No Room At the InnbyTexRiffraff©
Hotel mishap shakes up friends' travel routine
(Author's notes: This is a work of fiction. In this fantasy, nobody is worried about STDs. In real life, all non-monogamous sex should be practiced using accepted safe-sex precautions.
All persons involved in sexual activity are at least 18 years old.
Very special thanks to LunaRosa for her perceptive editing. This is a better story because of her insight.
This story is written in multiple first person -- all four characters narrate the story. It may be a bit more difficult to read, but we get to see things from multiple points of view, as they occur. To me as the writer, that benefit is worth the effort to keep up with who's talking. I hope you as the reader will agree.
Note to readers: If you prefer your stories to be non-stop action, this probably isn't the story for you -- it is slow to become Literotic. But if you like the characters and stay with it, I think you'll find it "worth the effort.")
The hotel front desk was crazy busy. Dozens of guests were waiting to get their rooms. There was a clerk at every station, working frantically, but the line was growing faster than they could check people in.
The four friends waited patiently. Shannon was first, she didn't get the bad news. Holly was next in line, she did.
: : : : :
Three years earlier:
/ S H A N N O N / I had just graduated from college, and jobs were scarce. In my senior year I interned with ZNN, the cable news channel, working evenings and weekends, and I must have I impressed someone, because they offered me a job. It was definitely entry-level, and a bit of a sham: thirty-five hours a week, which they called part-time, so they didn't have to pay benefits. But it was a foot in the door, network experience that would look good on my resume.
[ M A R K ] When I graduated, I returned to my little home town, and spent a year at the small TV station there. On a trip to the big city to visit a college buddy, I applied at ZNN. I couldn't believe it when they offered me a position. It wasn't much, I did a great deal more at my little station back home, and it didn't pay shit, but it was an "in," and I snapped it up.
The idea of moving to the city was overwhelming. Everything cost more, distances were huge, it took forever to get anywhere, and I didn't know anybody. The one good thing was, I had gotten back together with my high school sweetheart, and she was going to make the move with me. At the last minute, however, she got cold feet and bailed on me, so I hit the city alone.
* H O L L Y * I had worked at ZNN for several months, and it was a great job, except for the pay - my paychecks were decimated by rent and car payment. To save money, I brown-bagged lunch. At first I just ate at my desk, but it didn't take me long to realize what a bad idea that was: while I sat there, it looked like I was on the clock, so I was constantly interrupted. The building had a huge atrium with a food court, with dozens of tables, because the network encouraged tourist visits and school field trips, so I started taking my lunch down there.
~ J A S O N ~ The food court was great, but of course everyone breaks for lunch around noon, so it was a constant struggle to find a seat. Every day it was the same thing: I'd hover around the edges, looking for a place to sit, competing with dozens of others doing the same thing.
I saw a lady leaving her table, and made a beeline for it. I got there at the same moment as a really cute girl, also wearing a ZNN employee badge. I'd been waiting for fifteen minutes, my food was getting cold, and I really wanted to sit and eat, but I was raised to defer to ladies, so I said, "Go ahead, I'll get the next one."
"Sit," she said, smiling, "we can share, there's plenty of room."
I was hungry, she was friendly, and pretty, so I did.
/ S H A N N O N / I guess that made us officially the first to meet. I had already noticed him -- we all did the food court every day, and it didn't take long to recognize the regulars.
~ J A S O N ~ A couple of days later, I had gotten a table, and I saw Shannon looking. I caught her eye, and gestured at the empty chair across from me. Before long, we were sitting together almost every day.
/ S H A N N O N / I had a boyfriend, so I didn't really consider Jason romantically, which I normally would have, because he was hot, and fun, and obviously I knew he had a great job.
The third or fourth time we sat together, I saw Kristin, who sits near me in the office, looking for a seat, so I asked Jason if he'd mind if she joined us.
~ J A S O N ~ Kristin is another looker, and fun to talk to, so she was definitely welcome. Her friend Mark joined us a few days later, and he fit right in, too.
( K R I S T I N ) Before long, there were seven of us. I mean, it was never all seven of us at once, most of the tables there seat four, so every day there'd be a different three or four of us. But the core group was seven.
[ M A R K ] I got to where I really looked forward to lunch. The girls were gorgeous, and everyone was energetic, fun to talk to. I had a serious crush on Shannon -- she was intelligent, outgoing, and witty, AND she had the face of an angel, great boobs, and killer legs. She already had a guy, though, and frankly, the other girls were every bit as fun and pretty, so I didn't pursue her.
~ J A S O N ~ We always had plenty to talk about: what clubs were hot, where the cheap happy hours were, what restaurants had good food and atmosphere, but were affordable. We all dated (not each other), and had stories to tell about great dates, and even better stories about lousy ones.
We all drove used cars, some of them more "used" than others, so if one of us found a mechanic who could fix things that would stay fixed, and perhaps charge less, we'd share that.
* H O L L Y * I really liked Jason, and since Shannon seemed to know the most about the group, I asked her about him.
"Jason is great," she said. "But take your time, Greg is also a great guy, and Mark is too. They're all smokin' hot. No guy wants to feel like your second choice, so before you make your move, be sure Jason is really the one."
She had a point, Greg and Mark were amazing. Deep down inside, though, Jason was who I wanted. Unfortunately, by the time I was sure enough of that to act on it, we were all such tight friends, it didn't seem right to disrupt things with romance.
: M E L O D Y : Entry level positions aren't very stable at the network, there's a lot of turnover -- management calls it "churn." A lot of the new-hires simply don't work out, but also the low pay and long hours inspire the rest of us to look for opportunities elsewhere. Ideally, we'd all like to advance within ZNN, but just as often, the next offer is somewhere else.
/ S H A N N O N / Greg was the first of our core seven to move on -- he got a fantastic position with PBS and moved to Washington, DC. It gave us all hope.
~ J A S O N ~ Kristin was the next to go. A network affiliate in Los Angeles hired her away. Then Melody got engaged to a guy who got transferred to Chicago. That left the four of us.
[ M A R K ] The first time we traveled together, it was Thanksgiving holiday. Jason and I were both going home to do the family thing at Christmas, so for the long Thanksgiving weekend we booked cheap flights to a little town in the Smoky Mountains, which had a bed & breakfast I read about that sounded fabulous. Shannon and Holly were going to visit their families, but those plans fell through for both of them. The b & b wasn't sold out, so the girls joined us.
/ S H A N N O N / Long story short, we had a great time.
~ J A S O N ~ By our second year at the network, we had all gotten past the phony "part-time" status, and were officially staff. Among other things, that meant we got paid vacation. Just one week that first year, but that's better than nothing.
* H O L L Y * I was going to use my week to go to Oregon and meet my boyfriend's family, but we broke up instead. Once again, Jason and Mark had planned a trip, this time to Santa Fe. I only had to drop a few hints, and they invited me to join them.
/ S H A N N O N / What, I was going to be the only one not going to Santa Fe? We'd had such a great time in the Smokys, joining them was a no-brainer.
[ M A R K ] The Smokys trip was just a long weekend, Santa Fe was for a whole week. I was afraid it might get weird, two guys and two girls, spending all that time together. If one pair or another started to hook up, it could get awkward. I shouldn't have worried, by then we were such solid friends, no romantic overtones reared their ugly heads. It was a fabulous week.
~ J A S O N ~ Santa Fe solidified it -- from that point on, we planned our vacations together. We were all climbing the ladder at the network, which meant longer hours than ever at the office. Shannon and her long-time guy broke up, and none of us were in any danger of having a steady BF or a GF who would object to our trips together, or want to come along.
* H O L L Y * We all dated, though, it's not like we were monks or nuns. It was funny, Monday at lunch, I could always tell who had a great weekend, and who didn't. We knew each other so well, just from body language and facial expressions, it was obvious: Shannon got laid, Jason didn't but hadn't expected to, and Mark had expected to, but it didn't work out.
/ S H A N N O N / We did long weekends in New Orleans, Colorado, then Miami Beach -- we all got rooms in one of those fabulous Deco hotels in South Beach. By then we'd all advanced to getting a real paid vacation of two full weeks, and we put together a trip to the northeast -- the first time we planned an entire two weeks together.
[ M A R K ] We were going to New York City for a week, then for the second week another b & b, this time in rural Vermont. New York was going to be a whirlwind -- we had tickets for two Broadway shows, live jazz at both Iridium and The Blue Note, and a Yankees game. During the day we would visit the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the art museums.
~ J A S O N ~ Vermont would be the opposite: all we had was four rooms, a rent car, and maps. We had loose plans for hiking, a winery or two, maybe a maple syrup farm, all very low-key and relaxing.
/ S H A N N O N / Our flight to New York was fine, our cab to the hotel was fine, and I got my room fine, but after that, the wheels came off.
* H O L L Y * I was next in line. The desk clerk looked up from her terminal and said, "I'm sorry ma'am, I'm not showing that reservation." I gave her the confirmation number, but she shook her head.
That was ridiculous, we'd booked all four rooms at the same time, and Shannon's reservation was fine. Knowing that if I took a room there at the counter, I would lose the on-line discount, but realizing I didn't have many options, I asked, "Okay, how much can I get a room for?"
"We're sold out." Shit...
~ J A S O N ~ A different clerk gave me the same story. Fuck me in the heart... All those tickets here in the city, airfare to Vermont a week from now, and no place to sleep.
[ M A R K ] No room for me either. So, now what?
I got my phone out and fired up the browser, to see if I could find some rooms, hopefully near here. I hated the thought that we'd be in different hotels, we had always stayed under the same roof before.
/ S H A N N O N / The lobby only had a few places to sit, and they were all taken. Holly, Mark, and Jason had their phones out, and were standing uncomfortably, searching for rooms on-line. Their body language indicated they weren't having any luck. Jason in particular was getting seriously aggravated.
"Hey everybody, chill for a second," I said. I held up my key, "We have one room, anyway, let's go there -- at least there'll be places to sit." We all headed up.
* H O L L Y * Shannon's room was nice, two queen-size beds, and a sitting area with a love seat and two chairs. We all went to work on our phones, and Shannon stepped out, saying she'd be right back.
/ S H A N N O N / I went down to the lobby bar, and got four beers to-go. When I got them back up to the room, the air was thick with tension.
Mark said, "Nothing."
Jason said, "Not really. I found one room at the Ritz-Carlton, it's $529 a night."
Holly said, "The Plaza has a single for $659 a night."
"A night? That's ridiculous," I said. They all nodded in agreement.
We sat in stony silence, drinking our beers.
"Look around you," I said. "I see two queen-size beds. We can sleep here, easily -- all four of us. There's no reason to get any more rooms, especially at those rates."
Nobody argued, but I could tell from the body language, they weren't thrilled.
[ M A R K ] I said, "Um, there's no reason you needed to know this until now, but I don't really sleep in, uh, jammies. Or anything, really."
Jason said, "Well, uh, same here."
/ S H A N N O N / I savored that vision, for just a second, and answered, "No problem. We've all been swimming together, just sleep in your tighty whities-"
Jason interrupted, "Boxers."
I continued, "-whatever, sleep in your underwear, that's no more revealing than a bathing suit. I sleep in a t-shirt," Holly nodded that she did too, "you've seen way more of me than that at the beach."
~ J A S O N ~ By then it was almost 8:00, and I was hungry.
* H O L L Y * The hotel was near the Carnegie Deli, so we headed there. We all left our luggage in Shannon's room. No one had unpacked yet, so I guess it wasn't "official" that we were all staying there.
It was good to get outside, even in the concrete canyons of the city. It only takes a bit of effort to see the sky, and it was a crystal clear evening, not a single cloud. Sunset was spectacular; it made me feel like maybe things would be okay. Nature was showing off that evening -- I have no idea how the sky can go from golden to aqua to purple in a smooth gradation, but it did.
[ M A R K ] Carnegie Deli was great. Jason had been there before, and on his advice we all got matzo ball soup, chocolate egg crème, and these amazing mile-high sandwiches -- mine was pastrami dressed with a layer of chopped liver, Russian dressing, and cole slaw. (I know, most people hate chopped liver, but I like it.) I'll say this, anybody that makes light of chicken soup as a remedy for anything, hasn't had the matzo ball soup at Carnegie Deli.
/ S H A N N O N / Everyone seemed nice and mellow, so I took a chance and said, "So, no one seems to have come up with other arrangements, are we agreed that we're all sharing my room?"
* H O L L Y * We all nodded. Shannon put her hand out over the table, palm down, and we added ours on top, in that three musketeers' "all for one" thing. With that settled, we headed back to the hotel.
[ M A R K ] In the elevator going up, I said, "We don't know how long the hot water lasts here. I assume everyone wants to shower, and the ladies should go first. But I'd ask that you keep it short, so maybe there'll be some hot water left for us."
/ S H A N N O N / I showered first, they all insisted on it because it was "my" room. I had to take a deep breath as I stepped out of the bathroom, wearing nothing but a t-shirt. They'd seen much more of me than that on several occasions, most of my bikinis are tiny, but somehow, in the privacy of a hotel room, I felt much more exposed.
[ M A R K ] My heart skipped a beat when Shannon came out of the bathroom -- I've never completely gotten over the crush I've had on her since day one, even though I never show it. She's so gorgeous, and in her t-shirt, somehow she seemed so vulnerable, in a very sexy way. She must have felt it too -- her nipples were trying to knife their way through the front of her shirt. I did my best not to stare.
/ S H A N N O N / I was thinking, "Hello, nipples, what are you doing? This isn't what you think." And they were arguing with me, going, "No, actually, it isn't what YOU think."
~ J A S O N ~ Holly grabbed her stuff and headed for the shower, but I said, "Wait, before you do that, let's figure out the 'arrangements.' Who, um, who's sleeping where?"
/ S H A N N O N / Everyone seemed rather hesitant, so I said, "Look, this doesn't have to be awkward, we're just four friends, in a bit of a fix, right? Let's just draw straws, or rock-paper-scissors, anything. I mean, it's just sleeping, right?"
~ J A S O N ~ I replied, "I wonder if one or both of you (I nodded at Shannon and Holly) would really be as comfortable sharing a bed with a guy as you would be with each other, and I don't think anyone should feel put on the spot. Maybe it should be ladies in one bed, and Mark and I can take turns in the other. I'll sleep on the couch tonight."
/ S H A N N O N / No one said anything for a moment. I went and sat on his lap, and put my arms around his neck. I kissed him on the cheek, and said, "That's very sweet and considerate, but not necessary. I'm sure everyone will behave." Holly nodded in agreement.
Despite the chasteness of what I said, my tummy turned little flip-flops as I sat in Jason's lap. Actually, the flip-flops might have been slightly lower than my tummy -- we've all been friends for a long time, but he and Mark are still hot guys. Make that VERY hot guys. I also noticed that his cock twitched as it realized that a nearly-naked girl was sitting on it.
* H O L L Y * I remembered some sensational New Year's Eve kisses with the guys, as well as how fine they look in their swimsuits. To put that thought aside, I tried to expand upon what Shannon said. "I say no one sleeps on the couch. It's actually a love seat, anyway, and it's way too small for either one of you, you'd be miserable on it. I'll share a bed with either one of you. Even if we're under the same covers in our underwear, I know you won't molest me. You guys figure out who's with whom, I'm taking a shower."
As I headed for the bathroom, I felt a ripple of excitement as it occurred to me I might end up paired with Jason. I'd wanted him for such a long time; in all the things we'd done together, I'd never gotten to "be with" him...
/ S H A N N O N / Holly shut the door for her shower. No one spoke, so I pointed at Mark and said "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe," alternating my finger between him and Jason. It came to rest on Jason. "You're with me, big boy," I said. "You ARE taking a shower before you get in bed with me, by the way."
[ M A R K ] I'm pretty sure I hid my disappointment. My heart (and my cock) had pulsed a bit when she pointed at me, but then she ended up with Jason. It probably wouldn't lead to anything, but I would love even being under the covers with her. Waiting for my turn in the shower, I must have slightly dozed off with that happy thought, because the next thing I knew, I felt my dick straining against my jeans, and someone had plopped onto my lap, saying, "Is that for me?"
* H O L L Y * I exited the bathroom, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and panties, hoping that I'd find myself paired with Jason. Yes, I knew he wouldn't molest me, but if it's consensual, then it's not molesting, right? I needed to quit thinking that, that would be a great way to wreck the best friendships I've ever had. I was sure I was the only one having naughty thoughts, so I tried to calm down. Jason had his toiletries out of his luggage and headed for the bathroom. Shannon gestured quickly between me and Mark, signaling me I had been paired with him. Just as well, I guess, things might get out of hand if I was with Jason.
Mark looked like he had dozed off, and must have been having a very happy daydream -- I could see quite an impressive stiffie in his jeans. I thought for a second that maybe this night still held some possibilities, then squashed the thought -- these are my best friends.