Terry was a friend of my father’s. He was a redneck and a drunk, like most of my father’s friends, but otherwise a normal enough guy. I’d give him slightly discounted rates every so often, when he’d be too drunk to drive across town to get home.

This particular night, he was reasonably straight. He obviously smelled like beer, but his eyes were clear, if a bit tired, and his speech was unslurred. He seemed a little edgy, but otherwise okay. I assumed he was just a bit sleep deprived.

I gave him his key. He had requested a room by the side entrance, so I pointed him in the right direction. He thanked me, walked out to his truck, and drove toward the side door.

I turned my attention to the TV. That’s My Bush was on, and I chuckled as our Fearless Leader was talking Jack Kevorkian into killing the first lady’s cat. I began to light a cigarette, when I heard grunting and banging down the hall.

I ran to the side entrance, to find Terry dragging an unconcious woman by her arms to his room.

“Terry, WHAT the FUCK?!” I hoarsly whispered, trying not to wake any guests. “Who the fuck is this?”

Terry’s head snapped up like a shot, and he froze.

“Terry. . .what the fuck is going on?”

He swallowed hard. “She’s. . .my date,” he began. “We was at the Zebra, throwin’ a few back. We was gonna hit another bar, but she passed out in the truck.”

“So why did you bring her HERE? Why didn’t you take her HOME?”

“You know how my neighbors talk.”

“No, I mean HER home.”

He glared at me for a minute, and then got a better grip under her arms. “We ain’t ready to go home yet, ya hear? Now are you gonna get her legs, or do I have to lug this drunk bitch myself?”

I sighed. “Jesus, dude,” I whispered. I shook my head, and took her legs, leading the way to the room.

When we reached the door, I held out a hand. “Gimme the key,” I said. He obliged, and I opened the door. We carried her in, and lay her on the bed. It was then that I noticed how heavy Terry was breathing. It wasn’t from exertion, she wasn’t that heavy.

It was the heavy breathing of anticipation. Nervous sweat was already beading up on his brow, and his hands were shaking. I glanced at his crotch. An erection was clearly visible.

Jesus fucking Christ, no.

“Hey, Terry, I’ve got some beers in the office. You wanna come get some to bring back?”

“What-? Uh, yeah. Sure. Thanks.”

We exited the room. I closed the door, locked the deadbolt, and put the key in my hip pocket.

Terry spun around, and looked at the door, then to me. “Dude, give me my fucking key.”

“Not a chance, Terry.”

“I’m not fucking around, asshole, give me that goddamn key!”

“No.”

“FUCKER, I PAID FOR THAT ROOM.”

I undid the clasp on my Maglite’s belt pouch, and slid it from its holster. “Terry,” I said calmly, “this can go down a few ways. One, you get a different room, and I don’t charge you double for hers. Two, I give you a refund, you drive home, and she stays here. Three, I cave your fucking skull in with this heavy aluminum sonofabitch right here, you go home empty handed and in need of stitches, and she stays here. What is NOT happening is you going anywhere near her unless she’s concious, and says she wants you there.”

Terry puffed up his chest, and advanced toward me. “Now, you look here, you mother–”

WHAM. I brought the Maglight across his face, knocking him to the floor. He looked up at me, dazed, blood trickling from his lips.

“That one was a warning, Terry. Next one’s gonna HURT. So I want you to think REAL hard about what you’re gonna do next. No matter how this goes down, you’re not raping an unconcious chick.”

At the word “raping,” all the fight seemed to leave him, and rage ebbed from his face, replaced with fear. He got up, spat crimson on the carpet, and without a word, went to his truck and drove off.

I stood in the dark hallway for a few minutes. I’m not violent. Never have been. But I wasn’t thinking about that.

All I could think was. . .

. . .no.

As soon as I could stop shaking, I walked to the employee toilet, locked the door.

And cried.

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