I flicked up the lid of my laptop, curious about the email.
Need some Vitamin D?
Like to save cash?
Do we have DEAL for you!
My fingers flew over the keyboard, tapping in impatience while the website loaded. My eyes drank in the tropical scene — white sand, swirling surf, blue skies to the horizon.
For the next 48-hours ONLY
the DEAL you can't afford to miss.
Call now, don't hesitate.
All-inclusive — let us
surpass your expectations.
Without my mind controlling my needs, the phone snuggled onto my ear, craving the voice of the booking agent.
"Hello, Cheap and Cheerful, Dyane speaking. How may I help make your tropical vacation come true?"
Her voice, sultry and suggestive, curled my toes, painting a vivid picture in my mind.
"Hi, Dyane. I just received an email from your company and I'm curious about what deals you have to offer me."
"What is your name? My, what a baritone voice you have handsome."
My breath sped up, sweat breaking out on my upper lip.
"Trevor, I am certain that I have a destination that will rock your world."
"Do you have a particular beach in mind?"
"What would you recommend, Dyane?"
"Trevor, for you, I see you in the Dominican, at our Sierra Sands Inn and Spa. Picture a wall of windows opening onto a private patio, overlooking the pool, or, for a small upgrade, the pristine sands of the beach. Imagine falling asleep to the sound of the waves, coming in, going out, so soothing, don't you agree, Trevor?"
My throat tightened, my tongue clinging to the top of my dry mouth.
"So, Trevor, what is your preferred date and time for flying to paradise?"
"Dyane, I am pretty free right now."
"Fantastic! So, Trevor, I can book you on a flight, direct, Saturday, 14:00 hours, with a return one-week later. What do you think of that plan, Trevor?"
"Let's cut to the chase, what will this cost me, Dyane?"
"Trevor, I need to put you on hold while I figure out the complete costs."
My ears tingled with samba rhythms which invited my toes to tip-tap.
"Hey there, Trevor …"
Dyane's tones tempted my mind to meander along sandy shores, the specific details incoherent.
"Trevor. Trevor. You still there?"
"Yeh, Dyane. I'm in."
So, sitting on one of those rigid plastic benches, I am impatient to get on the plane, sip some chardonnay, snooze to be beach-party ready when I step into my hotel.
A risky bus, rusted, well beyond a best-before date, bumped over a dirt track, dust sifting over my hair, suit, seeping into my mouth, grating on my teeth.
Stretching to iron out the kinks to my muscles, I stride down the inlaid walkway, underneath an ornate portico, through double glass doors, stopping at the front desk. A lovely brunette beauty smiled, warming me down to my belly button, checking me in with finesse.
Following the porter into the elevator left down a long carpeted hallway, we stopped outside suite 608. With a swoosh of the room card, the door opened, revealing the sunshine streaming into the floor-to-ceiling windows, opened to welcome the sounds of the surf.
There were two queen-sized beds. Lying on one of the beds closest to the windows sat a humungous pale pink suitcase, opened, where female clothing spilled out onto the coverlet.
"Hey there! You've taken me to the wrong room."
"No, no, this is your room."
"Someone already has this room."
"Sir, I only take people to the room. Call the front desk, dial number one, if you have any questions."
His hand, open flat, extended towards me, his big brown eyes looking, watching, not moving.
I scrounged in my pocket for a bill. He frowned, turned on his toe, stomping to the door which slammed shut.
"Hello, front desk, Maria speaking. How may I help you?"
"Maria, it's Trevor in room 608. I need a different room since someone, a woman, already is in this room!"
"Ah, suite 608…"
I could hear the click-clack of the keyboard.
"Yes, Trevor, you have booked in for the Cheap and Cheerful rate. Fiona is also on that rate, booked into suite 608."
"Well, Maria, this WON'T do."
"Of course, sir, I can upgrade you immediately. Just come to the front desk and we'll put the charge on your credit card."
"How much more?"
My tongue stuck in my throat. I choked, tears spilling over my lids.
"You've got to be kidding!"
"Sir, that is the charge if you wish to upgrade. Is there anything more I can do for you?"
"No, Maria, nothing."
I dropped the phone onto its cradle, sinking onto what would be my bed, closest to the washroom and closet, my head in my hands.
I straightened up, hearing the whoosh of the door opening and the click when it closed.
Her perfume brought a sneeze from my nose, a cough from my throat, perpetual blinking of my eyes.
"You must be Trevor."
I stood, shaking hands, with a woman whose face reminded me of my nana, but whose body rocked in a teeny tiny two-piece suit with a diaphanous top. I shook my head at this incredible combination.
"And you are…"
"Well, Fiona, I"m Trevor. Seems, surprisingly, that we're going to be room-mates for this week in paradise."
"Here's hoping you've brought a robe, Trevor. I'm not really into dangling participles, so to speak."
I nodded, unsure how to respond.
"Fiona, I'm off to explore the hotel. If I don't see you later, say at dinner, or in the bar, I'll certainly see you tonight, at bedtime."
Fiona turned her back to me, bending over, deliciously, to flutter about in her suitcase.
My mission, my shopping need, was to source and purchase a robe. Who, other than my pop, wear pyjamas, or a robe?
Pyjamas! Yet another thing to buy before crawling between the sheets.
Sierra Sands Inn and Spa did not disappoint. In mere minutes, with the swish of my credit card, I became the owner of a silky ebony robe and silver striped pyjamas. Here's hoping my taste in nightwear fits Fiona's high standards!
Retracing my steps to suite 608, I relished a long, steamy shower, drying and dressing in welcome solitariness. I smiled, gave a thumbs up to my reflection. I had to admit, I looked good in my new duds — slim trousers, wildly patterned button-up shirt, and slicked-back hair. With a spritz of my favourite cologne, a scent of citrus and pheromones wafted in my wake.
At the end of the first night, well more like the early morning of the second, I zigzagged down the hall, stopping and frowning, upon seeing a Do NOT Disturb sign hanging from the door level of suite 608.
My face flushed with a heady combination of too much alcohol, too much activity, and too little sleep. Fists formed from my hands, fists that wanted to pound upon the door, but instead, I meandered down the hall, taking a seat on a wingback chair in a cozy corner of the foyer bar.
Nursing a spiked coffee, I leaned back, raising my legs across a nearby chair, and struggled to select a space for slumbering.
"Is this seat taken?"
Her soft, lilting voice teased its way into my ears, tugging at my eyelids to open. There she stood, blonde curls, big blue eyes, pouty lips atop a curvy petite package.
"No," I slid my feet from the adjoining chair, standing up, wiping the sweat, then gesturing with an open arm, "please sit down, I'd welcome the company."
"My roomie is out on a tryst, met up with a buxom beauty, at least that's how she described her to me, and I didn't feel like being alone in the room, on my first night, so here I am, looking for a chinwag."
"Hmmm. I'm Trevor. I'm curious if my room-mate, Fiona, who has taken over the room, might be with your roomie. Wouldn't that be a small world indeed!"
"Fiona — yes, that's the name Shirley mentioned — Fiona. Isn't that funny, your room-mate with mine."
"Yup, loads of laughter."
"You do look kind of knackered, Trevor if you don't mind my saying. Now, I don't mean this as an invitation to anything more than you catching a few zzz's in Shirley's bed, if you want to."
"Wow! I have to admit that's not the worst idea. I do need to at least know your name before we share a bedroom."
Her lips curved upward, revealing pearl white teeth glimmering between ruby lips.
Her hand felt tiny in mine, warm, dry, firm.
"How about we share a drink then we can go to bed, separately, that is?"
After two nightcaps, we walked arm-in-arm to suite 902, where I slid into the bed, Shirley's bed, nearest the window, asleep as my head hit the pillow.
The rest of the week, Deirdre and I fell into a routine: early run, breakfast for two, beach escapades, lunch under a palm tree, hammock siestas, dinner under the stars, dancing, thoroughly delightful. On the third night of me being beadles, Shirley moved in officially with Fiona, and I became Deirdre's platonic roomie.
By the Friday night, our last, sitting across from Deirdre, gazing into the blue lagoons of her eyes, lusting after the luscious lips, delectable neck, glorious crevices between her breasts, we clinked glasses.
"Cheers, Trevor, it's been a blast."
"Deirdre, you have no idea."
I contemplated her over the rim of my goblet, sipping and staring at her, feeling not the least platonic.
"Trevor, we don't have to end it, right now, this way."
My eyebrows rose in surprise, in satisfaction, in absolute salaciousness.
My breath stood still in my lungs, longing for those words.
"Since we've discovered we live within blocks of each other, talk about degrees of separation, we can continue … to explore … to delve deeper … to become more intimate …"
I swallowed my ardour.
Upon returning home, to work, the routine of living, Deirdre had become part of my life, of our life, until …
"And so, raise your glasses in a toast to my beloved bride, Deirdre. We met, courted thanks to …"
"WWW.cheapandcheerful.ca" our guest shouted in synchronicity.