The Playboy of Puerto Banus(4)

By: Carol Marinelli


A couple of tourists stumbling home from a club nudged each other as Raúl walked past, trying to place him. For he was as good-looking as any film star and clearly he was someone. People-watching was a regular activity in Puerto Banús, for amongst the tourists and locals were the rich, the famous and the notorious too.

Raúl scored two out of three—though he was famous in the business world.

Enrique, his driver, was waiting for him, and Raúl climbed in and gave a brief greeting, and then sat silently as he was driven the short distance to the Marbella branch of De La Fuente Holdings. He had no doubt as to what his father wanted to discuss, but his mind was going over what Kelly had just said.

‘That wouldn’t have stopped you before.’

Before what? Raúl asked himself.

Before he lost interest?

Before the chase had ended?

Before she assumed that a Saturday night would be shared?

Raúl was an island.

An island with frequent visitors and world-renowned parties, an island of endless sun and unlimited luxury, but one who preferred guests not to outstay their welcome, only allowed the superficial. Yes, Raúl was an island, and he intended to keep it that way. He certainly didn’t want permanent boarders and he chose not to let anyone get too close.

He would never be responsible again for another’s heart.

‘I shan’t be long,’ Raúl told Enrique as the car door was lifted and he climbed out.

Raúl was not looking forward to this conversation, but his father had insisted they meet this morning and Raúl just wanted it over and done with.

‘Buenos días.’ He greeted Angela, his father’s PA. ‘What are you doing here on a Saturday?’ he asked, because Angela usually flew home to her family for the weekend.

‘I am trying to track down a certain Spaniard who said he would be here at eight a.m.,’ Angela scolded mildly. She was the one woman who could get away with telling Raúl how it was. In her late fifties, she had been employed by the company for as long as Raúl could remember. ‘I’ve been trying to call you—don’t you ever have your phone on?’

‘The battery is flat.’

‘Well, before you speak with your father I need to go through your diary.’

‘Later.’

‘No, Raúl. I’m flying home later this morning. This needs to be done now. We also need to sort out a new PA for you—preferably one you don’t fancy!’ Angela was less than impressed with Raúl’s brief eye-roll. ‘Raúl, you need to remember that I’m going on long service leave in a few weeks’ time. If I’m going to train somebody up for you, then I need to get on to it now.’

‘Choose someone, then,’ Raúl said. ‘And you’re right; perhaps it would be better if it was someone that I did not fancy.’

‘Finally!’ Angela sighed.

Yes, after having it pointed out to him on numerous occasions, Raúl was finally accepting that mixing business with pleasure had consequences, and sleeping with his PA was perhaps not such a good idea.

What was it with women? Raúl wondered. Why, once they’d made it to his bed, did they decide that they could no longer both work and sleep with him? Raúl could set his watch by it. After a few weeks they would decide, just as Kelly now had, that frequent dates and sex weren’t enough. They wanted exclusivity, wanted inclusion, wanted commitment—which Raúl simply refused to give. Kelly would be found another position—or paid off handsomely, if that was what she preferred.

‘All your flights and transfers are arranged for this afternoon,’ Angela said. ‘I can’t believe that you’ll be wearing a kilt.’

‘I look good in a kilt.’ Raúl smiled. ‘Donald has asked that all the male guests wear them. I’m an honorary Scotsman, you know!’ He was. He had studied in Scotland for four years, perhaps the best four years of his life, and the friendships he had made there had long continued.

Bar one.

His face hardened as he thought of his ex, who would be there tonight. Perhaps he should take Kelly after all, or arrive alone and get off with one of his old flames just to annoy the hell out of Araminta.

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