Las Vegas sunsets hit different.
In fact, everything about the City of Sin hit different.
And for Wade Elliott, kicking back in a lounge chair with his boots off on the balcony of Lindsay Troy’s penthouse condominium, everything about life in general hit different.
A swirl of his glass and the clink of a few ice cubes broke a long silence before he took a swig of bourbon, following with a long exhale through his nose. Gold, orange, and pink highlighted the mountains in the distance as the sun began its descent into slumber. Koji, already on his fifth nap of the day, grumbled in his sleep and turned over at the Queen of the Ring’s feet.
“Feeling restless, Drifter?” she asked, taking a sip of her own drink and watching the sky fade to twilight.
“A little,” The Bad Dog conceded with a chuckle. “Ain’t anywhere near where I thought I’d end up. Wherever th’hell that is.”
He took another sip, keen blue eyes drawing over the Vegas Strip and the colorful show dancing behind it.
“Damn good spot fer a drink, though.”
“Yeah. God knows I’ve needed a few lately,” Lindsay confessed with a sigh. “Good spot to try and clear your head, too.”
She was on edge; had been for the last month or two. Since the discovery of Cecilia Ryan’s steroid abuse, the snowball of shitty circumstances kept moving faster down the mountainside: first, the incident with Chet Fleetwood at Great American Nightmare, and then the news of Melvin Beauregard’s clandestine deal to bring HOW and PRIME under one banner. The former was an annoyance; the latter was a betrayal.
“I know it. Been a bit’ve a shit-show lately,” said Wade, turning his head toward her with as soft a smile as he could manage. “Don’t let it eat at ya. It’ll sort itself out.”
“I worked for Lee Best for two years and knew before I even signed the contract that I shouldn’t trust him. Melvin doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into,” she replied, shaking her head and downing the last dregs of alcohol. “At least Josh and the SHOOT ownership bought out MGM’s stake in ACE. He did me a favor without realizing it.”
She stood up, taking care not to step on Koji.
“One of us has to be optimistic, though, I guess.”
A smile found its way to her face as she held out her hand for his glass: “I’m getting a refill. You want another?”
“Don’t ask stupid questions,” Wade chortled, reaching over his shoulder and met with an eye-roll from the Queen. She disappeared into the condo, Koji at her heels while Wade drew a hand over his grayed beard, taking stock of his surroundings with an amused grunt. High rise condo. Las Vegas Strip. Fifty-one years old and running security for PRIME all these years later.
Maybe you can teach old dogs new tricks.
He peered into the condo, spotting her chucking a few ice cubes into their glasses.
Maybe you can start fresh.
He hadn’t felt like he could in a long time.
The sliding glass door opening and closing interrupted his thoughts as Lindsay softly padded back over to him, his tumbler of liquor outstretched in her hand. “Here.”
“Thanks,” reaching back to retrieve the glass before clinking hers. Lindsay settled back into her chair and stretched out.
“I’m glad you came back, Wade. I meant it when I said I couldn’t do this without you.”
“We both know that ain’t true…” he said after an incredulous snort and before a sip of his drink. He glanced back over to her, one side of his mouth lifting into a small grin.
“…but I’m damn glad you called.”