Room Nine at the Turnpike Motel by Gregg Dean
"Jeez man, I mean - I'm not judging anyone, but the Turnpike Motel?" Sam poked me
in the chest in a good-natured manner that only a boss is given leave to do. He
coughed and picked up his glass, drained it and caught the jacket of a passing
"Here son - bourbon, neat."
The air was warm and humid and Sam took out a sodden handkerchief which merely
rearranged the sweat on his face.
"You hot, son? Jeez. Don't these places have air conditioning?"
"I don't know, Sam." I admitted.
"But this motel. Miles from anywhere. Miles from town, the lakes, the rivers, the mall.
For god-sakes. A motel. What's it for? But like I say, I ain't judging anyone."
There was a pause while he took his loaded glass, poked at the ice twice, an habit
without reason, and sipped it. The wet handkerchief made another appearance.
"Where are they?" Sam asked and looked at his watch.
"We're early. We have another ten minutes, Sam." I pointed out.
Sam grunted and sat back.
"Did you go out see the damn place?" he rasped.
"I did. Monday."
The Turnpike Motel was a 30 room affair. Miles from any amenity of any description,
apparently serving no purpose, it came serve the purpose envisaged by its Jed
Somersby, the motel owner.
I pulled into the circular car park, now largely overgrown from seven years' neglect.
The sign was barley readable and where the elements had left off, young vandals
had traveled out to the motel breaking down the doors and throwing the contents of
the rooms onto the veranda.
I counted the rooms off and stopped at the ninth. The door was still hinged though
the frame had been jimmied beyond service.
"Room nine." I had said, but my voice wasn't that of the self-assured thirty year old,
but the unsure croakings of a seventeen year old.
"Room nine." I repeated.
The spotty young man behind the desk nodded and pointed.
"You could have gone straight on in."
I tottered unsteadily down the boardwalk in the direction he had pointed.
"Your Mom's already waiting . . . " he called out.
Sam picked up his whisky and scrutinised the ice floating in the amber depths.
"Shit I hate waiting. Small fish with big ideas. Thinking they can hold me up. Now
have you a plan of approach, boy?"
"No. Well I have. One goddamn rundown motel on twenty acres of prime land. I want
the land, Richy. We need that."
"Do they know how valuable it is to us?"
"No. Haven't a clue. And I want it kept that way. We'll make like we want to re-open
the place. Damn shit place. Young whores and cheating housewives.
There was a long pause.
"Damn place is still only good for rats and roaches. We're gonna clean up here."
He raised his glass and chuckled, swathes of fat moving under his shirt.
The door to number nine swung open and I stepped over the threshold. The carpets
had started to rot away and the furniture had been gratuitously smashed.
"Is that you Richy?"
And I was seventeen again. The room was spartan with a black and white television.
The bed was neat and clean, the carpet largely clean but stained in several places.
Christine came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel. Her hair was damp as she
padded across the floor.
"Shut the door. You want to become a fucking side-show?"
Numbly I pushed the door closed as Christine dropped the towel to the floor and
leant over the bed to pull back the covers.
I remember seeing the mound between her legs as she leant forward, unashamed,
unhurried. She sat on the bed and tossed her damp hair.
"You gonna take those off, or do you fuck with your pants on?" then her face
showed regret "I'm sorry hon. This isn't easy for you."
"Come here Richy."
I shuffled to the bedside and stood before her. She took my hand and placed it over
her right breast. Divorced, thirty-eight with children, yet her breasts were still firm
"You're seventeen, right Richy?"
"Cut the "ma'am" bit. Call me Chris."
She undid the belt and lowered my pants. I shuffled out of them removing my shoes
and socks. I undid my shirt and her hands ran over my chest.
"Oh honey. Like 'em when they're seventeen."
Christine lowered the front of my shorts, taking out my hardened penis. I was glad
she didn't look down and shame me, keeping her gaze on my face. Her hand skillfully
played with my erection and my breath caught in my throat.
"You can take them off, son."
As I slid from my shorts, she rolled back onto the bed, covering her breasts with her
hands. Legs spread.
She patted the bed beside her and I climbed up, laying down. She kissed me, wet
open-mouthed. My hands went to the those breasts again and felt the reaction of
her nipples under my touch. Their little bullet hardness surprised me and she must
have guessed. She laughed and broke the kiss.
"Didn't you ever had a girl friend?"
"Try sucking. See how hard you can get 'em."
She rolled toward me and her breast went into my mouth. As I sucked her breathing
quickened slightly until a small moan escaped from her mouth.
"God. Seventeen. I like 'em young." She groaned.
Her hand went down to my hardness and gripped it lightly. A wave of guilt and
pleasure rippled through me. This was what I'd been forbidden from doing. I knew it
was wrong but hadn't thought it would be this good, even when I first met Christine
in the diner.
I kept the napkin with her number on for two months, dialed it and hung up a
hundred times until dry-mouthed I re-introduced myself.
"It's Richy from the diner." I whispered. "It's Richy."
"I remember you hon."
"I . . ."
"Look, room nine. One thirty at The Turnpike Motel. At fifteen bucks for the
afternoon you better show."
She rolled me over onto her stomach, her breasts between us. My erection was
between her legs and by raising her knees skilfully, she lined me up perfectly.
"Push, Richy. Gently, take your time."
I pushed and I felt the head enter her. Strange flesh began to engulf me. Then with
a sudden need I felt myself press hard and gasping my young body released inside
In shame I buried my face into her shoulder and I felt her hand softly stroking the
back of my head.
"We've got all afternoon, Richy. We've got time."
I lay there for several moments as my erection subsided.
"Seventeen," she whispered, "I like 'em young."
Sam returned from the bathroom, his fly gaping. I wondered whether I should tell him
or let the bastard wait until its belated discovery would compound his
"Sam your fly."
He adjusted himself and lowered his large frame into the chair.
"What is it if it's not a goddamn ramshackle pile of shit? Always was a pile of shit."
"How do you work that out."
"That motel was built for one purpose and one purpose only," he gasped, "so that
the people could meet and fuck in secrecy, Richy. Every kind of fornication, adultery
and goddamn knows what else."
I snorted silently. Pretty nervy for someone who reserves two hours every
Wednesday and Friday for a young whore fifteen minutes from work.
Some years later, the spotty youth quit the motel reception. Room nine had become
tatty as had the general appearance of the motel. Christine was still as voluptuous
as ever. I knew what she liked and played her well. Today, she came out of the
bathroom, dispensing with the towel as she left the room. She held herself against
me and kissed me deeply, her tongue probing in my mouth. She started to disrobe
me, kissing me gently. I stopped her and as she had done the first time, she climbed
onto the bed. This time I caught her by her hips and moved up behind her where she
She sighed softly as I moved my hand down to her thighs, kissing her back. My hand
found her soft mound and cupped it. The circular movements of my hand made her
hips and buttocks squirm.
I lowered my head, and probed her with tongue, along her moist slit, over her
My remaining clothing was shed onto the carpet and she turned her self onto her
back where I sat astride her chest.
She took her breasts and encased my hard penis. I moved myself slowly and she
moaned. As the tip came forward her tongue flicked out and licked the head.
"I want you inside me," she whispered, "seventeen, God I love it. I love it."
Except I was nineteen.
The motel was justifiably recognised for its single role to the nearest community.
Local dignitaries used it a platform subject to posture and moralise, though it was
certain that at one time they may have used anyone of those rooms.
I walked from the broken room out onto the veranda. There was arguably nothing
noble behind the motel's conception. It's owner had recognised a need and had, like
any good businessman, striven to exploit it. The outrage of the vociferous few had
heaped disproportionate invective which had fed itself. Eventually stigma and the
possible exposure from its crusading opposition, was too much for even the most
discreet. Secrecy and stealth were no longer enough and the Turnpike Motel
switched off the tacky blue and red sign for the last time. The realty sign rattled in
the wind. There was little chance that it would ever stand again or prevail against
public outcry, but with Sam's proposed development, it could realise some sort of
Sam shifted his weight uncomfortably and looked again at his watch.
"It's three. They're late."
"No," I corrected him "Three would be punctual."
"Then where are they?"
I drifted into a muse where I was more of a man than an employee, driven by
conviction instead of cowering in fear of consequence.
"You know what the trouble is with you, Sam?" I asked.
He looked at me slacked-jawed.
"What did you say?"
"You know something Sam? You don't get the panorama you think you do from the
moral high ground."
Sam growled and out his drink his on the table.
"What in hell's name has gotten into you, son . . ."
"Yes sir. You are one dumb son of a bitch, Sam. You pull every trick going and dump
families on the street to get what you want . . . "
Sam's face started to color violently. He loosened his tie and spat venom and anger
in my direction with words barely articulated.
"Damnit son, you crossed the line - you're fucking . . ."
I pressed on.
"You've raped the land putting up one condo after another, golf courses for elite
shits like you, keeping one step ahead of the IRS . . ."
Now Sam sat in stunned silence, mopping his damp face with the sodden
handkerchief. I stood, closing the gap between up, leaning over him.
". . . and then you shake that fat finger of yours and talk about fornicators and shit
Sam snapped his fingers, the muse ended and I was a cowering lackey once again.
"This is our man."
Jed Somersby was in his late fifties. He walked with a measured stride and
recognised Sam immediately. With consummate hypocrisy Sam rose, shook Jed's
hand and said:
"Here's the man. What a guy. You know Richy, this guy is my kind of man. Saw a
whole great gap in the desert and makes his own gold mine. Shame about those
do-gooding bleeding hearts."
We all sat down and Sam ordered drinks.
"I'll come straight to the point, Jed . . ." began Sam.
"No, Sir. I'll come to the point." Jed said. His voice was thin, but forceful. Sam closed
"You're not going to open that motel again. And if you want to develop there, that's
fine. Here's my figure."
He passed Sam a cigarette packet. Jed had scribbled a number. Even from where I
sat I saw a significant number of zeros."
Sam's face vividly chased through the spectrum from one end to the other.
"If you develop the land - as you will - that's not a bad price."
"But - but." Sam gasped.
I took the cigarette packet from Sam's figure, scanned the figure.
"What Sam is trying to say," I continued, "is that we had in mind a figure twenty
times smaller than this. You see . . ."
But Jed was already shaking his head.
"I'll get more drinks" Jed offered.
The faintest of breezes was the only concession to the burning heat in the hotel car
park. Sam glared as he watched Jed climb into a battered truck and reverse slowly.
"Damn shrewd bastard. He played us for fools, Richy. Shit. I never in a million years
wanted to pay that much."
We watched the truck move into the flow of traffic which wound slowly past Sam's
car. Sam turned away disgusted, but I met Jed's steady gaze as he drove past,
nodding to me in appreciation. Smiling broadly, I winked back.
Copyright Gregg Dean 2002