Entering the hotel room, Gavin slipped on a pair of rubber gloves as his eyes adjusted to the dim light. The curtains were drawn and the shadows lingered in the empty corners. Even Derrick’s bulky frame submerged into the murky darkness, yet he could see his partner gripping his gun. The hotel suite was a corner room, with prime views of the city and the lake.
McNeal had some money, he thought. Gavin took out his penlight and turned it on silently.
The beam’s intense light flashed on the empty lounging area, exposing the modern forest-colored couch, a low glass coffee table, two glass side tables, and a stiff tan leather chair. On the opposite wall, where Derrick ambled toward, there was a large flat-screen television hanging over a long black lacquered dresser. In the far corner near the window, a black pencil desk sat peacefully with a Herman Miller chair, poised for potential guests. Even from this distance, Gavin could see that the ordinary hotel propaganda about tourism and the site’s information still lay untouched. To the right, near the door of what was most likely the bedroom, he saw a pristine bar area with a marble countertop and slate floors. A small mini fridge could be seen in the shadows and remained sealed.
“Smell that?” Derrick’s baritone voice boomed in the stillness. Gavin saw that the penlight was waving over the closed door. His partner opened the door and slipped into the other room.
“Bleach.” Gavin took some steps into the sitting area. With one last look around, he determined that it seemed too clean and orderly. No objects broken, no signs of struggle. As if nothing had happened.
“Gavin, the payload’s in here.” Derrick’s voice was slightly muffled.
Straightening his back and glancing once over his shoulder, Gavin entered the bedroom. The curtains were drawn. While the lamp in the far corner of the room gave plenty of light, Derrick’s flashlight danced haphazardly around the bed where the victims remained. Indeed, the housekeeper was correct, because a glimpse of hell’s dungeon grotesquely displayed itself before Gavin’s eyes.