They flew over the fishing village, traditional white houses with red roofs showing where the year-round residents lived. The boats that bobbed in the water, moored to the long dock, looked picturesque in their simplicity. No fancy trawlers here.
A tan circle painted with white directional lines about two hundred yards from a large villa set atop a cliff overlooking the sea had to be their landing destination. Piper shouldn’t have been surprised that a family who at one time had the wherewithal to own an island had installed a helipad on it. Only, she was. She would have expected a landing strip for small planes and said as much to Zephyr on the walk to the villa.
A young man who introduced himself as the housekeeper’s grandson insisted on carrying their luggage in a yard cart.
“The patriarch preferred travel by sea, but his children insisted on faster transportation to the mainland,” Zephyr replied in response to her comment. “As to why it was a helicopter over a jet, I could not say. I think he balked at the excavation necessary for a flat runway long enough to service a jet.”
“We’ll be doing that excavation, won’t we? I mean guests are going to want to be able to fly in.”
The young man leading the way with his cart looked back at her, his expression troubled.
Zephyr did not seem to notice, but he shook his head in negation. “The focus of the spa resort is going to be total relaxation. It will start with a luxury yacht ride from the mainland.”
“I bet you’ll stick with helicopters.” But she would have enjoyed a decadent ride on a yacht.
Zephyr shrugged. “I am not a prospective guest.”
“Maybe you should be.”
“Perhaps you should as well. We can attend the grand opening week together,” he said as he reached out to open the front door, only to have it swing inward before he touched it.
An elderly Greek woman welcomed them inside before shooting rapid-fire instructions at her grandson, who took his cart around to the side of the villa.
“The young, they forget the proprieties,” she said in perfect English, if accented charmingly. She shook her head. “Maybe that one should be a fisherman.”
“There will be many jobs for those willing to work both building the resort and working there after it is completed.”
“You will give first chance to locals?” the old woman asked with obvious hope.
“Yes,” Zephyr said decisively. “We do not want the year-round residents to feel disconnected to the resort. Their participation in the venture is essential.”
Her lined visage wreathed with a smile, the housekeeper led them into an oversized sitting room with a truly impressive view. The wall facing the sea had such large windows it felt like it was made of glass.
“Would you like refreshments?” she asked.
“Your former employer rhapsodized about the fresh lemonade made from local fruit.”
Appearing pleased by the request, the housekeeper nodded. “I will send a girl with a tray.”
“Thank you. Has Mr. Tilieu been told of our arrival?” Zephyr asked.
“He has, though how anyone could miss the sound of a landing helicopter, I do not know.”
Piper stifled a grin, while Zephyr obviously bit back a smile.
“I take it you prefer to travel by boat?” Piper asked.
“I prefer not to travel at all, but how others can stand to ride in those noisy things is a mystery to me.” The gray-haired woman waved her hands in dismissal.
“Sometimes needs must,” Zephyr said wryly.
“As you say, Kyrie Nikos.” Then she left.
He turned to Piper. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
“Absolutely gorgeous.” She didn’t even try to resist the lure of huge picture windows. “I could spend hours just looking out these windows.”
He came to stand beside her, close but not touching. “It is mesmerizing. The sunset will be spectacular.”
“Will we be able to watch it?”
“If that is your desire.”
“You’ve been very indulgent with me this trip.” Though since sharing his past with her, he had maintained a distance even his charm could not hide. Their discovery this morning had not altered that distance, despite other small changes in his behavior.
“You deserve a little spoiling.”
“I won’t complain about you thinking so.”
“Good.” He shifted beside her and she could feel his regard transferring to her from the view. “Speaking of being spoiled, do you want to attend the opening week with me?”
“I have no doubt you’ll be here for the grand opening, but I sincerely doubt it will be for the rest and relaxation the resort is going to offer.”