01-12-2013, 04:18 PM
8:00 pm to 9:00 pm:
Maury looked all around the ginormous atrium for Criss Angel. He had to be here somewhere, she thought. Dad had bought her the first decent meal since their arrival in Las Vegas, a burger, fries and Coke, then retuned to whatever grownups do in casinos. They were pretty noisy places from what she had seen, sort of like Chuck-E-Cheese for adults. At any rate, she would not have to go to bed hungry tonight.
But she still wanted to find Criss Angel. She wanted to find more evidence that he was her "real" daddy. He had to be somewhere, but where?
The casino? She peered into the entrance from behind a pillar, the closest she could get without the blue-jacketed guard seeing her. He would be easy to spot, with all his necklaces and his funny haircut, she thought. But it was so crowded in there she could not see anyone she could recognize, not even her father. Maybe she should wait for him? She definatly did not want to go back up to the hotel room with her mother, and she was not allowed in the casino. If only she knew where Criss was...
Criss was on his way to Body English, his encounter with Athene Christopolous and Maury's father souring his mood as he drove his Lambo down the Strip.
A city full of selfish people, Athene had said. Well, she was right about that, though it was a case of the pots calling the kettles black. He had heard of the Omicron heiress; she was one of those celebrities who hadn't really done anything to achieve fame but were famous for being famous. Tonight was the first time he had met her, and he hoped it would be the last. Damned publicity hound (bleep)! Anything to get her face published! She thinks she's all that because Daddy Warbucks runs some big-(bleeped) corporation! I know she's had more hands up her skirt than the Muppets! Well, forget it, Athene baby! You're not putting me in your stable! Uh-uh! I am a free man!
He promptly dismissed Athene from his mind. In her place floated the image of Maury Brighton, pale and faded as her dress, her thin arms clutching her empty belly. The memory of her tugged at his heart. He had visited children's hospitals, entertained terminally ill kids who looked a lot better than she did. Geez! What kind of parents would forget to feed their own kid? Are they drunk or something? That dad of hers seemed to resent it when I bought him his own daughter! Well, he doesn't get my vote for Father of the Year, that's for sure. But, I'm starting to wonder...are they abusing her? Neglect is bad enough, but if they're beating her--or worse...?
Criss pulled up to the valet booth of Body English. He stopped the car, got out, tossed the keys to the valet, claimed his ticket, and entered the club. It did no good to be dwelling on such negative thoughts, he told himself. If there's any trouble, security will handle it. Maybe that dad of Maury's got the message when he reminded him of his little girl's needs. He hoped he did.
"Lyn!" Stacy called out from a booth somewhere in the club. "Over here!"
Lyn spied Stacy's flailing arm and wove her way through the crowd of partygoers and wait staff to reach her. Eight o'clock and Body English was already jammed--and jamming. Recorded music blared from loudspeakers above their heads, colored lights danced on the walls and floor. The fashionably attired wiggled and pranced on the dance floor, or lounged with friends, sipping overpriced drinks.
"So, what'd I tell you?" Stacy gushed. "Is this the place to be, or what?"
Actually, Stacy didn't tell her anything of the sort, Lyn thought. She was here because she didn't have any other plans for the evening. It was just another Vegas club: loud, flashy, and expensive. Lyn began to wonder why she even agreed to come here in the first place.
Suddenly, Stacy jumped up excitedly. "Oh, my God! Look over there!" She pointed towards the entrance.
Lyn turned to look. "What? Where?" she demanded.
"Over there!" Stacy squealed. "It's Criss Angel!"
"Where?" Lyn demanded again, more eagerly this time.
This time, she spotted him, his bling reflecting the overhead lights like tiny mirrors. Despite the fact that she and Stacy were performers in his show, and had actually worked alongside him during rehersals, it was still a thrill when she saw him.
"Wanna go see him?" Stacy almost dared Lyn. "I mean, after all, we do work with him."
"Well, I dunno..." Lyn hesitated.
"C'mon, Lyn!" Stacy urged. "Go for it!"
Before Lyn could utter another word, she found herself dragged along by Stacy to Criss' table. Lyn put up almost no resistance. The thought of mixing business with pleasure began to appeal to her.
Athene Christopolous arrived at Body English at exactly eight o'clock, alone. The champaigne remained unopened, the chocolates untouched. Her plan to entice Criss into her limo had failed miserably. She had oozed charm for him, played coy, but that cretin had blown her off like a Las Vegas streetwalker. His rebuff still burned in her dainty little ears: Yeah, but not with you.
Well, she was not deterred, not by a long shot. She was going to get back at him if it was the last thing she did. She had planned to come on to him, tempt him, seduce him into her arms--and her bed. She was going to lavish him with gifts, allow him to escort her to the finest places, romance him at her private resort on the Mediterranean. Earlier, she had considered him a worthy pursuit. Instead, he had spurned her. He had treated her with such contempt it galled her to the marrow. Well, it seemed the gentle approach was not going to work on this Angel; now she was going to have to crack the whip. She would make him sorry for his cold shouldering. She would make him beg forgiveness on his knees. Of course, she would mete out justice, but temper it with mercy--she was not that cold-hearted. She would make the punishment fit the crime, no more, no less.
She swept into the club, scanning for her prey. He had to be here, somewhere. Crito said he would be. Well, if he hadn't arrived yet, she would be waiting for him. And when he did, he was going to get a nasty surprise...
Lolly Jones carefully applied eyeliner to the edges of her eyes. Filibuster was due on stage at nine, and she wanted to take her time getting ready. Her plaid and polka-dot clothes did nothing to slim down her stocky five-foot-two frame, nor did the heavy combat boots boost her height. She was no beauty queen, granted, but she was attractive in her own way. She had disdained the anorexic types who were so popular in school, those fashion conscious Barbie-doll clones who obsessed over their appearance to the point of near self-destruction. Lolly had all but flaunted her chunky petite self in their faces, just to get back at them. Unlike the rest of the girls in her class, she dared to be different.
And that difference had paid off, at least in her opinion. After high school, she had gone to art school, where she could express herself freely, then joined Filibuster two years later (bass players were in high demand, but in short supply, so the band was more than willing to take on a female guitarist). She was a free spirit, living by her own rules. Conformity was not in her vocabulary.
There. Makeup was done. She would have done without it, but under the lights she would have looked washed out. She still had half an hour until showtime. She decided to relax and catch up on the latest sci-fi novel, Zero O'Clock. It was a really good one about all the clocks in the world stopping and everyone couldn't know what time it was. It made her think about how time-obsessed society was. God! She couldn't wait to finish it!
Julia, the bartender, was setting up some more clean glasses when one of the waiters showed up, an anxious look on his face.
"Hey, Julie," he hissed.
Julia spun around. "It's Julia, dipwad! What the hell do you want."
"You know who just showed up?" the waiter asked conspiratoirally.
"Wait, let me guess," Julia retorted sarcastically. "Paris Hilton."
"Close. It's Athene Christopolous."
"I'll alert the media." Julia said drily, turning back to her glasses. As if she cared about Athene Christopolous, whoever the flaming hell she was. As much as she enjoyed the Vegas nightlife, some of the members of the Cult of Personality were better off unknown. Now, someone like Criss Angel over there, for whom she had just made a Martini--there was someone of interest! He was worthy of all the adulation and celebrity. He was somebody.
She finished stocking glasses and turned to the bar again. The waiter was still standing there, all googlyeyed over this Athene chick.
"Don't you have tables to wait on?" she reminded him. "If you're all so hot for this Thermopolous babe--"
"That's Christopolous, Julie," the waiter corrected her. "Athene Christopolus."
"Whatever," Julia grumbled. "Go take her drink order or something."
The waiter left, finally. People come and people go, Julia reflected, no matter who they were. Meanwhile, she had work to do. Julia Smith was the independent type, and proud of it. She had saved her own money and owned a house in Vegas, an achievement of which she was proudest. Her petite five-foot-one frame belied her tough-as-nails nature. No one pushed her around, not even the biggest name celebrity in Vegas.
She spotted the waiter next to a tall, black haired woman with an imperious air about her. So that's the girl he was talking about, she thought. She looked like a damn snob. Well, she may be some fancy-pants celeb, but to Julia, she was just another customer. If she caused any trouble, Julia would have security toss her out on her shapely little ass.
Last edited by Veritas; 01-14-2013 at 04:20 PM.