Vance carried with him only his passport and wallet, and these he tossed on the table by the door. He unzipped his windbreaker and left that on the table as well. Though the room's square-footage was unimpressive, the ceilings had to be at least sixteen feet. There was but one window in the room, but that ran the length of the entire south wall, floor-to-ceiling. The view outside was of a Koi pond the size of a football field.
"Wow," Vance said, looking up at the mural painted on the ceiling. It was nice, he supposed, if not a trifle ostentatious for his tastes. The bed was enormous, and it looked like it cost about as much as his mother's house in Buffalo. He pulled off his shoes and plunked down in it, and it absorbed his body eagerly, pulling him down until he was flat on his back, lazily staring up at the ceiling so far above him as a happy smile spread across his face.
"This bed is like sleeping on Cool Whip," Vance giggled. His eye lids drooped to remind him how tired he was from all the jet lag. Maybe he could sneak in a little nap before the banquet...
A knock at his door popped open his eyes and Vance bolted upright into a seated position. He was a little disoriented; had he really fallen asleep? He checked his watch. Yes, he had definitely fallen asleep, but only for about fifteen minutes. He cleared his throat and called out to the door, "Yes?"
"Vance, it's Roger. Are you ready for the banquet?"
"I thought one of those nice ladies would escort me to the grand ball room or whatever," Vance said as he crossed the room to open the door for his new friend.
On the other side, Roger laughed, "I'll be your date, mate."
Vance opened the door and smirked, "Oh joy."
Standing before him was Roger. At least, Vance assumed it was Roger, though he wasn't certain. Roger wore a form-fitting tux, complete with a top hat and tails. A fresh boutonniere was crisply fastened to his lapel. He looked kind of like James Bond.
Vance tried to hold that image in his mind but could not. It was Roger, after all, the geeky Brit. Not 007.
All right, Vance considered, maybe James Bond's tech guy.
But still Roger's appearance warranted a compliment, "You clean up well, sir."
Roger's face dropped, "Please don't tell me you're wearing that to the banquet."
"Ah, but if you remember, my luggage is somewhere else. All I've got are the clothes on my back."
"Don't be a buffoon," Roger said and barged into the room, "like I could afford this get-up. I would need a third mortgage to buy a tux like this. It was hanging in my room, perfectly tailored to my body."
Vance frowned. That seemed a little creepy to him.
"Ah, here we are," Roger said and pulled open a closet door which Vance had missed. Hanging from a fancy iron hook inside was a tuxedo similar to the one Roger wore. Vance had no doubt it would fit him just as perfectly as Roger's tux.
"Wow," Vance said.
"It feels incredible!" Roger offered, "Hurry and put it on before the girls come get us."
Vance rolled his neck and felt it pop loud enough to make Roger grimace, "I say..."
Vance shook his head, "I don't think I'm gonna wear it tonight; I've got jet lag like a mother. I think I'll just stick with the stuff I'm already wearing."
Roger's face recoiled in horror as if Vance had just farted in his mother's face, "But you look like a vagabond!"
Vance laughed, "I swear I'll wear it tomorrow -- to brunch maybe."
Roger snorted, "I don't want to be seen with you."
There was a knock at the open door and the two men turned around. One of the maids stood complacently outside and addressed them, "Gentlemen, if you would accompany me to the banquet hall."
"We'd love to," Vance smiled and closed the door behind him.