THIRTY THOUSAND HOTEL rooms in the city of Chicago, and Cameron Lynde managed to find one next door to a couple having a sex marathon.
“Yes! Oh yes! YES!”
Cameron pulled the pillow over her head, thinking—as she had been thinking for the past hour and a half—that it had to end sometime. It was after three o’clock in the morning, and while she certainly had nothing against a good round of raucous hotel sex, this particular round had gone beyond raucous and into the ridiculous about fourteen “oh-God-oh-God-oh-Gods” ago. More important, even with the discounted rate they gave federal employees, overnights at the Peninsula weren’t typically within the monthly budget of an assistant U.S. attorney, and she was starting to get seriously POed that she couldn’t get a little peace and quiet.
Bam! Bam! Bam! The wall behind the king-sized bed shook with enough force to rattle her headboard, and Cameron cursed the hardwood floors that had brought her to such circumstances.
Earlier in the week, when the contractor had told her that she would need to stay off her refinished floors for twenty-four hours, she had decided to treat herself to some much-needed pampering. Just last week she had finished a grueling three-month racketeering trial against eleven defendants charged with various organized criminal activities, including seven murders and three attempted murders. The trial had been mentally exhausting for everyone involved, particularly her and the other assistant U.S. attorney who had prosecuted the case. So when she’d learned that she needed to be out of her house while the floors dried, she had seized on the opportunity to turn it into a weekend getaway.
Maybe other people would have gone somewhere more distant or exotic than a hotel three miles from home, but all Cameron had cared about was getting an incredibly overpriced but fantastically rejuvenating massage, followed by a tranquil night of R&R, and then in the morning a brunch buffet (again incredibly overpriced) where she could stuff herself to the point where she remembered why she made it a general habit to stay away from brunch buffets. And the perfect place for that was the Peninsula.
Or so she had thought.
“Such a big, bad man! Right there, oh yeah—right there, don’t stop!”
The pillow over her head did nothing to drown out the woman’s voice. Cameron closed her eyes in a silent plea. Dear Mr. Big and Bad: Whatever the hell you’re doing, don’t you move from that spot until you get the job done. She hadn’t prayed so hard for an orgasm since the first—and last—time she’d slept with Jim, the corporate wine buyer/artist who wanted to “find his way” but who didn’t seem to have a clue how to find his way around the key parts of the female body.
The moaning that had started around 1:30 A.M. was what had woken her up. In her groggy state, her first thought had been that someone in the room next door was sick. But quickly following those moans had been a second person’s moans, and then came the panting and the wall-banging and the hollering and then that part that sounded suspiciously like a butt cheek being spanked, and somewhere around that point she had clued into the true goings-on of room 1308.
The bed in the room next door increased its tempo against the wall, and the squeaking of the mattress reached a new, feverish pitch. Despite her annoyance, Cameron had to give the guy credit, whoever he was, for having some serious staying power. Perhaps it was one of those Viagra situations, she mused. She had heard somewhere that one little pill could get a man up and running for over four hours.
She yanked the pillow off her head and peered through the darkness at the clock on the nightstand next to the bed: 3:17. If she had to endure another two hours and fifteen minutes of this stuff, she just might have to kill someone—starting with the front desk clerk who had put her in this room in the first place. Weren’t hotels supposed to skip the thirteenth floor, anyway? Right now she was wishing she was a more superstitious person and had asked to be assigned another room.
In fact, right now she was wishing she’d never come up with the whole weekend getaway idea and instead had just spent the night at Collin’s or Amy’s. At least then she’d be asleep instead of listening to the cacophonous symphony of grunting and squealing—oh yes, the girl was actually squealing now—that was the current soundtrack of her life. Plus, Collin made a mean cheddar and tomato egg-white omelet that, while likely not quite the equivalent of the delicacies one might find at the Peninsula buffet, would’ve reminded her why she’d made it a general habit to let him do all the cooking when the three of them lived together their senior year of college.
Cameron sat up in bed and looked at the phone on the nightstand. She didn’t want to be that kind of guest that complained about every little blemish in the hotel’s five-star service. But the noise from the room next door had been going on for a long time now and at a certain point, she felt as though she was entitled to some sleep in her nearly four-hundred-dollar-per-night room. The only reason the hotel hadn’t already received complaints, she guessed, was due to the fact that 1308 was a corner room with no one on the other side.
Cameron was just about to pick up the phone to call the front desk when, suddenly, she heard the man next door call out the glorious sounds of her salvation.
“Oh shit, I’m cooommmminnggg!”
A loud groan. And then—
Blessed silence. Finally.
Cameron fell back onto the bed. Thank you, thank you, Peninsula hotel gods, for granting me this tiny reprieve. I shall never again call your massages incredibly overpriced. Even if we all know it doesn’t cost $195 to rub lotion on someone’s back. Just saying.