‘I can do this’, Ollie thought, as she stared up at the ceiling from her new bed, contemplating the first day of the rest of her life. ‘I can leave London, my family, my friends, my £60k a year job to start a bed & breakfast in Greece.’ Maybe if she said it out loud, to the universe, she couldn’t take it back and fate would just handle the rest.
When Olivia Ludworth’s grandmother passed away a year before, she left her with a large inheritance on the proviso Ollie would ‘do exactly what no one expected of her’. Dorothy Ludworth had a way of causing uproar even in the afterlife. It took Ollie 6 months to decide what to do (travel to Australia? America? Buy a boat? Lots of clothes? Buy a house? save it?) and a further 6 months to find the property of her dreams, in Lindos, Rhodes. Greece.
Another two months later and Ollie had arrived with two suitcases and just enough money to keep her afloat for a month, maybe two, in time to open the B&B. She needed to find a cook and someone to help around the small little villa atop the mountain; 6 rooms for 6 families, a small restaurant over looking the most incredible sea and a little bar with a swimming pool by its side. It was perfect, it was more than Ollie had wanted to pay but it was that or something that would require another 6 months of renovations which Ollie had neither the money for, nor the DIY skills.
After an hour or so of panic-ridden staring at the pure white ceiling, Ollie got to work cleaning her new home. every room, every bathroom, every balcony, every public space would be spotless by the time she’d finished and then she’d venture into Lindos for some sanity. Only sanity got lost somewhere around 12 o’clock when only the second family room had been cleaned and Ollie was starting to lose the will to live. As she begun to pour the fourth, no, fifth bucket of grimy water down the drain, she heard someone calling from somewhere near the front of the villa.
‘COMING’ Ollie shouted as she removed the rubber gloves and hot-footed it to the front door.
‘Hello?’ A male, Australian voice called again just as Ollie turned the corner into the lobby area.
‘Hi? How can I help?’ Ollie tried not to stop in her tracks as the epitome of ‘surfer dude’ stood in front of her, bare foot and all.
‘Hi, I saw a sign out the front, “looking for help?” I’m Lachlan – Locky – I was hoping you might still need that help?’ Lachlan was tall, of course, with beachy blonde hair and a typical golden tan, a slightly rough-around-the-edges look to him, with stubble and soaking wet swim shorts. It looks as though he’d stepped out of the sea and suddenly found himself outside the Villa…..which was a good 5, maybe 10 minute walk from the small beach nearby. Interesting turn of events, Ollie thought, as she stepped forward to shake his hand, trying not to drool as she smiled.
‘You haven’t said anything for about 30 seconds’ He prompts, ‘but your face seems to be trying to’ Locky cocked his head to the side, smiling, which was not making things any easier for Ollie’s nervous face.
‘Gah, sorry, yes, come in’ She showed him through the lobby and out toward the pool area, where she invited him to sit at the bar.
‘can I offer you something to drink first?’ She asked, desperate to do something with her hands while they talked.
‘Is that a trick question?’ He laughed, apparently just as nervous.
‘No, ha, you’re not working for me yet – but it is only 12, so how about a coke?’
‘Perfect, thanks’ he smiled, looking at his surroundings ‘So this place isn’t open yet?’
Ollie launched into an explanation of how she came to own The Sunset Villa, a name to which she planned to change at some point. ‘So, it’s probably not the best time to be hiring, seeing as I can’t pay anyone right now, but if you want to come back in a month or so when i’m open i’m sure i’ll be desperate.’
Locky looked somewhat disappointed at this revelation, “I could help you out to get the place open?’ He looked up from his drink, hopeful ‘The money isn’t exactly what i’m in need of, just trying to keep busy on my travels, I could help out for the summer before I move on.’
Ollie contemplated the eye candy more than the need for support but it didn’t take long to make up her mind. Having someone for only the summer would be ideal, the B&B was never likely to be busy over the later months of the year so she could handle the day to day running herself. This could be a perfect set up. Besides, her curiosity was piquing a little too much, why didn’t he need the money and, if he didn’t, why would he be working for the summer?’
‘Ok Lachlan, tell me about yourself.’