It took a lot more planning than Sergei anticipated. He could get large amounts of h, coke, mdma, weed with a phone call but this stuff necessitated a little more care than normal. The girls took less time to arrange, one phone call and a card payment that he was gently assured would be billed discreetly without any potential embarrassment.
He fought back a snort of laughter at that.
It took him the better part of a morning to collect enough to last him. He had paid for three women, the hotel suite and their company for the night. He had chosen from the pictures on their website, knowing that there was always a degree of artifice involved. The digital editing to smooth out stretchmarks, blur over tattoos and remove the marks of time was expected, but for what Sergei was paying, he wanted them to have a tangential resemblance to their photographs.
After all, why not be ushered into paradise by angels, if they were not of the highest quality?
He checked in, and with his reservation confirmed, suddenly experienced an elevation in the treatment that he was afforded. It had been a long time since anyone had called him sir without a sneer being intimated, and it took him a moment to accept it without that longheld tightening in his chest and stomach. He took a long bath, pouring in every lotion, shampoo and conditioner, shaved around his groin with an electric razor, faintly embarrassed and bemused by how the hair had retreated from his head but grew like kudzu everywhere else on his ageing body. Still, washed and trim, he found something left to admire about himself. The tattoos had been symbols of pride, now they marked him as easy prey.
The eight pointed stars on his shoulders. Symbols of his authority.
The cross on his chest.
The dove, with a twig in it’s beak.
All of them done with a primitive version of the shaver he had just trimmed his groin with, melted rubber and his own urine for ink, bearing it all whilst the older men watched with eyes that spoke to endless winters of hardship. Men, who were more like wolves but never needed the permission of the full moon to act according to their natures.
He dressed in his best suit, a Tom Ford in windsor check, tailored to accommodate his spreading midsection and as an affectation, he put a white carnation in the lapel. His fingers shook as he knotted his tie in the mirror. This room represented the last of his ready cash, after the pills, the girl and the hotel but it was worthwhile.
Better than the alternative.
The girls knocked at seven sharp. He had answered the door, already feeling the creeping warmth in his throat and cheeks and the rush of blood to his crotch that took him back to his younger years, when he would have fucked the crack of dawn if it had hair on it.
The sight of the women, sleek and knowing as they entered the room did the rest. He shut the door behind them. Blonde, brunette and redhead, he would have gone for a fourth so that he could watch but his running cash was getting spread out thin as it was.
They sent out for ice three times during the next twelve hours. When the redhead Katerina fell off the bed and began to cry, he gave her a wad of roubles and sent her on her way. She winced as she walked, but gave him a kiss on the forehead and spoke to the other girls in a language he did not understand.
When his bowels started to cramp, he excused himself. He shut the door and hoped that the door disguised the noises that he made, let alone the smell. Too much rich food, he told himself.
When he emerged, they had both gone. He looked around his room, breathed in the perfume of sex and sat on the edge of the bed. His vision began to swim, and a sharp pain shot down his left arm. He had enough time to pull himself so that his shoulders rested against the pillows before another bolt of agony ripped through him again.
He breathed in through his nose. He was sore, exhausted and sweating but he knew one last thing. The men he had betrayed would not get their hands on him.
He had gone out with a bang.
(A writing group exercise. It amused me to write about a death like this, which reminds me of the Frankie Boyle joke – that anyone who says there’s no such thing as a good death has never heard the phrase ‘drug-fuelled sex heart attack. The russian mafia stuff came tangentially and it felt pretty good. Original story is http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/268197is http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/268197)