Bill DuPree watched Fremont Street for fresh beauty to keep the Glitter Gulch filled with long legs and shapely thighs. If they had a nice set of breasts, well, that was cream on the stick.
As the manager, he had seen them come and go. A girl was going to need a firm foundation to attract the John’s, Dick’s, and George Washington’s stuck in the G-strings of the eye candy. Too bad the candy tended to get sucked dry and spit back out. The girls came and the girls left. Beauty never lasted too long in the Gulch.
Bill watched as Cindy hesitantly walked across the street toward him.
“You have a nice sashay, girl.”
Cindy smiled and slowly walked toward him.
“You must be parched,” Bill said. He gazed at her open dress. Taking stock he slowly moved up to her green eyes. “Let ol’ Bill buy you a drink.”
Cindy smiled and shook her head no. She looked at his shoes; a nice pair of burgundy alligators.
Bill touched her arm and gave it a squeeze.
“Tell me your name.”
He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out an address book. He opened the worn book and retrieved a pen from behind the pages.
“You look like a Tammy.”
Cindy reviewed the pages. What if this book could lead her to Todd L.? She glanced back at Vegas Vic. He just smiled.
Cindy reached for the book, but Bill drew it back close to his chest.
“Do you put everyone’s name in there?” she asked.
“Only the important people I meet.”
He reopened the book and drew the pen close to the page.
“So what is it, Tammy?” he paused, “or maybe Julie Lynn?”
Cindy giggled a bit and touched the leather.
“I don’t know if I want to be in your little book,” she said.
“Now, girl, at some point everybody pretty, rich, or famous ends up in here.”
Bill drew closer to her. “And girl, you fit pretty to a tee.”
He took Cindy’s hand and drew her closer to the club.
“Let’s go inside and we’ll talk about making you one of my friends.”
The Glitch Gulch looked like a downtown diner inside with small booths stacked tightly together for intimate conversation around a stage. All were empty expect at the back. A few girls sat gossiping over breakfast near the DJ cage. They stopped laughing as Bill and Cindy entered. Across from them, a man sat eating a plate of eggs. He stared downward and slowly brought up his fork. He failed to notice the visitors.
“We can sit here,” said Bill pointing to the nearest booth.
“Bring us some mimosas, Charlie.” The bartender set down the glass he was polishing with a dirty towel.
“I don’t drink.” Bill interrupted her, “You don’t drink or you don’t drink too much?”
He let out a boisterous laugh at the joke.
Cindy looked around the room. The stage resembled a movie set with fluorescent paint outlining fake Roman columns and grand accents. Neon wrapped around it. In the dark, the effect likely would seem regal and stimulating. Without the shroud of night, the stage resembled a carnival stage.
Charlie rounded the bar carrying a carafe of orange juice and a bottle of sparkling wine. He offered Cindy a glass.
“Just some orange juice, please.”
“How I am going to get your drunk on just OJ?” Bill said in jest. Cindy leaned away from his face. She knew he wasn’t joking. Despite his uncouth exterior, Cindy played along to get to his book.
“Charlie, give her just a splash of bubbly.” Cindy covered her left hand over her orange juice and pushed the tip of the wine bottle away. Charlie set the champagne on the table next to the orange juice. Cindy leaned closer to Bill and set down her glass. She reached over to touch the top of Bill’s rough hand.
“Tell me more about the famous people in that little book of yours,” she whispered.
Bill puffed up. He took pride in his list of contacts.
“Just the movers and shakers of Vegas, kitten,” he boasted. “And the beautiful people.” He took ahold of Cindy’s hand and caressed her knuckles. He moved over her wrist.
“So, beautiful, why don’t you tell me your name.”
Cindy allowed Bill to caress her hand. She leaned closer.
“Is there a Todd L. in your book,” she whispered.
Bill looked at her and smiled.
“What would you do to find out?”
Cindy dropped his hand and pushed away. Bill’s smile turned flat and he twisted his head to the side eyeing the fresh girl. Cindy was working him.
“He knew my dad,” she quickly said. She turned to look around the bar. She turned back to Bill.
“It’s not important,” she smiled and touched the orange juice to her lips. She took a long gulp and hoped Mr. Distasteful didn’t notice her hand was shaking.
Bill stared past Cindy pondering why this girl would be interested in Todd Loudin. “Is the old man testing me?” he thought. “Does Loudin know about the skim?”
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© 2018, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.
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