The Stubborn SuitorBy: Alexa Wilder
“Why would I need cocktail dresses at the beach?” Cami asked skeptically.
“For all the cocktail parties,” Maggie replied, as if the answer was obvious. “There will be one tonight and another one tomorrow night on the deck.”
“Exactly how many people are coming to this weekend getaway?” Cami asked, realizing that she may have had the wrong idea about what this weekend would entail.
“A few,” Maggie replied noncommittally as she moved to Cami’s dresser and began to root around in the swim wear drawer. “Thank God I forced you to buy a nice swimsuit!”
Cami smiled, looking at the 50s-style one-piece Maggie was holding up. Maggie tossed it onto the bed along with all of the other clothes she’d picked out—way too many for a two-day trip to the beach. She grabbed the little green dress and pushed it into Cami’s hands, along with a strapless bra and matching panties.
“Shower, then put this on while I pack. The car will be here in an hour!”
After the shower, Maggie fussed over Cami’s hair and makeup, blowing the gorgeous red locks out before curling them into perfect ringlets. Cami’s hair was her favorite feature, though she had very little time to do much with it in recent years, so it spent most of its time up in a ponytail or a bun. Now, it fell around her shoulders, framing her voluptuous chest—which was nearly falling out of the little green dress Maggie had picked out. Thankfully, Maggie agreed to let her go easy on the make-up, allowing her natural peaches-and-cream complexion and large green eyes to speak for themselves.
Maggie got ready with her, before both women took a minute to appreciate themselves in the mirror. Maggie was wearing a little purple dress, her cute black hair adorned with matching amethyst clips. Cami had to admit that they both looked amazing. She wasn’t sure what the weekend was going to hold, but they looked good enough to conquer anything at the moment.
Their transportation arrived right on time—a big black town car, ready with a bottle of champagne for the girls to enjoy during the hour-long drive to the beach.
Cami had never been to the Emerson family beach house before. As soon as the car pulled through the gates, she realized that it wasn’t as much a beach house as it was a beach mansion—a three-story building sprawling along the shore, complete with an enormous lounging patio and a dock where a few boats were anchored. It looked more like a small hotel than a family beach house.
“Of course this is your beach house,” Cami said to Maggie, rolling her eyes.
Maggie just giggled as the car pulled to a stop in front of the mansion. Cami reached for the door, but there was already someone there, opening it from the outside. An older gentleman dressed in a suit smiled as he held the car door for her.
“Welcome, ladies,” he said, nodding his head to Cami and Maggie.
Once they were out of hearing distance, Cami turned to Maggie and whispered, “What was that? You have a door man?”
“Not normally,” Maggie replied. “We have an entire staff for the weekend, since there will be so many guests. But normally there’s just the cleaning lady—and sometimes a cook.”
Cami couldn’t help but feel out of place. It was all fun and games when she was getting ready. Alone with Maggie, she never felt like she didn’t belong. Maggie wasn’t snooty, and Cami never really felt the class difference between them. Here, however, gazing up at the enormous mansion her family owned, Cami began to feel like she maybe shouldn’t have come.
Maggie pulled Cami’s hand, showing her into the house, where a large foyer led to a spiraling staircase.
“Come on,” Maggie said, grabbing Cami’s arm and leading her towards the stairs. “Let’s put our stuff away, then I’ll show you around.”
The girls were sharing a room on the third floor, with large bay windows that overlooked the ocean.
“How many bedrooms does this place have?” Cami asked as she watched the waves crashing against the shore.
“Ten,” Maggie said, coming to stand behind her. “Not including the rooms on the first floor, which are used as offices.”
“And yet, we’re sharing a room?” Not that Cami was complaining. Having Maggie close was a source of comfort in such an overwhelming place.
“Yeah, all the rooms are full this weekend. We even have a few friends staying at a hotel down the road.”
“So, when you said that there would just be ‘a few’ people here this weekend, that was a bit of an understatement.”
Maggie turned back to her, swallowing visibly.
“I didn’t mean to deceive you, I just really wanted you to come and I was scared you wouldn’t, if you knew the truth. It will be fun, I promise. My brother is here, along with his friends Declan and Preston. You’ve met them before, a couple of times. And there are others, too; I know you’ll like them. We’ll just avoid the snootier people who are only here for business.”