vacation, part one.

by s.m.


image via

Paolo was reading a magazine he’d bought at the airport in Miami, while they’d been waiting for their connection.  She leaned over the center armrest to look at it–American GQ, with a cover story about Daniel Craig from the James Bond movies.

“Why do Americans like David Beckham so much?” he asked, half to her and half to himself.

“I don’t know.  He’s handsome.  He’s English.  He’s a good football player,” she answered.

“He was a good football player,” Paolo argued.

“He’s a marketing machine,” Francesca said.  “He’s very clever like that, or maybe Victoria’s the clever one.”

“I should sign more endorsement deals.  More than just the ones with sports brands.”

“What else do you think you could do?”

“Look at what these people do.  Grocery stores, underwear, hair products…”

She raised an eyebrow at him.  “You have to be careful with that kind of thing.  You don’t want to dilute your brand.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have to decide what Paolo Romaldo represents.  What Paolo Romaldo stands for.”

“I know what I stand for now.”  He leaned closer to her.  “Sex on the beach, a little ganja, some surfing…”

She wanted to tell him that it was just like him not to be able to have a serious conversation, but she didn’t want to seem surly, like she was picking a fight.  “So, maybe swimwear?” she suggested lightly.  “You have the body for it,” she added, reaching across to stroke his abs through his t-shirt.

He looked around the first-class cabin furtively, then grabbed her wrist and moved her hand lower, so she was touching him through his jeans.  “Just wait until we get there,” he whispered as she quickly withdrew her hand.  “Making love on the beach.  Skinny-dipping.  Watching the stars.”

She kissed his shoulder.  “Yeah,” she said.

The plane began what felt like a rapid descent through the clouds, jostling its passengers more than they were expecting.  She gripped Paolo’s hand.

“It’s going to be fine,” he said.  “Relax.  We’re on vacation now.”