Taking His Virgin

By: Lila Younger


“I’ll have to go into the basement and see tomorrow,” I say.

Bill continues the tour.

“Here’s the family quarters,” he says, pushing through a heavy wooden door.

There is a definite change between the hotel side and the private side of the B and B. For one thing, the furniture is more modern, and well used. The space is smaller too, and the wallpaper in this area has faded. Bill and Sandra obviously put most of their money into the business. No wonder Bill is worried. Even if the B and B is doing well now, a new resort could cut into that business. It’s important to try and retain as many of their customers as possible while generating new leads.

The kitchen in question that he wanted remodeled is definitely small, made smaller by the dinner table shoved into it. A big industrial fridge dominated one corner. This must be where they cooked meals for the guests, in addition to themselves. Whoever turned Selkirk House from private residence to hotel did so as cheaply as possible by keeping to the existing blueprint. There was no dining area, and no real living room either.

“Think you can work magic in this space?” Bill asks.

“There isn’t a lot of square footage, is there? Beyond that wall, is it all just bedrooms?”

“Yes, that’s right. But as you can see here,” and he opens up one of the doors, “there’s this long narrow room. I think they used to put food for storage or whatever. It’s not insulated at all, nor finished. If we could take down the wall...” he looks hopefully at me. “It would mean everything to Sandra.”

“Then I’ll look into it,” I say to my friend.

“Excellent. Hey I bet you’re pretty tired. Let’s go find you a room. I’d let you stay here, but there’s no room. Unless you want to sleep on the pull out.”

“I’ll take the room Bill. It’ll be good to see what I’m dealing with too.”

We head back through the heavy doors and out to my car. Ava is gone already, though I have no idea where. Maybe through a back door? I take my suitcase while Bill grabs my duffel and together we head back inside. He grabs a key off the hook and heads toward the carved wooden stairs.

“No elevator?” I ask.

“That’s another thing I was hoping you could do for us.”

“Those are tricky and expensive.”

“And Sandra’s back is hurting from having to help all the old people with their luggage. Not to mention that in this day and age, most people can’t climb stairs all that easily.”

We make it up the winding staircase. It wasn’t too difficult for me, but I can see why it would be difficult for a family who had babies and kids, or older folks. We take the left hallway and Bill opens room 208 for me. There’s a heavy armoire in the room, and a grand king size bed. A thick rug was spread out in front of a fireplace, and there was even a small sitting area with an overstuffed chair. This room must have been a library or study at one point, because built in bookshelves lined one wall. The upholstery was done in light blue colors, mimicking the ocean outside, but overall the feel was one of cozy comfort. It was what I would expect out of a B and B. The draftiness however, left something to be desired.

“You can feel it too huh?” Bill says. “We have the heat going, but for some reason, the rooms that face the ocean are always much colder than the rest of the house. I try not to put guests in them. It’s fine right now, but during the busier times of the year... we do get complaints. It would be great if we could have thermostats so everyone can adjust the temperatures to what they need in the rooms.”

“I’ll be fine,” I say.

“Don’t worry,” he says, lifting up a key. “The room I picked for you is on the other side of the hallway. I just wanted you to see what we needed to do. Maybe get some ideas going in that head of yours for tomorrow when we talk to Sandra.”

Room 207 is definitely warmer, by several degrees. It didn’t have such a great view though. I can see why this is a problem. What’s the point of advertising a seaside B and B if the guests won’t be able to see the sea from their rooms? The view can help increase profits, but not if the guests are freezing to death. Already I’m starting to calculate what we’d need to do, how we could do it so that Bill and Sandra could keep the place open, and whether we’d be able to fit it all in their budget. I’ve never met a client who underestimated how much their budget can cover.

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