Chapter 39. Suite and Shower
Tom knew how to get to the hotel and told Kaylee not to follow the GPS.
‟That thing is taking you around the long way. I don’t know that route, and through a neighborhood?! That’s nuts. Take the next left, go to the highway on-ramp. Three exits, and left. It’s easy to find.”
‟You have been there before?” She said, after slowing for a slightly wobbly street person who walked across the street in the middle of the block and waved thanks at her.
‟He should know better,” She growled at the scraggly man. ‟That is a good way to die and that would just screw up my day.”
‟Well, deep breath. We have a nice room waiting for us.”
‟It’s just a room.”
‟You used the married name? My name?”
‟Well, yeah.” She nodded. ”I used the card you gave me.”
She thought a moment.
‟I suppose I should give it back to you.”
‟No, keep it. Let it expire in three years and use it for emergencies, getting married, paying rent.” Tom smiled. ‟Especially if you buy books. My books.”
‟Drumming up business, are you?” Kaylee laughed.
‟Well, that would be self-defeating. My, money buying my book? Then I’d pay commission, there is no profit in that.” Tom chuckled. ‟Consider it a gift if you buy one.”
‟I’d buy a bunch and give them away, try to drum up business for you.” Kaylee winked as she merged on to the highway.
A small smile crossed his lips, then a far away look settled in his eyes and Tom looked out the window and remained quiet for a few minutes.
‟I’ll miss you.” She said softly. ‟I know you are unhappy.”
‟You know me pretty well, already.” He said in a soft voice and turned back to look out the window. ‟You will go back to school this fall, probably with an engagement ring. Melanie will stop coming to my movies, she will stop buying books and hold a grudge. The world will end and I’ll drown my sorrows in an overdose of rum and painkillers and fly the Pacific Wizard to a bad landing on the ocean with no survivors.”
‟Kidding, just poking at the pity-pot for a moment.” Tom gave a crooked smile. But there was some truth that glinted in his eyes. A sadness that he didn’t cover up quickly enough for Kaylee to miss.
It was a horrid sadness of soul, a soul that she cared for.
‟On the subject of the hotel, have you been there before?” She changed the subject back.
‟A time or two for book-signings. They wanted me to play, too. I have a minor weakness for blackjack. I win more than I lose, as well. The casino is always interested in winning back some that I have taken from their tables. Roulette is good, too, but I lose more there.”
‟I like dollar machines.” She smiled. “I might ask you for a few rolls”
‟I bet.” Tom laughed at his own joke.
Kaylee gave him a sideways look.
‟That was terrible.” She said with a crooked smile shaking her head.
‟Made you grin.”
Guiding the electric SUV to a parking slot, she overshot the painted line of the parking stall and began to struggle slightly getting it straight.
Outside, a woman got out of her small hybrid and started to berate them though the glass of the Tesla.
‟You people need to get over your small penis envy! That car is an abomination, sucking down more gas than you are worth! This is what will wreck the world for us all in twenty years! Selfish, stupid whore.”
Kaylee got a look in her eye that Tom had seen once before.
He had seen the look when she stomped a man twice her size nearly to death, and this look was just the same, but this time, he saw it up close along with the white knuckles of the warrior woman.
‟NO! No, Kay! No!” He grabbed at her hand.
‟Lady, go into the casino where you belong. You no clue what you are talking about.” Kaylee’s temper was a nuclear furnace.
‟I do, you drive that gas-pig around and the rest of us pay for the global warming filth that you create, that movie showed it to us. Inconvenient isn’t it? You drive gas guzzler’s with all your careless abuse of fossil fuels.”
‟Lady,” Kaylee hissed. ‟You get in your fossil-fueled car, take your attitude and get the hell away from my husband…” Kaylee choked. ‟And me.”
‟My car is an all green hybrid. I get fifty-miles per gallon, how much does your pig get?”
‟I can’t tell you, it doesn’t take gas.”
‟Diesel! Foul, nasty, penis envy…”
‟It does not use any kind of oil. No diesel, no gas, no propane.” Tom said.
‟What?” The woman pronounced it ‟wut” and blinked in confusion.
‟It’s all electric, no hybrid. It gets an electric equivalent of over two-hundred miles per gallon.” Kaylee clenched her fists. She was an artist about to paint her version of Dante’s Inferno on this woman. ‟So. Kiss-off.”
Taken aback, the woman shook her head.
‟You lie. There is no such thing.” She looked at the back of the Model X.
‟No tailpipe, witch.” Kaylee called over her shoulder while they left her looking at the dark windowed car with the electric-car tag hanging on the mirror.
“I was this close,” Kaylee held up her thumb and forefinger. “She was about to have a problem.”
“Yeah, I know, she is still looking over the Tesla.” Tom laughed as they walked across the parking lot.
They made their way into the casino and to the check-in desk.
The clerk did not bother to look up when Kaylee stepped up to the counter.
‟Reservation for Harte.”
‟One moment please.”
Another voice from around the corner.
‟Harte? Kaylee and Thomas Harte?”
‟Yes.” Kaylee nodded.
‟Steve, go over there, I have this.” It was a dapper woman with a the air of Captain Watson, all professional.
‟Remember I said of the VIP coming in?”
‟Oh.” And moved off.
‟I apologize for that. I was watching for your limo to come in.”
‟We came by rental car. Miss…?”
‟I have this Kaylee .”
‟Erika, thank you for watching, but we are in a rental car this time. Might go driving later.”
‟Very good. Do you need the rental returned for you and we will arrange a limo for your use later, on the house.” Erika said.
‟That would be most excellent.” Tom nodded. ‟My usual company I use here?”
‟Desert Limo? I’m sorry, but they are out of business.”
‟Oh? Since when?”
‟About three weeks ago, IRS came in and shut them down, the tax-man took out a lot of limo companies. There are only two in town now. A few gypsy limos, but the two that stayed operating for the moment is Deviance Limousine and Gemini Limousine are still in business. Until the IRS gets to them.”
‟Why is the IRS involved?”
‟They are cleaning house around here. It is causing trouble for everyone.”
‟I can understand. In any event, we will be changing and heading out in a bit.”
‟A limo will be on standby for you, Mister Harte. A moment’s notice will be all that is all we will need.”
‟Very good, as you can see, I have a small problem with my arm. Could I get a porter?”
‟Right away.” Erika said, dialing a number. ‟Where are your bags now?”
‟Black Tesla rental, in the electric only parking stall.” Kaylee said.
‟Very good,” Erika nodded to a young man who was standing within earshot, who walked up and took the key from Kaylee and headed out to the car.
‟Your bags will be up at your suite momentarily.”
‟Thank you, Erika. We will wait for the bags in our room.”
‟I will trust you will find the lodgings to your pleasure. You have a panoramic view, the gaming table on the floor is available at any time. You also have access to our private gaming area as you see fit. And as always, this will be comp. Your VIP code was not entered when the clerk took the call, so I will deduct the reservation charges now.”
‟Mister Harte? This way, please.” It was an impeccably dressed man with a Mid-Atlantic accent wearing a name tag Gene Childs, Hotel Manager.
‟Tom. Please, call me Tom.” He smiled. ‟I ask you that every time I arrive.
‟Yes, sir. Tom.” The manager smiled. ‟It’s an old habit.”
Riding the elevator up, Kaylee looked over in front of Tom and tapped his hand.
‟We are going to the top?”
‟Yes, ma’am. This is Mister… er… Tom’s regular place when he stays. I can say that Tom does not bring his family members here often, we are always pleased to serve you in any wishes you might have.”
‟Tom’s family…” She thought for a moment and looked down.
The doors opened, there was no hallway. They stepped out directly into a frosted glass foyer with a wooden door.
‟The normal full security precautions, four-inch-thick glass and polycarbonate panels with electronic privacy. It converts from clear to frost with a press of a button on the remote control and at several panels around the room. The door is all but breach proof. The whole floor is a panic room.” Gene walked around and pointed the features. ‟Limited access to the elevator, staff and the key-holder for this floor only.”
‟Thank you, Gene.” Tom said as the elevator chimed and the young man walked in with their bags.
‟Of course, please call me directly if there is anything you need. Twenty-four hours.” Gene said as he handed Tom his card. ‟The number on the back is my direct line.”
‟Thank you, again.” Tom smiled.
Two hotel staff members stepped inside the elevator and the doors slid silently shut.
‟I thought they would never leave!” Kaylee said. ‟I’m *family*?”
‟He was being circumspect. He could have gone the other way and asked if you were a working girl.”
‟That’s just wrong to assume.”
‟Agreed. But you must admit, we are an odd couple. You are young, beautiful and vibrant. I’m OFU.”
‟Old, fat and ugly.” He said as he walked to the door and pressed the button on the key and unlocked the door to the suite.
She kicked Tom in the backside.
‟You stop that.” She started to make a growl then gasped. ‟Shut-up! This is not our room? Oh-my-gawd!”
The walls moved on command when Tom tapped the buttons on the remote control.
Three hundred-sixty degree views of Las Vegas and the surrounding mountains took her breath away.
‟Tom, I swear, I only wanted to get a nice room. I didn’t book a penthouse.”
‟You forget my name carries some influence. They may have thought you were just some any Kaylee Harte, and I wager they mulled that over, and did not clue on it.”
‟How many times have you been here?”
‟A few, I don’t count. Usually, I stay on the Pacific Wizard.” Tom said as he sat down in a sculpted leather chair that looked out over the landscape.
‟Is the bar open?”
‟Everything is. You heard Erika said that it was comp.” Tom said, grunting slightly as he moved his wounded arm to a comfortable position.”
‟Wow. Macallen whiskey!” Kaylee balked. “What? This one is thirty-years!”
‟They should have the full spectrum.” Tom nodded, looking out the window.
‟Holy crap! Do you know how much this is? I saw some in the locked case at the Tower of Liquor in Ocean Bay.” She turned it around in her hand slowly. ‟And I can open it?”
‟If you want. But if you open it, you better drink it. That is about three-hundred dollars you have in your hand.” He said as he kicked his shoes off.
‟I’m going to put it back, I have never held anything that expensive in a bottle.” She poked around in the refrigerator. “I can’t read this except for chocolate.”
“Oh, that would be the old world Luxemburg or German-made chocolates.” He chuckled. “Impossible to say, wonderful on the tongue. Except I don’t like chocolate.”
Kaylee laughed at that.
‟What are you up to, hun?” She asked while he pulled off his shirt.
‟Thinking about jumping into the pool.” Tom said.
‟There’s a pool?” She turned around, nearly dropping a full bottle of Pyrate Rum, with ‟Cask Special” on the label.
‟Let’s go swimming!”
‟You didn’t bring a suit. Remember?”
‟Skinny dip!” She yelled as she ran through the suite peeling off clothes. ”After that I am going to have a cuddle with you until you cry for a mommy!”
Tom watched her jump in the penthouse pool, her skin shimmered in the ripples of the clear pool water. He didn’t laugh, in fact, it saddened him on a deep level. Until a little while ago, she was his wife.
This troubled him on so many levels, he was not sure he could count them all.
But he was going to have one last night of love with a twenty-two-year-old art student and martial arts master with the moves of a gymnast.
‟You know, you’ll need a shower after this. This is a salt pool.”
‟I’ll give you a body shampoo, before we go to bed.” She yelled from the far end of the pool while he sat in the shallow end, with his arm perched above the water.
Tom chuckled, that was a plus. He had spots he could not reach.
It was a lesson about how important each of his hands were.
*A serious lesson.* He pulled at his earlobe with his good hand while he watched the young woman swim in the private pool forty stories in the air.