The Tropic's Resort - Clean up on island 3
Taking her job very seriously, Steff kept a careful eye out 24/7, always looking for any odd bits to pick up, any spills to dry, any malfunctions to report for repair. It was a constant battle she and Steff warred, but one they were 98% successful in. Pride in her job, and pleasing Master Nicholae was what she lived for...she and Steff.
So when her day began and she caught sight of a woman extinguishing a cigarette in one of the plant beds, Steff's radar kicked in and she followed behind unobtrusively, snatching the offending tobacco stick, and depositing it into a bag she carried for similar items. She had no opinion on the cigarette itself, though she had never smoked nor was she the least interested in finding out why people did, but anything she found that didn't belong where it was, became an offense she had to rectify.
It was a tedious job at times, but it did keep her busy, and everyone knew how both she and Steff had an almost insatiable need to be busy.
Making his first evening rounds, just like he did every night after he awoke, Nic couldn't help but smile.
"Hello Mr. and Mrs. Calloway! It's very nice to see you both again, and to have you back! Don't forget to give me a call if there's anything that doesnt' suit you!"
His smile automatically grew once he saw the elderly couple, and he both shook Mr. Calloway's hand, and bussed the Mrs. on the cheek. They had been one of the very first to book a night at the resort, and had returned several times since. Both said they just loved how close the Tropics were to them, and how energetic they always felt once they left after a stay. Nic couldn't figure out what there was to physically change the couple, but basked in their kudos anyway. If they said their visits made them feel young and full of life, who was he to argue.
Waiting until they got on the elevator, and giving them a wave, Nic noticed Steff nearby, looking rather concerned at a planter. Her brother wasn't anywhere nearby, though that was becoming more common place, now that they were both keeping quite busy. But it was the look on Steff's face that prodded Nic to check further.
"Steff? Something amiss?"
"Cigarettes...nasty things...smell awful, and just make the place look seedy."
Snapping the ties on the bag closed, Steff tucked them into her belt, and brushed her hands off on her khaki shorts.
"And I find them EVERYWHERE! The grounds outside are the worst, though I do have to appreciate people who know well enough not to bring them into the resort. We might want to look into some sort of receptacle to place at the entrance. Everyone probably won't use it, but it should help cut down on the butts I find all over the place."
She hoped her suggestion would be taken in the constructive manner she intended. She liked Nic a great deal, but still didn't know him well enough to have formed a concrete opinion of the man. Though her accumulated opinions of the man were all positive thus far. Steff told her he felt pretty much the same, and was glad for their current job.
"I was headed to the upper floor now, to check it out, and to find out what Mrs. Walters needs. She just paged the front desk, and said there was some nuisance she wanted dealt with."
Steff shrugged, not at all put out by the request. She and Steff often developed these little friendships with patrons, and found that by cultivating them they secured good, repeat visitors. That was the name of the game.
But he was happy to hear Steff was doing her part, even if it wasn't necessary.
"You do know we have maintenance staff to do that though, right? I suppose if you're bored, it doesn't hurt to be conscientious, but I'd much rather have you available to assist our guests directly."
Nic wasn't at all upset, and smiled congenially.
He patted Steff's arm, and turned to leave when coincidentally said maintenance staff came off the elevator, and made a bee-line toward Nic.
'Mr. Lache! Mr. Lache! There is quite a racket going on upstairs on the fourth floor! I happened to be up there picking cigarette butts out of a planter when I could have sworn I heard...gunshots!'
Max, one of Nic's senior crew seemed even more distressed than Steff had been, but apparently for good reason.
"Gunshots!? Are you sure?" Not that he could think of anything else that might cause such a noise, Nic still tried valiantly to dismiss the idea that there actually were guns being shot off in his resort! Without thinking further, Nic turned toward the elevator Max had just come from, and ran to it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, before he reached that elevator, the one next to it came crashing down, causing a terrible noise, just before the doors to it opened. Nic could see no one was inside, and was relieved for that, but those thoughts were cut short as a sickening thud could then be heard coming from the same shaft as the broken elevator. He couldn't be sure, but it sounded an awful lot like a body had fallen down after the elevator, and come crashing to rest on top of the car.
He groaned, not only concerned for his resort, but also for whoever or whatever had just fallen to certain death down the elevator shaft.
"Max! Get someone to check out that shaft, and see what is...left...of whatever it was that hit this car." Nic was on the move immediately, giving direction to anyone within earshot.
"Steff! Find Steff, and then get a couple other of the staff to find out what floor all this began on, then see to meeting with the residents on that floor. Make sure to reassure them that everything is fine, and being taken care of...comp them whatever you think is necessary to keep them happy, but try not to appear to distraut or rattled. We need to downplay this as much as possible."
As he shouted out orders, Nic was getting on a third elevator, and heading to the fourth floor, dreading what he might find, but understanding the need to take care of things rapidly. His cell phone was to his ear as well, and a call was being put to the Nachton Police Department, with the sketchy details he had. He hoped, even as he talked to the officer in charge, that this was all just an ugly dream, and that once the police arrived he'd be able to send them packing, due to a false alarm. But Nic also knew if he believed that would happen, he never would have made the call in the first place.
However, the less than innocent moves the woman made against his body as she found every reason in the book to pass by him while he worked...that got old kind of fast. Steff was fortunate enough to fix the door without too much trouble, and after another five minutes of trying to make his escape, he found himself in the hallway of the fourth floor, breathing much more easily now.
He was headed to reception to make a note on Mrs. McCauley's account that Max would be the next one to respond to any 'fix-it' calls that emanated from the McCauley suite, and that from now on he was going to be 'unreachable' to her in the future. He had spoken to Nic about the woman after her last visit, and Nic determined her business wasn't one he would suffer to lose. Steff loved working at the resort, and found Nic a fair and reasonable employer, but still occasionally ran into some less than stellar situations. It was rare, but happened. Steff was just glad he was able to work to make them even more rare, when possible.
As he walked toward the elevator, a door to his left opened, and out stepped a very attractive lady, Stella Simmons. Steff had met her just two days ago when he helped her with her luggage and acquainted her to her suite. Occasionally, as just an extra bit of care, some of the staff at Tropics went over the amenities with the individual guests, making sure they knew exactly what was available to them, and how different things worked.
Stella had been very appreciative, and while Steff had been tempted to take her up on her 'offer' of 'dinner', he diplomatically refused, but gave her the impression there might be an acceptance sometime in the future. Steff would do nothing improper that might risk his job, yet wasn't adverse to the possibilities that might be found outside the Tropics. He was, after all, a young, healthy male, and had the desires and appetites of those of his kind.
And Stella looked to be every bit ready, willing, and able to meet those desires and appetites. Plus she was single, an heiress, and fun!
Before he had a chance to great the pretty lady, a commotion could be heard from another hallway on the same floor. Excusing himself he ran toward the ruckus, but arrived too late to see who had been involved. All he did have time to see was an open elevator shaft, and a poor, evidently dead man lying several floors below, on top of the elevator car.
"Fuck...Nic isn't going to be happy about this."
"Hey, do YOU know what's going on here?" Nic hoped his assistant might have stumbled upon something to give him insight into what was going on, but from the other man's expression doubted it.
Steff gave Nic a rundown of his past several minutes of activity, and as much as he knew from what he had heard. He finally gestured to the open elevator shaft, sadly.
Nic cautiously walked to peer over the edge, and hissed when his eyes took in the Senator's body.
"Senator DeSmiths..." Nic shook his head, and moved away from the elevator's gaping maw.
"He was a politician, so I can't say I favored him that much, but he was a good customer, and pretty regular." His practical side was showing, but since it was just Steff within hearing distance, Nic didn't concern himself. Of course he wanted his guests to be comfortable and have a great time at Tropics, and would hate to lose many regulars. But when bad things happened to people who were considered less than admirable by most, it just didn't strike the same sense of concern than say an Oprah Winfrey, or Bill Gates would. Both Ms. Winfrey, and Mr. Gates had been patrons of Tropics already, and Nic could only count his lucky stars that nothing like this had happened when they were visiting. Something like that would have really devastated Nic, and could have had unending repercussions that Tropics might never have recovered from.
Losing Senator DeSmiths was going to be bad, but Nic didn't see it having long lasting effects.
"I'm going to start at that end of the resort, knock on all the doors, and check with everyone I find in. I'm going to both ask them if they know anything, and reassure them everything will be taken care of quickly, and that they shouldn't worry. I'd like you to do the same. You'll probably run into Steff, since I sent her up here as well. Comp what you need to, to keep everyone happy, and we'll all meet downstairs in..." Nic glanced at his watch quickly. "...say an hour."
Not waiting for a response, but expecting Steff to follow his request, Nic took off down the hall, and began the ominous task ahead.
"Steff! Hey! Wow...a lot of commotion, huh? Do you know if Nic has found anything out yet...who was involved...what happened...stuff like that?"
She saw Steff as she turned the corner, and could barely contain herself, so full to exploding with news. But before she got cocky she wanted to find out if Steff or Nic knew of the pretty Asian woman who had been with the Senator, and who, Steff had been told, was obviously not his wife.
"He knows there is a dead senator lying on top of the number four elevator, but beyond that I'm not sure...why?"
Steff pulled the girl into a door way, out of the view of anyone who might be casually walking the hallway. His voice was also several decibels lower than hers, as he didn't see the need in giving away information to those without the need to know.
"And try to keep it down a notch, okay? We want to keep a lid on things, for Nic, not cause them to escalate out of control any more than they might be already."
In between his 'good will' service calls to the current fourth floor tenants, Nic had called the police, and was now expecting to receive word from reception as soon as they arrived.
Aside from having one dead senator in their laps, so to speak, he also had one missing young woman to account for, as well as whoever was responsible for the dead senator, and the damage done to the senator's suite. Had it not been for the gunshots, confirmed by the resulting bullet holes, and testimony from neighboring suites, Nic might still be wondering what had happened. Not that he knew all there was to know now, but he was beginning to fill in some of the pieces.
None of the information he was coming by, gave him any sense of well-being. Having a senator fall to his death down an elevator shaft was bad enough, but adding gun play, and a disappearing guest to the mix was making the entire evening a nightmare. It was all he could do to keep the illusion of calm, and control plastered on his face.
"So tell me, how are things going for you two? Are you finding our guests to be more than kind, and accommodating, considering tonight's tragedy??"
Nic kept walking, motioning for the twins to join him. There really wasn't any more they could do here now, and he was pretty sure the police would want to talk to all three once they arrived.
Besides, Nic had to have a short meeting with housekeeping, as well as maintenance to make sure all evidence of what went on in the senator's suite disappeared, and the suite again looked as it had yesterday.
"Oh, by the way, the couple in suite 430 now have a lifetime pass to join us whenever they like. Someone broke into their suite, and nearly killed the gentleman, then tied them both up, and used their suite to gain aim into the senator's suite. I called for an ambulance, and the missus is waiting with her husband now, all medical bills will be taken care of as well, of course. I'm amazed at how nice everyone has been, no one holding us responsible, even though we are...fuck this shit...we're supposed to have top of the line security...if that's what this is..." Nic let the thought hang, mainly because he needed to decide how he was going to handle this with the security company, but right now he had other things that needed to be dealt with first.
But when he did have time...heads would roll.
As she listened to him, she noticed he hadn't mentioned anything about the senator's 'guest'. When he finished giving her the information about the Ackermen couple, in 430, which Steff entered into her Blackberry, she offered up the news about the missing Asian lady.
"I did hear there had been someone else in the senator's suite, yet no one seems able to locate her, or could really offer me much other information. She's Asian, and from what I know of the senator, not his wife."
The last word was said with a slight grimace. Steff was happy to have the information for Nic, but not happy it was information that could make tonight's event even that much more messy.
However, when he appeared non-plussed she almost wondered if he had heard her. Nic quickly dispelled that notion.
"It seems the senator wasn't very discreet...several people I spoke with passed along that bit of information...the woman."
It still bothered him a lot that there was no sign of her. Nic wondered if maybe whoever did this didn't want the senator at all, but maybe wanted his date. Otherwise, why wouldn't they have dispatched her like they did the senator? Why would they kidnap the senator's mistress? If she had seen too much...no, it just didn't seem right.
The elevator 'dinged', and Max stepped off, followed by four policemen, two carrying small suitcases, and two apparently along for the ride. The two with the cases introduced themselves, and asked for directions to the suite. Nic sent Steff along with them, as he and Steff remained to talk to the other two.
"I'm sorry to disturb your evenings officer...deeply sorry. This isn't how I'd hoped to spend my night either."
Tossing his head in the direction of the other elevator, Nic and Steff led the policemen to the scene of the senator's death.
"I can't really tell you why the elevator fell, or how the senator came to be lying on top of it, but there you go. There were gunshots fired, so he may have been hit, but I guess you guys will figure all that out.
Anything else I can help you with, or can I be excused to go see to my staff?"
The cops waived Nic and Steff off, so they both proceeded to cross the hallway to the other elevator bank, and return to the lobby floor. All four policemen confirmed they would need to talk to Nic again before they left, not like Nic had any plans to leave the Tropics now. He had plenty to keep him busy until he was needed again.
Nic released Steff, knowing she had her own issues to attend to, and went into his office, located behind the reception area. He left his door open, assuming he would have a lot of visitors tonight.
Once Steff took the two forensic officers off to the suite, Steff remained next to Nic, and smiled politely. When they were free to go, she followed Nic to the lobby, checked in with reception to see if she had any messages, something she did regularly no matter what was going on. Having no pending issues to deal with, outside of what was only going to be a casual cigarette butt pick up, and had taken a bad turn, Steff asked Nic if he had anything special for her to do.
Unfortunately he had other things to deal with, and unfortunately none of them required her help. She toyed with the idea of finding Steff, and seeing if she could help him. That idea was just as quickly shot down when a call to him on the cell phone revealed he had things well in hand.
She sighed, looked around, and decided some laps might help her get back into a workable frame of mind. With that thought she went to her own suite to change into a teeny, tiny, bit of nothing bikini, and was soon making her fiftieth length in the lap pool.