7. Arnotine Ferucand (5)

The hotel was located on the corner of Rue Pinchinat and Rue Lamarre just next to Place St. Pierre in the slightly upscale suburb of Pétionville. The large woman by now smelled far worse than before and, upon entering the hotel, took to making antics and carrying on. The hotel clerk, whom Ryu had disliked instantly, stopped Ryu on his way to the elevator. He was a tall, thin, young man with full lips, curly black hair, honey-colored skin, and just enough femininity about him to tickle the yakuza’s cruel streak.

“No, I’m sorry,” simpered the hotel clerk. “This dirty woman cannot come in here. Elle ne peut pas entrer. Rete!” he repeated loudly, first in French then in Creole, as if raising the volume would help Ryu understand. If Ryu already disliked the clerk, this feeling changed quickly to loathing. He hated being spoken to in the slow and exaggerated style that supercilious foreigners use on visitors. The fat woman, sensing Ryu’s discomfort, decided to make matters worse.

“You shut up,” she said loudly in a deep basso voice. “He’s my lover. He just wants some pussy.”

Ryu had no idea what the woman had said, but he could tell by the hotel clerk’s reaction that it was something altogether unseemly.

“Oh, we don’t allow that,” squealed the clerk.

“Oh, what do you know?” bellowed the woman, and she started to waddle toward a quiet little man who sat hunched in his lobby chair, trying to ignore the scene.

By this time the clerk had decided that the woman was crazy and, seeing that there was no stopping her without assistance, he looked to Ryu for help. Ryu stood as if he were carved of stone, jaw set, no trace of a smile on the thin line of his lips. He pulled out his wallet and peeled off thirty-four 500-gourde notes, around $1,000. The clerk looked at the bills and at the fat woman on an intercept course with one of the residents. The clerk took the money with a smirk that Ryu told himself he would punish. Ryu walked briskly over to his guest, clamped an iron-tight hand around her gargantuan forearm, and pushed her into the elevator.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 7.5/Arnotine Ferucand is Dead

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