“Detective Michaels? We spoke at the hotel. About Miss Sprinkle. She’s in the room now, with Dan.”

“Good. We’ll have some men there in a few minutes. I’ll fax you the arrest warrant, and you can deliver it to the officers when they arrive.”

Sounded good. I gave him the fax number, and hung up. I walked to the back office, to the fax machine.

Not only was it not hooked up, it didn’t appear to have any cords or cables. For fuckssake, why put a fax number on the stationary if the fax isn’t fucking hooked up?

I called back. “Bit of a problem. The fax is fucked.”

“Shit. . .I can drive it there, but I’m a half an hour out. Just wait for the officers, and I’ll handle it.”

The officers arrived five minutes later. There were six officers total. I led them down the hall to the room, and stood to the side as the lead officer banged on the door.

“Gertrude Hansen, police. We are here to execute a warrant for your arrest.”

Cue sounds of breaking glass, rustling paper, and toilet flushing.

“Do you have anyone by the window outside?” I asked the lead officer. He pointed to two men, and they exited the building. None too soon, as I heard the window open, followed by an officer’s voice yelling “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, MAN, PUT SOME FUCKING PANTS ON!” The window slammed shut, and I could hear Dan’s voice on the other side of the door, panting “Ohfuckohfuckohfuck. . .”

One cop had his tazer out, with a big grin on his face. “Been dying to use that, haven’t you?” I asked.

“Yup. Just got ’em this month.”

“Think you’ll need it?”

“Oh, god, I hope so,” he said, grinning even wider.

“Mind if I watch?”

“Knock yourself out, bro.”

At that point, an officer walked up. “Sir, I was just on the horn with Michaels. There’s a wreck on South Liberty. He’s stuck in traffic.”

“Sir?” I asked. “Do you need the warrant to get the door open?”

“Unless an occupant willingly lets us in, yes.”

“And if you’re in there, and there’s evidence of illegal activity in plain sight, you can act on it without a warrant, right?”

“Right. But I doubt very seriously she’d just let us walk in.”

I jingled my keys. “She might not. But unlike you, I don’t need her permission. This is a hotel, not an apartment complex. I’m authorized to enter any room for any reason, and I’m damn sure authorized to grant you entry.”

The officer grinned, and stood aside. I found the key, ulocked the deadbolt, and tried the door. It opened a crack, and was stopped by the chain. Through the crack, I could see Grace trying franticly to stuff various dildos and smoking devices into a suitcase, and Dan struggling to put his sweatpants back on while trying to eat a handful of pot. The air was a thick mix of pot and crack smoke, and I stepped back to get my face out of it.

The officer glanced at the chain, and back to me.

“Go ahead. Kick it in, break the chain. I’ve got a whole box of ’em in the office.”

“Thanks, kid,” he said, and kicked the door hard. The chain snapped, and there was a loud THUD, followed by a shrill shreik. The officer started laughing uncontrollably.

“Oh, fuck. . .she was trying to look out the peephole when I kicked. . .”

*********

EPILOGUE:

Dan, as per the arrangement, was not booked for soliciting. He was, however, booked for the drugs. And hitting an officer, but I wasn’t present for that. He was fired and evicted.

Annie/Grace made bond, and showed up at the hotel a week later, shouting at my window from the parking lot. Saying she was going to sue me for letting the cops in. I just put on some headphones, cranked up some Floyd, and ignored her until she left. I never saw her again.

After her arrest, the police went through her stuff, and went over the evidence. They said to keep everyone out of the room, and touch nothing until they bagged and tagged everything. That night, curiosity got the better of me, and I crept in for a peek. The room had been decorated like a brothel in a bad movie. She had put up velvet curtains, paintings of fat naked chicks, red satin sheets on the bed, fake marble statuettes. Her belongings were neatly organized on the bed and table. Every sort of sexual device and smoking apparatus imagineable was present, including the biggest vibrator I had ever seen. It was almost horselike in size, and had a wall cord with a grounded plug.

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