12-06-2011, 05:16 PM
Casey wheeled her housekeeping cart into the service elevator and slid her keycard into the floor access slot. Her morning assignment was Criss Angel's suite, just like last time with Rosario. Today, however, she would be working alone. It pleased her that they trusted her with such an important task after only two days on the job, but she wished Rosario was there with her; it would make her feel less lonely. At least she would have Criss' kittycat--what was his name again? Sammie? No, Hammie--would have Hammie to keep her company.
The service elevator glided along its incline track up to the top suite. The doors slid open, leading into the foyer. Casey wheeled out her cart and positioned it behind her while she took out the special keycard to open the Presidential Suite. She hesitated for a moment--ought she to knock first? She didn't want to disturb him if he was still sleeping or something. Yes, maybe that would be a good idea. She rapped on the door gently. "Housekeeping," she announced.
No answer. Casey rapped again, louder this time. "Housekeeping," she repeated.
Still no answer. He must be gone, she figured. She slid the keycard into the slot. There was a small click, signalling the door was unlocked. Casey pushed open the door and pulled her cart inside. Inside, the suite was a mess: playing cards, food wrappers and note paper lay scattered all over the floor. Half-empty glass tumblers sat dripping condensation on the side tables, leaving water rings on the finished surfaces, and a heavy denim jacket had been haphazardly tossed on a chair, half falling to the floor.
Casey sighed and began to clear the clutter away. She picked up the heavy jacket and hung it up in the small coat closet by the door, then gathered up the glasses and placed them in her cart to be taken back to the hotel dishroom. She cleaned the water rings left behind as best she could, but it would take a good polish to remove them completely. She sprayed a bit of furniture polish on the table and rubbed vigorously, peeved at the occupant's slovenly ways. "Didn't your mother teach you to clean up after yourself, Criss?" she muttered irritably.
"Actually, she did," a man's voice spoke behind her.
Startled, Casey whirled around. Standing before her, his hair dripping wet from the shower and wearing nothing but a towel around his waist and a mischevious smile, was Criss Angel himself. "But, hey, I'm a guy," Criss went on. "Guys are slobs, you know that."
Casey was flustered. "Ohmigod! Oh, I am so sorry," she stammered nervously, blushing. "I knocked and didn't hear anyone answer so I came in and I...I didn't know you were still here..."
Criss laughed at her discomfort. "Hey, don't sweat it, hon," he said. "But I'm really sorry for the mess we made last night. Late night planning meeting."
"Oh, it's okay, really it is," Casey said with hasty courtesy. "I mean, it's my job to clean up after people, after all, right? It's what they pay me to do here, you know."
Criss returned to the bedroom to dress, relieving Casey of any more embarrassment. Casey went on polishing the furniture, her cheeks flushed beet red. I just saw Criss Angel in a towel! she said to herself, horrified. I didn't know he was here, I swear! If I had known, I would have come back later. Oh, God, I hope I don't get fired for this!
She was still rubbing the water stains from the side table when Criss returned, fully dressed. "You rub any harder and you're gonna wear a hole into that table," he laughed.
Casey looked at the table. Well, the rings were gone, anyway. She crossed over and began on the next table. "I'm sorry if I disturbed you," she said apolgetically. "I knocked twice, but I guess you didn't hear me. I-I mean, if I knew you were still here--"
Criss laid a hand on her shoulder. "Look, don't sweat it, uh... I didn't catch the name."
"Casey," she filled in for him. "Name's Casey."
"Well, don't sweat it, Casey," Criss said reassuringly. "I get surprised all the time by people--fans, photographers, naked women. At least you work here."
Casey forced herself to relax. For a major celebrity, Criss Angel was a pretty nice guy, she thought, not at all stuck up or self-centered. Maybe that was less true when you had to work with him, but he seemed pretty normal enough. At least he wasn't angry about her coming into his suite without his knowing about it.
She stood up from the side table. There, the rings were gone, and all that was left was the paper all over the floor. Across the room, Criss was tending to his cat, Hammie, giving him a can of cat food and cleaning his litter box--a definate sign of non-snobbery, Casey thought. A lot of celebrities wouldn't deign to pick up a piece of paper off the floor, let alone clean a cat box. She did not object in the least when Criss made it clear that the cat's business was his alone; her job was to clean the suite only. "Of course, if it starts to smell when I'm not here," he continued, "you'd better take care of it, or I'm gonna have the management and the health department on my case."
Casey nodded. She had no aversion to cleaning a litter box. She liked cats. She had always wanted one, but her mother was allergic and her father hated them. She had hoped by now that she'd have her own place and could finally have a pet, but Dad got injured at work, the disability check stretched only so far (and it wasn't far enough these days, not with rising food and gas prices), and Benny wouldn't get off his sorry butt and get a job to save his life, so Casey remained in the family home to support them. Maybe someday she would have a cat of her own.
"Well, I'm off to work," Criss said. "Don't light a match in the bathroom, though."
Casey smiled in chagrin. "I get it," she returned, knowing what he meant.
Criss left the suite. Casey finished sweeping up the litter on the floor and turned to the bedroom. Inside, Hammie lay on the rumpled bedclothes, his tail flicking idly. Casey stooped down to pet him. "Hi, Hammie," she cooed. "How you doing this morning?"
Hammie accepted Casey's caresses and returned to his morning doze before breakfast. Casey decided to tackle the bathroom first. The pungent man-smell of sulfur and methane mixed with shaving cream assaulted her nostrils as she stepped into the steamy bathroom. What did he have for dinner last night? she wondered. Pizza? Mexican food? Whatever caused it, it was her duty to clean it up. After living with two men in her family, she thought she'd be used to it by now. At least here she was getting paid for it.
Downstairs, someone had observed Casey going through the service entrance around back, go into the housekeeping room, get a cart full of cleaning supplies, then head for the service elevator--all without being detected, at least by her. The cameras above watched only a confused tourist who must have taken the wrong entrance into the hotel and decided to go back out to find the right one. Perfectly natural, probably happened before, no big deal. The observer knew where she worked; now to find out where she lived.
It could have been easy to gun her down in the street, or at least in front of her house, but there would be too many witnesses and the CSI eggheads would trace it. No, it had to look like an accident. It would take time to make sure it was done right. Find out where she lived first, then go on from there. The probate hearing wasn't until two weeks from now. There was plenty of time.