[note: If this is your first time reading Oasis, you really should start at the beginning. ]
Judge, Jury, and Executioners
Lily twirled around and strutted down the hall.
I considered my options. I could run, but that’d only make me look more guilty. I could follow her, but that’d look just as bad. If I could make it back to my room before they stopped watching Lily, they might leave me alone. Or at least I’d have a baseball bat and a locked door.
I figured that was my best shot.
Sure enough, they parted and watched Lily’s swaggering backside as she went by them and down the hall.
I made a b-line for my room.
The door was well on its way to slamming closed when it bounced back in.
Richard had gotten his foot in the way just in time.
The door swung wide again.
I was just past its path.
I controlled my breathing and looked at him. “Can I help you?”
“What the hell was that?”
“A very rude man just stopped my door from closing.”
Color crept up Richard’s neck. “That’s not what I meant.”
“Maybe you should learn to communicate better.”
He stepped further in. “We all heard what the girl said.”
“So not only do you barge in on people, but you listen in on their private conversations too? Who made you the hotel Gestapo?”
It was even darker in my room than in the hall, but I could still see him turning red.
Richard’s cronies crowded behind him, and the whole pack was edging even further in.
Maybe it was the way they all were holding their breath, or maybe it was the way they all clenched their fists, but I was certain that things were about to get ugly.
With five of them and one of me, I knew this would be over before anyone else could have a chance to come to my aid. If anyone would come at all.
I tried to think of where I had tossed my baseball bat. It was my best bet at evening the odds a little.
They were all inside my room now.
Richard pointed a finger at me. “You know what they do to child molesters in prison?”
I smirked. “Aww, were they mean to you while you were in the big house?”
Richard was so angry his face was shaking.
One of his larger buddies stepped to his side. “We’re not going to let pedophiles like you go unpunished.”
I was pretty sure my bat was only a couple of feet behind me, leaned up against the side of the dresser. I only needed to stall a couple of moments more.
“Shouldn’t you guys at least hold some mockery of a trial before you deal out the punishment? Has it occurred to you I might not actually be gui-”
The big guy took a step and a swing at me. He wasn’t quite within range.
I dove back and groped for the bat. It wasn’t there.
It occurred to me that I should have run and hid when I had the chance back in the hall. Then in the morning things could get sorted out a little more fairly.
Too late now.
Richard dove for me.
I dodged to the left and caught a glimpse of the bat way over in the corner. There’d be no way I could get it in time.
The big guy reached for me.
I sprung at him.
His arms wrapped around my torso in an iron grip.
I grabbed at his sides and drove a knee into his crotch.
He made a noise and dropped me.
I pushed him to the side.
Richard landed a clumsy punch on my shoulder.
I whirled to the right and backhanded him across the face.
The space in the room was tight, and somehow I had to get through them into the hall.
A blond guy scrambled around the doubled-over big man to get a shot at me.
I swung back with the palm of my right hand.
He flinched and my blow connected square on his nose.
His arms swung up and he was able to wrap them around mine.
I jerked at his grasp, but couldn’t get my arm free fast enough.
One of the others, I couldn’t tell who, barreled a fist into my side.
Some wind sailed out of my lungs.
I can’t see anything in here. I made a desperate kick for somebody’s knee. I think it landed.
The blond guy swung hard, looking for payback.
I tried to roll with it, but it did me little good.
The punch landed on my cheek and nose.
I brought my hands up to guard my head and pushed myself forward, hoping to get to the doorway.
Another couple of punches grazed off of my arms.
I’ve got to get through.
I collided with one of my attackers.
A punch landed on my kidney.
The guy I had collided with pushed me away.
I lost my balance completely and fell backwards.
I bounced off someone and hit my head on the dresser.
The guys above me laughed and called me all sorts of names.
I curled up to protect myself as best I could.
The lawyers went to work on me, taking turns kicking, spitting, and punching.
Warm blood trickled from my nose. I wonder if they’re going to dump me on the street with the deads.
I have no idea how long they kept up the beating. I blacked out.
The next thing I remember was a frantic Kevin stooped over me saying, “Hang in there. I’ll get help.”
Somehow he and Linda got me hauled up onto my bed, and then got me somewhat cleaned up.
I woke up mid morning with a screaming headache and bruises covering my arms and legs.
Nothing feels broken. That’s good.
The sun was already high in the sky.
Probably missed breakfast.
I opened my eyes and saw Kevin, Linda, and the massive Samson standing together and talking quietly.
Kevin exhaled and looked relieved.
Linda narrowed her eyes and looked more than a little disappointed.
I wondered what lies the lawyer herd had already spread, and if she somehow believed them.
However, Samson smiled and looked downright happy. “Hey, slugger. Next time you get in a fight, call me. I’ve been waiting to take a piece out of those guys since they got here.”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.”
Samson chuckled and turned to the others. “OK, go tell everyone its time.”
I pushed up on my elbows then sat.
“Time for what?”
“Those damn lawyers said all kinds of things about last night and are insisting on a trial.”
Now they want a trial? Keep reading to find out if Corbin gets the boot from the hotel.
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