Same Time Next Year

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Book: Same Time Next Year by Jenna Bennett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jenna Bennett
 
    SAME TIME NEXT
YEAR
     
    The womanin room 512 got to
the hotel first.
    Elizabeth was behind the front desk, and at
first, she didn’t know who the new guest was. She’d been at the Piedmont for less than six months, and hadn’t seen Mrs.
512 before.
    She’d heard rumors, though. A lot of
them, lately. Those who had been working here longer said Mrs. 512 had been
coming to the Piedmont for seven or eight
years. Always on the same night. Always to the same room.
    As had he. Mister 510.
    Elizabeth rolled her eyes. Privately, of
course. The Piedmont had too much class for
anything else, and Mrs. Dugan the front desk manager was always getting on her
for inappropriate behavior. But really, who did they think they were kidding?
Every year like clockwork, two separate reservations, two different names,
always the same two rooms with a connecting door between. And just look at the
woman’s hand. If that thin white line at the base of the third finger wasn’t
from a missing wedding band, Elizabeth
was a mongoose.
    Still, she managed a stiff smile,
folding her hands on the counter while making sure her own thick gold band was
prominently displayed. “Good afternoon. May I help you?”
    “I’d like to check in, please.” Mrs.
512 was gorgeous, with high cheekbones, big, green eyes, and perfect skin. Nice
voice, too. Deep and sultry. And not only was she beautiful, she was rich. That
was a BMW she’d driven up in, and the shoes on her feet were Manolo Blahniks . Elizabeth had seen shoes like those before,
but never in real life. “Regina
White. Room 512.”
    “Of course.” Elizabeth
turned to the computer, wondering what Ms. White would do if Elizabeth told her that there’d been a mix-up
and 512 was unavailable. Pitch a fit, most likely. She looked like the kind of
woman who was used to getting her way. Women like her always were.
    And she’d probably complain, and then
Mrs. Dugan would be upset, and it was best not to upset Mrs. Dugan. Elizabeth needed this
job. She and Jim had just gotten married, and things were tight. She couldn’t
afford to get fired. Better just to do her job and tell Jim about the people in
510 and 512 later.
    “There you are.” She pushed the
keycard to room 512 across the counter.
    Ms. White picked it up, her long, red
nails bright against the black granite counter. “Thank you.” She smiled,
anticipation already shimmering in her eyes.
    Elizabeth watched resentfully as Regina White
wheeled her overnight bag toward the elevator, her high heels clicking on the
marble floor of the lobby. And then the elevator doors closed, and she went up.
    It wasn’t but a half hour later that
Mr. 510 arrived.
    And Elizabeth, who had a brand-new
husband at home, blushed when he leaned on the counter and smiled at her. “I’d
like to check in, please. Room 510. Tyler Harrison.”
    She smiled back. Couldn’t help it.
“Of course.”
    He was too old for her, in his
mid-thirties at least, but very good-looking. Rumpled brown hair, bright
blue eyes, dimples when he smiled. Tall and lean in a navy business suit with a
white shirt, open collar, and a tie that was as loose as it could get without
being undone.    
    “Here you go.” She slid the keycard
across the counter to him, her own nails short and serviceable. Natural.
    “Thank you.” He gave her another
dazzling smile before picking up his briefcase and heading for the elevator.
    “And they’re off,” a voice murmured
next to Elizabeth’s
ear. She jumped. And turned, to look into Mrs. Dugan’s eyes.
    “Romantic, isn’t it?” the older woman
added, watching Mr. 510 waiting for the elevator. His stance was impatient, a
finger tapping the seam of his blue slacks and his eyes on the decreasing
numbers above the door. 4. 3. 2...
    Elizabeth stared at her. How was this
situation romantic? “They’re married!”
    Mrs. Dugan nodded. “I know.”
    “And they’re here every year! That’s
what you said, right? Same date, same rooms.

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