Devlin looked out of the window as the plane approached its destination. The water surrounding the island was so clear that Devlin was sure that he could see the bottom. This would be his first time in the Bahamas. It had been a place he had always wanted to visit.
Devlin didn’t know how many chances he would get to see the sights, though. This trip was all business. After three years of research, two years of deal making, and after spending all the money he had, he was close to closing the deal that would make him one of the richest man in the world. There was only one thing standing in his way. His name was Sergio Ortega and Devlin would be spending the weekend with Sergio and his wife in Nassau on an estate called Nygard Cay.
“Please prepare for landing,” the captain announced over the PA.
Devlin returned his seat to an upright position and stared out as the island got closer. He went over his talking points once again. Sergio was the largest shareholder in the biotech company that wanted to acquire the two companies Devlin had nurtured for seven years. He wasn’t sure why the board of Sergio’s company approved the merger while Sergio didn’t, but if he wasn’t going to end up on the streets, he was going to have to find out and change Sergio’s mind.
After the plane landed, Devlin collected his stuff and exit the plane. Descending the stairs and entering the blistering sun, he was shocked to find out how hot it was. As he crossed the tarmac to the airport, he realized it wasn’t the heat, but the humidity. There was certainly humidity in New York, but what he experienced now was the equivalent of walking through soup.
Loosening two buttons on his tailored dress shirt, he was relieved to enter the air-conditioned building. Snaking through the hallways and passing through the lines, he didn’t look forward to reentering the heat again. But knowing that there was a car outside waiting for him, he collected his luggage, loosens another button, and ventured forward.
Scanning the faces outside of the railing, he spotted a man with the sign.
“I’m Devlin,” he said approaching him.
“Right this way, sir,” the man said in a singsong accent.
Ushered into an SUV, Devlin was again relieved to feel the air-conditioning. The temperature truly was a shock to his system. It made him wonder how English soldiers could stand to wear their uniforms in the1800s. That time in history had always fascinated Devlin, and so much of the most interesting parts took place in Bahamian waters.
“Is it always this warm?” Devlin said leaning forward.
“This is nothing, sir. You came while it was still cool.”
The slight smile on the driver’s face told Devlin he was joking. The driver was having a little fun with him. Devlin decided to play along.
“Yeah, I’ve read stories that the birds here sometimes just burst into flame,” Devlin joked.
“You read that too?” The driver said delighted that Devlin was playing along. “I’ve seen it. It happens all the time.”
Devlin smiled and leaned back. The driver’s humor had helped. Sure, it was hot, but it really wasn’t that hot. He was going to have to loosen up. Everything he had learned about Sergio told him that Sergio wouldn’t respond well to uptight New York types.
“Have you ever been to Nygard Cay before?” The driver asked him.
“No. This is my first time in the Bahamas. Is it nice?”
“I think you’ll like it. Do you remember that show ‘Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous?’”
“Kind of,” Devlin offered.
“It was on that show a couple of times. They shot a few other TV shows there too. It’s one of the great estates in the world.”
Devlin considered what he had heard and then turned his attention outside the window. The vegetation was distinct from anything he had seen in the United States. There were skinny pine trees and an abundance of flowers. Devlin wasn’t sure if he had ever seen so many flowers.
Everything about the place relaxed him. He was beginning to feel ready for the most important business meeting of his life. And entering the gated neighborhood where Nygard Cay was located, he knew he was almost there.
“That’s where Sean Connery lives,” the driver said pointing to a modest two-story house.
“It’s not very impressive,” Devlin said teasingly.
“That’s because you don’t know the price tag. That little house costs millions and millions of dollars.”
Devlin looked at it again. That house would be the type he dreamed of having. Devlin didn’t come from money. He had worked his way up. The fact that he was on the verge of closing a billion-dollar deal was a testament to his tenacity. Although he had turned himself into a millionaire a few years ago, Devlin burned to take that final step to become one of the most successful people on the planet.
Devlin looked ahead at the gate at the end of the street. Above it was a sprawling sign telling them that they had arrived. Allowed in with a nod from the guard, they were immediately surrounded by a grove of coconut trees. Further down the street were what looked like resort bungalows. Shaped like Tahitian huts, all of the buildings were reminiscent of Mayan architecture.
The estate was apparently designed by its eccentric billionaire owner. Devlin had been told that Nygard was a friend of Sergio’s. And considering some of Sergio’s rumored eccentricities, Sergio and Nygard he seemed the perfect combination.
Parked, a man dressed in a uniform escorted Delvin to a bungalow. Depositing his luggage, the man next led him to what looked like an outdoor living room. As Devlin approached, he readied himself to give the business pitch of his life. He had prepared an elaborate oral presentation and all of it was designed to begin at the first moment he saw Sergio.
Seeing someone on the high-backed couch in front of him, Devlin took a deep nervous inhale. He felt himself shaking. This was it. His future depended on this moment. Gathering all of his courage he rounded the couch and stared at the person seated before him. He couldn’t breathe.
It wasn’t Sergio seated before him, though. It was a woman with sultry green eyes and a curvy voluptuous body. She was breathtakingly beautiful.
“I assume you are my husband guest?” The woman said sensually.
“Is Sergio your husband?”
“What? Your exhaustive research didn’t reveal who Sergio was married to?” The woman asked with a smile.
“It didn’t. And now I see that it was to my detriment,” Devlin said unable to stop himself from flirting with Sergio’s wife.
The woman smiled and stood. “Perhaps it was,” she said taking Devlin’s hand and flirting back. “Sergio is getting dressed but he should be heading out in a moment. Until then, why don’t you entertain me by telling me something about yourself?”
The woman led Devlin to the rounded couches that faced each other. Instructing him to sit on one end, she let go his hand and sat an arm’s length away. Devlin didn’t know what to make of her but he couldn’t deny that he found her incredibly seductive.
“You want me to entertain you?” Devlin asked amused.
“Isn’t that why you’re here? To put on some type of dog and pony show for me and my husband?” She said with disguised venom.
“Am I? That’s news to me. I thought I was here to make your husband a very rich man.”
“My husband is already a rich man.”
“No. I mean a very rich man,” Devlin said with a confident smile.
The woman looked at him intrigued. By any definition, Devlin was a good looking man. His broad, strong shoulders and chiseled cheekbones made that fact inescapable. “And how do you plan to do that?”
“I don’t think that’s something I can tell you without at least getting your name.”
“Nice to meet you, Ava. I’m Devlin.”
“Yes. Now tell me, how are you going to make my husband richer?”
Devlin sized up the woman in front of him. “Tell me, do you have kids?”
The woman stood up, untied her beach coverall and allowed it to drop onto the couch beside her. Underneath it, she wore a bikini that clung to her for dear life. “Does it look like I have had kids?” Ava asked seductively.
Devlin, knowing she had given him permission, allowed his eyes to wander across her body. Her curves were perfect. By no means was she a skinny girl and Devlin liked that. Looking at her, he felt himself becoming hard. Wondering where this was going, he didn’t hide his appreciation.