“K.. R.. U–” An exhale, unbidden, pushes its way past her bottom row of teeth, palm splayed flat on the table and she can feel the beat of her pulse at the base of it, thrumming at the space on her ribs that aches at each shift of her issued jacket. The woman behind the desk hums, taps at the keyboard, and finally verifies the reservation. “Right, Irma Kruhl.”
“And you are-”
“Emma Gerhardt.” The concierge nods, and she exhales, thankful for Sharon and her intuition. “I’ve got you right here. Room 503. Ms. Kruhl has already gone up.” Keys are slid across the desk, tucked neatly into a cardstock fold.
Maria Emma offers a clipped nod in return, the edges of her mouth tight. Stiff, measured steps carry her toward the elevator bay, where she’s thankful to have it to herself, slumping against the back wall of the compartment, hand shaking as it comes to rest on the railing. She rides white-knuckled to the fifth floor, sliding out onto the carpet when it stops, soles of her shoes scuffing at the low pile.
The door snicks open at a brief swipe of the keycard, easing inward before Maria slithers through the gap ( hands visible- they’ve taken a hit, both a bit shaken up and who can blame them, but she’s not about to tempt fate twice ).
She’s surprised by the skitter of paws on the tile entryway, the rhythmic thud of tails meeting drywall. It registered, vaguely, when Sharon left that she’d be returning with company, but here now, all dripping tongues and personal space issues- it’s a little much. Elbows are tucked, hands held aloft, her eyes find Sharon across the expansive suite, clocking the read of her expression. Head tipped, she takes another few steps forward without regard for the dogs bobbing around her knees, fingers fishing for the bag of painkillers in her pocket.
“How’re you holding up?” Ziploc secured, she lifts it briefly before tossing it across the room. “Brought you something.”