May 5, 2010

Chapter 10

Maddie went tense. A split second later, Sidney did too. He was next to her, almost on top of her really. They were entwined on the cabana’s low couch. She pressed her hand flat onto his back, urging him to freeze. Their lips came apart and she could feel his breath on her cheek.

She leaned around him to look through the flap. Sid had tied one side of the door up to let in the moonlight, and they were tucked into the shadows opposite.

There it was again. Definitely a footstep on the pool deck. She locked eyes with Sid, raised her eyebrows in a question. He shrugged slightly. “Uh oh,” he mouthed silently. Then he smiled.

She pursed her lips, admonishing him. Sure, it was funny now. But she didn’t want him caught out here, in case anyone recognized him. And she certainly didn’t want to be the reason he was caught out here.

He pressed into the couch and lifted himself into a sitting position, then pulled her upright. The footsteps seemed to be receding. He looked at her as he took exaggerated, giant steps toward the door. He peered around the corner, his hand up in a “stop” gesture inside. Then he started waving her toward him.

Shoes in hand, Maddie padded over.

“He went around the bar,” Sid said, stepping out of his shoes. “If he goes all the way around, he can’t miss us.”

“Run for it?” Maddie arched her eyebrows.

“Stealth, grasshopper.” He took her hand and pulled her outside.

They went around the far side of the cabana, putting the tent between themselves and the bar. Sid squeezed her hand, and they dashed off. They cleared the first two rows of chairs when Maddie bumped into a chair, that hit a table, that hit another chair. It wobbled… then tipped over and crashed to the deck.

“Hey!” came a shout. A flashlight beam waved around from a distance.

“Go,” she squealed. They banked around a palm tree and skirted another bar. They could hear a radio crackling in the distance. The hotel door was just twenty yards ahead, and lit up like daylight. Sid tugged her hand, to show they weren’t stopping.

They reached the edge of the light and were completely visible.

“No one at the pool after dark!” The guard shouted as the door was shutting behind them.

“That was fun!” Sid’s eyes were bright.

Maddie put a hand against the wall as she caught her breath. “Guess all that training comes in handy.”

“Yeah, that and I’ve seen ‘The Bourne Identity’ a hundred times.” He took her hand. “Let’s do a lap and see if we’re the last ones standing.”

The circled through the casino. Maddie still carried her shoes, so she took the opportunity of being shorter to snuggle in under Sid’s arm. It was almost heavy across her shoulder.

“So much for stealth out there, eh?” His laugh bounced through her whole body.

“Well… I was kind of… looking at…” and she slid her hand into his back pocket.

He pushed her forward with his arm, putting her in front of him. “Well then I’m going to look at yours.”

"Try not to fall down," she said, swinging her hips.

The casino had emptied out considerably. Most of the tables were closed, though every light was on, every machine jingling away. They found Max at a blackjack table. He was, surprisingly, alone.

“Talbie, what’s up bro?” Sid plopped down next to him.

“Saving my luck for the cards tonight,” he raked through his stack of chips. “They’re loving me back right now.”

“You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet.” Maddie leaned on Sid’s back.

Max looked at them leaning into each other, easily being close. He smiled. “Had fun tonight?”

Sid pulled Maddie’s hand down to his thigh, covered it with his own. “Almost got busted out by the pool.” He laughed. “I think they were just trying to chase us off. We made a run for it, but Grace here had a little trouble.” She slapped him with her other hand. “Anyone else still awake?”

Max waved toward Rain, which appeared to still be jumping. “If Staalsy and Deanne left the club, I haven’t seen them. Geno and Erin were eating pizza over there,” he pointed. “I haven’t seen anyone else. Kris is probably naked in your room right now.”

“Oy. Doesn’t he have his own room?” Maddie asked.

“Please. You know he’s looking at all your underwear.” Max laughed. “He’s sharing with Staalsy. So they’ve got to be split up somehow.”

“Super. I bet he snores.”

“I don’t snore,” Sid said innocently.

Geno and Erin came around the corner, handing a soda cup back and forth between them. It struck Maddie that Geno looked like a bear trying to drink through a straw. They were laughing, but not touching. They spotted the table and jogged up.

“We’ve had a lot to drink,” Erin announced proudly, hands on her hips like Wonder Woman. “I am still standing!”

“She Russian now. I make her honor… honoraly…” he looked to Erin for help.

“Honorary!” she cheered, then made a big, sweeping bow. “I am an honorary Russian.” Deep breath, she put a hand on a chair to steady herself. “I had a lot of vodka.”

Maddie and Sid applauded. Max hit his last hand of blackjack, won $20 and stood. They heard a shriek from across the room, and looked up to see Jordan, carrying Deanne over his shoulder like a firefighter, coming out of the club. He waved at them, then at the elevator, and went in that direction.

“Wellllllllll,” Erin drawled. “They’re going to his room or ours. And Cynthia’s gone with Kris.” She gave Maddie a very serious look. “We have been sexiled,” she pronounced gravely. Looking around at the tables, she said, “I could sleep here.”

She’s drunk enough to be serious, Maddie thought. Guess nothing is going on with Geno.

“I’m going to call it a night too,” Max said. “I have my own room with 2 beds, so if anyone needs a roommate… I sleep in the buff.” He yawned theatrically and pulled his shirt up, flexing his abs as he did.

“No. I take you. Also two beds in my room.” Geno wrapped an arm protectively around Erin. They headed toward the elevator, and piled in.

Erin punched the 6 button. “Can we stop for my toothbrush?” Erin asked, wavering a little.

Sid looked at Maddie. She made a face. “If it’s Jordan and Deanne, they just got here. We should be okay.”

“It’s your call. We’ve seen the guys naked before."

At the sixth floor, they all got off. Max said he couldn’t miss whatever they were walking into. Maddie knocked, slid the key into the lock and opened the door a crack. She heard a laugh and some rushed whispering.

“Come in!” Geno shouted and he pushed them all in through the door.

Maddie made it four steps. She passed the bathroom, to the foot of the first bed. Deanne whooped. Maddie turned. Jordan was standing, facing the wall in the space between it and the bed, stark naked with his ass for everyone to see. Maddie reared back, but Max pushed her forward and jumped onto the bed with Deanne.

“Why didn’t you just stay in the bed?” Sid laughed.

“I wasn’t in it yet! I made a run for it, but too slow,” Jordan said. Deanne was in hysterics. “This was the best I could do.”

Erin had stopped at the bathroom door. Slowly she leaned our and peered around the corner. When she saw Jordan, pressed to the wall 2 feet from her face, she screamed. Maddie collapsed onto the other bed.

Max threw his arms up. “Viva Las Vegas!”

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