Chris, Atticus, and Jesse went into the office where the night manager sat while Popeye, Malcolm, and Miles staked out the motel rooms.
The first three men stormed into the night manager’s office and Jesse slammed his hands down on the manager’s desk and leaned toward him, looking him dead in the eyes.
The manager had been sound asleep in his chair and when the men stormed in, they startled him awake. The manager’s eyes widened and he leaned backwards, away from Jesse.
“There are crimes that have been committed in your motel. Now, I want to see your list of guests. I want to know who has checked in or out of here within the last two weeks!” Jesse growled as his angry eyes drilled into the manager.
“I’m afraid I can’t give you that information,” The manager stuttered and stammered.
Searching for Jane
Atticus and Chris swiftly pulled out their guns and aimed them in the manager’s face.
“Try again, asshole!” Atticus fired back.
“Wrong answer, bub!” Chris warned.
The manager’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. Jesse continued.
“Now, you’ve had a bunch of perverted pedos frequent this damn place with kids- young girls and boys! And one of those kids is my niece!” he shouted.
“And likely my stepdaughter!” Chris growled, gritting his teeth.
“You just heard that, didn’t you! So, you had best cough up that guest log, even if you have to pull it out of your ass!” Atticus demanded loudly.
Still, the manager hesitated.
“Your business practices and the clientele you serve leave much to be desired, buddy! We will have a gander at your guest log for the past week or we’ll burn this place and you to the ground! It’s your choice!” Jesse threatened.
Grilling the Manager
Suddenly, Atticus noticed the manager, ever so slowly, easing his hand under his desk. He cocked his gun.
“Uh-uh! Nope! Pull that hand out where I can see it! In fact, let me see both of your hands!” He ordered.
The manager complied, raising his hands high in the air before speaking.
“The guest log is on the counter,” The manager told them.
Jesse went to the counter and grabbed the guest log. He opened it and began reading the list of names, running his index finger down the list as he read before flipping the page and starting again.
“Stand up and move away from the desk,” Chris instructed.
The manager obeyed, moving next to the far wall. Atticus kept his gun trained on the man while Chris carefully inspected under the desk.
“Well, just as we thought. This creep has a gun taped to the underside of the desk,” he said as he took the gun, pulled the duct tape off, unloaded it, and put it in the waste of his pants.
“I think I got something, y’all!” Jesse called from the counter.
Atticus stood, guarding the manager while Chris joined Jesse at the counter and looked at the guest book.
“Grant Lindsay! He checked in at about nine o’clock last night,” Jesse said as he pulled out his phone and took pictures of the list and log book.
“Room 223,” Chris said.
He pulled out his cell and dialed before pausing.
“Miles, have Malcolm stay in the car and be our lookout while you and Popeye check out Room 223. I think that’s where Jane may be!” He said in barely above a whisper.
Meanwhile, Miles sat in the back with his phone in his ear.
“Gotcha, Chris!” he said before putting his phone away and looking at Malcolm.
“They think Jane may be in room 223! Malcolm, get in the driver’s seat and be our lookout. Popeye, let’s dance!” Miles said as he pulled his gun out, checked the chamber, then closed the slide, emitting a loud clacking sound.
Popeye did the same with his gun before he and Miles jumped out of the SUV and quickly crept across the parking lot, each holding their guns with both hands in the lowered position. When they got to the door of Room 223, Popeye and Miles took positions on each side of the door.
Miles reached and eased the handle back and forth. He then shook it. It didn’t budge. Finally, as hard as they could, both he and Popeye kicked it open and walked into the dimly lit room. Sure enough, they found Grant laying on the other side of the bed, unconscious and in his bathrobe. Miles pulled out his phone and took pictures of the unconscious man on the floor. He then took pictures of the bed and room.
An Unconscious Man
Suddenly, Grant began stirring.
“I think he’s waking up,” Miles whispered in a warning tone.
“Not for long,” Popeye said as he stood straddle of Grant, grabbed the collar of his robe, and drew his fist back. Just as Grant’s eyes popped open, Popeye delivered a vicious punch between his eyes, knocking him out cold again.
After he and Popeye searched the room, Miles crept into the bathroom with his gun drawn. He immediately saw that the shower was still running. He reach behind the clear plastic shower curtain and turned it off.
Miles then looked up and noticed that the window was raised and the curtains around it were billowing as the early fall breeze blew in. He took another step toward the window when he suddenly felt something under his shoe. Reflexively, Miles lifted his foot to see what he was stepping on.
Popeye the Sandman
On the floor was a small, golden hair pin with something engraved on it. Miles pulled out his phone and took pictures of it laying on the floor, then knelt, picked up the hair pin, and read the engravement.
“Pssst! Hey! In here!” He called in a low grunt as he took a closeup of the hairpin.
When Popeye came into the bathroom, Miles stood up.
“She was here! Brielle said that she’s blackbelt in MMA. I think she knocked that piece of shit cold, then escaped through this window!” Miles told him, giving him the hair pin.
“Then she’s out there somewhere and we got to find her,” Popeye said.
Miles and Popeye crept out of the hotel room and back to the SUV. When they jumped back into the vehicle and closed the doors, Malcolm turned around in the driver’s seat to look at them.
An Important Clue
“Did you find anything?” He asked anxiously.
“Yep! Jane was in that room, but she knocked old Grant Lindsay unconscious and escaped!” Miles said before pulling out his phone, pressing a button, then placing it to his ear.
“Chris, we’ve got everything we need! Time to blow this place!” Miles said.
Back in the office, Chris lowered his phone from his ear and looked at Jesse.
“We gotta go! Miles and Popeye found some things!” he whispered before Jesse looked back toward the office.
“Hey, man! We gotta go!” Jesse called.
In the office, Atticus looked at the frightened manager.
“Adios, asshole!” he said before backing out of the office with his gun still aimed at the manager. He then joined Chris and Jesse as they ran out of the hotel building, across the dark parking lot, and jumped into the SUV.