She put down the magazine. "Never been to Mallorca. I hear it's beautiful but overrun by tourists like me."
"Not if you know where to go."
She put out her hand. "Juliana Brody."
He shook it firmly. His hand was dry and smooth, his nails neatly trimmed. "Matías Sanchez." Just the faintest accent.
"Argentine. Spanish and Argentinians, we're like cousins." He shrugged.
"But you know Mallorca."
"Quite well. I travel a lot."
"So where do I have to go in Mallorca to escape the crowds?"
He paused briefly. "The most spectacular sunset you'll ever see happens at Cap de Formentor. You've got to drive up a terrifying little winding road, but by the time you get there it's worth it."
"Oh, and there's this great little restaurant in the old town called La Bóveda, nothing fancy, but their tapas are to die for. And you can have a drink nearby at Abaco, this fourteenth-century house filled with flowers and baskets of fruit. You tell them Matías Sanchez sent you, they'll take care of you right."
"Okay, I'm sold." She laughed lightly. "When it comes to Spain." She flushed. Then, to cover her embarrassment, she gestured for the server again, who'd miraculously appeared. She held up her glass of ice and mineral water. "Another one of these?"
He ordered an Ardbeg, ten years old, on the rocks.
"You know what?" she said. "I think I'd like another Sancerre after all."
The waitress gave a quick double head nod, like a shore bird swallowing a bread crust, and strode off.
"I'm afraid I was staring at you before," Matías said. "It's just that you remind me of someone I used to know." He smiled again, a nice, frank smile. He had a sexy gap between his front teeth.
"It happens with me a lot," Juliana said. She used to remind some people of the movie actress Amy Adams. '"Used to" being the operative phrase,' she thought.
And then: Is this guy actually hitting on me? It had been a while since she'd felt that particular buzz. This fellow—Matías—was easily ten years younger. And unnervingly handsome, she had to admit.
This is exactly the kind of thing I don't do, she thought. Would never do. She wanted to say to the guy: You've got me all wrong. She'd say, If you knew anything about me, you'd know I'm not your "live in the moment" kinda gal. You are wasting your time, buddy.
He tilted his head as if assessing her anew. "Know what's weird? Up close you don't look anything like her. It's just—I can't put my finger on it, it's something in the way you hold yourself. A kind of self-confidence, or maybe it's elegance, or both."
She felt herself blush, asked a question to cover her embarrassment. "So who do I almost look like?"
"The woman I used to be married to."
"Oh, I see. Nothing quite like being compared to a person's ex."
The server put down their drinks. Matías averted his gaze. "It's not like that..."
"I was only teasing. And anyway I'm sure you have a girl in your life already."
"I do. An amazing, beautiful girl. She's everything to me."
He pulled out his phone and swiped at it. She leaned in close to him and looked. An actual girl, a cute little blonde, maybe seven or eight, a gap-toothed smile, sitting in a rowboat. A red-and-white-striped T- shirt. Not what she expected.
She caught him watching her and smiled. "She's a darling. Is she with her mother?"