Façade

September 5th, 2014

Franklin closed the door of the hotel room and looked around, taking in the warm colors. A large king-sized bed dominated the room. To its right, a small table and two chairs created a modest dining area. To its left, an oversized armchair held the suitcase that the bellhop, his fifty-dollar bill now likely moved from palm to pocket, had set there for him. A flat screen TV mounted the wall across from the bed with a long dresser beneath it.

Ahead of him, the bathroom waited, with its large garden tub and separate shower. Next to the bathroom, a sliding glass door opened to a small balcony with a chair for lounging. The sun had just set, and the city below was beginning to come to life in lights.

Franklin turned to the small counter/bar combination next to the door. The bottle of Moscato that he had requested sat in a black wine cooler, next to two down-turned stemless wine glasses and a folded card. Franklin picked up the card to read the note inside.

Mr. Chenault,

I hope that Ms. Freeman enjoys the wine. It is the best Moscato that we offer.

Franklin thought Tasha would like it. The rich aroma and sweet, fruity flavor would help her relax and unwind here. The room itself was perfect, cozy enough to be comfortable when she slept, but small enough to encourage her to go out this week.

No point in Tasha being cooped up in a room all alone.

Franklin walked to the bathroom, taking off his jacket as he walked and laying it across one of the dining chairs. He pulled off his tie as he crossed the bathroom threshold and laid it on the small clothes hamper inside the door. Two additional bags, delivered to the hotel earlier in the day, sat on the bathroom counter just as Franklin had requested. The bathroom was much smaller than he imagined it would be, dominated by the garden tub, but it afforded enough room for him to work. He undressed and stepped into the shower stall beside the tub.

The tub was for Tasha.

Franklin preferred showers. Water caressing deep brown skin, Franklin found the shower to be relaxing and reflective. Each tap on his scalp awakened thoughts lulled by work. This week was Tasha’s week, and he wanted to make sure that she had every experience he could provide her. Shopping, sipping lattes at the café, and exploring the city were all easy things. The club scene, meeting people, those would be the challenges.

Would she be ready for them?

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