Owen Hunt was already sweating in his suit, when he stepped into Hotel Lockhart on Miami's South Beach. The weather in Florida was so different from London, from which he had just flown. The humidity was incredible, he thought. He couldn't wait to take that suit off and change into something light and comfortable. He silently cursed his mother for insisting that he wear a suit because it created a better impression. That suit was certainly more appropriate for the dreary London weather but not the heat and sun of Miami.
He was grateful for the air-conditioning as soon as he stepped into the lobby of Hotel Lockhart, which was going to be his home for the next two weeks. He headed straight to the front desk. There were two girls at the front desk – one Asian and the other, Latina. They were both currently busy checking in guests at the moment, so he stepped back and awaited his turn.
The Asian girl had the most amazing, curly hair he had ever seen. It was unusual, he thought, for an Asian girl to have curly hair. Usually, the ones, he had encountered in his travels, had straight hair. Her dark curly hair framed her perfectly oval face. He hoped that she would attend to him but the Latina girl was done with checking in her guests and said to him, "Good morning, sir. Are you ready to check in?"
"Yes," Owen replied, as he walked up to the front desk. He checked the girl's name-tag. "Thank you, Juanita."
"Your name, please," Juanita asked, her dark eyes sparkling. The guest was a total babe, she thought, though he did seem a little bit fair to handle the Miami sun. "Owen Hunt," he replied.
"Wow, what an accent," Juanita said. "What is it?" She checked through the computer for his name and was pleased to see that he was checked into the presidential suite. He must be a VIP, she guessed.
"Scottish," he answered.
"Ah," she said. "Lovely accent, Mr. Hunt. Do you know that Hotel Lockhart originated in Scotland? Our chairperson is Elinor Lockhart, who is from Edinburgh."
"Yes," he replied. "I am aware that this hotel has Scottish roots."
"Can I have your ID and your credit card for incidentals?" Juanita asked.
Owen handed over his identification and his credit card. Juanita checked his age on the driver's license. He was 25 years old – perfect age for someone like her. She checked his ring finger – thankfully, it was bare. She wished that Cristina, her friend working on the front desk with her, would take a look at the Scottish guest. But Cristina was too busy to notice.
Cristina, the Asian girl, was checking in a young French couple, who seemed to have a variety of questions. Cristina, who was fluent in French, was answering all of their questions in their native language. Owen was impressed at how well she was handling them. Juanita, who had failed to get Cristina's attention, noticed that her guest was glancing across at Cristina. He had done it several times during the check-in process. Damn, she thought, he likes Cristina.
"Mr. Hunt, I see you will be with us for two weeks. Business or pleasure?" Juanita asked. "A little bit of both," Owen replied, with a smile.
"I hope you are able to catch some of the beautiful sights in Miami," Juanita said, matching him with her own dazzling smile. But he missed it, as he glanced over at Cristina, again. Juanita sighed, softly and shook her head. She handed him his room key card.
"The Presidential Suite is on our very top floor. Do you need help with your luggage?" she asked. He shook his head. "That's okay. I only have one suitcase. Juanita, can you ask the concierge to come up to my room, please?" Owen asked.
"Will do," she said. "Well, thank you for choosing Hotel Lockhart and welcome to Miami." Owen took a final glance at Cristina before he left the front desk and headed to the elevator to get to his room. Juanita waited for Cristina to finish with the French couple before she spoke. "Bienvenue à Miami," Cristina said, as the couple walked away.
"Wow, they had a lot of questions," Cristina said as she watched the couple head to the elevator.
"You missed him," Juanita said. "Who?" Cristina replied. "Whom did I miss? Was it a player on the Miami Heat?" Juanita shook her head. "Of course not. What is it with you and the Miami Heat?"
"Nothing, I just like basketball," Cristina said. "Alright, now that we have established that it is not a Miami Heat player, whom did I miss?"
"The guest I was checking in. He was gorgeous with the most amazing Scottish accent," Juanita said. "The only problem was that while I was checking him in, he was checking you out."
"Oh, please. As if I would get involved with any guest," Cristina responded. "Juanita, you and I are only here for three months. We are just making up the hours for our practicum. We don't have time to develop relationships with guests, especially since they are only going to be here for a couple of days." Cristina and Juanita were both students at Florida International University, doing the hospitality management program. One of the requirements for one of their courses was a practicum at a hotel that they had to do during the summer. Besides their jobs manning the front desk, they were also working with established hotel employees in different areas. Cristina was assisting the hotel concierge while Juanita was shadowing the food and beverage manager. Both girls were going to be seniors in the fall.
"Well, he is really cute," Juanita said. "He is also some sort of VIP because he is booked in the presidential suite. He is only 25, too."
Cristina groaned. "He must be some rich kid, coming down to South Beach to mingle with his own kind. You and me – we don't fit into that category. We are poor college students without a dime to spare. Besides, if he can afford the presidential suite, there is no freaking way that he would even give girls like us a second glance."
"Yeah, you're right," Juanita said. "So let's talk about our weekend."
"Yup, two whole days off. I can't believe it," Cristina said. "We are definitely going to hit the clubs tomorrow night. And finally, I can show my real ID. No more fake driver's license for me. I will be 21 tomorrow. Just awesome."
"Yeah, it is going to be a blast," Juanita said. "The gang is so up for tomorrow night. Oops, before I forget, I have to tell Mr. Santos that our guest would like him to visit him in his room." Mr. Ruben Santos was the hotel concierge. She got on the phone and informed him that Owen Hunt was in the Presidential suite, awaiting a visit from him. It seemed that Mr. Santos was awaiting such a call and thanked her, profusely. Juanita assumed that Mr. Hunt was probably a very big deal.
Mr. Santos straightened his jacket before he knocked on the door of the Presidential suite. He knew that Owen Hunt was going to be visiting. He had already been informed by hotel management that he would be visiting. Owen Hunt was the son of the chairperson of the company, Elinor Lockhart. He was there to look at the Miami operations of the hotel. The hotel had been an outstanding performer of the upscale chain for a number of years and management was interested in seeing what they were doing that could be implemented at the other establishments.
Owen was feeling a lot better. He had taken off that damn suit and changed into a white linen shirt and jeans. "Good riddance," he said, as he hung up the suit. Then, there was a knock on the door. It was probably the hotel concierge. He went quickly to open the door.
"Good morning, Mr. Hunt," Mr. Santos said, offering his hand for Owen to shake. "I am Ruben Santos, the hotel concierge. You asked to see me."
Owen shook the man's hand. "Good to meet you, Mr. Santos."
"Oh, you can call me Ruben, Mr. Hunt," the concierge said. "Well, then, you can call me Owen," Owen said.
"So how is your mother?" Ruben asked. "She is doing well," Owen said.
"So how can I help you?" Ruben asked. "Well, I see the Heat is in the playoffs, I would like to get some courtside seats of the game," Owen asked. "I know they are probably very hard to get but I hope you can try to get me seats for Sunday's game."
"Hmm," Ruben said, rubbing his chin with a finger. At this late stage, he was going to have to dig deep in his contacts list to get those seats. "Owen, I will do my very best to secure those seats. Two, right?" Owen nodded. "Yes, two."
"Is that all?" Ruben asked. "You need anything else. Tickets to the Miami Ballet, perhaps?"
"I am interested in taking in some of the nightlife on South Beach. Would that be possible?" Owen asked. "Maybe, tomorrow night?"
"Of course, I will map out a couple of places. I will make some calls and let them know that you're coming and to allow you into the VIP sections in their clubs. That won't be a problem," Ruben said.
"Also, since I am not too familiar with the area, can you assign someone to accompany me to the clubs?" Owen asked.
"Certainly," Ruben said. "I have just the person." He immediately thought of his young assistant, Cristina. She was a college student and therefore, should be familiar with the night life. "I will get on to those clubs, give them a few calls and I will give you my recommended list. I will get back to you by tomorrow for those seats at the Heat game."
"Thank you, Ruben," Owen said.
After ending her shift at the front desk, Cristina went to Mr. Santos' office to see if he needed her for anything. Working with Mr. Santos was actually interesting. She was getting to know a lot of people and making valuable contacts. She was amazed at how he could get things done for guests and was able to procure the hardest-to-get tickets for concerts and games.
"Hey, Mr. Santos, I am done with my shift at the front desk. Is there anything you need for me to do?" she asked. "Remember I am off for two days."
"Uh, not right now, Cristina. But there is something I need for you to do," Ruben said. "This is very important. Tomorrow night, I would like you to accompany one of our VIP guests to some of the nightclubs."
"But I am off, Mr. Santos," Cristina started to protest.
"Yes, I know. I will make sure you are paid for it," Ruben said. "This is very important. The guest is a big deal to our hotel."
"But it's my birthday, tomorrow," she said. "My friends and I are planning to hit some nightclubs tomorrow to celebrate. I am turning 21."
"Perfect," Ruben said. "You can still hit the nightclubs but with my guest. I have a list of clubs that I would like you to take him." He handed over the list to Cristina. Her eyes opened wide as she took in the names on the list. They were some of the most exclusive clubs in Miami. "I have called the managers already and they will let you into their VIP areas." As tempting as all of this sounded, Cristina did not want to celebrate her birthday with a stranger. She wanted to make a deal with Mr. Santos. He made it sound like she really had no choice but to do this.
"Okay," she finally said. "But can my friends go to the clubs, too? I mean we already had our night planned."
"That's fine. How many of you will it be?" he asked. "It is five of us, including me," she said.
"Alright, I will just inform the club managers to let you all in," he said. He took out four business cards and signed his name behind them. "These are for the doormen. Just hand it to them and they will let you all in." She took the cards and tucked them into her purse. "What is the guest's name?" she asked.
"Owen Hunt," Ruben said. "He will meet you in the lobby at 10 p.m. tomorrow night. I will inform him of what you look like. Thank you, Cristina. I know this was asking a lot from you." She nodded and left his office.
She was not pleased at all. Already, she did not like this Owen Hunt.
A/N Please leave your thoughts and comments. Since this is a new story, feedback will be greatly appreciated on whether this should be continued.