Cheryl's Side of The Story by Toby Joyce by Toby Joyce - Read Online



From outside appearances Cheryl Miller had the perfect life. At five feet eight inches tall, blonde hair, blue-green eyes and a beautiful body, she was blessed with good looks. Her job was fulfilling, challenging, and lucrative. She owned a fabulous home and drove an expensive sports car. The only thing missing was the true love of a good man. Most men, she'd learned, were intimidated by her independence. While on vacation, she met a handsome, dynamic, and charming man. Could it be that she had finally met the man of her dreams? She allowed herself to fall in love, only to find out later that he had secrets he had withheld from her. Could they overcome the obstacles that the secrets presented; or was she destined to live along, married to her career? To get the man's point of view, read ANDRE'S SIDE OF THE STORY by Toby Joyce!
Published: Whiskey Creek Press on
ISBN: 9781611606843
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Cheryl's Side of The Story - Toby Joyce

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Published by


Whiskey Creek Press

PO Box 51052

Casper, WY 82605-1052

Copyright Ó 2014 by Toby Joyce

Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 (five) years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Names, characters and incidents depicted in this book are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or the publisher.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

ISBN: 978-1-61160-684-3

Cover Artist: Susan Krupp

Editor: Dennis Hays

Printed in the United States of America


To my readers who never give up on love.

Chapter 1

The fresh, ocean breeze flowed through the window of the rental car, as Cheryl pulled into the parking area of the Oasis Resort. She hoped it lived up to its five diamond rating. So far, it was beautiful, with the California sun glistening off the Pacific Ocean as the waves lapped in along the shore and the palm trees fanned out looking like natures umbrellas.

Her room was exactly the way it looked on line. It had two, queen beds, and a view of the ocean on the first floor. There was a deck off the sliding glass doors facing the beach. This room and resort would be her home for the next six, glorious days as she began a much deserved vacation.

She unpacked quickly because she was anxious to get out in the sun, and check out the pools and the beach. She put on the outfit she bought just for this trip, a pastel, tank top, some light blue shorts and a pair of sandals.

She looked at herself in the mirror.  I am so pale; it’s going to be obvious, for a while, that I’m a tourist. Other than that, she thought she looked good. She kept herself in good physical condition by working out regularly. At five foot eight inches and one hundred thirty-five pounds, she felt confident in her skin. She let her blond hair grow a little longer this year, so it was down to her shoulders.

All she needed was her sunglasses to protect her blue eyes. That’s when she realized she left her brand new, expensive, Ray-Ban sunglasses at home. Damn-it.  It’s not like me to forget one of the most important items for my vacation. I must have been a little more stressed than I thought I was, about going on vacation without David.  Well, she would walk to the sundry store in the resort; she was sure sunglasses would be sold there.

As she walked to the outdoor atrium to where the store was, she noticed how extremely bright it was compared to what she was used to. As the glass doors to the store slid open, she felt the air condition which made it feel twenty degrees cooler. She located the sunglass display tree and started turning it around and around. She soon realized it was going to be a difficult decision. She didn’t want to spend too much money on them since she had an expensive pair at home, but she wanted to look good for the ‘vacation’ pictures to show her family, friends and colleagues. There must have been at least one hundred pair on the tree. She put one pair on, but then saw another pair which looked interesting, so she took that pair off and held them while she put the next pair on. This kept going until she had four pair in her hands and one pair on her face.

It was then she heard a deep, sexy, voice say, Do you need help with any of those? She turned to see a tall, tanned, muscular body wearing a sleeveless tee-shirt. As her eyes continued upward she saw a beautiful smile with a perfect set of white teeth, straight nose, large brown eyes, and brown sun-streaked hair.

Oh-my-god, how embarrassing.  I must look like a total fool. She removed the pair she wore and said, rather flatly with a smile, I guess I do. Maybe you can help me narrow down the field. Tell me, which do you think looks better, these, putting the pair back on, or, taking that pair off and putting the other pair on, these?  His presence made her forget any consideration of the price.

He studied her face for a brief time, and then said, They both look beautiful on you.

What a sweetheart.  Or is he just a good salesman?  She smiled at his comment and said, I’ll take this pair. Meanwhile he was finding places in the tree for the pairs that she had dismissed. Do you work here? she asked.

No, I don’t, he said with a chuckle in his voice. My name is Andre.

My name is Cheryl, she said as she extended her hand. He brought his hand to hers, and they shook which, considering the light hearted exchange they had, may have been a bit formal. She was so used to shaking hands with her job, it was almost second nature.

They looked at each other as if to say, is this it then? But to her relief, he said, Would you like to join me for a drink here at the resort? 

She tried to sound casual with her heart pounding a hundred beats a second, Okay.

They walked to the register together, each of them sneaking little peeks at the other. The atrium became crowded with an airport shuttle van of new arrivals, so she took his arm to stay close. She put her sunglasses on, and he smiled his approval.

They walked to one of the pool side lounges and got a cocktail. He started the conversation by asking her where she was from. He must have assumed she wasn’t a local since it was obvious her skin hasn’t seen sun for a while. She told him she lived in Washington State and she was here on vacation for a week.

Are you here on vacation? she asked him while sipping her Margarita.

I’m here for a work assignment. He didn’t take his eyes off her. Then, he took a drink of his Margarita.  I’m a journalist for the Associated Press. I’m covering the International Trade Conference this week.

As he talked, she could detected a bit of east coast in his voice, maybe New York or Boston. Being a Pacific Northwest woman all her life, she didn’t have the ear to distinguish between the different nuances, although she knew people who could. She did hear something else she couldn’t recognize, perhaps a slight, European accent.

What kind of work do you do?

 She felt fairly comfortable around him so she told him about her work as a Sales Manager for a high tech, software development company in Seattle.

She told him her work was stimulating, challenging, and interesting. It must be considering she averaged around sixty hours a week. Some people may consider it a lifestyle instead of a job, but it suited her fine. She didn’t have a husband, or kids waiting for her at home, so she worked long hours and didn’t feel guilty about it.

They talked the afternoon away. He was an interesting and handsome man. She wondered if he had a ‘girl in every port.’ Of course, he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, or she wouldn’t have had a drink with him, but that didn’t mean anything. Lots of married men don’t wear rings anymore, which is unfair to single women.

As the sun got lower in the sky, she looked at her watch and saw it was nearing six o’clock in the evening. She had a dinner date with her sister at seven thirty. She was a flight attendant and had the Los Angeles route twice this week so she would stay with Cheryl while she was in town. They arranged for Cheryl to pick her up at the Los Angeles airport. She better get a move on, since traffic around the airport is infamous.

She explained to Andre she had an appointment soon, so she must be going. His face remained expressionless, but she saw a twinge of disappointment in his eyes.

 Thank you for the drink, she said, it was great meeting you. Hopefully we’ll run into each other again while we’re both staying here.

 My pleasure and yes, I definitely hope so.

She tried to be as graceful as possible walking away, in case he watched her. She definitely wanted to see him again!

Dinner with her sister was nice. She decided not to mention anything about meeting Andre to Terri, because Terri tended to jump the gun, make a mountain out of a mole hill, or any other cliché you can name along those lines. She would have Cheryl with one foot in the chapel before she got to experience any of the romance and fun of being a fool in love.

Since Terri has been happily married for two and a half years now, she couldn’t imagine how Cheryl could possibly be happy being single; alone, as she put it. The fact was Cheryl was quite happy with herself and her life style. She was independent, and pretty much did what she wanted, and when she wanted. This was a source of conflict between her and she wasn’t even certain what to call her relationship with David.

Cheryl and her sister ate dinner at a place Terri knew which was frequented by airline employees. When they got to the resort, they walked down to the beach for a few minutes. Although the sun had set, it was still nice and warm out. Terri and Cheryl were close and they did have fun together. It was almost like a ‘sleep over’ when they had their pajamas on, each sitting on their own beds talking and laughing and reminiscing. They needed to make it a short night because Terri must be at the airport by eight in the morning. The flight was going back to Seattle at five minutes after nine, and then on to Anchorage.

Cheryl planned to spend this, her first full day of vacation, shopping. She purposely packed light with the idea of buying some new clothes here in Southern California, one of the shopping capitals of the world.  She took inventory to decide exactly what else she needed or wanted; a bikini for sure, an evening and dancing dress—just in case, some baggy shorts, and a beach bag. The list went on and on.

She literally shopped until she dropped. She dragged herself back to the resort around four o’clock, satisfied she bought the perfect outfit for any occasion.

As she walked through the lobby past the front desk, the man who checked her in the day before said, Good afternoon, Miss Miller, there is a message for you.

She set some of her bags down when she was handed a white, note paper folded in half. As she opened it, she saw a logo with something written in Italian at the top.

Mark, help Miss Miller with her packages, the older gentleman behind the counter said to a young jock at the door. Mark ran over and swooped up her bags.

 Thank you, Cheryl said on the way to her room. She tipped Mark, and he gave her a smile and a wink and said, Thanks.

She kicked off her shoes, sat down on the loveseat and opened the note again. It was from Andre. The note read; Would you like to have dinner with me tonight? I’ll call you at six. Andre.

She was so tired! Should she or shouldn’t she? She had two hours to decide. She went down the hall, filled up the ice bucket and bought a coke from the machine. She drank it down, and then took a shower. By the time she finished with the shower, she was felt much better and realized she was getting hungry. It was now five thirty. She started drying her hair, and putting on make-up. At five minutes before six the phone rang.

With her blood pressure souring, she answered, Hello.

 She heard the deep sexy voice. Hi, it’s Andre, did you receive my message?

Yes. I’d love to have dinner with you.

Wonderful, I’ll pick you up at, say, seven?

 Perfect. How should I dress? 

He was silent for a few seconds, and then replied, Oh, semi casual, unless you’re up for some dancing after dinner.

Dancing sounds good, she said. I have the perfect dress for it.

Great, I’ll see you soon.  With it settled, they both hung up.

Now, she was getting excited. The dress she bought earlier was royal purple, with a short, full skirt and a lacey, spandex top—perfect for dancing. She felt like a school girl on a date. It has been a while since she was out with anyone other than David.

She was dressed and ready to go by six thirty. After pouring herself a glass of wine, she paced around in front of the mirror trying to see anything she could improve upon. Not seeing anything, she got her evening bag and put her drivers’ license, credit card, lip stick, and card key in it, then set it beside the shoulder wrap. She poured herself another half glass of wine to calm her nerves and try to relax.

Right on time, she heard a rap-tat-tat at the door. Opening it, there he stood looking like he walked off the pages of GQ magazine. He wore a light colored, light fabric suit which showed off his tan, and an open collar shirt. She forgot, until then, how handsome he was!

You look beautiful, He said, their eyes meeting.

Thank you. You look very nice, too.

 There is an Italian restaurant a few miles from here I think you’ll like. He helped her put the wrap around her shoulders.

He was so close she could have, and wanted to, turn around and kiss him. Maybe the second half glass of wine wasn’t such a good idea after all.

The restaurant was perfect. It was authentic, old school Italian, small and quaint with a candle and a small vase of fresh flowers on each table.

This place reminds me of home, he said with a slight bit of melancholy in his voice. Then, he took the menu in hand, and smiled his incredible smile. Would you like me to order for us both?

I was hoping you’d say that. She sighed with relief, since she didn’t know many of the items on the menu, let alone how to pronounce them. He knew exactly what to order and the perfect bottle of wine to accompany the meal.

They had a leisurely dinner. The food was delicious and the wine was fabulous. While they ate, he told her his parents and brother own and operate a restaurant in New York. He and his brother, Jacque, were first generation American. He told her his father is French, but when he was fourteen years old, his family moved to Italy. His Mother is Italian. They met when his father got a job at his mother’s family restaurant. Apparently, it was love at first sight. They married at a young age, and then moved to New York. A year later, Jacque was born, followed by Andre two years later. Andre and Jacque grew up being trilingual, speaking French, Italian and English.

 It was the European accent she heard in his voice she thought, as she listened attentively.

After a lovely dinner, they left for the night club. Typical Los Angeles, they waited in line for ten minutes, where at the entrance a big, burly guy greets them and decides if they are the right clientele for the establishment, or not. Apparently, they were because he let them in; after Andre paid the large, cover charge. 

Andre appeared to be quite comfortable. He knew exactly what to do and how to do it, with ease.  He fit right in.  Cheryl, on her own, would never have considered going there. It was like a ‘beautiful people’ club. The inside was art deco design with cone shape, ultra violet, blue lights on the walls. It wasn’t so over-crowded they couldn’t hear each other speak. It was nice. After they were escorted to a table, they ordered a drink, looked around and commented on the décor and the ambiance.

After a few sips of their drinks, a good dance tune played, so they got up to dance. Cheryl loved to dance. Unfortunately, the man she has been seeing, David, did not like to dance, so needless to say, she hasn’t danced for a while.

Andre, however, was a good dancer. Cheryl let go and made the most out of her dress and the tune. She could tell he was enjoying the possibility of catching a glimpse of a lot of leg while she turned and swayed to the beat. Then, the music slowed way down. The lights dimmed; it was going to be a slow dance. As they moved together, she found their bodies were right for each other. She felt his warmth, and smelled his cologne. She was falling for him, fast.

The night flew by and before they knew it, it was around midnight. Andre had to work in the morning, and Cheryl was a little tired. They hated to, but they called it a night.

He walked her to her door and said, Cheryl, tomorrow I’ll be in Palm Springs all day and I’ll be spending the night there and be back here the following day; I’ll call you then. Thank you for going out with me tonight, I enjoyed being with you.

He took her face in his hands and looked into her eyes. Their lips touched, softly at first, and then closer and a little harder as he gave her the sweetest, sexiest, most sincere kiss. Her mind reeled with the possibilities, but then he said good night, so she said the same and he left.

She went into her room, alone. She wondered what she would have done if he would have come in and initiated having sex with her. She was relieved, in a way, she didn’t have to deal with this decision. She knew in her heart she wouldn’t have sex with a man she hardly knew; especially since she had some unfinished business in Seattle concerning David. 

She couldn’t sleep. Who was this man? She dozed off sometime in the wee hours of the morning. When she woke up, she started all over again, thinking about him. She couldn’t get him off her mind.

She planned on doing touristy things today. She toured the studios where Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune were filmed. She went to the famous Santa Monica Pier and ate lunch at the restaurant at the very end of the pier, and she got on a tour bus to see the homes of the stars which were fabulous.

After a full day of being a tourist, she drove to the airport to pick up her sister who was due in at five o’clock that night. When Terri and Cheryl got to the hotel room, Cheryl started showing her sister all the new clothes she bought. Have you met any interesting men? Terri asked.

Should she tell her? No, not yet.

Are you hungry? Cheryl changed the subject.

Yes, I am, let’s go somewhere where we can sit outside and watch the sun set.

It’s a great idea, Cheryl said looking through the restaurant guide. They decided on a place in Marina Del Rey. Cheryl called for reservations; luckily they were able to get an outdoor table before sun set. It was a beautiful restaurant—expensive, but with such a view you would expect it to be expensive. After all, Cheryl was on vacation, so she didn’t mind at all. As they sat sipping their pre-meal wine, the sun was low in the sky, so Cheryl took out her sunglasses and put them on.

Those are nice, Terri said, are those new, too?

Yes. Andre helped me pick them out.

 She saw Terri’s senses become activated. Curiosity peaked, she said, Andre! Who is Andre?

Oh, a man I met my first day in California. Cheryl answered casually while she perused the menu.

And you didn’t mention it? Terri said, flabbergasted. "Tell me every detail. Don’t leave out a thing.

Here we go.  At first she planned to only briefly describe him, but once she began speaking about him, she couldn’t stop. She told her everything, including her feelings for him. She didn’t realize how taken she was by him until she heard her own words coming out of her mouth.

Telling her sister may have been a mistake; she did not disappoint. Terri flew into gear saying, That’s so romantic! But you would have to fall for an East Coaster. Where would the wedding be, New York, Seattle, and where would you live?  Would Mom ever get to see her grandchildren, or me see my niece and nephew? Oh, I’m having two children – a boy and a girl of course. Oh, that’s okay, as long as I work for the airline, I can get passes to fly us wherever you settle. Oh, this is so exciting! I’m so happy for you! When can I meet him, tonight? Let’s meet him for cocktails after dinner.

Cheryl explained to her sister he was staying in Palm Springs tonight and —

That’s okay, Terri interrupted, we can meet him there. What is it, a forty-five minute drive?

It’s more like a two and a half hour drive, Cheryl said with irritation in her voice. She looked at Terri and said, Sis, just stop and give us time. I’m not even sure that Andre feels the same way about me as I feel about him.

 Terri looked at her as if she was ‘being silly’ and said, How could he not? You’re beautiful, single, have a great job, single, you’re in terrific shape, and did I mention single?

Cheryl smiled at her as she pondered what Terri said. It’s true, I am all those things, what more could he want.

Terri talked the night away, getting Cheryl all psyched up. The next morning, Terri left to go back to Seattle, and there Cheryl was, alone. Suddenly, she felt all alone. Last night, her sister had her married to an international journalist with two happy, healthy children, a home in New York and a home in Seattle, but now, reality set in. At the moment, all she saw was a career woman, on vacation, infatuated with a handsome man that she barely knew.

Okay, enough, she told herself. She needed to get things back into perspective. Back to reality, where she was before Terri went into hyper-drive and took her along for the ride. She needed some time to think, some ‘me’ time. She prepared for a day of leisure. The Oasis had three swimming pools, and she intended on spending time at all three of them today. She put on her new bikini—it really did look great. To walk to the pool, she put her bikini cover up on. She wasn’t quite that Californian yet, as to parade around half naked. She put on her new, wide brim hat and sandals. In her bag, she put suntan lotion, a towel, a bottle of water, a book, her wallet, a pen, and some postcards she bought earlier. She slipped on her sunglasses and set out for a relaxing day in the sun.

She settled in a lounge chair at pool side. The sun felt so nice! It caressed her body to give her comfort. As she sat there soaking up the rays, she started to feel more confident about the situation. She wrote postcards to her friends up in Seattle.

She wrote a card to David, the man who thought he loved her. He was an architect and had changed the skyline of Seattle with some of his designs. He made good money. He was confident and was used to getting what he wanted. He thought of Cheryl as a challenge; otherwise why would he try so hard. David was a wonderful man. He was good to her, as long as she went along with his program, but as soon as she demonstrated her independence from him, he would get in a snit. She wished she was head over heels in love with him, but she wasn’t. He had wanted to come with her on vacation. Before she left he told her if she didn’t want him with her on vacation, there was no reason to be with him when she returned from vacation. Actually, it was what she wanted him to say. She tossed his card into the trash can as she moved to a different pool at the beach side of the resort.

There were a lot of good looking men around. She found herself getting turned on by all the muscular, tanned bodies around the pool. After she got situated, she decided she better take a dip in the pool and cool down. She pinned her hair up and got wet up to her shoulders only. She didn’t want her hair all wet with chlorine. It has been a relaxing, soothing day. Her tan got deeper, her mind clearer, when she heard, Is anyone sitting here?

 She looked up and there he was, Andre. She smiled and motioned him to sit down as she said, It’s good to see you. I’m glad you’re back.

He sat in the lounge chair beside her and said, Thank you, I’m glad to be back and glad to be seeing you. You look sensational! Without so much as a breath between sentences he continued, There is a Press Party tonight with my colleagues in the area; would you like to go to it with me?

Thank you that would be great.

He gave her an idea of what it would be like by saying, It’s a formal evening with dinner at eight o’clock followed by dancing. It’s in the Grand Ball Room at the Franklin Hotel and there will be celebrities there.

It was nearing five-thirty as they sat together in the sun. He took his shirt off to reveal a masculine chest with the right amount of hair and muscle. In fact, he had the perfect body. He excused himself for a minute and returned with a daiquiri for both of them. It tasted refreshing as they sat, flirted, smiled, teased and completely enjoyed each other’s company. When she took the last swallow of her drink, she decided it was time to go to her room and get ready. He stayed pool side.

Her red, spaghetti-strap, evening