Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Story Book 1)

BOOK: Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Story Book 1)
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Return of the High Fae
A Vegas Fae story
By
Tom Keller

 

Also available
in audiobook format

Also by Tom Keller
 
Of Gods and Fae
Twist of Fae
Not Just Another Fae
 
 
Copyright

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places
and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved.

Kindle Edition ©
2012/2015 Tom Keller
Las Vegas, NV USA

 

 
 
Acknowledgements

 

I'd like to thank everyone that helped make this book
possible, especially my incredible wife, Karen, without her support this book
would never have been written.

I doubt any project is ever completed without help and
support from a lot of folks, but as always, a few names stand out in the crowd;
Paula Ludwig, my most vocal test reader, my best friend Ray Flynn, for his
comments and expertise, and Al Tobin, who pushed me to start writing again.

Special thanks to Abby Goldman and Greg George for help with
initial editing, Meg Varhalmi, my critique partner, and Cara Michaels for help
in writing the short description.

Edited by Dee
McDaniel (2015)

Cover Design by Cory
Clubb

http://www.coryclubb.com

Audiobook narration
by Andrew Troth

 
 
Dedication

 

In memory of Maria
Hofstetter

1895 – 1985

Chapter 1

 

I really hate process serving. It
pays lousy and people tend to get all righteous and indignant when you lay
papers on them. Like it's my fault they got themselves involved in some legal
mess. But a local lawyer who referred me a lot of business asked me to do this
one, so I took the job.

I knew the target, an old time casino boss by the name of
Carmine Pontedra. Several others had tried, but he'd slipped by them each time.
I had something they didn't. Access to the private lot at the Neptune where he
parked. You needed an entry card and code, something not easy to get, but I
still had a few contacts from my police days.

I'd come in from the rear, off Dean Martin Drive. Neptune's
Landing is a posh hotel and casino, located just off the center strip. From the
front, it's a beautiful property, with its statue of King Neptune holding his
trident in the middle of the dancing fountains in a saltwater lagoon. His arm
is outstretched, his webbed hand beckoning all to come inside.

Like most hotels, however, the rear is all parking lots and
delivery bays. It takes a lot of products and people to keep a big property
like this going. Vegas is like a magic show. The audience sees the end
performance but all the real work happens behind the curtain.

I waded through the maze of structures and entrance ways and
accessed the executive level parking garage. I lucked out and found a spot just
across the bay from his Mercedes. My car was hidden nicely behind one of the
hotel's executive limos. Now it was a waiting game. It was getting close to
8:00 p.m. He worked the day shift but I knew he seldom left the property before
this time of night. Then I saw the elevator doors open.

I slipped out of my car and stood in the shadows by a
pillar, hoping it would be Carmine. Instead it was Eddy Milagre who came out.
Damn! Milagre was Carmine's boss and part owner of the place. He'd gotten his
start running numbers for the mob. He worked his way up the ladder before he
became legitimate, when corporations took over the Vegas scene. I didn't think
he knew who I was, and I wanted to keep it that way. I eased around the pillar
and hugged the shadows as I watched Milagre walk toward his car. Suddenly he
stopped and looked around. I thought for sure he'd seen me. Then it happened.

Out of nowhere three men appeared and grabbed him. He
started to fight back, but these guys were armed. I wasn't sure what they were
carrying but I could see them pointing something at him. At first I thought
they might be billy clubs, or maybe some kind of short baton. When I heard the
crackling sound, I figured they were some kind of modified stun gun or cattle
prod. I saw a flash of blue light and he was down.

I drew my gun as soon as I heard the sound and jumped from
behind the pillar. Before I knew what I was doing I reverted back to my police
days. "Freeze, drop your weapons!" I yelled.

The guy who had first shocked Milagre stood up and turned
toward me, firing. I didn't know what the hell he was carrying, but it damn
sure wasn't a stun gun!

I was a good twenty feet away when blue lightning struck me.
As it hit me, I felt the electricity, or whatever it was, surge through me.
What the hell! Since when do bad guys carry lasers? Ignoring the pain, I fired
back and he dropped like a stone. Then I grimaced. I had expected some type of
electrical shock feeling. Instead, it felt like someone was trying to claw
their way through me. I took a deep breath to block out the pain and then it
suddenly stopped.

Whatever it was hadn't been enough to kill me or knock me
out like it had Milagre, but it did make me drop to one knee. Based on how fast
Milagre had gone down, I figured the shooter had just grazed me, but it still
hurt like hell. I didn't let down my guard. I ducked behind a parked car and
peeked over the hood.

The second guy started to point his weapon toward me as I
took cover. After the first near miss, and the pain; I knew these things could
probably kill me, so I wasn't going to give this one a chance to do better than
the other guy. I popped up and fired. I watched him go down when my bullet hit
his chest.

I started to run parallel to his direction to get to better
cover when I saw the third guy move to square off with me. He was holding his
weapon and just as I thought he was going to take the shot; he suddenly turned,
ran around the parked cars and disappeared. I would have gone after him, but
not knowing how bad Milagre was injured, I stopped to render aid.

When I knelt down, I was relieved to see he was still
breathing. I rose and quickly checked the two shooters. My shots had been
center mass. These two weren't getting up again. Out of habit, I knocked the
rods away from their hands. Then scanned the area in case the third guy decided
to come back.

The next thing I knew the elevator doors opened and the
posse arrived.

Five black clad figures carrying M-4s and other weapons
surrounded me, while two others went to check on Milagre. I knew the drill. I
put my gun down on the ground and my hands behind my head. There was no way I
was going to argue with military grade weapons. Two of them cuffed me and
yanked me up, none too gently, I might add. I started to yell out that there
was still a third guy out there. I never finished.

I felt a blow to the back of the head and my vision started
to fade. Then I heard someone's voice saying, "No, he isn't one of
them." Then blackness swirled around me and I didn't hear anything at all.

When I woke up, I tried to determine where I was. The last
thing I remembered was being hit in the back of the head. Damn, it still hurt.
I opened my eyes slowly and tried to compose myself. I was half afraid I'd been
tied to a chair like a scene out of a bad movie. I mean, this "is"
Vegas. But instead, my hands were free and I was on a couch. I knew there were
people around, but I couldn't tell who they were. My vision was still a little
blurred.

It was a nice office. There were pictures on the wall and
the place had an expensive look. I started to sit up, but I was still groggy. At
least I could move; even if it did hurt like hell. I took the pain as a good
sign. I was still alive. I pushed myself up into a sitting position, leaned
over and rested my head in my hands. "I have the mother of all
headaches," I groaned. "Would someone please tell me what the hell is
going on?"

"Glad you're still with us," I heard a voice say.
I felt a glass being pushed into my hands. I took a sip of what turned out to
be ice water and looked around the rest of the room, wondering how long I'd
been out.

Then I heard the voice again. "Now, please tell me what
you are."

My eyes rested on none other than Eddy Milagre. For someone
who I thought had been gravely wounded, he looked damned good. There were two
other people in the room. One was a lady I'd never seen before and the other
had to be one of the guys who had knocked me out. Dressed in black camo; he was
a tall blonde man with a Special Forces physique and a military presence about
him. "I'm Robert Hoskins, a P.I. I'm also an ex-cop. I was working a case."

Milagre leaned back against what I assumed was his desk. A
mix of exotic woods, it looked expensive. The lady and the other guy didn't
move.

Taking a good look at him, I saw that he had an abrasion on
his face and his eyes were red. But he still looked better than he had when I'd
last seen him; lying on the floor of the parking garage.

"Look, kid," he continued. "I appreciate you
saving my ass back there, but I need to know what you are." He stared at
me as if he expected me to say something profound.

I had no idea what he wanted to hear. Kid was something I
hadn't been called in a while either. I was pushing fifty, but then again, I
knew he was older than I was. He'd made a name for himself when I was still in
high school. I still remembered my grandmother talking about the way he ran his
casinos. Hell, even with the puffy eyes and scratches on his face, I could see
the power the man commanded. Eddy Milagre wasn't just part of old Vegas, he
personified it.

"Mr. Milagre, I was waiting to serve a subpoena on
Carmine Pontedra when you came out of the elevator. Before I knew what was
happening, those three guys jumped you. I figured they were going to kill you
when you went down, so I did what I had to do. I'm sorry the last guy got away,
but I was more worried about you at the time. They had some kind of weird
weapons, so when the first one fired at me I responded as I'd been trained. It
was the same with the second guy. Your SWAT guys got there after that and,
well, here we are." I took a deep breath. "I know those two are dead.
Where are the police? Where's my gun?"

"That's all you have to say?" Milagre asked
dubiously, looking down at me from the desk.

"What else is there, Mr. Milagre?" I caught myself
before I sounded angry. This was one man I didn't want to piss off. What was I
missing here? "I'm glad you're all right, even if it does surprise me a
bit. To be honest, I thought you were in worse shape than you seem to be. So
are the cops coming, or what?" I was starting to get a little worried. I
mean, come on! I was sitting here chatting with an old Vegas mob boss and I had
just shot two people; even if it was in his defense.

He looked like he didn't believe a thing I had just said.
Then he shrugged. "Mr. Hoskins, I'm being a terrible host. Let me offer you
something stronger than what you have there. You did just save my life after
all." He stood up and walked over to the bar behind the desk and opened a
cabinet. "What will it be?"

"Tequila," I said, setting down the glass of water
on the table in front of me. "Anejo if you have it," I chuckled,
trying not to act like I was worried.

"Tequila it is then," he said, removing a bottle
from the cabinet.

I watched him pour what looked to be at least a triple of
Herradura Suprema into a tumbler. No shot glass for me. It was good liquor,
too. Around $300.00 a bottle at any liquor store, if you could find it. He
walked over to me and set the glass down.

"Thank you, sir," I said, taking a drink.

"Let's take a minute here, shall we? There's someone
I'd like you to meet," he said, turning to the lady standing next to the
desk. "Please bring Meredith down. I'd like her to tend to our
guest."

The woman looked like he'd just asked her to jump out the
window. "Meredith? Yes sir, but she may be busy."

Milagre cut her off. "Just get her," he barked.

She spun around and left the room.

I was starting to get concerned. How bad could this Meredith
be? I looked over at the SWAT guy to gauge his reaction, but he was a blank.
Since my options were limited, I kept my mouth shut. I decided to enjoy my
tequila and let things play out.

Milagre turned to the SWAT guy. "Siegfried, where is
our guest's weapon?"

Now I was a guest. I wondered what that meant.

"The tech unit has it sir. Do you wish me to see if
they are finished?" the man asked. His accent was Swiss, or maybe
Norwegian. This was starting to feel like a bad movie. Tech guys? Since when do
casinos have a CSI unit, or for that matter, a SWAT team?

"Yes, Mr. Hoskins and I will be fine until you
return," he said as he waved an arm at Siegfried, dismissing him.

Siegfried replied "Yes sir," and then turned and
left the room.

It was just me and Eddy Milagre now.

"So, Mr. Hoskins, things must be a little confusing
right now. Let me have one of my girls look at you, then we'll see if we can
get things straightened out." He walked back to the bar and poured himself
some cognac. Then he walked around his desk and eased into the oversized
leather chair.

"Sure," I answered, taking a few sips of tequila.
"Very smooth," I said, as I put my glass down.

I needed a few seconds to compose myself. I had to think of
this from both a legal and a "cover my ass" standpoint. I'd shot two
people while trespassing at a major hotel and casino. Sure, it was in defense
of someone's life; or at least I thought it was. I was in a guy's office. He
used to run with the mob and had access to guys in black uniforms. They not
only have bigger guns than me, but they have my gun. To top it off, I didn't
think anyone had called the cops. Not my best day, if I say so myself.

"So, Mr. Milagre, who are the guys in black? Are they
the hotel's?"

"Siegfried and his men are part of my security team.
They also serve as my bodyguards when necessary," Milagre explained.
"And before you ask, they answer only to me."

"I see," I replied, catching the subtle hint. I
figured it was time to lay some cards of my own on the table. If I was in
trouble, there were very few options. "So where do we stand, Mr. Milagre?
You and me, do we have a problem?"

"A problem?" Milagre answered with a chuckle.
"Mr. Hoskins, you saved my life back there. So if you mean our little
incident in the parking lot, then no, we don't have a problem where that's
concerned," he replied, putting down his glass and leaning toward me.
"What we do have a problem with is what you are."

I looked up at him blankly. "I told you, sir, I'm a
P.I. ..."

He put his hand up. "Stop. Stop. That's not what I'm
talking about. I just can't figure out why you are hiding..."

I cut him off mid-sentence. "Okay, maybe I'm just
dense. I don't understand your question." He continued to look at me
skeptically. "What do you think I am?" I asked.

He stood up and started to come around the desk. When he was
halfway around, there was a knock at the door.

The door opened and a stylishly dressed woman in a dark
business suit and white blouse entered. Her hair was completely gray and shined
like silver. I thought she might be Milagre's mother or aunt, as there was a
slight resemblance, but that was silly — she'd have to be over 100 years old.

BOOK: Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Story Book 1)
7.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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