Bustling through the concertina shutters pulled back in anticipation of their arrival, the chattering students fell abruptly silent. A stunning room of rich wood, sleek plaster and ornate tile, the lobby of the resort made for a mesmerising sight, surrounded on all sides by verdant palms swaying gently in the cool ocean breeze. Even the callous and insensitive among the group were struck dumb by the sight, and for one long moment a hushed reverence hung over them.
Predictably, the novelty wore off quickly among the jocks, few of whom had the capacity to appreciate true beauty, and Milo unceremoniously shattered the serenity. ‘Holy shit, would you look at this place? Can you believe we’ve got it to ourselves for the whole week?’
Their captivation broken, the rest of the group sprang to life again, spilling into the building to the rhythmic thrum of suitcase wheels across tile. Swirling around the furniture like a river through rocks they soon filled the beautiful space, naturally drawing into their own social pockets the way only students can. A few explored the lobby, running their hands across every surface as if they thought they were dreaming and were constantly trying to convince themselves otherwise. The rest slumped down into the wicker chairs and plush white sofas, resuming their conversations with renewed excitement: they were finally here.
Before long, the cluster of girls that made up the bitchy clique turned their attention to how best they could brag to everyone back home.
‘We have to get some selfies by the pool,’ Roxie said giddily, her long nails already clicking on her phone screen as she hunted down the perfect filter.
‘What about the beach?’ Gracie replied. ‘My sister was so jealous when I told her this place had a private cove. She’ll be even more jealous when she sees how white the sand is.’
Harriet rolled her eyes. ‘Ugh, do you girls even hear yourselves? Did you not read the brochure? This place has a world class spa. Brag about the pool and the beach if you want, but this bitch is going to get some luxury relaxation in before we go out tonight.’
So distracted fervently agreeing with their queen bee, the girls failed to notice the brief glance Harriet cast toward the jocks. They had bundled about one of the tables and were busy arm-wrestling for who got first dibs on their rooms. An uncharacteristic flush rose on her cheeks as she eyed Colin leaning against a pillar. She did not allow her gaze to linger long; before anyone could catch her staring, she turned away and strutted out into the lush gardens of the complex, her entourage trailing behind her.
As the clique left, three more figures appeared in the doorway.
Miss Kennedy stumbled in, her dark hair frizzy and perspiration pricking her brow, almost tripping over her own suitcase in her haste to address the departing clique.
‘Wait, girls, just a minute! We should really…’ But they were already gone and Miss Kennedy’s attempts to draw them back petered into quiet mutterings to herself, aware that the other students were staring at her.
Miss Leyland arrived looking less frantic. ‘Leave them, Stella,’ she said under her breath. ‘You know they never listen. They’ll find their way about well enough, I’m sure.’
Hearing Mister Smith come up beside her, Miss Leyland turned to him with a subtle gleam in her eye, only to find him distracted. His eyes were fixed on the door through which the clique had just left, as though he imagined staring at it hard enough might draw them back.
Lugging her suitcase across to the front desk, Miss Leyland rang the bell with a little more force than necessary. ‘Hello? I believe we’re expected. Fitzsimmons’ University.’ When there came no reply she rang the bell again, however the same silence to meet her ears.
Miss Kennedy arrived in time to prevent her frowning colleague from ringing a third time. ‘It looks like we were expected,’ she said, nodding to an envelope laid on the desk, addressed to the group in a sleek hand. Beside it were arranged a host of small red key cards. Miss Kennedy read the letter within aloud.
Dear staff and students of Fitzsimmons’ University
Please allow me to welcome you and profess my congratulations on your graduation. It is a pleasure to have you here.
As you have likely already noticed, the resort operates with minimal staff. Despite this, you can rest assured you will not go wanting. All of the villas are stocked for your convenience and the leisure facilities are available twenty-four hours a day should you require them.
Your key cards are arranged on the front desk. These provide you access to all areas of the resort, including the villas, leisure facilities and private beach. Please take one each and feel free to choose any villa you like to enjoy your week.
I am excited to welcome you all, and I trust your time here will be most stimulating.
Before Miss Kennedy had finished reading, Milo had taken the opportunity to vault a sofa, scramble up to the front desk and snatch up one of the cards. Haring out into the gardens with his suitcase bouncing along behind him, his triumphant cry floated back. ‘I’m going to get the best room, losers!’
Immediately the rest of the jocks were after him, barging up to the desk to grab their own cards.
‘You lost the arm wrestle!’ Felix howled, leading the charge after Milo, tailed closely by the remaining jocks.
One after another the assorted friendship groups came up to claim their own key cards before hurrying after their peers, eager to see what else the resort had in store, and the lobby emptied almost as quickly as it had filled.
In the commotion Mister Smith slipped away too, leaving only the two women and Nathaniel in the room. The shy young man had clearly been waiting for his peers to leave before making a move. Checking several times to ensure everyone was gone, he took up a card and headed out to pick his accommodation for the week.
‘Hopefully this week does that boy some good,’ Miss Leyland sighed once he had left, ‘God knows he could do with the chance to make some friends.’
Miss Kennedy nodded. ‘We can only hope.’
Shrugging, Miss Leyland took up the two remaining key cards, pocketed one and handed the second to her companion. ‘Who knows, maybe this place will do everyone some good? I know a few of that bunch could do with a confidence boost. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Now, would you care to join me in finding what accommodation they’ve left for their poor old teachers? Because I for one need some rest before tonight if we’re going to be out as late as I think we are.’
Small as it was, the island had a surprisingly vibrant nightlife. An assortment of bars littered the winding streets, including a half dozen establishments set around a small cobbled plaza in one of the backstreets. All the bars were tiny little places, little more than holes in the walls, a handful of tables clustered under each awning, yet altogether they made the plaza the perfect spot to accommodate the group for the night’s celebrations.
And there was plenty of reason to celebrate. Between them they had studied everything from journalism to literature, had provided the university’s English department with the best results it had known in over a decade, and already a handful had been actively headhunted or received promising career offers. Despite studying a variety of topics they had drawn together into a larger unit as a result of learning under the same department.
Though graduation celebrations had been inevitable, it was the clique who had really pushed their plans to the next level. Not content with a simple night on the town, they had suggested a holiday abroad to really celebrate. And what the clique wanted, the clique got.
Little of the bill had been footed by the students, of course. The clique had effortlessly persuaded their parents into paying the bulk of the cost, with the remainder of the students offering what they could afford. There was no charity in the gesture – the clique merely wanted to boast their wealth and status – but then nothing Harriet or her cohorts ever did came with kind intentions. The clique had even invited the teachers (mainly in an effort to make them feel old and lonely) though neither Miss Kennedy, Miss Leyland or Mister Smith had been given any choice the matter: the board of governors were very restless about the whole thing. The last thing they needed were the best students of the year sullying the university’s name with a wild, drunken jaunt abroad right after graduation. As such, they had ordered the tutors to go and keep the trip as sensible as possible.
Fortunately, as the night unfolded the governors’ concerns looked to be unfounded. Despite the free flow of drink there was not so much as a tiff among the group, just good fun and jovial banter. Sat out of the way on a small wrought iron table, the three teachers kept an eye out for any trouble, but increasingly it seemed they would have the chance to relax this week too.
Despite this relief, Miss Kennedy found herself shuffling awkwardly in her seat most of the night. Every now and then she would catch one of the jocks eyeing up a member of the clique or a passing local woman, the lust in their eyes raw and scorching. Each time the same thought rose in her mind: it’s been years since anyone looked at me like that.
Peering slyly over the rim of her glass her thoughts would drift, her eyes lingering on one of the men, imagining the stirring in his jeans, the heat of his body, the strength of his hands, the throb of his – a sharp pinch of her arm would briefly distract her. But at the back of her mind the thoughts of what might happen if she chanced into the wrong villa later that night and left her reservations on the doorstep persisted, impossible to silence.
Distracted as she was, she didn’t notice that one jock regarded the clique with an entirely different expression. Glaring at the bubbly, gossiping girls, Colin’s lip curled with distaste and he made an active effort to give them all a wide berth. Whenever the jocks moved to mingle with the clique he would excuse himself to a more comfortable distance.
On these occasions, he often found Nathaniel as his companion. The awkward young man was quite content to engage in limited conversation – one-word answers to basic questions they both knew were purely for courtesy’s sake. It was hardly taxing conversation, however Colin found it irritating nonetheless, and as the night wore on Colin opted to take solitary walks through the surrounding streets just to get away from him.
If he had been paying more attention during these brief strolls, Colin might have noticed a girlish tittering in one of the darkened doorways of an adjacent street; he might have spotted the broad frame of Mister Smith, might have recognised Kaitlyn’s melodic giggles. He might even have been able to make out the roll of their bodies as they made out away from the prying eyes of the group.
As it was, he didn’t notice any of these things. Still, that wasn’t to say Kaitlyn’s absence went unnoticed; a missing member of the clique never did. For those with more than whit of intelligence, it only took a glance to the teacher’s table – from which Mister Smith was notably missing – to correctly assume where the pretty blonde might be, and whose arms she might be there in.
Surrounded by the pleasant hum of conversation, Sia and Benjamin were surprisingly morose amidst it all. Sealed in their own bubble, they sipped their drinks stiltedly, as though they didn’t much want to be there in the first place. They had the air about them of a lover’s tiff, only more dejected, apparently plagued by an upsetting truth they could not bear to share with anyone else.
Sat a little distance away, Phoebe watched the moping couple curiously. Sure, they were hardly a conventional pair, but she had never seen them so miserable. Once or twice she considered trying to lift their spirits. But how? What would she say?
The arrival of Brooke soon distracted her.
‘Me, Ace and Nia are having a movie marathon tomorrow,’ she declared, settling down beside Phoebe with a vibrant cocktail in hand. ‘Their villa has a whole room just for DVDs. Want to join us?’
Phoebe raised an eyebrow, sucking on the straw of her own drink. ‘Are you serious? We come to a tropical paradise and you want to stay in and watch films? I think I’ll pass. I picked up this guide to the island earlier. There’s a traditional market in the town square tomorrow. Merchants from across the archipelago will be there. I was thinking of heading down for the day. Was going to ask you if you wanted to join me, but it sounds like you’ve already signed your life away.’
Brooke laughed. ‘I guess I have. Is the market on any other days while we’re here?’ Phoebe nodded. ‘In that case, I’ll take a rain check on that offer until then.’
‘I look forward to it,’ Phoebe smiled.
‘Am I hearing you girls aren’t coming down to the beach tomorrow?’
Turning, they found Jewel leaning against the wall beside them.
Brooke shrugged. ‘So? Not everyone is going to the beach, you know? Besides, who wants to spend all day listening to the plastics droning on about guys, makeup and designer shoes?’
‘Exactly. Some of us have more adventurous tastes,’ Phoebe added. ‘I’m sure we’ll go to the beach at some point, just not tomorrow.’
Jewel’s eyes lingered on Phoebe as she took a drink of her whiskey. ‘Pity, I was hoping to see you put all the other girls to shame. I bet once you step out the guys don’t give a second thought to anyone else.’
Phoebe’s cheeks flushed and she looked away. Everyone knew Jewel was a better womaniser than most of the jocks – in fact, she’d probably had more girls in her bed than the entire football team combined. It wasn’t the first time she’d set her sights on Phoebe, either. She was never pushy, but she was certainly persistent, and Phoebe had lost track of how many insinuating comments or alluring glances Jewel had dished her way over the years. If she was honest, Jewel’s flirtatiousness wasn’t unwelcome. It was kind of hot, actually. Not that she’d ever admit it, of course. And tonight was no exception.
Suddenly fascinated by the pattern on her cocktail glass, Phoebe tried not let her arousal show. ‘I’m sure you’d like that. Less competition for you.’
‘What, for those uppity bitches? Nah, they’re not my type. Too shallow. Too vanilla.’ She paused, a smirk rising on her lips, ‘No, some of us have more adventurous tastes.’
Phoebe breathed a sigh of relief as she sidled off. She attempted to move the conversation on, but now all Brooke was interested in was teasing her about Jewel and for the rest of night she found herself squirming at the thought of what sordid things the flirtatious tomboy had envisioned for them.
The night was inky and deep when they finally retired to the resort. Unsteady from the drink and weary from the flight, they were soon asleep, filling the villas with the fitful mumbles of sleeping drunks. As the villas fell dark only the moonlight illuminated the name wrought in iron over the arched gates: Fantasy Resort…
Thanks for reading!
Well, this is it, the start of my Lake Fantasy sequel series. For those of you who read that series, you will know that these stories aren’t like my normal content. While I do enjoy showcasing the work of models through my work, most stories start with an idea or a specific image and then it’s incidental which models are used in that story.
Lake Fantasy and now Fantasy Resort flip that idea on its head. Each story in this series is written specifically with the intention of showcasing the work of a particular model and the story is therefore written around whichever gallery of theirs I settled on, which all weave together into an overarching narrative. The models I’ve picked out for this series are some of my favourite content producers in the industry and it is a pleasure to be able to showcase their work through my blog.
I’ll explain in more depth as the stories come out, but this series was an absolutely massive undertaking and took much longer to write than its predecessor. It has taken me almost an entire year to get this written, edited and scheduled, since I started the first week after Lake Fantasy was fully published and I’m writing these comments now at the very end of May after spending the whole day scheduling and several weeks editing my work. Part of that was due to having more responsibilities than when I was writing Lake Fantasy, however I have also struggled severely with writer’s block, structural issues and character issues when writing this which made it a very long process to complete. I could not have done it without some very special people, but I’ll withhold my thanks for them until the epilogue.
That said, I would like to give a shout out to Mara Mischief, whose Mischief Manor premise initially inspired my Lake Fantasy series and therefore this series too. I cannot urge you enough to check it out. Like Lake Fantasy, Fantasy Resort is set in the same universe as Mischief Manor, and references to both stories are dotted here and there through the chapters but particularly in the epilogue.
As I mentioned, this has taken up a vast amount of my time over the past year, and particularly in 2021 it has resulted in me being pretty absent from my Twitter and just the community in general in the pursuit of getting it all finished. I’m hoping that by the time this goes live I’ll have been able to boost my activity again, but just in case that isn’t the case this series is the reason for my absence and I hope to be active again as soon as possible.
Starting from tomorrow, I will be releasing three chapters per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, then for the final week of August there’ll be some additional chapters releasing over that last weekend ready for the epilogue to go live on Monday 30th.
Make sure you come back tomorrow for chapter one, and welcome to Fantasy Resort!
I would love to hear your thoughts on my work, so please leave me a comment!
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