The Retreat (A Clean and Sweet Romance Novella), p.1Veda Whitfield / Romance & Love
A Clean and Sweet Romance Novella
By Veda Whitfield
Copyright 2017 - Veda Whitfield
This is a book of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents are all products of the author's imagination or are used factiously.
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Table of Contents
She is a calm, health conscious yoga instructor. He is a wild, party loving, drunken, billionaire celebrity. Their lives are perfectly mismatched? or not?
Tamara Hope, health food specialist and yoga instructor, is all about living a balanced and healthy life and has recently opened her very own health retreat, where she meets Thomas.
Thomas Winter is a party-loving billionaire, who lives his life to the extreme - boozing, sex, and socializing. He can think of nothing worse than going on a retreat, but his agent promises him it will do his media image good.
Tamara and Thomas are like oil and water. He's everything that she hates in a person, and he's constantly teasing her about her lifestyle. She cannot wait for the week to be over. And yet? there's something about him that makes her want to change him. But can someone like Thomas be changed? Does he even want to change? Should he be changed?
"Okay, everyone, you're almost done. Now, take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. And again, a deep breath in and a deep breath out. One more time. And relax. Well done, class, you did great today. It's always difficult coming to yoga on a Monday, but it's a great way to start the week. Have a lovely day, and I'll see you tomorrow," Tamara said as she looked lovingly at her class. It had been a packed one that morning, which was always a pleasant surprise. She remembered when she first started teaching yoga. There had been three people in the class. Now, there were twenty-five.
"Hi Tamara. Thanks so much for class today."
"It's an absolute pleasure. Well done on being so dedicated. You've been here almost every day since you started," Tamara said to Chantal. Chantal had been so nervous on her first day and had gone to the very back of the class to try to hide from everyone. But now, she was right up in front and joining almost daily.
"I didn't think I'd love it this much. Also, when I first joined, I was so worried that everyone was going to be watching me. I thought I was going to make the biggest fool of myself."
Tamara laughed. That was the biggest reason people didn't want to join yoga. They were just so afraid. "And now, you realize that nobody cares about anyone else but themselves. Everyone is concentrating so hard on their own postures that they don't even see the person next to them. Well, you're doing great Chantal. I've noticed a big difference in you already."
"Really? That's good to hear. I feel different." Chantal beamed. "Well, anyway, I just wanted to say thank you. Have a great day, Tamara."
"You too Chantal. Oh, and before I forget, here's a pamphlet for the retreat I'm starting. If you want to come, then just pop me an email or let me know when you come in again. We only have space for a few, but we'd love it if you could join."
Chantal took the pamphlet and grinned. "Oh cool. I remember you saying that you wanted to do this. I'm glad you're going ahead with it. Just put my name down. I'll bring the money in tomorrow to pay. I definitely want to come."
Tamara wanted to reach over and hug her. She was trying to act nonchalant about the whole thing, because she didn't want anyone to know how nervous she was. What if she put the whole thing together and nobody came? Knowing that Chantal was coming was a huge weight off her shoulders. "That's great news, Chantal. I'll definitely put your name down."
"Think there's space for another two? I have two friends that would love something like this. The only reason they don't come to yoga is because of their funny working hours. But I'm certain they could get time off for the retreat."
"That sounds wonderful. Just let me know as soon as you can," Tamara said. She didn't want Chantal to know that she was the only one that had said yes, so far.
"Great. Thanks, Chantal."
Tamara walked off, beaming to herself. She had one person, or possibly three, already secured for the retreat now. As long as she had a minimum of six, she'd be happy. Of course, if she managed to get more, she'd be over the moon, but she'd told herself that six would be good. The retreat was starting in a few weeks, so she needed to start advertising for it. The only reason she had taken so long to spread the word was because she was nervous. She walked out and went to the little caf? across the road, where she always went after her morning class. Her second class began in two hours, which gave her the perfect amount of time to get some breakfast and a well-needed cup of coffee. When she wasn't doing yoga, she held health courses at the caf?, so all the workers knew her well. The moment she sat down, Wendy, whom she saw so often she now considered her a friend, came up to her with a cappuccino.
"One cappuccino with almond milk. Your breakfast is on its way," Wendy said. Wendy knew exactly what she was going to order, because she had the same thing every single day. When she'd first started going to the caf?, she had experimented with a bunch of different options, but she had finally settled on her favorite - two poached eggs, half an avocado, spinach, bacon, and baby tomatoes. She was all about a big healthy breakfast to start the day, and she had plenty of time to let her stomach settle before her next yoga class.
"Thanks so much, Wendy."
"How did today's class go? I wanted to come, but then John called in sick, so I had to do his shift," Wendy said and sat down beside her. The caf? was quiet, and the boss had no problem with the staff members sitting with Tamara as long as they got up when someone walked in. Tamara was almost a staff member herself, anyway.
"Full class today. We were even a bit squashed."
"On a Monday? Wow, people are dedicated."
"Or maybe my class is just that good?"
"I think you're right there!"
Tamara laughed. "No, I'm just kidding. I doubt it has anything to do with me. Probably because summer is around the corner. Everyone is desperate for those summer bodies, now."
"Don't put yourself down. You're an amazing teacher. You're the only reason I got into yoga in the first place, anyway. Seriously.Any cute guys in the class today?"
Tamara chuckled. The two of them were single, and while Tamara had no interest in finding a man at the moment, Wendy could talk of nothing else.
"Yeah, a few actually. I'm getting more and more guys coming to the class now, which is pretty cool."
"Right, that's decided then - I'm coming to tomorrow's class. Although, they're probably just coming to ogle at you. I'm going to have to up my game tomorrow. I got these really short shorts, which I think will do just fine for this occasion. Do me a favor and try not to look so great tomorrow. Maybe don't wash your hair. Or wear some old clothes."
"Oh, please, Wendy. You're gorgeous, and you know it. Anyway, you have all the guys falling at your feet, not me."
"Yeah, but that's because you're not interested. I, on the other hand, am very interested. Very interested indeed."
Just then, another waitress walked over and placed the food in front of Tamara. It looked amazing. "Thank you. This looks so good."
"Do you need me at all?" Wendy asked. She was obviously not at all interested in going to do her work. Luckily, the place was quiet, and the other waitress told her that she had it covered.
Wendy gleaned at Tamara, "Phew. I would so rather sit here with you."
"I'm glad too. Hey? I just remembered? didn't you have a date last night?"
Wendy groaned. "Don't remind me."
"Oh dear, that bad?" Tamara asked, while tucking into her eggs. They'd been done just right and oozed out onto her plate. Wendy pulled her nose up as she always did when Tamara ate her eggs. Wendy couldn't eat eggs that were even slightly runny.
"Yeah? the date was a disaster. I probably should've known, though. There were so many signs. But I thought I'd give him a try."
"You thought you'd give him a try, because he was so good looking. You chose to ignore everything else."
"Yeah, you got me. But man, he really was good looking. And I am referring to him in the past tense, because the more I got to know him, the worse looking he became. He practically spoke about himself all night, which I don't really mind all that much. I mean, I know people do that when they're nervous. But he didn't even have anything interesting to say. It was so incredibly boring. Mostly, it was about his gym routine. Seriously? Why would I be interested in his gym routine? Oh, and he told me that he gets girls so easily. Yeah, he actually told me that. Oh, and then? get this? he ordered for me!"
"What? No way! He actually ordered for you?" Tamara giggled. It was one of the reasons she enjoyed coming to the caf? so much. Wendy always had the best stories to tell. Tamara's life was so boring in comparison. "What did he order?"
"Well, he chose steak and fries for himself, and then he said, 'and the lady will have the same but with a salad' - I'm seriously not kidding here. I mean, I should write all this down and write a novel one day."
"You know, that's not a bad idea. You have so many stories. I'd totally read your book."
"I might just do that. So? I'm coming tomorrow to scout out some of those yoga boys. Surely, guys that go to yoga can't be so into themselves. I think you should tell the class how well I'm doing too. It might make the boys notice me."
Tamara giggled. "I can do that."
"So, how about you, then?" Wendy asked, and Tamara groaned. She knew where this was going.
"What about me?" she asked, pleading innocence.
"Oh, come on, don't play that game with me. Anyone you're interested in at the moment?"
"Well, considering I saw you two days ago - well, no. Nothing has changed. I'm not sure when I would've found the time to meet someone between then and now. Also? you know I'm not interested."
"How can you not be interested in finding a man?"
"Because I'm perfectly happy being alone."
"Uh? you do realize you're twenty-nine?"
"Yes, what has that got to do with anything?" Tamara asked casually.
"Does it not freak you out that you're turning thirty this year and you haven't found a man?"
Tamara laughed, "No. Why would it freak me out? I don't need a man to make me happy. I have far too much going on in my life at the moment, anyway. I'll figure that out in a few years."
"A few years!" Wendy said. She didn't even bother to hide the look of horror on her face.
"Yeah? a few years. Let's say two, at most, then. By then, I'll be more than ready to look for love."
Wendy rolled her eyes. "Seriously? You are not right in the head. You know that?"
"I'm okay with that."
"Come on? why don't we go on a double date?"
"What? With who?"
"I don't know. I'm sure we can find someone. Maybe two guys from the class tomorrow. Come on, it will be so much fun."
"I think you and I have a very different version of fun."
"Tell me about it. Anyway? I'll twist your arm one of these days. Maybe I need to get you drunk, first. Yes! Now that's a good idea."
"You really don't know me very well, do you? You know I don't drink."
"I've seen you drink!"
"Yeah, I mean, I'm not against it. I'll have the odd glass of wine. But to be honest, I haven't had a drink in ages. I can't remember the last time I had one. I'm just too busy."
Wendy whistled. "We really need to change that. But? I'm not going to push it. I know what you're like. You're already getting all uptight and defensive on me. But don't underestimate your good friend, Wendy, here. I will make a plan."
"I don't doubt you'll try. But never underestimate your good friend, Tamara. I'll be onto you."
Wendy laughed, "Anyway, enough about boys. Tell me about your retreat. Have you decided to go for it? I so wish I wasn't working that week. You know I'd be there in a heartbeat if I could be!"
"I know. But yeah? I'm doing it. I started handing out pamphlets today. I already had one girl say yes, and she wants to bring two people with her. So, hopefully, that's a good sign. Like I said, as long as I get at least six people, I'm happy."
"Oh, I'm so sure you will. Do you have some pamphlets with you?"
"Yeah, do you want one?"
"Give me a whole bunch. I'll give them out to customers today."
"Really? Ah, that would be amazing. Thanks, Wendy." Tamara reached into her bag and handed Wendy a stack. Just then, a group of people walked in and she groaned.
"Damn, I have to go. But I'll see you tomorrow. Remember? be nice to me in class."
Tamara giggled. "I will."
Wendy went to attend to the new people, while Tamara ordered a cup of tea and sat for a little while longer. She overheard Wendy telling people about the retreat, and she couldn't help but smile. Wendy was a good friend. When she walked out, Wendy gave her a big thumbs-up. She went back to her studio to get ready for the next class and thought about what they had spoken about. Wendy was always going on at her about finding a man. She just couldn't understand why Tamara wasn't interested. She wasn't the only one. A few people had asked her the same thing, including her parents. But Tamara had no interest in finding a man, especially since she was doing so well with her business. It had taken a big leap of faith to start her own yoga company, and with the health sessions she held at the caf? and the retreat, she could finally say she felt secure in what she was doing. It had been hard work, and she'd slaved away for the past few years to get comfortable in what she was doing. A man would only get in the way. Anyway, she'd been hurt a few times by men, and she wasn't prepared to go through any of that again. It just wasn't worth it. She'd already wasted a few years of her life on men who didn't deserve it. All she wanted to do now was concentrate on her work, build up her company, and focus on herself. She'd make room for a man another time. It didn't have to be now.