Chapter 16: The Casino & The Coconut Shrimp (Part 1)

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This was a very long chapter so I broke it up into 3 sections that I will post over 3 days. Hang tight! More very soon!


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OK. YOU GUYS. As soon as Kim left Brandon Marlo's apartment every social media outlet in the entire world was FREAKING. THE FUCK. OUT.

There was TOO MUCH NEWS AT ONCE, like everything was happening for the first time in forever? and like what were you even supposed to focus on first?

It was like when you go thrifting, and you're flipping through the clothes on the racks, kind of bored, and then suddenly you find a bunch of crazy super-fashionable stuff like O-Mighty and Black Milk? And apparently the people who run the store had no idea clue b/c they're selling it for way below its value? And you kind of stare around like BLUH HUH WHAT DO I EVEN DO IS THIS MOMENT REAL before you dive in and start grabbing it all up? It was like that but with entertainment news.

In no particular order, the factors contributing to everyone losing their minds:

1) Kim Kardashian is BACK, OK

2) AND she just got BRANDON FREAKING MARLO out of retirement, OK

3) AND because of Kim there's going to be a a DARK STREETS SEQUEL (!?!?), OK

4) AND Kim and Brandon are GOING ON A DATE YES A DATE A LITERAL DATE to the casino opening at the Miraggio!?!?

OK?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!

Everyone was like: *dies*.

Kim was like: *fingernail polish emoji*

Kim spent the afternoon ostensibly messing with her hair and outfits to find the right combo for the casino opening, but really she took so many breaks to check Twitter it was more accurate to say she spent the afternoon reading the internet with occasional wardrobe breaks.

The moment was delicious and she savored every taste. It felt like she was finally back, finally exactly where she belonged. She had rocketed to the top of the celebrity food pyramid (well, close, anyway; she was currently #2, just below Guess Who). All kinds of people she hadn't seen or heard from since she'd gotten back started remembering they had her number. Michelle Murphy, a woman Kim had gone on exactly one date with last time around, was all "HEY ur back in town??? we should hang???" The singer Azalea Grande, who Kim had helped rocket to stardom, texted Kim about starring in her next video. Luther even called to say that sales at So Chic had taken a sudden upturn so she should stop by and pick up her weekly pile of cash.

How annoying is it that I have to physically go to him to get the money, Kim thought. This world needs a payments app.

But basically it was an extremely good day and Kim was thrilled. Really happy, in a way she hadn't been in quite a while. There was so much that was completely out of her control in the real world. She hustled, she was born on the grind, but even so, people conspired against her, people were continually out to get her, haters continually tried to block her shot. She flashed back to Emma & Beyoncé & Taylor. Women who should be invested in each other's success but who seemed more intimidated or threatened by Kim's growth as a celebrity and witch than encouraging of it. Everything was just such hard work, all the time. Here in KKHollywood everything just made sense. You show up, you do amazing work, you get rewarded. That was how it should be. Uncomplicated.

As the evening drew closer Kim got serious about choosing her outfit and began thinking ahead to the casino event. Willow was going to be there. What was that going to be like? Would Willow be nicer to her now? Would Willow recognize her, at least acknowledge her, now that Kim was undeniably famous again? Or but what if she didn't? What if Kim still didn't even register on her radar. What would that mean? What should Kim say to her?

Well, nothing. Kim was definitely not going to embarrass herself like that again. No need to put herself through that. She didn't need to. She was Kim Kardashian, Liberator of Brandon Marlo, Executrix of Movie Sequels. She was just going to attend the party with a handsome actor and have fun and whatever happened happened. If Willow had something to say to her, she knew where to find her. Let her walk across the room and say it.

Kim's wistful reverie was interrupted by a phone call from Kris. Like always.

"Hi Kim, we need you to meet us at The Hamptons so we can take possession of the store," Kris was saying, before Kim even had the phone to her ear.

"I have a thing tonight! The casino opening! We can finalize the Hamptons store with Silvio tomorrow."

"Kim don't you think this has taken long enough already? We really want to get that store opened so why don't you skip the event tonight and meet us out there in an hour."

"What? No! I did a bunch of work to make this happen, which, you're WELCOME, by the way. I want to celebrate tonight."

Kris exhaled loudly. "Kim," she began, her frustration coming through very succinctly.

"Oh wait, actually," Kim interrupted. "Do me a favor? I need to check something. Can you look at your phone and tell me what it says for the name of the person you called?"

There was a confused sound and a pause. "It says Kim Kardashian."

"EXACTLY. BYE." Kim said, hanging up.

Kim took one last look in the mirror and smoothed down her dress. Balenciaga, bitches. It was time to grab Brandon and light Las Vegas up. She took a selfie and posted it so everyone would know: Kim Kardashian was ready.


~~~


As they approached the Miraggio, Kim noticed Brandon's eyes darting nervously around.

"You OK?" Kim said, stopping him and straightening his black silk tie.

"I'm fine," Brandon said. "Maybe just a little...extremely nervous. This is my first public appearance in years. Everyone thinks I'm a complete freak."

"Well you're not," Kim said, brushing imaginary lint off his tuxedo lapels. "You're Brandon Marlo and you're my date and it's everyone else in the room who needs to be nervous around us tonight. OK?" Kim held his stare and smiled up at him until he smiled back.

"OK," he said.

They went through the doors arm in arm and were immediately greeted by flashing paparazzi lights and entertainment reporter Ray Powers extending his microphone in their direction.

"Wow!" Ray said. "You two look like you're ready to start the casino opening!"

"We sure are!" Kim said.

"Kim, the entire world is buzzing about your return, how are you feeling tonight?"

"Great, Ray! I'm so happy to be here and I'm just really looking forward to winning some money and showing off my amazing date," Kim said, laughing.

"And Brandon," Ray said, "We haven't seen you in forever, where have you been?"

"Apparently I was just waiting for this woman to come into my life, Ray," Brandon said, flashing a smile.

"The buzz around this Dark Streets sequel is incredible," Ray continued. "Any decisions yet on who your leading lady will be?"

Brandon's eyes glinted in the paparazzi flashes. "Not yet, but I have some ideas," he said.

Kim squeezed Brandon's arm and together they walked through the doors, into the casino.

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