Except for a quick nap on British Air and passing out, I’d been up for well over twenty-four hours and desperately needed to sleep. Steam wisped from the simmering hot tub waters. It looked so warm and relaxing—it could soothe my aching muscles. I remembered the mineral waters at the Drake Hotel. This spa beckoned me, practically called my name. But I had no bathing suit.
I stripped off my clothes and tossed them on the floor. My underwear would suit me just fine. I leaned down, set the timer for five minutes and the waters bubbled to life. I placed one foot on the first stair that descended into the tub when I remembered Zara and Mr. Philip’s lesson: How to be Naked like a European Lady.
I glanced around. I was completely alone. I listened—didn’t hear a peep. The windows in the room were high on the walls and covered completely by blinds. And I was finally in Europe—now was as good a time as any. I stepped out of the water, unclipped my front-hook bra, pulled the straps down my shoulders, shrugged out of it and tossed it onto my clothes pile. Shimmied out of my panties and pitched them as well.
I was buck naked in the middle of a room I’d never even been in before, in a filthy rich penthouse condo, in a foreign country. I did a quick happy dance to celebrate my progress in conquering my modesty and then stepped into the tub’s soothing waters. “Aah.” I sighed, leaned my head back against the tiled side and flinched when that touched the painful bump on my noggin.
I flipped over onto my stomach, placed my arms on top of the hot tub’s tiled lip, turned my head to the side and rested one cheek as my legs splayed out behind me. I sighed. “The perfect end to my not-so-perfect day,” I said.
I snapped my head up and saw him standing in front of me, still dressed in the clothes he wore on the plane, wearing a big fat grin on his face.