Perched on the sill of the bedroom window of her villa, Mary Connell gazed at the setting sun over the marina as she calmly smoked a cigarette.
"I know, Sam," she said into her cell phone as she slowly exhaled. "I know it's been a long time… I know it's been nearly a month. But…"
She slowly licked her lips as the naked torso in her bed began to stir.
"You know how crazy Saint-Tropez can be… Tourists everywhere… I finally got a chance to take a breath today. Today was my first full day off in ages…"
Catching a glimpse of a leg kicking off the bed sheet that had entangled it, she ended her conversation swiftly.
"Why don't we meet up in Cannes or Nice this weekend or whenever you're not too busy in Monaco…? The season's beginning to wind down and so it's starting to slow down at the hotel… Think about it. Please…? Take care, Sam… I miss you too," she said before pressing the end button.
"Who was that?" the male voice asked sleepily as Mary stubbed out her cigarette.
Mary smiled sweetly as she soaked in the sight of the naked man in her bed and left her seat at the window.
"Just an old friend," she said as she sat at the edge of the bed. She bent and kissed him softly.
"Mmm…" the man said as he cupped her face and deepened the kiss. "Next time, please give Miss Samantha Jane my regards."
"I will," Mary whispered huskily as his hands began unbuttoning her shirt.
Mary frowned as her cell phone began vibrating again.
"I wonder what does she want now?"
Her brows furrowed deeper when she saw the name on her caller ID. She untangled herself from the man.
"This is Mary Connell."
Sam Marquez stared at her cell phone as the screen turned black. Frowning, she turned to look at her view of Monte Carlo from her penthouse roof garden. Semi-retired and bored, she listened as the city bustled and zoomed below her. As much as she didn't like to admit it, she missed her redheaded friend dearly. As Mary noted, the season was slowing down, as was the steady stream of high rollers Sam had to entertain at the Casino. Breaking into her thoughts, a rottweiler whimpered softly and pawed at her leg.
"What's the matter, Reg?" she asked as she reached down from her chaise and scratched his chin. "Is it time for your walk?"
The dog barked enthusiastically as she got up from her seat. She quietly padded downstairs to the kitchen and found his leash. Eager for his walk, Reggie met her at the front door. She crouched and secured his leash before lead him into the busy Mediterranean resort traffic.
"Maybe we can schedule a trip next weekend. Would you like that, Reggie?"
The dog wagged its tail happily at her.
"Yea…" Sam agreed. "I'd like that too."
The petite brunette and the rottweiler walked in silence as he led her down Avenue D'Ostende towards the sea. Deep in thought, Sam jumped when she felt her phone ring in her hand. Not bothering to check the caller ID, she assumed it was Mary calling her back, but in case it was a client, she answered in her usual business tone, "Sam Marquez."
"Great show today, Mr. Cannon."
"Thanks, George. Matt, Meredith… Ann! I'll see you all tomorrow morning!" Mike Cannon called out as he left the Today Show studio at Rockefeller Plaza and headed out for lunch.
He paused briefly to pick up the Las Vegas Sun at a newsstand. He smiled as he inhaled the New York City traffic and air and strolled seven blocks to Bryant Park with the paper tucked safely under his arm.
"The usual, Mr. Cannon?"
"You know it, Vic."
The vendor grinned widely as he prepared a polish sausage with extra kraut and mustard.
"Here you go, Mr. Cannon."
"Thanks, Vic," Mike said gratefully as he paid the vendor. "And how many times do I have to tell you? It's Mike."
"Sorry, Mister… Mike."
Mike smiled as he took his lunch.
"You know, I like you more than that Al Roker fellow," the gruff-looking vendor said somewhat shyly.
"Oh yea," the vendor said, growing more confident. "You're much better than that guy. You can actually tell the weather. That Al… he couldn't."
Mike laughed heartily.
"Thanks, Vic," he said as he lightly punched the man on the shoulder. "That means a lot to me. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Not if I see you first," Vic smirked.
Mike chuckled as he sat down on his usual bench by the Dodge Monument, overlooking the Great Lawn. He watched as the city move past him. He readied himself for a bite of his hot dog when he felt his cell phone vibrate in his pocket. Staring longingly at his lunch, he groaned as he dug the phone out and answered, "Mike Cannon."
Danny McCoy stared at the report in front of him, barely registering the information he had tried reading for the past two hours. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't understand how McCoy Construction was losing money. Frustrated, he pushed himself away from his desk and grabbed his suit jacket.
"Monica," he called out as he headed for his office door.
"Yes, Mr. McCoy," a petite blonde asked as he breezed past her desk.
"I'm going out for a while. Please don't contact me unless it is an absolute emergency."
"Yes, Mr. McCoy," she said obediently. "But what if…?"
"Or if either one of them call," Danny answered matter-of-factly.
"Of course," Monica smiled, slightly embarrassed that she asked.
Danny paused at the office suite door.
"Monica, what time is it?"
She quickly checked her watch.
"It's eight sixteen, Mr. McCoy."
"Why don't you take the day off?"
"Are you sure, Mr. McCoy?" Monica asked, surprised. "I just got here…"
Danny nodded again.
"Yea… Go home and spend some time with your family. I don't know if I'm even going to be back in. If anyone needs to get a hold of me immediately, they have my cell phone," Danny reasoned. "Have a good day off, Monica."
"Thank you, Mr. McCoy," she said, still in shock as he hurried out the door.
Danny felt refreshed as he pushed open the building door and stepped into the desert heat. Throwing his jacket into the passenger seat, he loosened his tie and rolled up his sleeves before climbing into his Camaro. He growled as his phone rang before he could turn on the ignition.
"This is Danny."