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Authors: Mike Monson

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BOOK: What Happens in Reno
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“It’s a weapon.”

“That’s right, nephew,” Hunter said. “And what is it for?”

Tanner pointed the gun across the table away from Hunter.

“To kill people.”

“That’s right. Just like your fists, your feet, a knife, a rock—that’s all it is. It’s a weapon you use to kill people. Don’t get all caught up in all the technical bullshit. Those gun nuts that go on and on about Glocks and Colts and Berettas and revolvers versus autos or whatever are full of shit. A real criminal doesn’t care about all that. All a real criminal cares about a gun is is it right for the given job? Will it kill? Sure, this is a Smith and Wesson .38 snub nose revolver. It holds five rounds. It’s easy to load, easy to reload, and easy to aim and shoot. It’s nice because it’s so easy to carry and conceal, plus it’s powerful enough to stop a man’s heart or shatter his skull. But there are all kinds of guns—big, little, weak, powerful, revolvers, automatics, whatever. Doesn’t matter, they all kill real good, believe it. All you need to do is get good enough to look at any gun and know how to get the bullets in and how to shoot the thing.”

Tanner listened. He aimed the gun.

“Get it?” Hunter said.

“Yes.”

“Okay, follow me.”

Hunter grabbed a box of bullets and loaded the pistol as he led Tanner out the door. He took him to a field about a quarter of a mile behind the clubhouse. There was a clearing and in the clearing stood a six-foot-long two-by-four stuck in the ground, upright. Hunter had Tanner stop abound ten feet from the board. He handed him the gun and pointed at the piece of wood.

“Shoot it.
Now
.”

Tanner immediately brought the gun up and shot at the four-inch-wide target, hitting it at a spot even with his own head. He had no idea how he did it, but, just like in a fist fight, his skill was effortless.

“Just as I suspected,” Hunter said. He smiled. Hugged Hunter tight. He stepped back. “Never hesitate. When the gun is in your hand and you see your enemy, just shoot the fucker. Now. No muss. No fuss. No thinking allowed.”

Hunter handed Tanner the box of bullets.

“Now,” he said, “I got somewheres I gotta be. Keep shooting until all the bullets are used up. Then, put the gun back in the clubhouse, in the same place I got it.”

“Okay, Uncle.”

“Meet me at the gym at five, ready to work out.”

Tanner shot the board again and again as Hunter walked away. Never missing. By the time all the bullets were gone, Tanner lost interest in the board and longed to use the gun to shoot and kill a person.

Chapter 16

M
att woke up at 4
A.M.
He knew exactly where he was and exactly what he’d done. The details of his humiliating poker loss were confused and dreamlike, but he was clear on the basics of what happened.

He checked his pockets for the remaining five grand. All there.

Starving, he left his room to go down and get some breakfast. He went the wrong way to the elevator and ended up wandering up and down the hallway. He heard a door open ahead. A woman in a black silk teddy and a tiny black thong stepped out and then bent over to put a room service tray on the floor. She had long shiny blonde hair. She was heavily made-up. She saw Matt and smiled.

“Hello,” she said, straightening up. Yes, cleavage, lots of cleavage. Fake, probably. Who cares?

“Hi,” Matt said. He stopped about five feet way.

She looked Matt up and down and grinned.

“What are you up to, cutie?”

Oh, man. Is this really happening?

“Not much. Just trying to have some fun.”

“Aren’t we all? Come a little closer. I won’t bite. At least, not right away.”

Matt walked to within two feet of the woman. Close up, he could see past the heavy make-up that she was maybe 65 or older. The skin between her panties and the bottom of her teddy was stretched tight and wrinkled. Varicose veins dominated her legs, especially her thighs. The hair was obviously a wig.

“Did you leave your wife in the room?”

“No, I left her at home.”

“Perfect. I’m just about to have a nightcap. Why don’t you come in and join me?”

She opened her door wide, walked in, and motioned him to follow.

It was another suite, just like his. She led him to a table in the front room. He saw a 750 ml bottle of Grey Goose set deep in an ice bucket next to two elegant cocktail glasses. It looked like the place to be.

As they sat, Matt heard loud, uneven snoring from the bedroom. The kind that sounds like the person’s breathing stops every three or four minutes.

“Oh, that’s just my husband. Don’t mind him, he’ll be out for hours. Fucker only drinks after he wins, and he’s been winning big.”

Matt poured about four ounces of vodka into a glass. He didn’t bother with ice. He drank half of it right down.

“I guess you were thirsty.”

“I’m never not.”

“Me either. I love to drink. I’m drunk as shit right now as a matter of fact.”

“I hope to be soon.”

“How long are you here for?”

“Just tonight and tomorrow night.”

“Really? Us too! How convenient.”

She straddled his lap. She took a sip of his drink and then brought the glass to Matt’s lips. He could see the impression of her peach-colored lipstick on the glass, and it made him feel sick. He stopped looking at it and let her pour the rest of it into his mouth. She smiled a lascivious smile. He didn’t think he’d ever seen a for real lascivious smile before but, if hers wasn’t, then he didn’t understand the definition of lascivious.

He stared at her, and he wasn’t sure what he was seeing. For a moment, she looked like an old man in drag. He checked, and it didn’t look like she had a penis. He could see the little bit of fabric-looking weave in the middle part of her wig. Then he looked again, and she looked just like his mother.

She leaned over to kiss him while putting her hands around his throat. Her tongue went in and out of his mouth like a snake’s. It was small and hard and pointed. He tried to let go and get into the kiss, but he could not. He pulled at her hands and tried to get up. She tried even harder to shove her rapid tongue into his mouth. He finally broke the kiss and stood up while holding her wrists. She flailed her arms to make him let go and to regain her balance.

“Sorry,” Matt said. “I gotta go.”

“But you just got here, sweetie.” Somehow, her wig had gotten twisted, and he could see some of her gray hair secured tightly to her scalp with bobby pins.

“I really need to eat something.”

He rushed toward the door just as he heard the man in the other room choking. He kept going. The woman rushed into the bedroom. A moment later she screamed.

“Herman,” she kept saying, “Herman, what is wrong? What is wrong?”

Matt wanted to leave right then, but something compelled him to go into the room.

An old man in the bed was clearly choking on something. The woman was shaking him by the throat. His face was turning bright red. Matt tried to pull her off, but her grip was too strong. He knew the man was dying. This wasn’t his first encounter with aspiration of vomit from alcohol abuse. He’d been saved from the same kind of death once before—when he was barely 16. He’d twice prevented the death of his mother from the same cause.

He knew what needed to be done. He got his hands under the women’s arms and managed to pull her off Herman. She fell off the bed. Her wig came off.

Matt turned the man over on his side and put his fingers in his mouth and cleared his throat. He roughly massaged the man’s back. After about three minutes, the old guy began to breathe normally and his color returned. He woke up and looked at Matt on top of him and at his wife crying on the floor next to the bed.

Matt got off the bed and took a couple of steps toward the door. The woman stuck the wig back on and joined her husband on the bed.

“What’s going on?” Herman said, focusing his eyes. “Who is that man?”

Herman reached out and opened his nightstand drawer. He pulled out a large revolver with a very long barrel. His wife jumped over and held his hand down.

“No Herman, no,” she said. “It’s okay, he’s a friend. When you were choking, I went out in the hall and started yelling for help, and this kind man just happened to be walking by. Good thing he knew what to do.”

The man looked skeptical and angry. He let go of the gun. He glared at Matt. Matt went to the outer room and out the door as fast as he could. He had the odd sensation that he knew Herman from somewhere.

As he left, he heard the woman say, “He saved your life Herman, he saved your life.”

Herman said, “He did?”

“He sure did.”

“Just walking by, my ass.”

Downstairs, Matt found a men’s room and washed Herman’s vomit from his hands. He went to the all-night café and got steak, eggs, and hash browns. He was the only customer. He could hear the sounds of slot machines dinging and of gamblers shouting at a craps table. He poured tabasco sauce over everything on his plate and ate every bite. The young and very cute waitress smiled and smiled at him and seemed to want to start up a conversation, but he didn’t respond.

After breakfast, he searched the casino floor until he found the five-dollar poker machines. This was more like it. These were his favorites. With a possible five-credit bet each hand, he could bet $25 each time. The payout for a royal flush could be tremendous. He’d won several hundred dollars on these dozens of times. Now, with so much money to spend, he figured he could do it again, but bigger. No problem. He just needed to get some four of-a-kinds and some royal flushes. He’d done it before.

As long as he was playing, he knew he’d get free drinks. He settled into a spot and got a double tequila and a glass of water from a waitress. Took out his envelope of hundreds. Grabbed all the bills and put them next to his drink. Fed ten hundreds into the machine and began to play.

He bet the maximum on his first hand. Drew a deuce, a three, a ten, an eight, and a five in various suits. Kept the ten and drew another ten. A pair of tens. Nothing, only Jacks or better paid anything.

Quickly, he bet again. He drew another bad hand, didn’t even wind up with a pair. This went on for about a dozen hands. He was $300 down. Just like that.

He played faster. He kept losing. He grabbed his drinks and his money and moved to a different machine. He hit two pairs and a three of a kind right away. He relaxed. He signaled the waitress and got another double.

He switched to multiple play. Five hands at once. This gave him a chance to lose more, faster. He got into a rhythm: drink, bet, lose, and then feed more money into the machine. Convinced that if he just amped up his speed he’d eventually hit some big hands again, he kept putting in more money. He was amazed at how quickly it all disappeared. The more and faster he lost the more convinced he became that he was just about to start to win. It didn’t make sense to him that he could bet so much so many times and
always
lose.

At just before 10, he ran out of the money from his stack. He took the four hundred dollars out of his wallet and changed stations. He loaded the last of his cash. He figured he needed to start over with a new, more positive attitude. He could still get ahead. So what if he was losing? It was his money, and he had a right to spend it however he wanted.

At ten fifteen, he had 20 dollars left in the machine. He was having trouble reading the cards. He knew he was fucked. Went to the ATM and tried to get cash advances from his Visa, his Master Card, and his Amex. His credit cards were all denied. Then he remembered that he’d maxed all those out last month at Black Oak Casino in Sonora. Checked the balance on his bank debit card: just over fifteen hundred dollars. Tried to take it all out, but all the machine gave him was three hundred. So what if Lydia knew where he was? Fuck that bitch.

All he needed was a little bit of luck to turn things around, and he could put the money back.

After ten minutes, he turned the three hundred into twelve hundred. He kept telling himself to go deposit the three hundred back into the bank and then play with the nine hundred, but he held off. Twenty minutes later he was broke again. He went back to the ATMs, and his request for more money was denied. Now, he was really broke.

Oh,
shit
.

He went up to his room. He didn’t know what to do. He had no money. He only had one night left in his stay. He was so drunk. He passed out on the bed.

It was 11
A.M.

Chapter 17

L
ydia managed to keep Hunter out of her ass most of the night by repeatedly giving him the best head she’d ever performed. Amazing how creative a desperate person can be. Of course, he was high on meth, so he stayed hard for hours. Eventually, at about three
A.M.
, she accepted his offer of a snort of the shit for the first time ever. After that, she stopped caring where he fucked her, just as long as he kept fucking her. It felt fantastic.

When he wasn’t actively attending to his hard on, Hunter communicated with his contacts at the casinos.

She called in sick to work. They told Tanner what was going on, and he helped monitor the bank account whenever his mom and Hunter slipped back into the bedroom.

Hunter gave her one more snort of meth.

“That’s all you get sweetheart,” he said. “I won’t allow you to turn into some ugly meth skank. I need you to stay young and hot and sexy.”

Lydia had never felt so excited and energetic. She could
not
believe how good Hunter’s cock felt. She remained vaguely aware of Hunter and Tanner’s ongoing search for Matt, but she really wasn’t interested. She was certain the money was gone. Poof. Let the guy have his little adventure. So what? Did she
really
need all that surgery? She was a totally hot bitch already, right?

Just before dawn, Fuckhead Roy called Hunter. He went into the other room to talk. Lydia lay on the bed and touched herself all over with her nails. She heard Hunter shouting into the phone. She thought she heard Tanner laughing. Then, there was silence. She thought about Matt. She missed the asshole. Realizing this made her laugh.

BOOK: What Happens in Reno
10.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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