What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...
|She had finally made it to Las Vegas. Cheryl Saunders dreamed of going to Las Vegas for a convention. She imagined that she would work during the day and party at night just like people on television threw down in Vegas. She worked as a fashion buyer for a chain of retail stores which specialized in buying and reselling popular name brands at a lower cost. It wasn’t the glamorous life she visualized while she went to a fashion trade school in Los Angeles.
It was into her second hour at the blackjack table where she saw him. He was the typical fill in guy type for what a woman looks for. Six feet tall, dark, close cropped hair, a two day stubble on a cleft chin. The Ken doll that every woman shows off on her social media posts. He posted up next to her to get dealt a hand.
She was thankful that her mom had taught her how to play blackjack well as she was up about fifty dollars. Mr. man noticed with an arched eyebrow as she won yet another hand.
“Wow, you’re good at this, any tips?” he asked.
After a moments thought she said conspiratorially, “If you get an ace in your hand, always ask for another card, chances are you’ll hit twenty or twenty-one.”
He nodded. “Thanks, I’m Jake.”
“Cheryl.” she nodded back.
She knew that this was the dance of Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas is the motto after all. But she thought of how on the surface this idea seemed and decided that she wouldn’t pursue a meaningless fling. She chuckled to herself about having the audacity to even think that she could get Jake into bed. Then she thought of the bed and how many people had ‘partied’ in the hotel bed and that made her doubly confident that she would not engage in any hanky panky.
“What was that little laugh about?” Jake asked.
“Oh, you saw that?” she said, smiling.
“Yeah, I bet I can guess.” he said.
“Okay, shoot.” she said.
“You were thinking about how disgusting hotel room beds are.” he said, not taking his eyes off his cards.
She had lost this hand but didn’t care. “How did you know that?” she asked.
“I know people. That’s what I do, I’m a profiler.” He said assuredly, not breaking eye contact with her as he won the hand.
Now outside, walking along the well lit Las Vegas strip they walked and talked.
“I know you like wine, pinot grigio to be exact. You live in Los Angeles but were raised in Northern California. You loved grunge music like a good 90’s girl and you have exercised a lot in the past but you don’t as much anymore, even though you know you should. And I don’t mean that last bit as an insult.” he said.
She didn’t take it as an insult because it was all true.
“How did you know that just by playing some blackjack with me?” she asked.
Jack was about to speak when he noticed something and pulled Cheryl a couple of feet out towards a wall. A car jumped the curb, narrowly missing them. The car careened back onto the street as onlookers yelped in shock. In seconds police cars sped past them, chasing the car down the street.
She looked after the commotion as the cars screeched around a corner.
Cheryl couldn’t believe what just happened. She looked around for any sign of more danger but things seemed to calm down as quickly as the danger had appeared. Jake looked at her with a slight smile. Then produced an ace as if from thin air.
“You are presented with an ace. Do you want another card or do you want to stay?” he asked.
She knew the answer before she heard her voice say it. “Hit me.”
The world had turned into colors. Jake’s face gained electric facepaint and he looked like a demented harlequin. The Las Vegas strip buzzed with even more electricity as numbers flew through the air and creatures she had never seen before walked to and fro.
She backed away from Jake as he smiled and raised his arms and cards flew around her like a tornado.
Then she was off, seemingly flying through the air, looking at the landscape disappear below her, laughing more and more.
The next day she woke up with a slight headache. The colors in her hotel room looked a little drabber than before. At the convention center people seemed to move and talk slower than before. She moved from booth to booth, inspecting the clothing, hand bags, and shoes.
Then she felt a presence from behind, a familiar warmth. She turned and saw Jake with his cautious smirk.
“What happened last night?” she asked him.
“Um, I was kind of going to ask you that.”
They stood there a little dumbfounded until they decided to go for a walk to not appear so awkward.