The Last Two Women
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Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Eight men and two women trapped high on a mountain, a killer fog below wiping out every living thing in its path. Is it the end of the world or just the beginning? Sexual norms are thrown out the window by the two beautiful girls, realizing that they must share their sexuality with all in order for the species to survive. From the secret dungeon room in one of the houses, outfitted for those with the most jaded tastes to a menage a trois, they navigate the deep, dark hidden desires in each of them. Some of them succumb to these desires; others turn it to their advantage. Will their sexual survival be enough to save the species? Or will they be degraded into sexual puppets to be manipulated by the strongest?
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/SIZZLER EDITIONS,
eBookwise Release Date: December 2008
72 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [300 KB]
Reading time: 203-284 min.
There had been a light but steady rain for almost three days straight now. It wasn't your typical San Diego weather, but then again, it had been years since anything about the weather could be called typical. Nor was Sloane's sex life, for that matter, any more typical. She had just broken up with her last boyfriend, and refused to even think his name. Another year wasted on a man that didn't want anything more than a warm body for his bed. And as she thought back, she realized that the sex wasn't even that good. Why do I always do this? Pick the handsome guy instead of the smart one. The sexy-looking guy, only to find out that he loves himself more than me. It was getting harder to find a man that wanted a long-term relationship, with many men not marrying until they were in their late thirties. At twenty-five, she almost wished she could give up men all together and be happy with her dildo, but sometimes even that left her cold.
"I know just what you need, Sloane." Erika's voice brought Sloane back to the present. Erika knew what she wanted for herself, and it wasn't monogamy. They had been roommates for over three years now; both girls were the same age, although they hadn't known each other growing up. Erika was from northern California, while Sloane had moved to California seven years ago from Connecticut, tempted by the warm, sunny climate and the excitement of the California lifestyle. The reality of life here wasn't what she thought it would be, but it was still better than her memories of the cold winter and hot, humid summer in Connecticut. They had met in a bar three years ago and hit it off instantly; within a month, they had found a condo and moved in together. They each had their own bedroom and lots of privacy; though Erika would occasionally fuck a guy in the middle of the living room while Sloane was watching television in the same room. Sloane had soon learned that Erika had no modesty or maybe that she was just more secure in her own sexuality. She definitely loved sex: Erika found men that would satisfy her sexual needs and then discarded them when she didn't need anything else.
Sloane knew that Erika was referring to one of three things: sex with a man, drinking, or sex with a woman, presumably Sloane. Sloane didn't want to even think about another man right now. And they had already tried girl sex. While fulfilling, Sloane still preferred the feeling of the flesh of a hard cock over the unresponsiveness of a strap on, even though oral sex with Erika was great. No one could give more pleasure to a girl with her tongue than one who had had the same done to her. That narrowed it down to drinking. Hell, might as well. "Drinking?"
"Not my first choice, but I'm always more than willing to satisfy you any way you want. Get dressed. How about Tony's?" Erika was already dressed in a short red skirt that clung to her ass, red high heels and a white pullover that clung to her breasts leaving little to the imagination. Erika owned Victoria's Secret, or at least she should have, judging by the amount of money she spent there. As she once said, nothing was too good for the twins. She was proud of her breasts and willing to show them off more than she should. Like Sloane, she currently had blonde hair, although no one could guess what their natural color was, since both of them were cleanly shorn between their legs. As Erika also said, she loved the feel of her bare mound. Erika had way too many sayings, and they all seemed to revolve around sex and men. Erika was beautiful; whereas Sloane felt that she herself was more pretty than traditionally beautiful. Erika's green eyes enthralled men with their mystery, and her mouth made their cocks hard when they imagined what she would feel like wrapped around their organ. Erika even managed to keep her skin soft in spite of the California tan they both sported. Men loved to caress her. Every inch of her.
Tony's was a small club in Pacific Beach. It wasn't generally overcrowded but was usually busy any night of the week. Sloane knew that the last thing they would want to do was drink alone. Or, for that matter, pay for their own drinks. She stretched as got up, teasing Erika. "Be right back. I think I can find something to catch their attention." Sloane was already beginning to feel a little better. She was basically an upbeat person; not much could keep her down for long, and she refused to let any man do that to her for more than a couple of minutes. Still, she had a nagging feeling in the back of her head that she couldn't define. It wasn't just about men. It was just a vague intuition that something bad was going to happen unless she did something about it.
She stood in front of the mirror in her black lace bra and V-string panties which left little to the imagination. She had to admit, she also spent a lot of money at Victoria's Secret. What girl didn't? Her hands ran over her stomach, her fingers touching her bare mound beneath the thin panties. Maybe, she thought, I should just stay home and masturbate. It would save time and cut out the middleman, or any man. She picked up a black and white plaid skirt, and pulled it on. It wasn't quite as short as Erika's, but at least Sloane could bend over without showing her naked ass. It was getting cooler, so she slipped a black, thin and clingy cashmere sweater on as well. Three-inch black heels finished it off, and she was ready. Her nipples hardened as Sloane looked at her reflection. God, how can I look this good and not have a man? She pushed her hair from her face, smiling back at her image. She went out into the living room to find Erika nursing a drink. "What are you sitting there for? Let's go!" Sloane said, starting to become more enthusiastic.
* * * *
Sloane parked her white Mercedes C350 around the corner off Garnett. The street was already crowded in spite of it being only Thursday. Their heels clicked on the pavement as they walked the two short blocks to Tony's. Three guys ready to walk in held the door open for them. Sloane felt their eyes on her ass as she nodded her thanks to them, swaying her hips sensuously. Eat your heart out; you'll get none of this ass tonight. No matter what happened, she wasn't going to go home with a man tonight. Tonight she would just tease.
Sloane and Erika walked to the bar as two seats suddenly emptied. Jim already had two scotch and sodas ready for them. "Evening, Erika; evening, Sloane. Business has already picked up since you walked in." He didn't bother to ask for money; the drinks had already been paid for by two men at the other end of the bar.
Sloane crossed her legs, making sure that her short skirt got shorter and revealed a wide expanse of naked leg. She felt so sexy. "Cheers, Erika." They clicked glasses and drank. Sloane already started to feel better as the scotch slid slowly into her stomach. She would have to watch her drinking tonight, since she was sure that Erika wouldn't be able to drive by the time they left.
They danced for a while; Sloane needed the exercise to get rid of some of the alcohol. Her hips seemed to move all by themselves as she got into the music; she barely paid any attention to her partner. It was as though she was by herself, the music itself a part of her, her breasts swaying with her hips. After a few songs, they went back to the bar. Erika immediately drank two more drinks while Sloane sipped her second. Erika then found a new man to dance with, and a different man took Erika's place at the bar. He tried to make small talk with Sloane until Erika returned but realized he wasn't getting anywhere with her.
* * * *
The evening passed quickly. The premonition that had been nagging her for over a week was back and even stronger now. It was almost midnight, and Erika was pretty drunk. "Let's go," Sloane urged, trying to coax Erika off of her barstool.
Even in her present state, Erika knew that in this condition there wasn't a man alive who would interest her. "Okay," she slurred as she wobbled to her feet. "Take me home, but be gentle," she continued, trying to tease Sloane.
Sloane settled Erika in the front seat and put her seat belt on. By the time Sloane got around the car and started it up, Erika had already fallen into a drunken stupor. Sloane gunned the car out of the parking lot. She looked up at the night sky as she drove. The full moon made it so bright; it was eerie. Like it was Halloween.
A crazy thought raced through her head. I can't, Erika would kill me. They both had to be at work tomorrow. The closer Sloane got to home, though, the more sensible it sounded. If she was wrong, then they would miss one day of work. No big deal. Sloane would send emails to both of their bosses tonight. And they would have a nice weekend in the mountains, even though Erika was bound to be furious once she sobered up. Sloane's intended destination was sparsely populated and not a great place to find men. She pulled the car in front of the condo and got out, leaving Erika asleep in the front seat.
Sloane hastily packed two bags, taking enough clothes for the two of them for a week or so. She threw Erika's sex toys in her bag, and then packed her own; although she wasn't sure why she thought she would need them. She grabbed the fixings for some sandwiches in case Erika woke up hungry and threw a six pack of water into the bag, then left the condo. She locked the door behind her, feeling as if it were her last time to do so, and threw everything in the trunk. Erika was still in the same spot snoring quietly.
She plugged the address into her navigation system. It wasn't far. Less than an hour's drive. Laguna Mountain was the highest elevation in San Diego, at 6,273 feet. Luckily, it wasn't winter. Before she was tempted to throw this silly idea out of her head, she used her Palm and texted messages to her and Erika's respective bosses, sealing their fate; both of them had come down with a sudden illness and hoped they would be well by Monday. She checked the gas gauge and saw that she had half a tank of gas. She would have to fill it just in case. She pulled out, still not totally sure of what she was doing but certain that it was the right decision.
It was a nice drive. The air was warm at first, though it started to cool off when she got off the 8 freeway and began to climb up the Sunrise Highway. The view was spectacular as she drove up the winding road. There was a steep drop off the side of the road, but it didn't bother her. She passed the Laguna Mountain Lodge and continued to drive farther, still not entirely sure where she was going.
She slowed down when she saw a large tractor-trailer truck ahead lumbering up the steep incline, its emergency lights flashing like beacons. She waited for the turnabout, then sped past and looked at the driver when the trailer pulled over to the side. The man, in his mid-forties, smiled at her, probably having caught a glimpse of her naked legs. Sloane smiled back as she sped up, the truck became distant lights in her rearview mirror before disappearing around the corners. She looked down at her speedometer and realized that she hadn't filled up the tank. Damn. She had enough gas to get to the top and back but wanted the spare gas in her tank just in case. Thankfully, she saw a small gas station around the next curve. Sloane was surprised that the lights were on, since it was almost 1:30. She pulled in suddenly, causing her tires to kick up dirt and rocks as they lost the traction of the paved road. The car skidded to a stop on the gravel parking lot. The sound of the bell rang loudly announcing her arrival as if she had been transported forty years in the past when gas station attendants pumped gas for all customers. She turned off the engine. Erika still hadn't made a sound except for an occasional unladylike snore.
She heard him before she saw him, but he still startled her as she looked up.
"Howdy, ma'am." He looked into the car at the two beautiful girls.
"Fill it up," she managed to stammer. She was nervous at the way he looked at her and Erika but decided that he looked relatively harmless, even if he was practically drooling. "Where's the ladies' room?"
"Inside the station. First door on the right. Real clean, just did it today." He looked at her as she got out the car. "My birthday's today."
She turned to him, unsure of what he said. "Excuse me?"
"My birthday's today. Been up since midnight so I wouldn't miss a second of it."
"Happy birthday. Hope you have a good day." With that, she went into the station.
"Didn't get any presents yet, but now I get two," he said quietly as he began to pump the gas, looking in and staring at the beautiful, sleeping girl.
Sloane was surprised that the ladies room was not just clean, but immaculate. She felt better when she came out and didn't even know what hit her; one moment she felt something behind her, then a strange smell overpowered her as a wet rag was thrown over her mouth held tight by an unseen hand. She barely had time to register the fumes wafting up her nostrils before she was overwhelmed by lightheadedness. She fell unconscious in less than a minute, having hardly made a struggle before she slumped into his arms.
Joe clapped his hands in glee and dragged the first one into his kitchen behind the station. The one in the car was even easier since she was already asleep; the ether knocking her unconscious with hardly a murmur. He dragged the second one into his kitchen and moved the car behind the station and into his garage, safely out of sight. He sang "Happy Birthday" to himself as he turned off the lights of the station, then went back to unwrap his presents.
* * * *
Christopher steered the lumbering truck up the steep grade. He still didn't know where he was going, since he was over a hundred miles off his route. He was carrying a refrigerated load of food to the Wal-Mart distribution center. It wasn't that he would be late, as he had been making good time until he took the unexpected turn. He was driving along Highway 8 coming from Phoenix. He had seen the sign for Sunrise Highway and took it without thinking, his mistake not really dawning on him until the truck began to lumber up the steep incline. He shifted down ten gears, but the truck barely climbed the mountain. He had never been here before; the navigation system told him that he was heading to the top of Laguna Mountain, the highest mountain in San Diego. What am I doing?
The chatter on his radio was dying down due to some combination of the height, the distance, or something else. Finally, there was only static. He was disconcerted by his own strange behavior. It wasn't that he had anyone waiting for him. At forty, he wasn't married any longer. His wife had divorced him over five years ago when his time on the road caused too much of a divide between them. Christopher, however, liked the open road and being his own boss. He got to see the country from one end to the other. He didn't even have a place he called home except for the cabin in his rig.
It had been awhile since he had a woman, since the travel made it hard to have a meaningful relationship for more than a couple of days. He rubbed his cock and thought that it might be time to find a whore to take the edge off. He wasn't bad looking, just not great looking. And many women didn't take to truck drivers. They wanted a man that would come home every night. Christopher turned his attention back to the road when another set of car lights came up quickly towards him. He snapped on the emergency flashers, and the car responded by suddenly slowing down. He saw the turnout around the next corner; the truck's right wheels dug into the gravel as the car drove by. He looked down into the front seat to see two sets of half-naked legs lit up by the bright moon, which made his cock spring to life. Unfortunately, she wasn't the type of girl that would flash her naked pussy to passing truck drivers, but she did smile back at him as she sped off. He watched the tail lights for a couple of minutes until they vanished around the next curve.
He continued to drive up the mountain to his unknown destination. He passed a gas station, but the lights were out and it looked deserted. He thought he saw a flash of car lights in the back, but before he glimpsed anything detailed he turned his eyes back to the narrow and winding road.
It was only another ten miles, but it took him almost half an hour before he saw the next lights. It was a small motel that looked like it had been built in the thirties. Despite the location, he was surprised to see at least eight cars in the parking lot, including a Ferrari. He pulled the truck into the lot and parked it over in the far corner. He turned off the engine, having decided that tonight he would spend the night in a motel room enjoying what he hoped would be a soft bed. It took almost twenty minutes before he secured his load, making sure the reefer unit was running to keep his cargo cold. He threw some clothes from the back of his rig into a bag and went over to the office where the lights blared brightly as if it were the early evening instead of the middle of the night.
* * * *
Derek looked out the penthouse window at the Coronado Bridge and at the full moon reflected in the smooth water. He had left his other friends at the bar since he had been unable to shake an uneasy feeling for the last few days. It wasn't the football that was bothering him. Being quarterback for one of the most successful teams in the league had its advantages and disadvantages, but he never worried much about it. The sport came naturally to him, just as women did. Tonight was the first night in a long time that he had come home empty-handed, without even the desire to go out and drink tonight.
It was something else that made him pack a quick bag, take the elevator to the parking garage and get into his car. The roar of his black Ferrari filled the echoing chamber with its power. He raced out; the gate barely had time to go up before he sped under it. It took only minutes to find the freeway, heading out onto the 8, the road passing by quickly at a hundred miles an hour. Not even the police would slow him up tonight.
He didn't need directions. His route was planned in his head as he took the Sunrise Highway exit. The low slung Ferrari hugged the mountain road; it was empty for most of the way, and anything in his way was quickly dispatched behind him by the powerful machine. It took only forty-five minutes to get to the motel. Was this the best there was? He turned off the engine and was hit by the sudden realization that he was high up in the mountain at a rundown motel. The building looked like it hadn't been painted since World War II. He could only imagine what the rooms looked like. Tomorrow he would try to find something better; maybe he could rent a house up here for the weekend. For tonight, he was resigned to a lousy room. But, strangely, the uneasiness was gone. It felt as though he was home. He got out of the car, grabbed his bag, and walked toward the light coming from the office.
* * * *
Michael had long since been resigned to being single. Twenty years of marriage was more than one man needed in one lifetime, though in Michael's case, it did require three wives. He could think of a million excuses why they didn't last but recognized that they were all excuses, not reasons. Two people had to share a common bond between them if they wanted to survive as a couple, and Michael had never found that bond with any of his wives.
At forty-five, he didn't feel that old. An accountant by trade, he had done well for himself. He wasn't handsome; in fact, most people would say he was far from it. Years of close work had caused him to need glasses; Michael had refused contacts, as he'd never liked things in his eyes. His hair was sandy blonde, straight, and silky, trained for too many years by the wind caused by driving a convertible with the top down most of the year. Only heavy rain would force him, begrudgingly, to put it up. He lived in Mission Beach, where he watched all the college girls during the winter when the University of San Diego was in session, and the tourists during the summer. All of those tight, young bodies in skimpy bathing suits left him unwilling to move anywhere else.
Two weeks ago his life turned upside down. One morning he had strolled into his boss's office and resigned for no real reason, not even one for himself. He went home that night, walked on the boardwalk and looked up at the sky as if it would be the last time. He had left work early today, his last day. A luncheon had been held for him, and afterward the boss told him to go home in the hope that Michael would change his mind and come back next week when he straightened things out.
Michael drove home and went into the condo to the boxes lining the walls, neatly taped and ready to go. Except, they weren't going anywhere. Michael grabbed his two suitcases, as his SLK320 could only fit two suitcases when he had the top down. As usual, he refused to put it up; instead, he put one bag on the seat next to him. He backed carefully out of the garage and closed the door for the last time. He drove over the bridge, gazed out as the sun set over the bay, then turned his attention back to the road as he took the exit for the 8 freeway. The car sped off, the commuter traffic already gone for the day.
It took half an hour before he found the Sunrise Highway exit. The car took it as if it had a mind of its own. The windows went up as he gained altitude and the air became colder. He passed the Laguna Mountain Lodge, not sure why he didn't want to turn in. It looked nice, if a bit more of a tourist spot than he liked; the parking lot was almost empty. He continued on until he found a motel. It looked dilapidated, yet the parking lot had at least five cars in it. He pulled in, put the top up, and grabbed his bags. The light in the office beckoned him in.
* * * *
Brian kissed him goodnight, his latest lover squeezing Brian's cock as they stood in the doorway. Even though he had cum not too long ago, his cock grew erect again. The kiss was gentle in spite of what had transpired in the bedroom only a few minutes ago. Brian closed the door, going back into the bedroom to clean up, the ropes still tied to the four corners of the bed where Brian had spread his lover out on his belly. The smell of cum still filled the room, Brian taking the wet sheets off the bed where he had forced Kevin to cum, stroking his cock beneath his bound body, Brian snuggled tightly in Kevin's asshole until Brian shot his cum deep into Kevin's guts.
Brian lay on top of Kevin, regaining his breathing, Kevin barely moving. Finally Brian felt the gentle squeezing of Kevin's ass muscles, Brian allowing Kevin to expel his organ from the nice, warm asshole. Brian had dated Kevin a few times, this the first time he brought Kevin home. Kevin was scared when Brian first tied him up, but spanking his ass made Kevin's cock grow hard in spite of his cries of pain. Kevin's mouth on Brian's cock made Brian harder, finally settling down on Kevin's back, Brian's cock slowly and methodically pushed into Kevin's tight, straining asshole. Brian squeezed Kevin's balls when he wanted Kevin to grip him tighter. Brian took his time, finally stroking Kevin's cock until they mutually came.
Brian had just turned forty last night, Kevin barely thirty, but Brian always seemed to find that in his lovers. Younger men, many of them unsure of their own sexuality, drawn to the animal magnetism that Brian exuded. He warned them, for Brian enjoyed the domination of his partner, preferring bondage and light S&M. Many stayed clear of him when he told them of his preferences, but many grew more excited, though Brian was sure that it was more of a way to surrender to these new desires they had discovered, just not sure how to go about making love to a man instead of a woman. Brian was more than willing to teach them, enjoying the feeling of power he had over his submissive partners. And a man tied up only made his cock harder.
Brian was ready to make the bed, throwing the wet sheets into the hamper when he stared out the window into the night. The moon was so bright tonight. He was naked beneath the bathrobe. He felt his cock growing erect. But it wasn't in excitement, it was from danger. He imagined this is how his partners felt when he first tied them up, helpless and naked. What was driving these strange desires through my body? He threw off his bathrobe, standing naked in front of his closet as he picked out a shirt and jeans. He dressed hastily, something that he normally didn't do, Brian dressing and looking impeccable at all times. His body felt more panic, Brian pulling out a couple of suitcases and filling them, going to the bathroom to grab his toiletries. In less than ten minutes he stood next to the front door, turning off the lights behind him as he carried the two suitcases outside, throwing them into his trunk.
The road was fairly empty as he sped off on Highway 8, still unsure of where he was going, only sure that he needed to go. The car took the exit as if it had a mind of its own, Brian turning the wheel as if it were an after thought, the car already moving onto the exit. Sunrise Highway, the sign said as Brian's eyes were glued to the road as the car made its way up the mountain, the moon so bright it felt like daylight. He left the window down, inhaling the cool, crisp air as if it was for the last time. He drove, Brian more of a spectator than a participant, the car almost driving itself.
He drove by a lodge high up the mountain, a gas station, closed for the night or eternity, unable to tell if the buildings were run down or wrecked. He saw the parking lot, the car slowing down and pulling in. Brian was surprised to see so many cars, the lights blazing brightly from the rundown building as though there was a party going on. Mountain Top Motel, read the flickering neon lights that brashly spelled out its message. "Open 2 hours," the four burned out, not sure if it was a subtle message or neglect. Brian locked the car, taking his bags with him and walking toward the brightly lit lobby. And to his destiny.
* * * *
David knew something was wrong before he opened the door to the apartment. The lights were blazing from the windows as he pulled up. He had just gotten out of class, finishing up tonight's class for his MBA, hoping to graduate before his thirtieth birthday. After a long day at work, he expected to see Madeline, his live-in girlfriend, watching television. As he opened the door he was met with the whiteness of the room, for it was empty except for some trash littered on the floor in haste. It shouldn't have been, but it was still a surprise. Madeline and he were having problems. Obviously by the sight of the empty room, it was a more serious problem than he thought, as she had moved out; taking all of the furniture she could get out the door in her haste to move out before he finished his class.
It was a multitude of things, but sex seemed to be more paramount as the fights escalated, both of them enjoying sex less and less, until it finally stopped. Madeline accused him of being gay, continually trying to fuck her in the ass, Madeline's east coast religious background refusing his acts of sodomy as a perversion.
He struggled not to sit down and cry, since there wasn't any place to sit. He went into the bedroom, his clothes from the missing dresser strewn on the floor. Along with his gay magazines he hid in the bottom of his underwear drawer, pages of naked men's cocks ripped out and spread on the floor as if Madeline was proving her point.
David gathered his clothes and the meager possessions she left behind, filling two suitcases with the sum total of his life. He refused to stay in the empty apartment, a testament to his empty life. He walked out of the apartment, turning off the lights to that chapter of his life. He threw the suitcases in the trunk. He drove off, thinking of where he should spend the night.
David was confronted with the exit, suddenly brought back to reality as he turned off the highway onto the Sunrise Highway. He looked down at the odometer. He had driven forty miles though he didn't remember a thing since he got into the car. Where am I going? He found himself going up a mountain, David not even realizing that San Diego had a mountain. It was getting cooler as he drove up the moonlit winding road. Not sure why, but he passed the old lodge, driving with an unexplained purpose.
It looked like the end of the road, the bright lights of the motel beckoning him. He pulled into the parking lot, parking next to the other cars already there. He hoped they had a bar, needing a drink to clear his head. He had no idea why or how he got here, but he felt a strange contentment as he grabbed his bags and walked to the lobby.
* * * *
It was just another day for Scott, making the long journey up the mountain to visit one of his accounts, Laguna Mountain Lodge. He sold hotel and motel supplies to the small accounts that didn't have the ability to buy large quantities from the major distributors. He had serviced this account for a month now, taking over from a veteran rep that finally retired after fifty years with the company. Scott had been with Acme Hotel Supply for a year now. At fifty years old, is that what I was looking forward to, another fifteen years selling to the same customers and finally having enough money to go off and die in comfort?
It wasn't a bad sale; at least it would make the time and expenses getting here worth it. It was just starting to grow dark when he decided not to go back down the mountain tonight. He knew he should, but for some reason he decided to visit the only other motel on the mountain. They had told him that even the veteran sales rep that had this territory forever couldn't get Mountain Top Motel to buy from him; Scott was gutsy enough to think he could do it. And he would stay at the motel tonight. No matter whether he made a sale or not.
He drove the last ten miles, the Buick laboring up the steep incline, hoping that next year they would give him a new car instead of the hand me down he was driving now. The inside reeked of too many spilled coffees on the seats and floors and stale cigarette smoke even though Scott didn't smoke and no one had smoked in it for a month. No amount of cleaning had been able to cleanse it of its former owner's bad habits.
The place was worse than he expected, the building looking like it hadn't seen a coat of paint since the last millennium. The sun was just starting to set; at least the sky and surroundings made up for the lackluster appearance. He parked the car in the lot, empty except for one car pulled in front of the office, the owner's he hoped. He grabbed his sample case from the trunk, putting on his salesman's happy face and strode off to the office with an air of confidence about him.
Jason saw him coming, knowing exactly what he was. You could spot a salesman a mile away, his bouncy walk of confidence, his shoulder tilted to one side from carrying heavy sample cases. Jason had inherited the motel from his father last year, Jason coming back for the funeral and staying, still not sure why. It's not that he left anything behind, a string of dead-end jobs and no female relationships that meant anything, now all just distant memories. At thirty-five he still didn't know what he wanted to do when he grew up. He made a little money from the motel, no mortgage and a little money left by his father sustained him, the summer generating most of the revenue, the winter just a steady trickle of people that lived at the beach trying out the cold and snow, leaving quickly after a day or two. He hadn't had a customer for two days, and now he had to contend with a salesman. At least he would have someone to talk to.
The bell clanged with old-world charm as Scott walked into the office. At least it was clean and neat, the owner taking pride in something. Scott was surprised at the man behind the counter. He couldn't be more than mid-thirties, hoping that he wasn't just an employee filling in for the day. "Evening; you the proprietor?"
"I'm the owner if that's what you're asking," Jason shot back sarcastically. Before he could say another word a business card was thrust into his hand. He looked down, Acme Hotel Supply.
"I was up here selling to your competition down the mountain and thought I would give you the same great deals I gave them." Scott saw the owner frowning as though he was going to turn Scott down before he even got his spiel out of his mouth. "And thought I would spend the night if you have any rooms available."
At least Jason could make some money. Might as well and listen to see what he had to offer. "Yep, got a nice room. Give you the special rate, nineteen dollars. Here, why don't you sign in, and then you can tell me about your special deals. We can go into the bar for a drink." He nodded off to the door that led into the small bar, three tables and eight bar stools the maximum capacity.
"Great," Scott signed the registration book, a holdout to the hotel industry of twenty years ago, not a computer screen in sight. He gave the owner his American Express card.
"Jason's the name," looking down at the credit card, "nice to meet you, Scott." He ran the credit card through the machine, sliding the lever back and forth as it made an impression of the card on the receipt. He dialed the phone, getting an authorization code in less than two minutes. "All set," handing Scott back his card. Jason gave Scott the key to room ten. "Quiet end of the building, first floor. In case the bar gets too loud."
"I'll get my bag later. Why don't we get that drink you promised first? Before you get too busy." Scott walked into the bar, surprised by the view. One wall was all windows, almost floor to ceiling, the vast valley spilling out beneath. You could even see the lights of San Diego shining brightly. The rest of the bar was what Scott expected, the smell of too many spilled drinks embedded into the wooden plank floor. At least it was clean, even having ash trays on the tables and the bar in spite of the law against smoking in bars. They were too far away from civilization to worry about mere mortal laws.
"I'll get the first one," Jason volunteering. And the last I'll buy, he thought silently.
"Gin and tonic with a twist of lime." Scott figured he couldn't screw that up, hoping the gin was at least respectable.
Jason showed him the bottle. "Bombay Sapphire," pouring a generous drink, squeezing a fresh lime in the glass. "Grab a table," Jason getting a cold Bud and a frosted mug from the cooler. He gave the drink to Scott, pouring his Bud into the mug, a nice head coming to stop at the top of the mug as if Jason willed it to stop. They both sat down, Scott already opening up his sample case and spreading his wares out on the table.
Scott took a sip of the drink. Jason at least could make a good drink. Great gin and fresh lime, he couldn't ask for much more from a place that looked like you would get watered down gin and lime juice from a plastic lime. Scott couldn't take his eyes off of the view as the sun settled down beyond the horizon. It was so clear tonight. He turned to Jason, back to business. "I have this great product that will make cleaning a snap. I know you are busy and want to save money. It can save you time and money with this miracle cleaner."
Jason was surprised that he bought some of the things that Scott showed him, making Scott another drink, another cold Bud for him, this time Scott paying for it, his American Express card on the table.
Three drinks later and a five-hundred-dollar order made the rush of alcohol pale in comparison to the adrenalin Scott felt from making a sale that no one else had been able to do. It had taken two hours, but he finally stopped. No use pushing a good thing too far and finding out your sale disappears in a moment of regret. Scott pushed his samples back into his case, leaving two items for Jason to keep. Jason scribbled his signature at the bottom of the order. He gave Jason one copy, extending his hand out to him. "Thanks a lot, Jason. I think you'll love our products. And if you're not happy, I'll make it good." He shook his hand, his firm handshake signaling his acceptance and trust.
The bell clang on the office door, both of them looking unexpectedly as the door closed behind the man.
"Be right back, looks like a busy night," Jason suddenly feeling the exhilaration. He just spent a lot of money, glad that he would have more than one guest tonight.
"I'm going to get my bag out of the car and put it in my room. I'll be back in a bit. I hope you have some food, I'm getting hungry."
"I make great sandwiches and hamburgers. Fresh, not frozen like them fast food places. Even got Buffalo burgers if you want to cut down on your fat."
* * * *
Ryan packed up his bags, grabbing his gun from the case and two boxes of shells, putting it in the gun bag. He took warm clothes, though he wasn't sure why he was going hunting. Not even sure where or even if it was legal this time of year. He just knew he had to go. In southern California he was the oddity, most not the hunting type. Especially at his age. Any twenty-five-year old around here that had a gun was a gang-banger, and they carried an Uzi, not a shotgun.
Ryan moved from Minnesota six months ago, still not quite fitting in. It was almost a daily decision on whether to stay or go home. He locked the door behind him, throwing his bags in the back of his SUV, the tires so big that even at over six feet, Ryan had to haul himself into the front seat. The SUV roared to life, sucking up the gas as he pulled out of the parking lot and headed for the closest highway, still not sure where he was going. He gunned the engine, the huge beast lumbering up to eighty in the fast lane before he kicked in cruise control. The cops wouldn't pick you up at eighty as long as you were driving straight and not weaving in and out of traffic. Most cars got out of his way when the saw the bank of bright lights coming up fast behind them.
He had talked to his old girlfriend on the phone last week, the first time since they broke up over six months ago, the devastation of the breakup after being with each other since they were sixteen driving him to move, not sure why he picked southern California, but before he knew it, he was here. He found work easily, skilled in construction with the work ethic of a mid-American farmer; he had no trouble with getting up and putting in a hard day's work for a fair wage. He and his ex-girlfriend talked for over three hours, but Ryan still couldn't allow himself to forgive her for having sex with his best friend. Or forgive his best friend.
He saw the sign, remembering Laguna Mountain in East County. He took Sunrise Highway, his SUV in its element as it climbed the mountain as though it owned it. In spite of its height, it took the turns with ease, the large tires grabbing the road as though the road was his. There wasn't much traffic; the little that he saw was quickly dispatched behind him as the SUV continued on its pursuit. It was as though Ryan and his truck were one.
He stopped at Laguna Mountain Lodge long enough to buy a six pack of beer, a church key in his glove box popping the top off of the long-neck bottle, one swill draining it until it was half empty, placed between his legs as he pulled back out to go higher up the mountain. To where he didn't know.
It didn't take long until he saw it, the darkness beginning to fall as the sun set, the moon already so bright. But it was the bright lights on the motel, just the type of place he was comfortable with. Not fancy, just plain folksy, just like home. The tires spit out the gravel as he pulled in, loud crunching as he stopped the large truck quickly, the massive tires digging deep into the gravel.
He swung out of the front seat, throwing the empty beer bottle on the other side of the front seat, rattling with the other empties that littered the floor when it fell. He would have to remember to clean them up, the police out here not as forgiving as the ones in Minnesota when it came to drinking and driving. He pulled open the office door, greeted with the sweet sound of a bell ringing out announcing his presence. He looked behind the counter, empty. He saw a movement in the next room, thankful that it had a bar. At least he wouldn't go dry after he finished off the rest of the six pack. Ryan nodded as a man walked out the door past him.
"Can I help you?" Jason going behind the desk as he eyed the stranger. Young, mid-twenties, but he wasn't from around here. Midwest, he guessed.
"Looking for a room for the night and maybe longer."
"I can take care of you. Nice room for twenty dollars. Room nine at the other end of the motel so you won't hear much noise from the bar." Jason pushed the registration book in front of Ryan. "Out here on business?"
"Might do a bit of hunting. Know where I can get a license?" Ryan filled out the form, throwing two crisp twenties on the counter. "Two nights for sure."
"Not much to hunt and not legal this time of year." Jason looked at Ryan for a moment. "Though if you go up a bit higher not sure you would find anyone that would bother you if you did. Got a big freezer if you bag something. Don't want to advertise your catch by slinging it across your hood."
"Thanks, might take you up on that. Got food?" Ryan hadn't bought any food at the lodge and really didn't want to drive any more.
"Can take care of you there as long as you want the basics. Meat and potatoes." Jason handed Ryan the key.
"Bar stocked, I hope," Ryan nodding to the bar in the other room.
"Got you covered there too; I have a wide selection behind the bar. Can make you just about anything."
"Jack and beer will do me fine. Be back after I settle in. Don't like to leave my gun in my truck." He walked out, the cash register ringing behind him, the chime of the bell signaling his departure.
Nice room, large, neat bed, a television in the corner, a VCR with a bunch of tapes on the shelf below it. Ryan put his clothes in the chest of drawers, his shotgun on the top shelf of the closet, the boxes of shells under the bed to keep them away from the curious. He checked out the bathroom, clean and neat. He left his coat in the room as he walked over to the office, passing through the door again, the bell signaling his return.
By the time he got to the bar, a Jack and long neck beer was waiting for him. "Thanks," Ryan liking the hospitality. He had already noticed the other man in the room, the same one that walked by him when he first came in. Salesman most likely; you could see the hunger in their eyes. "Care to join me? Hate to drink alone," Ryan nodded to him. The man got up, pulling the bar stool next to Ryan out, sitting down on it.
"Scott," he replied.
Ryan threw back the shot of Jack, a swill of beer chasing it down. He brushed the wetness from his lips with his sleeve, extending his hand. "Ryan." Firm handshake, sure that Scott was a salesman, years of perfecting the perfect handshake to exude confidence. "Nice to meet you."
"That's Jason," he pointed to Jason behind the bar. "Can I buy you another?" What the hell, it's not like the place was going to get crowded any minute, doubtful there would be another customer the rest of the night.
"Grateful," Ryan said. Jason was quick, pouring another shot into his glass, this time the bottle of Jack Daniels left on the bar. Ryan swung this shot down with equal gusto, the warm whisky feeling good as it sank into his stomach. All the uneasiness that he felt in the past seemed to disappear.