Chapter 17: The Casino & The Coconut Shrimp (Part 2)

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Part 2 of 3 in this section! This chapter is for Team Kimdon, the next one is be for my Killow crew. Hang in there! This chapter is not super edited so lmk if you see mistakes. Thank you!


Inside the Miraggio Casino, everything was glittery white and gold. There were rows and rows of slot machines and a few roulette tables encircling the ballroom floor. The floor-to-ceiling windows offered an impressive view of the electric Las Vegas nightscape, and an immense fountain featured dancing waters that leapt in time to the electronica that was pulsating through the air.

Kinda weird, Kim thought, that the Miraggio Grande has been here this whole time but it only just now has a casino? But whatever.

This was a black tie event, so everyone was dressed up super fancy in gowns and tuxedos as they drank and laughed and gambled. Kim caught more than a few furtive glances in her and Brandon's direction. Double-takes and wide eyes and quick whispers as the fact of their arrival made its way like quicksilver through the room. This was going to be fun.

There were waiters moving swiftly in and around the guests, all wearing white jackets and pants with black bow ties and vests. One of them came by carrying a tray of champagne flutes. Kim stopped him and plucked one glass for herself and one for Brandon. The waiter vaguely reminded her of Ian Somerhalder-shorter, pudgier, and definitely more balding, but with those same brooding eyes. Kim thanked him and then pulled Brandon in a little closer to her hip as they began a loop around the room.

The couple quickly had a near-constant stream of people trying to talk to them. Mostly B- and C-listers but some A's as well. Stylists, agents, photographers, directors, actors, store owners, fashionistas, random millionaires, the usual mix. Kim and Brandon networked politely and professionally and added a bunch of phone numbers to their contacts lists. It seemed like everyone at the party wanted to talk to them. They were suddenly the new It Couple. Kim enjoyed this feeling, although she was mostly just playing it up. She didn't have any real intention of being in a relationship with Brandon, but there was no reason for anyone else to know that. Not tonight, anyway.

And you know, no big deal or anything, but Kim did notice that Cassio and Willow were in attendance as well. She saw them standing by a table in the VIP section. Willow was wearing a Valentino gown that was slit impossibly high up her thigh. Kim tried to surpress her heart from doing a tiny little backflip. She didn't want to stare but found it hard to keep her eyes pointed anywhere else. Willow didn't seem to have that problem; she was being the attentive wife, clearly bored with whatever conversation Cassio was having, but doing her best to nod along and act interested. Hmm! Too bad. Kim and Brandon were having a perfectly legit good time.

Another waiter, this one kind of a skinny yet oddly paunchy Channing Tatum, walked by carrying a tray arranged with elegant little finger foods.

"Oooh! Hey! Me!" Kim said, grabbing the waiter's arm and slowing him down. "What are these?" Kim said, grabbing two of the hor d'oeuvres off his tray.

"Bruschetta crostini, madam," the waiter said. Kim nodded and smiled with her eyes while she shoved the snacks in her mouth and motioned for Brandon to get in on this.

When the waiter walked off Kim found herself staring directly at Simon. She quickly swallowed down her bite. "Simon!" she exclaimed and swept him into a hug. "I didn't know you'd be here!"

"Cassio is an investor in the casino, so this is a big night for him. Much of the money we take in will go towards his charitable activities."

"OK cool!" Kim said. "Oh! I'm the worst! Simon, may I introduce you to my date this evening, Mister Brandon Marlo?"

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