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Old 03-09-2013, 05:21 AM   #1
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Rest and Relaxation (Closed for DeliciousMaiden)

Derek's feet pounded against the ground, kicking up sand behind him as he sprinted to finish his morning run across the long beachfront of the resort he worked at. He wished like hell that today was a normal day, but sadly, that was not the case. He had known about today for the better part of a week, and he'd been dreading it every day since he'd found out. He was dreading it for one reason and on reason only, and that reason was Maxine Chambers.

Maxine Chambers wasn't famous, or in any way a celebrity, not in the normal sense anyway. In fact, most normal people wouldn't even know who she was. If you worked at a resort or vacation though, you knew and respected both her and her reputation. Maxine Chambers was a renowned critic of all such places, and when she finished her review and published it, you either made it big...or went under. It was for the latter reason that Derek had been truly dreading this day. He didn't own the resort, but he had the highest customer reviews among the staff, and thus it fell to him to meet Miss Chambers when she checked in, take her up to her room, and even give her a personal tour of the entire property, a task that was anything but small or unimportant.

With a heavy sigh, Derek Roberts picked his gym bag up off the sand and headed towards the employee lodging area. It was rare for a resort to have such a place, but theirs was a large and currently popular property, complete with a five story guest hotel area, private beach-side cabins, on-site tennis court, volleyball court, olympic-sized pool, and of course one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. They needed to have not only staff members on hand, but extra staff members on hand, in case a surge of new guests arrived.

Only after a long and thankfully relaxing shower did Derek finally move to get ready for work. He moved towards one of the mirrors to look himself over, sighing softly at how plain he knew he looked. He wasn't overly tall, short, fat, skinny, or even muscular. He was barely five foot six, had short black hair that barely touched the tops of his ears, deep brown eyes, and even though his body had a rich tan, it was merely lithe and wiry from the running and swimming he did to stay in shape. Simply put, he was the kind of man who could blend into a crowd and disappear.

Derek pulled the dry-cleaning bag off of the hook he'd hung it from before his run and pulled out his work attire. It wasn't much, just a pair of white tennis shoes, black socks, black khakis and a white polo shirt with the resort's name on the left breast, "Paradise Resort and Spa".

After he made sure that his clothes weren't wrinkled or dirty, Derek shoved the his workout gear into his bag, pushed his bag into his locker, and headed out of the employee building towards the main resort building. Soon enough, he was standing behind the counter, waiting for Miss Chambers to arrive, and with her, the most difficult day of his life.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:31 AM   #2
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Maxine Chambers


Maxine Chambers eased back against the car’s upholstery and appreciatively watched the sights pass by. Her relaxed appearance was contradicted by the suit she wore, albeit a linen suit of sky blue colour worn with cotton broderie anglaise blouse beneath. It wasn’t that her high expectations of the ‘Paradise Resort and Spa’ resort had made her more casual about her appraisal, a mistake many previous establishments had made upon welcoming her; it was that she always made a point of approaching the resort from the point of view of the client. Gone were the days when she could arrive unannounced and remain anonymous during her stay. Her reviews were so influential that her movements and schedule were anticipated weeks, even months in advance. It seemed that hotels and resorts although in competition were united in alerting their rival establishments if they considered a visit imminent, obviously in the hope that this solidarity would be reciprocated when they themselves were next on ‘her list’.

Maxine mentally went over the facts and figures that she had memorised during her extensive research of the hotel. Not only did she consult business documentation and other more formal data concerning any resort’s expenditure, turnover and profit, but she additionally scoured sources of customer review and critique. Whilst the latter sources of information were heavily biased, Maxine believed that client perception was an important, if not accurate indication of resort reputation. Though Maxine was a consummate professional, she always set aside her extensive background reading upon arrival at an establishment to allow her to focus on assessing her experience from that moment onwards. Irrespective of what expectations might have been raised as a result of her research, Maxine had an initial checklist against which she evaluated the welcome she received, the outcome of which would generate her initial impressions of the establishment and consequently inform the next stage of her ‘schedule’. It was with only this in mind that she prepared to commence her visit as the car pulled up outside the reception.

The driver opened the door and assisted her as she eased out of the car, handbag over her shoulder, she put on large sunglasses and took in the sight of the resort’s entrance. She smiled as the driver handed her the navy briefcase she had left on the backseat of the car giving him a mental tick for his attentiveness although he actually was not employed by the resort.
That just left her medium sized case still in the boot of the car to deal with so she could make her way to check in …

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Old 03-09-2013, 07:29 AM   #3
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No sooner did Maxine step out of car, than the attendant at the door was on his radio informing the front desk of her arrival. They in turn informed Derek, and he took a deep breath before heading towards the front door.

Derek recognized Maxine the moment he stepped out of the tall glass door. Her blonde hair practically shined in the bright light of the sun. He especially liked the way it hung around her neck and shoulders, framing her face just so. "Good afternoon Miss Chambers, and welcome to Paradise Resort and Spa." Derek said as he approached her, a small but sincere smile on his face, one that just barely showed his pearly white teeth. "May I help you with your bag?" He offered up another smile as well as a nod when she nodded at his question. He then moved to walk past her to where the driver was opening the trunk of the car. There was just one medium-sized, and the wiry muscles of his right arm flexed against the tight fabric of his shirt as he lifted it free of the car and moved towards Maxine once more.

"There we go, now if you'd be so kind as to step this way Miss Chambers, we can get you checked in." As he spoke, Derek gestured towards the door with his free hand. The attendant standing by was already holding the door open for them, and just past that, Derek could see his manager Emily standing by the computer nearest the elevators, a smile on her face as she waited for him to lead Maxine there.

"Check in shouldn't take but a minute." Derek offered up to Maxine as he took the lead, moving at a slow but deliberate pace, giving her time to let her gaze wander over the large but welcoming lobby area, if she so chose.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Old 03-09-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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Maxine Chambers

"Good afternoon Miss Chambers, and welcome to Paradise Resort and Spa."

The young man greeted her. Mentally she gave him a tick for the apparently genuine smile rather than the wide, toothy almost manically panicked grins she had been greeted with all too often.

"May I help you with your bag?"

She nodded permission and watched his reaction as he immediately moved past her to the boot.

He had greeted her by name and she was sure he was aware who she was, but so far the balance between welcome and cordiality had not spilled over into false fawning again mentally ticking the resort’s staff choice for this task.

"There we go, now if you'd be so kind as to step this way Miss Chambers, we can get you checked in."

… polite ... not pushy … communication with doorman suggesting good team work …
All grounds for approval she did not display in her impassive face as she followed him through the opened door into the impressive foyer.

"Check in shouldn't take but a minute."

She nodded noticing that he was guiding her towards a smiling woman stood ready near a computer terminal.

”And your name is …?”

She queried lightly taking off her shades and fixing her gaze on him assessingly. It was the only part of her greeting missing from the checklist: He had not introduced himself by name or staff role. It would be interesting to see if he would inform her of his usual job in this complex or not …

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Old 03-10-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
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Maxine's question thankfully came while Derek was facing away from her. He had a brief moment to ensure that his own disappointment at forgetting that simple thing didn't show on his face. The smile was still on his face as he turned to face her, meeting the hazel gaze that the sunglasses no longer hid.

"Derek Ma'am, Derek Wright." Derek said as they approached the counter where Emily was waiting for them. He then stepped aside, remaining in clear view of Maxine though, as was customary, since he still held her suitcase.

Welcome to Paradise Miss Chamber. I trust that your trip was a pleasant one? " Emily said and inquired politely once Derek had stepped aside. She met Maxine's gaze and gave her a chance to respond before continuing with the business at hand. "I just need to see your ID, and we should be all set."
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG2zyeVRcbs

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Old 03-10-2013, 06:48 PM   #6
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"Derek Ma'am, Derek Wright."

Maxine smiled in acknowledgement, but of course noticed that he didn't refer to his role at the resort. That is itself was not a negative, but it was interesting she reflected as she watched the young man escort her to the check in and stand respectfully aside.

Welcome to Paradise Miss Chamber. I trust that your trip was a pleasant one? "

The enquiry had just the right balance of friendliness and professional interest.

"Very pleasant. The drive from the airport was especially scenic ..."

Maxine commented easily and saw a slight relaxing of features at her reply.

I just need to see your ID, and we should be all set.

Maxine put down the briefcase and reached into her handbag for the passport she carried there.

"You'll find my booking confirmation just inside the front ..."

She told the woman watching as her ID was taken and deftly dealt with.
This was always the part she found the most revealing: Would they house her in a plush suite in an attempt to procure a favourable write-up, or would she in fact be given the standard of room she had ordered? Maxine always selected 'mid-level' accomodation. That way she could gague what the resort considered to be entry level standard and what the exclusive or superior accomodation might comprise of.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #7
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Derek was close enough to the pair to hear the conversation, and it was quite clear that Emily was happy to hear Maxine's comments about her trip. The features of her face had been quite tight, but they relaxed at the mention of the car trip being scenic.

"I'm glad to hear that, and that is actually by design as it were, though I'm sure you already know. It's far easier to relax when you're out in the middle of nowhere, especially when you're surrounded by such beautiful scenery. I highly recommend watching the sunset on the beach."

As Emily spoke, she took care of Maxine's check-in process. She toyed long and hard about whether or not to upgrade her room, but ended up deciding against it, for it was well-known why Maxine chose the type of room she did for such reviews.

"Everything looks good Miss Chambers." Emily said, reaching to hand Maxine her passport, booking information, receipt, and room key card. "Derek will help you with your bags, and I hope you enjoy your stay."

Emily finished the encounter how she's started it, with a smile on her face, albeit a more relaxed one now. She nodded towards Derek who immediately stepped forward.

"If you'll follow me once more Miss Chambers, I'll take you up to your room." Derek said as he gestured towards the elevators. Even as the pair walked towards them though, Derek spoke once more. "Was there anything else you wanted to see before you went up to your room? We offer complimentary tours of the entire property upon request."
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Old 03-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #8
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"I'm glad to hear that, and that is actually by design as it were, though I'm sure you already know. It's far easier to relax when you're out in the middle of nowhere, especially when you're surrounded by such beautiful scenery. I highly recommend watching the sunset on the beach."

Maxine was impressed by the woman's response. The comment about her already having knowledge of the location and airport to hotel route being by design brought a smile to Maxine's face. The woman was clearly no fool. She was clearly aware of the extent of her guest's information and seemed confident in herself and the establishment to extend to her what Maxine assessed was the usual level of courtesy without overstepping what was 'natural', a pet hate of Maxine's.

"Everything looks good Miss Chambers.
Derek will help you with your bags, and I hope you enjoy your stay."


Maxine thanked her as she retrieved her passport and keycard.

"I'm sure I will ... "

As soon as she retrieved her briefcase, the efficient young man, stepped forward.

"If you'll follow me once more Miss Chambers, I'll take you up to your room."

Moving slowly in his wake, Maxine continued to assess her surroundings. All seemed to meet with her approval so far, as did her 'escort' she realised as he eagerly addressed her once more.

"Was there anything else you wanted to see before you went up to your room? We offer complimentary tours of the entire property upon request."

They stepped into the elevator as she considered her answer.

"Not before I see my room ... Derek, wasn't it?"

She responded, allowing her eyes to focus fully on the young man who stood before her.

"Derek Wright..?"

She knew the name. She had read it somewhere amongst the swathe of facts and figures she had worked though in preparation for this visit, but couldn't quite place where.

"What is your job description here, Derek?"

Her question might have seemed abrupt, but Maxine didn't like not having the full picture. There must be a reason that this young man was on 'meet and greet duty', other than his rather ... personable... manner ... and appearance for that manner ...

Aware that she may well have discomfitted the young man who now stood aside for her to exit the elevator, she softened the enquiry.

"I'm always curious to find out which person has the weighty duty of making a first impression when I make these visits ... "

Now... that was new ... !
Much as she hadn't intended to seem to interrogate the man beside her, Maxine had never made such a concession to reassure any individual this early on either ...
What had led her to do so now?

In an attempt to regain some equilibrium, she handed Derek her room key making it clear she expected him to 'do the honours' even though she could not help speculating just what he made of her questions and manner ...
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:06 AM   #9
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Derek had stepped aside, letting Maxine get into the elevator first. When he stepped in, he made sure nobody else wanted into the elevator before he pushed the button for the third floor. He'd nodded when she'd made sure she had his first name right. When she asked about his full name again though, he turned his head more fully towards her, looking briefly confused until she asked her followup question.

The question, when it came though, actually surprised him, though in reality, it shouldn't have. The statement that followed though, did help ease the surprise and any tension it might have caused. He let out a soft chuckle and shook his head slowly before meeting Maxine's hazel gaze once more. "I'm not sure why I'm surprised at your question. My name is all over the customer reviews." Derek said with another soft chuckle.

"The job title is called a custom service representative. I am normally the one behind the desk, front and center, checking in most of the customers, as well as answering the phones, taking reservations and handling maintenance requests. I did have my humble beginnings as a bellhop though." Derek spouted off his job title easily enough. As he mentioned his history as a bellhop though, he jokingly lifted her suitcase.

No sooner did Derek finish answering the question Maxine posed, than the elevator sounded off with a ding, announcing that they'd reached their floor. Derek gestured politely for Maxine to exit first, and after she did, he followed and stepped up beside her, leading her towards her room, and accepting the card she offered to him with a smile. He slid the card in the slot of the door, and when the light turned green, he pulled it out, turned the handle, and gave the door a gentle push. He then held it open with his foot and offered up the offered the car back to her as he gestured into the room. "After you." He said with the same genuine smile that had lingered on his lips for the majority of their time together thus far.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG2zyeVRcbs
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #10
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Of course when Derek had told Maxine that his name was 'all over the customer reviews' she placed his name at once. It was obvious that he had worked for the resort for some time and had 'worked his way up'. Again she found herself silently approving of the management's choice of 'meet-and-greet' personnel.

Walking into her allocated room, Maxine stood and looked around. Her first impressions were that it was light and airy; the decor tasteful. It gave an 'understated' air of quality which she had noted downstairs in the reception area. She walked further in, her eyes running over the furnishings and noted that the room was divided usefully into separate areas: sleeping, relaxation, business and the external balcony space. The bed was a vast double. Television along with safe and she noted approvingly fridge were among the other facilities. She was sure that the bathroom would not disappoint either ...

Accepting the keycard from Derek, she watched him deposit her case near the inbuilt wardrobe/drawer section and waited to see if he would give her the 'spiel' about the amenities her room offered. Unlike other travellers, she would be making sure that she tried out most if not all of the services offered, though as a visitor in what seemed to be an impressive resort, Maxine was keen to get out onto the balcony and see what view she had been allocated and just where within this vast complex she was located.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:44 AM   #11
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Derek kept a respectful distance from Maxine as he watched her check out the room. He noted what she looked at and when she took her card back from him, he moved immediately towards the discreet closet door, behind which was a bar and a bundle of hangers, as well as a dresser, should either be desired. He set her bag down and finally turned back towards her.

"I would be lying if I said it didn't feel weird treating you like any other guest." Derek said with a soft chuckle. He did take a breath though, and speak once more. "I see that you've already noticed the bed. It is a queen size, like most of the other non-suite rooms. The television can be operated with the remote in the top drawer of your bedside table. You can do most anything you want on it, from ordering movies to room service. About the only thing you can't do on it, is request maintenance services. For that, you will need to use the phone on the bedside table. You can also order room service via the phone, and it is the better option if you would like your food prepared in a particular way.

Derek stepped forward as he continued talking, his brown gaze never moving from Maxine, trying to be as polite as he could as he gave her the full run down of the room. Beneath the television is a safe whose combination can be provided for you by calling the front desk. On either side of the safe is a refrigerator, complete with a small sectioned off freezer with it's own ice tray. The one on the other side is the minibar. You can see the closet space there, next to your bag. If you require additional hangers, you can again feel free to call the front desk on the phone, and somebody will bring them up to you. The same can be said if you would like additional pillows or blankets for the bed."

When he finished talking about the things in the common room, Derek moved towards the balcony door. There were both blinds and a curtain, but both were open, as it made the room far more inviting on first impressions. "The balcony is of course out here, unless you'd like to see the bathroom first?" Derek did the best he could to give Maxine choices, even if he was the on who was supposed to be guiding her.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Old 03-20-2013, 05:02 AM   #12
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"I would be lying if I said it didn't feel weird treating you like any other guest."

She found his honesty refreshing, even more so when he gave her the usual tour, explaining the facilities and offering to show her the balcony or the bathroom.

"I think we can tick the bathroom off pretty quickly ..."

She told him as he moved to open the door of the ensuite. As she had expected is was pristine and relatively spacious. The corner bath was an especially welcome feature. It seemed that rooms either had a standard shaped tub with separate shower cubicle, or the corner bath with a showerhead-over combination. She nodded approvingly at the choice made for her.

"And the balcony..."

She prompted as she followed her guide across the room to where he pulled the glass doors wide. Again she preceded him and stood at the rail taking in the view. She was around three floors up it seemed. Directly below her was a quiet garden area which was obviously well kept, but had a natural feel to it. Personally she preferred that style to the heavily manicured and regimented lines of trees and plants.

"... lovely ... "

She commented softly as she turned taking in the small table with two chairs set to the far side. A single sun lounger was also positionned in the opposite corner. Though not over spacious, the outside area was more than sufficient for any guest's needs.

"I'll take you up on that tour later on ... "

She told Derek. She had to orientate herself with all the complex had to offer and though she was sure any member of staff could direct her exploration, Maxine felt that would most likely be the most informative ... and perhaps the best company ... she admitted to herself as her attention settled anew on the man before her. There was definitely something about Derek. She could easily see why he was a favourite amongst the guests. For her part, she reasoned that it must be his direct manner: He acknowledged the reason for her visit and was seemed prepared to give her any information she needed; he was polite and informative and yet hadn't let her presence affect what seemed to be his usual easy-going nature.

"Perhaps in a couple of hour's time..?"

She suggested. In the meantime, she wanted to change and get a light lunch before briefly exploring the immediate surroundings herself. Only after establishing those first impressions would she allow herself to be taken on the 'official' tour...
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:39 AM   #13
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Derek smiled and nodded at Maxine's suggestion that they start with the bathroom. He gestured towards it and followed her as she headed in that direction. He remained a respectful distance from her though, being as she stopped and simply examined it from the doorway, rather than entering it.

When Maxine finished her brief inspection of the bathroom, Derek was ready, and preceded her towards the glass balcony doors once more. He opened it this time, and allowed Maxine to step out before following her. He remained just outside the doors though, but his brown gaze lingered on the lovely blond woman before him, watching as she moved to the rail.

Derek knew that they had chosen well when Maxine offered up her single word of appreciation. She'd always booked rooms that were modest, rather than extravagant, and it was for that reason that they'd put her literally in the middle. She was on the middle floor, in the middle of the building. From her balcony, she could see the garden, the path that led to the beach, and of course the beach itself. The hotel had been built such that anybody with a room that had a balcony on the ocean side would have a lovely view of the sun setting over the water.

Maxine's next couple of statements actually surprised Derek, though one wouldn't know it from the way his face didn't change. The same small and genuine smile that had been on his face from the beginning was still there. "As you wish Miss Chambers." Derek said softly, still lingering on the balcony with her until she eventually made to head towards him and into her room. He backed up into the room and stepped aside so she could pass by him before he spoke once more.

"I mentioned before that you are my only responsibility today, but I will be at the front desk when you are ready for your tour. Take as much time as you want, and I will be there, ready, and able to give you your tour."

Only after he spoke did Derek finally take a sideways step towards the door. He only took that one step though, before speaking once more. "I will leave you in peace Miss Chambers, unless you have any other questions for me?"
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:45 PM   #14
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"As you wish Miss Chambers ... I mentioned before that you are my only responsibility today, but I will be at the front desk when you are ready for your tour. Take as much time as you want, and I will be there, ready, and able to give you your tour."

Maxine smiled at Derek's response. So he was at her disposal for the entire day! Belatedly she realised that her mind was running in a less than professional direction!
Now... where did THAT come from?

"I will leave you in peace Miss Chambers, unless you have any other questions for me?"

Maxine rallied and seemed to consider his offer.

"Just a request, Derek ... I'm sure it would be straightforward, but would you book me into the spa for a massage before dinner this evening ideally, though if all the slots are booked, then don't bump anyone on my account. Alteratively any time tomorrow would do ... "

Maxine always enjoyed a massage, especially after travelling and the fact that she could add it to her professional itinerary was an added plus!

"I'll look you up as soon as I get through getting settled in ... "

She told the young man as he retreated leaving her on her own.

As the door closed, Maxine shrugged out of her jacket and cast it aside before crossing to the plush sofa and sitting on it to kick off her shoes. This was the third, no fourth complex she had visited. It seemed her reviews were in demand. But she refused to compromise on quality and detail. She had a reputation for being thorough and for always basing her judgements on a solid evidence base.

With a weary sigh, Maxine padded out to the balcony once more. Taking a deep breath she inhaled the sweet floral scents which combined with the citrus sharpness of the fruit which grew around the hotel; the mixture was topped off with a salty tang which carried across from the beach. There were so many aspects to this resort that she had factored in a longer stay than usual, a minimum of 4 days plus an additional one or even two to write up her report.

Turning reluctantly from the balcony Maxine unfastened her skirt and cast it aside, the blouse following shortly afterwards as she made her way to the bathroom. She cast a lingering glance at the tub and teetered on the edge of indecision between that and the shower. Reluctantly she let common sense prevail and making short work of her undergarments, slid beneath the showerhead deciding that she needed refreshing rather than soothing ...

It was merely 35 minutes later when Maxine made her way back down in the elevator and across the reception area and out of the side door towards the informal alfresco dining area. Her hair was scooped into a high pony tail, a small handbag with notebook within her only nod to professionalism. She wore light khaki shorts and a cream cap sleeved top: The combination was classically casual and finished off with bare legs and feet slipped into comfortable birkenstocks. Maxine did not for one moment believe that her every move was not being watched by the staff, but she had to admit that any scrutiny was very covert so that she was able to order the nicoise salad, glass of dry wine and accompanying ice water without undue attention. So much so that she indulged in a light desert of fruit salad before finally rising with a contented sigh and making her way towards the front desk.

It was only an hour and a half since Derek had left her and she couldn't help being curious about what would be covered in the 'tour' he had offered...

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Old 03-21-2013, 04:26 AM   #15
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There wasn't a single member in the large staff that operated within the hotel that didn't know what Maxine looked like. Despite that though, they'd all been given strict instructions to do their best to treat her like they would treat any other customer, and not to shun 'normal' customers because of her, especially not in her presence.

With these instructions in place, the staff of the dining area made sure that Maxine's food and drinks came out in a timely manner. The hardest part of the whole ordeal, was of course the desire to please her without blatantly fawning over her, something many a resort had done.

Interestingly enough, there was but one person behind the front desk that wasn't worrying about where Maxine was, and whether or not she was enjoying herself. That person was Derek. He'd looked into the massage she'd requested before returning to his normal post at the front desk. He was actually in the process of checking in another guest when he saw Maxine round a corner and head in his direction.

Despite what Derek knew many of his coworkers might have expected of him, he remained patient with the woman he was checking in, answering all of her questions and making sure that he'd taken care of everything before sending her on her way with another bellhop. Only then did he signal over to another of his coworkers to come and take over for him so he could attend to Maxine once more. No sooner did his replacement start to head his way, than Derek moved to walk around the counter, the small and genuine smile that he was known for on his lips once more.

"Hello again Miss Chambers." Derek said politely as he bowed his head in greeting. "I am sad to have to tell you that the spa is booked solid today and tonight. There are however openings throughout tomorrow. There are spots after breakfast, before and after lunch, as well as some before and after dinner tomorrow. I'd be happy to take care of a reservation for you now if you'd like. Otherwise we can start your tour. Which would you prefer to do?"
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:07 AM   #16
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Maxine saw Derek at his post at the desk as she made her leisurely way towards him knowing that he had seen her despite the fact that he was dealing with a visitor at the time. Despite the fact that his studious politeness had not so far crossed over into treating her with any 'special' attention, she expected him to pass the client onto a replacement and come to see her immediately. She was surprised, but pleasantly so when he continued to focus on the guest he was in the process of dealing with. She stood slightly aside and seemed to study her surroundings anew, though in truth she was listening into the conversation between Derek and the woman who stood before the desk. The routine, the questions they all mirrored her check in experience exactly, down to the offer of a tour of the resort in order to orientate new guests. She supposed that usually guest tours were relatively brief and functional, based on guest interest and as such she assumed that the tour given to her might be more thorough as it would be a chance for the resort to guide her attention to what the management and workers obviously believed were the
highlights of their facilities.

"Hello again Miss Chambers."

Derek had dealt with and allocated a bellhop to the new guest and was now stood beside her. She turned at his words and saw another member of staff had discretely taken his place behind the reception desk.

"I am sad to have to tell you that the spa is booked solid today and tonight."

Disappointing though that was, Maxine had expected as much. If that spa was not booked up that would have raised questions as to its popularity.

"There are however openings throughout tomorrow. There are spots after breakfast, before and after lunch, as well as some before and after dinner tomorrow. I'd be happy to take care of a reservation for you now if you'd like. Otherwise we can start your tour. Which would you prefer to do?"

She nodded considering the options.

"I think I'd like a slot late afternoon, say around 4 pm?"

She told him thinking she could have a massage, then hot bath and then still have the evening available...

"If you could make that booking for me Derek, that would be wonderful. Then perhaps we could start that tour...?"

She prompted with a matching smile.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #17
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"4 pm it is It won't take but a moment." Derek said with a smile, nodding to Maxine before taking a small step backwards. He turned towards the service desk, walked around, and picked up the phone.

"Katherine? It's Derek again. Is that 4 o-clock spot still open for a massage tomorrow? Excellent. Can you book Miss Chambers in that spot? Okay, thanks Katherine."

After he'd finished making Maxine's appointment, Derek stepped back around the desk and approached her once more. "Your appointment is all set. 4 pm tomorrow at the spa. Now if you'll be so kind as to follow me, we'll start your tour." As he spoke, Derek gestured towards one of the long hallways that branched off from the main lobby. "We'll start with the amenities here in the main building, then I'll show you the rest of the property, unless there's something specific you'd like to see first?" Derek liked being able to give Maxine the choice. It made it easier not to rush or make it seem like he was just following a script for everything he did and said.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:07 PM   #18
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"4 pm it is It won't take but a moment."

She watched Derek move back to the desk and pick up the phone personally booking the appointment for her. There was definitely something ... amiable ... about the man, which no doubt many of the guests who stayed here were drawn to, but it was more than that. Perhaps the fact that he was unassuming, or perhaps understated, Maxine reflected. Certainly he was the epitome of courtesy and obviously made her feel as if he would do anything to please, but she suspected he afforded an equal measure of that willingness to any guest he was responsible for.

"Your appointment is all set. 4 pm tomorrow at the spa.
Now if you'll be so kind as to follow me, we'll start your tour."


Maxine nodded, smiling her thanks.

"We'll start with the amenities here in the main building, then I'll show you the rest of the property, unless there's something specific you'd like to see first?"

She seemed to consider and shook her head.

"No ... that seems like a logical start. As for the rest, I'm in your hands ... show me what you think I need to see ... "

She told him, the smile easily returning, after all they both knew her agenda as critic, even though she believed she would actually enjoy being the guest here also ...
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:35 PM   #19
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"As you wish." Derek responded, turning a bit more towards the hallway he'd gestured towards earlier. He waited until Maxine was beside him though, before he headed towards it.

"The two sides of the hotel are mirrors of each other, each with the same amenities, for the convenience of our guests. This door..." Derek continued, gesturing towards the first door on his left, "...leads down to the pool. They decided on a separate floor entirely for it, so that the smell of the chlorine doesn't reach us here."

Derek continued down the hallway, walking beside Maxine so that he could look at her and speak companionably to her. He was still able to effectively guide and lead her down the hallway though, using his hands and gestures to direct her attention and gaze to each amenity they passed.

"Here, we have a weight and exercise room." Derek said, gesturing towards the first set of windows on their right as they walked. "They faced the treadmills, exercise bikes, and stair masters towards the glass, so that any parents who wanted to, could bring their kids to the play area and watch over them while they worked out." Derek's hand gestured towards the windows on the opposite side of the hallway, behind which there was a large play area with several toddlers and young children playing happily.

Next along Derek and Maxine's path, was the commons area, with several televisions, pool tables, tables & chairs, and even a bar.. Across from the commons area, was the arcade, from which the muffled sounds of happy children and various games could be heard. "They used double thick glass for the arcade room windows, for obvious reasons." Derek said with a soft chuckle as they passed by it.

"And that brings us to the spa." Derek said as they reached the glass doors at the far end of the hallway. "Would you like the tour of it now, or shall we bypass it for the time being, since you do have that massage scheduled for tomorrow?"
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:25 AM   #20
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Maxine walked beside Derek as he began the tour of the facilities.

"The two sides of the hotel are mirrors of each other, each with the same amenities, for the convenience of our guests. This door leads down to the pool. They decided on a separate floor entirely for it, so that the smell of the chlorine doesn't reach us here."

She nodded as he gave her the information. As she suspected the complex was well organised with a rationale for the location of every facility.

"Here, we have a weight and exercise room. They faced the treadmills, exercise bikes, and stair masters towards the glass, so that any parents who wanted to, could bring their kids to the play area and watch over them while they worked out."

The place was definitely family friendly, Maxine realised, but steps had been taken to ensure that children did not disturb guests who did not want the 'family experience'.

"They used double thick glass for the arcade room windows, for obvious reasons."

It seemed like a good balance and Maxine could not help chuckling and nodding approvingly.

"And that brings us to the spa. Would you like the tour of it now, or shall we bypass it for the time being, since you do have that massage scheduled for tomorrow?"

She considered both options.

"I think I'll ask the staff there to give me a quick tour of their facilities when I arrive. Could you let them know in advance. I know they must be busy and have to keep to their schedules so I'd only expect a quick 5 - 10 minutes of their time, but I think it would be useful to allow them to tell me what they consider their 'highlights' to be... "

She responded.

"Do you think you might show me the dining and bar facilities next and of course the gardens ...?"

She prompted.

"I noted from my journey here that you were well placed as a base for local tourism. Perhaps later you would be able to go through your portfolio of tours, local recommendations and tourist information which your guests might be provided with during their stay?"

She suggested.

"Assuming you don't mind assisting me later on this evening, that is..?"

She calculated that after the tour, she would look around herself and then write up her initial notes ... and if her time with this young man was limited, she could spend the early evening discussing those issues with him .. and of course the fact he was very ... personable and most likely good company would merely be a perk of the job ...
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:53 PM   #21
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Derek nodded with the same small smile on his face as he made to turn them back towards the lobby. It was the answer he'd expected. "I will make sure to let them know Miss Chambers."

With another simple gesture of his arm back down the hallway, Derek instructed Maxine in which direction they would be heading, and did so in such a way that she could make her requests and ask her question without being disturbed.

"I can actually do that while we walk as it were." Derek responded as the pair waked. "You of course noticed the forest of trees that you had to come through to get here. There are plenty of marked trails along which people can safely walk, be it alone or with a guide. In addition, there are trails that lead you up to the cliffs on either side of the bay. We would offer people the opportunity to climb as well if the cliffs weren't right against the ocean."

As Derek talked, he guided Maxine towards a side hallway between spa and the common room. The hallway was fairly short, and led them to a door, one that Derek once again opened for Maxine. One would know immediately where the door led, even if they couldn't see. The many fragrances of the garden flooded the hallway every time the door opened.

Derek stepped out after Maxine, closing the door behind him and taking a long and deep breath, breathing in the many pleasant smells of the garden. From their spot, they could once again see the water a ways away on the other side of the garden fence. Though the garden was small, there were small walk paths interlaced through it, as well as a handful of benches in shaded areas for people to sit on and just enjoy the atmosphere and sound of the ocean behind them.

"In addition to the trails, we offer a variety of water activities as well, including swimming lessons, snorkeling, diving, as well as a tour of the rock formations that make up the east side of the island."

Even as he talked, Derek guided Maxine towards the far side of the garden where he couldn't resist the urge to lift both arms on top of the fence and take another long and deep breath, taking in the combined scent of the flowers and the ocean.

"There's something for everybody here, be they guest or employee." Derek said softly over his shoulder before turning back towards Maxine. It's part of why I've stayed as long as I have, even though I've made enough to start to go back to college. I like it here, and would probably miss it." He chuckled as he spoke the last part, thinking how silly it probably sounded, true as it was.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:50 PM   #22
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"I can actually do that while we walk as it were."

Was his response. Maxine hid her displeasure at his easy dismissal of her request. Whilst his easy manner had impressed her, the fact that he had ignored much of her better things to do that evening than bring her the information she required.

She let him guide her through to the gardens and listened to his amicable enough chatter about the excursions and activities they offered to their guests.

"There's something for everybody here, be they guest or employee.
It's part of why I've stayed as long as I have, even though I've made enough to start to go back to college. I like it here, and would probably miss it."


She did not allow herself to be swayed by the warmth of his words.

"Your approval of this place is not in question,"

She told him in measured tones.

"And informative though your account has been, if you remember I asked for facts not anecdotes."

She let her words sink in.

"As you're obviously not on duty this evening, I would like you to arrange for the aforementioned portfolio to be brought to my room at the earliest opportunity. I will need copies of written information which is available and distributed to clients. I assume you have maps, price lists, advice, contact details, leaflets and such like ... ?"

She asked him pointedly.

"This list isn't definitive Mr Wright. I just thought an illustration of what I expect might be necessary to ensure that I get exactly the information I want in the format I require ... "

She let that remark sink in before extending her hand.

"Many thanks for the tour, but I think I now need to consider the amenities with a more ... objective eye ... "

She told him before turning and returning back the way they had come. It had been a long time since she had been snubbed and that was exactly what she felt Derek had done in his refusal to come to her room and talk through the information she had requested ...
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:36 PM   #23
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If Derek hadn't have been able to pick up on MAxine's displeasure with her first statement, her second certainly would have done the trick. It took a considerable effort as she continued to talk not to flinch and silently curse himself for his stupidity. even as he shook the hand that Maxine offered to him, he was too distracted by what she'd said and his own actions that had caused it to speak.

Even after Maxine left him standing alone in the gardens, it took Derek a long time to move, and even when he did, it was just to sit on one of the benches and put his head in his hands. He couldn't help but wonder how many people's jobs he might have just put in jeopardy.

When at last Derek did manage to pull himself out of his own head and rise to his feet, there was a renewed determination in his deep brown eyes. His stride was long and confident as he walked out of the gardens, moving first to inform the spa of Maxine's request before moving towards the front desk. He pointedly ignored the questions that people asked him about Maxine and why he wasn't with her.

Derek sat down behind one of the computers near the back of the employee only section behind the front desk, and for the next several hours, he did literally nothing but attend to the portfolio that Maxine had requested. Before he was finished, he had printed out and organized literally every map, price list, contact detail, and leaflet for every amenity their hotel offered, literally every useful piece of information a common tourist had access to, as well as a page of customer reviews to go with each of them. He organized the large portfolio as best he could, before he finally pushed himself to his feet once more. His stride was just as confident as before as he made his way first towards the elevator, and then to the door to Maxine's room. "Miss Chambers, are you in?" Derek asked politely as he knocked on her door. "I have the portfolio you requested." Even if she wasn't in, Derek intended to wait for her. He was going to make up for his previous mistake.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:38 PM   #24
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Maxine was annoyed! That much was evident to those who passed her as she made her way back towards the gardens and then picked her way through them until she found a secluded bench to seat herself on. What wasn’t apparent was that Maxine was angrier at herself than at Derek! Maxine was the consummate professional: She prided herself on that fact. And she had only bent the rules slightly in inviting the young man to her room that evening, but his refusal to do so had cut deep. Of course he had been the epitome of politeness and she could not fault his manners or his charm or how personable he was … but nonetheless, the first time she had even strayed slightly to using her position to spend some innocent time in the company of another, she had been well and truly put in her place. And justly so, she concluded.

Still, she did not intend to wallow or be unduly severe in her treatment of Derek who had acted in good faith, even if he had been less than attentive to her requests. But neither did she intend to spend the evening alone either! Standing up in a flurry of decision, Maxine retraced her steps and made her way back up to reception and then on to her room. She picked up her own mobile and dialled.

”Maurice, c’est Maxine. J’y suis”

She informed him of her arrival and with very little prompting got herself a dinner invitation for that evening. Deciding not to write up the notes on her tour, instead she made herself ready for her dinner date slipping on a long black chiffon outfit which left her shoulders bare and which swished around her calves. Back at reception once more, she slipped into a taxi and sped out to meet up with the aging lothario who was more than eager to entertain her…

She had given him direct instructions as to her limited availability and that she was actually still here on business, whilst implying that after the report was filed then perhaps she might be available to pursue their relations further. But as it was, she enjoyed a tasty supper and charming conversation and found she enjoyed her host’s company appreciating that he was out to impress her.

And so it was only half past nine when she made her way up to her room, somewhat the worse for the combination of lengthy travel and an excellent bottle of Barolo, but what she would class as sober nonetheless ..
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:04 AM   #25
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Derek wasn't overly surprised to find that Maxine wasn't in her room, though he was admittedly a little disappointed. Thankfully though, it didn't take much for him to at least find out that she had left the hotel. One radio conversation with the doorman, and he knew what time she'd left. The biggest question though, was what he was supposed to do with the information. He had no idea how long she'd be gone, or in what way she'd receive him after his rebuff of her invitation.

There was one good thing to be said for Maxine's absence though, it gave Derek plenty of time to think on what he wanted to do. In the end, he decided to have a chair brought up to him. He had it set near the nook where the ice machine sat, ensuring that he would be nearby when Maxine came back, but not blocking the hallway.

The wait was admittedly longer than Derek preferred, but it was a wait he was willing to tolerate to personally hand Maxine the portfolio she'd requested.

The radio call, when it finally came, brought a strange sense of relief to Derek. He hadn't even been aware of how tense he'd been, or how stiff he'd been sitting in the chair until he went to move and his muscles protested. Despite that slight inconvenience though, when Maxine walked around the corner, moving from the elevator to her room, the first thing she was likely to see, was him standing near her door.

The sight of Maxine as she walked around that corner though, was nothing short of stunning. The long black evening outfit was a far cry from the suit she'd been wearing when last he saw her. It also provided a stark contrast to her lovely blond hair, especially with her shoulders bared as they were. Derek found himself staring, his brown eyes literally transfixed on Maxine as she came closer.

It wasn't until Maxine was only a handful of feet away from him that Derek realized that he was staring. His gaze dropped, and he blinked his eyes several times, shaking his head as well, both in an attempt to clear his mind. He then cleared his throat and spoke.

"My sincerest apologies for staring Miss Chambers, but you look beautiful." Derek started as he took a small step back, lifting his head once more as he gave her access to her room. "I brought you the portfolio you requested, and I would like to apologize for my earlier behavior." There were so many more things that Derek wanted to say, hell, things he'd planned to say, and even had worked out in his head, but the sight of Maxine had taken all of his thoughts from him.
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