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Authors: Mike Monson

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BOOK: What Happens in Reno
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Trujillo sighed and went out the door to get his paralegal, Lydia Hodges.

After he finished with Lydia, Hunter left the office and got hard at work obtaining whatever cash he could from wherever he could. He collected on scattered debts, he extracted as much as possible from the proceeds of his “cash-based endeavors.” At the end of the day, he was short exactly twelve thousand, six hundred dollars.

Chapter 4

M
att took it easy on the booze. Excited about his trip, he wanted to get there, get his car parked, get a room, and get to gambling, before he really let loose. Proud of his restraint, when he arrived in Reno, just after three in the afternoon, he’d drank only four of the beers and barely half of the Patron.

During the drive, he had decided to find a cheap but comfortable hotel somewhere off the strip and then walk to the fancy casinos to play.

He had visited Reno for the first time at 18 to marry his pregnant girlfriend, Ginny Barnes. They stayed at such a cheap motel that the second-floor railing broke when Ginny leaned back to take a swig of Jaeger. She fell on top of a Cadillac and lost the baby, and they cancelled the marriage. No one thought to sue the hotel.

He’d been to Reno several times since then, almost always staying at discounted rooms at Atlantis, Harrahs, the El Dorado, or the Silver Legacy. Two of his three actual marriages took place in the Biggest Little City. The first, when he was 21, at a wedding chapel. He was so drunk he had no memory of the place. He and his bride Stephanie—his girlfriend from his job at Toys R Us—did not buy any photos or keepsakes. They stayed at Harrahs for a week. When it was time to go back to Modesto, Steph told him that she’d interviewed for a cocktail waitress job at the hotel the previous day while he slept late after a night of drinking. She got the job and wanted to stay and hoped he’d leave. Her parents got the marriage annulled, and he never heard from her after that.

The second time he was 32. He married Jennifer Marlin, his AA sponsor. He’d been sober 18 months. She was 52 and had been sober 25 years. They got married and stayed at the El Dorado. Jennifer brought her adult son and daughter as well as 18 of the 26 other drunks she sponsored, along with their assorted wives and girlfriends and children. The entire group attended local AA and Alanon meetings in between bouts of gambling and serious falls off of several wagons. Five were arrested: one for his third DUI, one for robbing a gas station, and two for public drunkenness. Jennifer’s daughter, Stevie, was caught trying to steal a diamond ring from a hotel store. Since it was her second offence, she spent a year in a Nevada state prison. Jennifer divorced Matt two years later, after his third slip became permanent, and after she got tired of supporting his lazy ass.

He drove up and down Virginia Avenue and stared at Atlantis and Harrahs and the Sands Regency and the El Dorado and the Silver Legacy. He decided he deserved at least one night in a fancy room, in a nice place. It was a sad day, after all. Right?

He kept driving, undecided, until, about two miles from the main strip, he saw the spectacular Peppermill Resort rising up like some magic city. He knew where he needed to go.

Pulling up to the valets in his mom’s old car, Matt could not believe the size of the entryway. There were at least four lanes across full of cars, limos, and buses. Bellmen rushing everywhere, bright rainbow lights. Matt felt like he was entering a dream, a fantasy cocoon of safety, comfort, excitement, and possibility. It was fucking great.

He put the two leftover Coors and the Patron in a plastic AM/PM bag. Luggage. Left the motor running, jumped out, traded a twenty dollar bill for the valet ticket and basically ran through the big front doors and to the front desk. He briefly felt the intense dry heat outside and then basked in the frigid air inside the hotel. His timing sucked because he came in right after three young couples, two elderly couples, and a large family. Didn’t matter, he had his bag of booze. Just snuck a quick snort of tequila and then popped open one of the Coors.

Matt was very happy. The adventure was still to begin.

“Do you have a reservation this evening, sir?” said Murray, a very friendly young guy.

“No. But I was hoping to get a room for the night.”

“My pleasure, sir. Let me see what is available.”

My pleasure, sir
. Freaking awesome.

“I’m a software engineer from the Silicon Valley. Just here for the night, I think.”

“Very nice. I hope we can make your brief stay a pleasant one.”

“Sold a new app just this morning for a lot of money. On my way to meet my investors in Aspen.”

Murray hit keys and stared at his screen. “How exciting.”

“We’ll see, sometimes these venture capital guys can be big jerks, you know what I mean?”

“Oh, I can imagine, sir. Ok, we have a queen smoking in the West Wing, a king non-smoking deluxe in the Peppermill Tower, and …. we have two Villas available in the Tuscany Tower.”

“Tuscany Tower, huh? That’s the new one, right? The big glass building?”

“Yes sir.”

“Villas are pretty nice, like a suite, only better?”

“Oh yes, the Tuscany Villas are quite luxurious. Top three floors only. Three hundred and ninety nine dollars for the night. Should I book you?”

Matt thought luxury suites cost three times that. Four hundred?
No
problem.

“Yes, that sounds great.”

“City or mountain view?”

“City.”

“Excellent. Could I see your ID and a major credit card?”

Matt handed over his California Driver’s License but held onto his credit cards.

“I’d rather just pay cash tonight, Murray.”

“You can certainly settle your bill on a cash basis, but we require a major credit card to cover incidentals.”

Shit. Lydia constantly monitored their bank and credit card accounts online. Nosy bitch. If he handed over a card and they used it for a deposit, within hours, she’d know his location.

“Is there any way around that?”

“Well, sir, you could leave a cash deposit. One hundred dollars per night.”

Thank god. Clearly, they were used to people in his predicament.

“Could I have the room two nights? I think I need to chill a little before Aspen.”

Matt handed over eleven one-hundred dollar bills.

“Certainly.”

On the way to the elevator, Matt saw the men’s clothing store was open. In the window, hung the kind of clothes he’d daydreamed about at the White Elephant. He picked out three elegant silk bowling shirts, two pairs of khaki shorts and a beautiful pair of leather loafers. He also bought a new belt, socks, and some underwear. At the last minute, he added a bathing suit in case he wanted to take a swim later, to relax and celebrate his winnings.

The sales woman rang up his total: $623. He handed her seven hundreds from his envelope. Her name tag said Misti. She had long dark hair and barely looked 18. Not Matt’s type. Too young. All his life, Matt preferred women in their forties and fifties. He could go mid-thirties, maybe, but his ideal was a beautiful woman with a hint of crow’s feet and experienced, knowing eyes. Barely 34 when he married her, Lydia was an exception. She could still pass for her late twenties. No crow’s feet on his wife.

“Please keep the change and have these delivered to my room as soon as possible.”

“Thank you very much, sir.”

“I’m producing a movie, and I’m just here scouting locations for a couple of days.”

“Oh sounds exciting. What is the movie about?”

“Just a gangster thing set in the world of Reno poker rooms. Robert Downey Jr. is playing a poker pro.”

“Wow.”

“He’s a lot nicer than you’d think. He’s actually a pretty great guy.”

His suite was the nicest hotel room he had ever seen. As far as he could remember, he had never even had anything called a “suite” before. He kept going from the main room, to the bedroom, to the large bathroom, and back to the main room, again and again. There was a large HD flat screen in both rooms and a smaller one in the bathroom. There were paintings and sculptures and fancy chairs and little tables and shit everywhere. An elegant black silk robe hung in the closet.
Nice
. There was a wet bar.
Yes
.

He touched the granite counters over and over. Sat at the desk. Looked out the window at Reno. Ran his fingers across the bed sheets. Squeezed the pillows.

He poured three fingers of Patron into one of the fancy glasses at the bar. Drank it up and chased it with the rest of his Coors. Belched.

He studied the book of hotel amenities. Called the spa and made arrangements that afternoon and evening for a Tuscan Ritual full body massage, a manicure, a pedicure, and a shampoo, haircut, and style.

He took a quick shower to give the masseuse a clean, nice-smelling body to knead. The brochure said that the Tuscan Ritual would rid his body of toxins, something he knew he desperately needed. He put on his new bathing suit and the robe from the closet and looked at himself in the mirror. Matt felt like a special person, like a success. People at the Peppermill will see him that way too, he was sure of that.

Chapter 5

A
t four in the afternoon, at about the time Matt approached Reno, Lydia sat in her cubicle at the law offices of Gilbert & Roland. She needed to get the answers to three different sets of interrogatories out the door by the end of the day. But, Matt’s twelve grand was the only thing on her mind. Well, that, and how to rid herself of that asshole Hunter Manning.

She could not believe that by the end of the week she’d have the incredible abs she so deserved, plus all their credit card debt paid off and, finally,
thank God
, a little cash to spend.

She smelled sweat. She looked up, and there Hunter stood, standing right next to her, hovering.
Shit.
Two freaking days in a row. She needed a break from this guy.

What did she ever see in him? Sure, at first, he seemed so freaking hot: all muscles, veins, and nasty tats. She’d loved his shiny bald head and the way he wore the tip of his goatee hanging four inches past his chin, like some speed metal rocker. And, he seemed so… dangerous; evil even, something that had always turned Lydia on—from a distance. But, who’d have guessed that evil was a big drag and that it would quickly get old to get roughly fucked in every possible nasty way by an unpredictable and violent iron-pumping criminal who kept himself alternatively hopped up on steroids and meth?

Turned out the only thing he was good for was taunting Matt.

He nodded his head toward Jaime Trujillo’s office. Oh god, here we go again. After grabbing a small cloth towel from the left bottom drawer, she followed him. She had no choice.

She almost ran into Mr. Trujillo as he rushed out his doorway. Poor guy, he made a big mistake taking on Manning and his extended family of criminals as clients. The firm hired Trujillo, a former Assistant DA, hoping to infuse their primarily civil litigation office with a new source of revenue. When his criminal practice took longer than expected to turn a profit, Jaime was thrilled when the notorious local bad guy Hunter Manning walked in the door. When an attorney got Hunter Manning, he also got the legal business of his brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, sons, and assorted associated thieves, dealers, burglars, pimps, and prostitutes.

Unfortunately, Hunter acted like he owned the place and everyone in it, and no one, especially Jaime, had the guts to stop him.

Once they were alone inside, Hunter closed and locked the door. Again, he motioned with his head, toward Trujillo’s large oak desk. He took off his muscle shirt as Lydia leaned against the desk, facing him. As she feared, he made a circular motion with his right index finger and raised his eyebrows. Careful not to show her displeasure, Lydia sighed and turned around. She placed her chest and forehead on the top of the desk and spread her legs. Put the towel next to her head.

“This is what you like,” Hunter said, “isn’t it?”

“Yes.”
No
.

He lifted up her skirt and pulled down her panties as far as her knees. Lydia tried to relax. It went a lot better if she didn’t resist down there. She knew that he’d already torn her up good by the blood she found when she cleaned her ass and by the blood she once saw on Hunter’s dick.

“What the fuck are these?”

“What do you mean?”

“What is this crap? I told you to wear blue fucking panties today.”

“Those are blue. Aren’t they?”

“These are more of a violet, shit.”

“I’m sorry, Hunter, I was hoping you’d like them.”

Hunter roughly ran his hands up and down Lydia’s ass and between her legs.

“Here I am, doing
you
a favor by giving you a good ass-fucking and the least you can do is honor a simple request.”

“Please forgive me, sweetie.”

“I brought a tube of lube and
was
going to use it. Your punishment for these lame-ass panties is you’re gonna get it the way it’s done in prison.”

Lydia heard him spit on his hands. Next, he rubbed it all over his cock before sticking it in her ass.

Jesus, every goddamn time. Freak really got off on this little drama he created. Thought she did too. Wrong. God, it hurt like
fucking
hell. The only good part was when it was over.

“You’re just a little slut, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Hunter.”

“You’re taking it in the ass from a common criminal in your boss’s office, right on his desk.”

“Uh huh.”

Barely missing a thrust, he picked her up and walked over to the window, nearly banging her forehead against the glass. They were on the second floor. She saw cars going up and down 16th street. Directly below, another legal assistant, her friend Tina, walked along the sidewalk. She carried a container with four cups of Starbuck’s.

Coffee break.

“You like doing it right in the window like this. Knowing that at any minute someone might look up and see what a nasty bitch you are?”

“Yes. I just love it.”

Jesus Christ-on-a-fucking-cross! Please please please let it be over soon. Hunter Manning could fuck
forever
, definitely the worst of all his horrible qualities.

BOOK: What Happens in Reno
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