Florence Rawlings - a Company celebrity fiction author!
Annabell froze in uncomfortable delight knowing full well that the soft whisper was coming from Joseph Portney, one of Hollywoods biggest names. She was captivated. Quite terrified. Turning, her eyes locked with his and, unable to form any audible words, she smiled and gazed into Joseph's startlingly blue eyes
Joseph was one of the forty A-list guests, 20 men and 20 women, invited to spend the weekend onboard the yacht. Starlets and supermodels mixed with Hollywood actors and the hottest names in the music industry. The scorching Mediterranean sun beating down on the deck made Annabells black waitress uniform seem more and more unbearable with each passing second. After two days surrounded by the bikini clad celebrities and gorgeous sculpted men (the type she was only used to seeing on billboards or magazines) she had finally stopped shaking as she poured what felt like the 1000th glass of Cristal.
Joseph was a classic alpha male beauty who gave his vintage tee and simple white shorts a sublime hanger. Although her friends said she had an enviable talent for looking beautiful, with just a coat of mascara and a smear of lip gloss, Annabell believed herself to be fairly ordinary especially when placed next to the glamorous guests. Now, as Joseph stared on, the silence gripped them both until he uttered you're by far the most beautiful girl onboard.
That was the second time it happened but as Joseph leaned towards her a slick, assured voice cut across the moment "Joseph, dear boy, I've laid on such lavish beauties for you to choose from I had hoped that you would allow me the privilege of enjoying my own staff."
Joseph's eyes bore into those of Neil Duncan, the owner of the yacht, with a flicker of resentment and anger. Of course not he replied as he left Annabell's side and climbed the stairs to the main deck. Her boss, who was renowned for his sleazy and forward behaviour, turned to Annabell and growled My door will be open tonight for you. I suggest you come visit if you expect to stay on this boat.
When Annabell finished her duties she made her way back to her cabin at the bottom of the yacht and clambered into bed sighing as she pondered the day's drama. She smiled as she pictured Joseph's face but shuddered when she remembered Neils command and, with that, her thoughts were punctured by a knocking at the door. She held her breath as she watched the handle turn and a shadowy figure entered. Annabell, thrown into a state of panic, then heard the gentle murmur of Josephs voice I didn't want you to be lonely he uttered as he moved towards her ..
When Annabell reached the upper deck the next morning she was confronted by Neil and Joseph arguing furiously. As she took refuge in the saloon, in marched Neil I've been informed that our friend Joseph went on a little wander last night and found somewhere else to sleep. Well you won't find him onboard any longer. With this he leaned towards Annabell, breathing heavily and pinning her against the bar. Gripping her chin he growled Remember who you are. Get to work.
The rest of the weekend went by in a blur of caviar and champagne and by the time the last guest left Annabell was desperate to leave the yacht. Checking in at the airport she was surprised to see that her seat had been upgraded. Confused, but not wanting to question it she boarded the plane and as she approached her seat noticed a bottle of Cristal with the 20:20 Party on the label lying across the chair. She lifted the bottle and sat down smiling to herself when she heard a familiar warm voice whisper in her ear, "I've always preferred to travel by plane". And that was the third time it happened.
Florence Rawlings album A Fool In Love is out now. www.florencerawlings.com