Breakfast had been a disappointment. Nathan was certain he had seen several very pretty young women scurrying around cleaning the dining room when they checked in last night, but this morning there was one middle aged Hispanic man, and a woman who probably had been a truck stop hooker in a past life serving the waffles and omelets. He had nothing but Charity to look at during the meal, and he was tired of looking at her. He did not see a single other guest either.
“I’m going to the lake,” Nathan announced as he tossed his napkin down on the table. If he was not going to have anything worth looking at, he might as well be getting a late summer sun burn while doing it.
He stomped back to their room, getting even more annoyed when he saw the worlds homeliest housekeeper stacking clean white sheets and towels on her cart. What was wrong with this place? At home he was practically swimming in beautiful women, but here the inbreeding had definitely ruined the gene pool. He vowed to never leave the city again.
He quickly changed into shorts and a tank top, trading his canvas deck shoes for flip flops. His mirrored sunglasses perched on top of his head, he frantically dug through his bag. Where were his magazines? Surely he had not left them at home. If Charity had found them and thrown them out he was going to be pissed. Some of those were really hard to get, he had to special order them from Germany.
Angrily, he snatched one of Charity’s stupid paperbacks off the bed, she brought half a dozen at least. He knew, because he had to carry her suitcase.
Nathan was still fuming when he dragged the flimsy little deck chair to a position that suited him. He wanted to be bale to see if anyone interesting come or went from the hotel, without looking like he was doing just that.
He didn’t have to wait long. The young woman came skipping down the path to the lake like she didn’t have a care in the world.
The girl could not be more than 20, but that had never stopped him before. Nathan looked over the top of his sunglasses for a better look. Yes, this view was much nicer than the one promised in the brochure.
She was not quite as pretty as Abby at work, but Abby was getting old, almost 25 and it was time to give her back to her husband.
Of course this was the first other guest he had seen since he and his girlfriend had arrived this morning. He was admiring her long legs and bold choice in skimpy bikinis when he heard Charity behind him. He had no idea when she had appeared.
“See, It’s great out here!” She chirped just like she did no matter what she was talking about. She would sound just as happy to be talking about a hurricane. She plopped herself down into a lounge chair, her plump figure threatening to collapse the thing entirely.
“It certainly is,” Nathan kept his voice neutral, but gave her a smile with just enough warmth to make her blush. It was too easy. He looked at the girl again, she was making her way toward the rickety boat house.
“Later was can go out on one of the boats, or hike to the outdoor amphitheater. I hear they put on plays in the spring. It’s supposed to be really nice.” Charity rattled on, oblivious to her husbands wandering eye.
Luckily he did not plan to sit here and listen to Charity all day. “Did you say boats?”
“Yes, dear,” The chubby young woman was getting herself settled into her chair and was busy rubbing sun screen over her freckled shoulders. “The brochure said they had these adorable little paddle boats that you can take out onto the lake and…” Nathan did not hear if she kept talking, he popped up pout of his chair like a jack in the box and started off toward the boat house. The perfect excuse.
“I’ll go check it out, be back in a few,” he called over his shoulder, not really caring if she heard him or not. The pretty young thing had just slipped from sight behind the weather beaten little shack on the very edge of the lake.
Nathan felt his spirits lift. Finally, something good was happening here. He opened the door, hearing the hinges creak. Inside it was dark. He could not see anything, much less the girl. “Hello?” He called out. “Hey, I’ll see if I can’t find the lights.” There was no answer, only the soft lapping of the waves and the smell of dead fish and algae.
The high little windows did almost nothing to actually illuminate the room. He slipped off his sunglasses and approached the window to see if he sound get more light, setting the glasses down on the filthy sill. The glass was so old it was heavier at the bottom than the top, and had obviously not been opened in a long time. He pulled and struggled with the ancient frame until he realized that it wasn’t just that the window was dirty, it was nearly dark outside. The outside door banged shut.
A scraping sound behind him told him he was not alone after all. He turned, expecting to see the young woman he had followed in here. Instead he saw the outline of more than half a dozen very large dogs. The largest one barked once.