Here’s a little taster from the opening of ‘One Night in Biarritz‘ – the 11th novella in the ‘City Nights’ series from Tirgearr Publishing.
Available now on pre-order from Tirgearr’s ‘One Night in Biarritz’ page on Kindle, Apple, Nook and Smashwords. Release date 29th April.
“Bonjour Monsieur. Bienvenue a l’Hôtel du Palais.”
Chloe was quite convinced her voice lacked the French insouciance she was aiming for, in addition to the efficiency, professionalism and friendly tone required by the Ice Maiden, AKA Mademoiselle—who was she kidding?—Labelle, Chloe’s manager. She forced a smile. It was 8.30am, and she’d been on shift since 9pm—or, as she was supposed to say, 21.00 heures. She was jaded, ready for her bed.
The bed which no longer held Matthieu.
In a way it had been pretty easy to give up on the day shift and move to nights. Then she didn’t have to be there in the morning, missing him and all that entailed. He would always awaken her each morning. He’d been an early riser, in more ways than one, and would bring her croissants and espresso. When crumbs fell from the croissants he would devour them with apparent delight, from wherever they fell.
She’d always been an untidy eater. He had always been a speedy but efficient lover. Confident of his abilities, careful to satisfy them both. She shivered at the memories of his tongue sliding down her body, heading for the place that gave them both pleasure. She’d hit the snooze button on her phone just as he reached the spot and forced a groan from her.
They’d both be late for work; her at the Hôtel du Palais, him teaching surf school on La Grande Plage. She’d arrive flushed and with her uniform in disarray, buttons done up incorrectly, or left undone. The Ice Maiden, the woman with the perfect pout, beautifully groomed glossy black hair and her scarf at a stiff but jaunty angle, always had something to say about that.
Matthieu. It was he who had brought her to Biarritz and its recently revived Belle Époque glamour. They’d met in Chamonix during the ski season a couple of years ago. She’d thought it was a fling. He’d obviously seen it as something more serious; or so she’d thought. Writing to her—little billets-doux on scented paper, crammed full of statements of love, tiny hearts and kisses. Très romantique. If she hadn’t known differently she might have suspected he was gay, but she had pretty good evidence he wasn’t; unless of course he swung both ways. Like the Ice Maiden.
He’d landed her a job on reception at the Hôtel du Palais. His father was someone big in the Biarritz business community. The Ice Maiden and her team had not exactly welcomed her with open arms, but she could cope, and the time spent with Matthieu more than made up for the frosty reception she sometimes encountered at work.
On his invitation she’d zigzagged her way down through France, taking a couple of weeks or so to arrive in Biarritz, working at the occasional bar on the way to fund her trip; some of it by train, some by bus and some in huge French articulated lorries.
“Mademoiselle Prentiss. That’s not very French.” Chloe was drawn back to the man who was still standing patiently on the other side of the reception desk. He was staring at the name badge pinned to her chest. “I’m not sure I have your complete and undivided attention,” the man said.