SAME TIME NEXT YEAR
The woman in 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.”