The Black Dahlia: European Vacation Part III

The Black Dahlia: European Vacation Part III

A Story by JC
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Black Dahlia Chronicals: A character derived from The Wingman series by Michael Davis, a WC writer. Please read The Wingman's Night at www.chanceransom.com

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Elle pulls the limo in front of the hotel. The doorman is there before I can even push the door open.

“Julianna, we’re back at the hotel. I need you to wake up.”
“Hmmmmm,” is her response.
“Come on now.” I push her up and start sliding her across the limo seat. The doorman patiently waits for us to exit. I’m sure he is all too familiar with this routine. I continue to slide her to the door.
“What’s your name?” I say to him while trying to keep Julianna to a sitting position.
“Eddie, Ma’am.”
“Well Eddie, as you can see, I am in a bit of a jam. Can you help me please?”
Elle has emerged from the driver’s seat to Eddie’s side. She takes one arm and Eddie the other and me at the back, all trying to get her to stand up.
I’m desperate to get her inside before any pictures are snapped, but the task proves to be a bit more than anticipated.
“You think we should put her on the bell cart?” asks Elle.
“Are you crazy? We can’t just cart her up to the room like a piece of luggage.”
“Well, this isn’t getting us anywhere. I need to report in,” hisses Elle
“Ladies,” Eddie tries to butt in but our arguing continues.
“Check in? I haven’t been able to contact them all day and you are worried about checking in?”
“Well had you picked up your message, maybe you would have gotten somewhere?”
We are way past protocol, Elle and I. Discussing a case in front of a non Order member was strictly forbidden. We go back and forth, neither one of us paying attention to Eddie, all the while trying to hold up Julianna.
“LADIES!” Eddie shouts to get our attention.
“WHAT?” Both of us turn to Eddie glaring at him in response.
“May I make a suggestion? We have a wheelchair that we can use to bring her up.”
“Brilliant!” Again in unison, Elle and I agree.
Eddie takes off to get the wheelchair and is back before we know it. Elle and I ease her into the chair, placing her feet in the footrest. Elle then shuts the door to the limo and leaves, sans anymore conversation.
We push Julianna up the ramp and towards the lift. It is then that I have no idea which room she is staying in. I have no choice but to take her to mine.
“Eddie, hit the button for the fifth. Ms. Marks and I will be shacking up for the remainder.”
The lift quickly dispenses us to the desired floor. I walk ahead of Eddie and Julianna, who is still passed out. I reach the room and slide the key, taking a quick peek at my watch. The time is 4:30am.
Ugh, another late night, or early morning, take your pick. I drudge into the room, placing my evening bag on the credenza .
“Eddie, wheel her over to the bed,” I say to him.
Eddie wheels Julianna over to the bed. I go to pour some water in one of the drinking glasses and fetch an aspirin from my bag.
I bring these over to night stand, next to the bed. Eddie looks at my curiously.
“Eddie, you are going to help me get her into the bed.”
Eddie looks back at me in disbelief, and shakes his head no.
“Yes, I need your help. I can’t lift her by myself.” I step to the back of the chair and turn it around so it faces the bed, locking down the wheels with my foot.
“Ok Eddie,” I motion for him to move to the other side of the chair to the right and I then moved to the left.
“Alright then, get under her one arm,”
“Ma’am really this isn’t appropriate. I could be dismissed!”
“Eddie, let’s just focus on the task at hand.”
Sighing, Eddie gives up his protest, and places his hand under the arm. He and I hoist her up. It is unclear what exactly happened next, whether the wheelchair gave way or Eddie lost his footing, but somehow Eddie lands on the bed belly down, I try not to lose my grip on Juliaana’s arm but she slips and lands on top of him, like a dead fish, dragging her with me. I land semi on top of Julianna and semi on top of the bed.
“Ma’am, I really think that this has gone beyond inappropriate,” his muffled voice comes from somewhere at the bottom.
I roll off of Julianna and flip her to the side. Eddie rolls up and straightens out his uniform.
“Eddie, I..”
He holds up his hand to stop me.
“No really Eddie…”
“Shhhhh, Shhhh, if that will be all ma’am.”
I quickly go over to the credenza and pull out two twenty pound notes from my bag.
“Eddie, please accept this, you’ve earned it,” I say as I hand out the notes.
With only a moment’s hesitation, he accepts and quickly departs the room.
I look down at my watch, 5:30am. Oh dear God, it has been endless, and the endlessness isn’t over.
I turn to go see to my suedo ward, still passed out on the bed. I slide off Julianna’s shoes and decide to just throw the edge of the duvet over her. Her mascara has smudged down, the lipstick has rubbed off and her hair looks like a haystack. So much for the movie starlet.
I grab the extra pillow, and settle into one of the wingback chairs, pulling the throw up to my chin.
Belize, just keep thinking about Belize.
 
 
I wake with a start.
Ohh, my neck. Ohh, my head. I will myself up.
Looking around the room and getting my bearings, I notice one thing missing.
Julianna.
Great. I look at my watch, 3:30pm. I get up and head towards the bathroom.  Once in, I make a bee line for the mirror. I’m aghast at what I see. It is quite apparent that the late nights are catching up. The rings under the eyes, the pallor of my skin and ugh, let’s not talk about the hair. There was only one thing to do with this travesty. I do an about face and grab the nearest phone.
I quickly dial the appropriate number and wait for someone to pick up.
“Spa Services,” a spunky voice answers.
“Yes, I’d like to book a massage and facial, immediately.”
 
 
I lay face down on the massage table. The piped in music has an Asian influence and the room has a distinct smell of eucalyptus and Tahitian vanilla, just the right combination for relaxation, especially after the facial.
I hear the door open and close quietly. I hear the massage therapist walk over to the table.
“Hello,” an Irish sounding female greets me, “My name is Erin, I’ll be your masseuse today. Do you prefer a standard massage or a deep tissue massage?”
“Deep tissue will be fine.”
“Very well, relax and let me know if you prefer a lighter touch.”
She begins to knead my shoulders. Could anything be more blissful? Unfortunately, I am unable to turn off my mind. I begin to wonder what happened to Julianna and if her night of revelry would have worn her down that she would consider staying in tonight? I quickly dispense with that notion. I already know the answer to that.
As Erin works on my lower back, I feel the draped linen move farther down. Then she abruptly stops and exits the room, without a word
At first, I didn’t think anything of it, this happens sometimes, but she seemed to be gone an absorbent amount of time. Just as I was going to get up, I hear the door open and shut.
“I thought you had left before the massage was through,” I say.
“Black Dahlia, you should leave London immediately. It is not safe for you here.”
The voice did not belong to Erin. It was definitely male. A voice that sounded familiar.
I start to get up, taking the linen with me, but before I could turn around, I hear the door close again. The male is gone.
Leave London? Impossible, I have an assignment here, but there is concern. First, why didn’t The Spotter contact me?  Secondly, a male is the messenger. For as long as I’ve been with The Order, they have never used a male for messaging. I need to get back to the room.
I hastily get dressed. The massage is done. I look out the door before I exit. I am almost at the elevator door when I hear it.
“Miss Montenegro, your massage?” I hear Erin say. She has towels in her hand.

“I’m sorry, but I have to leave. I’ll reschedule,” I say to her as the bell rings and the door opens. I step inside and press the number five button. The door starts to close, just as the look of disbelief spreads across Erin's face.

Sorry Erin, business before pleasure.

 

 

© 2009 JC


Author's Note

JC
Please read European Vacation I and II first.

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Featured Review

I will have to go back and read parts I and II, as you suggest - but wow - I was really gripped by the story. You have an almost "modern noir" style of first person, which is very readable and gets in the head of the protagonist nicely. The fleeting references to The Order are great - I don't know if you delve more into that in the earlier parts, but I actually enjoyed the mystery of what the heck might be going on and what The Order might be. Great stuff!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I will have to go back and read parts I and II, as you suggest - but wow - I was really gripped by the story. You have an almost "modern noir" style of first person, which is very readable and gets in the head of the protagonist nicely. The fleeting references to The Order are great - I don't know if you delve more into that in the earlier parts, but I actually enjoyed the mystery of what the heck might be going on and what The Order might be. Great stuff!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 9, 2009

Author

JC
JC

Fort Worth, TX



About
I am 40+ year old native of Fargo, North Dakota, (yes I said Fargo.). I've journaled, blogged and written poetry my entire adult life, and now I am starting to write a novel, which if published, will .. more..

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Looking For Clues Looking For Clues

A Story by JC