(( The following Chapters will have less characters involved since I did not want to keep juggling them around all together back and forth. Here is the next Chapter. I hope you all enjoy it and let me know what you all think by posting in here. Happy New Years to everyone. ))
~Chapter 6: Business as Usual?~
Alex hopped off the couch when the stirring in the other rooms appeared to cease. He did think it was appropriate for them all to try and spend the first day doing something together, but if they were not about to do anything for the moment, he was going to go on and go for a swim. He pulled out his swim trunks, slipping on a black t-shirt as he walked towards the bathroom. Walking back out, he slipped on some sandals and walked out after grabbing a towel and his tablet in a black carrying case. It may have been a vacation, but the young businessman did have a few errands to run and schedule. One of those errands were to see if the owner was interested in selling a few merchandise items from his mother's Jewelry Store. He would have enjoyed it if his mother contacted him a whole lot more about things not pertaining to money, but money did come at a price it seemed, which was all the more reasons as to why he did not drag himself off to an Ivy League school. It seemed like all he was at that to his family was a reliable asset.
Alex slapped on some shades after placing the towel around his neck, closing the door behind him. He walked down the halls, the back ends of his flip flops slapping against his heels as the small noise bounced off the walls. He pressed the down button on the elevator, waiting for it to come up. When the door had opened, a female bellhop had walked out with a group of people that consisted of two women and two boys.
“Lucky them....” he muttered, the curves of his mouth slightly turning in disgust as his face gave an appalling look as he walked in and pressed the button to the first floor. He was not annoyed at them, but rather the fact that he got tricked out of a bed again. He was not all too pleased about getting the couch, even if it was soft. Everytime he made a promise not to fall for the same routine again, it ended up hitting him right dead in the head when his eyes had stayed glued to his phone for too long, attempting to pay attention to the chatter that took place around him. He chuckled at the thought of Kristin as she had an immature party going boyish attitude most of the time with the distinct motive to be sneaky. When the screen had read the first floor, the bell chiming as the doors slid open, Alex walked out to a much more calmer lobby. Unlike Owen, he did not prefer to be around crowded areas. The more calm and sane it was, the better. It felt like riots or protests, all of which he was not too fond of with his father being the CEO of the AmCorp Pharmaceutical Company. There was an instance where one of the clowns stood outside with supposed bombs strapped to him. It was the man instead who got the shocking surprise when he pressed the button. With Alex being twelve at the time, it was not a pleasant sight to see a man's eyes bulge out, the skin turning red as his body boiled from jolts of electricity surging his body. The justified reason for coming to the building was that he was fired from not following procedures after being told numerous times that he was not following them. Alex did not like to think of himself as a pampered snob deeming those that failed as unfit and unruly to climb up corporal ladders, but he was given numerous times to get his act together. The entire ordeal had left a bitter taste in his mouth towards tolerance at times, a taste he was certain would be washed out the more he hung around a different crowd and the more he filled that taste with another bitter taste to drown out anymore sorrows. He truly hated being alone at times. The more he was alone, the more it gave him time to think. Some things were just worth forgetting.
Alex, walked out the main door as the pool came into view. Seeing a couple of people in the pool, a little more than he was accustomed to, he began to tread backwards slowly, feeling the thought to be a bust, until he noticed the poolside bar, the smell of charcoal and raw meat burning attracting him. Alex sat on one of the stools, looking up at the menu before pulling the white tablet out of the carrying case. Tapping the screen a few good times, he began to open up presentations and slide shows about why Mastyr Jewelry was the best choice, cutting edge technology to craft diamonds and other accessories...the works. He groaned as one of the women behind the bar approached him.
“Is there anything I can get you, sir?” She asked, a nice sultry British accent trailing off in her otherwise melodious tone. Alex glanced up to see a short blonde haired woman smiling at him, a set of pearly white teeth with violet colored lipstick greeting his eyes, the name Stacy in black letters on her gold painted nametag that was positioned above her breasts on the red blouse. The brunette gave a warm smile back as he looked at the menu of the drinks they had. His nose had slightly scrunched up, his eyes squinting a little as his mouth curved backwards, a complete bewildered look.
“I'm sorry” he said shaking his head. “I have no idea what any of those drinks are on the menu other than the lemonade.” Shock smiled and turned before giving out a shocking “Oh” as if realizing something.
“Right! Here on Calypso Islands, we blend our own drinks and beverages” She said as her bluish gray eyes looked at the list of drink, one of her violet nails pointing at each name as she began to read them off. “MynoChrome is the equivalent of Coke Beverages. We have caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks to it along with anything the Coke has be it from Zero to Diet, Cherry to Lime. Cedar Springs is just like Sprite, Sierra Mist, or whatever citric flavored drink these people can come up with. It's ridiculous right?” She asked in terms of how many drinks certain companies could come up with against rivaling businesses only for them to taste the same.
“Right, though in the end, they still make money” Alex said as she trailed off to read the rest. Alex smiled at the thought of everything so far. “Wow, your manager thought of everything for this island huh? Where does a man like that get all of the funding?” Stacy only stared at him wide eyed as she only smiled.
“It's interesting right? No one really knows unless he was one of those rich people no one ever hears about. I hear he comes from some small town in Europe and he basically brought his skills over to another place and it worked out for him.”
“I see” Alex said. “So he's like another Andrew Carnegie huh?” Stacy only continued to stare at him with the same wide eyed expression as if she was all looks and no brains or just completely clueless.
“You know? The Scottish man that took his skills over to America and did well with Steel?” Her look had not changed at all, a wave of awkwardness hitting the area as Alex waited to see if she would catch on or not as she only stared at him like some mannequin. The splash in the pool by someone did not make it any easier.
“Right....” Alex said as he looked up at the menu. “So, I will just have a strawberry lemonade.” After stating what he wanted, the lady began to twitch and spring to life.
“Coming right up” she said in the same cheery mood as she trailed off. Alex shook his head as he pulled out his wallet, pressing buttons on the pad when he had it out.
“It's only natural that you run into a few weirdos” he said as she came back with a glass full of the orange colored beverage with small chunks of strawberries and tangy yellow orbs that fill lemons. Alex looked at the price and was ready to pay, except that Stacy pushed his hand back.
“Oh no! You're VIP, no?” She said pointing to the card that was around his neck. Alex glared down at it, completely forgetting about the status and the fact that he did not recall placing it around his neck. He turned the screen to black on the tablet as he tried to recall when he even placed it on.
“Oh...yea...” he could only say before taking a sip out the drink as the woman only stared at him again, her head moving a slightly as if she was in either awe or looking at some adorable little kid. The look was beginning to bug Alex as she stood there lifeless and clueless yet again. “So I hear this island is partially man made? How did you come about working for Mister Kreiss?” Upon saying those words, Stacy began to bag back into the bottles of drinks behind her stationed on the walls as her eyes blinked. She looked around for few good minutes, the mood that the Alex saw of her, bubbly smiles and easy on the eyes, replaced with a look of confusion, fear, and panic. Her mouth opened widely as high wails hit his ears, the lady beginning to twitch and revolt while screaming. The screaming soon faded as she was only muttering unintelligible mutter, people, like Alex, only sitting there as they got ready to try and help her as her body jerked violently as if she was having some kind of seizure. A set of familiar arms embraced her as Dylan pulled her close, allowing her to fall into his arms.
“Easy now....there there” he said to her as she began to calm down in a tone that appeared to be as if he was singing. Two men in white scrubs had appeared out of one of the resort buildings and began to escort Stacy, who had now appeared to be calm, laughing as if she was drugged on some kind of medicine. Dylan pinched the bridge of his nose as he sighed in frustration. He looked at Alex, smiling a little before turning to look at everyone who had all slowly gathered to see what was going on.
“Everyone, please remain calm. Everything is alright” he said as people began to go back to their business, some getting up and walking away from the bar to go somewhere else, spooked from the Barbie meltdown. Alex was getting ready to leave with the drink as well until Dylan began to speak.
“I am sorry you all had to see that. Stacy is a workaholic. We tried to get her to take a break and relax this week, but she kept on insisting and...” Alex chuckled as he was not trying to cut him, but it happened.
“Really, it's alright. I know the feeling all to well. Some people just don't deal with stress all too well” Alex said as he got up. Dylan let out a breath of relief, his breath coming to a slow after having to rush over, glad to know Alex was not freaked out by the recent ordeal.
“Yea...I was getting ready to take some hours off as well” he said as his own attire was now different from what he had originally wore not too long ago. The uniform of the blue polo shirt and khaki pants were now replaced with a white wife beater shirt and white cargo shorts. “So I see you're out and about by yourself? The click getting to be too much on you” he said joking, referring to Owen and the others. Alex nodded a little as he looked at the pad.
“You could say that. I had a few errands to run, which reminds me” he said as he was ready to get cut to the chase. “My mom. She sells jewelry and other fashion accessories. I told her how I would be going on the trip and she thought the resort could be the break she has been looking for with creating tropic themed accessories....”
“So she's looking to work alongside my father right?” Dylan asked as Alex nodded. “It seems like your parents are well into business...like father...It could work, but who said you have to primarily focus on that huh?” Dylan had lightly poked Alex in a playful joking manner on the shoulder, which caused him to tense up. Feeling the muscles tense up, Dylan backed up slightly. “Oh...Sorry. We've been isolated a lot, I just thought....Sorry” he said, not trying to cause the other to feel awkward or bugged out.
“Oh no, it's alright. It was just random is all. Yea, you are right though. I should not focus on that too much. I'm not the usual “business first” kind of person. When my parents ask me to do something, I try to be punctual about it.”
“That seems like something my father has in common.” Dylan noticed the towel around his neck and the swim trunks, his hands motioning towards the objects. “Were you planning to go for a swim or something?” Alex examined the towel and nodded.
“Oh yea, I was, but the pool is not as deep as I was hoping it to be.”
“So you swim? Like the sport?”
“No. I play Baseball. Swimming is just something I do in my spare time, though I probably could give a few of the recent Olympians a run for their money” Alex bragged. Dylan gave an amused look as his face gave an expression of curiosity.
“Is that right? I'd like to see that. There's a deeper pool in the bigger Gym not far from here. We can cross the beach to get there. I could give you a small tour along the way. That is if you're up for it.” Alex looked around for a few for signs of any outrageous incident to break loose again.
“Sure. If anyone breaks out in another panic attack, I'm dipping out” he said sarcastically as Dylan laughed. Alex got out the seat, finishing off the drink as Dylan walked towards the trail that led to the beach. The soft golden sand touched Alex's exposed feet as the sound of birds singing in the nearby trees were heard, a wave of calmness surrounding Alex. The water nearby in bluish and light greenish shades gave a beautiful radiance from the sun shining, with a few palm and tropical plants bowing under it. “This is nice...how did your father manage to create this all....wait, I need to ask this. Did your build this island partially?” Dylan stopped leading them along as he turned to look back at Alex who was staring out into the ocean.
“A person could get lost for days staring out into it...No, restoring it more like it.”
“How was he able to do that?”
“He has his secrets.” Alex stared at him as if he was waiting to hear him explain. “I suppose I could tell you, but you have to beat me in four laps first” he said. Alex looked amused.
“So if I beat you, you would just up and out your father's secrets?”
“You have to beat me first” Dylan said as he smirked.
“That sounds like a challenge. What if you win instead?”
“I'll think of something” Dylan said as he walked towards the water, letting the small waves of water brush up against his toes. “I suppose this counts as part of your tour, so I could tell you the stories the locals have said about this place. I'll tell you one for now, though” he said as he motioned for Alex to come closer. Alex walked over as Dylan pointed out into the sea. “The story I am about to tell you will sound like complete rubbish. This story talks of how this island has shifted from Greece and Rome to South America.” Alex had looked at him and chuckled.
“Shifted? Like Tectonic Plate Shifting?”
“Yea. Eventually the plates from whatever caused the island to shift converged with other plates here, causing the island itself to sink after other explorers discovered it. Apparently there are stories about explorers like Christopher Columbus and early vikings that traveled around this area that came to this island before it sunk, only for them to never return. They vanished into thin air really. The only story that seems plausible is the island shifting.” Dylan stopped talking and turned Alex around to look at the nearby forest. His hand pointed at white pillars in the forest.
“Those are what many historians write off as pillars of the Corinthian Order. There are a lot more on the island that the tour guide will show you. The thing is that we never put them there when father began to invest in the island. You don't have to believe it though as I have trouble trying to do the same” he as he Dylan began to walk down the beach again, Alex following as he pointed at some more nestled up in the small hills above them.
“Hey, it's possible I guess, but how does that explain how your father restored the island?" Alex asked as he examined the other pillars from the distance. History was not his strong point when it came down to trying to determine if it was a lie or not, but as Dylan said, Alex really did find it unbelievable. As the two continued to walk down the beach for almost a mile, Dylan pointed at a thirty foot dome shaped building. He smiled as he looked back at Alex, running towards it.
“Again, that's strictly confidential, but we made it.” He said while running, Alex taking off the flip-flops to trail off after him. Upon getting to the building that seemed to be isolated in the forest, the massive building stood higher than Alex thought.
“Wow, just how big is this place?”
“It has ten floors, the bottom floor making eleven, each with certain exercise equipments. We want out employees to be in shape any way possible. We don't have time for lazy people or else that will cause people get hurt.” Dylan opened the door, holding it open for Alex to walk in. Seeing numerous people on treadmills and other bipedal equipment, Dylan pointed over to the elevators. “The pool is on the bottom floor.”
Dylan pressed the down button as Alex was ready to see how this all would turn out. “When I win this” he said “You have a lot of things to tell me about this place and not that nonsense you try to feed regular tourists.” Dylan smirked as the door slid open.
“If you win...” he said as he stepped in with Alex behind him. The smell of Chlorine hit their nose as they entered inside the cold dark room, the only lights inside the the thirty feet deep pool the stretched from one end of the room to the other. Alex looked at it in paranoia as he looked at how deep the pool could get, there being no shallow end to it.
“Wow, this pool is deep...” He said as he stepped back in case Dylan tried to push him in. Dylan chuckled as he looked at it.
“You said you could give an Olympian a run for their money right? Last I recall, there have been some of those Olympians that swam the English Channel.” He looked at Alex and began to tease. “You're not chickening out now. After all, you said you want to know my father's secrets and not after we went through all the trouble.” Alex grinned, feeling slightly suckered into it. He did know how to swim after all. He took his shirt off, well defined washboard abs exposed, a combination of both a swimmer's and baseball player's build. Dylan took his short off as well, his toned body exposed. Alex looked at him.
“Four laps right?” Dylan nodded as he stared back at the water. They both got into a ready position. Dylan began to count them off.
“Three....” He said as Alex anticipated for him to say the next two words, already eager to jump inside the water. “Two....One....” Dylan said. Upon saying the word “GO”, Alex dived in the water, his body immediately propelling through the water, both arms stretched out to the front and both legs extended to the back. His head emerged out the water as his arms began to alternate from side to side, one arm pushing and pulling in the water while the other recovers until it is used to carry him across the water. At a small glance, Alex could see Dylan under the water. The boy only came up for air once as far as Alex could see from his face coming up for air on each recovering arm. After making it to one end, Alex could no longer see Dylan anywhere. He launched back off, his feet fluttering through the water as he continued back to the other side.
Alex rose up only to the same results. Dylan was nowhere to be seen at all. A whistle pierced the air from the far end as Dylan sat on the edge of the water. He could hear Dylan laughing as he began to shout at him. “I thought you said you were going to beat me! What's keeping you!?” Alex let out exasperated breaths as he dove back in the water. Dylan chuckled as he jumped back in a few seconds after. Counting the second lap, Alex continued to go at it, the length of the water beginning to tire him out. He was beginning to take back what he meant by those words. Halfway into his third lap, he swam back towards the end they started at. Upon placing his hands to launch himself out the water and climb up, a hand extended as Dylan only smiled, offering to help him out. Alex climbed out and lyed on the concrete floor, breathing heavily while Dylan only laughed, not breathing hard at all. He handed him his towel as Alex struggled to get up and grab it. After managing to get up, he started to wipe himself off.
“Ohh...” Dylan said in disappointing sound. “Sound like you lost. That means I win” he said as he grinned widely. Alex managed to get a chuckle out before wiping himself off some more, his ears slightly ringing as his eyes burned. He began to wipe them off as Dylan began to speak. “Alright. So Saturday is the last day you all will be here. I figure since we have to work for the week, how about you join me on a few jobs?” Alex pulled the towel off of his face.
“You want me...to work right?” He asked making sure he had heard right, the other boy's nod confirming it. “Alright. That would give them a few good laughs.” Dylan chuckled again, his mouth wide open with a smile.
“Very well then. You could learn a few things about my father, so it's a win-win” he said as he walked towards the elevator after drying himself off. Alex walked towards elevator slowly.
“Where...do you...get all that energy?” Alex asked in between breaths as the door opened.
“That's a secret of my own. Unlike my father, I'll let you know about it. Just not right now” he said as the floor took them back up. Walking out the gym that was on league with a closed football stadium, Dylan led them back to the resort. Walking inside the building, Dylan looked down the hall and then back at Alex.
“Well, I will see you later for dinner. You should try to take it easy until then. The room you have has a whirlpool instead of a tub. Maybe you could use that to massage yourself so your muscles won't be too sore.” Alex nodded as he could feel the soreness already beginning to set it after going on the walk of doom across the sand. Everything felt so heavy after getting out of the water and that included the beach as well if he had went to go for a swim there. He began to rub his neck only for Dylan to place his hand on his chin and lift his face back up. He took his hand off quickly. “Sorry about that. It's just that having your neck down like that could give you a whole lot more problems then you realize. Tomorrow, the Spa will open up. Maybe you should get a massage as well.”
Alex could feel himself slightly tensing up again, but he let it go since he thought of all the crazy massaging routines they had to go through with Baseball. Dylan could be right seeing as it was his first time going that far. Then again, that pool was really deep and long. “I'll keep that in mind. Thanks...” Alex said before stopping and turning back. “Wait, you stay here in the resort?” Dylan nodded.
“Not really. Since we are on duty for the week, we stay in a room for better convenience. Our home is on the other side and that is only some part of the island. You'll see it all eventually.” Dylan waved at him as he walked down the hall, Alex trying to wave back before giving up. Making it back to the top floor, he walked back inside his room. Unsure if anyone was still in the rooms, he walked into the bathroom with fresh clothes, leaving his trunks and shirt to dry on the shower pole. He groaned in agony as turned on the hot water, cleaning the whirlpool to be on the safe side of things. Afterwards, he walked out the room and opened the cabinets and fridge for some kind of beverage. Settling on the pink fruit juice in the bottles, he walked back inside the bathroom and closed the door, locking it. After removing his clothes, he sat in the hot water, letting the jets in the tub, massage his back as he drunk some of the juice out the bottle that surprisingly had a familiar yet not so familiar taste to it. His face reddened at the thought of how he said he would eventually drink something that would be bitter. The drink was not really bitter, there was a substance of sweet to it. He layed his head back on the stone surface that surrounded the whirpool, his face still red and this time it was not about a thought he had about something bitter, but instead something about something sweet. The thought about him being on a business trip after the talk with his parents had not even crossed his mind anymore.