Chapter Seventeen | One Mint Julep

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The rumble of treads beneath Boss's Motor was muffled into a quiet hum by the plush interior. Cash was stretched out along one side, wearing a new set of black duds. Her pants were of a thread count so high Cash could barely feel them as they rubbed against her knees. Her shirt was Azarian silk and fitted her with a comfortable snugness beneath the black vest with barely visible charcoal threaded embroidery. Over it all was a new jacket that cut off just below her hips. Refusing to go anywhere without her Stetson, Boss had simply had it dry cleaned and fitted with a new crisp brim. Cash's many braids were pulled into a spiraling low bun that hung heavy at the base of her skull.

Boss herself was dressed in a remarkably low cut gown so very different from the usual wide skirted masterworks of folds and fabric she normally ran about it. This was a simple thing, made from a fabric of pure gold that glittered so subtly it almost glowed. At her feet were a pair of strappy heels that could practically qualify as weapons. Her dark curls hung loosely about her face and circled around her forehead was a headband of sparkling clear gemstones that Cash did not want to know the monetary value of. She was stunning, breathtaking, and miraculous. 

Cash followed the sculpted lines of her legs where they were folded across each other and cleared her throat. "You ready for this?'

"As ready as I'll ever be." Boss responded cooly, inspecting the cuticles of her painted black nails, each studded with their own white gemstone in the center.

The motor slowed its roll and Cash glanced out the tinted window. Outside there were throngs of people moving toward the entrance of Calvera Casino.

"Let's get to it," Cash murmured as she propped open the door and then turned, offering Boss her hand to step down with.

A large triple-decker fountain spewing what could have been water, but was more likely some other innocuous solution of chemicals that wouldn't evaporate so quickly, greeted the two women instantly. They maneuvered around it and toward the semi-circle pavilion of glass doors, all thrust open to the night air allowing free-passage to the crowd. Cash could feel Boss's muscles tense as they strode up the wide white stairs and toward the first security they would encounter. At each door was a guard and past each guard was an x-scan that would rule out any dangerous paraphernalia.

The armed guard did not even glance at the two women as they passed him. Boss strolled confidently through the scanner, the whole world could see that that dress wasn't hiding anything. Cash followed quickly, though she was, in fact, unarmed a part of her was still paranoid that the blue searching light might somehow set off some sort of alarm. Boss slipped her slender arm through Cash's as she passed through unaccosted.

"Let's get to it," she mimicked with a wicked grin.

Cash and Boss left the security foyer and stepped into what could truly be considered the grand entrance to Calvera Casino. 

They were confronted immediately by the main stage. A masterwork of engineering and razzle-dazzle that perhaps only Calvera was capable of. It hovered above a gleaming pond as if suspended in the air, its hydraulics hidden by exotic coral and cosmic sea creatures.  Dancers of every species and size paraded over its surface twirling and undulating in a dizzying display.  Cash, momentarily dazzled, had to be pulled away from the sight by an insistent Boss who urged her toward a plush seat that wrapped around a carefully arranged display of plants.

The two women waited there for an agonizing few minutes before Csy, dressed as Baron Toltec, strode slowly and menacingly through the doors. The act was so convincing Cash nearly believed, in horror, that somehow the Baron himself had found another ticket. This fear was shattered when Csy caught her eye and winked. They jerked their head almost imperceptibly toward the slot machines. Boss stood and Cash did the same, following behind Csy but not engaging with them. The two women picked a slot machine beside the Therian who had somehow already lost a bet. Pretending to curse at the machine they began to discuss the next move.

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