Six words that no gambler ever wanted to hear came from Rommoulus Thorne, "The table is closed to you".
"Listen, just one more bet" ,pant of urgency rolled from Larry's lips, as two cards rested upon that dark green velour table top, "I've got a good feeling about this next one".
Thorne placed his hand onto the blackjack table, as fingers tapped the two cards that were just dealt to this man by the dealer, "Larry" ,Rommoulus nodded to the dealer and the neatly dressed croupier walked away from that table slowly.
Lawrence Chase had taken many an evening sojourn East on I-94 from Eau Claire to Fairwater and saw no reason to exit early.
Childish petulance came over Larry, has he wished to stay at that blackjack table, "No" ,raising voice to a level pitch where several other patrons gazed at him, Chase lowered his voice and smiled, "I want to continue".
With a diplomatic flair, Rommoulus Thorne bent over slightly and whispered downward to Chase's left ear, "Don't make a scene, Chase" ,not wanting their business to be known by anyone else on the gaming floor of the Rabbit's Foot, "I want you to stand up and come with me".
Dejected at not having a winning hand at the moment, Lawrence Chase stood and began to walk with Thorne and two other men behind him, "I just don't know what went wrong" ,shaking his head in disbelief at the possibility of a losing streak washing over him, he added "I was up 50".
The quartet walked across the gaming floor and towards the back of the building, where some offices were located. Pair of other males stopped a few feet from the last office in the rear and waited for further instructions from Thorne.
Ambling through his office door, Rommoulus waved him inside and closed the door behind them, "And, now you're down 250" ,Thorne pointed to a straight-back, black leather chair, "Sit down, Larry, we need to talk".
Slightly agitated by the owner's request, Larry sat down and sputtered, "I've got to get back out there" ,almost feeling that itch of the gambling bug nibbling at his essence, Chase gently squirmed in that leather chair.
Fairwater business owner laid this client's digits bare to him, "Lawrence, you owe the house 250" ,Thorne took the patron's history into account, "Now, I let your credit get that high, because in the past whenever you owed a large chunk it was paid back quite quickly".
Alas, for Rommoulus Thorne, past performances were negligible.
Scratching head at the thought of that debt dangling above his head, Larry exhaled with a hint of desperation, "Well, that sum might not be so easy to come up with".
"This is why you are in here" ,Rommoulus inhaled deeply and dropped a verbal bomb on Chase, "The door will not let you in anymore".
"But, I-" ,Chase paused and thought of all the times he'd been in the Rabbit's Foot over many months, "I've been a good customer to you".
Thorne chuckled at the optimistic fortitude that Chase tossed his way, "Good? Well, that's debatable" ,getting right to the core of why Larry was in that office, "Your losses outweigh your winnings".
"You know me, I'm good for it" ,Chase made no bones in the past to Thorne about who his employer was in Eau Claire. And, at this point in the waning night, he was going to use any ace of remaining at the Rabbit's Foot that was available to him.
Maybe, Carter Manufacturing Corporation held weight in Eau Claire's financial spreadsheets. Yet, in the back room of an unlicensed gambling operation in Fairwater, the only weight that mattered was Rommoulus'.
"The house can no longer cover your credit" ,Thorne rested large frame against sturdy structure and folded arms, "You are no longer welcome here".
The Rabbit's Foot's owner laid out the reality of what was happening that June night to this faltering card player, without frills or puffery.
Lawrence Chase was fitting the mold of the gambler that could see a winning hand just over the horizon. Yet, was unwilling to just give up his place at the gaming table, "I'm just having a bad streak, that's all. It will pick up soon".
"I'm sorry, Larry" ,slowly he walked behind his black Lucite desk, pulled a single paper from its drawer and placed it next to a gold ballpoint pen, "I need you to sign this note for the 250".
Lawrence Chase signed the paper quickly, thinking that he'd be able to get in a few more hands of blackjack before leaving for that night, "Now, what?"
Adorned n a light colored suit, Thorne spoke, "Don't be the rabbit, Larry", smirking at the thought of how unlucky that foot was for the hare, another bewildered beast came to this elder male's mind, "Or, in this case, the ostrich".
Larry's luck became a figment of his own ego. Being a gimpy bunny was one thing of misfortune. He could outride the losses in future months. Alas, turning into that flightless bird that didn't realize the depths of financial loss Chase actually was in, transformed into a shame that not even his wife would be told of.
Blindsided by these events in the Rabbit's Foot, he was a bit baffled with that comparison, "I don't understand".
As a man who'd known the bitter brew of revenge from his youth in Turkey, Rommoulus ruminated to Larry, "In my country, when a man doesn't pay his debts, the dawn never rises for him ever again" ,for the present moment, a tempered reaction was needed, "But, then again, Mr. Chase, this isn't my country. It's yours".
Wanting to wash Chase out of his hair, Thorne made a decision of what should be done with this unfortunate gambler. Larry had come to the end of the line.
Rommoulus walked to the door and motioned for two of his employees to enter the office. No violence would ever come from this Turk on the American shores. A dismissal of this losing patron was best for all involved, as he spoke to a pair of men, "Please, show Mr. Chase outside".
Motioning out of the chair, Larry muttered, "Are you throwing me out?" ,almost unable to believe that his time could ever be up at the Rabbit's Foot, Chase shrugged and gazed at Thorne and this pair.
One man in his mid-30's had a slim build with a dark suit on. As for the other person, he was a tall Nordic blond in his early-40's. Larry had seen them around the Rabbit's Foot many times and knew what their duties were. Sad for him, they would be acting upon throwing out the unpaying trash of this evening.
"No, no, no" ,Rommoulus Thorne became amused at this circumstance of Chase, "Think of this as a final escort" ,right hand waved Larry away, "Hope your luck changes soon, Larry" ,letting out a sigh of relief, "Good night".
To some, the stuff that dreams were made of were seen as an elusive black bird, while others viewed it as a shaky hand holding a wad of crumpled dollar bills. The latter remained foremost in Thorne's mind.
Life wasn't a motion picture in the mold of John Huston's 1941 classic. But, the similarities between fiction and reality had those moments of clarity. And, this for Rommoulus Thorne and a departing Lawrence Chase transformed into one of them.
Not giving up on his chase for recapturing any prior luck at the table, Chase walked through the gaming floor towards the front entrance with the pair of men, "Fellas, just one more round?"
Slim man in dark brown suit placed a hand on Larry's back, while giving him a slight push outside the doors, "Sorry, Larry".
"Take care of yourself, Chase" ,Tall man with slicked back blond hair stood by that open door and shook Lawrence's hand for the final time, "Good night".
Walking out into the moonlight alone, he walked to his car quickly. Chase became a scattered soul, while entering the Volvo and opening the glove compartment. Grasping a handful of objects and tossing them onto the passenger seat, Larry began flipping through several bank books in a frantic search for funds. Taking a notepad and pen from the open glove compartment, he began scribbling down several numbers onto paper. From seven different bank accounts, the total cash that was available to him at that late moment of June 19th was only forty-five thousand dollars to pay the house back with.
Ironically, it was conversation during a fishing trip with friends on Beechwood Lake that originally led him to Marigold Isle Casino for a few spins of a roulette wheel. Locals at that casino in Beechwood, were actually the ones who pointed him from Sheboygan and into the direction of Fairwater's gambling Mecca of the Rabbit's Foot.
For Lawrence Chase, that lucky symbol of a rabbit's foot seemed as unlucky for the hare as it was to his own fractured financial horizon.
Three weeks after that dismissal in Fairwater, several markers of various denominations were brought up by an Eau Claire resident. It would be that being, who would hold several former Wisconsin clients' monetary future from the Rabbit's Foot. One of which, was Lawrence Chase.
As three men sat inside an Eau Claire location on July 17th, a small pile of yellow papers were stacked in the middle of a tan colored table.
Male of caramel hue spoke to another next to him, "It's 250, right?", scribbling black ink onto white paper.
Second man nodded, "Yep".
With pen in hand, he held paper upward for the second male to respond, "Are you sure you want to keep this marker?"
"As I live and breathe", looking at that item in his friend's hand, he laughed.
Dark eyes and baldhead, gave the third man a striking appearance, "Well, the air is expensive in Eau Claire".
Man seated in the middle acknowledged that fact, "As are the ladies, Iris".
The location was the Eight Ball. Gennaro Esposito held the pen and papers, while follicle challenged; Iris Mendoza sat to the far left of the second male. And, the owner of this business, Nicholas Bell, remained the contemplative core of this trio.
For an astute acquirer of information and debts, Nicholas Bell polished those coins of cache.
He knew that someday his investment in time and treasury would bear flourishing fruit. Maybe for Bell, someday might be just across the horizon of destiny.
Unlucky person that owed that sum was Lawrence Chase.
Eau Claire lawyer, Edward Longfellow had several clients that were connected to Marigold Isle Casino in Beechwood. During a conversation with one of them, the name Chase came up. As if it were a bell ringing in his ears, Longfellow was set off on a mission to find out more. From Beechwood, a little legwork led him to the Rabbit's Foot in Fairwater.
Lawyer Longfellow wasn't just an unknown entity to Lawrence Chase. He had a connection to Larry, because of his business and personal ties to Angela's father, Arthur Carter.
Eddie finding out about the monetary mess that Larry had gotten himself into, led him to think about Angie being hurt by her husband's actions.
An unpleasant task of giving Angela Chase the grim news about her husband, was complicated by Edward knowing who owned that hefty marker.
There were two paths of existence in Eau Claire .One, which Arthur and Angela Carter Chase glided along a silken road. Two, was Nicholas Bell and his compatriots maneuvering a more gritty path. For Edward, it was this factor that made something simple suddenly complex.
Far more than just corporation counsel for Carter Manufacturing Corporation, Edward Longfellow had dual alliances with both Carters. Both professionally and socially. Second of which, were events that occurred a year after his longtime friend's daughter had gotten into some knotty legal problems.
Coincidently, the aforementioned community service that the college graduate was sentenced to didn't turn out as she expected.
Angela had a secret of her own.............
- END OF EXCERPT
GO "OVER MY HEAD" WITH A.H. SCOTT
"OVER MY HEAD" DESCRIPTION :
Lies and secrets are like molecules of fat. They always rise to the surface.
In the swirling stew of seduction, two persons draw a wife into a web of corruption and condemnation. First of which is her husband, who harbors a secret that she has found out about. Secondly, a man whose intentions towards her have been well known for many years.
Her husband's secret is bound to a lie that the an acquaintance uses to his own benefit. This wife decides to take a gamble of her own, which leads to places that unseen consequences roam.
"Over My Head" is a contemporary romance, filled with smothered aspirations, smoldering sparks, and an explosive conclusion.
Woman at the heart of this novel is Angela Chase. Sexy brunette with a pouting sense of privilege, she always has been spoiled by her tycoon father.
Sometimes a spoiled child becomes a brat that thinks the world should bow down to her. For Angie, she'd enjoyed having her stocking clad knees onto a floor also.
Angela Chase may have been a married woman, but she was far from a shrinking violet on passion's scale. Tiny fractures of her relationship to Lawrence Chase began widdling away at this woman's self esteem.
Neglecting Angela was Lawrence's first sin. Racing into second place behind neglect, came an act of omission.
Events in the lives of the Chases could have taken such a different road, if only a husband told his wife the entire truth about a secret he'd been holding.
Alas, what Lawrence Chase set in motion, Angela Chase would barter with in skin of perfumed lotion.
Desire can take us to places that the heart can never capture. A simple hand out to a stranger can be all that a lonely person could ever need. Even if it were from someone you never thought would be a part of your life. In this tale of crimson conclusions and titillation's triumph, only a single notion of being submerged in an ocean of delights is whispered into a longing soul's ear.
Shall my world remain one of mendacity or should I go, "Over My Head".
"Over My Head" has a few twists amongst the pages, that will leave the reader wondering how did A.H. Scott make the pea vanish from beneath that obvious shell.
A wife. A husband. A lover.
Sex. Money. Power. Lies. Obsession. Murder.
That's "Over My Head". Submerge Yourself Into Seduction's Sea.
And, with that, A.H. Scott offers you an introduction to the players in her novel, "Over My Head":
OVER MY HEAD CHARACTERS:
Angela Carter Chase -
(Heiress and Lawrence Chase's wife)
Angela Carter had been given the world on a silver platter by her tycoon father, Arthur Carter. Even with that, this feisty woman was now a wife to an accountant, Lawrence Chase.
Even with that life that seemed very serene, Angela wanted more. In this case, more came in the unlikely form of a quite titillating restaurateur and businessman named Nicholas Bell.
No one gets out of this life without paying a price.
Singular event on a sexually charged night with Angela Chase at it's core, turns from a bubblegum pop song of simplicity into a Wagnerian symphony of doom within the pages of "Over My Head".
Accountant and Angela's husband
Lawrence Chase may not have been what Eau Claire society may have expected to be married to Angela Carter. Yet, he made his own luck in love's field. Being an accountant at Arthur Carter's business, Lawrence enjoyed the benefits of being married to the boss' daughter.
Chase may have been lucky in love, but when it came to other high stakes games, Larry was a loser. And, the person who sat in the catbird's seat of having this tender plum of information would be the last person Lawrence Chase could trust.
Edward Longfellow -
(Lawyer and Carter family friend)
Edward Longfellow knew the law inside and out. But, his greatest asset was an ability to read people. This came from his varied clients in Eau Claire and other locations throughout Wisconsin.
Being a longtime legal counsel and friend to industrialist Arthur Carter, Edward became privy to many aspects of the Carter family goings on.
Having known Angela since she was born, Edward had been a quite protective force in her life. Certain secrets between this lawyer and young heiress would be quite catastrophic for both of their reputations, if anything were ever disclosed.
Angela Chase confided many things to Edward, which neither Arthur or Lawrence would ever know.
Nicholas Bell -
(Businessman and Angela's lover)
Nicholas Bell was owner of a local nightspot (The Eight Ball) for many years, when he met Angela Carter. As she became Angela Chase, now restaurateur (Tulip) Bell remained a quite captivated man by this woman from afar.
Bell climbed the social ladder in Eau Claire, from the lower rungs up towards the top of that structure. Arthur Carter's nod of approval for his restaurant, proved the tide of acceptability in a higher social circle was turning in Nicholas' favor.
From a young age, Nicholas learned the best way to get ahead was to sit back and observe. And, then pounce on whatever weakness your opponent may have.
Thus, whenever he'd gotten a chance, this smart man would use information his own benefit. Be it in the form of a digits' ascendancy or cradling of perfumed skin.
Timing was everything and Bell took full advantage of that fateful factor.
Arthur Carter -
(Tycoon and Angela's father)
Some businessman try to pretend to be something that they are not. This was not the case for a mid-Western industrialist. Arthur Carter was an arrogant man. That is a statement of fact. He never tried to runaway from who he was or how he amassed his vast fortune.
Steel was the ticket to Arthur's fortune. And, it also was the will he had to make his business a success in Wisconsin.
This was something that he'd passed down to his daughter, Angela. She'd thrived under that armor of his arrogance to her own detriment at the moment.
Arthur Carter was always fair in business. But, no one would ever be shocked if he had taken an invisible razor from his tailored suit pocket in the boardroom.
Money became a shielding column of bricks to the real world. But, there always were fissures in that seemingly solid wall that the rich built around themselves.
Behind the doors of the wealthy, there's always something stirring...;)
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A.H. Scott is also the author of the contemporary romance, "Stroking Sahara". Affections ascension between two dormant hearts is how I would describe this short story.
"Stroking Sahara" is available at the following locations:
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and the novel, "Rack Em", from Eirelander Publishing. Romantic thriller of international intrigue, greed and lust is what my latest novel is all about. "Rack Em" is available at the following locations:
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love is the greatest gamble of all....;)