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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.”

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