The Boss's Baby

By: Cristina Grenier

CHAPTER 1




“Ms. Meredith? The couple in Suite 1420 wants to speak to a manager. They said they didn’t get what they paid for.” The maid wrung her hands and looked both worried and annoyed.


Adrianna Meredith understood. The biggest problem at one of the most prestigious hotels in New York City seemed to be not that it was an overall difficult, demanding job, but that guests here had such a superiority complex they themselves tended to be difficult and demanding. She smiled and raised an eyebrow. “I’m sure they didn’t, Kate. What exactly do you think they didn’t get?”


Kate tugged at her apron and screwed up her face. She was very young, maybe 19, if Adrianna remembered correctly, and a little shy. “Well, ma’am, they didn’t specifically tell me, but I think I heard something about the champagne and concierge greeting pictured in the brochure.”


That made Adrianna laugh out loud, and she came around her desk, her Gucci heels clicking on the hardwood floor of her office. “Well, let me see if I can correct this little misunderstanding. Thank you, Kate.” She touched the girl’s shoulder reassuringly as she stepped past her, the echoing click of the heels now lost in the general din of the lobby, as she headed for the elevator. The suites on the 14th floor were the bargain suites, the ones they typically listed at discounted prices on travel websites. Two kinds of people took those suites: those who were just giddy to be in such a ritzy hotel, and those who wanted every little detail perfect and felt a need to squeeze everything they could for their pennies.


It appeared these were the latter sort of people.


The hallway was covered in plush carpet, muting her footsteps, and she rapped quietly on the door to suite 1420, having checked the names of the guests with the front desk on her way up. The door flew open, and she stared at a man who was probably a good 6 ½ feet tall with rugged stubble on his chin, his hair long and curling down to his shoulders. “Good afternoon, Mr. Herman. My name is Adrianna, and I’m the hotel manager. I apologize for being slightly delayed, but I wanted to welcome you and your wife to our establishment and assure you that our staff is here to serve you.”


A tiny woman with bleach-blond hair and lots of eye makeup stepped around the man, and Adrianna assumed it was Mrs. Herman. She sneered as she looked Adrianna up and down, and Adrianna assumed the couple likely lived in a predominantly white neighborhood. “When do we get our champagne?”


Adrianna offered the sweetest, most accommodating smile she could muster, which typically went over beautifully with most of the guests at the hotel. She wasn’t sure about these two. “I typically like to ask my VIP guests when they would like their champagne, as some want to celebrate upon arrival, while others like to order room service and make a romantic evening of their first night here with the champagne delivered on the house with their meal.”


They exchanged looks, and Adrianna froze the smile on her face. She adored her job, and she would do nothing that could come back and bite her in the ass. That had been a bit more difficult lately, her mood a little darker than usual which made her easily irritable. Now, she stood calmly and pictured being at the salon, having someone run her fingers through her hair and braid in extensions. It was the most calming scenario she could think of.


Mrs. Herman scowled at her again. “We were hoping to pop the cork as soon as we got in the room.” Her frown suddenly broke into a smile. “But the dinner idea is great. Darrell brought some extra cash and told me he’d treat me to something romantic. I’d love to order dinner.”


“Perfect.” Adrianna smirked internally at the unhappy look on Mr. Herman’s face. “The menu is on the desk. I’ll have champagne added. Enjoy yourselves.” She strutted away from the door, back toward the elevators, and headed back to the ground floor. She found Rudolf, the kitchen manager, and told him, “Suite 1420 is going to call down for a romantic dinner for two. We’re going to give them a bottle of champagne on the house.” Her smile teased at the corners of her mouth. “Send up a bottle of Korbel on ice.”


Rudolf blinked at her. “That’s the cheap stuff.”


“Trust me, no one’s going to know the difference, and we aren’t here to do favors. If they were paying for it, they could have the good stuff. This is a comp, and that means it needs to carry low overhead.” She winked at him and walked away, suddenly glad to be back in her office. She dropped into her chair, checking her watch. It was earlier than she’d thought.

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