Risky Retreat

Hola! Welcome to this week’s Risky Retreat!  Here you can find a teaser of the romance, drama, and suspense that flow through my pages when I write.  Even though this is only a teaser it will still feed your need to read.  Some of these stories are coming soon, some are available now, and some are simply free short stories I wanted to share with you!  Enjoy and don’t forget to check back in two weeks for the next Risky Retreat!

Hot Stakes

The crowd at Hot Stakes Sports Bar and Grill was down to three people; the owner Joey Rubble, the maintenance man Simon Jones, and the new girl Melissa Moore.  It had never been slower than this but it got close one-time last month.  It was Sunday November 1, 2015 many cars passed up and down the street but none stopped by, it’s almost like they didn’t notice the place.  The look of concern spread across Joey’s face was that he wouldn’t make enough money this month to pay the bills. A sigh escaped his lips and he grimaced. The prices were as low as he could afford and images of bankrupt signs danced through his head.  Maybe he should just give it all up, he could barely afford to pay Simon, what made him hire a new girl?  But Joey knew all too well what made him do it, hopefully once the men saw a new pretty face they would want to stay longer and spend more. However, Melissa didn’t have the chance to make a difference before worry lines creased his forehead.  Joey glanced at his watch, it was ten o’clock.

“Melissa!” he yelled.

She put the cleaning rag into the bucket made up of Mrs. Meyer’s Surface Scrub and hot water. Earlier Melissa wondered why she needed to clean at all since they have a maintenance man; but everyone knows part of the waitress job is to clean tables so she let it go.

“Yes sir?” she said.

He motioned for her to come to him.  Melissa was no fool, she noticed during the interview Joey couldn’t keep his eyes off every other part of her but her face. At times she would clear her throat to bring his attention back and he would talk about how pretty she was.  Her light skin and straight shoulder length hair always made the men pause, then once they focused in on her honey brown eyes and full lips the staring started. They would point out how cute her up toned nose was and the mole that sat next to it.  Her boyfriend Jonathon constantly fiddled with her chin; it made her feel fat even though she was nowhere near it. She would fuss constantly and swat at him but his hand would just end up back on her chin. He would laugh and talk about how perfectly round it was but Melissa didn’t think so.

“How many tables do you have left back there that need to be cleaned?” Joey asked.

“Actually I’m on my last one.”

“Good, when you’re finished go to lunch.”

“How long is lunch?” she asked.

“Indefinitely if we don’t get some business,” He muttered under his breath.

“Huh, what was that?” Melissa asked.

“An hour,” He said and retreated through the double doors to his office.

At the front entrance the doorbell chimed and in walked Latasha, Melissa’s best friend. In a short red dress, Latasha’s long brown legs smooth and recently shaven complemented the matching red four inch stiletto heels.

“Hey girl you’re just in time. I was about to text you,” Melissa said.

“Is your phone on the charger?” Latasha asked.

“Ah! I left it in my purse; I brought the charger with me and everything!” Latasha shook her head, “It won’t do you any good if it isn’t plugged up.”

“I know, I know,” Melissa repeated, “Let me wipe down this last table and I’ll clock out.”

Melissa grabbed the rag and rung it out twisting it with her hands.  The lavender aroma of Mrs. Meyer’s Surface Cleaner made the place smell like flowers.  Latasha sat down at the bar and watched her girl wax on and wax off.  Her job wasn’t much better, cleaning rooms all morning at Sonny’s Inn made her back hurt from time to time but it was a job, some people didn’t have one so she wouldn’t complain. Melissa carried the bucket and cleaning supplies toward the back; she turned and threw her hand up waving for Latasha to come on. The click clack of Latasha’s heels announced each step as she walked down the hallway. Melissa sat the bucket down in the maintenance closet, clocked out, and continued to the bathroom. Inside she hopped up on the counter leaning her back against the mirror with a pout on her face.

“Girl what’s wrong?” Latasha asked.

“I’m bored. Do you see how dead this place is?”

“At least you don’t have to work hard, that is not something to be pouting about; if I were you I’d take it easy.”  Latasha applied a rose colored lipstick to her lips. Oddly enough her top lip was thin, while the bottom lip was plump.  When kissing she was the type of girl to always suck a man’s lips in. “I’ve got a date and I can’t be late.”

“I knew you were up to something coming in here all dazzled up, I won’t even ask who.” Melissa said.

“Good don’t ask, it aint none of your business anyway.”

“Whatever,” Melissa threw her hands up waving off Latasha’s statement.

“Are you going to sit in this bathroom your whole lunch or are we eating?”

“You’re hungry?” Melissa asked.

“I don’t really have an appetite,” Latasha glanced at her phone, “he’ll be here at any minute so maybe I shouldn’t eat but I could really use a drink.”

“You’re bringing him here?”

“Is that a problem?”

“Nall girl do your thing, Imma sit in here and sulk some more.”

Latasha shook her head, “Girl get over it, you’re getting paid to do nothing. Now I’ll be back.”

She left the bathroom and not only was Melissa bored; now she didn’t have anyone to talk to.  Her stomach growled but she didn’t feel like eating.  The time was not moving fast enough and she felt like going home.  This place was lame, thinking of Jonathon she figured she would try and reach him if her phone had any juice. Her charger was in her purse she plopped down off the counter and went to the break room which was as small as the closet she kept her shoes in at home.  The closer she got, the louder voices grew, Melissa was almost relieved that there was some work to do around here until the tone in the voices grew angry.  Melissa slid into the break room grabbing her phone and charger from her purse.  When she stepped out the men were at a point of yelling.

“I know Jimmy works here now where is he? I am not the guy you want to mess with today!” The man snarled.

Melissa paused so she could listen; Joey was trying to explain to the man that Jimmy hadn’t work there for a month now.  Not wanting to get caught snooping, Melissa eased her head around the corner inch by inch. There were two men and a woman all dressed like they were the Soprano’s. The guy talking looked about as frustrated as he could be. The next sound she heard was of a gunshot.  It rang loud three times. “BANG, BANG, BANG!”  The sound crackled in the air like thunder and Melissa screamed dropping her cell phone, she picked it up quick and ran to the bathroom.  She locked the door, her body shaking all over.

“Oh, Jesus please help me. Please, please,” she begged.

Like she expected, someone tried to get in the door.  A female voice spoke, “Open the door.” She spoke in a zero tolerance tone.  The door rattled as she pushed multiple times trying to get it to budge.  Melissa knew sooner or later whoever was out there would find a way to get in, instantly she looked for an escape.  Inside the bathroom next to the first stall was another door.  Melissa didn’t know where it led; after all it was her first night. The door didn’t start at the bottom of the floor it was about two feet off the ground she would have to jump up and attempt to grab the door knob.  There was no other way out of this bathroom, she couldn’t believe there was not even a small window to crawl out of, she made the decision to jump through the door. Melissa stepped back, ran and jumped. She didn’t have hops like Michael Jordan and that was not good. The knocking on the door got harder, then a loud bump as if someone was putting their shoulder into it.  Beads of sweat formed on her forehead, never in her life had she been this scared or nervous.  If they got that door down before she could make a run for it she was dead.  Melissa decided to run from one end of the bathroom to the other. In two seconds she was gone, in three long strides she was at the door; she jumped and grabbed the door handle.  It swung open hitting her hard in the face, she screamed as blood seeped out of her nose.  Her descent was rigid and fast when she hit the ground, pain instantly shot through her head and the room started to spin. Keeping it together was the hardest thing for Melissa, but she fought the darkness that threatened to consume her.

“Jesus give me the strength,” she whispered.

Heavier and heavier the fight was to maintain consciousness. Roll over, Melissa thought. She gained just enough will power to roll to her side. Blood continued to seep out of her nose, finally with her head back she pushed herself to a sitting position, resting there for a moment before attaining her bearings and standing to her feet. Dizziness hit her just as tough as the door did when it opened. The counter top was her crutch and Melissa put all her weight onto it, grateful for the support.  When she looked in the mirror, there were two of her.  That wasn’t right, she thought. A bang on the door made Melissa cringe.  For a moment, she forgot about the bad guys on the other side but that was her wake up call. Into the stall she grabbed tissue and stuck it up her nose.  There was a first aid box on the wall, “Thank you Jesus,” she said. Shots rang out; Melissa screamed again forgetting about the first aid kit, someone wanted to get in badly because now they were shooting at the door.

Melissa sprinted out of the stall on unsteady legs; she threw her hands up jumping through the opening. Only half of her made it, the other half continued to dangle against the bottom half of the bathroom wall. Using her hands she pulled the rest of herself through and stood up fast.  This was some type of hidden hallway and for a second Melissa wondered why Joey would need it. The bathroom door burst open and she took off down the hallway.  There was a slope in the floor, causing her to slide and fall down on her knees she slid to a stop.  To her left were steps leading to a door. In front of her the hallway continued to stretch and a door was at the end of it also. Taking her chances Melissa kept straight, getting back to her feet, hurtling into the door. It opened with ease and the bright light gave her pause.  Looking around she saw a desk, chair, and paperwork scattered.  This must have been Joey’s office.  On her right was another door, going through it lead her outside into the night air.

Being outside gave her a since of relief, no longer was she trapped inside but now she was out in the open. In the parking lot were few cars, but one of them was Latasha’s car.

“Yes!” she yelled, excited that she could get away from the thugs that pursued her.

Melissa ran up to the driver’s side door and beat on the windows. Latasha sat in the back, while a chubby guy with a navy blue polo shirt sat on the front passenger side. The loud thumps at the window made them both jump. Latasha looked at Melissa like she was crazy. What was up with the tissue in her nose, Latasha wondered. She shook her head no at Melissa and shooed her away, but Melissa wasn’t going anywhere. Watching her friend’s actions, Melissa looked back at the restaurant then back to Latasha. “They’re trying to kill me!” she said. Instantly alarmed, Latasha motioned for her date to unlock the door. Melissa jumped in slamming it.
 
“I’m not paying for two, only one that was the deal!” Latasha’s date yelled.

Melissa’s face furrowed at the man, there was no way she would sell herself short in any way so he had nothing to worry about. She never knew why her friend called them dates when they were really tricks, and there was no reason for her to be dealing with these types of men. Latasha was beautiful she could be a model, but this was her life not Melissa’s. Her hands reached for the keys that hung in the ignition, the car came to life, she put it in reverse backing out, once in drive the car lurched forward.

Two men and a woman flew out of the bar guns in hand. Seeing the car they all lifted about to shoot when one of them by the name of Sanchez said. “I got this.” He held up his M1911 and fired two shots; the first one shattered the back window, the second one wounded Latasha’s date taking his ear off.  Screams elevated the night air.  Melissa lost control of the car; its swerved wildly before running into a light pole coming to a staggering halt. Smoked bellowed from the hood and the thugs gave each other smug smiles.

“Let’s go get em.” Sanchez said.

“Melissa wake up!” Latasha screamed.  Melissa’s head had hit the steering wheel. Previously, after jumping in the car, she didn’t think to buckle up.  Coming to, Melissa blinked rapidly and held her head, she moaned, “Ooooh God, Jesus take the wheel!”

“Girl, you have already run into a pole now you need to ask Jesus to get this car to crank, it’s too late for him to take the wheel now snap out of it! We’ve got to get out of this car!” Latasha looked back. “Come on they’re getting closer, what have you gotten me into!”

“I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into!” Melissa yelled back.

They got out of the car, “Down there!” Latasha yelled.

Melissa followed her friend down to the back of Hot Stakes Sport Bar and Grill. She ran to the basement door it was never locked.  She pushed it open and they flew in.  On the inside, they locked the door; Latasha flipped the light switch on and searched for a padded lock to add more security.

“Why do you look like you know this place?”  Melissa asked.

“Don’t ask me no questions and I won’t tell you no lies okay?” Latasha said.

“Fine,” Melissa said throwing her hands up.

Her head hurt beyond belief, it was swollen and another lump was growing on her forehead. She took her phone out and attempted to turn it on. It powered on the battery light blinking, Melissa call Jonathon. The phone rung once, “come on, come on baby pick up,” she chanted. “Beep, beep” Her phone was on the verge of powering off. “I was wondering when you were going to call me,” Jonathon said. “Baby, listen to me!” Melissa shouted, “I need you to call the police, we…beep, beep, beep,” The phone died, Melissa groaned.

“What are we going to do now?” she said.

hot stakes

**Hot Stakes is a free story. **

Get information on new contest, book releases, appearances, and a sneak peek at part 2 of Hot Stakes on the next Risky Retreat by clicking the link below!

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