Hard Work

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The second night on the floor wasn't particularly better than the first. In fact, it may have been exponentially worse. Rising up like Frankenstein's monster, I groaned with the ache in my stiff muscles, before twisting and stretching to relieve the kinks in my back and neck. Once on my feet, I tossed a wary glance towards the bed, but decided then was not the time to muddle over the ghost in the room. I needed aspirin, a hot shower, and a strong cup of coffee, but most importantly, I needed to track down Jordan and figure out how much time I had before guests arrived.

After washing away the restless night, I threw on a pair of jeans and a cozy turtleneck before heading down the stairs. All was quiet in the foyer, except for the ticking of a grandfather clock that sat about midway down the long corridor. To the left was the kitchen and I trudged through the dark wood door that closed it off from the guests' view.

Thankfully, with the Hound and Sparrow being a bed and breakfast, coffee was in abundant supply. It also meant there were several coffee makers at the ready to brew steaming pots of whatever my heart desired. To my surprise though, not only was there one hot pot of rich hazelnut waiting for me, but also a box of donuts with a single pastry missing. For a moment, I wondered if Jordan really had left them out for me to enjoy, but when I noticed a mug with the words "#1 Boss" emblazoned on it, sitting beside the box, there was little doubt on the matter.

I debated finding myself a different mug just to spite him, but instead decided to roll with it and to simply enjoy the power and authority while I still had it. As I was sipping my coffee and pulling out a jelly filled donut for myself, I heard the sound of boots marching down the hall, their step irregular as if something burdened them.

"Good morning," I said, stepping out of the kitchen to find Jordan in the foyer with a simple easel and a large chalkboard. "Thank you for the donuts."

"Sure thing boss," he said with a wink and a smile, his eyes focused upon the mug in my hand. "Glad to see you're warming up to the title."

"Just for now," I said with a pinch of my brow. "I'm leaving the moment I find someone."

"Guess it's too bad you haven't found an enthusiastic college student studying hospitality and familiar with the area...oh wait."

"When are guests arriving?" I asked, crossing my arms and tapping my foot.

"Well," he said, placing the chalkboard on the easel and giving it a read, "Danica and Harvey Mudgrave, Elizabeth and Vernon Fields, and Alan and Howard Beckett, will be arriving some time around their four o'clock check-in."

I stepped farther into the foyer and joined up beside him to look at the board on display beside the table with the guest book and the picture of my aunt and me. On the board in curvy, elegant text was a welcome sign that greeted everyone by name, though the last names were actually absent. Under their names was the promise of hot cocoa and cookies for tonight, as well as the name of the movie that would be playing in the living room at eight o'clock.

"That's a nice touch," I said with a slight smile. "Very cute."

"Being a small inn we can do these little personal touches."

"So is this a full house or..."

"No," he said with a shake of his head. "Come on, follow me to the dining room." Despite holding the boss mug, I allowed him his command and did as I was told. We walked down to the front of the foyer, going left through a small sitting room before entering the lengthy dining room.

"We have five rooms in the inn," he said, pulling out a seat for me to take at the end of the table, where a stack of papers and folders were already waiting for us. He took a seat across from me and continued. "They do range in size. We have one room that rivals yours, two medium sized rooms, and two small rooms that pretty much fit just a full-sized bed and a dresser."

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