Sasha was driving everyone crazy as he paced.He still had a little limp when he was tired, but he was like a caged animal!The doctor told him he could return to work, but on a limited schedule.I watched as Sasha was all too ready to handle the lunch crowd.
What I didn’t expect was to be called into Alan’s office.I never dreamed what happen.I knocked on the door to his office and heard his usual not so gruff answer to come in.This wasn’t like Alan.I opened the door slowly and looked inside where Alan had someone in a chair in front of his desk.The hotel’s owner was proud that we were independently owned and one of the premier ones, if not one of the oldest hotels in Charleston.I recognized Myron Weinstein, the son of the late owner who’d died just before I came here.Myron was in his late forties with black hair and was battling his love of food by exercising to keep his waist thin, but he was losing.Alan smiled, but it wasn’t a happy smile.
“Come in, Mitch.”Alan said quietly as he motioned to the other of the two chairs in front of his desk.“We have some sad news.”He motioned to Mr. Weinstein.“You know Myron Weinstein.”
I shook his hand as I sat.“I’ve seen you a few times.It’s nice to see you again.”
Myron smiled and chuckled, but whatever was happening he didn’t like telling what it was.“You may not think so when I tell you.”He took a deep breath.“I’m selling the hotel.”
“Why?”I asked surprised.“The hotel’s making money!”
Myron nodded raising a hand to stop me.“It is, but I want out of the business.I’m a lawyer.This was my grandfather and father’s dream.Not mine.”He smiled.“You two have been great managers, but…I can’t put things to the side and always come here.Then again, you two don’t really bother me with much, but I’m not a hotel person.So, I’m selling it.”Then he frowned.“I’m sorry.”Then he brightened.“But you two will have a generous six months severance and glowing recommendations.”
“We’re being let go?”I asked incredibly.
Myron nodded.“I’m afraid so.The new owners want their own people in management.It will happen at the end of this month.So, in three weeks.”He stood.“I’m sorry.”
I rose as it sunk in.Alan and I were being let go!Then I shrugged.“That’s the nature of hotel business.”I grinned at Alan.“Well, I don’t have to worry about requesting time off now.”
Alan grunted.“I always land on my feet.”He smiled shaking Myron’s hand.“It’s been fun.”
Myron nodded.“I mean it.You two will walk on water with the recommendation I give.You’ll be fine.”He assured and left.
I looked at Alan.“Are you okay?”
Alan looked at me and then nodded.“Sure.I’ll feel out a few headhunters and see what they can offer.”He grinned.“Kent and I may have to move, but you’ll be fine.”
I frowned.“Alan, I love working with you.I love this hotel.It’s a shame we have to leave it behind.The fact that I’m with Tony is great, but I hate losing all this…and you.”
Alan smiled coming from behind his desk and hugged me.“You aren’t losing me. I’ll always be around to get the dirt about you and Tony!Don’t worry about that.”
“And the restaurant?”I asked thinking of Sasha.
“The new owner has their own, so…they’ll be gone, too.”
“When are we letting all the other know?”
Alan frowned.“This Monday?We’ll have a few mandatory meetings and tell them.”
“But they can apply for the new owners, right?”I asked.
Alan nodded.“They’ll need local employees, so yes.And the other employees already have a work history here, it will be easier.”
“Can I tell Sasha earlier?”I asked.
Alan shrugged.“He lives with you, why not?But he needs to let us tell the others, okay?”
Tony got home before I did and I didn’t really rush to get back.I hated what happen.I smiled as I entered the condo as the smell of garlic greeted me and something Italian.
“Hi, baby!”Tony greeted readily, but saw my face and frowned.“What’s wrong?”
I walked around to him kissing me deeply, which he returned as readily.“The hotel’s being sold.I have three weeks there and then out.”I thumbed away.
“What?Why?”Tony asked in disbelief.
“Myron Weinstein doesn’t want to own a hotel.So, he’s sold it to some group.”I explained.
Tony hugged me.“I am so sorry, honey.”
I shrugged, but loved his feel against me.“It’s the nature of hotel business.I’ll be fine.”
Tony increased his hug.“Yes, you will, but you loved that hotel.I’m sorry he’s selling.”Then he pushed me back a little.“And now we can go on a longer vacation!A cruise anywhere you want…go anywhere you want!In fact, we can do Queen Mary now!We’ll need at least two weeks or more.”
I grinned at him.“You just want to go on the Queen Mary!”
Tony nodded.“Of course I do!I’ve never been.It’s supposed to be the best!”He chuckled.“This time, we’d be on equal footing.You’ve never been; I’ve never been…so, why not?”
“We’re building a house!”I reminded him chuckling.
“Are you swinging any hammer?No.”He asked and answered.“Neither am I.It will be built if we’re here or not here.”Then he grinned.“Besides, I get to choose this part of the honeymoon.You agreed.”He pointed out.
I nodded.“I did…but don’t…” I waved a hand.“…don’t go crazy like you always do.”
“Me!?”Tony said like he never did that and offended by the accusation.
“You know you do!”
Tony shrugged almost helplessly.“I like to have a good time!And I like to show you a good time.Is that a crime?”He chuckled pulling me closer, his lips against my forehead.“If it is, I’m guilty, otherwise, let me.”
That’s when the front door opened and Alik exploded in the condo as most seven year old boys did.“Hi!I had a great day at school!”
Both Tony and I turned suddenly.“School?”I asked.
Sasha came in with a smile following his son.“I thought we should look at some schools here.I took him to the school downtown.It’s a private school and they have children there that speak other languages already, but Alik’s the only Russian speaking child, but English is a second language for them.”
Alik was almost bouncing he was excited.“They made me take this test.”Alik began in Russian.“But it was in English, so they retested me in Russian!I did pretty good!”He said proudly.
“It’s called a Montessori School?”Sasha said watching his son.“Small classes and they will teach him English.”
“They have this computer that can translate any test into any language!”Alik continued.“It was fun!!”
I looked at Tony.“I’ll tell Sasha in a minute about the selling.He doesn’t know yet.”I said quietly.
Tony nodded.“Okay.”Then Tony broke from me.“Have you thought about your own schooling, Sasha?”
Sasha shrugged.“I’ve asked around, Johnson and Wales is the best one here.I was thinking in the Fall.”
“What smells so good?Are we having spaghetti?”Alik asked.
“Spaghetti!?”Tony repeated sounding overly offended.“When have I EVER served spaghetti?”He growled at Alik who laughed at Uncle Tony who approached Alik stalking.“Don’t be a peasant!I’m making eggplant parmesan!”He picked Alik up making Alik squeal in delight and cackle with laughter as Tony tickled lightly.
I smiled at how easy Tony bonded with Alik and could make him laugh.I could imagine him when Nick was Alik’s age. “Well, Nick needs to get busy.You need some more of those.”I said behind Tony.“Grandpa.”
Tony turned instantly.“Don’t rush him!”
Then David got home from school and it was mayhem a little while until we sat down to eat.Alik let David and his uncles know how he liked the school and the teachers he met and then as things quieted down.
“Sasha.”I began quietly.“Is there somewhere you’d really like to go for culinary school?”I shrugged.“You have the money.”
Sasha nodded a shrug.“I was going to go here, I work here so…”
I smiled.“The hotel has been sold.”I said sadly.“And they are bringing their own restaurant.You’d have to re-apply for your job.I’ve been let go.”
Sasha’s fork clanked on his plate as he dropped in surprise.“What!?”He then said some things in Russian even I had a hard time knowing what it was.But I knew some of his teaching about Russian curse words, he was right, Russians knew how to swear and did it well!Alik looked a little surprised at his father.He knew what his father said.Sasha looked at Alik.“Sorry, Alik.I shouldn’t have said that.”He shook his head.“I guess…” he thought.“I don’t know now!”He said throwing his hands up in frustration.“I live here!I worked here!Alik is starting school!”
I nodded.“And you can still do that, but work at the hotel.Now, there was a school you might have dreamed of going to?Now, you might.”
Sasha frowned.“I’d love to go to the Cordon Bleu.”
Tony nodded.“So, go!”He said simply.“You can afford to.”Tony nodded again.“Alik and David will be here.Mitch and I will for a few years until the house is built.They have a campus in Atlanta, I believe.”
I nodded.“And there’s one in Orlando.Hell, you can afford to go to the one in Paris!”
Sasha listened, but shook his head.“I think I should stay in the United States.”He grinned.“It was hard enough to get in the first time.”
“Afraid they won’t let you back in?”Tony chuckled.
Sasha gave a nod with a grin.“They might not!”Then he looked at me.“You could become a man of leisure.”
I shook my head.“I’d be lousy at it.I’ll find something to do.”
David grinned.“You could open your own hotel.”
I shook my head again.“No.I like the established hotel.Starting one is too hard.”
“We’ll be going on the continuation of our honeymoon.Only we don’t have a certain time to be back now!”Tony grinned.
David laughed.“A continuation, I like that.Where now?Australia?”
“We’re thinking the Queen Mary 2, one of those long cruises that last a few weeks.”Tony said happily.
“You might consider that for your honeymoon!”I said to Sasha and David.“According to Tony it’s the best!”
“Everything the British do from ships to airlines is top notch.”Tony claimed.“It is the best!”Then he looked at Sasha and David. “Just don’t go when we do, okay?”
Sasha and David chuckled.“No…group events?”David asked looking at Alik, but the dance of his eyebrows told us what he was talking about.
“Not with a cousin.”Tony shook his head.
“Your brother was enough.”I said to David who threw his napkin at me.
It was Friday when Tony came back from his trip to the office where he worked.He had one of those tubes, the one people send pictures rolled up in and he was smiling!
“Hi, baby!”Tony was happy like a kid on Christmas morning.He pulled the tube roll from under his arm.“Guess what I got!”
I smiled as he kissed me.“Plans for the house.”
His face fell a little.“You know?It’s no fun if you’re not surprised.”He growled.
I caressed his face and changed my reply.“What?What is it?”I asked excitedly, pretending I had no idea.
Tony shook his head.“Too late.”He opened the tube and pulled out the plans, but his excitement came back.“Look!”He pointed to the pictures I saw were computer designed, but it almost looked real!The pictures almost looked like photographs, but the perfection told you it wasn’t real.“The whole back is all glass!!We’ll be able to see that view from our room, the great room, the kitchen!”
It was better than those blue and white drawings!I was realizing, this was happening!The new house was going up.This was great!