Melody watched as the room filled up with the hotel employees. She kept her head down, sinking a little lower in her seat right at the far back corner of the staff hall. She couldn’t bring herself to meet the eyes of her employees or see what she had turned them into. She’d let them down and the once polished and well mannered staff she and Ruiz had put in place over a year ago were now…God she wasn’t even sure they’d invented a word for it. Most of the good ones had left, seeking employment elsewhere, including the general manager at Antonio’s urging. Those who were left were rude, lazy and insubordinate and all that was also thanks to Antonio. She winced at the memory of one of the bellboys who’d winked at her a few months ago making suggestive and stomach turning gestures. When she’d gone to reprimand him he told Melody her husband had declared her fair game until she lost the baby weight. And apparently he’d had his eye on her since the days she and Ruiz were a couple. Red faced and ashamed, she ran to the manager’s house and remained cowered in there ever since. She never ventured out unless it was absolutely necessary, which had been when Antonio threw a hissy fit about being fired and thrown out of the Family suite by Ruiz. Another shameful moment for her. That suite was only for her family and she’d let that enemy desecrate it.
She blinked back tears and swallowed back the chocking emotions. She’d avoided calls from her family and somehow it all hadn’t registered until Reno called leaving a message. Though delivered in such a brotherly tone, he’d made it clear he was going to come get her and take her home kicking and screaming if necessary if she didn’t call the ladies and Allan. She was seven months pregnant then and couldn’t afford for him discovering her secret. So she called and Skyped appeasing him, but she knew it wasn’t enough so she dropped off again.
So it made her wonder if the failing hotel was the only reason they sent Ruiz over. They knew where she was and she’d asked them not to tell him, so was this some kind of plot to get them back together because the failure that Red Roses had become would have warranted a visit from the managing director, Reno and of course Matthew. Reno wasn’t the rip off the bandage type like Allan he was more like peel the onion one layer at a time. He would be the ideal one to confess her troubles to, but he’d gone through enough already. Maybe Ruiz could…
Her heart stuttered at the sound of his booming voice, echoing off the walls of the hall.
“I’m going to cut to the chase and save us from the false pleasantries because there is nothing pleasant about this meeting today. I’m beyond shocked by what I’ve seen in the three hours I’ve been here.”