Stella tied her hair up loosely into a bun. Turning slightly, she admired the bubble bath she had running. There was something about Vancouver weather that had left her dreaming of this moment all day. The moment when the warm water would envelope her body and warm her chilly bones. Waiting for the tub to finish filling, she inspected her face closely in the mirror, squeezing a zit and sighing about the fact that she still had acne, despite her teenage years being behind her. Seeing that the tub was full, Stella turned off the taps and stepped in. Once the glow of warmth was done covering her body, she grabbed the joint lying beside her glass of water and book near the tub. Lighting it, she contemplated if she wanted to watch a story on the bathtub screen, or read. Inhaling and exhaling the smoke, she felt herself relax and ground from the day.
Thirty minutes later, feeling much warmer and very content, Stella sat on the bed in a hotel robe, contemplating dinner. Room service seemed like a no-brainer as she had no intention of removing her luxurious robe, or going back out in the cold.
Looking over the menu, she easily settled on a kale caesar salad and sat back contently, dreaming of the food being in her mouth. She wanted something else too… a Coke. She didn’t drink it often but oh how she loved that high fructose-glucose corn syrup. It was so gross but so good. Like McDonalds.
Selecting the salad and Coke from the room service tablet, she wondered what she should do while she waited for it to arrive. Continuing to stare at the menu, spacing out, she read the same meal over and over. Sweet and sour meatloaf made with organic beef, crispy fried onions, pickled organic beets and an organic butternut squash mash with maple syrup. It sounded so good. She kept reading the words over and over, sitting motionless, and in her mind she could see the meal and taste it.
Earlier, she had set the room options so when someone or something was at her suite door, the room would growl like a lion. Surprised by the unexpected and odd sound, her food fantasy was interrupted by a lion roaring. Unsure of how long she had been sitting there spacing out, she headed for the door, excited to eat. Flinging the door open in salivating anticipation, she was thrown and disappointed to find Noam standing there, and not her food.
Looking down at her in her robe, a flash of something (was it anger?) covered his face before being replaced with a more cool exterior and the question, “were you expecting someone?”
She didn’t like the way he said it, or what she felt he was inferring with the statement. And so she reacted accordingly.
Normally she was more modest with her body but she consciously chose to not be in this moment. Instead, she felt like abusing her power. So she left the robe hanging on her body as it was, acutely aware of how naked she was underneath, and feeling rebelliously unashamed of it. “That is none of your business,” she replied, her body continuing to command the doorway of her room.
She noticed how he was trying to not look directly at her and watched him make an attempt to peek around her and into the room. She didn’t move a muscle in response but she wondered if he could see her pot stuff on the bed. Did she look stoned right now? Looking indirectly at her, Noam spoke again, “something strange has happened. Can I talk with you about it?”
“What do you mean, strange? I’m busy right now.” She was not in the mood. She was hungry, tired, and stoned, and the last thing she wanted was to talk with Noam.
“I got a strange note. From a strange man,” he paused then pried “What are you busy doing?”
“What kind of note from what kind of man?” She paused then brushed him aside with, “None of your business.”
“It said, ‘Believe the story.’ and the man was a small person. But he could not or he would not speak. His eyes were creepy and vacant looking, like he was a zombie or something. Can I come in?” He stepped forward, pushing into her a bit.
Her face did not go red, or at least that’s what she told herself as she felt him against her. She did not what him in her room. Their current exchange in the hallway was all she could handle right now. She wanted to be alone, not be listening to Noam going on about this stupid Rewriter. “I thought you didn’t need my help?” She wanted him to go away. “Can’t you handle this alone?”
He looked sad for a half a moment, and for a half a moment she felt bad. But then he became indignant, slightly stomping his foot, giving her a dirty look, and walking away without a word.
Watching Noam leave, she knew she could perhaps say something to improve the situation. She knew there was something off in how she handled things. But instead of doing that, she decided to feel hungry again. The room service valet was far down the hall coming towards her and she thought of how good her meal was going to taste and salivated. A bit dribbled down her chin and for the first time she looked down at herself since opening the door for Noam. Her cleavage and part of her stomach were on tremendous display. The deepness of the V of her robe made her frown. Was this really what she’d wanted to show of herself on their first case? Not the most professional of starts she concluded sarcastically to herself, pulling the thin white robe closed and belting it tightly to her. The robe felt almost pornographic to her now. Why was it so thin? Who could answer a door in this and not feel exposed? As the valet approached, she maneuvered her body behind the room door so only her head peaked out. She was ready to receive her food.
Once the food was in her hands, she spoke quickly and sent the valet away in a hurry, similar to Noam. She had what she wanted right now.