Hotel Roku-Jyuu-Kyu: Chapter 4
Tatsu pulled at the ties holding the damp hakama around his midsection. Kyouka came out of the bathroom, running her long hair through the folds of a towel. Tatsu stood facing the mirror on the wall in little more than his boxers as he examined the wrinkly and stretched out fabric of his dress kimono. “You should get in the bath to warm up.” He said, peering at Kyouka’s reflection behind his own.
Kyouka pulled at the fabric of her shirt that revealed the lines of her bra underneath. Slowly, she came up behind Tatsu and pressed her body into his bare skin. “I’d rather you keep me warm, especially after what you’ve put me through.”
Touji sat awkwardly on the side of the bed with his slacks still on. The skin on his back was covered in goose bumps. He could hear the sound of the running water in the shower from behind the thin door that sat open a crack. The feeling in his stomach and groin felt like nothing he had felt before; a mixture of trembling and excitation, but likely not in a way that would work for the girl inside the other room.
A quick glance at the ceiling revealed a mirror hung above the bed. His reflection gazed back down at him, and he could study his scrawny, pale body. He shoved his eyes closed and the image of Karen’s pink bra danced in his mind. The gossip from classmates said that girls always wore matching underwear for a date like this. His mind switched to trying to imagine the same style in the form of panties, maybe a thong. The girls in the adult videos he had peaked at always wore thongs, but not for long. After that, it was all pixels. Hair too. Some girls had a lot, some girls had a little. A few had none for some reason. Karen’s hair was lighter. He wondered what type of hair Karen would have down there. He wondered what he would do in the absence of pixels.
The water running in the bathroom stopped suddenly. Touji opened his eyes and looked down from the ceiling. His wrists hurt from propping himself up on the mattress. The comforter was rough and had left imprints in his skin. He smoothed out the material with his hands. He took a quick glance back at the pillows, one being heart-shaped. They looked rough and lumpy.
The door handle to the bathroom squeaked. Touji wanted to look, but was nervous to see what would be coming out. He looked at the coffee table in the middle of the room. A couple of complimentary condoms had been placed there. He wondered if he should have put one on already, or at least figured out how it should work-.
“Touji.” Karen called out softly. He swallowed hard and licked his lips before turning to her. A towel covered her chest and down just past her thighs. Her figure could be seen clearly. “Don’t feel nervous, I’ll help guide you.”
Touji nodded slowly, looking down her legs and up at her still damp, brown hair. She approached the edge of the bed and pushed him back slightly, before straddling him with her legs. Touji closed his eyes as soon as he felt her lips against his. Her skin was warm and moist, and he could smell the faint odor of soap.
He felt the towel around her body slide off and fall onto the ground with a soft bump. The curiosity got the better of him, and he opened his eyes. The room was pitch black. “What happened to the lights?” He whispered.
Karen pulled his hands up and placed them around the base of the soft lumps on her chest. “I think it went out.” She said breathily.
Touji pulled his hands away and slid up on the bed. Karen attempted to follow, but he slid out of the way. “What’s the matter?”
“Don’t you think that’s a problem?” Touji complained, leaning off the side of the bed to try and feel for the lamp on the bedside table. “With the storm and all?”
“Come on, we can worry about that later.” Karen fumbled around on the bed noisily in search of him.
“I can’t.” Touji said hesitantly, moving himself to the side of the bed.
“What’s the matter with you?” Karen complained dejectedly.
“It’s because I want to be able to see you!” Touji proclaimed loudly.
Karen’s movement stopped suddenly. Outside, the wind howled loudly, and the rain pounded hard against the side of the building. “Well then…” She sounded more convinced. “I don’t mind waiting a bit more.”
Sachiko had nearly toppled over with the laundry cart at the sudden disappearance of the lights. She huffed and tossed the dirty sheet back into her cart and fished around for the lighter in her pocket. The tiny flame appeared with a click. The laundry room suddenly had become eerie, not to mention the hard weather roaring outside. In the wavering light, Sachiko skidded her feet forward until she reached the pale brick wall that she could follow down to the door.
Outside, she was able to traverse the creepy dancing shadows of the hallway all the way down to the manger’s office. After much digging around inside through loose papers and pushing aside boxes, she came across the long flashlight. With a forceful click, it turned on with a blinding light that pierced through the darkness. Upstairs, the three rooms containing guests were without power, and likely upset about it. Despite the protocol she knew and loved to never interact with guests, she would have to go up the stairs and check on them.
As she went through the employee only door to the front hall, she felt the carpet under her feet squish with an unwelcoming dampness.
“Well, hell.” Ibaraki had shouted loudly as the lights and TV shut off simultaneously. There was a sudden scream from the bathroom. “What is it?” Ibaraki called out. He stood up and trudged through the room, avoiding stubbing his foot against any of the furniture.
“The water suddenly went cold.” Kasumi called out. “Not to mention the lights.”
Ibaraki reached out to find the cold, hard surface of the frosted glass door leading to the bathroom. “I’m coming in.” He said before giving the door a push. Inside, he caught sight of the woman sitting on one of the bath stools, completely naked, her wet soapy skin shining in the light of a candle.
“Nice ambiance.” Ibaraki grunted.
Kasumi smirked, and rubbed away bits of lather with a wash cloth. “Even if we don’t do it, I’m charging you for looking just now.”
Ibaraki grabbed the candle in its glass holder off the shelf and began to retreat. “Good enough for me to rub one out. Looks like we have some time.”
“Ugh, what a waste!” Kasumi called out. “Bring that back now, too!”
Sachiko found her way to the door she remembered being the one where the couple had checked into. With a loud knock that her small fist barely managed to conjure up, she attempted to make contact with the people inside. After a few seconds of fumbling, she heard someone on the opposite side ram into the surface with a loud, hollow bump. The door opened a crack, and she could see the flashlight blind the young girl.
“Sorry, sorry.” Sachiko lowered the beam and Karen blinked quickly, trying to get rid of the stars in her eyes. “I work here, I had to check on you.” The housekeeper continued.
Karen perked up and adjusted her blouse that was still damp. She quickly turned her head back to see Touji peering over he shoulder, his skinny upper body still half naked.
Her mouth opened agape as she turned back to Sachiko. “Oh. Oh! No, no, I promise, everything is okay here! He’s old enough!” She defended herself. “He’s a third year, high school. I’m just beginning college, we’re not more than… three years apart? Touji, get your school ID to show her!”
“Oh!” The young man began patting his pants pockets down frantically. “I don’t have it on me… I must have dropped it when I went to take a shower.” He said hastily, before sprinting back into the dark room.
“Forgive me, that is not my reason for visiting!” Sachiko admitted, bowing her head up and down in apology. Behind Karen, Touji let out a loud ‘oof’ from running into something in the dark. “I must make sure out guests are okay, here with the power out.”
Touji clambered back to the door, and held up his wallet with ID stuffed into the plastic holder. Sachiko looked at it out of instinct, and shined the bright light back into Touji’s eyes.
“Until the power comes back on, I would wish for you all to join me, with the light.” Sachiko implored. “It is… safer.”
Karen nodded slowly, before turning back to Touji. “Uh, yeah… I guess we can come along, especially since nothing else is happening today. Touji, get some clothes on, and help me grab a few things.”
“Yes, yes, okay.” He said nervously.
Sachiko shined the light around the room as the young couple gathered up the few things they had brought in with them. Karen grabbed up the small purse in her hands, and Touji pulled the damp dress shirt over his head awkwardly and buttoned up the last few buttons by his neck.
Upstairs, the loud voice of someone yelling for help echoed down to them. Sachiko leaned down the hallway and showed the beam of the flashlight up the first part of the stairs hopefully. Karen walked by the beam and shielded her eyes with her hand. Touji pushed by Sachiko awkwardly. “Whoever that is, they sound pissed.” He mumbled.
Sachiko wiped her forehead and rolled her eyes. “Why today of all days?” She gestured at the ground with her light to urge the two kids forward toward the stairs. As they reached the stairwell, they could hear the voice more clearly echoing down at them. “Isn’t someone going to help? Fire department, police, anyone?” The voice sounded more and more agitated.
As they reached the next level up, the voice continued to echo downward at them. “There is one couple on this floor but… they seem like they are… handling themselves better than our last group.” Sachiko said hesitantly.
“Like, what’s his problem, though?” Karen commented, hanging onto her purse in front of her chest. “He thinks he’s better than everyone, needing to be saved first?”
“Just…” Sachiko hesitated and rubbed the bridge of her nose. “You’ll understand. I just hope we can keep him from getting more pissed off.”
Sachiko took point and continued up the stairs to the third level. Karen followed quickly on her heels, and Touji carefully followed, stumbling on every other stair in the wavering light of the flashlight.
“Hey, about time!” Tatsu yelled down the hallway from his open door as soon as the light caught up with him. “What’s going on? My girl was trying to head to take a shower, and the light all goes away. She couldn’t even get any hot water! My family is gonna shut down this business if I can’t get some answers!”
Sachiko approached slowly, followed by the others a few steps behind. “I’m just a housekeeper, forgive me, and let me help.” She pleaded.
Tatsu took a few steps forward. The light illuminated his grimaced face, and he met eyes with Sachiko’s equally worried, wrinkled visage. He took a deep breath and knelt down on the ground, looking up to apologize. “Auntie, no, forgive me. I just figured…” He bowed, and looked up to catch sight of Karen and Touji. “These are other guests? You kids, are you doing alright?”
Kyouka poked her head out the door. “Tatsu, I told you places like these don’t have a bunch of staff running around.”
“Shut it, woman.” Tatsu exclaimed reflexively. “Sorry, babe. Please, help us get out of here! It’s pitch black, really. We don’t live too far away, we can get you out of here too.”
Sachiko shook her head, and pointed out at the sole window at the end of the long hallway. “Impossible. I have to go to the last room, then I can explain.”