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Wrong Place, Right Time is a short story to introduce you to Thomas Green.  Thomas Green is the Head Concierge at the luxury five-star Merle Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.  He runs into a guest of the hotel in a store.  The guest has a secret that she wants to remain a secret.  And she needs to talk to Thomas to make sure it stays that way.

 

Thomas Green is in the upcoming book The Concierge.  The Concierge is an ongoing book series.  The first book comes out at the end of March.

 

Please enjoy Wrong Place, Right Time.  See you soon.     

 

PART 1

 

A voluptuous woman with dark hair walked uneasily through the aisles.  Her name was Jennifer Waite.  Her deceptive focus was on the man wearing an Armani suit.  She had secretly followed him throughout the store.

 

Jennifer was nervous and shaking and wanted to leave.  But she could not without talking to the man first.  For two weeks she had tried to get up the courage to talk to him.  It was now or never.

 

They were in the Bay Stationery store.  It was in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia on Peachtree Street.  Two other customers and the clerk were the only ones inside the store.  The setting and timing were perfect for what she had to do.

 

She needed to walk up to the man and talk to him.  Thank him for saving her marriage.

 

She took a deep breath.  Her feet hesitated and stopped.  The man was in the next aisle.  She glanced up over the shelf at him and back down.  It was not going to be as easy as she thought.

 

The clerk behind the counter was a thin young woman with perfect blonde hair.  She looked as if she lived in a yoga studio.  She was watching Jennifer.  She did not believe Jennifer was trying to steal anything.  But Jennifer’s sneaky behavior had gotten her attention.

 

Jennifer felt the clerk’s eyes on her.  She glanced at the clerk and smiled.  The clerk smiled back.  Jennifer went back to watching the man.  Her heart was in her mouth as she anticipated her next move.  She had rehearsed this moment over and over.  It should not have been this difficult.  Why was she questioning how or if she should approach him?

 

Should she be direct?  Lie?  Maybe she should leave the store and forget about the whole damn idea of talking to him.  What happened was over.  There was nothing to talk about when she thought about it.  He had done what he did.  She had done what she did.  What else did she expect him to say about the subject?

 

That was it.  Her decision was firm.  She would leave the matter alone before she embarrassed herself any further.  Enough damage had happened.  She should not have been so stupid in the first place.  What was she thinking?  A woman her age should know better—picking up that young jerk at the bar.

 

She was a damn fifty-six-year-old woman.  Not some teenager or some high-headed twenty-something.  Whatever happened to wisdom with age?  What point was she trying to prove that night anyway?  That she still had what it took to be a whore?  How stupid, she admonished herself.

 

It was settled.  There was no way she could face this man.

 

She turned to leave and stopped abruptly.  The man in the Armani suit was three or four feet from her.

 

PART 2

 

Jennifer stared in the face of the man in the Armani suit.  He smiled pleasantly at her.  Her words stuck in her throat.  Her lips trembled to get the word hello out.

 

She thought the man enjoyed watching and torturing her at the same time.  Even though she knew he was not like that, it felt that way.

 

She reminded herself the man did not have an evil bone in his body.  This was a dignified man who cared about and liked people.  If not he could have ruined her life already.

 

“Good afternoon,” the man said.

 

Jennifer felt claustrophobic in her designer form-fitting dress.  She wished her black coat was buttoned.  Her large breasts were probably screaming, “Look at the old slut.”  Her throat cleared enough to say, “Good afternoon, Thomas.”

 

Even if she had not been embarrassed and ashamed, he was hard to talk to.  Him standing so close to her did not make it any easier.  Her underarms were perspiring.  He was gorgeous, she thought.  Five-eleven or six-feet, late thirties, and built like a statue under that suit.  What woman would not be somewhat gaga over this guy?

 

She told herself she had enough problems without adding another.  Forget about him standing in front of her.  She needed to think about what she was going to say.  Two weeks of thinking about it were over.  So was stalking him.  Now was the time to say what she had to say.  Or, she was not going to say it.

 

“Thomas, thank you,” she said, awkwardly and fast.  “I was… I don’t know…What I was…”

 

Thomas held up his hand in a respectful manner.  The way he always behaved—respectful and professional.  “You don’t have to explain,” he said in a low tone.  “We all find ourselves in uncompromising situations at times.  And any one of us hopes that somehow, or from somewhere, someone comes to our rescue and helps us out.”  She swallowed, not knowing how to respond to him.  “We’ve all been there.”

 

She doubted he had ever gotten himself in an uncompromising situation as he so eloquently put it.  “I still thank you,” she said.  He was about to hold up his hand again and tell her she did not have to explain.  “Please, let me say this.  Or I’ll never say it and I need to.  If only for myself, to hear myself say it.”  After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence he nodded.  “I just want to say thank you.  A thousand times, thank you.  If you ever need…”

 

Thomas began to shake his head.

 

“No,” she said and looked around the store.  The clerk was helping someone in the far corner.  “Listen.  If you ever need me to do anything for you don’t hesitate to call me.  Don’t ever hesitate.  You saved my life.  You saved my marriage.  I mean it.  My reputation would be shot right now if not for you.  Never hesitate.  You can call me.”

 

“Thank you,” he whispered.

 

She reached into her Saint Laurent purse and came out with a business card.  “This is my private number.  Few people have it.  Call me if you ever need anything.”

 

Thomas slowly took her card.  “This isn’t necessary.  You don’t…”

 

“Yes, it is,” she said forcefully.  Her voice rose.  She lowered it.  “I owe you.  Remember that.  I owe you.  Whatever you need?”  He squinted slightly.  “Do you need something now?”

 

Thomas sighed.  “No,” he said.  “I can’t think of anything.”

 

“I’m in your debt,” she said.  “Consider this a favor card.  Call it in whenever you want.”

 

“Okay,” he said.

 

They looked at each other until it became uncomfortable.

 

“Well thank you, again,” she said and quickly reached out and hugged him.  He hugged her too.  It was not a rumor, she thought.  His body did feel good.  He was muscular.

 

“You welcome, Mrs. Waite,” he said.

 

“It’s Jennifer,” she said.  “Call me Jennifer.”

 

“Okay,” he said.

 

She smiled nervously and turned and left the store.

 

Thomas watched her walk away.  Then he looked at her card and thought about that night.  He had saved her from herself.  She had made a bad decision that night.  But there was no reason for her to suffer for it the way she would have.  She had no way of knowing that everything was going to go from bad to worse within a minute of her entering that cheap motel room with that young man.  He had some unsavory plans for her.  And she would have hurt the next day—a lot.  She would have been admitted to the hospital.  How would she have explained that to her husband?

 

Thomas was glad he followed his instincts that night and followed her.  If she wants to believe he lucked up on the scene, let her.  If she believes the young man got scared and ran away that is fine.  She was so out of it she did not remember much about the motel room, except for what he told her.  And that was all she needed to know.  One thing was certain.  That young man will not be sharing any secrets or bragging rights concerning her.  He will not be sharing any secrets period.

 

Thomas put the card into his pocket.  Favors were better than money sometimes, he thought.  There was always a need for favors.  Not the one Mrs. Waite was thinking of.  She was attractive.  But that kind of favor had not entered his mind.  He knew she owned three large residences throughout Atlanta.  One of them her husband knew nothing about.

 

One never could tell when a client may need a private place to have a business meeting, or whatever, Thomas thought.  Yes, her favor would come in handy.

 

Thomas continued to look around the store.  Which stationery would he need to write some personal notes?

 

I hope you enjoyed Wrong Place, Right Time.  I look forward to bringing you more stories about The Concierge and other stories.  Until then, look around, there are stories unfolding right next to you.

 

Until next time,

 

Stephen Wallace