Bobbye Terry is the award winning author of contemporary, historical and fantasy romance.
Today's featured book in the UNFORGETTABLE HEROES Boxed Set, is This Magic Moment by Bobbye Terry, writing as Daryn Cross.
Zack Graham, CEO of Scrumbles Snack Cakes, is energetic, magnetic and forget it—no women for him, except to relieve an occasional sexual itch. He’s a workaholic who refuses to let a woman make a fool out of him again. But what about Crandall Drake, the CEO of Pretzelicious Pretzels? He tells himself all he wants is sex. His heart tells him it wants more.
Crandall stepped off the small prop plane and smiled at the hostess. “I can’t believe I’ve never heard of Magic Airlines, but it’s a good thing it has service to this place.”
The woman nodded. “Yes ma’am. In fact, this is the only place it flies. This time of year, anyway.”
Staring back at the plane, Crandall laughed. “I don’t know who had the idea to paint the reindeer on it, but that’s just too cute for words.”
The hostess chuckled. “Yep and very efficient. Much better than an open sleigh, don’t you think?”
“Absolutely.” Cocking her head sideways, Crandall stared at the woman. Strange how short she was for an airline hostess. But after all, it was a prop plane and it’s not like a person can control their height. Still, she really ought to see a doctor about those pointed ears. Crandall sighed. It really wasn’t her place to suggest a plastic surgeon. She cleared her throat and sought for words. “Maybe you can help me. My friend who made the reservations said I’ll be staying at an old mansion. I guess it’s kind of like a bed and breakfast?”
“Yes ma’am.” The woman nodded. “Holly Heights. The butler there sees to all transportation around the island and back and forth to the only other mansion here. That one’s known as Ivy Hill. I understand there will be a few guests there too.”
She’d be willing to bet one was Gerald Brooks. Or Zack Graham. The fact was, she didn’t know what either of the men looked like. She’d have to let each guy show his true colors. They couldn’t be cut from the same cloth. One thing for sure, since Zack never appeared in his own ads, he had to be a real dog in the appearance department. All brains and no brawn.
“Here comes your limo now.”
Crandall glanced at the black limousine with the inscription, Just believe, painted on its side, slowly winding toward them. It pulled up right next to her and stopped. “But how did …”
“Captain radioed them,” she said. “This is a very elite island with an awesome five-star experience. The object is to simply enjoy.”
Minutes later, as the limo pulled off down a two lane hard-surface road with absolutely no traffic, Crandall sat across from another passenger and stared out at a colorful array of exotic flowers and the bustle of wild birds flying overhead. White puffy clouds floated through the seventy plus degree air with just a hint of a clean fragrant breeze blowing through the partially open limo window. “This almost seems like paradise,” she whispered to herself.
“Hold up, Theo,” Zack called out to the diminutive butler, the only person he’d seen since he arrived at Holly Heights.
The little guy turned around with a twinkle in his eye and a broad smile on his face. “Yes sir. What can I get for you? Some hot cocoa or coffee? Draw you a hot bath or call for a masseuse?”
“I’m fine, really. No need for any of that. All I want is a signal.” Zack held up his Smartphone. “No bars. None at all. Not even a glimmer. It’s dead. How is that possible? I even had service in the Gobi Desert.”
The man shook his head. “I’m sorry, sir. For some reason, satellite signals sometimes have problems out here. Perhaps you should try walking to the visitor’s center. It’s only two miles to the east. Or the limo could take you as soon as it gets back from the airstrip.”
“The airstrip?” he asked. “There’s another guest coming?”
He nodded. “At least one. Perhaps more.”
“I see. Okay, about the visitor’s center, do they have Wi-Fi?”
He shook his head. “No sir. But there’s a tower there. Occasionally, our tourists can get reception for their phones and computers there.”
Zack’s mouth gaped open as he placed his hands on his hips, still gripping the phone in his left one. “You mean the Internet doesn’t work out here either? I take it this old house doesn’t have Wi-Fi?”
The little guy shook his head. “It is the beauty of the island. This is where one unwinds and forgets about the pressures of what many call the rat race.” He strode off toward the kitchen.
Zack sighed, his gut lurching. How could he survive anywhere cut off from his usual communications? For the first time, he realized how dependent he was on them. Not being able to connect would be like detoxing. Some people may want to get away from the rat race. But it was near impossible for the head cheese.
As Crandall stepped out of the limo at Holly Heights, she stared up in amazement at the glorious structure of the mansion, which looked more like a castle. Although raised on stilts to keep it safe from high surf and flooding, the structure was made of what appeared to be polished river rock, and it had a turret. How could it be supported on a wooden platform? The architect had to be brilliant.
The driver carried her two bags to a ground level elevator. As the doors opened, she stared into the bright green eyes of a god. The man had pale blond hair, tanned skin and a toned body that left even more than she could see to the imagination. This trip was getting better all the time.
He glanced up at her and stopped short, staring. As the doors began to close on him, he held his arm in the way to stop it and jumped out. “Sorry. You took me by surprise.”
“So did you,” she told him. “I’m guessing you’re also a guest?”
He nodded with a cock-eyed grin. “I am. You’re the only other one I’ve seen. In fact, the only person I’ve seen except the limo driver and a very short butler.”
“Really?” Odd, she thought. Another little person. She supposed the owners of the resort catered to disabilities and special employees. “I’m sorry if I stopped your exit. Here for fun or business?”
He frowned. “Fun I suppose, though I’m not sure what that is. I don’t have cell reception and there’s no Wi-Fi or cable broadband here.”
“No problem for me,” she said, grinning. “I have a mobile modem. USB.”
He laughed. “Good luck. Seems satellites don’t like the place too much either.”
“I take it you do a lot of work by satellite?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
He nodded. “Absolutely. When you have your, uh, family spread out all over the country, you have to know what’s going on.”
She grinned. At least there were more people here than she thought, and good looking ones too. “Don’t let me stand in your way, but, from what I hear, this place doesn’t have many attractions.”
He chuckled. “It didn’t. But that apparently, has changed. How about having dinner with me this evening?”
Her face burned. “I don’t know you.”
He winked. “You will. Besides how much trouble can you get into having dinner in a public place?”
He was right of course. Besides, she was in her late twenties. She could certainly manage a dinner date. “All right, I suppose so.”
He nodded with a wink. “Great. I’ll meet you here tonight at seven.”
“Wait!” she called out to him, “What’s your name?”
He turned and grinned. “Is it really important? Just for GPs, call me Don Juan.”
She chuckled. “I guess that makes me Jezebel.”