Hotel Heiress: Behind BarsbyAudreyHepburn©
*I would like to thank Istanbulnoir for his partnership as my editor and his terrific patience and commitment. I hope readers enjoy this series and my other writings which without him would not be possible.
A Note From The Author: This episode of Hotel Heiress follows the episode entitled Hotel Heiress: New York, so if you want to understand the plot please read that episode before reading this one.
I was on TV again, not in a movie or soap, but in the local news, which covered events after I was discovered in a house in a New York City slum, high on drugs, and standing next to the dead body of an unidentified black woman. The media was having a field day and everyone ate up the juicy story: the young, beautiful rich heiress and daughter of the owners of the world-renown Seasons hotels accused of murder. Right away, everyone believed I was guilty. There were some who loathed me and envied my lifestyle! They wanted to see me behind bars sans luxuries, wanted me to suffer, to experience hardship, for this was something celebrities weren't supposed to go through.
The first to speak up was my mother, Ellen, who had recently divorced my father to live with her lover, an oil tycoon from Texas by the name of Clint Weston. She could not believe that her little girl had actually killed someone and immediately cried "set-up". She told reporters that I was being framed, but she did not know why. Ever since I went to New York City on a modeling job, at least two people had disappeared and this bit of news was attached to my own story in the media. Gone was Ron Ash, famed California photographer, reported missing by his wife Linda, who had last seen him with me. No one knew the whole story and suspicions, theories and rumors spread like wildfire.
I was in a correctional facility in the meantime, in West New York City, awaiting my fate. An investigation was under way. Detectives acted quickly and sought out anyone who had been in contact with me during my time in the Big Apple. I had only two other close friends, both of them super models, who had grown up with me: Gina King, an African-American girl, former child actress turned fashion model, and Crystal Burke who used to attend ballet classes with me when we were wee little girls. They were both questioned about what they knew about me and the job in New York City. Neither of them had been selected to work with Ron and Linda, and they had not made contact with me while I was in the city. I think it owed something to their jealousy at the time. The investigation seemed to be going nowhere and for a while, everything that had happened remained a mystery. Then, the mother of the dead black girl spoke up. She was in tears and somewhat hysterical, making a dramatic scene worthy of an Oscar. She pointed the finger squarely at me, saying she had seen me in the house having sex with Ron, another man's wife, and that she knew I was there to stir up trouble. It was so unfair. Not even one mention of Alma. No one knew who Alma was. But to be fair, she was the one person who did not possess the notoriety that Ron and I had.
The correctional facility was small and very dirty. The bathrooms were unsanitary, and I had never spent a worse night in my life. I lost sleep and weight. It was just me, four walls, a dinky toilet and a bed. I was finally released so that I could see my lawyer for the first time before the court trial. My mother Ellen had found this lawyer and claimed he could help me out of this mess. She was certain I had been unjustly accused of murder and that the real culprit was free somewhere. I could not bring myself to tell my mother the whole story. It would mean confessing my own sin. The fact remained that I did sleep with a married man, despite the fact that he had drugged me and had hoped to get me in a threesome with his lover Alma. But by admitting to this, it would mean that I was behaving like a little slut without any thought of the consequences.
My mother was certain this lawyer guy would be my salvation. How wrong she turned out to be. This guy, Vick Hertz, was the lawyer from Hell. I often wondered whether he was even a real certified lawyer. He dressed to the nines in expensive suits and had a clean-cut, game show host type of appearance, sandy brown hair, white and perky. But he was far from perfect. He came to visit me at the correctional facility and we had to talk behind a glass screen.
"Don't worry, Valerie, don't worry about a thing," Vick said to me, "I realize that you're high profile and that this is going to make me or break me. You're important to me and I know that you didn't kill that girl."
"Of course I didn't kill her!" I shouted, "it's bogus. I need you to clear my name, Vick. I don't want to be locked up in some jail. I wouldn't be able to breathe. I need my freedom."
"Trust me, you'll be partying and shopping in no time."
I don't think it really hit me then. I had no idea this Vick Hertz would turn out to be such a loser. More than that; he'd be responsible for putting me behind bars. When the date of the court trial came, Vick was late, disoriented and not at all the confident type I had seen when he first visited me in the correctional facility. He was totally unprepared to handle a case like mine. The trial was a nightmare. The family of the dead black girl, Felicia Sullivan, hated my guts. They went on and on about how they did not trust me, and the fact that I was a very wealthy socialite only made them hate me more. They considered me to be a spoiled, no-good rich bitch. Those were their words. They said they wouldn't rest until they saw me rot in prison for the rest of my life. They sincerely believed I had killed their daughter. I was in tears throughout the trial, not able to say anything but "I'm innocent. This is not happening."
Vick was awful. He seemed to lose power by the minute. The other lawyer made me out to be a careless, wicked heiress who didn't care that I had taken a life. They were also very critical of Ron Ash, who had betrayed his wife with me; who was several years younger than him, and young enough to be his daughter. I admit now that I had a lot to do with why I was imprisoned. I chose to keep quiet and not name Alma as the one who had actually killed Felicia, just so I could cover up my own misbehavior. That was a mistake. Telling the truth, no matter how it made me look, would have saved me from my time in prison. But I figured I'd win and prove my innocence, and without anyone hearing the sordid details.
It was not to be.
Vick's incompetence cost me dearly. The jury decided unanimously that I was guilty. I was sentenced to jail, with the possibility of release for good behavior. I walked out of the court house in bitter tears. The whole thing had been televised. I was all over tabloids, newspapers and magazines, with pictures of me looking tearful and forlorn.
To many, I was a rich bitch who got what she deserved. It did look as if I had killed that girl, since no one saw any evidence suggesting otherwise. Vick was very cowardly and disappeared after we lost. Felicia's family felt overjoyed that I was going to be in jail and they felt as if justice had been served. When her mother walked past me, she spat on me and said that no money in the world could save me now.
Those were the darkest days of my life. The whole world was against me. I was alone, I felt abandoned; suicidal. My mother could not believe any of it had happened and although she called me to cry with me; so did my girlfriends, but they were all powerless to help me. My father called too, saying he still believed I was innocent. It felt good to hear from my father. After the divorce, he settled in Vermont, which he loved, and ran the hotel without mother's assistance. He told me he'd make sure I was not going to be in prison for too long. He had high hopes for me. Even though I was not the son he had probably wanted, he wanted me to follow in his foot steps and run the hotel empire he had begun. But I despaired as I was locked up behind bars, in a cell, surrounded everywhere by other convicts who had really committed heinous crimes. Across from my cell was a woman who was always under surveillance, by both cameras and prison guards. She had killed over a dozen people in various parts of New York, including Long Island. She was muscular, dark-haired, statuesque in her build and had wild eyes. She stared at me like I was a piece of meat she wanted to devour.
I cried myself to sleep those first nights in jail. It seemed a vast prison, with a yard that stretched out like a football field. The walls were high and cast dark shadows everywhere. Atop various towers were guards, and this maximum security prison boasted the finest alarm systems and surveillance cameras. They had guard dogs walking about almost everywhere. I wanted so much to forget about this horrific place, that hell I was in; but even long after I had been released, I had nightmares about it. The food made me puke each time I ate it. Every other woman in the jail assumed I was bulimic. I drank mostly water and could only really eat and digest a few little meals.
"What's the matter, honey?" said one girl, who noticed how I often just stared at the food in disgust.
"Are you down because you can't have dinners with Tom Cruise in here or you can't have your lattes with Julia Roberts or shop at Rodeo Drive?"
Hitting the showers was the worst part. I hated to see other women stare at my body with lust as I became glistening wet and soapy. Of course I had heard the stories about prison life. Convicts, be they male or female, could eventually become gay and force themselves on other inmates. Would that happen to me, I wondered; would a crazy lesbian criminal have her way with me? I feared the woman across from my cell. She looked like she could break through the bars and attack me in my sleep. I was not allowed to make daily calls. I could only make one fifteen minute call every Sunday. I told my mother, father and girlfriends about how I felt so alone and unhappy isolated from the world, from the city, from making a life for myself.
One night, I had a dream I did not want to wake up from.
I was in Cancun again, the sun tanning my skin, the waves crashing against rocks, seaweed scattered on the beach where women in bikinis and men in speedos frolicked. Beautiful hotels everywhere, people lounging in pools and drinking margaritas. I heard the strains of festive music filling the air and remembered how much I loved it there. Then I relived my one night stand with Fernando. I was in that hotel room again, in the nude, with a party in full swing outside, in his arms and in that bed. His tongue skillfully laved my pussy, his fingers sliding into my wetness. I moaned and writhed on that bed, bound by ropes, feeling an intense orgasm coming on. I saw the wet rose as it shimmered in the silver moonlight streaming into the hotel room. Its petals caressed my white flesh, and Fernando's hot mouth and mustache pressed against my nipples, down my belly and back to my aroused pussy. I felt him take me with his cock, over and over again, feeling my pussy ache with pleasure and pain from his hard thrusts. My pussy contracted and squeezed his cock as it delved deeply inside me. Then I reached my climax and before long, he had his own roaring orgasm.
The dream continued, but now Cancun vanished in a strange grey mist. New York City appeared, skyscrapers rising from the mist and everything covered in the dark of night. City lights glowed in specks of yellow, red and green little lights. I saw myself in the nude through the glass of a window in a Park Avenue pent house. There was Ron, surrounded by his paints, easels, canvases; photo camera, blank sketch papers and a red light filled the room. I was in his studio, being fucked by Ron. He had that savage look on his face, the one he never used on Linda; his cock like steel penetrating my pussy as I wrapped my legs around him and held on to him tight. We were both in orgasm mode, our faces contorted as we screamed in pleasure. But I didn't hear any sounds. It was all in 'mute.' Then, we were standing up and he was taking photos of me bending over, arching my back and fingering my pussy. The camera was still on and he came up behind me and fucked me anally. I had one orgasm after another as he thrust his cock into my anus, filling it up, pumping into me, pulling my hair and making me cry out. It was just too bad the dream had no sound on. But I woke up with a sensual, tingling sensation in my pussy.
In the days that followed, I lost hope. Already, I had become the butt of many jokes both in prison and out of it. Jay Leno of the Tonight Show constantly poked fun at me, and so did at least one comic film. Looking back, the experience was probably just a humiliation and did not really change me. I was innocent after all, but I was too stupid to get myself out of it. The fear that I would be sexually assaulted by a lesbian was so persistent that I made sure I was protected at all times. This was the only service I was granted. One of the prison guards looked out for me exclusively. He said he was hired by my mother, but I didn't believe him.
Something about him was off. His name was Byron, he stood six feet tall, and he was strongly built. He was African-American and he said he would make sure that no harm came to me. Everything was alright at first. He would wake me up when it was time for breakfast, he would make sure I showered alone and he would stand just outside my cell each night. But he would stare at me with the same degree of lust and carnality that some of the other women had. I even noticed that he would get an erection whenever he was near me. He was hung, obviously, and it sort of frightened me. A man in his position could easily abuse his power and rape me, without anyone knowing about it. But he never made a move, at least not for those first weeks and months.
I had no idea that months had passed. I hated everything about prison life. Most of all, I hated the women around me. It felt like I was in a sort of school for adults, and they treated us like we were little girls in a school. The women often got into big brawls, just as if they were men. They would fight over stupid little things. I couldn't understand some of the ethnic slang and prison jargon, so at times I was in the dark about what they fought about. I doubt it was over which one was the prettiest. None of them looked even mildly attractive to me. They looked dirty even when they had showered; they had wild eyes and bad manners. It was like a gang of Hell's Angels women.
If ever there was a queen for these types, it was "Loca", which I learned was Spanish for crazy. She was a strongly built, athletic looking Latina gal. She could have been the Mexican Serena Williams. She had a deep voice and she lifted weights. She was supposedly the toughest, nastiest piece of work in the prison. She had injured cell mates and guards, had attempted to escape without success several times, and was said to have many lovers in the prison. I was more than certain these lovers were women, all of them prisoners like her. I kept my distance from her for as long as I could.
Nevertheless, Loca found a way to get me alone. She must have been spying on me or observing my daily routines. She knew, for instance, that I enjoyed being alone in the little garden just outside the prison building. This is where I came to relax, to think, to breathe. The other inmates preferred to smoke or talk by a place they called the Terrace, which was nothing more than a group of benches underneath a large tower's balcony. I made it clear from day one that I did not want to socialize with any other prisoner and that I preferred to be alone. Guards and other authority figures in the prison, knowing my celebrity status, ensured that my wishes for privacy would be observed. But Loca managed to sneak into the garden.
I was sitting on a small chair drinking coffee one morning, smelling a rose that reminded me of the rose Fernando had given me in Cancun. When she approached me, her tall shadow covered me. I looked up. She flashed a wicked smile.
"Good morning, Hollywood," she said to me.
Hollywood was the nickname the other prisoners had given me; a reference to my Hollywood connections.
"You're not supposed to be here," I said, "there are orders against you being here."
"Shut up. I could kill you with this knife right now if I wanted to, and I'd have the satisfaction of having killed a stuck-up supermodel and actress who makes more money than I ever did in my life," she said; her voice choking with malice.
I realized that she wasn't kidding when I saw that she retrieved a sharp knife from her pant pockets. I shuddered and my face became pale. Did she come here to kill me?
What was she up to? I had previously heard stories from other prisoners that she delighted in threatening other inmates and forcing them to do sexual acts with her or watch her having sex. This could well be the reason she was "visiting" me.
"What do you want?" I said to her.
"Listen up, pretty bitch. Tonight, just before lights out, I'm going to be with a lover of mine by the small, dark hallway next to the cafeteria. You know, the place the girls call "The Spot."
I remembered some of the girls talking about how this was a prime location for sexual encounters; most of them involving Loca.
"Loca," I said to her, "I'm not gay. I'm not even bisexual. I played a lesbian in an art house film once but the film didn't have any sex scenes and it was just a job."
"I know you're not one of us, but I want something out of you. It would give me tremendous pleasure to have a celebrity like you watch me having sex with a girl."
"All you want me to do is watch?"
"That's right. And you're gonna do it, too because if you get cold feet and don't come to the Spot tonight, I'll find a way to humiliate you and to hurt you. I can easily mess up that pretty Hollywood face of yours. You've had it pretty easy here so far."
"I have not! This place is hell. I can't stand it any longer. I want to get out of here."
"You may never get out. You killed someone, remember. How did it feel by the way? I remember my first kill."
"I did not kill that girl. Her family was lying and just wanted to soil my reputation. I'm innocent."
"Is that right? Well, hey, we're all innocent in here. It's the same old story. Look, Hollywood, get used to living like a caged rat. You aren't going anywhere, pretty one. This is your home now. Now, you will be at the Spot directly after dinner and before you return to your cell, got that?"
I nodded and she hurriedly exited the garden, taking care that no one had seen her. As she walked away, I dropped the rose, visibly shaking.
Night fell and I had finished dinner. I don't recall what I ate that night or whether it digested in my stomach properly. Every breakfast, lunch and dinner seemed to be the same piece of slop every time. It was truly the worst food I had ever had, worse than some British food I ate during my trip to England with my folks when I was a girl. I pretended that I was going to take a shower before bed, but sneaked away to the dark hallway where Loca waited for me. I arrived on time and I was grateful the place was veiled in darkness and with only low lights.
Loca was barely visible at the end of the hallway. I could see her profile against the light on the wall. A smaller woman was beside her. She looked African-American and she was already in the nude. I caught a glimpse of her big nipples from afar. She was smiling and flashing white teeth when she saw me. Loca glanced in my direction and smiled in approval. Neither of them said a word and they began their lovemaking, if you could even call it that.
Loca was still clothed in her suit. She had a toned, strong body and the suit clung to her and revealed her sturdy physique, large breasts and firm thighs. The little black girl was a stick figure next to Loca's bigger frame. I could not recognize the black girl in the dark, so there was no way of knowing whether I had seen her before. There must have been over a hundred and thirty prisoners in the large prison, so it was possible I'd never seen her. Loca took her by the face firmly and planted a fierce kiss over her lips. They were kissing like they were eating one another's mouths. They did not even resemble two women, at least not Loca, with her domineering frame. After they had kissed, Loca removed her suit briskly. Her body was big and brown, and her breasts stood out in the dim light. As for the other girl, I found it hard to believe such a small woman could possess such big boobs. Maybe she had had breast enhancement surgery.