October Book Of The Month
She walked off and the dog obediently fell into step beside her.
“You’re a good boy, Finn,” she said and gave him a light scratch between the ears.
They returned to the hotel where one of the bellman greeted her by name with a broad smile.
“And how is old Finn today?” he asked, ruffling the dog’s ears.
“Feeling a little bruised. He crashed into a sailor today while chasing a Frisbee,” she replied with a rueful little smile.
“One of those SEALs?”
“Is that what they are?”
“Yep,” Fidel answered and pulled a dog treat from his pocket to give to Finn, who delicately took it from his fingers. “They train out there all the time. Grueling stuff.”
“Well, perhaps that explains the nasty disposition,” Charlotte muttered.
“So, Miss Forsythe, what are your plans for today?”
“I think Finn and I have had enough of the beach for this morning,” she said. “We’re going to lounge by the pool and relax for a bit.” She hesitated, then asked, “I saw some bistro type restaurants with outside seating alongside the beach. Is there something like that that’s not so close to the beach?”
“Sure,” Fidel said. “I know great place nearby that fits your bill. The service is quick, the food is good, and the staff are friendly. They also have outside seating along the sidewalk, so you can bring your dog.”
Charlotte thanked him and walked into the lobby, where another of the hotel staff greeted her and the dog by name with a big smile.
“Wow,” she said to herself. “When the website advertised this place as pet friendly, they weren’t kidding.”
She led Finn to the pet relief area, which he made good use of. Then they returned to her room where she used the bathroom and changed into a modest, one-piece swimsuit. Before walking out the door she picked up a book and a small bag filled with gourmet dog biscuits. They walked to the large swimming pool. Charlotte found a comfortable lounge chair and Finn plopped down beside her. A hotel staff member rushed forward with a stainless steel bowl of cool, clean water and set it down beside Finn. Charlotte smiled her thanks and opened her book. Finn slurped his water, then crunched down the dog biscuits she slowly fed him.
But the book failed to hold her interest. She kept thinking back to the big, muscular man whom Finn had accidentally crashed into. He’d be attractive if he weren’t such an ill-tempered jerk. Wow, again. Both for the hunky SEAL trainees who trained on the beach and for the incredible staff of the hotel who treated her and Finn like gold.
“You know, big guy,” she said softly, “if we ever come back, we are definitely staying here again.”
Really, except for that morning’s encounter, her vacation had been wonderful.