This is the first chapter of my current WIP.
I'd appreciate any comments.
Even better constructive critism.
Best of all would be comments if you like it.
“My Mum is dead.”
Emma peeked over the reception desk and into two beautiful green eyes, which belonged to a little girl with brown curly hair, a cute little face with a freckled button nose and she couldn’t help but smile.
“Nadine!” Emma heard a stern voice and turned to see an elderly lady.
“My apologies for that,” the lady said to Emma without the face actually showing any signs of apologies.
Emma smiled. “No need to apologise.” She noticed an elderly man joining the lady and then said, “May I help you?”
“Yes. We would like to check in. Gibbs. William and Teresa Gibbs.”
Emma typed the name on the keyboard and while she was waiting for the screen to give Mrs Gibbs the details she looked at the little girl and broke into a friendly smile.
“Holidays?” she asked.
Nadine’s face spread into a smile and Emma noticed that the little girl had her two top teeth missing.
“And I see the tooth fairy has been to see you recently.”
“Excuse me, –” Teresa glanced at Emma’s name badge. “– Emma. Can we proceed with the check-in please?”
“My apologies, ma’am.” Emma concentrated on the screen, made a few notes and turned around to activate the automated door card in the back office. All the while she noticed Teresa’s glare on her and instinctively pulled on her navy uniform skirt feeling slightly uncomfortable.
Emma was in her early twenties and had worked at the “All Stars” Hotel in Melbourne for about twelve months. It had been something she had always wanted to do – to greet people to this beautiful city and make their stay as comfortable as possible. She was a petite young woman with tawny short curly hair, which was always a bit in disarray, a freckled face with piercing blue eyes and always a smile on her face – Emma was popular with staff and guests.
“Ma’am, that’d be room 502. If you go to the right over here, take the lift to the fifth floor and follow the hall to the near end, you will find Room 502 on your right.”
Teresa Gibbs took the card from Emma and turned it in her hands.
“Ma’am, you slide that into the door instead of a key. I’m happy to ask someone to come with you and show –”
“I’ll be fine thank you.” And Teresa turned to go.
Emma rested her arms onto the counter and winked at the girl. “Enjoy your holidays,” she said and winked with her eye. “And come and see me sometime to tell me about the tooth fairy.”
“We’re not on a holiday,” the girl said in almost a whisper. “We’re here to meet my Dad.” Then she hopped off after her ... well Emma assumed Mr and Mrs Gibbs were the little girl’s grandparents.
Emma wondered about that remark and then remembered what the little girl had said about her mother. She watched as Mrs Gibbs rushed her husband and Nadine into the lift and then they all disappeared.
“Emma! Come on, stop dreaming.”
Emma turned around and saw Jack standing next to her. She smiled.
“Jack! Where’ve you been?”
Jack lifted one side of his mouth. “Morning Tea.”
“Are you for real? You’ve been gone for an hour.”
Jack grinned and ruffled her hair. “Another bad hair day?”
Emma gently pushed him away and rolled her eyes. “You’re avoiding the subject, Jack!”
He raised his eyebrows. “Which subject?”
And she poked her tongue out at him. Why should I care if he gets into trouble!
Emma startled and blushed as she slowly turned her head only to see her boss standing behind her. “My apologies Mr Morgan,” she said with a tilt of her head.
Leo Morgan, a man in his mid-forties, still handsome with his olive skin and the hair showing the first signs of gray, suiting his blue eyes, though now his square jaw tensed visibly, took a deep breath and stepped slightly closer to her. “Listen Emma,” he whispered, “I only hear good things about you, people like you and you have a good –, “he paused and then said, “– let’s call it repute. But there’s a certain standard here and I need you to uphold that. Are we understood?”
Emma nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“Good. Now go and do your job and whatever it is between you two, keep it outside the hotel.”
She looked straight up. “But there is nothing –”
“Yes, sir. Understood.”
Emma turned around and checked-in the next few guests. It was only after she had finished her shift that she was able to talk to Jack.
“Thanks for getting me into trouble again.”
Jack placed his arm around her and gave her a kiss on her forehead. “Sorry for that. But you seem to attract that guy. In the five years I’ve been working here, I’ve never seen him as often in the lobby as I have in the last few weeks.”
“Yes, and that’s been exactly every time when I muck up and his focus lands on me.”
“You’ll be right. How about dinner at my place?”
Emma rolled her eyes. “Jerk!”
He grinned and held his arms up in defence. “What?”