A frantic Lina glanced at her watch as she pulled into the Travel Inn parking lot:
The trip from Phoenix to Tucson was a straight shot down Interstate 10—120 miles of open desert and not much else. And although she’d driven at breakneck speeds and made good time, she’d overshot her exit and was halfway to the Mexican border before she realized her error. An elderly clerk at a 7-11 helped to get her turned around, giving her explicit directions as he curiously eyed her outfit: A red wool coat with a flannel nightie peeking out from underneath, accessorized with a pair of furry pink slippers.
Lina approached room 148 with trepidation. She was twenty-five minutes late and she feared the worst. Taking a deep breath, she raised her fist and softly rapped on the door…
There was no answer.
Panic rising, she rapped again, a bit harder…
Still no answer.
Lina began to hyperventilate, sure that Baylor was dead, his body just on the other side of the door, eyes fixed and staring at the ceiling, a gaping, bloody hole in his head. She was now in full panic mode, utterly unsure of what to do. Knock on the other rooms’ doors for help? Wake the motel’s manager? Drive to the nearest payphone to call the Tucson PD?
…get back into her car and drive the hell home and tell no one about any of this, not about Baylor’s suicide call, not about her insane drive to Tucson in the dead of night, not about the corpse she’d left behind in a seedy motel room.
The latter option—to just pretend this nightmare had never happened—was awfully tempting. But Lina willed herself to knock one more time before deciding what to do. She raised her fist and gave the door three sharp knocks. To her shock, the doorknob began to twist…
Baylor appeared in the doorway, a drink in his hand, wearing only boxers and a t-shirt.
The bastard was very much alive.
“About fucking time!” he fumed as he grabbed Lina’s arm and yanked her inside, poking his head out the door to make sure she’d not been seen. He locked the door behind her, including the deadbolt.
Now what? thought Lina. He’s alive, so…now what? Do I just…go home? Her brain kept stuttering as she tried to compose her emotions and collect her thoughts. She scoured the room looking for any evidence of a suicide thwarted. No gun in sight. No bullets. No scribbled suicide note. The room looked like any generic cheap motel room with nary a sign of trouble or trauma. On the contrary, the room looked more like a party zone. A collection of Playboy magazines were strewn all over the bed, one splayed open at the centerfold. A near-empty bottle of Jim Beam sat on the nightstand alongside half a dozen crushed beer cans. An opened, empty pizza box occupied the dresser top.
As Lina stood dumbstruck, trying to make sense of this whole crazy scenario, Baylor pounced on her from behind, hands all over her as he grabbed at and ripped off her coat.
“Jesus Christ! What the fuck are you wearing?” he asked, wadding the cloth of her flannel nightgown in his hand before flinging it back at her. He then looked down at her feet:
“Slippers?” he asked, with a mocking laugh.
“I didn’t have time to change,” she whimpered.
Baylor staggered over to an opened suitcase perched on a nearby luggage rack and pulled from it a flimsy red garment. He pushed it into Lina’s chest.
“Take this. Go in the bathroom and put it on.”
Lina looked down at the garment in her hands, a chiffon see-through nightie, the price tag still attached. Her state of shock was slowly starting to thaw and she could see, faintly, the writing on the wall.
“You seem to be okay. I think I should leave.”
“You’re not going anywhere,” said Baylor, emptying the rest of the Jim Beam into his glass. “If you want to keep your job, you’ll stay right here and do exactly as I say. It’d take just one little phone call to the Division commander, tellin’ him how you’ve been throwing yourself at me and harassing my wife, trying to break us up.”
Lina gasped. “Throwing myself at you? Harassing your wife? I never did any—”
“Doesn’t matter. Who d’you think he’d believe?”
“My lieutenant already knows about you harassing me—that’s why you were transferred. I’m sure Captain O’Malley already knows everything I told the lieutenant.”
“I’d go over O’Malley’s head, to the Division commander. Assistant Chief Kornacky and I are good friends; we go way back. He was my patrol partner right out of the academy. I saved the S.O.B.’s life during a robbery call that turned to shit. One little phone call, that’s all it would take to get your pretty little ass fired.”
He had her dead to rights. She could offer no rebuttal.
Baylor tossed the empty whiskey bottle into a wastebasket then turned on Lina. “Now, be a good little girl and put on the fucking nightie!”
“You weren’t really going to kill yourself, were you?” she asked, finally putting two and two together.
Baylor laughed at her naïveté. “How else was I going to get you to drive down here?”
“But why Tucson? You couldn’t find someplace closer to Phoenix?”
“I’m an ALEOAC instructor—”
“An aleeoh-what?” asked Lina.
Baylor spelled it out for her: “A-L-E-O-A-C. It stands for Arizona Law Enforcement Officers Advisory Council, the board that certifies cops in Arizona. As an instructor, I travel every weekend to different jurisdictions to conduct basic training for peace officers. This weekend it just happens to be in Tucson.” Baylor began pushing Lina backward, towards the bathroom. “Next weekend I’m in Prescott, so make sure you’re available.”
Her back now up against the bathroom door, Lina felt deceived and cornered…and helpless. He had her right where he wanted her and there was nothing she could do about it, not if she wanted to keep her job.
Losing patience with her, Baylor opened the door and pushed her into the bathroom. “Do I have to put it on for you?”
Lina pushed him back, “I’ll do it myself,” then closed the door in his face and locked it.
Baylor yelled through the door: “And don’t wear any fucking panties with it!”
In the bathroom, Lina considered her options. There was no window through which to escape. The only phone was on the nightstand next to the bed—he would never let her near it, let alone use it to call for help. She knew he had a gun—cops never travel without their guns—but where in the room it was, she hadn’t a clue. Even if she were able to get her hands on his gun, he could easily overpower her and use it against her.
Lina looked down at the red nightie in her hands and began to cry. There was no way out of this mess; she was doomed to be his captive sex slave for the night. Just get through the night, she told herself, then figure a way out in the morning. Perhaps in the light of day, her situation might not seem so hopeless.
Wearing the nightie, she emerged from the bathroom to find Baylor already naked and lounging on the bed, thumbing through one of the Playboys with one hand while he stroked his cock with the other. He tossed the magazine aside and bade her to join him:
“Come lay down. Daddy’s waited long enough.”
Every cell in her body was screaming at her to make a break for it, but bursting out of a seedy motel room at two in the morning wearing nothing but a see-through negligee would not likely get her the kind of help she needed. She had no choice but to do as he commanded.
Baylor motioned again. “Lay down!”
Lina did as told, assuming a prone position next to him.
Baylor grabbed her hand, wrapped it around his cock, and ordered her to jerk him off.
Lina’s inexperience became quickly apparent as she began yanking on his soft, squishy shaft, in, well, a jerking motion.
“What are you doing?” he growled.
Lina began to cry anew. “You said to jerk it.”
“Not like that!” Exasperated, Baylor pushed her hand away and straddled her chest. “Let’s hope you give better head than hand jobs,” then pushed his cock into her virgin mouth.
Again, her inexperience was immediately apparent.
“Don’t use your fucking teeth! Just suck on it!’
Lina did as told, soon gagging as his erection grew inside her mouth, gagging her more as he began thrusting it in and out with an odd, irregular rhythm. Lina closed her eyes, shutting out the sight of his slack, furry abdomen slapping against her face.
Once his cock had hardened, Baylor slid off her chest and pulled the nightie up and over her head. Grabbing her legs, he pushed them to her chest as he plunged himself inside her. Again, he began to thrust in such a strange, choppy rhythm that it seemed almost comical to Lina, like a bad John Belushi impersonation of Joe Cocker’s musically-inspired seizures—were she not still in a state of shock, she might have even laughed at him.
She hoped that the shock she felt—the physical numbness and mental disconnect—would stay with her throughout this godawful night, and all during the two-hour drive back to Phoenix in the morning. If she could stay numb at least until she got back to the sanctity of her apartment, she reasoned, she’d be okay. At home, she could break down, scream, cry, and curse to her heart’s content. And after her emotional melt-down, she’d figure out a way to arm herself against Baylor and his threats and resolve to never let him near her again.
Baylor let out a howl, interrupting Lina’s thoughts and forcing herself back to the reality of what was, at this moment, happening to her. He howled again, sounding every bit like a drunken chimpanzee; his ungainly, spasmodic thrusts signaled he was close to shooting his wad, an anticlimactic finish for which Lina was grateful. As he came, his body thrashed and convulsed so bizarrely, Lina became concerned for his welfare, but all concern was lost with the string of popping farts that shot out of his ass with every jerking thrust.
Lina almost lost it. Almost. She pushed down the temptation to laugh and retreated back into her cocoon of numbness. There would be time for laughter later, she told herself…much later—perhaps years from now, when she was older and wiser, after decades of living had deadened her emotions to the horrors of her youth. She and Kerri would sit in their old-lady rockers and reminisce about Baylor and his herky-jerky fucking as they sipped from tall glasses of Lipton iced tea. Kerri would laugh so hard she’d snort tea through her nose; Lina would laugh even harder, laugh until her sides split and her stomach muscles ached; laugh and laugh and laugh, until it hurt so bad…
It could hurt no more.