We stayed up a little longer, going over the day’s events and draining a few more beers. Tony suggested another game of poker. Midnight squeezed my hand and then yawned theatrically.
“Guys, I’m dead tired – today’s been… interesting. I think I need to lie down.” She looked at me briefly as she said this.
Before Frank could object I broke in. “I’ll take her through to the other room, I get the feeling you guys will be staying up all night and I’m pretty beat too. It’s been a day.”
Frank nodded, his mind on other things, but Tony gave me a knowing smile as I got up. Midnight unlocked the door and we crossed the corridor to room 23. As soon as I saw the ‘do not disturb’ sign I remembered about Travis. We’d stripped the sheets off the bed, and there was always the couch, but still… sleeping in the same room as a dead man didn’t exactly appeal. I looked back at Midnight, seeing the same realization on her face. But I didn’t want to go back in with Frank, Tony and Stan either. I moved over to the adjacent door, reaching into my back pocket for my wallet.
“What, are you going to pay for another room?” said Midnight. “Because I don’t think the office is still open.”
“Not exactly,” I said, pulling a MasterCard out of the leather wallet. As a rule I don’t like using plastic. Apart from anything else it’s too damn traceable, but in any case, hard cash just seems more honest to me: you always know how much you have, and I’ve never known it to be refused. However, credit cards are not without their uses. Taking a second to glance up the corridor, I leant against the door and slipped the card between the doorjamb and the lock. With a satisfying click, the door swung open and revealed a fresh, unspoiled room.
“If they’re going to buy such cheap locks, I don’t feel too bad about cutting financial corners myself.” I smiled and held out my right hand in an ‘after you’ gesture.
Once the door was closed behind us she took my hand again and gave me another of those great smiles. I thought of some pop song I’d heard on the car radio earlier in the day ‘she smiles and it’s a rainbow’. This time, instead of standing around appreciating it, I just leant forward and kissed her. Her lips, so adept at forming smiles, also lent themselves well to this function. After a few enjoyable moments, she broke away and turned on the bedside light. It was a novelty loveheart-shaped lamp, which bathed the room in a red glow, making the place look kind of like the final scenes in a submarine movie.
“Classy,” I said.
“I like it,” she said, in a tone of mock-indignation. In truth, I kind of liked it too.
We kissed again, falling down on the bed together, running our hands over each other. I pulled her t-shirt over her head. She wasn’t wearing a bra. She slid out of her jeans, and stood in front of me, naked apart from her panties, as she unbuttoned my shirt. As I kissed her nipples she let out an agreeable sigh and pulled the shirt over my head, not bothering with the last few buttons.
We lay down next to each other and kissed some more. Slowly, Midnight ran her finger down my chest, tracing a circle around my navel, and then exploring further down, where she found I was responding as expected. I gently guided her panties down and she moaned and pulled me closer, reaching down with her other hand to unbuckle my belt.
“mmm… leave the light on honey,” she mumbled. I opened my eyes and was greeted by darkness. I sat up - the task at hand not forgotten, but certainly interrupted.
“I didn’t turn it off,” I said, getting up and walking over to the door. I felt at the edge of the frame until I found the light switch and clicked it on and off a few times. No result.
“Power cut?” Midnight said, pushing the hair out of her face and giving me a nice view of her breasts in the moonlight. “The lights went off earlier too.”
“Yeah I know,” I said. “I don’t think this is good.”
I heard a door open in the corridor, followed by a knock a few feet away. I opened the door. In the light from the window at the end of the hall I could see Stan waiting in front of 23. He started when he saw me leaning out of 25.
“Never mind that,” I said. “What the hell’s going on?”
“The power went out again - Frank sent me to get you two, I think he wants it checked out.”
“Gimme a second,” I said, shutting the door. I tossed Midnight her jeans and shrugged. “To be continued?”
She nodded and blew a stray curl of red hair out of her eyes impatiently. I could relate.