Set up – 1

“Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, there’s just God when he’s drunk. “

~Tom Waits~

“It’s ten grand, and all you gotta do is show up and sit there. The place is hot right now, and there is nothing to it,” Dave explained, his voice confident but filled with greed. All Gypsy had to do was sit with the man who would be pulling off one of the biggest hits that Vegas had ever seen. He needed an alibi, and she was a perfect choice. Slender fingers wrapped tight within each other, she shook, but not from fear. It was fury that ravaged her being. The lids of her eyes blinking to force the tears from staining her cheeks. She would refuse to cry. Crying was for the weak, Gypsy was no longer the doormat that men could walk over and abuse both mentally and physically. Her looks may say innocent, but that would be where she drew the line.

“Fuck,” she growled. She hated this man. He had screwed her over in the past. “You know I hate this mother fucker. You know that. You remember what he did to me, right?” posing the question but not expecting a response. She knew Dave seen a dollar sign, and that was it. He never cared about how much pain she was in for months after the event. When she cried for hours after her date, all he said was to get over it, and that it could have been worse.

“Yeah, so what. Frank Paloma fucked you and roughed you up. Welcome to the business, sweetheart. Now take the information and get your ass to the airport. I have a business to run here,” his words cold and filled with greed.

The young blonde grabbed the tickets off the table, slamming the door with an earth-shattering eruption as she left. This man, beast, whatever they wanted to call it was a complete asshole. Their last time together, he destroyed her. She would never forget lying on a hotel room floor and feeling as though she had been thrown into a lions cage and lost the battle.

Four hours later, on an hour flight to Vegas, the eighteen-year-old did her best to forget that was happening. She couldn’t drink on the plane, not that she would. Alcohol was never her favorite drug. A line of coke here and there. Nothing would calm the warm taste of vomit in the back of her throat.

“Welcome to Las Vegas. The plane will be landing in fifteen minutes. The seatbelt sign is on, and please make sure all seats are in the upright position. Once again, thank you for flying Southwest,” announced the voice on the intercom.

“Fuck, Goddammit,” grumbling to herself, the woman next to her looked over with a shocked scowl.

“Such language. Your father must be ashamed.”

“Lady, my father molested me when I was a child. I think we’re good here. Mind your own business and get the FUCK out of mine,” said Gypsy.

Before the woman could say a word, the young girl was out of her seat and halfway to the door. All she carried was an overnight bag, a small handbag, and her sunglasses. Clothing wasn’t needed tonight. An outfit awaited her in the hotel room already. Whatever the hell this was tonight, it was important.

“Miss Kennedy?” the tall man dressed all in black asked as the girl approached. Gypsy knew the driver well. She had been picked up by him the last time they had a date. Her heart raced, she couldn’t blame the man, but somewhere inside of her, she hated him too. Maybe it was because he worked for the Devil. At this point, she wondered why she allowed herself to get into a spot like this. Gypsy didn’t need the money. She had old family money, and her trust fund was more than she could need. Her brain screamed for her to run. Hide. Lock yourself away in the bathroom. No one would blame her. Well, Dave would, fuck Dave could go to hell right now.

“Yeah, it’s me. I lost a little weight,” Gypsy said, handing the male her overnight bag. That limo trip would prove to be the shortest she had ever had. She wanted to stay in the car when it stopped, but the bell boy at the hotel pulled it open with a big grin, shocked when it was just her inside.

“Welcome to the Palazzo. We have your room ready for you, Miss Kennedy. Come this way,” his voice stammering. She could tell he was young, but in reality, he was older than she was. Her brain shut down at that moment. She would find herself in her room and staring down at the oceanic blue dress that laid on the bed before she regained her sight. The dress still attached to the tags. That done for a reason. He could later throw it in her face how much he spent on her. Three grand, but she wouldn’t have paid a dime for it. Yes, it would fit perfectly, and the people around her would admire it, but it was another step closer to being in the same room with that animal. The shoes on the floor caught her attention—another pair of Jimmy Choos. God, didn’t the last ones get her in enough trouble. Often she wondered about those shoes. What the hell happened to them? Every other item from her suicide attempt was in her release bag, but the shoes missing. Maybe the person did take her up on the offer and take them. She would have.

“Fuck,” exhaling, her lips fluttering from the vibration. The clock kept ticking, and yet, her body frozen for the moment. Gypsy, paralyzed with fear, the young blonde knew from the twist in her gut that something terrible would happen tonight. Something that she would never forget. When all you want to do it crawl beneath the bed and wait out the storm, a reminder always brings you back to reality.


The door rattled, shaking her out of her imaginary coma. Whoever was on the other side, wanted in, and quick. Opening it, her heart stopped, the air left her lungs, and before her stood the reason she was there. That man brought bile into her mouth the moment she saw him.

“You don’t look happy to see me?” laughter echoed from one wall to another. Gypsy’s fear amused frank.

“Of course, I am,” gritting her teeth, she lied. Her word vomit almost hurt to bring up.

The door slammed behind him, the next sound she the connection of his backhand against her cheek. “Don’t fucking lie to me. Dave already said you declined, but since I offered him an incentive, here you are. Aren’t you lucky?” he asked. Laughter in his voice, creating the shakes in her body. She was acting like a strung-out junkie the moment he walked through the door.

“Why the hell did you do that? I did nothing to you?” her words came out in the form of cries. Gypsy knew this would be the worst night of her life. She tasted blood trickling down her throat from the impact.

“Shut the fuck up and put your hands out in front of you,” his words snarling from his lips. There was evil lurking in the hotel room tonight.

Gypsy was shaking. Her arms felt like cement, she lifted them, outstretching her hands. Gypsy expected handcuffs, slaps, even his dick, but what happened next buckled her knees, forcing her to drop to the floor.

“To ensure that you keep that trap shut, you are now the shooter to a murder committed in 3 hours from now. I have 40 people who will say you pulled the gun and shot the man without being provoked,” laughing. From his back waistband, Frank pulled a weapon, laying it in her palms, pulling the cloth from around the butt of the gun. “Grip it tight. Do it, or I will use it to put a bullet in your head,” he said. Frank forced her fingers to wrap around the weapon, holding it there while her invisible prints stained the gun.

“Why? Why are you doing this to me,” she cried. For the first time, the tears came in a river down her face.

“It’s only business. Don’t flatter yourself and think I care,” Frank spoke. Carefully he wrapped the gun back in the cloth, returning it to its former home.

“Be downstairs in 2 hours. Carmine will be waiting,” whispering in her ear, he kissed her cheek and was gone.

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