Authors: Emma South
Remember Our Song: A Billionaire Romance
Copyright 2013 Emma South
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A regular holiday is hard to
organize when your husband is Jeremy Holt. He never sought out fame, it was just inextricably linked to fortune, which Jeremy had in abundance. He founded his first company at the tender age of sixteen, which he sold in his early twenties for a couple hundred thousand dollars. With
money he formed his second company, which ended up selling for a couple hundred million.
Things only went up from there and, as I brought my eyes up and to the left from my white-knuckled grip on my armrests, I felt his innate confidence flow into me like we had some kind of magic link. He had that way about him, in the business world he dominated every meeting and negotiation he went into, making people nervous, confident or pliable as he wished, and finding solutions to problems that others didn’t think of. ‘Playing the game’ he called it, and he was a world champion.
Looking at him, you would have thought that he’d been born flying a helicopter. Although that would have made for a somewhat difficult birth, it would have explained the self-assured pressing of buttons, flicking of switches and the authoritative responses to air traffic control, or whatever the Greeks called their version of it.
I still felt like I was living in a fairy tale sometimes, my whole life was in a downward spiral when I met him. I honestly think he saved me from myself, that’s why he was my J-man, my own personal super hero.
After a rocky start, one thing led to another and before I knew it we were married.
I wouldn’t have said
being the wife of a billionaire was
in any traditional sense of the word, but it definitely presented some challenges. Take this holiday for instance. When I was growing up I never dreamed that I’d ever have to deal with paparazzi, but now they were a semi-regular intrusion in my life. We’d had to travel the world by plane, train, automobile and now private helicopter, send out fake itineraries, fake flight plans, fake hotel bookings and wear huge sunglasses at every port, airport and public place we touched down in.
All that was just to get this far, to have something resembling a regular
holiday. We were almost there though, the Greek island of Agistri was only a twenty minute helicopter flight from Piraeus, and we were almost there. Jeremy glanced over at me and flashed a big grin, I couldn’t help but smile back. Despite the fact that we were in the final stage of our run from the media, he had chosen to keep his ninety-nine cent 1980s style mirror-finish sunglasses on. All they needed was a reflection of a mountain range in them to complete the look and it would have been perfect.
The sunglasses, purchased at a gas station by Jeremy’s driver
, Stan, all the way back in L.A, chose that precise moment to have one of the lenses fall out. Somehow he managed to keep a straight face while I doubled over laughing.
“What?” he asked.
“You going to keep on wearing those sunglasses now, or what?”
“I think I’m going to wear them even
now that I only have to worry about fifty percent of the scratches on the lenses that I used to.”
“Convenient! And if we get one of those days were one minute it’s sunny and the next it’s cloudy, you can just open one eye and close the other. Alternate depending on the weather!”
“What I lose in depth perception, I’ll make up for in style!”
His serious face finally cracked and we shared some belly-aching laughter as Agistri loomed ever closer. We were going to land in the back yard of some villager, one of the few open spaces big enough to attempt it. It hadn’t been easy to
organize, just like everything else on the holiday, but after some compulsory grumbling, the man in question had accepted a payment for the inconvenience and his silence about expecting anybody at all in a helicopter.
After we landed, it was going to be a different kind of vacation than any we’d ever taken together. No luxury suites at five-and-above star hotels, no drivers, no room service, nothing but us and whatever amenities were available in Skala, the main population
center with all of several hundred people. Odds were that the thousand or so Greeks who lived on the island had no idea who we were, Jeremy’s quasi-celebrity status only went so far, we were going to be hiding in plain sight, doing normal things together.
In a matter of seconds the sea seemed to lose it’s beautiful blue
color as we flew over it, paling until it was almost as clear as any spring water I’d ever drank, revealing the white sand under the surface, and then we were over Agistri. Jeremy had been shown on the map exactly where to go and headed there as if he had landed in this person’s back yard a million times, discarding the broken sunglasses to concentrate.
My nerves returned as the helicopter
approached the land, I wasn’t the happiest flier at the best of times and this was the first time Jeremy had managed to convince me to get into a helicopter since he’d received his license. It was just a short hop, he said. It’s a calm time of year, he said. I still wished we’d taken the boat across, but had to admit that it wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined. If only those pine trees weren’t so
Pine trees or not, we touched down without incident and I waited as Jeremy flicked switches with the steadily lowering drone of the rotors in the background. Finally he took off the headset and unbuckled himself, standing up and reaching behind his seat to pass me my backpack before picking up his own.
“C’mon Bumble-Bea, let’s get walking. I feel the need to maybe splash out a
of dollars on some sunglasses. Get me some of that
plastic all the high-society folks back home are talkin’ about.”
“Euros,” I said, blushing at his use of the nickname.
“Euros, Pesos, whatever. There’s not a cloud in the sky, so I want a pair with two functional lenses.”
“Isn’t this guy going to meet us, complain about the helicopter in his yard?”
“I thought so, but it doesn’t really matter. It was all arranged, we’re here within fifteen minutes of when we said we would be. Let’s just go,” Jeremy said and opened the door. “Step out carefully, don’t jump.”
I looked up warily as I lowered myself to the ground. The blades were still spinning lazily, almost silent compared to the roar when they were at full speed. The ominous ‘whoosh’ sound they made every time one passed by was as if they were reminding me that they could be plenty nasty if they wanted to. I crouched comically low until I was well out of their reach.
I turned to see Jeremy stride behind me, walking confidently tall, squinting in the sunshine.
“Skala’s this way,” he said giving me a friendly pat on the ass as he took the lead.
The walk to Skala was a pleasant one. We saw no vehicles on the roads unless you count the single bicycle pedalled resolutely by an old Greek man with skin like leather as if he’d been riding that bike for a year in the hot sun. Most of the little houses we walked past had wide open doors, letting us get a peek at the mostly earthy colored décor, with occasional splashes of bright blues or yellows.
The side of the road
frequently had some kind of fruit-bearing tree and I paused by one for a closer look.
“Any idea what these are?” I asked, plucking one.
“It’s a fig,” he said. “Never had one?”
“Nope. Are they good?”
“There’s worse things you could eat.”
Jeremy took the fig from my hand and bit into the skin, pulling it back to reveal what I thought looked like a gooey mess of little seeds. He tore it into two pieces, handed me one and popped the other part into his mouth. I did the same, chewing tentatively before swallowing and wrinkling my nose.
“Cross it off the bucket list, don’t think I’ll bother with that again.”
The houses became somewhat more densely packed as we neared Skala, still nothing like back home of course, and we saw a small general store, something that looked like an Italian restaurant, and even a bakery with the smell of wonderful fresh bread wafting out enticingly.
The first motor vehicle we’d seen in motion on the small island drove past with a cheerful ‘beep, beep’, it was a golf cart towing several trailers behind it like a small trackless train. The trailers had plenty of seats, but only about three of them were occupied by relaxed looking tourists who had had enough of walking.
To be honest, I couldn’t blame them. The sky was without even a hint of cloud and the sun beat down upon us non-stop, I could feel my clothes sticking to me and couldn’t wait to have a dip in the ocean. Jeremy held out his hand and I took it, we walked the rest of the way shoulder to shoulder, each of our knuckles occasionally brushing against the other’s thighs as we stepped.
The place we were staying was literally right on the beach, as in the road in front had a healthy dusting of sand blown in by the wind. It took a supreme effort of willpower to not just run, giggling like a madman, straight into the water, it looked so beautiful, clear and refreshing.
In front of the main block of rooms was a pool and a bar that was called ‘Oasis’ if the beach umbrellas over all the tables
were to be believed. I had to wonder how much use the pool saw, with the ocean only about ten seconds run away, but it did look lovely, the cool blue water surrounded by tiles in various shades of pale red. We walked past it, with a wistful glance, towards the reception, which was marked with a sign handwritten on white cardboard.
Jeremy slid the glass door to the side and we walked into a tiny office with a hopelessly outmatched little desk fan on top of the counter shifting the warm air around a little bit. Nobody was sitting in the chair behind said counter, but there was an open door on the back wall, through which I could hear the sound of a television. Little tassels had been attached to the protective cage around the blades and I had what I thought was a flash of genius.
“Hey, why don’t they have a protective cage around the propellers on a helicopter?”
Jeremy gave me a quizzical look before grinning and bunching up his fists next to his cheeks like an excited schoolboy.
“Wow! I’ll get the engineers right on it!”
“Well, why not!”
Jeremy held his hands out to either side twinkling his fingers like he was in a Broadway musical.
“Hey, maybe we could get a military contract! We could add in the tassels free of charge! Imagine that, the gunships would look so pretty!”
Jeremy pulled me in for a hug, planting a million quick kisses on my neck. The short stubble on his face soon had me giggling from the tickling and I had to struggle to fight him off before he finally stopped and I just rested my head on his chest, surrounded by his embrace. I turned my head to the other side to see a young girl of about sixteen leaning against the doorframe in the back wall, smiling at us.
“Hello, checking in?”
“Yes, we’ve got a reservation under the name ‘Lewis’, that’s L-E-W-I-S,” Jeremy said, giving the pseudonym we’d used for the booking.
The girl sat in the chair behind the counter, moved the computer mouse around until the screen turned on and then entered a password and keyed in the name we’d given.
“Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, seven days?”
“Excellent, I see you paid everything in advance, thank you very much. Here are your keys, you’re in room nine, it’s on the first floor just up those steps over there.”
The girl pointed back out the sliding glass door to a staircase that rose up over the swimming pool before continuing with her welcome-spiel.
“The bar is open from eight in the morning until one in the morning, but the music is turned down at ten so as to not disturb your sleep. You’re welcome to use the pool any time you like, of course. The reception is open from eight to eight every day if you need anything.”
“The website said you had internet access, is that correct?” Jeremy asked.
“Yes, wireless access,” the girl pointed at a router sitting on the window sill. “Everybody staying here who wants the internet has to go through that, so it can run a bit slow sometimes.”
“No problem, we’re not here to work,” I shot Jeremy a warning glare.
The girl tore a map off a pad of pre-printed maps and wrote something on it.
“This is the name of the wireless connection and the password, we change it a couple of times a week, so just ask if you suddenly find it doesn’t work anymore. The map is the extremely-local area, so you know where the various restaurants and shops are. Some of the businesses around here have advertised some discounts around the map, make your money go a bit further.”
Jeremy and I put on our best Hollywood smiles and thanked her before heading back into the sunshine, which seemed even brighter after a few minutes in the comparatively dark reception.
Heading up the stairs I looked out over the swimming pool towards the beach, admiring the view. Directly in front of our accommodation there were several sun-loungers set up near huge umbrellas made from dried grasses or palm fronds, or something.