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The elevator doors parted and Eliza stepped onto the plush dark maroon carpeted hallway of the tenth floor. The sconce lighting provided the illusion of an old-world gas-lit ambiance and any sound was muffled by the thick walls and carpeted padding beneath her feet.
Of course, there were other reasons for the lack of sound on this particular floor.
The Corrigan was discreet for very good reason. Much of the sense of quiet solitude was rooted in the unique aspects of the tenth floor. Like the floors that were made available for smoking or non-smoking patrons, handicapped and non-handicapped accessibility, the tenth floor catered to guests with unique requirements. And there were special employees who attended to the needs of the guests on this particular floor. And the rooms here were soundproofed.
Joseph had told her he personally was acquainted with the owners of this hotel. In fact, he'd assisted them in reviewing the contracts and in the closing for it some time ago. He apparently always received special consideration when requesting a reservation. He'd also been asked to assist in the plans for modifications of this particular floor.
It was a beautiful old building with the style and elegance of the early twentieth century, yet modernized efficiently and subtly.
She reached the door of their room and slipped the keycard into the metal slot. Slowly, she turned the glimmering brass handle and stepped inside.
It was dark, the drapes at the window drawn closed, and she reached out to turn on a light.
"Don't touch the light switch," a disembodied deep voice instructed her from the depths of the room. "Close the door and comeinside."
She pushed the door shut behind her and stepped farther into the room. Inhaling, she smelled the familiar scent of Joseph's aftershave--woodsy, earthy. It eased its way inside her, burrowing deep.
"Stop. Set your bag and handbag against the wall." She leaned over, dropped both bags, then straightened. "Now take three steps forward and wait there." She did as he directed, feeling the control slip from her shoulders as she did so.