Chapter 3, page 4

This explanation made sense to him and he smiled, though still not entirely agreeing with my show of generosity. From behind me all I could hear was a “harrumph”; that first man must have moved in close enough to hear. That or he had incredible hearing. I turned around but all I could see was a slightly stocky gentleman stalking towards the other bar. Presumably to get as far away from me and my ideals as possible. Watching the man stride off, all I could think about was that this was going to be a challenging day.

As I turned back to my drink the other gentleman spoke conversationally, “Don’t worry about Nicolai.”

I quickly turned to face him and noticed that, by the look on his face, he was in the middle of a strenuous mental debate. After a couple of moments he added, “It’s just that his wallet is tighter than an oyster’s shell. He also cannot abide people who freely share their wealth, even if you had a decent reason.”

Looking into the man’s eyes I replied, “He’s crazy. You know that right?”

“Yes, he is crazy. But aside from that he’s mostly a good person.” The man replied while still watching Nicholai’s back. Before I could respond to this apparent contradiction, he moved off and quickly followed Nicholai’s retreating form. Finally left alone, I turned my back on the bar and continued to scan the room. Once again taking in the room and its occupants my eyes fell upon the mystery man speaking with Nicholai and I thought of something that I should have thought of before.

A majority of these people were self-centered, spoiled millionaires, which made them entitled. And that entitlement certainly made them dangerous. Just like a shark in a feeding frenzy these children would never see past their entitlement if their money was stripped away from them. I was going to have to be even more cautious then I thought. That or Dempsey had arrangements to keep their baser desires at bay. That certainly made sense, I just wish I knew what it was.

The spoiled children and scattered professionals could wait, I needed to know about the room I was in. Armed with the knowledge that there had to be at least one door if not a pair I started walking along the wall searching for them. As I walked along the edge of the wall I thought about the way the room was shaped and filled out. There was another reason there had to be a door along this wall and that was because the room was quite simply a lounge. There was no possible way to rearrange the tables here so we could play. Which left me asking a couple of questions. First, where are we going to play? And second, where is that door?

By the time I had given the wall a cursory exam I had found nothing useful so I could do one of two things. Either I could keep looking for the door and announce to everyone that I was up to something. Or I could sit down at one of the tables and study my competition. It was not that difficult of a decision to make, I looked for a place where I could study the competition in relative privacy. Apparently I wasn’t the first one to choose that path.

With plenty of open tables to choose from I found one that allowed me to see a majority of the room, the occupants, and most importantly the entrance. Within moments a waitress came up and asked me if I needed anything. Looking at my glass I saw that it was mostly empty so I told her that I would need another martini from Simon. It took me another moment to convince her that it would be very beneficial for her to take the time to find Simon. I was pretty sure I didn’t actually threaten her, but I may have let her imagination do the work for me, the things I had to do in character.

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