Inn Haven

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The Hot Owner

“Yes, Ms. King. Anything written in that paper is serious,” he replied casually.

“What if I broke one of these?” I tapped the pen on the paper, determined to get what I wanted.

“We will send you back to the town, and I hope you can find a fine hotel there. You can refund thirty percent of the payment, and it depends on how many days you booked.” He showed no expression, telling me he was not kidding. He seemed to be a man who never bent the Inn and Cabin rules even for a persuasive tourist like me.

“So you are going to confiscate my gadgets?” With an arched brow, I asked, still believing that the regulations of the Inn were cruel.

“Yes. Your friend should have informed you first in hand before she booked a cabin,” he said as if he was sorry, but what I saw in his eyes, he wasn’t. “Don’t worry the cabin has everything you need.”

“Really? Like what? What I need are my gadgets, and if you haven’t any in your cabin, how would I survive?” I literally worked 24/7 with my phone, laptop, and the Internet. I wondered how would I ever survived for one night without them.

Shoot me in the face. I’m starting to hate this place. Despite how appealing the cabins from the outside, the rules seem to ruin the beauty of them.

“Our guests follow the same rules., and I haven’t heard any complaints so far. You can come here and retrieve during day time, but you can’t bring them to your cabin.”

“Just day time, why is that?”

“This desk is closed after dinner unless there’s an emergency. There’s no transportation coming over here at night for visitors unless someone wants to travel back to the town.”

I sighed, sagging my shoulders. I could feel the frustration on his face matched with mine. I wanted to check in to the hotel in town, but I was exhausted to even fight with their stupid rules.

“We can send you to the town if the place doesn’t suit your liking, Ms. King. The purpose of these cabins is to ensure digital detoxification. People came here to enjoy the place away from the technology and noises of the city,” he explained while I stared at him blankly. “I am sure you sensed it the moment you arrived.”

“I hope your cabin won’t disappoint me, Mr. Brice.” I scribbled my signature without looking at the paper.

Mr. Brice left after he did a brief tour around the cabin. I threw myself to the wood panel queen-sized bed. From the wall, floor, to furniture was made of blonde wood. He called it a secret cabin—an environmental-friendly cube packed with Eco-features including a solar panel roof, built-in water collection, and filtration system. I started taking notes in my mind. This could be a great subject for Valentine’s day.

After a few minutes, I sat on the bed. A shelf of book collections separated by genres; from romance, science fiction, thriller, fantasy, and even self-help made my eyes widen in awe. But the problem was, I didn’t read books.

After the death of my dad, he only left me with a bookstore, and it felt like he was forcing me to do something I didn’t like. He wanted me to be a Literature teacher, but I chose the path that I loved, which was blogging and freelancing in a few local lifestyle magazines.

The dinner started at seven. It was a small buffet with stuffed Jalapeño peppers, sweet potatoes with herb dip, gluten-free mini quiches, roasted lamb chops, and chocolate cupcakes for dessert.

I took a bite of Jalapeño, and I almost had mini-orgasm. I closed my eyes, relishing the taste as it melted in the mouth. The spiciness of jalapeño pepper, cream cheese, plus the prosciutto was in a perfect blend.

“Umm, my God, this is so good.” I was a foodie. I visited a lot of places and tried a lot of food, but this one was spectacular. Beyond spectacular.

The couple who occupied the table across mine smiled and nodded at me in agreement. The wife, I thought her name was Joan, said, “We’ve been here twice, and we came back because of the food.”

“This is really excellent. Amazing.” The mini quiche was crispy from the outside and creamy mash on the inside, and there was no saggy bottom like I tried before.

“Wow! I must say the chef is unbelievably good.” I was even talking with a full mouth.

“Oh, you haven’t met him?” Joan asked.

I shook my head. “I should probably feature him on my blog.”

“Great. He’s the—”

A clearing of the throat from my back cut of Joan. “How’s the food, Joan?” Mr. Brice asked.

“Amazing, Sam. As always.”

“Would you mind?” He then gestured to the empty chair across my table. He seemed friendly and nicer than this morning.

“Please.” I smiled at him. “God, this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I would like to meet the chef if you don’t mind.” I bit the roasted lamb. The meat separated from the bone. It was juicy, smooth, and tender. Perfect. The spices were enough and didn’t entirely ruin the taste of the meat.

“Glad you like it.” He smiled. This time his eyes glittered with joy and amusement.

“You mean I love it? I might marry your chef and move-in here for good.”

He started digging, and he was using a fork and knife while I picked the food with my bare hands. My action caught his attention.

“I believe in you now.” He chuckled.

“I’m serious, Mr. Brice. I want to meet your chef.”

“It’s Sam. No need to be formal. All my guests call me by Sam.”

With mouth agape, I nodded. “Sorry, I didn’t realize you own this beautiful place.”

“Now it’s beautiful, huh.”

“Yeah, I take back what I said earlier. I think I can leave without gadgets for five days if you always have food like this on the table every meal.”

He strolled his gaze on me, from my head to my body. “I can guarantee that. You love to eat with your shape like that?”

My brow rose. “Should I be offended?”

He shook his head. “Nah. It’s a compliment.”

“It’s in my DNA. Thanks to Ma and Da!”

“What is your plan tomorrow?”

“Call my best friend, Amber in the morning, and thank her for kicking my ass over here. Do you have Wi-Fi?”

“In my room.”

“Aren’t you a little selfish?” I joked.

“Don’t you know how to filter?” His mouth curved into a smirk.

“Apparently not. Well, just wanna call my friend. I can use my data, but I won’t bother. I might go to town and explore a little.”

“Would you mind if I join you tomorrow,” he suggested.




“Nine sharp, Ms. King.”

“How about your chef?”

“He’s a private person. He leaves the kitchen once he’s done.”

“So it means I can’t meet him even just to say hi?”

He grinned. “I’ll make sure to tell him you said hi.”

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