Miranda was just looking for a place to lay her weary head. She hadn't expected to step into hell.
Length: Short Story/popcorn fiction
Writing Time: Three Hours/Brainstorming-outlining two weeks.
Word Count: 2191
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror BDSM
Rating: Erotica.Contains explicit sex and language, bondage, oral sex, sexual mastery. Strong warning! Not for the faint hearted!
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
(c) copyright by Desiree Acuna
Hello? Is anyone there?
The question echoed eerily through the vacant hotel lobby and a shiver of uneasiness crawled up my back, lifting the fine hairs at the base of my skull.
It couldn’t be closed—as empty as it looked and felt at the moment.
As exhausted as I’d been when I pulled in after driving half the night, I’d noticed the place looked run down enough to either be a derelict or well on its way toward that ignoble ending. But it certainly didn’t look abandoned.
The doors had opened readily. There were lights. The place had the tarnished, fading grace of a lady who’d been a great beauty in her youth. An old, musty smell permeated the grand lobby, but it looked relatively clean.
I hesitated just inside, but I was beyond exhausted. I had to have rest or I was going to fall asleep at the wheel and kill somebody—myself if not another poor soul that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Shaking the strange, prickling sensation that kept crawling along my arms and back as if I’d walked through a spider web and a zillion nearly microscopic eight-leggers were running all over me I moved across the lobby to the front desk when I spied it.
There was no one there, but there must be a bell or an in house phone I could use to summon help.
Despite my optimism, I didn’t see either when I reached the desk and after examining it from end to end, I turned slowly to scan the grand lobby for any sign of life, struggling with the urge to weep like a child from my exhaustion and frustration.
I’d scanned the entire lobby and had braced myself to start yelling when I turned back to the desk and discovered there was a tall, lean, but broad shouldered man of indeterminate age standing where there had been no one two seconds ago.
I might have evacuated my bowels at that moment if not for the fact that everything in me flinched and tightened—including my sphincter.
Except my heart, which bounded upward and lodged in my throat.
“Will you be checking in, ma-am?”
His deep, well modulated voice was oddly mesmerizing and immediately tamped the cold terror that had torn through me. I laughed uneasily. “You startled me.”
One dark brow lifted toward his hairline. He abandoned the expression of polite welcome. A look almost of disdain flickered across features I abruptly discovered were staggeringly handsome. A shock wave traveled through me. “My apologies,” he said after a pregnant pause. “Do you wish to check in?”
My uneasiness abandoned me. A flicker of resentment over his arrogance tempted me to inform him that I’d changed my mind. But I hadn’t seen a hotel of any description for hours and my choices at this point were to swallow my sense of insult and get a room or to finish out my night in my car.
I was just beyond tired, I told myself, and ready to take exception to anything. “Yes, sorry! I’m exhausted.”
Nodding, he presented me with a thick volume, pointed to the first empty space, and turned to look at the wall of numbered cubbies behind him.
More than a little disconcerted since I was used to being interrogated by clerks who typed the information into a computer, I picked up a pen I hadn’t noticed before, peered at the book, and began to fill in the blanks with my personal information.
When I looked up he was watching me, holding a key attached to one of those plastic, palm sized key keepers I’d only ever seen in movies.
He held it out.
I reached for it.
And then it occurred to me that I hadn’t paid. “I haven’t paid,” I said as my fingers closed on the key, looking up at him.
A broad smile broke across the severity of his features. “You will, though, Miranda.”
There was something terrifying about the change in his demeanor, but I discovered I couldn’t let go of the key and jerk my hand back as my instincts suggested.
I couldn’t run.
I fell into darkness.