Lost in translation

It wasn’t funny, but Pauley struggled to not laugh at Vivian’s vehemence. Sitting on the edge of the table, she held out her hand for the offending note. “Whoa, slow down there Morticia.” Pauley wadded the paper, and stuffed it into her shirt. “We’re going to need Danela. We can turn this around on them. If we take care of her now, we’ll lose that element of surprise.” “How can you be so cavalier?” Vivian sputtered. “That little wench set up you up to be killed.” This time Pauley let a giggle escape, causing Vivian to glare at her with white-hot hatred. “The menina estúpida doesn’t have a clue who I am, and neither do the even stupider Sampas.” Pauley stood up, taking Vivian by the shoulders. “Again, this is to our advantage. I’m not worried.” Vivian set her jaw, and looked away, but tolerated Pauley holding her arms. “I don’t like letting this sort of insult pass.” Vivian lowered

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Dead Money: plane geometry

Once the seat belt lights went off, Butch called the flight attendant, asking for a bourbon on the rocks.  He leaned his seat back, and finally took a deep breath. It was easier than he expected. The reunion between Pauley and Gail was awkward at first, but they slowly warmed to each other. Perhaps since Pauley understood the nature of being in The Family, she didn’t hold a grudge. She simply wanted answers. Sitting close together, the women talked quietly. Sometimes Pauley simply stared at her mother, as if trying to remember their life together all those years ago. Gail answered all her questions, often with brutal honesty. Pauley learned it wasn’t her mother’s choice to leave her behind. Knowing how possessive Paul was toward Pauley, she understood the implied threat to Gail… lose the girl, or lose your life. Gail brought a photo album that she shared with her daughter. In it, mementos from her life  – school awards,

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Dead Money: Flight plan

Butch sat behind his massive mahogany desk, his Corona finally lit and smoldering in a nearby ashtray, a tumbler of bourbon in his hand. Eyes closed, he fought the overwhelming feelings of anger and fear. A combination that was giving him a mighty headache. Stanley, his bodyguard, sergeant, his heir-apparent, was standing well away from his boss, leaning against a wall of books that Butch had never read. “What do you want to do?” Stanley broke the stifling silence. Knowing what Butch was considering, he forced his boss to say it aloud. Downing the rest of the amber liquid in his glass, Butch sat up and cast his gaze on Stanley. Looking at him as if for the first time, he saw himself 30 years ago, and knew Stanley was ready to take over The Family. ‘It’s time,” Butch finally said. “Is everything in place?” “Gail and Pauley will be at the arranged meeting place on the designated date. Pauley

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Dead Money: When it hits the fan

Butch hung up his cell phone, and began to pace around his office. He had never heard Pauley so distracted. She wouldn’t tell him much more than the hit was done, but there was a serious breach in their cover. A Cuban cigar hanging unlit between his teeth, Butch nearly chewed through the Corona. His plan had been good on paper. Pauley was a consummate professional, and would have never allow herself to be made. If Millicent blew their cover, Arthur would pay. He was a liability that Butch was tired of carrying. Pauley asked for a face-to-face, telling him she needed help disappearing for a while until the heat from Niles’ death cooled down. Butch heard something in her voice that told him she wasn’t scared, she was angry. She was holding back, not telling him everything that went wrong. Crossing the room, he opened his wall safe. Pulling out two, $20,000 bricks of cash, he also removed several

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Dead Money: Return to the scene

Pauley let the smallest of smiles break the tension. Millicent’s attempt to make her feel better was enough to snap her out of her pity party. “Even if your Love Potion worked as well as you said it would, we’ll still have a little time.” Pauley picked up the cloth napkin from the table, and dunked it into her ice water. Millicent shook her head at the etiquette faux pas. “What do you have in mind?” “I need to get my gun, that’s the first thing,” rubbing the cold cloth on the back of her neck, Pauley then scrubbed at her face. “I need to clear the room, wipe traces of us being there.” “Even if there’s an immediate autopsy, which might happen since Niles most likely has a few disgruntled clients, we’d have a day or two before we have to really worry.” Millicent tried to pull the napkin away from Pauley. “But, won’t going back to the hotel

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Dead Money: Lies people tell

“Baby sitter? What the hell are you talking about?” Pauley wanted to punch Millicent in the face with her cup. “I just screwed up big time, I can be identified at a hit, and you want to talk about who wiped your butt as a kid?” Millicent let Pauley rant, this wasn’t going to be easy and she almost felt bad about being the one to spoil her fairytale. “What did Niles say to you?” Millicent now had to pry the cup out of Pauley’s grip, as much to protect Pauley from shattering it, as to eliminate a potential weapon that could be used against her. “He kept calling me Gail,” she said, an undercurrent of fear mixing with her seething anger. “That unsettled you, because?” Millicent picked at that childhood scab, knowing it could leave an ugly scar. Pauley took a long, shuddering breath, gripping the edges of the table for support. “Gail was my mother’s name,” Pauley said,

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Dead Money: Name dropping

Kip’s hands shook as he mixed the second vial into Niles’ drink. He had lost sight of Millicent, but tried not to think about her. Setting the gin and tonic on the waitress’ tray, he told the other bartender than he was taking a break, then walked out the service entrance of the casino. Niles took long gulps of his drink, hoping the ice and alcohol would make him feel better. The pain in his head was moving down his arms and into his chest. His vision was starting to blur and he couldn’t breathe. Backing into the crowd, Pauley worked her way around the side of the table, keeping Niles in her line of sight, but widening the distance between them. When he eventually collapsed, falling to the floor, casino EMT’s arrived within seconds. Clearing the space around Niles, paramedics loaded him on a gurney while barking orders into their radios for an ambulance. One medic leaned in close,

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