She leapt to her feet, leant over the guest-relations counter and grabbed at me.
‘Give me a hug!’
Rather startled, I obliged. I didn’t recall such intimacy between us when we’d met before. I was rather glad there was a counter in-between.
‘I saw your name on the passenger list,’ she gushed, ‘oh, oh, I said, here’s trouble!’
As her cheek brushed mine, she laughed and whispered.
‘I didn’t really say that.’
Yes, you did.
A young blond man stood behind me, holding a welcoming glass of champagne. Unfortunately, I had to decline. My hands were full of Guest Relations Manager.
She was a largish woman, smart as a tack, with eyes as cold as ice. Somewhere between twenty-five and forty, I think - I never really looked that close; I was always a bit nervous in case she bit me. She could be warm as toast and Arctic, all in the space of a sentence. As Dorothy Parker once said, my hostess ran the gamut of emotions from A to B.
It wasn’t entirely her fault. If I had to relate to a ship full of cruisers for a living my emotional range would veer from rage to murder. She was very good at her job – except for those eyes, those killer Aza-eyes. They gave her heart away.
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