Don brought me for a reason.
We were in Las Vegas to meet with Gabe Marshall in his private suite.
But it was my time of the month and I dreaded wearing that dress. Low cut with a very short skirt, practically painted on. Not the kind of thing you wanted to wear when you felt bloated.
When I met Don in his room, he said I looked fine; still, I checked myself in anything that would produce a reflection. My hair was all teased up and I could feel the weight of the make-up on my face. I carried a small, shiny pink clutch, and wore ridiculously high stilettos.
Don wore his well-tailored black Brioni with a white shirt opened at the collar. Just another well-dressed gentleman with a girl half his age. He looked both elegant and comfortable while I struggled to keep my skirt down and my top up as we headed downstairs. Don didn’t say anything to me as we walked. I noticed both men and women gawking at me in my skin-tight dress.
We walked as a couple, arm in arm, through the massive smoky casino, where tourists played blackjack and sat at blinking, clanging slot machines. It had a King Arthur theme with knights in armor at the door and waitresses dressed like serving wenches. We caught a taxi and headed down Las Vegas Boulevard to another hotel.
The lobby was pretty much the same as the previous one, with slot machines and blackjack tables. But this casino was pirate-themed: eye-patches, flint-locks, skulls and crossbones. And just like the first casino, all waitresses dressed like serving wenches.
We made our way to the elevator. The inside was mirrored, so I couldn’t avoid looking at myself. The dress was more revealing than I had imagined. Under the overhead lights, I could see outlines of my nipples. I closed my eyes, took a breath, and waited.
In the hallway we headed to Marshall’s suite. One guy stood out front. He had a tightly trimmed beard that looked like a chinstrap under his jaw. He nodded to Don and frisked him. Chinstrap looked me up and down, gave a smug half-smile, and opened the door.
Don led the way into the suite.
Dimly lit with a few tables and chairs, a full bar with mirrored shelves of liquor bottles, Marshall’s room looked like a small private nightclub. Everyone turned to look as we entered.
Four men, plus the bartender. Four women. A door next to the bar, and the door we came in through. The big man leaning against the bar was clearly a bruiser. His nose had been broken at least once and he had a cauliflower ear. A slender balding man with tinted aviator glasses sat at a poker table with Marshall, who looked older and fatter than I had expected.
The women congregated by the door next to the bar in their tight dresses as they nursed cocktails and giggled.
Marshall stood to greet Don with a bear hug and motioned for him to have a seat. Then he turned to me, grinning, and glanced at my chest.
“Hey, doll,” he smiled, “why don’t you have a drink with the other ladies while the men talk.”
Don nodded. I smiled and did my best sashay over to the bar. Did he just call me ‘doll’?
The women watched me order a ginger ale. From across the bar, Cauliflower ogled me up and down, and then licked his lips. Charming. Chinstrap had gone back out in the hall to watch the door.
Marshall, Don, and Glasses talked for more than fifteen minutes. I couldn’t hear what they were saying over the music. I had to rely on body language.
After a while, Glasses started getting agitated. Don was looking graver, more intense as he spoke. Marshall’s back was turned so I couldn’t see his face, but his shoulders tightened.
It happened too fast, too sudden. Glasses stood up angry, his chair falling over behind him as he reached for his waistband.
I reacted: I drew my sub-compact Glock from my shiny pink clutch, and placed a 9mm slug in his left eye from across the room. His glasses fragmented into shards as his head jerked back.
Cauliflower dropped his whiskey and reached for his gun, but I put a round through his forehead as I pivoted to face the door.
The bartender dropped behind the bar and the women shrieked.
Chinstrap bolted into the room, pistol drawn. My shot hit him on the bridge of the nose before his eyes could adjust to the light.
I took a step backward toward Don and evaluated the room for any additional threats.
The women continued to scream as the bartender popped up with a Mac-10.
I put a shot into his right cheek before he could get a single round off. His body hurled backward and shattered the mirrored shelves holding the liquor.
Positioning close to Don, protecting him, I aimed at Marshall’s head, just as he peered up from under the poker table.
He gawked at me in befuddled horror.
“That was four shots, and four kills in under three seconds, Mr. Marshall,” Don said calmly. “I would suggest that you consider your next move very carefully.”
I tried not to smirk. People tell me I smirk.
Marshall kept his eyes on my pistol and spread his palms on the table. Don quickly frisked him, and produced a small .38 handgun.
“We will continue this discussion elsewhere,” Don said. “Mr. Marshall. You’re coming with us.”
I gathered my shiny pink clutch. It barely had enough room for my Glock, an extra mag, and a tampon. I replaced my used magazine with the fresh one, and followed Don and Marshall out the front door.
Four shots, and four kills in under three seconds.
Don brought me for a reason.
Daniel Mkiwa is a writer in The Greater Los Angeles Area. His stories have been published Fiction 365, Pulp Metal Magazine, All Due Respect, Out of the Gutter Online, and Fifty Word Stories.