- 6. Mallorcan Magic – Episode 05
- 7. Mallorcan Magic – Episode 06
- 8. Mallorcan Magic – Episode 07
- 9. Mallorcan Magic – Episode 08
- 10. Mallorcan Magic – Episode 09
- 11. Mallorcan Magic – Episode 10
- 12. Mallorcan Magic – Episode 11
Danny headed for a sleek silver sports car and unlocked the passenger door.
“Your friend’s boyfriend – what’s his name?”
“Antonio Garcia.” Helen slid into the front seat, trying not to display too much thigh.
“Is he the eldest son of the Garcia hotel family?”
“I remember him – he’s a smart young man. I was impressed by his knowledge of the hotel industry. Antonio deserves to succeed.” Danny closed Helen’s door.
Eira waited until he settled behind the steering wheel, a whiff of citrus cologne drifting in her direction.
“So you understand the industry?”
“Let’s say I’m always learning. I’m currently involved in purchasing a property near here. Is your friend working for the Garcia family?”
“Helen’s a teacher. She’s employed at the English Academy in Palma.” Danny started the engine.
“That’s interesting. I’m considering enrolling my children there as I’ve heard good reports. Obviously, I need to consult their mother but she’s in New York just now, so communication’s a bit iffy.”
“I can imagine.”
Danny swung the vehicle out of the car park and joined the coast road north.
“You’re wondering why I invited you out. You’ve told Helen and she’s told Antonio that you and I have become acquainted and the pair of them warned you to beware of the big bad wolf. Am I right?” Eira squirmed in her seat.
“I knew it.”
“They’re concerned for me,” she said. “I’m Helen’s guest, don’t forget.”
It was still daylight and Eira watched the landscape change as they left the built-up area. This was the real Mallorca, the Mallorca whispering the glories of a far distant era, long before apartment blocks and hotels tiered like wedding cakes invaded the landscape.
“What are those trees we’re passing?”
“Almond. You’ve missed the blossom. When that’s in flower, this part of the island looks like a Hollywood snow scene.”
“You should come back next year.”
She froze as he raised his left hand to change gear. If he’d squeezed hers, how would she have reacted?
She swallowed hard.
“What’s this proposition you mentioned?” He changed gear again ahead of a bend.
“That can keep until we’re sitting down with a glass of cold champagne apiece.” She turned her head to hide a smile.
“Danny, do you really think you can manipulate me like that?”
“No. Clearly you’re an intelligent young woman but I sense you’re at a crossroads.”
“You could say that,” Eira said softly.
“Dare I ask if some guy’s involved?”
“You may, but he’s past tense now.”
“Someone with your looks is bound to go through the mill before she finds Mr Right
Eira felt heat flood her cheeks. She raised her hand to the crystal heart she wore on a silver chain round her neck and fingered it, unsure what to say.
“I don’t intend prying,” Danny said, “but life’s too short for regrets.”
He turned off the coastal road and pulled into a parking space at the edge of a pine forest. The vehicles already there wouldn’t have been out of place in a Park Lane car showroom. Horrified at the thought of looking like a country mouse, she turned to her escort.
“Are you sure I’m dressed suitably? This all looks very ritzy to me.”
“Don’t be fooled by those cars. People come from all over to eat here but there are no airs and graces. I doubt there’ll be any girl dining here who’s prettier than you, even if she’s dripping in diamonds.”
“Eira.” He spoke softly, opening his door.
She couldn’t make him out, shifting as he did from business-like to flirtatious. But the longer she spent in his company, the more she relished being with him. Her former fiancé had rarely paid her compliments, so Danny’s blend of respect and appreciation was a heady one.
The restaurant, clinging to the hillside, was a ranch-style building, white against its forest-green backdrop. In the foyer, a man bustled forward.
“Señor Carpenter, good evening and welcome. I have your favourite table waiting.” He smiled at Eira. “Buenas noches, señorita. Any friend of Señor
Carpenter is welcome in my house.”
“You old smoothie, José. Now, we’d like a bottle of your best bubbly, please.”
Eira followed José to a window table and saw how the spectacular sunset made the ocean view all the more stunning.
She uttered a low whistle of appreciation.
“What a beautiful island, José.” He helped her get seated.
“A beautiful island almost worthy of a beautiful English rose like you, señorita.”
Danny’s lips twitched as he sat opposite.
“Latin men, Eira! Better heed your mother’s warnings. I happen to know this guy’s married with six kids!” José chuckled.
“Your champagne is here, Señor Carpenter.”
Danny raised his glass.
“Let’s drink to your first real taste of Mallorca.”
Eira clinked her glass against his.
She sipped her drink cautiously. She’d tasted champagne once before, on a trip to France with her parents to celebrate her twenty-first birthday. Tonight’s version, cold and honeyed, slipped down easily, making her glow. She couldn’t recall enjoying anything in France half as much as this.
“Don’t fret,” Danny said. “You won’t get tipsy. We’ll talk business after we’ve eaten our main course, then you’ll need time to consider what I have to say. I’d prefer you not to make a snap decision this evening.”
What could a man like Danny Carpenter want from her? Surely, he wouldn’t bother splurging on this fabulous dinner if all he had to offer was a job handing out leaflets to tourists!