The pack of Marlboro's was on his coat's left pocket, he reached for it, and made one cigarette pop out with a quick jerk of the left hand. A tiny blue flame from his lighter made the tobacco come to life.
Then he checked his Government issued XD-40 on his shoulder holster, and moved the safety knob on the side of the gun. Red.
Down the hallway, a hotel maid turned the corner, coming towards him. She was pushing a gray, plastic cart full of towels and little soap bars and bottles of shampoo. The girl seemed in no hurry, treading so softly on the floor that he could not hear or feel her steps. It was an older woman, slender and blond, with long hair and blue eyes and a skin freckled by many hours of sun rays in the summer. A beauty of yesteryear still lingered on her.
- " Excuse me ma'am, I'm in room two-oh-five, I forgot my key inside and ..."
- " Sorry honey, you'll have to go down to the front desk."
- " There is a cab waiting for me downstairs, and I have a business meeting in forty-five minutes. Would you just let me in ? Lunch is on me today."
He pulled a $ 50 dollar bill out of his wallet and slid it under one of the white towels on the cart. She took a gander at it and smiled, then walked slowly, approaching the door with the number 205 on it. A white plastic card went through the reader on the door. Green light. "Thanks, I forgot my briefcase inside." The man said. " Sure, no problem handsome." She replied.
Inside, used towels littered the floor. The twin beds had some clothes on them-like if someone changed outfits in a hurry- and boxes of food left on the reading table. A piece of yesterday's newspaper was on top of the dresser. He turned the TV off and looked out the window, to the empty street below. Some cars were parked along the curb, their windshields reflecting the bright sun light. "They're gone." He thought.
He was about to light up another Marlboro, when the sound of three muffled thumps on the door disturbed the silence inside.
To be continued ....