Mallorcan Magic – Episode 33

EIRA felt as though she was on autopilot but somehow she rang Danny’s solicitor in Palma and agreed to meet him at the police station.

Isabella returned and Eira managed to make her understand the bare bones of what was going on.

She prepared the children for bedtime and continued their father’s tradition of reading a chapter from whatever book was the current favourite.

The three gathered in Richard’s room and when she closed the book, Eira tucked the little boy beneath the covers, kissed him goodnight and followed his sister to her room.

Eira grabbed a jacket from her room. She hadn’t been inside since the police searched the house and now she discovered how drawers had been opened, in some cases their contents tipped haphazardly upon her bed.

She clenched her fists at her sides and counted to ten. The discarded garments, dishevelled continental quilt and even her suitcase pulled out from beneath the bed, all could and must wait until she returned from Palma after meeting Danny’s lawyer.

First, she needed to ask Isabella something. She found the housekeeper in the kitchen, listening to the radio.

“Isabella, we need to find Raoul. It is urgent. Um, urgente?”

Somehow, she thought, she managed to make herself understood because Isabella chattered away in her own language and Eira, although not understanding one single word, thought the woman was offering to ring round her relations.

On an impulse, before leaving the villa, Eira rang Helen and explained the situation as quickly as she could, told her where she was off to and why.

“I’ll get Antonio on the case, love,” Helen said. “I can only imagine how difficult all this is for you, being in a foreign country and not speaking the language. I think you’re coping brilliantly. If Antonio receives any news of Raoul, I’ll ask him to contact the police at once.”

Eira felt touched by her friend’s reaction but it was with a heavy heart that she drove away from the villa towards the city. Was it only this morning she’d gone to the airport to collect her boss?

But surely the police had no concrete evidence of wrongdoing? If only they could find Raoul and see if he could throw any light on the mystery.

She’d imagined the chauffeur to be a genuinely loyal employee. A guilty twinge surprised her as she drove through a small village, a scattering of houses and a church on one side, a swathe of orchards on the other. Surely Raoul hadn’t been so furious over her rejection of him, he’d tried to incriminate his employer out of spite? That nasty gibe still rang in her ears.

The idea of causing Danny to become involved in such an emotional tangle, worried her. Again, she pictured his lips forming words she hadn’t dared hope to hear. Again she saw him mouthing “I love you” before the police took away this man who’d transformed her life.

She’d known Danny only a brief time but already the intensity of her feelings for him terrified and delighted her at the same time.

Eira arrived at her destination. The hotel the Garcia family owned was close to the police station and Helen had urged her to leave her car in their car park.

She walked to the police station, introduced herself and was led to a drab room containing a small table and two chairs. Here sat Danny’s lawyer, who got to his feet as soon as she walked in.

“I’m sorry to meet you under such unfortunate circumstances,” Señor Cervantes said, shaking her hand. “Please sit down, Miss Campbell.”

She took her place opposite this man whose kindly brown eyes immediately made her feel comforted.

“I’m pleased to take at least a little anxiety off your shoulders. Now, I want you to tell me how you met Mr Carpenter and when you first began working for him. I also need exact details of your relationship with his chauffeur.”

Eira took a deep breath and began her story, speaking quietly but clearly. She thought she detected a glimmer of something in the lawyer’s eyes when she explained the coincidence of noticing Danny then being approached by him later the same day. He agreed it was a twist of fate with a surprising outcome.

Further into their discussion, Señor Cervantes nodded.

“So far, you’ve explained what brought you to the island and how you came to work for my client. You’ve also given me insight into the daily routine at the villa, which has two live-in staff – the housekeeper and you.

“The chauffeur lives at his family home but sometimes stays over if he returns very late with my client or if he needs to drive him to the airport at some unearthly hour of the morning. There is also a gardener who comes in three times a week and a cleaning lady? She works two mornings a week?”

Eira, listening intently, nodded her head and said “Claro,” hoping she was confirming he’d got it right.

“And when the children start their new school at the end of the summer holidays, you will be spending more time working with Señor Carpenter, helping him with his new hotel project?”

“All that is correct.”

“I apologise for asking this question, Eira, but is your relationship with my client anything more than that of the normal employer/employee one?”

She felt her cheeks heat. What had prompted such a question? She could feel the tingles up and down her backbone.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.