After ReVival 17
Inside the modest suite of the MGM Grand, the Queen’s briefcase and keys sit atop a glass coffee table.
Outside on the balcony, the rugged frame of PRIME’s Co-Head of Security stands sentinel, blue eyes peering into the night.
The skyline provides little comfort.
Hunched over on his suite’s small balcony railing with an empty glass dangling from his work-worn fingers, Wade Elliott gazes over the lights and noise of Las Vegas. His chest lifts with a heavy breath through the nose, and deflates with a long exhale.
He hadn’t done his job the last couple months. Not in his mind.
A soft knock interrupts his thoughts. He turns away from the neon skyline and makes his way back inside, approaching the entry. A quick check through the peephole confirms the visitor, and he swings the door open.
“Hey,” Lindsay offers with a weary smile, standing in the hall. “Thanks for grabbing my stuff for me.”
“‘Course,” Wade replies, opening the door a little wider. “Need a drink ‘fore ya head off? Been a helluva night.”
“Yeah…” she sighs, the thought trailing off. A slight nod of her head confirms her agreement. “Yeah, it has been.”
She walks into the suite and makes her way over to the couch while Wade grabs a clean glass and the bottle. Lindsay takes her phone out of her pocket and tosses it on the coffee table next to her bag and keys. Her heels are kicked off and she flops onto the couch, pulling her legs up beside her.
“How’s the kid?” Wade asks, sitting next to her and providing her glass with a generous pour before topping off his own.
“Not great.” Lindsay sighs and swirls the bourbon around. “Concussion. Lacerations. Separated shoulder, maybe a broken arm…”
She takes a small sip and looks down at the floor.
“This is a nightmare.”
“Welp,” he says through a sip. “I won’t lie, I didn’t see all this comin’ with Paxton.”
He swallows, leaning back into the cushions.
“Wish he didn’t remind me of…me.”
“At least you had someone to talk some sense into you from time to time.” A smirk curls along her mouth. “Paxton threw that away, for reasons only he knows.”
“I threw that away, too. A coupl’ve times,” he replies, turning a sheepish eye. “‘Least I never left nobody in a wheelchair.”
He throws back the rest of his whiskey with a hard swallow.
“I’m doin’ a shit job keepin’ this place safe.”
“If you think you are, how do you think I feel?” Lindsay takes another sip of her drink. “At least you can get in the thick of things and try to keep order. I can’t be throwing hands with every jackass in the back who swerves out of their lane, as much as I want to. All I can do is punish bureaucratically.”
She turns to face Wade. “You remember back in the day…everyone got away with everything. There were no fines or suspensions. Only the most egregious things saw someone getting fired. I wasn’t going to have that this time around. And you’re not doing a shit job. You can’t be everywhere at once. Neither can the rest of the team.”
Elliott snorts a small laugh, refilling his glass.
“Nope. I can’t. Part’ve me wants t’hand everythin’ over to Dam, see if he runs the show better on his own.”
A long sip.
“Part’ve me wants t’call it good, head outta town.”
“…Part’ve me wants to get back inside them ropes. Beat the shit out’ve someone again. Paxton in particular. Or Jiles.”
“You know you aren’t going anywhere, Wade. You’re back in the thick of it now, and you care too much about this place.”
Lindsay polishes off her glass and smiling, pours herself some more.
“I can give you someone to pummel, though, if you want.”
The Bad Dog lifts an eyebrow.
“What’s on yer mind?”
“I gave Craig three names for his Farewell Tour. One of them might’ve been yours.”
He turns his blue eyes away, the idea tumbling inside his mind.
“..shit,” he breathes. “Y’know I was sorta jokin’, right?”
“Oh, well, if you want to back down from the fight, I can just tell Craig your old bones aren’t up to it.”
Wade surrenders a chuckle and gives her a playful nudge in the shoulder with his elbow. “Don’t go pokin’ the bear.”
They laugh, and they drink.
“Lemme think about it.”
“Fair enough,” she says and leans her head against the couch. What follows is a long, but comfortable silence.
“You know I’d track you down if you go drifting again, right?”
Another one of those small, rare smiles.
“Lindsay, I told ya a long time ago…”
He turns to her, and leans against the couch cushions in kind.
“…I ain’t driftin’ anymore.”
She had fallen asleep. Into a deep sleep, upright and against the backrest of that couch; the stress and the anger and the worry of the night’s events finally taking their toll. Wade, however, remains wide awake. Per usual.
He gently takes the half-empty glass, precarious in her hand, and brings it to the coffee table’s safety. Standing, he carefully reaches one arm under her knees, and one behind her back, and steadily lifts her from the couch.
As quietly as a lumbering two-hundred and fifty pound man can, he walks her across the suite, and into the bedroom where the sheets and comforter have remained undisturbed. He lays the Queen lightly to the mattress, and decides not to push his luck.
He creeps out, quietly taking hold of the door, and turning one more glance to the slumbering Lady of the Hour, curly hair a mess among the pillows, long legs slipping under the sheets as she dreams.
Wade smiles, closes the door slowly, and returns to the balcony. The couch, his regular place of rest, would be waiting for him when he was ready to catch an hour or two of shut-eye.
But for now, he’ll remain at his post.