Here. This one. It’s close to base.
I pulled into the parking lot and parked in a well-lit area. As I turned off my car, I began to shiver slightly and steeled myself for what I was about to do.
I should have had another beer. Or two.
I walked into the hotel lobby and approached the front desk. The man at the desk looked up at me in cautionary surprise as I leaned over the counter. His face was pockmarked and slightly disfigured. I bet he wasn’t used to seeing an attractive girl by herself in this area of town at this time of night.
How should I put this without coming off suspiciously?
“Uh, I was wondering if you have someone staying here by the name of Lucius Vorenus.”
The man didn’t even glance down at the ledger. He stared at my blonde hair as it fell onto the counter.
“Are you sure? He would be staying here long term…”
“Why do you want to know?”
“I’m looking for him. Old family friend. He mentioned he was staying in a hotel around here.”
I could see a pizza box covered in grease stains that was filled with half eaten crusts. Three cans of Dr. Pepper were next to the box. There were greasy fingerprints all over the counter.
This fat ass wouldn’t help me with anything unless I turned on the charm, and even then I bet he cares more about food and his fleshlight than any tangible girl who would most assuredly leave him the moment he took off his shirt to show the hairy belly that sags over his tiny penis.
I smiled brightly at him and tossed my hair.
“Look, he’s tall and dark haired. He would be staying under a long term contract with the government.”
I pulled out my phone and flashed a picture of Lucius at the man’s greasy face. His eyes never lost their suspicion.
“I don’t give out details of people who are staying here.”
“Well, can you just tell me if he’s ever stayed here long term?”
Maybe I could find out how long ago I had missed him; how long ago I should’ve started looking.
“No. I suggest you leave.”
“Alright, thanks for your help anyway!”
I grinned at him nonchalantly to cover the panic and fear I suddenly felt at the prospect of being reported to the cops. I turned on my heel and my hair flung out in a fanlike pattern. His eyes watched me until I left his sight.
I hope he enjoys the rest of his miserably lonely life.
Walking to my car, I quickly got in and turned on the heat. My shorts were not suited for this type of detective work in December, even if California’s winters were mild. Goosebumps rose on my flesh as I searched for other hotels nearby.
Why are you even doing this? You saw how that man looked at you. This isn’t a detective movie. This is real life. Did you expect him to tell you, “Oh yes, he’s in 112, here’s an extra key”? What happens if you do find him? What do you even have to say to him?
I gripped the steering wheel until my knuckles turned white.
You. You’re fucked in the head. Go home. You’re just asking for trouble. You have no business looking for him.
I peeled out of the parking lot quickly. I fought the urge to pull into the next hotel and got onto the highway pushing 110 before the next exit appeared.