Continued from here.
The last time Ms. Venera stayed at the Grand Coral, she had insisted on the town ordinance of no smoking in public places. And since the curbside is technically a public place, she proclaimed that any whiff of smoke reaching her would be in violation of said edict. The same goes for the beach area.
The Grand Coral also has a no smoking indoors policy, so technically there's no place to smoke. She insisted.
She had copies of said town ordinance which she copiously distributed to other guests. They were doing their best to ignore her while enjoying their tobacco. This only caused Ms. Venera to treat them with extra attention.
The hotel staff pleaded with her to allow other guests some peace and quiet, but she was quick to point out the hotel's own policies which she is only helping enforce.
After a while, the guests realize that the only way to extricate themselves from her is to vacate the premises and just find another place to indulge their habit.
Unfortunately for the hotel, this sometimes meant inside their rooms with the windows open. It took the housekeeping team several days and tons of Febreze to reduce the tobacco scent.
But one guest wouldn't budge and gave her the finger. What happened next, according to witnesses, involved a grown man transforming as if possessed by a supernatural being. There were guttural sounds that came out of him or her, the witnesses couldn't tell.
Within a few minutes, the guest had luggage in tow and checked-out right away. They never heard from that guest again.
Regardless, Nicolas wanted to prove to everyone, including to himself that they have what it takes to create a culture of "We can do it". If they can serve the likes of Ms. Venera admirably and show genuine kindness at the same time, they will be well on their way.
This time they had given Ms. Venera the most secluded Deluxe room in the far end of the resort. It was usually reserved for honeymooners who didn't want any interaction with other guests. Nicolas hoped that it would be enough to keep Ms. Venera away for the 3 days she was staying.
But they need to get the check-in done first with a good first impression.
Nicolas calculated the odds. The room was actually ready, and he should be able to check-in the couple and be back within 15 minutes. He called in Benny the housekeeper to man the reception, gave him a walkie-talkie and asked him to radio the moment the van approaches the driveway.
Off he went with the Chens, efficiently but unhurriedly walking them to their room. They were an easygoing couple and settled in without any fuss.
In no time, Nicolas was walking back to the lobby just in time for Jared to pull up the main drive-way.
Jared gently stopped the van in front of the entrance. Through the windows, Nicolas saw him do a quick sign of the cross. Jared was a religious man and seemed to be thanking God that his ordeal was almost over.
Nicolas quickly walked up and opened the van door. "Welcome to the Giant Coral, Ms. Venera. We are delighted to host you".
She alighted and acknowledged Nicolas with a slight nod and a quarter smile. She wore an expensive looking white jacket over a black blouse with matching black stretch-pants. She looked classy, but not extravagant. Her slim frame of 5'10 and haughty demeanor gave her an imposing air of authority.
"Hope the ride was to your liking?", Nicolas asked.
Ms. Venera inhaled, wrinkled her nose as if sniffing something in the air, then shook her head.
"I am tired and unable to do small talk, please show me to my room now.", she replied, not unkindly.
"Right away Ma'am, please follow me." Nicolas was relieved. Less talk, less mistakes.
They arrived at the suite shortly. Per her advance instructions, the temperature had been set to 23 degrees C / 73.4 degrees F. The mini-bar had been removed, as well as all air-fresheners of whatever type.
She had wanted to remove the Television as well, but agreed to a compromise of just having a painting placed over it. "I do not feed my brain with junk", she had said previously.
Ms. Venera grimaced upon glancing at the kitsch artwork, "It will do".
Nicolas started to relax. His eyes began to wander. Then he saw something that shouldn't be there. In perfect symmetry to the queen bed's wooden headboard hung a brownish-green art piece of a giant gecko.
Only they do not have such an art piece in their inventory.
And as if on cue, the lizard nodded its head ever so slightly.
"Change of plans, I would need the boat before sunrise tomorrow for my island tour. Can you make that happen?", asked Ms. Venera.
"We will make it happen." Nicolas replied, still thinking what to do with the critter.
"Very well, read this carefully." Ms. Venera thrust a white envelope as she motioned towards the door. "I need to rest now."
Before Nicolas can say anything, he found himself in the hallway and the door shut inches from his nose. The
Do Not Disturb sign already swinging by the door knob.
Nicolas stood for a few seconds thinking. Then he noticed the envelope in his hands. He read the letter.
"Somebody in the hotel wants to stop what I need to do tomorrow. Arrange for security discreetly."