“I just don’t get why you turned the interpreter down,” Lionel said, waving away another bikini-clad Spanish girl. He hated himself for doing it. “You know that I don’t speak the language, and neither do you!”
A group of three girls walked by them. Lionel smiled awkwardly at them, and they went away, giggling and muttering something that Lionel couldn’t understand.
“Like, I don’t even mind about these girls,” he said, although his voice betrayed that he very much minded. “What about our meeting with Castillo tomorrow? We need this contract.”
“Lionel, will you please stop worrying about everything and trust me? I’ve got it under control,” James said. Lionel snorted.
A woman approached them, wearing heels while the other girls wore sandals, and a short summer dress where others wore bikinis that left little to the imagination. Her hair looked bright red in the light of the torches that illuminated the resort.
“Sorry love,” Lionel began. “No hablo español”.
“Yo sí,” she replied. “And I also speak English, German, and French.”
Lionel’s jaw dropped. James laughed.
“Lionel, this is Tanya,” he said to his astonished coworker. “I think she’s a better idea than that stuck-up interpreter that you wanted to hire, isn’t she?” He put his arm around Tanya’s waist.
“Delighted to meet you, Lionel,” she said, holding out her hand. Lionel shook it without a word.
“Well, I am awfully thirsty. You gentlemen need a top-off?” she asked. James shook his head, and Lionel mimicked him, not sure of what else to do. “Alright then,” Tanya said. Her heels clicked on the stone floor as she made her way to the bar.
“Told you I had it under control,” James said, taking a sip of his drink.
“She’s our interpreter?” Lionel asked.
“Among other things. She’s also my date for the night. And for tomorrow’s post-contract signing party,” James replied. Lionel looked confused. “She’s an escort, stupid. Back before you got on board with the business, and I was taking these trips all alone, I found her through an escort agency,” James paused, and he laughed to himself. “I really thought it was an interpreting agency. Couple of awkward minutes while I understood what the actual service was. Anyways,” he continued, “she’s flying solo now, but she always clears her schedule for me. She’s awesome.”
Tanya returned, with a raven-haired woman beside her, carrying two of the same that Lionel was drinking. “Lionel, this is my friend Tina. She’d love to make your acquaintance.”
“Encantada,” Tina said, handing one of the drinks to Lionel.
“Delighted, she says,” Tanya translated.
Lionel smiled. Tina was gorgeous. “Are you also…?”
“An escort?” Tanya finished for him. “No, she’s your assistant. James told me how you’re always worrying about everything. She’s here to do whatever you need,” Tanya added with a wink. From the knowing smile Tina gave him, she was in on the plan too.
“Man, she’s awesome,” Lionel whispered to James, who smiled.
“I told you I had everything under control.”