A DATE WITH MR. JENKINS - ROBERT CRISMAN
The nighttime’s the right time to be with the one who will pay...
They pulled into the Ramada at 10 minutes till. Roanne paid the driver and tipped him five bucks. He smiled and said thank you. They exited then and the taxi drove off.
In the light of the doorway Michelle started patting and brushing and futzing herself into shape for the rigors ahead.
First-timer’s stage fright...
Roanne finished her own quick toilette far more calmly, then laughed. She took Michelle’s arm and steered her inside the hotel.
Michelle in that lobby, afraid to look right or left. Roanne strode. Michelle, 22, was a tall, lithe trick’s dream in black jeans, with wide bright-blue eyes, bee-stung lips, and brown hair a thick mane that flowed to her shoulders. Roanne, 29, an olive-skinned beauty with black pools for eyes who left echoes...
Second-floor hallway, Roanne checking numbers. Michelle lagged behind, her whole body clenched, her neck all pulled in. Her legs had no flex and her arms were hugging her body. Her face was a hard-set emotionless mask.
She walked as if blind, eyes straight ahead, except for the glances she’d dart at her lifeline Roanne.
Roanne pointed ahead. Two-forty-two up there on the left.
She quickened her pace then looked back and slowed just a little. She beckoned Michelle, all but whispering, “C’mon, girl!”
Michelle caught up. Roanne took her arm gently, an encouraging gesture. Roanne grinned, leaned in close and laughed softly.
Michelle flinched a little when Roanne licked her ear.
Roanne kissed Michelle’s cheek, a quick, breath-soft peck. “This’ll be easy, baby. Just go with the flow. I’ll show you. You’ll be okay.
Michelle nodded, quick tics in succession. She tried on a grin you might find on a corpse.
Roanne knocked on the door. A couple of beats and then the door opened. Standing there was a short, fat, bald man, 50ish, owl-eyed. He wore gray slacks and a long-sleeved white shirt.
Roanne in her hat with the veil, the Lady of Shanghai. She smiled her professional’s smile, the one that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Hi. Mr. Jenkins?”
A beat, then Jenkins nodded as if not quite sure what this was. “Yes?”
“Hi. I’m Alexis. And this is Marina.”
“Oh, hello. I, uh—“ He darted a reflexive look down the hall. “Come in, come in.”
He stood aside and the women entered the room. Roanne threw another of those smiles as she passed. He fixed on her veil and then looked away.
The room—like those in every Ramada from Seattle to Sao Paolo to Simla, except for maybe the dark green wall-to-wall carpet, which could be construed as a stab at a Northwest motif. For the rest, the low ceiling, the cream-colored walls, king-size bed, the forgettable abstracts, the wet bar, etc.—exactly like all the nine million others. Every detail forgotten the moment you leave, though the bland faceless essence somehow sinks in. You know in your bones that sterile corporate death is leeching our world away.
Roanne told Jenkins she had to call in to the service to let them know they’d arrived. “To let them know that we’re safe here, you know? We are safe, aren’t we?” She laughed, a sexy, flirtatious ha ha. He nodded and pointed the phone out there by the bed. She sashayed over, called in. She hung up and looked back at Jenkins. He and Michelle still stood by the door, a bit like wax dummies, their eyes fixed on her. She came to them smiling.
“Okay now,” she said, “let’s... I’m Alexis and she’s Marina, but we can’t keep calling you just Mr. Jenkins, now can we? Are you a Willie, or Bob, or a Joe, or...?”
Jenkins managed, “Oh, I’m, uh, George.”
“George!” She gave him a smiling appraisal. “It fits you. Very no-nonsense, get-it-done kind of man. George. Yes...”
George looked apprehensive, almost as if this complement would cost him a bundle.
“Yes. George. I like it.” Roanne reached her hands out to George and Michelle. “Well, let’s not just stand here. We might as well come in and get comfy.”
That soft, sexy laugh...
She backed up a couple of steps, turned, and walked to the center of the room. George and Michelle followed, chastely, like lambs. When the three had more or less gathered, Roanne shucked her coat, looked around, and then looked at George.
“Oh, here, I’m sorry,” he said. “Let me get your coat and...” He took the coat and waited for Michelle’s, then went to the closet and hung them. Roanne looked at Michelle, grinned, rolled her eyes.
She said, “Thank you, George.” She looked at Michelle and mouthed, “Mouse.” Michelle rolled her eyes and looked grim.
George rejoined them, actually rubbing his hands. Then he blanked, apparently stuck for something to say. A beat, then, “Ah...can I get you something to drink? There’s wine...or bourbon?” He turned toward the bar.
George, a gentleman, see? Roanne smiled. “A soft drink, George, if you have it.” She looked at Michelle. Michelle nodded and said, “A coke would be fine.”
George said, “Is 7-up okay?”
Michelle stared out the window. “That’s fine.”
George brought the drinks from the bar and handed them over.
Roanne said, “Thank you, George.” And now she took him in hand. Smiling that smile, she laid out the game plan, as if it was his to begin with, which it more or less was; girl and girl and then take it from there. She didn’t say it that way. She told him how great and exciting it was that he’d asked for her and Marina. It was all, well, exciting, you know? Making love to a woman and a man and, you know...
She had the appropriate facial expressions and noises—her breathing, etc.—down cold. A little cartoony; this guy read Penthouse, dreamed dreams, spanked the monkey...
Roanne pulled Michelle to her and gave her a kiss. Michelle did her best; she was still a bit stiff. Roanne smiled at George with a hint of dreamy abandon.
Roanne said to George, Don’t go away now, we’ll be right back. She took Michelle’s hand and led her into the bathroom.
She brought her purse with her, of course. She put the purse on top of the tank. Then she took off her clothes, all but her panties and bra. She laid her hat gently next to the purse on the tank.
She’d’ve left the thing on, but she’d decided that George didn’t rate a full-blown production; Lady Shanghai and all that. Besides, her main focus tonight: bring Michelle into the movie. Lady Shanghai would scare the shit out of Michelle. Maybe George, too...
Roanne, undressed. She said, “You too, girl.” Michelle did as told.
Roanne went in her purse and fished out two rigs, both chock-to-the-brim with good, pre-cooked dope. She gave Michelle hers and they banged, Michelle in her arm, Roanne in her inner right thigh.
Yeah, man, much better! Roanne looked at Michelle. “Okay, girl, how are you doing?” Michelle nodded and actually managed a tepid half-smile. She was...ready...
“Okay, girl, showtime.” Roanne kissed Michelle, hugged her, then squeezed her hand and led her on out of the bathroom.
George waiting with—what the fuck else?—baited breath. He was naked as jaybirds. He had a dick like a hose.
Oh well, the show must go on. Roanne tightened her grip on Michelle’s hand to keep her from pulling up short at the sight of the hose. Then she vamped her way, sort of, to George by the bed and stopped just a little way off. She looked down at his cock, half-standing now. “My my,” she said and dredged up a smile. She gave the hose a lingering tweak, then turned with her eyes on him still, and wrapped Michelle in her arms.
She enveloped Michelle, stroking her, kissing, entwining their bodies with all the appropriate noises. George had a tuning-fork woody like that.
Roanne pushed Michelle gently onto the bed.
She kissed and caressed her. Shoulders, breasts, ribcage, and thighs...
Michelle on her back, Roanne kneeling over her now. They’d left George standing to make his own move. With luck he’d jack off and be done with it quick.
Roanne stroked Michelle’s hair. Michelle’s face, her eyes wide, with silent prayers in them, her lips slightly parted... Roanne kissed her lips, eyes, and neck. She slipped Michelle’s bra down over her breasts. She slid her lips slowly down, to the left breast, the nipple... She felt Michelle’s hand begin softly stroking her back. Roanne reached back, unsnapped and shucked off her own bra, and lowered her body onto Michelle...
All in the script. And, right on time, she felt George’s hand on her ass.
Roanne moaned; it was a good one; that’s why she got paid. She tracked her way down, to Michelle’s belly now. She kissed it and licked it, continued on down. To the promised land now, moaning and moaning, hoping Michelle got the message: Let’s hear some noises from you, girl!
On cue Michelle popped one out. Not bad as moans go. Squeaky, a little but, not too shabby... Roanne nibbled the top of her panties, which showed a soft tuft of hair peeking over. She slid Michelle’s panties down past her hips, then pulled her own panties down. She spread Michelle’s legs, nudging gently. She nibbled and teased, brushing her lips back and forth, round and round. Michelle put her hands in Roanne’s hair. She spread her legs wider and lifted her hips.
They felt George’s weight on the bed. Roanne felt his hand on her back, and then on her ass. Then his cock, hard as rocks. He rubbed it now, on her thighs, on her ribs, with insistence. Then he took Michelle’s hand and placed the thing there, started stroking.
Okay... Roanne would make this quick as she could and, hopefully, painless as well. She’d brought a Trojan out of the bathroom wrapped in her left hand. She grabbed George’s dick with her right hand and stroked it. She slipped the Trojan into her mouth. She stroked George another moment or two, then brought her head over and down, and pulled the rubber over the head of his cock with her lips. Then up, down, up, down, up, down... He had her head in a vise-grip.
It took like two minutes. She’d had him pegged. Two fucking minutes, then, oh! oh! oh! oh!
That was it. Of course he collapsed on the both of them then and just kind of lay there, shivering, shaking and, oh! oh! oh! oh! for two long but—hell, it could have been worse.
He finally heaved himself off. The girls untangled. Roanne told George, Wow, that was something!
Not even a word for how something it was...
Hard to see how he’d think she was sincere. But, she felt it was all for the best if she said it. He might even come up with a bonus.
After a minute or so of half-baked snatches of small-talk, the girls headed back to the can. They washed off and got dressed. Roanne slapped her hat on her head and then laughed and gave it a delicate push to the side. Then they topped off their groove. Before they went out, Roanne hugged Michelle, told her, Good work, cheri, and gave her a kiss and a wink. Michelle just said, Whew! She smiled a bit in relief.
George was already dressed. The only part of him still in that room was the part that stayed always on guard. As per tradition, he’d put the $500 there on the dresser. No bonus. Cheap-fuck cocksucker.
They’d been in the room 20 minutes. Forty long ones to go. George, rocks popped and all out of small talk, chewed on his lips. His eyes darted this way and that. He was anxious to get to his post-coital depression, along with a stiff shot or three of the booze, by himself.
Roanne smiled that smile and gathered her purse. Michelle, stonefaced, did likewise. Roanne said, “Guess it’s that time.” George came up with a hesitant nod. “It was nice,” Roanne said.
Maybe we’ll see you again...
George’s nod now: yes, yes, please go away.
No need to coax. The girls checked out.
On the ride back, Michelle rested her head on Roanne’s shoulder. Roanne told her, See? That wasn’t the end of the world. They made veiled jokes: Old shorty back there with his waste of a hose.
All to the good, Michelle joking. It showed she could hang.
Roanne stroked her hair and looked out at the silent bip-bip of the oncoming headlights, the unending neon, the absolute blackness that rules up above. She saw herself veiled, a carved bas-relief, her face like Queen Nefertiti’s, haloed by neon as night stretched forever.
Michelle, chewing the evening, stared out at nothing.
Nothing: black night that stared back and rang changes.
BIO: Robert Crisman writes crime and noir fiction. He spent 15 years on streets in downtown Seattle and has some idea of what really goes on in these realms. He’s had stories posted on A Twist of Noir, and on Yellow Mama and Darkest Before Dawn. A movie he scripted, Chasing the Dopeman, is currently in post-prod down in L.A. and, with luck, it’ll be ready to go sometime this fall. He maintains a blog, chock full of stories, at 6S.