tagNovels and NovellasEleven Orphan Daughters Ch. 04

Eleven Orphan Daughters Ch. 04

bymangrove jack©

"No one will know," Shauna had said when he answered her call for him to fuck her by saying "no."

"We are three hours from your girlfriend in the province and eight hours from my home what are you scared of you big wuss."

His mind told him he should leave. A voice in his head kept repeating, you have created enough problems do not start again. His body took no notice he was sporting an erection that he did not believe possible at his age.

It was breakfast time when he woke. He rolled out of bed doing his best not to wake Shauna. He stood under the hot shower and tried to recall what had happened last night.

He remembered the long drunken evening. His furry tongue was testament to the amount of red wine they had consumed. Bloody hell he thought when he remembered dancing slow sexy dances. I must have been drunk I can't dance.

He stepped out of the shower and dried himself down as he walked back into the bedroom. He stood by the bed and studied Shauna's pearly white body. During the night, he had accepted her challenges and returned time and time again to push himself into her warm wet pussy.

Even now, hours later he could not believe what he had done. In the past, he had to resort to Viagra to hold an erection. He had developed a problem as he grew older of growing hard quickly then becoming soft just as quick.

Last night without the help of Viagra, she had kept him hard all night. Even now after over seven hours of wild exciting sex, he had an erection.

He shook his head negatively. No matter what he thought, she could excite him as no other woman had done before. His heart beat faster as he dropped his towel and lay down on the bed beside her.

John caught the public bus back to the village first thing Wednesday morning. He had spent a very long weekend with Shauna.

He thanked his lucky stars that Rose and her family had not been in Hanoi to see what he had been doing.

Shauna kissed him goodbye thoroughly. She ran her hand inside his fly before promising to keep in touch. Within hours, she packed up and flew south looking for property investment opportunities.

Before she left, she told John she would send two of her staff over to help him if he decided to go ahead. "With the very low wages paid here plus your connections and my help it will become a great little business." He looked at her in surprise. She laughed and kissed him "I said little it's not big enough for me."

"I'll send you two smart young men. They have been doing nothing since I sold the family hotels. I have kept them on the payroll because I do not want to loose them they are top operators. I'll need them when I start investing."

Her offer was the straw that broke the camels back. John decided to take on the hotel project himself. "If the government agrees I will be the sole investor," he told Mr. Treet. "To make it more profitable I will need all the concessions recommended in Miss Scott's report."

Within weeks, all approvals were in place. John in the meantime contacted the Queensland trade commissioner who promised to have a delegation from the tourism and hospitality sector and the Technical Education and Training sector visit Vietnam.

He was enthusiastic. "This is a great opportunity for our state to get a foot in the door. "We have been talking about tourism training for some time with the big Vietnamese hotel chains and tour operators. I'll make sure they know this package has the support of the province and your hotel."

John had Shauna's architect draw up sketch plans of the necessary alterations and sought Mr. Treet`s help in finding a local official to supervise the work.

Workers swarmed all over the site clearing the extensive grounds and removing all evidence of the last tenancies. Internal walls and partitions came down leaving the solid old colonial framework that would be come the basis of a modern boutique hotel.

He had a room in what had obviously been the servant's quarters set up as a place for him to live then called the family together. "I am going to move up to the hotel. I want to be on the job."

They sat in stunned silence. "The feedlot is working well. It is returning a profit. The slaughterhouse is just about to break even; Monica's chicken farm is ready to sell its first chickens, everything is going well." He waved his arm to encompass them all, "You are already running the show. This place doesn't need me anymore." Rose looked at him. Questions showed in her eyes and on her face.

The next few days were hard. Family members cried and begged him to stay. Workers he barely knew brought him small presents. He was embarrassed by their obvious distress. "Bloody hell." he exploded when Ruby Kim and Pansy confronted him and asked him to change his mind. "I'm not leaving the bloody country I will be less than two miles away."

"We know. That's why we cannot work out why you want to leave. No one wants you to go. This is your home. Mum cried last night. She never cries. If you love her don't do this to her."

He waited one evening until Rose finished in the office and started to make her way back to the house. She was startled when she saw him waiting. "Hi," he whispered.

"Hi," she replied blushing. "Can I walk you home?" He asked quietly.

"Thank you that would be nice." No other words were spoken they walked along the unlit road together.

The next evening he finished work early and waited for Rose again. On the third night, he took her hand. A week went by before John raised the question of the hotel. "I want you to come up to the hotel with me tomorrow so I can show you what I am doing." He told her as he took her hand when she stumbled over some loose stones.

He put his arm around her waist. "We met like this. Remember when you fell over in the street selling bananas. You were frightened of me and squealed out loud."

She laughed, "Yes I did. I was scared." He leant over and kissed her on the cheek, "don't be scared love," he whispered.

The next day Rose and the family paid a visit to the hotel site. He showed them the sketches and walked them around the building and through what had been ornamental gardens and an orchard.

Ronnie one of quietest daughters grew excited, "Those old fruit trees will survive so will some of those roses and ornamentals" she cried as she ran down the freshly cleared paths. "Can I move up here too? I've always wanted to work in a garden."

"There is no room for you up here at present," John said as he looked at Rose. "You can be my boss gardener I'll find someone to work with you."

John used the room at the hotel as his site office. Nothing more was said about moving. He met Rose every evening and walked her back to the house to have dinner with the family.

Shauna's experts arrived and introduced themselves as Mick and Eddie. They loved the old colonial building, rolled up their sleeves, and joined in the remodeling with gusto. They were typically young Australian men. Their first questions were about beer and women.

John dug out the old esky he had bought from Australia on his second trip and filled it with ice from the cold room. That will fix your cold beer problem he said as he laid some cans of Hanoi beer on the ice. As for girls if you cannot find a local girlfriend in the village there is always Melissa and her girls over in the provincial hotel.

A few days later Eddie said, "Melissa sends her regards." When John looked surprised, he explained, "We grew tired of traveling up and down to Hanoi. Pansy booked us into the hotel and introduced us to Melissa and her mates."

Shauna's report recommended an auxiliary power generator air conditioning and a large hot water system. It had spelt out that these big-ticket items would provide the very basic infrastructure needed. "Your guests will judge your hotel on four things," Mick told him as they worked with the plumbers setting up the bathrooms.

"You need good staff they can make or break you when things go wrong." Eddie stopped work, "You need a good kitchen. Your dining room is another make or break item. Bad meals Bad name is a saying we use in the industry. it's one you should remember."

"Most travelers want a good bed with good lighting and extra pillows and blankets." He pointed to Mick. "He hates the showers in that bloody no star hotel where we are staying. A good shower and bath with plenty of hot water is a must."

Each day saw another task completed. The painters finished their work as the floor sanders brought the old wood floors back to their former glory. Terracotta tiles covered the large outdoor dining area; the last of the kitchen equipment was installed and the non-slip floor laid. When Mick and Eddie were happy that all the dirty work was finished they laid the carpets.

With the carpet down Mr. Treet`s workers swarmed all over the building cleaning it from top to bottom. Mr. Treet became more excited as each day passed and started to visit the project every day "You know," he said one afternoon when they were alone. "I think my people take more notice of you than they do of me. They keep telling me that you are right when you say a good hotel will mean longer visits by top party officials."

John smiled, "I think you know they're right. Your visitors spend three hours driving up here and three hours driving back. Because you cannot supply decent accommodation, they spend more time on the road on a one-day trip than they do in your province."

"If they stay the night, they will have more time to inspect your projects and see what you have done. This hotel will probably do more for your province than any other single thing we have done."

When the carpet was down Mr. Treet brought the peoples committee Chairman along on an inspection. The Chairman had a well-known interest in local history. He congratulated them all.

"You have surpassed my expectations by providing modern facilities while preserving the colonial features of this lovely old building. The province will mark the official opening by providing a mural showing our provincial history for the foyer."

John at Rose's insistence had contracted a small local furniture manufacturer to provide the hotels furniture. It was the biggest order they had ever received. John was angry when Mick told him delivery was slow.

His anger disappeared when they unpacked the beautiful solid polished timber beds tables and chairs. Eddie told him that the rosewood timber reception desk was a work of art; "it is so good that we should feature it in our in-house brochures as a classic piece of local Vietnamese furniture."

They spent days moving beds tables and chairs in and out of rooms until finally they were happy. "It's finished," Mick said as they sat drinking a cold beer. "That's the easy bit now comes the hard part, making it work."

That evening John drove the whole family up to the hotel. "We are experimenting with the external lighting," he whispered to Rose as they spotted the flood lit façade of the beautifully restored French colonial building. Even before they got out of the bus, they were gasping in delight at the way the lights lit up featured trees and gardens.

Ronnie had found two magnificent Bonsais in very big old iron pots. Mick had helped her settle them in each side of the main steps. They decided to backlight them with a soft green light adding to the charm of the large granite columns at the entrance.

John took Rose by the arm and escorted her up the stairs. He smiled and gave her hand a squeeze as he drew her attention to Mick and Ronnie. They stood holding hands oblivious to the cheers of the rest of the family.

John asked all provincial officials responsible for labor and workplace regulations to inspect the hotel. "Tell us what we must do to meet all the applicable laws," he told Ruby when she accompanied the stream of officials

Eddie and Mick moved in to the hotel. They commenced interviewing locals from the village specifying that applicants must have some English. Sarah Button came up to see them when some of her English language students failed to win jobs.

She sat and talked it over with Mick and Eddie. "You confuse them when you ask questions using hotel and hospitality terms and words. It is no use waiting for the tourism and hospitality training under the MOU between Queensland and the province. They are still arguing about detail and costs. Nothing will happen in the next six months."

"Let's structure our own course. We will teach them oral hospitality English. Most of your workers will not need to know how to read and write English but they will need to know how to answer a list of questions that the three of us will draw up together."

Sarah trailed it for a week in her adult evening classes. She then told John of their plan challenging him to, "Come along tonight and ask some questions then listen to their answers." He took Pansy and Lelani along giving them a list of questions. The class performed very well both understanding and answering questions.

When it was his turn, he told them how proud he was of their efforts. "This will be the first small quality hotel in a small rural province in the whole of Vietnam. We want our guests to be happy and enjoy their stay with us. If they do, they will come again or tell their friends to stay with us."

"We will only succeed if you want us to succeed. If we fail, you will loose your jobs and will have to tell people when you look for work that you worked for a hotel that went broke. People everywhere will refer to us as failures."

"You laid it on a bit thick," Sarah said as the turned off the lights. "Yes I did. I wanted them to know that it will not be easy. Working with the public is not easy. Our staff will have to have an answer for the customer even when they do not understand the question or do not know the answer."

"Let's teach them to say, 'I will find out' or 'I do not know, could you please ask at reception,' or 'please ask the duty manager she has better English.'

"We have to realize that these young men and women come from a poor province. They have not had opportunities like some of their counterparts in the city. I do not expect that you can teach them to answer every question."

"I want you to find a dozen locals who with a little help will be capable of satisfying the most difficult customers. Teach the rest to refer matters to them when they do not know the answer."

"Remember Rose wants the locals to be given as many jobs as possible. I know we will have to bring in experts but I do not want to import too many from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City."

Shauna rang inviting him to fly down to Danang for the weekend. "I have been so busy," she groaned over the phone "I need a break. I need another weekend with you."

John was tempted but put her off by telling her they were discussing budgets and consulting with the peoples committee about staff wages and conditions.

John transferred Lelani from the feedlot to the hotel. "Shauna is sending a Vietnamese woman with years of experience as a food and beverage manager in hotels in South Vietnam up here to help us prepare for the soft opening."

"I want you to be my eyes and ears," he told her. "Meet this woman and look after her. Do whatever she asks. Shauna would not send her here if she wasn't a top operator."

John took Eddie aside. "They tell me you have a harem of local girls vying for your charms; if I find that anyone of them has been told or even had a hint that they will get a job in return for sexual favors I will kick your arse until your nosebleeds."

He brushed Eddies protests aside. "Look put yourself in their position, if they earn a dollar a day they're doing better than many of their friends. If they start with us they will receive $2 a day and in some cases a lot more."

"That's not much to you and me but it's enough to buy them some security. It will buy three basic meals of rice vegetables and some tofu and pay the rent on a room. You can change their life just by giving them a start. Is it any wonder some of them offer themselves to you? Don't even think about it lad."

A week later, they had their first dining room trial. John invited Rose and her eleven daughters as his guests. Ronnie approached him shyly. "Can I bring Mick?" she asked.

If ever John needed evidence that his efforts had improved the lot of Rose and her family of orphans it was there to be seen in the way they were dressed that night. Not only were the clothes better than they had ever owned before but their confidence in themselves helped create an aura of beauty and success.

He introduced them one by one to Lua Xuan the beverage manager recommended by Shauna Scott. "Call me Spring," she laughed. "The English meaning of Lua Xuan is Spring Rain, so I like to be called Spring."

"We have employed a French trained chef who has worked in hotels throughout South East Asia. He is Vietnamese he was born in Halong Bay. He heard about our new hotel and approached me before I left Ho Chi Minh City. He wanted to return home to raise his children away from the bigger cities. I think he is very good. He is already has a number of local woman working with him as assistants."

"Your table will be looked after by my new assistant she is a local. She tells me she went to school with some of your family. Her name is Da`o, it means peach blossom." She laughed again, "I have started to call her Peach."

Peach was beautiful. She talked to them confidently answering questions about the hotel and her work. Her voice intrigued John she spoke softly giving the impression she was whispering to you alone. "Our menu tonight is not as big as we would like but there is sufficient to test both the kitchen and our waitresses."

"We have some great Australian wine. I am told the reds are exceptional." "Have you tried them?" Kim asked. "No I don't drink so I cannot make a personal recommendation. She smiled, "I can personally recommend the frog legs in garlic sauce." She took their orders efficiently and delivered them without fuss

Spring returned to ask if they were satisfied. "We have spread the word that we are looking for a female uniform based on the Ao Dai. We want a uniform that is both beautiful and practical. Lelani said she would invite you to look them over before we make a selection."

She spoke to Rose, "it was a marvelous idea to invite the workers families to these dinners. It gives us an opportunity to teach our staff and try out the new facilities amongst friends."

Mick looked across the table at Rose. "It was a great idea. Lelani tells me that it made quite a few members of the dining room team much more relaxed about their first night."

"We had so many family members from the feedlot alone that we will have dinners here every night for a week." He looked at john and Rose. "Would it be too much to ask you and John to join us each night? It would add a little extra for some of the locals to be able to say they met you at dinner. "

Rose smiled and looked at John. "Come on lets meet them all." She stood up, took his hand and led him around the tables introducing him as, "my friend John."

The lobby lounge bar was crowded when Lelani introduced a local pop group. They played and sang Vietnamese and western love songs. John was surprised when the small dance floor quickly became crowded. He was more surprised when Lelani dimmed the lights making it more intimate and came over to ask him for a dance.

"I can't dance," he growled. "Yes you can, my friend saw you and Shauna Scott dancing at the Metropole in Hanoi," she said as she dragged him out on to the floor. She wrapped her arms around his back and pulled him close as she maneuvered them into the middle of the floor.

"This is the place to be if you want a cuddle," she whispered. "No one can see you from the tables and the dancers aren't interested in anyone other than their partner." Her hand slipped down to grab his rear. "Its time I gave you a real massage," she whispered as she leant her head on his shoulder.

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