Mallorcan Magic – Episode 20

Eira had her hands full for the next few weeks, supervising the children, holding the fort while Danny went on business trips and generally fulfilling her Girl Friday duties.

Several weeks went by before she and Helen met. When they did, she was greeted with a huge hug.

“Come on in.”

“I feel like I’ve been gone for months rather than weeks.” Eira followed her friend into the sitting-room. “Is everything all right? You must have gone to lunch with the clan as arranged?”

“Everything’s fine between me and Antonio and his father’s charming, thank goodness.” Helen’s face took on a dreamy expression. “I’m head over heels, as I think you know.”

“With Antonio’s father?” Eira ducked. “Yes, I had noticed you and Antonio were close!”

“This is supposed to be a secret, Eira, but I’m longing to tell you.” She paused. “Antonio’s asked me to marry him.”

“Oh, how wonderful! I’m so pleased for you.” Eira felt a distinct pang of envy but tried not to think of Danny.

“Now, come on, let’s sit down. I can’t wait to hear what’s been happening in the world of the beautiful people. What do you think of the villa and what’s your room like?” Helen asked.

“The villa is gorgeous. I have my own bathroom and a little balcony outside my bedroom. Everything’s beautiful, though I’m not too sure about some of the people.” Eira looked down at the swimming pool and the carefree sun-worshippers.

“You know Louise will be in my class next term?”

Eira shaded her eyes. “Yes, Danny told me and don’t worry, the children are great. No way could I handle my job if they weren’t.”

“That’s a relief.” Helen followed Eira’s gaze. “What are you looking at?”

“I was just thinking, the people around the pool look as though they haven’t a care in the world, don’t they?”

“Appearances can be deceptive.”

“I know that, but people like Danny Carpenter and Kasha Delaney have so much money, they believe wealth can solve everything. That’s not true.” Helen turned to face her.

“What’s up, Eira? Has Al Capone got designs on you?”

“Danny’s no gangster, Helen, and no, of course he hasn’t. I hate to say this, but the chauffeur tried to grab a kiss.”

Eira recounted the incident, described Raoul’s malicious attempt to discredit her and repeated how Danny insisted she leave it to him to sort out.

“I’m sorry, love,” Helen said, “but in this case, I’m inclined to agree with that boss of yours. You shouldn’t have to put up with that kind of behaviour and I’m pleased to hear Mr Carpenter accepted responsibility. The man’s lucky not to have got the sack!”

Eira noticed the spark of anger in Helen’s eyes. Although she felt indignant over the way Raoul had taken her for granted, Eira hadn’t felt threatened.

“A lot of men would say we should be flattered if someone takes a fancy to us.”

“Huh!” Helen frowned. “It’s high time that old-fashioned attitude was stamped out.”

“We might have to wait a while for that,” Eira said. “In this case, as with the Garcia clan, there’s loyalty to consider. Raoul and two or three of the villa’s staff belong to the same family and to be fair, I did tell Danny I couldn’t bear the thought of Raoul being fired and suffering hardship.”

“Some girls wouldn’t be so understanding. In my opinion, Raoul should thank his lucky stars. I hope Mr Carpenter reassured you it wasn’t your fault?”

“He did. It’s pretty obvious Raoul got his own back on me by interfering with the filing system I’d organised, but Danny told me he owned up without any trouble. He made Raoul write me a note of apology and I’d rather forget the whole thing now.”

“Fair enough, but you’ll have to be on your guard in case he ever tries the same trick. Men! Sometimes I despair of them.” Helen pursed her lips.

“We should be used to it, I suppose.” Eira sighed.

They sat in silence until Eira, startled by the sound of a sob, turned to see her friend brush her hand across her eyes.

“Helen? What is it, love?”

“It’s just me being silly. I’m so sorry.”

Eira rose, whipped a clean handkerchief from her bag and handed it over. She stood behind her friend, placing her hands soothingly on Helen’s shoulders.

Helen gulped and mopped her tears.

“Thank you. How can I feel so happy yet feel so shattered when a chance remark brings back a memory best left buried?” Eira remained standing.

“If I’ve said something that’s upset you, I apologise. Is this about money or men?”

“Men. That is, one particular man and yes, sadly, money does come into it,” Helen said. “Sit down again, Eira, and I’ll tell you the reason why my father insists on paying for me to live here. You’re my oldest and best friend and it’s time I got this off my chest. Not even Antonio knows what I’m about to tell you.”


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!