He took a long look at me at the red light. “Very impressive, did your brother do the same—invest in properties?”
“Not really, my brother invested in stocks as well; he made out better than me actually. When he passed, he left me everything in his will. I donated half to the Boston and Philadelphia Police for Families of Fallen Officers. The money is given to families that were not fortunate enough to have the same privileges that I had. Most people don’t think to prepare their families in case of an unexpected death. My father was always adamant about saving money and looking into the best life insurance policies; it was like he knew one day it would happen sooner or later. My brother had the same mentality.”
“They seem like very smart men.” He gently squeezed my knee and took off when the light turned green.
“Thank you, they were. My father and Michael left me with the same mind-set.”
His soft grip on my knee stiffened, and he quickly removed his hand, placing it on the steering wheel. “Michael?” he asked alarmed.
“Yes, Michael Sullivan, did you know him?” His facial features changed; he seemed lost in thought, worried even.
“Ah, nope, didn’t know a Michael Sullivan.” Mmmh. Maybe the name sounded familiar for a second.
He remained silent for the rest of the ride. Did I say something wrong? Everything was going well; at least I thought it was. We reached the airport and parked in a private lot. When he turned off the ignition, he shifted to face me. “Excuse me one minute. I need to make a phone call before we go.”
I nodded, not sure what else to say; he was acting a little strangely. He stepped out of the car, and I remained seated. The parking lot was empty. He was far away so that I couldn’t hear his conversation but could see his facial expressions and gestures. He seemed upset, his hand ran through his hair several times, and he paced back and forth. He seemed tense about something. He glanced at my direction twice and looked away. About five minutes later, he walked over, his stride powerful and strong, but his face seemed troubled. He reached my door and opened it. I looked up at him but didn’t get out of the car because he seemed to be keeping me in.
“Mia…fuck, I’m sorry…um, they need me at the office.”
“Oh.” Looking down, I tried to hide my disappointment. “That’s fine, Marcus, maybe some other time.” Meeting his gaze, I forced a smile. He didn’t say anything for a moment, but he didn’t move either. Pressing his lips together, he shook his head.
“No, you know what … they’ll be fine without me. I promised you a nice weekend, and that’s what I’m going to give you.” He offered his hand, and I grabbed it. His smile told me he wanted to go, but his eyes seemed uncertain.
Sliding my legs out of the car, I hesitated. “Are you sure, Marcus? I seriously don’t mind; you can go. I understand you’re a busy man.” He shook his head and pulled me to my feet.
“Not this weekend—this weekend it’s all about you.” Biting my lip, I tried to hide my pleased grin.
The private plane was better than I’d imagined. It had a modern design with the utmost in technology and comfort. The flight from Boston to the Bahamas felt shorter than it actually was. I guess the comfortable chairs, smooth ride, and the conversation Marcus and I were having mostly about his firm allowed me to enjoy the trip.
We were greeted by an SUV and a driver when we landed at the airport. “Are you hungry?” Marcus asked, placing his hand into mine.
“Actually I’m starving,” I said.
“Would you like to eat at a nearby restaurant, or wait till we get to the house? It’s about a thirty-minute drive from here.”
“Mmmh, I can wait.”
“Are you sure?” He raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, positive.” He gave my hand a slight squeeze, and we entered the SUV.
I’d never been in the Bahamas. Sadly I’d never left the U.S. My father took Michael and me as kids to Disney World and sometimes to the Jersey shore for the summer. We never visited the Caribbean. Luckily I had a passport. I had gotten one right before Michael passed. Jeremy and I had planned to go to Mexico that month. Of course we didn’t go. Who could enjoy a vacation knowing the entire time you’d be miserable? We promised to do it again sometime but never talked about it again.
The Bahamas was like no other place I’d ever seen; it was beyond beautiful. I was like a child as I continued to admire my surroundings from the passenger window. There were so many locals and tourists wandering around taking in the scenery. Everyone was laughing and having a good time. Caribbean music flowed through the air from a nearby festival. Vendors sat patiently in their booths selling seashell jewelry, knick-knacks, as well as portraits with palm trees and beaches.
The light breeze from the ocean made the eighty-five-degree weather tolerable. I was thrilled to be here and grateful that Marcus invited me. “Marcus, thank you,” I said while watching a little boy standing by the curb, waving at me with the biggest smile. I waved excitedly back as his mother picked the little boy up into her arms and waved before walking towards the festival.
I could feel him staring at me as I glanced out the window. “You’ve never been to the Bahamas?”
“No. It’s beautiful.”
“Yes, it is.”
We reached a huge metal gate. The driver’s window lowered; the man up front punched a code into a keypad which opened the gates. We wended our way along the driveway; surrounding us was a beautiful landscape of unique flowers, palm trees and beautifully manicured grass.
What caught my immediate attention was the traditional Bahamian home centered at the end of the driveway. The home was two levels with a wraparound upper terrace. It was stunning. It looked like something out of painting or a high definition photo from a welcoming brochure that would read on top, “A place to enjoy and relax.” I stepped out of the car before Marcus or the driver could open the door. As I made my way around the vehicle, I stood speechless admiring the home. Turning to face Marcus when I felt the warmth of his body beside me, I was greeted with a boyish irresistible grin. “You like?” He asked, entertained by my reaction.
“Marcus, it’s breathtaking.”
“Come, I’ll show you the rest; there’s lots to see.” Wrapping his arm around my shoulder, he led me to the double front doors.
When we entered the home, we walked into a huge foyer which led to an enormous living room. The high vaulted ceiling gave the home an elegant presence while the all-glass walls gave it a modern touch. Every room had a view of the beautiful beach through the ceiling-to-floor glass walls. The living room was filled with oversized furniture: a sectional, a coffee table, side tables, and two recliners.