The valet pushed my wheelchair up the ramp and into the lobby of the Fontainebleau Hotel. I fumbled in my purse, trying to extract my wallet, which was lodged under the thick manuscript. The valet was summoned by the bell captain before I reached it. I sighed.
I contorted and slung my purse back over the corner of this miserable torture device and hung it on the back of the chair. I grabbed the metal bars and rolled myself up the incline between the main lobby in front of the Rat Pack bar, past the car rental desk and up to the check-in area. Perry and Tammy had already beckoned the security guy who was so nice to us before. They’d filled Mr. Rollins in on Mike’s unexpected death.
Fred Rollins said, “This is horrific. But romantic. Mike died digging the grave for his true love.”
Perry quipped, “Oh, yes, of course. Something like out of romance novel.”
The security guy asked,” Must’ve been an open and shut thing. The police didn’t question you long?”
“We didn’t wait on the police. We—um—needed to get our sister back as soon as possible. She’s not well.”
Mr. Rollins studied me.
I coughed. Don’t know why, I just thought I should for effect.
“Do you need me to have the house doctor look in on her?”
Perry said, “No, no. We just need to tuck her in. She’ll be fine.”
“All right. I’ll pass the word along to the other employees. The old boy sure will be missed. He was here on opening day, you know?”
Perry whirled my chair around. I pulled some unthought-of muscles in my side, flailing for my purse. I hugged it to my chest. My heart. We were squeezed onboard the elevator in record time.
When the room service guy wheeled his cart off on the second floor and the doors closed, Tammy asked, “So can we go home now? We don’t need to stay overnight, right? Maybe we can—” She let out a high pitched moan. “The dog. We can’t just hop the next plane to Dulles. Sheesh Oh-Donna. I have to find another flight that will accommodate Scooby Doo-ette.”
The dog began nuzzling my sister.
She petted her. “I’ll get you home safely girl. Don’t you worry sweetie. Maybe I can fly out earlier, after I arrange things for you and Oh-Donna.”
Perry said, “We have to claim Chloe’s remains and procure the death certificate in order to liquidate her estate.
I accused, “You didn’t love her one little bit, did you? That woman worked hard at building a second career after she retired from the secret service. She worked sixteen hour days on her feet as an R.N. to see you through law school and to pay for Tammy’s make-up artist academy and then for her personal trainer training.”
My siblings rolled their eyes at me.