The following is a character study that gives you some insight into one of the characters in my new book. Hope you enjoy it!
Silver could spot a loser from a mile away -- and one was coming his way. This definitely was they guy. The portly man meandering over to his Blackjack table, drink in hand, seemed familiar. Or perhaps he was just a composite of the many losers he’d seen in his years as a dealer.
The Gucci suit strained at the seams; dark hair slicked back; eyes like a zombie. Whether guy was here to gamble or pick up a chick, this was not his lucky day, for him or his suit. Word was that not only had he blown his stack of chips; he’d been rebuffed at least once by every unattached female in the casino – as well as by several female impersonators.
Silver thought that was humorous. You had to admire a guy with persistence. Sleaze oozed as gray suit swaggered up to his table and casually lowered himself into a chair next to a red head falling out of her dress. A lewd smile and a wink. The red head promptly picked up her chips and fled.
Gray suit shrugged, plump fingers setting down his two remaining chips. He wore a heavy gold cigar ring. “No fun.”
Silver pressed the button under the table as he shuffled the cards. The fun stops here, he thought as two men in dark suits and dark shades appeared. Or maybe the fun begins, Silver mused, depending on who you were. He always wondered why the enforcers wore dark glasses inside the casino.
“Come with us.” The taller one commanded, lightly touching a gray sleeve.
Panic flashed across the guy’s face, but only for a moment. He straightened and brushed off the bouncer’s touch. “Why? I’m a guest here.” He flashed his chips as if they were his number at an auction.
“Just a small matter the finance manager wants to clear up.”
Tiny beads of sweat formed on his thick face. For a moment, Silver thought gray suit was going to make a break for it, but he slowly stood up and pocketed his chips.
“Hold my spot for me.” He called back gallantly to the table, almost running into a slot machine. The bouncer steadied him and they proceeded towards the back office.
Silver smiled at the remaining customers at the table and began dealing the round.
Several hours later, a sliver Cessna Citation Mustang coasted down the runway of McCarran Airport, lights blinking. The plane had barely stopped when the door opened and a tall, silver haired gentleman appeared in the doorway.
“Thank you,” he waved to the pilot, impatiently waiting for the portable stairs. “Wait here for me. This shouldn’t take more than an hour, or I’ll call you.” His brow was furrowed, the look of a urbanite assigned to cleaning out pig stalls; he walked with angry precision down the stairs into the open the door of the waiting limo.
Arriving at the casino, the man was escorted inside to the back room; three men stood as he entered.
“So good of you to come. I’m Don, the manager here.” The first said, extending his hand. “Would you like something to drink?”
“Just tell me what the situation is.” The silver haired man commanded.
Don’s eyes widened. “Yes, please sit down.”
Once he was seated, Don began. “It seems that our friend here has exceeded his credit limit, then borrowed money on collateral that he doesn’t own. This is a problem.”
“I was just a little over my credit. I was on a roll, going to make it all up before they...”
The silver haired man shot a look at the man in the gray suit that made him stop mid-sentence. “It’s a good thing I was in LA. Otherwise I might not have come.” He turned toward Don. “I’ll bail him out -- On one condition.”
“Certainly. What can we do for you? We have many…”
“Don’t let him in any of your casinos again.”
“Done, sir.” Don nodded, “It would be a pleasure to comply with that request.”
They turned toward the man in the gray suit, who had sunk down in his chair.
“There are few people other than my family that I’d get up in middle of the night for. But we go way back. I’m bailing you out this time because you’re an old friend, but this is the last time. No more chances.” He paused. “Give me your word you won’t come back here … that you’ll quit gambling.”
Gray suit stared at the table, slowly nodding.
“Don, if you’d be so good as to call a cab for this sad specimen, I’ll be off. My driver is waiting.” Then the distinguished gentleman swept out of the room.
Don let out a sigh of relief, then disbelief as the man pulled his chips out of his gray suit pocket and waved them.
“I’ll just play these – might change my luck.”
This is a special preview for readers and not a part of the book. Does it make you curious...?
all the best,
Insights on writing, characters, humor and other tidbits from the author of the "Scoops and Schemes" series of novels.
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