The Hotel TrystbyStefan_J©
The Hyatt hotel, Melbourne
20:13 hrs – Friday
Matthew Crane studied the cordless phone in his hand with suspicion, as if it were an alien artifact and not just a few circuit boards wrapped in a hard plastic casing. It looked futuristic - sleek and evil - and he feared that once placed up to his ear it would suck him into some unimaginable void that he would never return from.
It wasn't just the sleek black phone that unnerved him; it was the entire ultra-modern hotel suite that sent shivers down his spine and spirits dancing over his grave.
A lot of the furniture was truly beautiful. The velvet curtains were a rich red and the plush carpet a deep sea blue - all obviously expensive, yet thrown together it looked too polished, too perfect. That was the problem; there were no flaws in the entire room. There was no dust on the furniture or chipped paint on the walls, the cushions on the couch were perfectly aligned and the bed immaculately made.
Matt enjoyed the odd bouts of perfection as much as the next man, but without chaos, even just a smidgeon of it, life would be ultimately mundane.
Still hanging onto the cordless phone, he walked over to the couch, picked up all four dark blue cushions and threw them to the floor. Now on a mission to manifest his own chaos, he stalked into the bedroom, tore the covers away from the queen-sized bed and tossed them to the carpet with disgust, adding much needed disarray to the bedroom.
He chuckled with delight at his little anti-perfectionism protest, returned to the open phonebook lying on the antique desk and looked at the phone number again.
The number had already been memorised and his memory was faultless, a machine that stored vast amounts of data without a second thought. But he was a man who disliked mistakes and seldom made them. Some may typically call this behaviour perfectionism. Matthew Crane called it survival.
In his line of work if you make a mistake you might die, or worse, you go directly to jail without picking up your $200 for passing Go. Death and jail were not viable options for him, so the alternative was to be meticulous in every aspect of his work, and that meant training and maintaining his mind to memorise everything in minute detail, even in his everyday life.
He entered the appropriate numbers into the keypad and he began to wonder if he really wanted to do what he was about to do. The little angel on his left shoulder was telling him to take a nice hot bath, think about Sally and relieve the tension that way. The little guy on his right shoulder with the pitchfork was being a little more forthcoming and a lot less eloquent. He told Matt that masturbation was for geeks and losers, and that the bitch the angel referred to as Sally was out of the picture, gone for good, that's all she wrote.
"Call the number and get us some pussy," the little red dude ordered, immediately convincing Matt that it was definitely the best course of action available.
"Hello, Marquis Escort Agency, how may we service you?" said a surprisingly young female voice into his ear.
"Uh...hello there, this is actually my first time I've done this, so..." he trailed off. His face flushed red with embarrassment and he was glad the young girl couldn't see him.
"Not a problem, Sir. First of all I need some of your details - name, address, age and your driver's licence number."
The situation left him momentarily stunned because it was so businesslike and not at all as sleazy as he'd imagined. It was as if they were discussing the sale of a shoe-cutting knife from an infomercial, and not the hiring of a high-class escort that was getting paid to fuck him.
He wasn't at all afraid of giving out personal information to a business such as the Marquis Escort Agency. Not only did he lack having a girlfriend to find out about it, he also didn't have any relatives or friends that word could get back to. He was alone. His chosen profession had left little room to form bonds and relationships.
Besides, he was operating under one of six false identities - Matthew Crane was not his real name.
He gave his false - yet they would survive a thorough police check - details to her and heard the tapping of a keyboard at the other end; obviously she was wearing a headset to allow free movent of her arms.
"Okay," she said with a final louder tap of a key, probably the enter button. "Mr. Crane, our service only provides the girls for the night and not by the hour. We're obliged to say that the girls are only there to escort you to dinner. Whatever they choose to do afterwards is by their own accord and in no way pertinent to the money that you pay them for their company."
He gripped the phone with apprehension and momentarily thought he had crossed some wires. But then, almost hearing his brain click, he suddenly realised that they had to say that for legal reasons, for if they didn't they were simply hiring out prostitutes which was against the law.
"Okay," he said, his heart rate easing back into a steadier rhythm.
"So, Mr. Crane, what kind of girls are you interested in?"
"Well..." he hesitated. He hadn't considered this part.
"White, black, oriental?" she asked patiently.
"How about hair colour?" she asked.
"I guess I'd like a blond thanks, but it doesn't matter if she's natural or not."
"Okay, would you like to specify an age? We can't guarantee that we'll be able to suit your needs exactly, but we'll get as close as possible for you."
Matt was suddenly attacked by a deep sense of shame, which struck him as being ironic because in order to excel in his line of work the fewer the scruples you accrued increased your percentage of success. Morals and ethics had suddenly burst from his blind spot and sideswiped him. Christ, he was in the middle of ordering a girl as if she were a pizza, but this wasn't a fucking supreme with extra pineapple, it was a real live girl that had feelings and people that probably cared about her. And here he was, on the phone, dialling her in like some takeout food so that he could get off, so that he could fuck her and get his kicks.
"Sir," the woman pressed.
"Look, Ma'am...I'm sorry, but I think I've wasted your time. I really don't feel too good about doing this."
He heard a sigh from the other end and he wondered if he'd pissed her off. He felt like a shit for taking up her time, when he of all people was aware of the continual ticking of the clock and that that monotonous sound meant wasted money.
"Sweetie, you sound like a really nice guy," she said, surprising him due to her thus-far utterly formal nature. "If you're feeling lonely then one of our girls will keep you company. And if you decide you don't want you-know-what, that's entirely up to you."
The devil on his right shoulder told him to go for it, to get the piece of ass and give it to her good. Surprisingly, the angel agreed with him but not in so many words; he simply told Matt that some company would do him good, especially that of the female persuasion.
"Maybe you're right," he agreed.
"Of course I am, honey. Now, how old would you like your companion to be?"
"Anywhere between eighteen and thirty would be fine by me."
"Closer to eighteen or closer to thirty? C'mon, it's okay if you like younger girls, I won't tell anyone."
"Closer to eighteen," he admonished, his cheeks flushing red again. "And I was just wondering...uh, how much will it cost?"
"It's $800 a night. But trust me, our girls are well worth the cost. We're proud to say that we're the best escort agency in Melbourne."
"Okay, that's fine. Thank you for being so patient with me."
"I'm happy to be of service, Matthew. We'll send her out as soon as we can for you. I hope you enjoy yourself, and don't worry, I'll make sure she's a real sweetheart for you."
And she was gone. Matt stared at the wall for a moment. He felt slightly sick to the stomach and wondered if he'd feel as guilty when she showed up. But then, as quick as Superman could stop a runaway train, his maleness kicked in and he began to pose a whole host of varying questions to himself. What would she look like? Would she find him attractive? Would he sleep with her and if he did, what would it feel like to have sex with a girl who he was paying to do so?
Deciding to spruce himself up before the escort arrived, Matt took a nice long shower and, feeling as horny as a teenager dating a girl who had a reputation of putting out, he had to constantly resist the urge to soap up his raging hardon and stroke himself into a frenzy.
After towelling himself dry, he slipped into an expensive suit and spent the next ten minutes trying to tie his tie correctly. His hands kept shaking as he thought about the girl that would be arriving shortly, and any guy can tell you that it's hard enough to get the knot and length perfect on a tie if you're not concentrating one hundred percent.
There was a sudden soft wrapping of knuckles against wood, a gentle double tap that made his eyes frantically search his own in the foggy reflection of the bathroom mirror.
Okay, he thought, be cool, be calm, and just act as collected and together as you do when you go to work.
Matt ran his left hand nervously through his damp hair and walked from the bathroom to the front door. He gripped the ice-cold metallic doorhandle, pulled back the safety chain and swung the door inward on squeaky hinges.
Ha! A flaw at last, he thought triumphantly.
Any pretence at all that he could remain cool and calm flew right out the window as he focused his eyes on the young lass standing at his doorstep. Every drop of saliva withdrew from his throat and retreated to the pit of his stomach, sending his mouth drier than a thousand-year-old parchment.
A cute young woman stood before him with her glossy lips partially open, a smile painted on them and her eyes boldly meeting his own. She was gorgeous, undeniably, totally and utterly gorgeous. For any man to dismiss her as otherwise would either make him as blind as the proverbial bat or so damned stupid that the poor bastard didn't deserve to live.
"Are you Matthew Crane?" she asked softly, her voice so low he could hardly hear her.
"Yes," he replied thickly, unable to do anything but stand there and gaze at her.
Her soft, straight hair was honey-blond and terminated at her shoulders. It partially obscured the right side of her face in a perfect imitation of Veronica Lake, the elegant and beautiful actress from the classic era. Her eyes were a beautiful leaf-green, a pale pink lipstick had been lightly applied to her luscious lips and her skin was creamy in texture - framed perfectly by her lovely blond hair.
The generous curves of her body were wrapped in a tight black dress, which suited Matt fine because while he tried not to favour any particular body type - he tried not to discriminate - a girl that was rounded in all the right places was definitely a bonus.
The neckline of her dress showed enough cleavage to be sexy but not too much to be distasteful, and, the fabric came down far enough to show some leg, although not enough to look slutty.
She looked classy but naughty at the same time, and he desperately tried to slow his hammering heart as he continued to look over her face and body. Whatever differences they may have had in the past, both his good angel and his less-than-good devil companions both agreed unanimously on one fact: she was gorgeous and he should feel lucky to be in her presence.
After waiting a few moments in the hall, she smiled coyly at him and asked, "May I come inside? Unless you want to do me right out here in the hallway?"
"Uh...no, that's okay. I'm sorry to be so rude, please come on in," he said, ushering her through the door and locking it behind her.
When they reached the middle of the lounge room she stopped and turned to him. Her gaze was sultry and her sensuous mouth was tilted into a friendly smile. This girl was so scorching that Matt expected smoke to rise from her body or the dress to catch fire.
Realising that his tie was still clenched in his hand, he threw it on the coffee table, aware that he wouldn't need it until they had properly introduced themselves.
There was little more than a foot between them and she didn't hesitate in giving him a thorough looking over, starting from his feet and working her way up. When she focused her eyes on his bulging crotch her smile got wider, until finally she moved up his chest and back to his face, re-establishing direct eye contact.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander, he thought absently.
Her smile did look genuine and it wasn't only limited to her lips but also extended to her eyes, which sparkled with mischief. Perhaps she didn't find what she saw too unappealing. If one believed in miracles, it might even be possible that she was attracted to him.
Animal attraction hadn't been the source of his previous break-up. Sally had constantly flattered Matt by calling him her 'own private spunk,' and she had positively adored having sex with him. They'd been a great couple for eight glorious months, until one night he finally decided to confide in her and divulge his true profession. Minutes later she'd left his flat crying with a handkerchief pressed to her face, muttering that he wasn't to contact her ever again.
And that's all she wrote.
When the lovely young girl on the phone had told him that he could spend time innocently in the company of an escort, he'd actually tricked himself into believing that he would. For some reason his little angel friend on his left shoulder had fed him lies, possibly due to being threatened by his pitchfork-holding counterpart into encouraging him to continue the transaction.
After all, he was male and he did have hormones, raging ones by the feel of things downstairs. Even the pope would struggle to keep his thoughts clean in the vicinity of the sweet young woman standing in front of Matt.
"What's your name?" he asked.
"Nikki," she said. "And you're Matthew. Is it okay if I call you Matt?"
"Matt is fine, I like that better than Matthew anyway. I hope I'm not speaking out of line here but is Nikki you real name?"
"Yup, I was born Nikita, but I prefer Nikki. Why, is your name really Matt?" she teased.
He couldn't believe how soft her voice was in contrast to her bold gaze. It was so feminine and sweet. It hit just the right note and he found it as alluring as every other quality she possessed.
"Actually, no," he replied truthfully, amazed at his honesty. She was the first person he'd told in years that Matthew Crane was not his real name. He hadn't even told Sally his real name because she hadn't given him the chance to get that far.
"Do you want to tell me your real name? Just your first, you don't have to tell me your last name. You don't have to worry, I won't tell a soul."
His eyes narrowed and he tensed with paranoia. "Why do you want to know?" he asked, suddenly suspicious. Suspicion went part and parcel in his business.
With the grace of a feline, she slinked forward and slipped her delicate hands around his waist and rubbed her body against his. Her breasts squished against his chest and his erection became wedged painfully between their bodies. It felt slightly foolish having his hands hang limp at his sides, so he brought them around to the small of her back and felt smooth, bare flesh. He hadn't even noticed that her dress was backless, which showed how preoccupied by her beauty he'd been.
"Why do you want to know?" he repeated, this time in a softer tone.
"My, my, you are a mysterious fellow, aren't you?" she whispered, pressing her lips to his. He trembled in her arms. It had been four months since he'd held a woman, kissed a woman, and while she looked like a young girl she was definitely anything but.
"Do you want to know why I would like to know your name?"
"Yes, I would."
"Because I like to say a guy's name while he fucks me, and since we're going to fuck each other pretty soon, I thought you'd like me to say your real name," she breathed, then parted her lips and pushed her tongue into his mouth.
Matt kissed her back with quaking lips and a spinning head. It was like no other kiss he'd ever participated in. It was soft and wet, sensual yet with a touch of lust. Their tongues played together with a level of joy and excitement that could rival that of winning the national lottery, and, for Matt, merely being able to kiss this blond-haired, green-eyed girl would be worth forfeiting any fortune you could reap from a jackpot-winning lottery ticket. Kissing her was as priceless as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa or Michelangelo's fresco on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, sexier than living in Hugh Hefner's Playboy mansion, and hotter than the blazes of hell. It was the tastiest, steamiest and most mind-numbing kiss he'd ever been given.
Maybe it was just his blind hope getting in the way, but he really thought that her low murmurs and gentle moans were that of a chemistry building between them and not, as he feared, Nikki simply doing her job.
Eventually, when their lips and tongues began to tire from their strenuous workout, they moved their heads back and looked at one another for a very long time. Silence eclipsed the room, time ceased to move forward. Their bodies were still pressed together, unmoving, conveying thoughts and feelings via looks and smiles instead of using bulky inadequate words that could only insult the wonderful kissing that had just taken place.
Eventually, like a pin penetrating a bubble, Nikki broke through the room's auditory vacuum. "So...you're not going to tell me your name?"
"I'd like to, I really would, but..."
"It's okay," she said, slipping from his grasp. "I understand, it's water off a duck's back."
He felt a little guilty in not telling her his name. It couldn't hurt; there was no possible way that the police could ever find him anyhow. So where was the harm?
Matt watched Nikki as she ambled nonchalantly around the room, experiencing great difficulty in tearing his eyes away from her nicely proportioned body. She periodically stopped on her travels to inspecting the hi-tech video equipment and sound system, to pat the exquisite three-seater leather couch with matching recliners, and to take a casual peek inside the bedroom.
From time to time she would flash him a sly look and give her ass a little shake, leaving no doubt in his mind that she knew he was removing her dress with his eyes.
"This place looks like it would cost a small fortune. You must be a pretty important person to be able to afford this," she exclaimed as she sauntered back over to him.
"Hardly, I'm just a regular guy. I hate to disappoint you but I'm nothing special."
"You look pretty special from where I'm standing," she said, tilting her head. "So is what you do for a living as taboo as telling me your real name?"
"I'm afraid it is."
"You're quite the mystery, Matthew Crane, and I love mysteries. Most guys who live this lavishly can't wait to tell me all about how they made their money and how important and special they are, but not you. Not you..."
"I'm not like most guys," he countered.
"Well, I knew that as soon as I walked through the door. I'm good that way, very intuitive. What I don't understand is why you didn't just tell me that Matthew Crane was your real name and make up a job. Why didn't you lie to me? It wasn't as if you were in a position where you couldn't."
"Honestly...and yes, pun intended," he said with a smile, "I don't know why I told you the truth, or half-truth at least. I really don't know."
"Interesting," she said softly, her green eyes suddenly clouding with thought. Nikki uttered that singular word so quietly that he wouldn't have made it out had he not seen the movement of her lips.