s sunbathing?” an unfamiliar male voice said.

Eira opened her eyes and gasped. The stranger from the café stood, wearing black swimming trunks, his towelling robe hooked on one finger and draped over his left shoulder.

“I believe we caught one another’s eye in the Café Lolina. I heard you speaking English and, look, I’m sorry if I’m intruding but I wonder if you’d allow a fellow

Londoner to buy you a drink?”

Eira knew she must still have a voice but couldn’t summon it.

He gave her the kind of smile she’d never received from Steven. Her senses were on red alert. This was a suave, sophisticated man who probably ate naïve young ladies for breakfast.

But he surprised her.

“I’m making a mess of this, aren’t I? My children are in the pool but I had an urge for some adult company.” He shrugged. “I love my kids dearly but I told them I needed to say hello to someone I met this morning. So, here I am.”

“We didn’t exactly meet,” Eira said, feeling her heart bump even faster.

“No. But our paths have crossed once more, so I’m seizing the moment.” He extended his hand. “Danny Carpenter.” She held her hand out.

“Eira Campbell.”

“A Welsh forename and a Scottish surname? Magic.”

He released her hand, admiration shining in his eyes. His voice belonged to a film star or a crooner, or, remembering Helen’s comments, perhaps an airline pilot!

“Are you sure your children are all right?”

“Of course. Come and say hello?” Again, he gave her that beguiling smile.

Eira shrugged her shoulders into Helen’s demure towelling robe and tied the belt tight. She stuffed her book into her bag, slipped her feet into her flip-flops and accompanied him towards the café.

“Those are my two scamps.” He indicated a small, dark-haired boy and a slightly older girl whose drenched blonde hair was a mass of corkscrew curls. “Richard takes after me, I think. Louise, mostly known as Lulu, is the spitting image of her mother.”

“They’re certainly water babies.” Eira watched the pair scale the steps to the children’s slide and whizz down the chute.

Each landed with a splash, popping up from beneath the surface, gasping and laughing.

“Hey, you two!” Danny called. “Come and meet a new friend.”

Eira, although taken aback, didn’t comment. Danny Carpenter grabbed two towels and led her towards a table overlooking the pool.

“Please sit down,” he said. “I hope you don’t mind if the kids eat lunch. What about you, have you had anything to eat since this morning?”

She remembered the custard tart.

“Not really.”

“I’ll order tapas. What will you drink?”

“Lime and soda water, please.” No way did she want her wits clouded.

Danny headed inside, returning as the children arrived. He threw each a towel.

“This is Miss Campbell.”

“Hello, you two! Call me Eira. If that’s all right with your father?” She looked at him. “Are you Daddy’s girlfriend?”

Eira looked at Louise, feeling awkward.

Then she saw the funny side and chuckled.

“Well, I’m a girl and I hope I can be friends with your daddy and you and

Richard. I wish I had curly hair like yours, Louise.”

“I like your hair, too.” Louise gave Eira the appraising stare of an eight-year-old. “You didn’t let it get too wet.”

“Let’s sit down,” Danny said. “Food’s on its way.”

The children didn’t appear fazed by her presence. Eira wondered how many female friends of their father they’d met. She didn’t dare ask about their mother.


Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!