Caitlin – July 1979
Caitlin put the ’phone down from Rebecca’s call with a big grin on her face. She sped upstairs to the nursery then slowed down to a tiptoe to catch sight of the sleeping baby Charlotte. It was feed time but it seemed a shame to wake her. Today was the Nanny’s day off and Caitlin enjoyed the freedom that she had to spend with her baby without the instructions of the live in help. Although her experience was welcome in many ways Brenda was very prescriptive and had her own rules about bringing up babies and children. Caitlin wrinkled her nose into a grimace just thinking about the way she was often made to feel; as though she were a dimwit that hadn’t a clue how to look after her own adored baby.
Caitlin had plans of her own today. She was going to feed Charlotte when she woke then she was going to push her around to Park Avenue to have lunch with Ariel and see her much younger half siblings. Sebastian was now a proper boy running around at top speed and chattering incoherently non-stop. He adored his younger sister Emily who was starting to crawl at an alarming rate and needed constant supervision to impede her destructive tendencies. The new baby fascinated both of Ariel’s children in their different ways.
Ariel had the lunch table set up in the garden to enjoy the beautiful sunny June day. She was planning to go out to Easthampton for the summer soon and wondered if she should ask Caitlin to come out with her. Ariel still felt that there was something not quite right with Caitlin’s marriage though on the surface everything appeared to be perfect. Caitlin and Mario were both obviously absolutely besotted with Charlotte at any rate. Caitlin arrived rosy cheeked from her walk in the sun. The baby was asleep so they left her in her pram while they ate lunch in peace; Ariel’s two being with their Nanny.
Caitlin told Ariel about this morning’s call from her friend Rebecca, who Ariel remembered well from Caitlin’s wedding.
‘You must go for the Christening party Caiti. We can have Charlotte here. You and Mario could both go’ Ariel offered. Caitlin hesitated, thinking this over; she had thought that she would go with the baby leaving Mario working in New York. The party was on the weekend so she guessed he could accompany her. Why she wondered didn’t she want him to?
Thanks Ariel that’s really kind of you. I’ll have to think it through properly, I thought I might take Charlie but perhaps she is too young…’
‘Well whatever you decide, the offers open. Are you planning to move out of the city over the summer? We’ve got room for you with us if you like’ Ariel suggested, she knew that Mario and Caitlin hadn’t bought anywhere out in the Hamptons yet. ‘Mario could travel out with Frank for the weekends, he gets a chopper with a couple of the other guys, and it’s much quicker.’
‘That’s an idea!’ responded Caitlin, ‘It’ll start getting really sticky soon I guess. I’ll mention it to Mario tonight and see what he thinks. Also I’ll see if he has time to come over to London with me for Tyrone’s Christening, he may even have some business to attend to. I’ll let you know about baby Charlie too.’
Their conversation soon turned to idle chat mostly about a recent meet-up that Ariel had with some of her model and magazine friends. She was a good raconteur and soon had Caitlin laughing at some of the absurdities of the fashion world. They both could appreciate good design and style and frequented the shows and design houses but they were also practical women not versed in throwing away good stuff just because it was last season.
One of the girls was full of a new English photographer who was freelancing on the circuit. Apparently he was drop dead gorgeous and straight! As Ariel repeated this remark she looked furtively at Caitlin to see if it registered with her. Nothing had. Good she thought, relieved.
Caitlin and Mario dined at home that evening so Caitlin took the opportunity of broaching her two offers, London and the Hamptons. Mario thought that staying with Ariel in the Hamptons was a good idea but said that he would miss them both.
‘Ariel suggests you fly out with Papa, its much quicker and you could come every weekend.’
‘Well why don’t you accept and I’ll come out when I can?’ Mario wasn’t that keen on staying under his father-in-law’s roof for long even though he liked him. ‘I’ll check my diary tomorrow to see if the London thing is possible. But you’ll love it seeing your friends all together like old times bella, no real need for me to tag along. I’ll stay and look after Charlotte and have some daddy and daughter time before you take her away to Easthampton.’
With Caitlin and the baby out of the city Mario immersed himself in work. He just went back to the triplex to change his clothes, shower and sleep. His boutique hotel business was growing rapidly with an injection of capital from a syndicate of investors. Mario had properties in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston so far in the States, Venice (of course), Rome, Florence and Taormina in Italy. He had just had wind of a suitable property in Miami Beach and decided that he would fly down to take a look.
Years later looking back on this fateful decision Mario often wondered what if? Mario had arrived in Miami Beach in the late afternoon and went immediately to check out the property that had caught his eye. It was an Art Deco building that had at one time been a private dwelling but had since undergone some unattractive alterations. It had however the bare bones of possibility that Mario knew he could work on. Attracted by the opportunities he checked into a nearby five star hotel with nothing to recommend it.
Showered and changed he decided to take a stroll around the neighbourhood looking for signs of wealth and character, things that would attract his clientele to a hotel in Miami Beach. The location was superb, beachfront with great views out over the Ocean. As he wandered along the boardwalk he was overtaken by young men out jogging in tiny short showing off tanned muscular butts and legs smooth bronzed chests and muscled arms.
Mario found it difficult to take his eyes off these guys. The feeling was mutual; several of the men gave him more than a second glance. One guy eyed him up and down, turning as he jogged, to ogle Mario with obvious sexual innuendo. Mario again felt the disturbing experience of his cock hardening like it never did for his wife. He was confused and mortified.
Caitlin – July 1979