In Too Deep (Doing Bad Things Book 2)(3)

By: Jordan Marie


“Is there a problem?” I ask, trying to nonchalantly pick up the stapler in my hand and grip it.

“I have a reservation,” he sighs out the words like they’re being ripped from his soul and steeped with regret—which kind of pisses me off. I mean the place doesn’t look great, but I’ve done a lot of work and it’s not open for another two weeks—thanks to the electrical inspector.

“I’m sorry, I’m not open for two weeks. You must have the wrong place,” I tell him sweetly. My grip has eased on the stapler a little. He’s probably not an axe murderer, at least there’s that. He’s just someone who is afraid he’s here to stay in my motel. Which is understandable. I’ve sunk every dime I have into the place and there are still times at night I cry because I’m here. Still, he’s kind of rude about it and that makes me want to hit him with my stapler.

“I’m early. It’s there if you look, Aden Mc—Aden Smith,” he says and I frown. Okay I realize there are reasons people check into motels with the last name Smith. He doesn’t seem to have a woman with him however, so I doubt he’s hiding from a jealous husband. It’s not my problem though.

“I recognize the name, but it’s not until the twenty-sixth and as I said we’re not open yet,” I explain. I look down at the motel registry as if there are a million bookings—which is laughable. There’s only this guy, and I doubt many people will be knocking down my door to book this place in advance. Still, a girl has to have hope…the irony that my name is Hope, does not escape me. My father had a twisted sense of humor when it came to naming his children.

“Well I’m early,” he replies.

“I see that. It’s just we’re not opening for—”

“For another two weeks, I heard you the first time. However, I’m early and I need a room. Since you’re the only motel in the area, we’re stuck,” he answers, as if he is explaining things to a small child. I grip the stapler tight again. I wonder if it would hurt business if the owner gets arrested for hurling a stapler at the head of a would-be guest. I’m guessing it might…Damn it.

“I’m sorry. I can’t accept guests until after I pass inspection. That’s why when you called, I specifically informed you that I would not be open for—”

“Let’s cut the crap, shall we?” he says abruptly, walking towards me. He struts, long stealthy strides, that look angry and I have no doubt are meant to intimidate—because they do.

“Stop!” I tell him, without taking a minute to think about it. Strangely enough he does, mid-step.

“Listen, why don’t you quit angling here, and name your price,” he says, and immediately starts walking toward me again.

I hold up the stapler as if it was a weapon that was about to save the world from mass destruction.

“I think you better leave.”

“That was the thought when I saw this place. But, the nearest motel I’ve passed besides this shit-hole is about three hours away and I’m too damn tired. How about you be a nice little girl and hand me a room key and let me crash.”

“I think maybe we have a language barrier, so I need you to listen and I’ll speak slowly so you understand. We. Aren’t. Open.”

“Name your price.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said name your price, lady. Everybody has one and from the looks of this place you definitely do. So how much to rent this place a couple weeks earlier?”

“I can’t—” I begin, but my mouth snaps shut quickly when he lays out a roll of hundreds. I actually drop the stapler. It crashes onto the counter with a loud clanging noise causing me to jump. I can’t make myself look away to see if it’s destroyed.

“That’s twelve hundred dollars for your crappy room for one week. I doubt you’ll find that anywhere else. Do you?”

“But you already paid for—”

“And that will be for the following week.”

“But we’re not ready for business. I haven’t had my final inspection,” I tell him again, trying to ignore his insults. The rooms aren’t great, but they’re much better than what they were. He’s just an asshole.

“I won’t tell if you don’t. So, do we have a deal?” he asks, and he says it in a way that I know he fully expects me to agree. I wish I could tell him to stuff his money, but the new air conditioning and wiring I have to get done before the inspection is a reality. This money and the money for the following week would pay for that. I can’t afford to say no…No matter how much I really want to.

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