Hotel Roku-Jyuu-Kyu: Chapter 3
Ibaraki grunted loudly as he hoisted his slipper-clad feet up on the ottoman. The escort had placed herself in front of the room’s tall, noticeably smudged mirror to fix any damage that the rain had done to her makeup. The TV turned on suddenly to loud, daytime cable.
“Seriously?” Kasumi complained loudly. She turned back just in time to see Ibaraki cracking open a tall silver can of beer from the mini-bar.
“What?” Ibaraki shrugged, taking the first foamy sip from the can. “I’m never at home this time of the day to watch the TV. Seems like a waste.”
Kasumi crossed her arms, covering her breasts, still covered in a slightly damp and slightly transparent blouse. “There’s other things you’re wasting, too. Your money, all the extra time I offered. Besides, I thought you said you wanted to digest.”
Ibaraki looked down at his beer for a split second and then back up to her. “Listen, Kasumi-”
“It’s not like beer takes any time to digest. It’ll just piss right out.” He finished by taking another swig. “Go take a long bath, or whatever you ladies like to do.” He said with a wave while his eyes went back to the television screen.
Sachiko stood at one of the tiny windows of the back room, standing on a plastic crate so that her cigarette smoke could waft outside. She leaned awkwardly on the mildew-covered sill as the gray clouds spewed out of her mouth and were scattered by the heavy raindrops outside. The floor of the alleyway was growing deep with puddles, and the concrete wall of the adjacent building carried streams of water down onto the ground.
The first two floors had been cleaned easily enough, and the sole housekeeper had earned a break. She looked down at her phone, reading a bit past 1 PM. The sky was dark like dusk already. Every once in a while, the sound of a car speeding through the puddles in the road would echo through the alley. Most people seemed to have given up on going out. Sachiko looked down at her outside shoes in the cubby which were borderline ill-fit for the water she would have to trudge through to get home. She would probably skip heading to her coworker’s place.
She pulled out her phone again to see how much closer she was to going over her break time. Nobody was keeping track anyways, and most of the work was done. The top floor, containing the most expensive of the rooms, had a little bit of work probably. Nobody would be checking into any of those rooms. If they did, her pager would go off to let her know to stay away from the floor. Two rooms had been checked in to already, and they were no doubt busy with their activities.
Touji stepped out of the bathroom with his boxers and slacks back on, his chest bare. Karen sat up from being laid down on the bed. Touji blushed at being half naked, and turned his gaze toward the room.
“Get warmed up?” Karen smiled at him.
“This place just feels awkward.” Touji ran his hand through his barely-damp buzz cut. “There are weird lotions and… lube in the bathroom.” He said, eyeballing the plastic packages of what looked like panties on the shelf on the wall.
“Would you rather try something like this in my dorm, where all my roommates are around, seeing you come and go on your walk of shame?” Karen joked. “Or would you rather your room, where you can have all your game and anime character figures stare down at us the whole time?”
Touji balled up his damp shirt and threw it on the ground next to his socks and the slippers he had picked up by the door. “I guess there’s no way to make this type of thing comfortable, regardless of the setting.” He mumbled under his breath.
He turned to see Karen with her blouse off, pink zebra-print bra underneath. She flung the shirt over his head and trapped him between her arms. She came within inches of his face and spoke down to him. “I’m going to take my time, freshen up. Just focus on taking it easy, and we can take it slow together.”
He could feel her hot breath carrying an indistinct smell. She let go of her shirt and backed away before slinking into the bathroom.
Kyouka jogged into the door of the hotel first, followed by Tatsu. Their clothes clung to their bodies, and water dripped in large puddles to the tile floor of the entranceway. “A love hotel, really?” Kyouka huffed, a smile cracked on her face. “You’re so predictable.”
“My family is responsible for some of the small businesses around here.” Tatsu shrugged defensively. “This is the only place you can skip dealing with the help working right now.”
Tatsu pulled at his clothes to wring them out. Kyouka wrapped her arms around her to hide her body shivering. “Well, are we going to get a room?”
Tatsu finally pulled off the haori and untied the thick kimono, pulling it off his shoulders. He hung it around his waist, held up by the traditional hakama below. In just his tank top, he held the jacket in his fist and moved to the room selection. After studying the array, he began patting at his sides, trying to detect the non-existent pockets of the thick, pleated hakama pants. “We can’t pay for this.”
Kyouka huffed loudly and fumbled with the tiny purse hanging discreetly by her side. She extracted a wad of damp yen, looking barely enough for an hour. Digging deeper, she pulled out a heavy black metal card and passed it to Tatsu. “Here, it’s yours anyways.”
Tatsu studied it and returned with a discriminating look. “So you do keep this on you. I said it was only for emergencies.”
“Is this not an emergency?” Kyouka smirked.
“Is buying American Fashion Jeans an emergency too I wonder? You shouldn’t carry it on you. You might get it lost, or get it stolen from you by some punk.”
“Check the balance if you want. It’s all there.” Kyouka shrugged defiantly. “Just get a room so we can get dry.”
“Yeah yeah.” Tatsu moaned. “Look, these ones up on the top require a deposit, so you know they’re classy. Never say I don’t take you anywhere nice.”
“I’ll decide if I’m impressed when I see it.” Kyouka said, half joking. “A love hotel, nice you say.”
Sachiko had just returned to work on the third and top floor when her beeper went off: ‘Guest checking in; room 302.’ Her heart jumped up in her chest and she quickly buckled the gadget back on her belt. She quickly tossed the remainder of the bedding on the unfinished bed and jumped back into the hall, slamming the door of 301 behind her. The cart of bedding was still half full and hard to push.
Putting her back into it, she heaved and pushed the wheeled device towards the back of the hall where the employee elevator was located. She quickly scanned her card with a beep and it opened up just as the main elevator signaled its arrival. She managed to get the cart inside just as the couple stepped out onto her floor.
The man was tall and well built, wearing little more than a damp tank top on his thick chest. He turned to look at Sachiko for a brief moment with a blank look on his face. Their eyes met, but he turned back without a reaction to look for his room number. The woman was equally soaked, but gave no indication of noticing Sachiko’s presence.
As they couple opened the door, Sachiko noticed the coloring of gangster style tattoos peeking out from underneath the man’s shirt.