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Danny was now facing the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She had hazel eyes, long chocolate-brown hair, and was almost as tall as he. Her skin was tanned and smooth and the whole package was, in his estimation, stunning. He followed her into the cool interior of the restaurant. She keyed in some numbers on a machine and handed him the tab.
He asked, “Will you be here later? I mean, do you work all day?”
“Yes, of course. This is my family’s restaurant. I work here all summer.”
“Can I ask your name?”
“Lovely to meet you, Maya. I’m Danny.”
“You are photographer?” She glanced at the professional-looking camera hanging around his neck.
“Yes. Well, a struggling one. It doesn’t pay a lot, but it’s my passion and I’m obsessive about it. I really do have to go and lie down. I’m heading to the beach to try to sleep for a little.”
“Be careful of the sun, you don’t want to get burned!”
“I’ll get a lounge chair with an umbrella. I’m just staying around the corner. I’ll come back for lunch this afternoon and maybe we can talk again Maya?”
“Perhaps,” she said flirtatiously.
“How about just one photo?” he asked.
Maya nodded. “Okay, why not?” They stepped outside.
She smiled radiantly, he shot a few frames, then she turned and went back inside. Danny was smitten. He left a really big tip on the table.
After a nap, a few hours later, he was feeling marginally better. He swam, showered and dressed for lunch. He put on his best white linen shirt and a dash of cologne. He practically tingled with the anticipation of seeing Maya again. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and he was ravenous. As he reached the restaurant, he saw Aussie Steve sitting at a table on the terrace. Steve waved him over.
“Hey mate, fancy running into you again so soon. You look pretty good considering how wasted you were last night. Sit down and talk.”
Danny told Steve about his hangover and Steve excitedly told Danny about girls he met the previous evening. “They were all amazing but there was this one. Man, gotta tell ya mate, she was spectacular. I’m going to marry her.”
Danny laughed. “You’re insane.”
“There she is,” said Steve.
Danny swirled round in his seat to see Maya serving at a table behind them.
“She’s a beauty, no?”
Maya looked over and saw the two men at the table. Oh dear God, she thought. They know each other? She smiled at Steve first.
When she met Steve last night, he seemed so warm and friendly. He boasted about his fantastic apartment on Sydney Harbour and his important job in finance. He gave the impression of being a high roller. She was convinced that she might have found her ticket off this island and far from her family, their outdated opinions, and her crazy ex-boyfriend. She wanted to get out of this country, the sooner the better. Her goal was to meet a handsome, rich foreigner who would sweep her off her feet and carry her far, far away. She glanced at Danny then and smiled equally warmly at him. He was an unknown. She liked the way he looked but he did say he didn’t make much money. He would have been a nice diversion but she needed to focus on her priorities.
She walked up to their table. “Hello Steve, Danny, are you two friends?”
“We met yesterday on the tour I told you about,” said Steve.
“I met Maya this morning at breakfast,” Danny told Steve.
“That was not breakfast, only coffee. You must be hungry, no? Let me get you some menus.” She walked away from the terrace.
“So how well did you get to know her last night?” asked Danny.