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Britney King LLC

Room 553: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

Room 553: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

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About The Book

“She felt no remorse for drawing blood. In the context of their relationship, it had its place.”

For Max and Laurel, nothing is off limits when they meet in room 553. Their illicit affair is exhilarating, passionate—and dangerous.

Driven as much by compulsion as pleasure, Max can’t stop. His mistress is Jesus on the streets, and Satan in the sack. But when things take a sharp and sudden turn for the worse, he finds himself ensnared in a trap of his own making.

Under heavy scrutiny by the police and the media, Max is hailed as a cold and evasive womanizer. He made mistakes, to be sure. But does that make him a killer?

Unnerving and addictive, Room 553 is a vivid and sensual, psychological thriller that weaves a story of cruelty, reckless desire, and blind, bloody justice.

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Prologue

A DO NOT DISTURB tag hangs on the door. The watch on Carol Mesa’s wrist reads one p.m. The fifth floor of the Belmond Hotel has nearly emptied. Checkout was at eleven, and Carol’s roster does not show the guest in the presidential suite as having late checkout. 

More than likely, the tag was an oversight, just a missed detail on the way out the door. Carol decides to call down to the front desk, just to be sure. Guests don’t appreciate being caught off guard, and she isn’t particularly fond of it either. After twenty years in hospitality, few things still surprise her, but this isn’t the point. One complaint to management can lower her star rating, and Carol prides herself on quality. 

Once, twice, three raps. She knocks at the door. “Housekeeping.” 

Carol listens for signs of life in the room. She waits. She looks for the shifting of light, searches for movement beneath the door. Carol sees nothing, hears nothing. At her feet, the complimentary newspaper has been left untouched, serving as further confirmation that its occupant was likely in a hurry to exit and simply forgot to remove the door tag. 

She takes a deep breath in and lets it out. Everyone is in a hurry these days, Carol included. She checks her watch, her roster, and then phones the front desk once more. As it is, she doesn’t have much time to put the remaining rooms in shape before the influx of new guests arrive in a few hours. This is why, on the fifth ring, she hangs up and makes the decision to leave the suite for last. 

At approximately one-thirty, she calls down to the front desk again. Management is adamant that hospitality report guests who straggle, this way they can charge them. On the third ring, an unfamiliar voice picks up. The trainee assures Carol the room should be empty. 

Once again, she knocks on the door. She calls out, “Housekeeping,” according to protocol. 

When no response comes, she grabs cleaning supplies from her cart, swipes her fob across the reader on the door, and enters the suite. At first glance, Room 553 is like any of the other dozen rooms she’s serviced already: dark, stuffy, and unkempt. 

It isn’t until she’s halfway into the living area of the suite, as she moves to open the curtains, that a shadow causes her to stop in her tracks. 

When she jerks back, Carol realizes the shadow is her own. Sighing, she makes the sign of the cross and proceeds into the room, where she yanks open the curtains and floods the room with light. 

A few more steps forward and she pauses again. She narrows her gaze, slipping the glasses that hang around her neck onto her face. She wasn’t wrong to be concerned about the sign on the door. Someone is in the bed. 

Carol considers that a joke has been pulled on her. She’s seen this before—pillows placed just right, made to look like someone is sleeping under the covers. She calls out. “Sir? Ma’am? Housekeeping.” 

However, as she nears the entryway to the bedroom, she quickly realizes it isn’t a joke. Belongings are scattered everywhere, and furniture is overturned. Silently, she curses the universe for putting her in this situation. This is not the first time she’s had to rouse a hungover or jet-lagged guest. Dealing with people is Carol’s least favorite part of the job. Two nightmarish shifts at the front desk taught her that much. She vowed she’d never go back. 

“Housekeeping,” she says once more, this time clearing her throat afterward for added effect. For a second, she debates calling security, or perhaps management, letting them deal with the mess. For the sake of time, and self-sufficiency, she edges toward the balcony, holding her breath. Before she loses her nerve, she peels back the blackout curtains. 

As gray light floods in, and the room comes into focus, her hands fly to her open mouth. They manage to stifle the scream. Almost.

There’s no mistaking that something very bad has happened in Room 553. 

There’s the body, of course. But there are other clues, as well. Carol Mesa has seen many strange things while cleaning hotel rooms over the years. But never anything like this. 

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