The Last Boyfriend(10)

By: Nora Roberts


He stuffed it in his own pocket. “Have you got those door rack hook things in those boxes?”

“Some of them,” Owen answered.

“Get them up, for God’s sake. I don’t want to hear about them anymore. Where’s the one for the ADA room?”

Because her arms were starting to ache, Hope set down her boxes. “In Jane and Rochester, on the wall facing St. Paul, in a box clearly marked ‘M&P, clothes bar.’ If you’re getting that, you might want to take down the two boxes in the same area, marked ‘M&P bathroom wall shelves.’ But don’t put them up unless either I’m there, or your mother. And we want a small corner shelf beside the sink in M&P.”

She took out her notebook, flipped pages. “These are the dimensions, the basic concept.”

Ryder narrowed his eyes at it, then at her. “Why?”

“Because due to the ADA codes, the layout of the room, we don’t really have a surface for something as basic as a toothbrush. Now we will.”

“Give me the damn paper.”

Hope tore it off. “I’m sure Owen or Beckett or one of the crew could take care of it if you’re too busy.”

He just stuffed the paper into his pocket and walked away.

“Are you sure he’s your brother?” Hope muttered.

“Pretty sure. He’s a little stressed with punching out here so we can make the deadline, riding the work on Beck’s house, getting the demo finished next door for the bakery.”

“It’s a lot,” Hope conceded. “Why aren’t you stressed? You’ve got the same meal on your plate.”

“Different categories, I guess. I don’t have to boss. I get to negotiate.” He set the shipping box on the floor of the bathroom.

Considering, Hope unboxed the little glass shelf. “Just a small thing, the kind of detail no one will really notice.”

“Unless it wasn’t there.”

“Like a place for your toothbrush.” She smiled, then tapped the wall. “Right here. If you don’t need me, I’ll go back up until you do.”

Hope slipped into Westley and Buttercup on her way, found Carolee busily mopping the bedroom floor.

“Carolee, the bathroom looks great. It sparkles.”

Justine’s sister, her cheeks pink with effort, pushed at her blond hair. “I swear I haven’t cleaned that hard in years. But it’s worth it. I keep thinking, I’m going to work here! I’m going to come into this room all the time. You need me for anything? Boss?”

Hope laughed. “You’re outpacing me. I stopped to get Owen going on the shelves and so on. I’m just going to see how Justine’s doing, then I’ll be in my apartment. My innkeeper’s apartment. Oh, I nearly forgot. If you’ve got any time over the next couple days, I want to go over the reservation program with you one more time. Because we’re going to start taking reservations.”

“Oh boy.” Carolee waved her hands in the air in triumph. “Oh boy, oh boy.”

She felt the same way, Hope thought as she hustled back inside. She hadn’t been so excited over a job since she’d first started at the Wickham Hotel in Georgetown. Not a good comparison, she reminded herself, considering how that had turned out.

And yet the debacle with Jonathan Wickham, and her decision to resign as manager, had opened the door for her to Inn BoonsBoro.

A beautiful building, beautifully appointed in a charming town with her two closest friends nearby. No, she’d never been quite this excited over a job.

She peeked into The Penthouse, saw Justine sitting on the wide windowsill of the parlor, looking out at Main Street.

“Taking a break,” Justine told her. “That bathroom is huge—and I’ve got no one to blame but myself for that.”

“I’ll finish it up.”

“It’s done, but I think we’ll give it one more going-over before the grand-opening party. I was just sitting here thinking how this place looked when I first dragged the boys in to look it over. My God. And I’m thinking, too, how pleased and proud Tommy would be. And how he’s probably a little pissed off he didn’t get to hammer in a few nails.”