01-15-2013, 04:38 PM
11:00 pm to 12:00 pm:
Twenty five hundred bucks! Gary couldn't believe it. He had won twenty-five hundred bucks in the casino! He gleefully watched as the cashier counted out the bills for him. Somebody Up There liked him, that was for sure. He was tempted to wave his winnings around, but common sense overruled that. Places like these were lousy with thieves and pickpockets just waiting to relieve you of your wallet or purse. He quickly stashed his cash in his billfold and secreted it into his pants pocket, the one with the button on the opening. He buttoned it tightly and patted his pocket smugly. It made a comfortable bulge.
Gary looked around for Kiddie. Not at the blackjack tables, not at the wheels, nowhere. He checked his watch. Eleven-thirty. Well, maybe she went home for the evening. She looked pretty young. Maybe she was only a part-timer, working her way through school or something like that. Ah, well, the night was still young, and he bloody well didn't want to go back to Irene and the kid. Hell, this was Vegas, for crying out loud! The Entertainment Capital of the World! He had twenty-five hundred burning a hole in his pocket, and he was going to live it up!
But what to do first? Hmmmm, let's see what they got lined up around here, he mused. He left the casino and walked over to the marquee on the wall, advertising all the shows and other attractions the Luxor had to offer. One attraction caught his eye immediatly: Fantasy. A very hot, very sexy show, and it was on right now. Ohhh, yeah! That was the ticket!
Gary was admitted, seated and served in just over a minute. He couldn't stop smiling at the curvaceous women wiggling their smooth, firm, bare asses on the stage. This was the closest he would ever come to Heaven in this life, he thought.
"Where the hell is Jason?" Pirece Holmes, Filibuster's lead singer, wanted to know. "We're due back on in two minutes."
Lolly shrugged her shoulders. "Dunno. Last I saw, he was heading for the john."
There was a knock on the dressing room door. "Who is it?" Lolly called out, rising to answer it.
"It's me, Criss Angel." came the reply.
Criss Angel! It couldn't be! Lolly nearly ripped the door from it's hinges opening it. Sure enough, there stood Criss himself. Lolly's heart skipped a beat the minute she saw him.
"I got some bad news for you," Criss said.
"What?" Lolly said, still in awe.
"You're drummer passed out in the men's room," Criss told them. "They're taking him to the hospital now."
"Oh, that is just (bleeping) great!" Pierce moaned. "That (bleepbleep) couldn't stay sober for one (bleeping) night!"
Lolly kept her eyes on Criss. "Is he going to be all right?" she asked.
"Can't say for sure right now," Criss replied, shrugging his shoulders.
"Well, it doesn't (bleeping) matter!" Pierce stormed. "That (bleeping bleeper) is out of the band!"
Lolly whirled around, appalled. "Pierce!"
"I mean it, Lolly! Jason's been holding us back with his boozing! If he can't get his (bleep) together, then he's history!" Pierce slumped down on a chair by a dressing table. "We're gonna have to cancel the show now. We ain't got a drummer."
Lolly looked at Criss again. An idea, or at least a wild hope, surged into her brain. "You play drums, don't you, Criss?"
Criss looked bewildered. "Well, yeah, but..."
"Maybe you could cover for Jason," she suggested. "We got his parts written down right here."
She picked up a loose-leaf notebook and handed it to him. "What do you say, huh? Please?"
"Well, I don't know," Criss remained hesitant. "This is kinda short notice, don't you think?"
"All we ask if for one set, that's all. They're real easy, just basic rhythims. You can do it, Criss. I know you can."
Criss turned to Pierce. "What do you think?"
"Hey, dude," Pierce said with a disbelieving laugh. "You've pulled off some crazy (bleep) in your career. If you can pull this off, my hat's off to you!"
Criss flipped through the notebook. "Okay, one set," he said finally. "I got rehersals tomorrow and I have to get home, okay?"
Lolly threw her arms around Criss. "You rock and rule!" she squealed in delight.
Meanwhile, out on the floor, Lyn and Stacy were growing impatient with Criss' prolonged absence. What was he doing anyway, making out with Lolly or something? Suddenly the house lights dimmed, signalling the return of Filibuster.
"Ladies and gentlemen! Let's give it up for Filibuster!"
The audience cheered. The spotlights illuminated the stage. To Lyn and Stacy's astonishment, Criss was seated behind the band's drum kit. What's he doing up there? they wondered.
"Thank you," Pierce boomed into the mike. "And please welcome our very special guest drummer, Criss Angel!"
Even louder cheering broke out as Criss waved to the crowd with his sticks. Lyn and Stacy looked at each other bemusedly.
Criss tapped time and the band exploded into its first number for the second set. Man, he's good! Lyn thought. On top of everything else, he's a drummer? This guy is awesome!
Steve did it by himself, of course. Vic wasn't bringing the van until two, but (bleep) him--he could sit there until Hell froze over for all he cared. He checked his watch. Eleven-forty-five. Way early, but still late enough. Bank pickup wouldn't be until nine tomorrow. By then, he'd be long gone. He slipped on his latex gloves and the keycard into the slot. The door gave him the green light to enter. He pulled on hospital slippers to cover his tracks and went in.
He paced himself, timing the cameras' blind spots for when he could move and when he should take cover. He got in with no trouble; if they checked the entry records, it would just read MASTER. Dodging the cameras, he made it to the Accounting Office. Using his master keycard, he slipped in and headed for the safe, hoping against hope they didn't change the combination again.
In the office where the safe was kept, he slid along the wall just under the camera. The wires were still there. Donning insulated gloves, he unscrewed the cable connectors carefully. He looked up at the camera. No flashing light. It was off. Good. Now the fun could begin.
Steve took off his insulated gloves, leaving on his latex ones. He had memorized the combination for a week now, and he knew it as well as his own telephone number. He punched it in, hit ENTER, and crossed his fingers as he pulled on the lever.
It gave! Victory was his! Steve opened his bag and emptied the safe of the mountain of cash stored inside. There had to be at least a million, two millon maybe. Didn't matter, because Steve Packard was set for life!
He slung the bag on his shoulder and stepped to the camera wires. Redonning his insulated gloves, he reconnected the camera wires, starting at the sparks they made when they touched. He rescrewed the connectors and set everything back into place. Then he slid along the wall to the door and made his exit. Instinct told him to run, but the cameras would spot him. He had to be careful.
Meanwhile, Athene Christopolous had returned to the hotel and to her suite. She looked up at the ceiling. There had to be a way in, she pondered. It irritated her that the help could go into Criss' suite but she couldn't.
Athene had stayed in hundreds of luxury hotels as she jetsetted all over the world. She knew that housekeepers kept master keys to enter all the rooms for cleaning. It was just a matter of finding out where they were kept. She left her room and searched the corridors carefully.
There. That door in the center. HOUSEKEEPING, it read. Athene tried the door. It was unlocked. So far, so good. She slipped in and flicked on the light. Now, where were the keys?
A steel cabinet caught her eye. She opened it quickly and found a neat, organized set of master keycards for the maids to use. One in particular stood out from the rest: PRESIDENTIAL SUITE ONLY.
Athene snatched it greedily. The Presidential Suite was where Criss Angel lived. No one was allowed even to ride up to the floor without security clearance. She was delighted that her plan was coming together so perfectly; it was almost too easy.
She slipped out of the housekeepers' closet and dashed to the elevators. She jabbed the UP button frantically, impatiently. The doors finally slid open, allowing her to enter. She slid the keycard and pushed the top button to Criss' suite. The elevator complied with her wishes and transported her there in an instant. As soon as the elevator doors opened, she stepped out of the car and stood before the gates of Heaven.
Athene slid the magic card into the door slot and turned the handle. Happily, it gave way and Athene was at last in the Realm of the Angel. She quickly closed the door behind her and drank it all in. That suite downstairs was a cheap motel room in comparison. She gazed at the spaciousness, the elegantly modern furniture, the row of awards lined up behind the sofa. This was how she was meant to live.
A sudden movement caught her eye. A black and white cat stood on the back of the sofa staring at her with feline wariness, its back arched defensivly. Athene loathed nearly all animals save horses, which she rode with masterful skill. Yet she had learned from her research that Criss was very much attached to his cat--what was its name again? Didn't matter, it was still in the way.
She walked over to the sofa, scooped up the cat, carried it to the door and tossed it out of the suite. There, now since that was out of the way, she could put her plan into action. She couldn't wait to see the expression on Criss' face when he saw the surprise she had in mind for him!