With the confidence of a skilled gunman, Pauley gripped Millicent’s hand, forcing the Walther out of her grasp.
“Holding a gun like that will only do two things,” Pauley said with obvious mirth. “It’ll give you one hell of a slide rash, and guarantee you won’t hit anything you’re aiming at.”
Putting some distance between them, Pauley backed away, until they were out of each other’s reach.
“Why don’t you stick with arsenic or cyanide, or Brussels sprouts, whatever your poison of choice is, and leave handling guns to me.”
Despite her misgivings, Pauley put her beloved 22 cal. into the hotel room safe. Casino security would be a risk they didn’t need to take this early in the job.
“We’re not so different you and I,” she said watching Millicent’s reaction. “We’re both here because we owe a debt to Butch and feel obligated to pay it.
“The difference is that you don’t want to be here, you’re embassassed and pissed off that you owe anyone anything. Once this job is done, so are you. No looking back, no sense of achievement.
“For me, I’m grateful for it. I owe Butch everything, and I’m willing to pay him back any way I can. I’ll do whatever he needs me to do because he’s family, and you do for family.”
Millicent held her head a little higher, with an expression like she smelled something foul.
“Family is important,” Millicent agreed. “The worst kind of betrayal is when someone who is supposed to love you abandons you. I won’t abandon my father, but I won’t be indebted to Butch forever either, and I owe you nothing.”
Pauley nodded. She was beginning to understand her reluctant partner better.
After a little touch-up to their hair and make-up, Millicent called the hotel concierge requesting a cab. Walking down the hall to the elevators, Millicent used the opportunity to critique Pauley’s skill in heels. She wasn’t a total lost cause, but there would be late night runway practice.
As they made their way through the hotel lobby, Millicent watched with satisfaction the response they got from the businessmen heading into the bar. Pauley was oblivious to the hungry stares and double takes, but Millicent drank it in.
“When we find our mark, try to watch him without him noticing,” Millicent began once they were in their cab.
“That won’t be hard, surveillance is a big part of my job,” Pauley said, warming to the work ahead..
“Try to find his tells, what he does by sheer force of habit.” Millicent began rattling off instructions. “Most gamblers are very superstitious. He’ll have a favorite table, favorite dealer. He’ll stack his chips the same way. He’ll wear certain things each time he comes in – dark glasses, a chain or maybe even an earring. He’ll have a nervous tic, like flipping a chip through his fingers. It may be that the better his hand, the faster the roll.”
Pauley made mental notes, considering a few items of her own. One thing they would need is a quick way out of the casino once the hit was made.
“After you spike his drink or however you plan to administer the poison, how much time will we have?” Pauley turned to look at Millicent.
Meeting Pauley’s gaze, Millicent was eerily pragmatic, “after the second dose, we’ll have 30 minutes to make our exit.”
The continuing summer writing series with Lance, of My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog, featuring Lady Killers Millicent and Pauley. Check out “The Jack” for this week’s second installment.
Part 1 – Let it go to voice mail
Part 2 – Remedy
Part 3 – Dressed to Kill
Part 4 – She’s in Fashion
Part 5 – Keep your enemies closer
Part 6 – Hustle and Cuss
Part 7 – Clothes make the woman
Part 8 – Divine Thing
Part 9 – Clothes make the woman
Part 10 – All the plans