By the time Alexandra made it to the hotel breakfast buffet, the wait staff was preparing to shut it down. Fortunately, she wasn’t into calorie laden food items. Fresh fruit and cereal were all she needed.
“I know you,” said a girl with a British accent. “Alexandra Zakharov, right?”
The girl’s appearance startled Alexandra. “Didn’t see you there. Good morning.”
Alexandra tears open a box of cereal. Dumps the contents into a bowl and reaches for the milk.
“Joy Vogue is my name.”
“Sounds like a show business name,” said Alexandra while pouring the milk.
“Can I have your autograph?” Joy lifts a napkin from the food bar and hands it to Alexandra with a pen.
Joy Vogue looked to be about Alexandra’s age. She wore a white and lavender orchid in her golden hair that cascaded to her waist. Judging from the elegant silk chiffon maxi dress, Joy was of some means. “I’m a musician myself. Play most anything with strings on it.”
Alexandra was in no mood for dealing with doting fans but Joy’s bubbly personality lifted her spirits. “Is that right?”
“Sing, a little, too.”
“I’m in a singing group called Grace. Ever heard of us?”
“Can’t say that I have?”
“Look. We were wondering, since you are in town. Would you mind sitting in with us at our show tonight?”
“You know. Jam. Play a few tunes with me and the girls.”
Classical musicians seldom jam or sit in, especially solo performers. “I’m very busy.”
“Then at least stop in and give us a listen. We’ll be in the hotel lounge tonight.”
The cashier was growing agitated by Alexandra’s slow progress. Clears her throat loudly and announces the total of her food order. “$19.95 please.”
Alexandra rolls her eyes at Joy and quizzes the cashier. “A box of cereal, milk, and strawberries cost $19.95?”
“Plus tax and gratuity,” said the cashier.
“Then that explains it. Tax and gratuity.” Alexandra retrieves a credit card from her purse, taps her foot anxiously while the cashier completes the transaction, and whispers her displeasure to Joy. “This is ridiculous. Feel like I’ve been robbed.” When there is no response from Joy, Alexandra turns around to check on her but she is gone. “Where did she go?”
“Excuse me?” said the cashier.
“The girl behind me. I was just talking to her.”
“Didn’t see anybody. Been waiting on you so I can take down the food bar.”
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