Mallorcan Magic – Episode 10

“That was scrumptious! But I don’t think I’m capable of moving from this chair,” Eira said after demolishing her paella.

Danny gave her a look she knew signified he meant straight talking.

“Then you can sit quietly and let me explain what I have in mind.” He spoke to their waiter who removed the dishes.

“I requested a breather before dessert and coffee.”

Danny leaned forward, hands clasped before him. Eira concentrated, her astonishment growing as he talked.

When he’d finished, she turned down dessert but he ordered coffee plus a dish of crisp, almond-flavoured biscuits.

“Your turn now,” he said. “You must have questions.”

“Danny, are you quite sure I’m suitable?” Eira cradled her coffee cup. “You haven’t asked for references. I’m not trained in child care and you’ve no idea of my credentials.”

“Not so. You come from a respectable family and your character is flawless. I wouldn’t expect you to have references available − you’re here on holiday!”

“But how can you be sure I don’t have a criminal record?”

His wide grin and little chuckle puzzled her and she glared at him across the table.

“Instead of looking so fierce, you should take in that view,” he said.

Eira turned to gaze through the window. While they were enjoying their meal, dusk had arrived, swiftly dissolving into nightfall but she’d been too engrossed in Danny’s stories of the rich and famous to notice and still reeled after his shock job offer.

Now, from small craft anchored in the bay, lights twinkled like iced diamonds on black velvet. A sliver of moon sailed above the scene, adding the perfect touch.

“This view compares well with the outlook from my villa,” he said, “except we’re higher up. There’s also a private pool so you and the children can swim in peace. I watched you in the water this afternoon.”

“You watched me?”

“Certainly. I wanted to check your ability. You’re a strong swimmer but even so, with your permission, I’d arrange for you to take a life-saving course.”

She understood his children’s safety was important to him, but the way he spoke told her that this was a man accustomed to being obeyed. Here she sat, enjoying Danny Carpenter’s hospitality, but what kind of boss would he prove to be? And was she in danger of being dazzled by all this glitz?

Could she imagine herself remaining in this holiday paradise rather than returning to London to job-hunt? There must be a catch. That’s what Helen would say.

“You would, of course, stay in my apartment with the children. The nanny’s accommodation has its own bathroom. You’d escort Lulu and Richard to school each morning and collect them early afternoon. The hours aren’t what you’re accustomed to, but you’ll adapt.” He cut off her protest.

“My chauffeur will drive you. But you would prepare breakfast and other simple meals and look after their basic needs.”

“Give them a hug, make them laugh, and close my eyes if they don’t like the cabbage and mash I cook for them?”

She watched Danny’s eyes sparkle. He reached across and took her hands in his.

“You’re a natural. Now, most weekends, I take the kids to my villa at Manacor and, if you wished, you could accompany us. There’s a small car for the use of our housekeeper and nanny.

“Or you could remain in the apartment, free to socialise with your chum Helen. Whichever you prefer, provided you’re in the apartment by six p.m. on a Sunday, ready to welcome my children, and in term time, to prepare them for school.”

She nodded.

“I see now why you advised against a quick decision. Yes, I do have questions.”

“Ask away.” Gently, he released her hands, as if realising he was out of order.

“Doesn’t my lack of child care experience rule me out?”

He shrugged.

“How does any parent gain experience? You’re at ease with Lulu and Richard and clearly they already like you.”

“That’s all very well…”

“Don’t be nervous, Eira. You should weigh up the pros and cons. My offer has many advantages. I expect total loyalty and commitment and for this I will reward you generously.” He hesitated. “I must warn you, I’m not without enemies. Because of my successful business ventures, certain people will always seek a way to undermine me.” His lips tightened. “Even hurt me.”

She felt a chill run down her spine.

“As it happens, my dad used to be a police officer, so I understand your position. When I reached my teens, he taught me some special moves, for my own safety.”

“I know about your father’s excellent career. He did well to teach you self-defence.”

This startled her.

“Anyone would think you’d already checked my background!”

He narrowed his eyes.

“Why would I waste time if I hadn’t?” A tiny smile played on his shapely mouth.

Flummoxed and a little bit stung, Eira sought the right words.

“Have you talked to… um, have you consulted your ex-wife? If I accept, wouldn’t she want to meet me first?”

“The children’s mother will accept my decision. First she’ll ask if the children like you and I’ll say, yes, they’re already chattering about the pretty lady whose name they’ve never heard of before. Their mother’s name is unusual, too.” His face darkened. “Sadly, Kasha makes a better clothes horse than 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!