Authors: Mallory Monroe
FOR HIS LOVER
Copyright©2016 Mallory Monroe
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is a work of fiction. All characters are fictitious. Any
similarities to anyone living or dead are completely accidental. The
specific mention of known places or venues are not meant to be exact replicas
of those places, but are purposely embellished or imagined for the story’s
Behind every great fortune
lies a great crime.
Honore de Balzac
The grand reopening of the PaLargio Hotel and Casino on the
Vegas Strip created a traffic jam of stretch limousines outside its doors, and
a who’s who of celebrities and dignitaries under its roof.
Young Reno Gabrini, the brand new owner of the
hot Vegas showplace, stood center stage in the magnificent lobby and greeted
his enthusiastic guests.
In his white
tux that highlighted his fine muscular frame, and with his beautiful brown hair
piled high and his brilliant blue eyes intense but friendly, he projected the
perfect image of youth and strength for the new and improved hotel.
All of the other owners around the Strip were
old white guys with about as much style as the toupees they wore.
But word got around that this tough guy
Gabrini, this hot shot Italian, was in a league of his own.
Some of the guests shook Reno’s hand quickly and then hurried
toward what was billed as the largest casino on the Strip, and with the biggest
They were the real gamblers who
didn’t show up to hobnob with the owner.
They showed up to make big money.
Others, the types who never turned down a chance to get their pictures
taken, held court with Reno, laughing and talking about nothingness, before he
was forced to move them along in favor of the next big name.
His security force stood along the edges of the opulent
palace, in their Secret Service-styled black suits, and to a man they were
The idea that their
boss, a hardcore gangster in the long run, could meet and greet and wine and
dine so many uppity mucks without appearing to so much as break a sweat,
He was one of them.
Back home, in Jersey, they all came up the
They all were raised to be
rough and tough and gruff as a motherfuck.
But Reno came to Vegas, when he was barely nineteen, and took the place
Now he was in his twenties and
was nearly as big as the owners of Caesar’s and Wynn’s.
Now he was looking every inch the part of the
big shot businessman.
They looked at
each other, smiled and nodded.
Reno, their happy eyes said.
Reno acquired the PaLargio just six months ago, snatching it
out of Receivership with the financial backing of some of his less-than-savory,
but loyal mob friends.
He reworked the
crumbling façade out front, upgraded every inch of the hotel inside, and
expanded the casino to become the envy of the Strip.
And he was already ready, on his opening
night, to declare all of his hard work a rousing success.
The PaLargio was about to go to the top of
the heap in Vegas, and Reno was on top of the world.
Until Vinny Steletti, a trusted childhood friend he brought
over from Jersey, walked over and interrupted the conversation he was having
with an A-list actress.
“You got a
minute, boss?” Vinny asked.
Reno smiled his high wattage smile at the beautiful actress.
He was glad to get away.
“Will you excuse me?”
The actress smiled her own high wattage smile, the same smile
that undoubtedly got her all of those meaty roles to begin with, and wrapped
her fur coat around her bone-thin body.
“For now,” she said mischievously.
And then she and her entourage walked away.
“What is it?” Reno asked Vinny before yet another dignitary
hurried over and commanded his attention.
“Stephanie’s at the bar. She asked if she could have a word.”
timing was lousy.
She should have known
he would be too preoccupied on his opening night.
But she only came when she really needed
“I need more bodies out here in the
lobby,” he said.
“Where the hell is
“Mingling like they’re guests too,” said Vinny.
“I saw a few in the casino playing the
tables, can you believe those motherfuckers?
A few were in the lounge.”
“Round them up,” Reno ordered.
“Tell them to get their asses out here to
meet and greet until I get back.”
“Will do, boss,” Vinny said.
But as Reno was about to leave, Vinny touched the sleeve of his white
Reno looked at his old friend.
“Friend to friend?”
Reno knew what that meant.
Vinny had a question that would be on point as Reno’s friend, but
totally out of bound as his employee.
“What is it?” Reno asked, giving permission.
“I don’t get it,” Vinny said.
“Of all of your girlfriends, of all of these ladies you’re fooling
around with, you seem to elevate Stephanie to your number one.
She’s needy as hell.
She has so
much drama going on she could write a book.
And she ain’t nearly as pretty as your other ladies.
Reno knew a superficial man like Vinny would never
“She has a good heart,” he
“And I don’t like how
everybody keeps trampling over it.”
are you saying, Reno?
She’s your stray
Reno’s offended look caused Vinny to wipe that smile off of
And to attempt damage control
“I didn’t mean
anything by it though.
It was just a
“Keep jokes like that to yourself,” Reno admonished.
“She’s one of my oldest and dearest
Watch yourself,” he added, and
left Vinny’s side.
Vinny pulled out a
handkerchief and wiped his forehead.
Reno walked swiftly across the massive lobby toward the hotel
The night was young, and so was
But for all the pressure that
running an organization this vast was putting on him, he already felt like a
very old man.
Drained already, he
thought as he looked at his watch.
it was barely nine pm.
He saw Stephanie Deevers at the bar, her long legs crossed,
as she sipped her drink.
She wore shades
indoors, which made him know that her bruises had not healed.
Or were there new ones?
“That bastard bother you again?” Reno asked as soon as he
arrived at her side.
“After what you did to him?” Stephanie responded.
“He’s not crazy.”
“He cried like a fucking baby,” Reno said with a grin.
Stephanie smiled too, jerked her long, blond hair back, and
looked at him.
“Thank you,” she said,
Reno stared at her.
Vinny was right.
She was not a
But Reno loved
“You’re welcome,” he said.
“I should have let you deal with him months ago.”
Then he stared at
He could sense her sadness even if
he couldn’t see her eyes.
turned serious too.
“What’s the deal,
How are you doing?”
“The truth?” she asked.
Lie to me.”
“Yeah, the truth,
what are you talking?”
“I need your help.
need the kind of help only you can give to me.
But I don’t want you to cheat on your first love.”
Reno was confused.
What was she talking about?
first love?” he asked.
“Yes,” Stephanie said.
“The PaLargio is your first true love and this is her biggest night.”
whatever you say.”
“It’s true,” Stephanie said with a smile of her own.
“The PaLargio is your first true lover,
She’s your woman.
You may fall hard for another woman in the
But for right now, the PaLargio is that
Reno was never a man to dispute the truth.
He knew he put his heart and soul in this
He knew, deep down, Stephanie was
“I shouldn’t be here on your big night,” she said.
“I’m always bringing my problems to you, and
that’s not fair.
Again, Reno wasn’t going to argue with the truth.
“But?” he asked her.
She looked at him.
“But I need some, Reno.”
Reno glanced down, at her big breasts, and then back into her
“You need some?”
His look was hooded now.
And there’s nobody I can turn
Ever since we were teenagers in
Jersey, I was always turning to you to solve my problems.
You always came through for me, Reno.
In and out of bed.
But your success in bed made me yours for
Your lover for life.”
sure somebody else will fill that bill,” he said.
But he was only feeding his ego.
He knew he was the one.
“I’ve yet to meet the man who can satisfy me like you do,”
Stephanie said, confirming the feed.
“Nobody has ever been able to do me like you do.”
Reno didn’t need her kind of emotional baggage.
But he knew what she was going through with that prick of a husband of
And with those ungrateful
relatives who just wanted her money.
wasn’t about to turn her down.
upstairs,” he said to her.
She had a key
to the room.
room, as she saw it.
“I’ve got to make sure my people are in place, and then I’ll be up.”
He was about to go, but Stephanie touched his hand.
“Thanks, buddy,” she said.
“What are you thanking me for?”
He had a little edge in his voice.
“It’ll be my pleasure too.”
Stephanie smiled as Reno walked away.
He’d never know how much she loved him.
He’d never know how much she depended on
No man alive had ever treated her
so well, and that beautiful fact alone would meld her to him forever.
No bitch on earth was ever going to get
between her and her Reno.
Not even his
Which was why, she
thought with a slick smile, she picked this night especially to make an
Then she drained the last of her drink, grabbed her clutch,
and headed upstairs.
Outside at the PaLargio, at the back end of a long line of
limousines waiting to pull up under the portico and decamp their rich
passengers, Alberto Serrantz, a limo driver, leaned his head out of his
“Hey, you!” he
Get over here!”
One of the army of men handling outside security for Reno,
and handling, as it happened, traffic control, walked over to the limo.
“We’re here to see Reno Gabrini,” Alberto said.
Reno’s man frowned.
“Yeah you and every uppity muck out here.
Wait your turn!”
Alberto was offended.
“Oh, so you’re a wise guy security guard?” he asked.
“We’ve got us a fucking wise guy here.
Telling me to wait my turn.
Watch your mouth!”
“I’m just stating a fact.
Look for yourself.”
But Alberto didn’t have to look.
He knew there had to be at least ten limos
ahead of his.
But his situation was
“All of those so-called
elites combined wouldn’t add up to the person I’ve got in my ride.”