The Forgotten Claim - The Claim: Book 1

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Chapter 19 - Olivia (Part 2)

The lobby was quiet and quaint with a cozy vibe as a few loveseats formed three sides of a box with the open end facing a gas fireplace. On her right, across from the lounge, was the check-in desk. A woman greeted her and Olivia gave her name.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Miss. We’re having plumbing issues with your room. Unfortunately, we have no other rooms available except for the honeymoon suite. I can bump you up with all the finishings at no extra charge if you’d like?”

Olivia stared at her in disbelief. The honeymoon suite?

“Sounds great, thank you.”

His deep voice was smooth like velvet, raising the hairs on her nape to stand on end as she looked over her shoulder as he joined her side with his hand on her lower back. She had just gotten herself under control and now she was finding it hard to breathe again.

“Pass me the car keys and I’ll grab the luggage,” he whispered, his mouth close to her ear, making her shiver.

Quickly fishing through her purse, she produced the keys and handed them to him.

She watched him leave as the clerk made the changes to her file and swiped her credit card.

Cameron returned with her suitcase and his duffel bag as the clerk handed over two key cards for them and directed them to the elevator around the corner.

Olivia led the way with Cameron close on her heels. They stood side-by-side as the elevator took them up to the top floor, her arm brushing lightly against his and setting off sparks. When they got to the top floor, there were only two doors opposite each other in the short hallway: the presidential suite and the honeymoon suite.

Unlocking the door to their room, Olivia held it open for him to bring in their luggage. Her eyes popped open wide as she looked around the space. Directly across from the door was a floor-to-ceiling window attached to the balcony overlooking the beach. There was a small kitchenette with a little round table for two topped with fresh flowers, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, and a bottle of red wine. A couch and coffee table sat across from a large flat screen TV and next to the living space was a four-poster king-sized bed with sheer curtains tied to the posts. Next to the bed was a huge jacuzzi tub and an enclosed bathroom. The door was open revealing double sinks and a massive shower for two.

“Is it too much?” he asked, reading the expression on her face as he set their luggage down by the door.

She raked her teeth over her bottom lip. “A bit.”

The room and everything in it was caving in on her. She needed to step out and clear her head.

Ignoring him and the thought of finishing what they had started outside, she walked across the space to the sliding door to the balcony. The balcony ran the length of the room and then turned around the corner. Sliding the door open, she ventured out and around the corner where there was a private sitting area surrounded by flowers in raised flowerbeds and some in pots. Laughter and voices filled the air from the beach as she looked over the metal railing across from the sliding door. The sun reflected off the gentle waves lapping across the shore as people of all ages and sizes gathered on the sandy beach and in the water. Her eyes trailed the route she and Cameron had taken five years ago along the boardwalk that ran along the length of the beach and the shops and pubs they had stopped at along the way.

The door slid open behind her and she felt Cameron’s presence but he didn’t touch her.

“Everything okay?”

She looked down behind her at his shoes, unable to bring her eyes up to meet his gaze before looking back out at the beach. “Yeah. Just going down memory lane for a minute.”

“Are you rethinking this… visit?”

Turning around, she leaned back against the bars as she shook her head and dared herself to meet his gaze. “No, but the room is too much.”

“Well,” he said, wrapping his arms around her waist, “when was the last time you had a vacation?”

Relaxing, she closed her eyes and leaned into his embrace, resting her head on his shoulder and breathing in his earthy musk. When he wasn’t making her blood boil with desire, she found comfort in his large arms.

“Not since I sold my first house to celebrate,” she confessed. “Or the day we met, I guess.”

It had been a long time since she had a real vacation. She had spent the first couple of years paying off her debts and when Chloe entered the picture, her responsibilities and concerns changed. She had to set aside money after every sale in case the market went belly-up like it had in the past or something happened to her health and she couldn’t work.

The future terrified her. Even though she knew she could lean on her mother for support should something happen to her, her mother also had to set aside money for her retirement. Olivia didn’t want to burden her.

With each sale, she set invested money in her retirement, Chloe’s education, and general savings. They lived comfortably. Olivia didn’t need to worry about money for everyday things, but the pressures of being a single parent weighed heavily on her shoulders.

“You deserve a vacation.” His affirmation eased her a bit. “Even if it’s only for a day, you deserve it.”

He rubbed small circles into her lower back until she nodded and pulled away. “Right.”

She turned to look back out over the balcony to the town and Cameron stepped up next to her.

“So, what’s next on the agenda?” he asked.

She hummed in thought for a minute before taking his hand in hers and entwining their fingers and backing away to the door. “Come on.” She smiled. “Let’s not waste time.”

To be carefree, even if only to be a fraction of her former self before becoming a mom, that was what she wanted.

This time, she had birth control pills tucked in her purse. She needed to break down her wall and let her heart guide her.

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