Download wordart here
"All right then, Miss Granger, you're all set up in room 407. The elevators are around the corner and to the left, but Felix here will be more than happy to help you with your bags," as the desk clerk said this he gave a knowing nod to someone behind me and Felix magically appeared to take my bags.
"Thank you very much." I smiled as Felix took the room key and picked up my bags. I turned to follow him toward the elevators and we had just rounded the corner when I heard the desk clerk call out to me. I waited to see what more he wanted from me.
"Excuse me, miss, I was supposed to give this to you when you checked in and I almost forgot. It was left by your traveling companion when he checked in earlier today."
I couldn't help but smile at the poor guy because he had obviously gotten me mixed up with someone else. "You must be mistaken. I'm traveling alone." I smiled at the poor overworked desk clerk.
He cleared his throat and looked around to make sure no one was standing close enough to over hear what he said, "Miss, he told me that would be your response. I assure you this message is for you. Your companion did a very nice job of describing you for me. You have my word that we understand your need for discretion and privacy." He took another look around us and smiled at an elderly couple getting off one of the elevators.
I was completely confused but decided that I wanted to know what the note said. So, I played along and took it from him. I mean, what if the note actually belonged to someone famous that was staying at the hotel or an international spy or something? I just had to read it!
I also pretended to search the area for eavesdroppers. "I can't tell you how wonderful it is to know that I have such a reliable person looking out for me. Thank you." With that being said I slipped a five dollar bill into his hand and turned to get on the waiting elevator with Felix.
As soon as the doors closed I laughed out loud and opened the note to read it.
Imagine my surprise when I heard that you would be
in town and staying at the same hotel as I am!
I am in the adjoining room.
Please knock when you are ready for a Margarita.
I leaned back on the elevator wall to steady myself because I could feel my knees getting weak and my heart starting to race.
Alden! Alden is here! Oh my God, I think I'm going to throw up!
"I take it that you received some good news, Miss." When Felix said that I looked up to see that the elevator had stopped and he was holding the door open, waiting for me to exit.
I quickly left the elevator and fell in step behind him as he led me toward my room. "It's news. I can only hope it's good news." I was holding the note so tightly in my hand that my fingers were starting to turn ghostly white.
As Felix set my bags down to open the door, I tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. When he turned to look at me I put my finger to my lips in a motion to keep him quiet and whispered, "I can take it from here, thank you." He looked at me rather strangely, but
decided not to question me once he saw that I was holding out a ten dollar tip for him.
Felix tilted his head toward me as a thank you, took the tip and quietly walked away. I whispered a silent thank you to him as he was leaving.
I opened the door as quietly as I could and set my bags inside. I was relieved to see that the lights were already on. I wasn't planning on turning any lights on myself until I decided what I was going to do about Alden Cassidy.
I opened my carry on bag and took out my tooth brush. Then I decided that I probably shouldn't run the water just in case Alden could hear it in his room. I decided to rinse my mouth with
mouthwash instead. I looked at my makeup and decided that was a hopeless cause. I smelled my armpits and lifted my shirt to add more deodorant. I tried to remember what underwear I was wearing but couldn't so I had to unzip my jeans and look. They were blue and lacy and very uncomfortable, so I figured they were perfect and left them on.
Then I tiptoed over to the door that separated our rooms and put my ear up against it to see if I could hear anything coming from his side. I couldn't hear anything, so I backed away while I tried to decide what to do.
Should I knock? Should I ignore him? Should I run downstairs and try to change rooms?
I decided to put my ear against the door and listen again. As I tiptoed forward, I somehow managed to trip on my own feet and fell into the door making the loudest "thump" I had ever heard. There was no way that Alden missed hearing it or the four letter word I accidentally yelled out.
"Ginger, is that you?" I heard Alden say and I'm not sure, but I think he was laughing.
I silently said every four letter word I had ever heard before I answered him.
"Who's there?" I said trying to sound surprised. I thought that was a pretty clever response.
When he answered there was no doubt that he was indeed laughing. "You know good and well who this is. Now stop playing games and open the door."
Oh God, please don't desert me now!
I opened the door and smiled my best smile at him. "Alden Cassidy! Why are you in New York and how did you know that I would be here?"
Oh Lord, this man looks good!
Alden was standing in the doorway wearing jeans and a blue button down shirt. He had slipped his shoes off and I could see that he was wearing navy socks. He was smiling from ear to ear and he had a Margarita in each hand.
"What have you been doing? I've been standing here holding these drinks for the last five minutes. I thought you were never going to knock." He handed me one of the drinks and as I took it he stepped forward into my room. I moved to the side and pointed him toward a chair.
"You might want to get some ice or a wet towel to put on your face." Alden's eyes glistened with laughter as he spoke. "Your cheek's a little red where you knocked on the door with it."
My free hand immediately went to my face to cover it up and he immediately cracked up laughing.
"Stop laughing! It really hurts!" I whined.
He sat down and made himself comfortable while I got some ice out of the mini refrigerator that was in the room and wrapped it in a towel. I then sat in a chair opposite him and drank my drink with one hand while the other held the towel in place on my face.
"Really, Alden, why are you here?"
He looked at me for a moment as if he were trying to decide if he wanted to tell me the truth. Finally he smiled and answered, "I wanted to buy you a Margarita."
I love this man!
"I thank you for the drink. Now be honest, who told you where I would be? Was it Bonnie?"
I must have sounded as if I were close to tears, because well, I
was. I had embarrassed myself in front of this man enough in
Charlotte. Now, he was here in New York. I had wanted to think that
he would give up on his stupid idea of a story and would forget all about me. Sadly, that wasn't happening.
Alden leaned forward in his chair and placed his elbows on his knees to speak to me. This was very upsetting because it's the exact same posture my father would use when I was a kid and he was about to tell me how much trouble I was in and what the punishment would be. I just knew Alden was about to give me some kind of bad news. Then he smiled and reached out to grab my hand as I placed my empty drink glass on the table.
"I did talk to Bonnie, but she didn't tell me where you were. She actually just told me to go to hell. Then she passed the phone off to Linda. Linda asked some very personal questions that I'm sure her mother would not approve of. Then she said that she had to go pee and handed the phone off to Grace. Grace told me all about her new boy toy and she even let me talk to him. He sounds like a very nice guy. Gail grabbed the phone away from him. She is certain that you
are certifiable and is almost sure that you may be armed and dangerous."
I couldn't help but laugh. He must have called the bar again after my update yesterday. "Well, I may be unlucky in love, but I've got friends worth dying for."
"Yes, you do. So, why don't you give this hunt of yours up and go home?" He took his hand off my knee and sat back in his chair.
"I can't. I started this and I just have to see it through. Besides, I found two losers already and I can't tell you how much that has improved my self esteem."
"That's my girl. You're not a quitter and I like that. However, I must warn you that I promised Gail I would get you into a hospital no matter what."
I relaxed and placed the ice towel on the table beside my empty glass. "So, you're here to have me committed?" I smiled.
"It was the only way she was going to tell me where you were. I had to promise. You understand that, don't you?"
"I understand that you are going to be in big trouble when Gail finds out that you lied to her."
"Who said I lied? I figure that I can take you out to dinner and on the way we can stop off at a hospital and use their bathroom or something."
I reached out and slapped his knee. Laughing, I said, "You're awful! I appreciate the offer, but I already have dinner plans tonight."
He placed his hands over his heart and acted like he had been shot. "Are you going to pass up dinner with me to go out with another one of your losers?"
"Yes, but I'm not so sure this guy is a loser. You see, so far the losers have all suggested we get together for lunch and all the winners have suggested dinner. Kyle suggested dinner at his place
"Ouch, that hurts even more!" Alden watched me for a moment then asked, "What are you going to do now? We could kill a couple of hours and do some sight seeing."
"Thanks, but I'm really not interested in seeing the inside of a New York hospital. I really just want to take a nap before I have to get ready."
Alden stood up and placed his hands on the arms of my chair. He leaned in and lightly kissed my cheek where I had scrapped it. Then he stood straight and smiled at me as he ran his fingers lightly over the hurt.
"Good luck tonight. If you want to talk when you get home, I'll be next door." Then he walked out of the room and closed the door without ever giving me another look.
Drats! I should have asked him for another Margarita!