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Peggy Oxenberg paid no attention to the wide-open spaces far below California Air Express’ Las Vegas Shuttle as it made a wide banking turn that gave the passengers on her side of the aircraft a breathtaking view. With almost as many hours in the air as the pilot at the controls, the former flight attendant had seen it too many times before to be impressed.
Instead, the forty-six year old vice-president of in-flight operations concentrated on the paperwork she had brought with her to wrap up before she could enjoy her long overdue vacation. It was only two hundred and fifty miles separating Los Angeles, where she was now based at the airline’s home office, and Las Vegas, but experience told her that it would still be almost another half hour before they landed. There were always a lot of flights into Vegas on a Friday afternoon and it was normal for them to get backed up over the desert.
The light was already on for passengers to return to their seats and strap themselves in, but the short haired brunette rarely paid attention to such things. After all, since technically, she was the person responsible for all of the attendants on the plane, none of them were about to tell her she couldn’t head back to the bathroom when she wanted to.
Coming back up the aisle, Peggy made it a point to mention to the senior attendant onboard how impressed she was with the way his crew went about their jobs. It didn’t hurt to let the troops know you paid attention. Truth be told, Peggy sometimes missed the days when she traveled around the country doing the same job as the younger man she was chatting with. There was a sense of freedom about sometimes being in two or three different cities a week and living a carefree life. But nothing lasts forever, she reminded herself once again.
Halfway back to her seat, Peggy had to wait as a passenger got up to put something in the overhead compartment. Standing there, she made eye contact with a rather cute blonde haired woman in the seat next to the woman who had gotten up. With a slim build and long blonde hair below her shoulders, she looked to be in her mid-twenties. Bright blue eyes met Peggy’s emerald green’s for a moment and she returned the older woman’s smile. Then the moment passed and the young lady turned her attention back to the book she’d been reading.
That was another thing she missed from those not so long ago days, Peggy mused as the woman in the aisle sat down and she was able to continue on to her seat. Back then; she could get a lot more than a smile from a pretty woman like that. Not to say Peggy lacked for company when she wanted it nowadays, but with all the changes in her life, the more adventurous aspects of it were just memories now.
By the time she sat down and buckled her seat belt, Peggy realized that there was something more about the blonde bothering her than just a reminder of glory days. The woman seemed familiar somehow, but she couldn’t place her. She’d literally encountered thousands of women in her professional life, but only a few had ever made any lasting impressions. And if she’d known a woman like that on a personal level, she was sure she would’ve remembered.
“Must be my imagination,” Peggy told herself as she packed away the last of her papers in her attache case. “Another sign I’m getting older.” she silently laughed.
Yet, ten minutes later, the question was still bothering her. So much so that she got back up from her seat and went back to the attendant’s station where the senior attendant was wrapping things up as well.
“Is there a problem?” Mike Boone asked when he looked up and saw her standing there.
“No, not at all,” Peggy assured him, “I’d just like to take a look at your passenger manifest for a moment, if you don’t mind?”
Mike hesitated for a few seconds, for which Peggy gave him credit. That wasn’t the sort of thing you normally shared with the passengers. Then again, she wasn’t exactly a passenger either, he justified as he took the list out of the drawer and handed it to her.
It only took a second for Peggy to run her finger down the seating chart and find the name, Samatha Owens. A name that drew a total blank to her. Chalking it all up to the imagination it probably was, she thanked Mike and handed it back to him. On the way back to her seat, she made it a point to walk up the other aisle. Taking a last look at Ms. Owens as she passed her row, Peggy still felt like she knew her from somewhere.
“That just shows me that I’m working too hard and I haven’t gotten laid in far too long,” Peggy grinned as she strapped herself in for the last time. Hopefully, the weekend in Las Vegas would take care of both problems.
One great advantage to being a VIP of sorts on the twice daily flight, was that Peggy was off the plane before just about anyone else, and her luggage was waiting for her by the time she got to the terminal. Along with a cab that got her to her hotel while others were still waiting for their suitcases. By the time bahis firmaları any of them reached their hotel check ins, Peggy had already unpacked, changed into a comfortable, sleeveless black blouse and a cream colored skirt, and was heading for the casino to try her luck.
“There has to be some mistake,” Peggy heard a woman’s voice say as she crossed the lobby.
She automatically turned in the direction it had come from. In this case, the front desk she had checked in at a short time before. Normally, she would’ve just continued on her way, but Peggy found herself stopping in her tracks when she saw that the voice belonged to the woman from the plane.
Curious, and in no real hurry to lose her money at the blackjack table, Peggy moved a little closer to see what was going on. She walked up to the small display of pamphlets on the far end of the counter, picking one up about helicopter tours and pretended to read it.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I’ve checked it twice,” the white haired desk clerk, whose name tag read George, said as he looked away from his computer screen. “We don’t have any reservation for a Samantha Owens.”
“But I know the girl who does our company’s travel arrangements made the reservation,” Samantha insisted. “It has to be there.”
The clerk gave a shrug of his shoulders, as if he believed that the woman was just another person who’d shown up without a reservation and was trying to bully her way into a room. He’d seen it too many times to give it credence, but he went through the motions and checked a third time, with the same results.
“Wait a second,” Samantha said before he could move on to the guest who was waiting behind her to check in, “check under Thomas, Samantha Thomas, they might have put it under there.”
The blond haired businesswoman remembered at the last minute that she’d recently informed the personnel director that she planned to go back to using her maiden name now that her divorce was final. That might be the reason for the mix-up.
“Sorry, no Thomas either,” the exasperated clerk said as he now insisted that Samantha step aside and let those with valid reservations check in.
“Oh my God!” Peggy gasped as the memory she had been trying to earlier recall suddenly became crystal clear.
The name might not have hit home with the hotel clerk, but it certainly did with Peggy. The girl had only been nineteen when she’d met her for a brief moment some five years before, but she’d made a quite lasting impression.
It had been on Flight 109, the redeye out of Newark to Los Angeles, and now that she’d made the mental connection, Peggy remembered it like it was yesterday. Samantha had been one of the two women who’d had an in-flight sexual encounter in the bathroom while most of the other passengers dozed their way cross-country.
One of the reasons Peggy remembered the incident so clearly was, aside from having been incredibly turned on by them as she listened outside the door, the then senior flight attendant had given her card to the older of the two, Barbara Logan, as she disembarked. On the back of the card had been her number and an invitation to dinner. An invitation that the New York based lawyer had taken her up on.
Much more satisfying activities had followed dinner, to be repeated two more times while both of them were in Los Angeles. They had never crossed paths again, but the memory of that weekend had remained in her mind. How amazing it was, Peggy thought as she put the flyer back in the cardboard holder, to run into the other half of that daring duo after all this time.
“Excuse me,” the older brunette said as she stepped up to the center of the countertop, ignoring the people that had been waiting behind Samantha. “Is there a problem?”
Normally, the man behind the desk would’ve been further annoyed, but he immediately recognized Peggy as being an official with an airline that put up its crews at the hotel, even keeping a room all the time for emergencies. Ignoring the man behind Samantha who was trying to hand him his reservation confirmation, the clerk gave Peggy his undivided attention.
He quickly outlined the girl’s problem, and insisted that while he was of course sympathetic, there really wasn’t much he could do. It was Friday, after all, and the hotel was fully booked as it was. Perhaps the young lady could try one of the lesser-known establishments?
“I think that maybe you just aren’t looking in the right places,” Peggy suggested, along with the thought that maybe if he couldn’t find this young woman a room, which obviously someone on the hotel staff had misplaced the reservation for, then perhaps the manager might be able to find one.”
“No Ma’am,” I’m sure that there won’t be any need to involve him in this,” came his quick reply after Peggy voiced her thoughts.
Peggy let him squirm for a minute or two, using the time he checked the list of rooms again to fully take in the younger woman who now looked at her with a sense of deliverance.
“You kaçak iddaa were on the plane.” she said as she recognized Peggy.
“Yes I was,” she smiled back before turning again to the clerk, the look on her face now saying she expected an answer.
“Ma’am, I have looked at every room we have in this place,” George said in frustration, “and we don’t even have a utility closet that we could put a cot in.”
Peggy hadn’t really expected any different answer, although she didn’t appreciate the crude imagery he used to emphasize the point. She had merely been using the time to come up with an alternative of her own.
“Does that include the rooms that were reserved for the California Air crews?” Peggy asked.
“Yes it does,” he replied. “All six rooms are being used.”
“Being used, or filled up?” Peggy asked, already knowing the answer.
“Well,” George said, his tone reflecting the fact that he’d not taken that into consideration. “Both you and Mr. Boone have rooms to yourself, as do Captain McCarthy and Mr. Wilson. The others are all doubled up.”
All three of the men he mentioned had private rooms based on their seniority. Technically, as a vice-president, Peggy could move them around if she wished. McCarthy and Wilson were pilots and it wasn’t a good idea to play with their prerogatives. The fly boys were often touchy about things like that. Mike Boone, on the other hand, was in her chain of command and she was sure he wouldn’t mind being put in the position where she owed him a favor.
“Well, why don’t we do this,” Peggy suggested, “have one of the bellhops move my things into Mr. Boone’s room, then this young lady can have mine.”
“Oh no, I couldn’t,” Samantha immediately interjected.
“Hush,” Peggy said to her as she held up her index finger for emphasis.
George looked at Peggy for a moment, considering what his own manager would make of it all. Not that he wanted to call and get his opinion. He also wondered why the airline official was so willing to share a room with a male subordinate.
As he called for one of the bellhops, George came up with two possible explanations. One, that the older woman had something going on with the quite attractive young man he remembered from other visits to the hotel. Or, that the young man was a little too attractive and had no interest in women at all, making it perfectly safe for her to share a room.
Had she been able to read his mind, Peggy could’ve assured George that neither was the case. The last man she had been intimate with was three decades in the past, back in high school. As for Mike Boone not being interested in women, one of the reasons he liked being a flight attendant was that it allowed him to keep the large number of women he was involved with far apart from each other. His story was the modern equivalent of the old girl in every port.
It also now occurred to Peggy that Mike being Mike, and this being Vegas, he undoubtedly already had something, or someone, lined up for this evening. If that was the case, then Mr. Boone was about to learn that sometimes, one had to make sacrifices, no matter how much they hurt. It was a lesson Peggy had learned herself over the years.
“Please, Miss …” Samantha started to say, then realized that she didn’t even know the name of the woman who had come to her aid.
“Peggy, Peggy Oxenberg,” she offered, pausing a breath to see if there was any recognition. A foolish thought really, since they had never actually been introduced.
“Miss Oxenberg, I really can’t take your room,” Samantha said, her voice reflecting the gratitude of the offer, “as much as I need someplace to stay. If you really want to be that generous, let me share it, and pay half the cost.”
“The room is already paid for,” Peggy said. “I work for the airline.”
“Then let me show my appreciation in another way,” Samantha offered.
Peggy had to bite her tongue to keep from saying the first thing that popped into her head. The mental image was bad enough to evoke a physical reaction between her legs.
“Why don’t I take you out to dinner?” the blonde went on. “I don’t know about you, but that snack they served on the plane really wasn’t worth what we paid for it.”
“You do remember that I just said that I work for that airline.”
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…”
“That’s okay, I thought it was somewhat lacking as well,” Peggy grinned.
Samantha smiled back with relief.
“Okay, this is what we are going to do,” Peggy said as she now included George once again in the conversation. “This young lady and I are going out to dinner, assuming of course the hotel restaurant doesn’t have a problem seating us as well.”
“No Ma’am,” George insisted, “I’ll call ahead personally.”
“Good,” Peggy said. “As I was saying, while we go out to dinner, you can have your bellman here move her luggage up to my room. We’ll wait until we get back from dinner until we decide anything else, but I’d like you to explain what’s kaçak bahis going on to Mr. Boone when he checks in. So that if I do need the spare bed in his room, he can adjust his schedule accordingly. Is that simple enough?”
George quickly agreed, and was more than relieved when the two women set off in the direction of the restaurant, leaving him to finally take care of the small backlog that had formed behind them. Thankfully, few of the other guests seemed too put off by the delay. In fact, some had found his obvious distress somewhat entertaining.
As busy as the hotel obviously was, they didn’t really need the desk clerk’s call to be assured a table. Many of the guests, at least those not practically living in the casinos, preferred the low cost buffets to a sit down dinner. Knowing this, Peggy suggested that Samantha follow her bags up to the room and take the time to shower and change into something more comfortable. Which in this case turned out to be an outfit much like Peggy’s, only in red and white.
The call had been enough, however, to point out Peggy as someone the hotel management wanted to keep happy. With that in mind, they were met at the restaurant entranceway a half hour later by the hostess. She quickly showed them to one of the more preferred tables, away from the noise of both the kitchen and the casino. The long haired brunette assured them that their waitress would be along in a few moments.
“This is really very nice,” Samantha said as she looked around the half filled room.
“Aside from the self important nincompoop at the desk, this is really a good place to stay.” Peggy replied.
“I really did have a reservation,” the younger blonde said, feeling a little defensive.
“I never doubted that you did,” Peggy smiled back, putting to rest any thought to the contrary.
“My, look at all these choices,” Samantha said as she opened one of the menus the hostess had left. “Everything looks so good.”
“Might I make a suggestion?”
“The veal scaloppini here is so good that it almost melts in your mouth,” Peggy said. “That is if you like veal.” she added, realizing that for all she knew, Samantha could just as well be a vegetarian.
“That sounds excellent,” Samantha said as she closed the menu and laid it flat on the table.
Peggy followed suit, deciding she would have that as well. She was about to ask Samantha what brought her to Las Vegas when they were interrupted by the appearance of their waitress. On her tray, she was carrying two glasses of wine.
“Compliments of the house,” she said as she laid them out on the table.
“That was nice of them,” Samantha said.
“It’s nice to see you back, Miss Oxenberg,” the twenty-something waitress said as she slid the now empty tray under her arm and took out her order pad.
The use of her name caused Peggy to look up and see the woman. not just the uniform. Normally, that wasn’t something she was guilty of, but she had been giving Samantha her full attention.
“Oh hi, Bridgett,” Peggy said to the buxom blonde once she recognized her. “It’s nice to see you again. I’m sorry I didn’t realize it was you at first. I guess I was a little preoccupied.”
“That’s okay, I understand.” the waitress replied with a knowing smile as she glanced in Samantha’s direction.
Whereas many people in her profession usually remembered you by the amount you tipped, Peggy knew from the look Bridgett gave Samantha that she also recalled her by the number of times the older woman had dined here with various women across from her. While women weren’t her partners of preference, it was obvious to Bridgett that they were Peggy’s. Once she had realized that, the blonde made it known as nicely as she could, it wasn’t the way she liked to play. She didn’t have any reason to think Peggy might be interested in her, but some things were best said out front she always thought.
“This is Samantha Owens,” Peggy said as she introduced her dining companion. “We sort of met on the plane ride here and I was helping her sort out a problem with her reservation.”
It was important for Peggy that Bridgett not automatically conclude that Samantha fell into the same category as the other women she had seen her with. It would be wrong, she thought, to make assumptions based on a single incident so many years before.
“You’re the two that gave George such a hard time at the front desk,” Bridgett said with an appreciative grin, proving once again that nothing travels faster than gossip. “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer asshole,” she added in a lower voice. “It’s amazing that they didn’t fire him a long time ago.”
She quickly took their orders, promising to make sure the chef gave them special attention. Peggy took a taste of the wine, after which Samantha did the same.
“By the way, it’s Thomas, not Owens,” she said as she put down the glass. “I guess I have to get used to that again.”
“Bad divorce?” Peggy asked.
“Is there a good kind?” Samantha asked in turn.
“I guess not,” Peggy replied, even though she knew of a few instances where divorce was the best course of action for everyone concerned.
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