Beijing surveyed the lobby of the Tabby Hotel, making sure that all her guests were comfortable. The toilet paper heiress was sitting in a comfy maroon chair with her prized teacup Yorkie cradled in her arms. The well-groomed, silky-furred dog was licking the salt off his owner’s margarita glass. An older couple, who looked like ordinary travelers but were really dripping rich with old soft-drink money, played a game of backgammon at a mahogany game table in the corner by the bay window. Then there was one of her favorite clients, Natalia, who had been living in one of the Tabby’s penthouse suites for six months paid for by her boyfriend, business tycoon Seth Soberman. The Russian beauty was drop-dead gorgeous, with flowing blond hair, although she had quite the wig collection as well. Her beautiful green eyes were framed by lashes that seemed as long as her slender legs. She had no career, and wasn’t exactly certain about what she aspired to do with her life, but the one thing she was sure of was her love for Seth. Beijing had just finished seeing to it that all the stores Natalia wanted to shop at today knew she was on the way when Beijing’s eyes roved across the marble floor, through the custom-made bar, past the bellman’s stand, beyond the giant fish tank to land on a man in khaki pants that were too short, a white polo shirt, and deck shoes. He tried to come off as nonchalant but instead stuck out like a rock in a glass of water. Beijing strolled over to further inspect the man. “Hello, sir. Is there something that I can help you with?” she asked politely while checking him out. “No, just waiting for a friend,” he said, shifting his leg in front of the black bag by his feet. “Would you like for me to give your friend a buzz for you to let them know you are waiting?” she offered. “No need. I don’t mind waiting. I’m a patient kind of guy,” he said with a dry smile. Beijing paused briefly, and then said, “Okay, no problem.” She sensed that he was up to no good. “Well, if you need anything, come and see me,” she added. As she walked away, she heard his cell phone buzz. She lingered over a plant pretending to check to see whether it needed to be watered while she listened to the one-sided conversation. “Yeah, he’s here. He’s definitely here. I heard the limo driver outside bragging that he picked him up from the airport. Yeah, the ‘friend’ is here, too. Ole Johnny boy is as good as busted.” Beijing made a mental note to herself to scold the limo driver but smiled at the tip she’d just gotten from her ear-hustling.
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