Today, we pick back up with the next chapters in “Dead Money,” a summer series written with author extraordinaire, Lance, bouncer at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog. Before reading this installment, first check out Criminal.
Learning her lesson, Pauley read Millicent’s text the first time her phone hummed. Keeping Niles in her periphery so he couldn’t leave the table without her, she quickly scanned the bar until she picked out Kip. The jumpy bartender was easy to spot.
She wasn’t surprised when she felt Niles at her side.
“If you’re going to be my good luck charm tonight, I should at least know your name,” he oozed charm and pheromones.
Easing past him, Pauley felt the heat radiating from his body. He was making this too easy, she almost felt sorry for him.
“You can call me Paulette,” she said making eye contact, then just as Millicent suggested, dropped her gaze.
With his hand guiding her toward the bar, Niles was like a dancer taking lead. Holding the back of Pauley’s bar stool, he slid the adjacent stool over so his knee was touching her thigh. With a snap of his fingers, he called Kip over to get their drink order.
Looking across the back side of the bar, Kip saw Millicent smile and his legs turned to water. Watching her high-strung accomplice as he poured the first vial into Niles’ usual gin and tonic, Millicent admired her other handy work. She enjoyed the way Pauley kept Niles’ attention.
“You look familiar, have you been to the Oracle before?” Niles shifted his weight to admire Pauley’s ass and the way the dark, blue lace hugged her hips.
“No, I’m only in town tonight,” Pauley said. “This is my first time at the Oracle.”
“Of all the casinos in Atlantic City, why’d you pick a dive like this?” Niles ran his hand along Pauley’s leg.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Pauley turned her head slightly so she was looking up at him. “The place looked like it had character.”
She brushed her finger tips along the back of his arm. She had a strange thrill when she saw the reaction her touch caused. Niles laid his hand on hers, holding her palm against his arm. She was surprised at how hot his skin felt.
“Never been to the city before, huh? Do you have family here? Maybe a brother?”
Pauley paused for a second, remembering Butch had always told her to tell the truth when asked, even when a lie would do. It was easier to remember.
“No, both of my parents are deceased, and I’m an only child,” she said, lowering her voice. “I’m all alone.”
“Sorry, it’s just that you look so familiar,” flashing his charming smile. “Maybe I’ve just seen you in my dreams.”
Pauley let out a soft, throaty laugh, grinding the heel of her stiletto into the instep of her other foot, trying to not snort at his cliché pick-up line.
Throwing back his drink, Niles flipped Kip a poker chip. Leaving her wine glass on the bar, Pauley took Niles’ offered arm as they walked back to the poker table. Leaning in close, she whispered in his ear, “maybe we’ll both get lucky tonight.”
Niles took his place at the table, running through several hands, winning more than he lost. Pauley stood back, watching as Millicent’s poison began to work. A thin sheen of sweat rose on his forehead. Loosening his shirt collar, Niles called over a waitress to order another drink.
With his big win earlier and a good chance he’d get a beautiful woman in his bed, he refused to get sick. He wasn’t going to let some random headache spoil his night.