Can Presley finally relax and enjoy a surprise vacation with Cooper, or will murder derail her fun in the sun?
Presley is thrilled when Cooper surprises her with a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas. Presley’s agenda of no work and all play is ruined when renowned Mexican soap opera star Lucia Vegas turns up dead in the hotel pool—and it’s not an accident.
Presley can’t help but wonder who murdered Lucia. When her ever-present curiosity kicks in, she decides to solve the murder.
When she meets a reporter named Belinda, who shares her theory that Lucia was just one of a string of murders targeting young actresses, Presley has to solve the crime — vacation or not!
How did it go today?” Cooper asked, setting down his bag and loosening his tie.
I was lounging on the couch reading my latest US Weekly. “Eh. It went well enough, but same old story. Too qualified for an entry–level job. They don’t think I’ll be happy if I take an entry–level job; they’re concerned I will leave as soon as a better offer comes along. I get it. After years in the human resources field myself, I realize from their perspective it is a legitimate concern, but dammit, I’m trying to change careers here and no one is making it easy.”
I had a business degree and had been the VP of human resources at a large corporation for years, thinking it was my dream career. Turned out I was wrong, and I quit. I tried a few different things since then, with nothing being that dream job I was looking for. I wasn’t even sure I knew what it was that would be my dream job. I loved books and writing, but had been struggling with actually finishing anything, and I was enough of a realist to know that the chances of making a career out of writing were slim. At best it would take years to ramp up enough to support my shopping habit. As I had been soul searching to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I’d continued to work part–time at Silk, a high–end retail boutique I’d managed for a while. Today my interview had been with a small publishing company for a position as a junior editor. It was an entry level job paying far less that I had made during my last stint in corporate America, but more than I made as a part time sales girl at Silk. It was a job I thought I would enjoy, and these days that was much more important to me than money.
“Well, I have something that might cheer you up.”
“What? Not another offer to work with you, is it?”
“Would that be so bad? I didn’t think it went too terrible in Dallas,” he said, referring my stint as part of his team on one of his recent jobs. A position he only gave me thanks to a bet I had won.
“Not at all, but I thought you said new clients were on hold for now until you decided what to do about the company.”
“It is,” he said, planting a kiss on my cheek as he sat down next to me on the couch. “I’m meeting with the potential buyer tomorrow morning. It’s the after–meeting part that I think you’ll be interested in.”
“What?” I turned to face him. “What do you have up your sleeve?” I looked at him suspiciously.
“He leaned over to where he had set his bag, rifled around for a couple seconds, and pulled out an envelope which he then placed on my lap.
I looked down. “What’s this?”
“Well, go ahead, open it and find out,” he said, smiling.
I opened the envelope and pulled out two tickets. After looking them over, I turned to Cooper. “We’re going to Cabo San Lucas?”
He nodded, still smiling.
“We’re going to Cabo San Lucas,” I shrieked, threw my arms around him, and then sat back grinning from ear to ear. Being mid–February, it was cold and snowy here in Chicago, and getting away somewhere warm would be amazing.
“I kind of thought you would be happy. Can you be ready by tomorrow afternoon?”
“Uh, yeah! I can be ready right now. What brought this on? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled, but you’re not usually Mr. Spontaneous.”
“Well, for once I’m trying to change that. After all it is Valentine’s Day Friday, so what better time to be spontaneous?”
“You’re the best boyfriend ever.” I was beyond elated. I mean I had hoped for dinner and some candy, not a trip to Mexico. I grabbed my laptop off the coffee table and opened the lid, balancing it on one hand. I looked at the ticket and brochure that accompanied it and typed the name of the resort we were staying at in the search bar. “Wow! Look at this, it’s gorgeous. We’re really staying here?”
“It comes highly recommended by one of my clients. I think you will find the poolside to your liking.”
“And the five–star restaurant and the snorkeling! This is the best Valentine ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” I said again, hugging him while trying not to let the laptop slide off into the floor.
“You’re welcome. Now, you can keep looking at the website, I’m going to jump in the shower.”
“OK. What do you want for dinner?”
“What are my choices?”
“Well, I could cook, or order a pizza?”
“Spinach and mushroom, please,” he requested walking to the shower, and I laughed. I wasn’t a very good cook, and while he tolerated it well, he rarely passed up a chance to forgo my cooking. I didn’t blame him one bit. I reached for the phone to call the pizza place and then started making a mental list of everything else needing to be done before I left.
“You said you’d be ready. Now c’mon, the car is waiting,” Cooper said, sounding a bit exasperated.
“I know, I know. Just need to grab one more thing.”
“That’s what you said three things ago!”
I rolled my eyes. “Got it,” I said, grabbing the pair of shoes I was looking for and stuffing them in my already bulging suitcase.
“Good, now let’s go.”
I locked the door behind us and we made our way down the elevator. Coming out into the lobby, I waved at Charles, the doorman who’d worked at this building longer than I had been alive.
“Going somewhere, Miss Thurman?”
“Just a few days in sunny Mexico.” I smiled, not able to keep the excitement out of my voice.
“That sounds fun. You have a good time and I’ll keep an eye on things.”
“Thanks, Charles,” I said, waving over my shoulder as Cooper rushed me out the door.
“Where’s your car?” I asked him, looking around and not seeing anything besides a black Lincoln Town car that didn’t look like the Buick he had rented from Enterprise when he got to Chicago a few days ago. Cooper officially lived in San Diego while I resided in Chicago. While not the optimal situation, he traveled a lot, so we were able to make it work. Though if he sold his business, as he had been talking about, things could change. Something that made me excited and nervous all at the same time.
Cooper motioned to the Lincoln. “This is your airport transportation today.”
“OK, wait a minute,” I said, setting my Louis Vuitton bag down and crossing my arms in front of my chest. “What is going on here? Did you win the lottery or something?”
Cooper laughed. “Nothing that exciting. It’s John’s. The guy I met with last night. When he heard I was headed to the airport this morning, he offered me the use of it. Said he didn’t need it until later, and the driver would have plenty of time to drop us off. Who was I to refuse?”
“I’m glad you didn’t. This trip just gets better and better. I could get used to this curb side service.”
Unfortunately, the trip getting better stopped at the airport. O’Hare was always a crap–shoot when it came to flights being on time, and this trip we lost big. After two delays and an hour on the tarmac waiting for other planes in front us to take off, we finally were on our way. Only to arrive at the airport in Cabo to a lock–down by the Policia because someone had been caught smuggling drugs so we sat there for two hours.
“I’m hot, tired, and hungry,” I said when we were finally able to leave the airport and were settled in a taxi to take us to the resort. It was six hours after when we should have originally arrived.
“In a few minutes you can sit poolside and refresh yourself with a cold margarita,” Cooper replied.
I closed my eyes. “That sounds like heaven.”
We rode in silence the rest of the way to the hotel. I was thinking about that refreshing margarita, and every time I opened my eyes to look at Cooper he was checking his email. It seemed like he never stopped working. If he did sell his business, I hoped it would give him more down time than he seemed to get now. I felt the taxi come to a stop. The driver put the car in park and I opened my eyes wide. Stepping out of the taxi, my weariness wore off, as I could smell the ocean and see a sliver of the beach from where I was standing.
The driver set our luggage down on the stone driveway. Cooper paid him and then grabbed our luggage. Walking into the lobby, I was greeted by a young woman passing out what appeared to be a fruity drink of some sort, which I gladly accepted.
I took a drink. “Ummmm…rum punch. Now I am starting to feel refreshed.”
“Why don’t you have a seat; enjoy your drink and I’ll get us checked in.”
“Thanks, babe,” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “You’re too good to me, you know that?”
“Right. I’ll remember that next time you’re mad at me,” he joked.
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