I moved the few things I was traveling with-- a small suitcase, tablet/ e-reader, and camera bag-- into my suite and found the layout was comfortable. There was a large bathroom near the front door and a living room with couch, armchair with ottoman, a desk and chair, and a big TV sitting on the cabinet that housed drawers as well as a mini-fridge and a microwave.
Most of the far wall was floor to ceiling glass. A wide sliding door exited onto a balcony. The balcony was big enough to walk out onto and enjoy the view of the boulevard below and the mountains beyond. It was not, however, big enough to hold any furniture. The bedroom with king bed was separate from the sitting area but there wasn't a second bathroom. I guess that's why it was a mini-suite and not a suite. Although the hotel had been open for a few years the room looked unused.
I unpacked, opened the sliding door wide and dropped myself onto the big, comfy armchair. Not long after I put my feet up on the ottoman I fell asleep. When I woke to the sound of birds chirping on the balcony I got up, closed the slider, and did a quick look around the room to make sure I didn't have any birds in the room. Luckily, none were there. I turned up the fan on the A/C, stretched out on the couch, and started to read. Sometime before 4 o'clock I dozed off again.
The phone ringing awakened me. It was startling really as it had been a long time since I'd heard a desk phone ring. I fumbled around, half awake, before finding the receiver on the end table.
" 'lo," I mumbled.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I woke you, didn't I..." she said.
" 'sokay," I said.
"This is Janelle..."
I was waking up, slowly.
"... I just thought I'd invite you to meet a bunch of us for after-work drinks," she said.
"Oh, uh, I don't know anybody, I mean, I..."
"That's no problem. It's just a few of us... we try to go out after work on Friday's... just a drink or two not a long night... and you'd get along with everybody... besides the place we're going is only a couple blocks from the hotel..."
"I guarantee you'll enjoy yourself," Janelle said.
"Um, OK, what time is it, I mean what time should I be there..."
She gave me the time and the name of the brewpub. I knew where it was. About a four block walk if I remembered correctly from when I drove into the village earlier.
It was just after 6 PM when I arrived. I saw Janelle and her group just as she saw me and waved.
I got introduced to everyone. They were, for the most part, younger than Janelle and therefore a hell of a lot younger than me. There were eight people including me at a big table with bench seating. The waitress came over soon after I met everyone. I ordered an amber ale and told her to put the first two rounds for everyone at the table on my tab. That instantly made me the most popular guy at the table. Well, there was only one other guy at the table-- the rest were young women.
I recognized two from Janelle's group at lunch. While some of the people worked with her, others worked at various places in this self-contained shopping and retail village. They told me how everybody met one another and how they came to have this group of friends. It interested me in terms of group dynamics but, of course, beyond that I didn't much care. It was just conversation. But it was clear they all enjoyed being with one another and that they saw Janelle as sort of a leader. I got an answer for why all the women were dressed up at lunch too. Seems that Janelle and her friends do it as a reverse on the old casual Friday thing that was in vogue back when I used to work in a corporate office. Since every day now is casual dress day they decided to have dress up Fridays and go out to a better restaurant for lunch once a month. It's an excuse to buy nice clothes too, one of the group confided.
Everybody was nice, bright, clever and being around them made me feel good about the future of the world. Eventually the group dwindled down to Janelle, me, and a cute twenty-something blonde named Suze. Rather than order more to drink I suggested we find a place to eat more substantial fare than pretzels and peanuts. As I was settling up the bill Suze begged off on the dinner invitation. Janelle and I were on our own.
She knew a place a couple blocks walk back towards my hotel. The food was good and the conversation was great. I let her do most of the talking but I listened closely. I had decided back at the brewpub that I really should make every effort to fuck this curvy girl this weekend.
And, after all, listening attentively to a woman is the most seductive thing a man can do.