I giggled. “That’s the main thing, right?”
“Are you ladies having a good evening?” asked a familiar voice.
I turned, jumping a bit in surprise. I was greeted by William’s warm, charming smile. I was partially thankful that Cathy pushed me out of the way to address the handsome man standing on the other side of the counter because I honestly couldn’t think of anything to say.
“Hello,” Cathy said as smoothly as she could. Considering her nose was plugged up, I would have at least given her points for the effort. “May I help you, sir?”
William chuckled, glancing down at his hands. He almost looked bashful. “I was actually hoping to speak with Miss Milch, if that’s alright?”
Cathy raised both her eyebrows at me and shot me an ooh-I-knew-you-were-a-liar-but-damn-you-scored-a-good-one smile. She hooked her arm in mine and practically dragged me forward, patting me on the back for encouragement.
“Here she is,” she said, deliberately loud so I couldn’t pretend that I didn’t hear them speaking. I made a mental note to thank her later. What a pal.
“Um, hi,” I said, voice weirdly shaky. What was I so nervous for? I was fairly certain William knew it was just a one-night stand. Nothing to be awkward about, right?
“How are you?” he asked casually. Super casual. The epitome of casual. How was this man able to have my heart pounding with just three simple words?
“I’m good. Uh, you? How are you enjoying your stay? I hope everything’s good?”
William smiled. It damn near blinded me because it was so dazzling. “I must say, the service has been excellent.”
My entire face became so hot I thought the blood in my skull would boil over. “Uh, cool. Is there anything I can help you with now, Mister Laurier?”
“Well, Miss Milch, I’m glad you asked. Are you free this evening?”
I gestured to the desk I was standing behind. “I’m working.”
“What time are you off?”
“Not until midnight, Mister Laurier.”
William frowned. It wasn’t too severe, though he did look a bit disappointed. “That’s a shame. Beautiful ladies such as yourself really shouldn’t be working such late hours.”
Cathy practically swooned beside me as she tried to suppress stupid little giggles behind her hand. “Oh, you’re too kind.”
“What’s your name, love?” he asked her.
She let out a gawdy laugh. It was almost embarrassing to listen to. “Cathy,” she answered.
William reached into his inner blazer pocket and pulled out his wallet, slipping a couple hundred-dollar bills out and then across the receptionist counter. “I know it’s a big ask, but would you mind terribly if I took your co-worker out to dinner? I can make it well worth your while.”
Cathy’s jaw nearly dropped out of their sockets. “Oh, oh my. I don’t mind at all. It’s quiet, anyways.”
I tugged on her arm. “What are you doing?”
“Can’t you see this nice gentleman wants to take you out? Don’t be rude and go with him.”
“You can’t work a shift all by yourself,” I protested. “You’re not feeling well.”
She waved me off, taking the money and slipping it down her shirt to tuck into her bra. “I’m as healthy as a horse. Go to dinner with him.” She leaned in to whisper in my ear. “And this time, I really do want details.” Cathy slapped me on the ass and let out a joyous laugh. “She’s all yours, Mister Laurier.”
William dipped his head and smirked. “Thank you, Cathy. You’re amazing.” He then looked to me and winked. “Why don’t you go get changed out of your uniform? I’ll be back in five minutes to pick you up.”
“I, uh–” I stuttered lamely.
But before I could argue, he was already gone.
Cathy nudged me in the ribs with the point of her elbow. “Get going. I’ll cover for you.”
“Are you sure?”
“Sometimes you got to live a little. And sometimes I just want to live vicariously through others.”
I sighed. I really did want to live a little. I just wasn’t sure dating a handsome British man who was bound to leave eventually was my idea of living. Nevertheless, I nodded, taking off my nametag before rushing back to my room to slip into something more comfortable.
I was only here for the next couple of days, so I wasn’t too sure why I made the decision to ask Hannah out again. When I woke up the day after the party to find she was long gone, I was filled with a feeling not dissimilar to disappointment. I was personally baffled that she managed to have such an effect on me. I was no stranger to flirtatious encounters. I would have been lying if I said I wasn’t aware of my reputation back home. But what could I say? I liked women and I liked to party. As long as my weekend proclivities didn’t get in the way of my running the estate and didn’t interfere with the Crown’s overall squeaky-clean image, I was in the clear.