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Jeremy leaned over and kissed the girl full on her lips, then thrust his tongue down her throat and pressed his pelvis into hers leaving nothing to the imagination. Obviously he was ready. No one else in the crowded nightclub noticed, but the girl certainly did.
“I know this great hotel with Victorian décor.” He suggested they check out of the club and check in there.
That crooked smile of hers, the one that reminded Jeremy of another, was all she gave in reply, but he understood her answer. He looped his arm through her bent elbow and led the way to his car, pressed his keychain remote as they approached the vehicle. The headlights came on as did two interior lamps, one focused on the driver’s seat and one on the passenger side; the doors unlocked and the engine came to life, purring at idle.
The hint of promised sex from the young woman almost overpowered Jeremy’s ability to drive safely. The hotel had a garage with an attendant. He left the key in the ignition and got out, walked quickly to her side and gallantly opened the door for her. Again taking her arm, he escorted her into the foyer where he began filling out the registry.
There was a photo in a corner on the counter top. Two young men in their mid-thirties stood close together and smiled at the camera.
“Mike or John still alive?” Jeremy asked idly as he produced a credit card and flashed a second piece of identification.
“You mean the Pietro brothers?” the young man nodded as the desk clerk swiped his card and replied, “John still is, yah,” he said absently as he plucked the receipt from the printer and passed it across for signature. “He owns the hotel. Mike passed away some years ago.”
Jeremy signed, accepted the room key, examined it and stepped back to take the hand of the pretty girl who accompanied him. The elevator doors separated and they entered, turned and faced the foyer. Just before the doors glided shut, Jeremy said, “Tell John I said hello. Give him my full name. He ought to remember me.”
They were lying naked next to each other collapsed in exhaustion when a set of knuckles rapped on the door. Jeremy rose, pulled on his pants, said “Just a minute,” and walked over to place an eye to the through hole and a hand on the door latch. He tugged the door open which allowed hallway light to flood the room
Staring up at him with wizened features and white hair was a wiry old man. He had once been taller, but old age had shrunk his bones. The young man towered over him and stood smiling benignly down until the old gentleman had a good long look. His eyes grew large.
“Migod, it is you,” the old man said with obvious astonishment. “How is this possible? Or are you his son? This is amazing. You look just like him”
“Hello, John. I’d invite you in but,” the young man glanced over his shoulder at the naked woman who had crawled under the covers and pulled the sheets up to her chin, “I don’t think she’s ready to receive visitors.”
John took a step into the hall backing away from the threshold.
Jeremy pushed the door closed, retrieved his shirt from the seat of a chair where he had tossed it last night, sat on the edge of the bed and buttoned the shirt. He dangled the card key in front of the girl, laid it on the night stand.
Outside in the hall he said to John, “I left my room key with her. If she splits on me, you can fix that, right? After all, you do own the place.”
John’s eyes seemed to have grown even larger as he stood transfixed, his mouth open but unable to speak.
“Hey, I know it’s a bit of a shock,” Jeremy said with a wry smile. He placed one arm over the old man’s shoulder and steered him toward the bank of elevators. “Talk over coffee? Café on the first floor still open?”
“Jesus Christ, boy,” the old man said as the elevator arrived and he was guided through its opening, “you’re my age. At least, you were my age when I was your age. How the fuck can this be happening?”
They entered. The elevator began its descent.
* * *
The corner of Sixteenth and Valencia attracted a crowd of young people nightly. They hung out and did little else. Not exactly a “gang” of youth, but certainly a bunch, a group, a pile of boys and girls who stood on the sidewalk, backs against a building wall, some seated on porch steps reclining, smoking tobacco, sucking on cans or bottles of soda or water because even with a fake ID they rarely passed for old enough to purchase liquor.
One boy had his arm slung over a girl’s shoulder in a loose and careless manner as if hanging onto a pack horse. The couple had their heads together in intimate conversation when the boy raised his lips to brush the girl’s neck with a kiss and take a drag from a lit cigarette in his other hand.
“Mmmmm, that feels good,” the girl whispered in his ear. He licked her ear lobe and exhaled smoke.
Although ordinarily he paid close attention to ear lobes, the boy became suddenly distracted. He found himself staring over the girl’s shoulder at a gray haired woman who walked with a cane and who had just begun to step around the gathered loiterers. The old woman took one look at him with his mouth open, smoke billowing out, and fell to her knees as if struck a hammer blow to the head. Then she fell over on her side.