The next morning came around fast, and before Sally knew it she was dragging trolley into the back of a coach outside the main gates of the station. After several heaves to get it off of the ground, she finally managed to bundle it into the back of the awaiting coach and climb on. She took a seat next to Beth behind Gina, who was busy looking at the California police department's website.
"How long till we leave?" Sally asked.
"I don't know" Beth replied in a irritated voice. "But hopefully the sound of the engines will cover up the sound of those two kissing."
Beth jerked a finger behind her, and when Sally looked all she could see was the back of Rachel with Millie's arms draped around her shoulders as loud kissing sounds travelled all round the coach. On a hunch Sally turned to where Max was sitting, and as she expected he was turned to the window with his hands covering his ears like a child. Sally shuffled back around in her seat to Beth.
"What's Max's problem with them anyway?" Sally asked her.
"Hm? Oh you mean Millie and Rachel? Max has fancied Millie for as long as I remember. That's why he was looking so mad at the wedding."
"That explains a lot." Sally said, turning around to look at him again.
Just as she turned, Gina stood up and clapped her hands.
"Alright everyone, can I have your attention please?" Gina asked, directing this in particular at Millie and Rachel, who broke apart immediately. "Can all of you please makes sure that your seatbelts are done up and if you get motion sickness please take your tablets, we are leaving now."
Sally cringed slightly at the flirtatious talk from Millie and Rachel behind her before fastening her seatbelt and turning to Beth, who was reading the latest issue of OK! Magazine.
"Are you seriously going to spend the last few hours of being in the UK for an entire month reading celeb gossip crap?"
After a particularly long argument between Gina and one of the staff on the plane, who had informed them that their luggage had been misplaced and they would have to board a later plane, they were settling into their seats for the next few hours and chatting away merrily, well all expect Max, who was glowering at Millie and Rachel who were kissing once again. Their luggage was going to be flown over on the next flight, and then delivered to their hotel.
Sally turned to Beth once more, and sighed exasperatedly at the 5th gossip magazine she came to face.
"Can we talk for a bit, please?" Begged Sally.
"Ok." Beth replied, putting the magazine down. "How long to do you think it will be before Max makes a move on Millie?"
Sally sighed. "He might not. And if he does I will punch his lights out. You remember how long it took me to get those two together?"
"Yeah, nearly half a year of you playing matchmaker. I think he's going to though. Look at the way he's staring at Rachel."
"Good point." Sally said as she turned to face him. Max was staring at Rachel as though she had just insulted his mother. "Why does he have to be such a bastard?"
"I don't know. There's a rumour going around back home that he's an addict." Beth replied as they stared at him.
"I heard that. You think it's true?"
After 8 hours on a plane they were transported by another coach to a posh looking hotel with a large white sign which read "Hotel Martinez: Voted cleanest hotel in all of California three years running." There was also a list below of the dates it had won.
"Hey look." Sally said, pointing at the sign. "It didn't win this year."
"The contest is still going on." Said a gentleman who stood in front of the sign with a blue uniform. "I have been requested to show you to your rooms, and inform you that you will have free run of the hotel tonight to get acquainted with everything, then we will escort you to a shooting range tomorrow morning."
"..Right." sally replied, staring at the man in front of her.
He had to be one of the shortest people Sally had ever met, definitely less than five feet tall. Even Gina towered over him, which is saying something. Sally cringed slightly at the kissing sounds which were coming from Millie and Rachel's direction and turned to Beth, who looked like someone who was about to explode from laughter at the sounds.
"If you'll kindly follow me…" The man said, after clearing his throat slightly at the site of the two women kissing.
Everyone trudged towards the main entrance of the hotel, which reminded Sally slightly of Buckingham palace, mostly because of it's age. The hotel looked as if it was a hundred years old.
As they walked through the main doors of the hotel, a doorman handed the porter a series of cards which Sally presumed were their room keys. After he had handed them over the man gestured the group to follow him into a lift, which took them to the third floor. They walked through a maze of corridors and doors before ending up in a extremely long corridor with five room keys. Their names had already been slotted into the small frames on each of the doors, and as the man walked down the corridor with them he called out their names.
"…Millie and Rachel…"
"Tony, Max and Dale…"
"And finally…. Sally and Beth."
Sally nodded thanks as the porter handed over two rooms keys and left waited patiently down the end of the corridor for them all to finish checking their rooms. When Sally slotted the card into the reader and the door swung open she was pleasantly surprised to find two 4 poster beds set at opposite ends of the room along with a large 40" flat screen TV and two large comfortable looking sofas set around it. There were complimentary mints on the pillows and heavy looking curtains surrounding the windows.
"Wow… Well the certainly pulled out all the stops for us, didn't they?" Beth noted as she checked the two ensuite bathrooms.
"Yeah… and there was me expecting some run down shack with cobwebs and a bed that makes a stone floor look comfortable!" Replied Sally as she jumped onto one of the beds.
The tours around the rest of the hotel took most of the afternoon, and by the time they had all retired to their respective rooms they found their luggage waiting for them in a neat pile in the centre of the room. Sally was sitting on her bed with her laptop which she had bought along for the ride, and after getting the Wi-fi password for the hotel she was researching the CPD. Beth was lying on her bed with yet another gossip magazine.
"Have you ever held a gun before?" She asked nervously after several minutes.
"Apart from a gun which was evidence, no." Sally replied, casting her laptop onto the pillow beside her. "You a bit nervous?"
"A little. Are we going to have to shoot people?" Beth asked with an unnerved edge to her voice.
"No. It's just the law: all officers must carry a gun. California has one of the highest rates of gun crime in America so I think that's why. I don't think we'll have to use it, it's just there as a warning."
"I hope you're right…" Beth mumbled.
"Beth for the first three days we are going to be accompanied by someone from the CPD while we attend shouts. And since they know were not used to having guns shoved in our faces all the time, I think they'll go easy on us."