Hotel 14

Contributor: Ali Banner

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Hotel 14 wasn’t the classiest of places, but they kept the rooms neat and tidy and didn’t bother you unless you requested service at the front desk. Dinah liked that about them. They also didn’t ask questions, so it was a popular place for lovers to meet in secret. Hotel 14 washed their hands of anything that went on behind closed doors. Dinah liked that, too.

At half past midnight, Dinah slipped down the east hallway hand in hand with Truman, both of their heads still swimming from the evening’s free-flowing champagne. They stopped in front of Room 108 and Dinah pulled the plastic keycard from her handbag. She handed the card to Truman, who swiped it through the scanner until the machine beeped in approval. Grinning, he took her by the hand and led her into the room.

“Hell of a party, wasn’t it?” He loosened his tie and kicked off his shoes by the door. Static sparked between his socks and the shaggy carpet as he walked over to the identical pair of full size hotel beds. Swans made from hand towels relaxed near the pillows of each bed.

Dinah peeled off her shawl, draping it across the back of a wooden chair.

“Best one of the year. Paisley never fails to impress.”

“You, my dear, were the most impressive one in the room.”

A flatterer. Figures. She walked across the room to the sliding doors that led to their private porch, picking up the swan on the bed closest to the door. She bent down, unfastened her high heels, and stepped onto the concrete.

“Come out here and join me.” She winked and crooked her finger. She turned her back to him and tilted her face up to the moonlight.

The night air was cool, but not unpleasant. The breeze tiptoed across her naked shoulders and seeped through the sheer silk of her evening dress.
She shuddered, though whether from the temperature or her excitement she could not say. Truman came up behind her and rested his hands at her waist. He bent forward to nuzzle her neck, placing light kisses on her smooth skin.

She giggled and moved to the small table off to the side. “Let’s talk a bit. I’m still a bit tipsy.” He pulled out a chair for her and waited for her to sit before taking a place for himself. At least he’s a gentleman. But then, they all are when they want something.

“So, tell me about yourself then,” he said.

She brushed her hair out of her eyes. “What would you like to know?”

“How did a beautiful woman like yourself end up at Paisley’s party without a date?”

Again with the flattery. “Oh, I had one, but he ditched me last minute. I’d already bought the dress and wanted to wear it so I came anyway.”

“You wear it well, my dear.”

Gag me. “And how about yourself?”

“I always fly solo. You can’t tie a wild horse down.” He smiled. “Well, maybe you can. . .”

“So, you’re single then?”

“For now. That might change by morning.”

“Oh? You sound pretty sure of yourself.” Arrogant ass. “You think you can handle me?”

“Positive.” His grin oozed with charm.

Dinah let him take her hand again and followed him back into the room. He shut the door and slid the curtains over the glass, blocking the moonlight and any prying eyes. The vertical stripes of the comforter crinkled up as he pushed her down onto the nearest bed and pulled off his jacket. She grabbed his tie and scooted back to the headboard, tugging him along until only inches separated the two of them. His mouth devoured hers in a hard, hungry kiss.

Dinah shuddered again, this time her excitement was clear. She felt Truman’s arm slip behind her back and lift her up as he rotated their positions until she was on top. His hands grazed her thighs as he moved to take off her dress. Up and up his hands traveled until they came to rest on the knife she had holstered to her hip. His hand froze as he realized his discovery. Before he had time to register what was happening, Dinah reached into the side drawer and grabbed two sets of handcuffs, securing him to the bedposts in seconds.


She slapped him in the face. “Single, my ass! You might have taken the ring off, but I can still see a tan line where it sits, thin and faint as it might be. Tell me, how long was it after the honeymoon before you started cheating?”

“You knew?” It was an accusation, not a question.

“Of course I knew. Do you really think a sleazeball like you could land someone like me? Hilarious.”

“But then—”

“Your wife found me. Came to me, brokenhearted. Told me about your infidelities. Said it felt like her heart was being cut into a million tiny pieces. I offered to help you understand her feelings.” She pulled the knife from her holster and admired its blade.

“Who the hell are you?”

“Just someone who believes in something.” Dinah leaned over and picked up the swan decoration from the spare bed, petting its head as she talked. “Did you know that swans mate for life? Their loyalty is so well known that the image of two swans with their necks wrapped around each other in the shape of a heart has become a symbol of love in many different cultures around the world. But, I wouldn’t really expect you to know anything about that.”

“You’re a fucking psycho. Let me go!” He pulled at the handcuffs and tried to throw her off by bucking his hips.

“No, Truman. Men like you need to learn how it feels to be cut into pieces.”

His eyes widened as she stuffed the swan in his mouth to muffle his screams. Hotel 14 didn’t notice as she carved into him.

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Ali Banner is a former English teacher who spent two years teaching in Handan City, China. She is currently a Creative Writing student at Full Sail University. She lives at home in West Virginia with her roommate, Emily, and her dog, Sparky.
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