Reaching for the bar lining the far door, I grab a rocks glass and a bottle of scotch. Pouring a triple serving, I take a long sip, enjoying the heat in my mouth. It calms me and it's not until that moment I decipher what he tries to say.
"What the fuck are you thinking?" he screams.
I fight an urge to yawn, the effort and alcohol giving me a sudden burst of exhaustion even through the viral adrenaline pumping in my veins. We lock eyes and I try to smile, but the energy escapes me.
"Do you have an aspirin, because you're fucking boring me."
He smiles and grabs my face, planting a kiss on my lips. "Wipe, then drop the fucking knife next time. That's why I gave you it. We don't want it in our possession."
"Oh, Saul." I laugh and push him away from me. Taking another sip of scotch, I lapse into silence while the limo turns onto the strip. I look at him, happy he remembers the things I say and content when George turns into the Bellagio. Can anything match watching the water show in early evening. Fall makes me think of home and I allow Saul to squeeze my hand.
"I haven't seen you in these spirits in a while. Good to be away from the teenager for a moment?" he asks, laughing.
I sigh and wait for George to open my door. When he does, I extend my hand and let him guide me from my seat. He plants a tiny kiss on my cheek and winks at me.
"Cocktails, Miss Ella?" he asks.
Without waiting for my answer, he leads me along the corridor, following the signs towards the poker room. I feel like a queen on his arm, George looking handsome and regal in a freshly pressed tuxedo. I hear the machines and bells and see the tourists in fine clothes. It's a Friday night in Vegas in Fall and the Bellagio brings out the richest from all over the world.
"Perhaps I might want to try a hand of poker or two," I ask while George secures us a VIP bartender for a private table.
Saul laughs and shakes a finger at me. "Don't tread too far into a man's world. Know your place."
The comment sticks in my stomach even though he spoke it in jest. He loves to tease me of late. Oh, men turn into babies if you cut off affections.
"I'll take care of you later, I promise. Only if you stop acting like a child," I say, approaching the glass of the poker room and peering inside. The faces blend together and it looks like a mass of men shuffling chips and tapping at cell phones. One man waves and I return the pleasantry. "Yes, after cocktails, it's time to gamble."