Legal disclaimers: No leather clad warrior or multi-outfitted bard will be found here. These characters are now no longer just a figment of my imagination.

Love/Sex: This is a story of two women in love which leads to sex. If this bothers you, or is illegal where you live, then may I suggest a vacation? How about a trip down De Nile because it is also a beautiful river in Egypt.

Language/Violence: Yes to both, but nothing more than you would see on the news.

This is my first shot at an uber story, any and all constructive feedback will be appreciated:



By KM Brown

January 2000

No part of this text may be reproduced in whole, or in part, without the express consent of the author

Chapter One


Sara Phillips smiled.

She readjusted the focus on the video camera, raised the level of the tri-pod and pulled it back three feet. One beautiful green eye squinted and adjusted the focus once more. That should do it. Next, she moved around a felted green table and climbed a ladder. She wished her ceilings were taller in her house, but it would have to do. A metal arm connected to the ladder suspended a second video cam above the table. She refocused the lens, adjusted the angle and stepped down.

Sitting at the table she wiped the back of her hand across her damp forehead. She had been at it for hours, but she could feel it coming together...near perfection. Hours, days, weeks, years of practice had all come down to this. She was about to take the leap from small time hustler to high roller.

"That is the last time anyone is going to call me a Rounder. What an ass hole." She mumbled to herself remembering a smug man, licking his wounds at being beaten so badly. It was a cheap shot, but I did take him for all he had, she mused to herself.

She grabbed the deck of cards and went through the motions of difficult shuffling patterns that to an amateur would seem complicated, almost magical. For Sara, these were moves she could have done blind folded or in her sleep. When she was through, she had all the aces in her right hand and knew exactly how the rest of the cards were laid out. She left nothing to chance wanting to be certain that nothing would show up on the video that all casinos used to survey the players. These were trained eyes that would be watching her every move.

Taking the videos out, she ran them through the player watching them on the big screen TV. Nothing jumped out at her, caught her eye or would garner suspicion. Once again Sara Phillips smiled and let out a long breath...she was ready.


"What do you mean you can't find him in the dossier? He has to be in there. Look again and run him through the data base." Corbin Sheridan's words exploded across the intercom. Imbeciles.

Corbin settled back into her black leather executive chair, blue eyes lingering on the woman seated across her big glass desk. It was a pleasant view and she continued her perusal, taking in the short curly brown hair cropped close to her face, big brown eyes and full lips. She liked Sloan, enjoyed her company and respected her work. The fact that Sloan had saved her a ton of money over the years also tipped the scales in her favor. But mostly, it was that she felt comfortable with this woman and usually she felt comfortable with no one, sometimes not even herself.

"As soon as I get to my own computer I'll run the check myself Corbin. I'm sure he's in there." Sloan's dark eyes held blue.

"That's fine. I'm not worried. I just like to keep them on their toes." Corbin waggled her eyebrows and continued her appraisal of her best consultant. Yeah, it was a nice view. Oh well. All the good ones are taken.

"I was on the internet last night," Corbin continued. "I looked up the meaning of your name means warrior. Did you know that?" She played unconsciously with the stainless steel cigar cutter on her desk.


"Was it intentional?" Corbin continued her questioning.

"Yes, my mother was into martial arts and loved weapons. She got that from my grandfather." Sloan's brown eyes were playful, enjoying a side of her employer that few got a glimpse of. Corbin was shut off at her best and an outright bitch to most. She never gave anything of herself up to anyone.

Sloan's attention was drawn back to the ringing phone. Corbin picked it up.

"Sheridan", she answered,"yeah...send me the file on him immediately. How much has he won? Ah hunh. Okay do it now." Corbin growled the last words. She hung up."Son of a bitch! Idiots! The guy is into us for $100,000 and they just now bring it to my attention. Sloan, I think you need to have a refresher course with Loss Prevention soon." She laced her fingers together and looked pointedly across her desk, anger oozing off her. "The stupid moron is a pro. He just hasn't been around for a few years. LP found him in an older database. They are working on integrating that old database with the current one we use."

Sloan got up to leave, her muscular frame drawing Corbin's eyes with it. She paused, running a hand through her dark curly hair.

"Do you want me here when you bring that guy up? I can come back later." She offered.

"No. I'll handle him. Although I better hit the treadmill before that happens or I'll have him for dinner!" A feral smile crossed her lips and Corbin shirked her agitation off rising from her chair. She was tall, only two inches shy of six feet. She wasn't so much muscular as she was lean and toned. She ran too much to keep much muscular bulk on her body. She was almost obsessed with running, as if running somehow saved her. Well it did, she self-confessed. There were some days when she felt the only thing that kept her sane was running.

"All right. I am out of here. Keep me posted. I'll want to update the dossier and files with this guy's info." Sloan shut the door on her way out.

Corbin stood, unconsciously putting her hands in the pockets of her silk slacks. She walked to the window and looked out over the Las Vegas skyline. It still never failed in its effect on her. This city was alive. She could exist here and no one was the wiser. It suited her, this bright city with a dark underbelly. It was easy to forget that beneath all the neon, light and glitter, there was darkness, an evil that lurked beneath the surface. People had misjudged it and died because of it. People had misjudged her too before, but usually only once.

Taking her hands from her pockets, she rubbed her left hand absentmindedly and headed up to her penthouse suite to work out.


Jack Gilpin studied the file closely. If what he was reading was correct someone had messed up big time. He looked for the name of the agent assigned to the case. reassignment. He continued his reading, putting the photos aside. Jesus, they had her for ten years! How did she surface without us knowing? She's been running Mount Olympus Casino for five years for Christ sake. He put the papers in the manila file and grabbed the pictures. She was beautiful. The dark hair and light blue eyes caused a pull in his gut. Yeah, she was beautiful. She didn't seem real. He pulled the papers back out and read a bit more carefully the details of the kidnapping. She must be involved with them...part of their family now. Why else would she surface without the press and authorities being involved? Being connected to the Lucchesi Family was not a good thing. Jack pushed the button on his intercom.

"Tony... Could you come in here?"

Tony Ricci opened the door and waited for his superior to address him. Papers littered the desk.

"Okay" Jack started. "We have a reassignment here to an old case. There was a kidnapping years ago, never got solved, just seemed to fall through the colander that is the Bureau's case load system. Anyway, it ties into the Lucchesi Family investigation. We need an insertion into the Vegas syndicate. Do we have anybody there right now?"

"I am not sure. I'll have to run a check on it," Tony made a note on a small pad that he produced from his pocket. "Let me get on it."

Jack turned his attention back to the file. He picked up the original report on the kidnapping. Two girls, ages ten and twelve, were running down a mountain trail on the family estate near Big Sur. The girls ran track for a local youth association. They ran everyday. Same time. Same trail. On April 15th, 1982, four men attacked them. They left one girl and abducted the other. The girl kidnapped was Katherine Corbin Sheridan, age twelve, daughter of John L. Sheridan. J.L.Sheridan was the attorney for the Lucchesi Family. Katherine Corbin Sheridan was never found and had not been seen since. Until now. Sara Anna Beryll, age ten, was left unharmed in the woods. She was questioned thoroughly by authorities but was unable to give them any solid details.

"Come in." Jack motioned Tony back in. "What have you got?"

"Not much. All of our operatives are currently on specific assignment in Vegas. To insert one of them into the Lucchesi syndicate would jeopardize their current positions. What is our time frame on this? We could put a fresh piece in," he offered.

"Shit." Jack growled out and picked up a pack of Camels. He brought one to his lips and struck a match to it. He inhaled deeply, the smoke settling his nerves. "I was hoping to get on this quick. A fresh insert could take months to acclimate." He drew in another breath. "There has got to be another way. Let me think on it."

Tony turned to leave and was almost out the door when he was stopped by Jack.

"Wait." He picked up the file, ruffled through papers until he found what he was looking for. "Find out what you can on a Sara Anna Beryll, and begin a background packet on Mount Olympus Casino. ASAP."

Tony wrote the names on his notepad and left the room.

One hour later Tony returned with a folder in his hand. "I got it Jack, and it is very interesting. Sara Anna Phillips resides in Palm Springs, California. Her late husband Eric Phillips died in a car crash two years ago. She is listed under the legal name of Sara Beryll. All of her latest electronic transactions show that she is spending a lot of time in Las Vegas. There are no transactions from Mount Olympus Casino, though. I dug a bit deeper and found that she is actually a professional card player. She is not in the professional gamblers database, so she must have limited her activities to the small time circuit of most Rounders. I am still working on the casino check...what is your interest in her?" He finished and glanced across the desk, noticing the look of intense thought crossing his superior's brow.

"All right. The casino info is not as urgent. I have an idea, but it is risky and definitely unorthodox. The good new is that if it doesn't work it won't be one of our guys with their ass in a sling. I'll just make sure we handle this whole sting with kid-gloves." Jack closed his eyes. He was about to change the fate of a woman's life forever. Was it worth it, he asked himself. It would be worth anything to stop the Lucchesi Crime Syndicate and, he justified if I solved the Sheridan kidnapping case, I'd get promoted for sure. He pulled a card out of his Rolodex and handed it to Tony.

Tony looked down at the card reading the printed words: Sela Ruggerio, IRS, Special Investigative Department. His eyes looked up in confusion before the light dawned. "I guess we have found our fresh piece?" At Jack's nod he too closed his eyes and steeled himself for the dirty game they were about to play. "I'll call and get an appointment. Think about the deal you want to package and I'll put it all together." With that he left the room offering up a silent prayer that God would forgive him his trespasses.


Sara paid the valet and sat in her car. She pulled her new silver Miata out of the driveway, leaving yet another casino behind on what was her third trip to Vegas in four weeks. She liked her new car. It was nice but not too flashy. People eyed it enough to admire, but not too much to keep their eyes lingering. It had been a good haul...six casinos, winning a total of $40,000. She felt confidant her equation was working. She was a new face, inconspicuous and she kept her winnings to under $10,000 per casino...never cashing in more than $5000 at a time at the cashiers window. It had worked. She had been in town two days going to only the big tourist Casinos...Luxor, The Venetian, Bellagio, New York-New York, Paris and the Treasure Island. She kept to herself and no one had even given her a second glance. She looked like any other tourist on vacation.

The warm desert air rushed through her short blonde hair as she got on the freeway heading west back to California and her home in the desert. One last glance in her rear view mirror saw the Strip moving farther away. The last thing she noticed as she picked up speed was the looming structure that was the Mount Olympus Casino. Next time, she told herself. Sara pushed her foot further down on the gas pedal and turned up the stereo, ethereal strains of her favorite aria from Lakme flooded the air.

The drive back to Palm Springs was just under four hours and she'd made good time. She stopped off at the local grocer and picked up some supplies for her neglected refrigerator. Making her way to the check out counter she remembered an important item. Raising her eyes to the signs hanging from the ceiling confirming which items would be found on each aisle, she strode to the hair care products and looked at the various brands of hair dye. What color will it be this time? Picking up a box she noted the color...auburn. That would be a good color choice for her next go around.

Sara paid for her groceries and left the store. She was tired and anxious to get the money out of her trunk and into the floor safe in her closet. As she approached the gates to the development in which she lived, she slowed the car and keyed in her code. The gates slid open and she drove her car around two turns until she was in front of her home. She touched the button on the garage opener and drove her car inside. The door shuttered closed as she grabbed her luggage from the trunk.

"Hi sweetie...and how is my little muffin?" The beautiful tiger cat pushing against her leg was a comforting feeling and she bent down to rub under his chin. The purring started immediately. "Did you miss me Pucci? Hey, guess what? I got you a treat."

She entered her home, turning on lights and depositing her luggage on her bed. In the kitchen she put the grocery bag on the counter and retrieved a can opener from the drawer. "Now I know I spoil you, but I saw all that tuna and I just couldn't resist." A small plate of tuna was set on the floor next to a happy cat.

"Now it's my turn for a treat. I think a nice glass of port would do to help celebrate my victory. How does that sound Pucci?" At the sound of his name, Puccini lifted his head from the tuna, meowing in agreement. "I knew I loved you for a reason sweet boy...we always agree." Sara poured herself a glass of port from a bottle sitting on the wet bar. She brought it to her nose and inhaled, swirling the tawny liquid around the glass. As the mellow sweet flavors slid around her tongue and mouth, she sighed in contentment.

"Well Pucci. I did it. And I am going to go back and do it again." With that proclamation, Sara put an opera CD into the player and headed into her master bath and began running the water for a nice hot soak in her Jacuzzi. After all, she had worked hard and she always rewarded herself when she did a good job. Pulling her slacks from her legs, she tossed them to the floor to be closely followed by the rest of her clothing. Bending over the whirlpool tub she lit a few candles, poured some good smelling stuff in the tub and tested the water. Turning off the overhead lights, she grabbed her glass of port and set it on the ledge. She lowered her body into the big tub, relishing the hot water overtaking her body until she was completely submerged. Bringing her head back up she slicked her hair back with her hands and leaned back with a satisfied sigh. Now if I only had someone here to enjoy this with, even just a good friend, she wished to herself. Closing her eyes, her mind began to drift...starting with the immediate memories of her latest Vegas conquest coming back full circle to her wish for a good friend. "Well there has never been anyone to replace you Dizzy..." She was lonely.

It could have been worse...she could have been alone without a roof over her head, like her father. No, she had worked very hard to scratch and crawl her way to where she was today. She looked out the French door to her swimming pool and across into her kitchen. This was her home now, and she would fight to keep it and would make herself an even better card player to insure that result. She was not going to be like her father always living from hand to mouth, moving around like a gypsy to find the next card game, only to score a lousy few bucks. No, that was not to be her existence...she was much too smart for that.

"I am a fighter," she said aloud to the night air against the strains of an emotionally charged aria permeating the room. She paused recalling through her memory bank which opera it was... death scene from Madame Butterfly. She hummed the orchestral movement. "I am a fighter," she said again, and then chuckled..."Okay, so I am a lonely fighter. I guess that is something."


Corbin's feet pounded incessantly against the rubber surface of the treadmill. The buzz of the motor and thudding of her shoes hypnotized her into a trance where pain ceased to exist and the only thing that mattered was making the distance in time. Sweat soaked her running clothes, dripped down her face and began to puddle on the surface of the machine. Twelve miles in eighty-four minutes. It was good, but not good enough in her mind. It's not good enough. It's not good enough. I need to make sub seven's or I'll never make it. She screamed this to herself, almost frantic. The timing beeper went off slamming her back to reality.

"Shit!" She sagged against the metal arms of the treadmill, her breath ragged and intermittent. "When is this going to end?" Angry she tore the clothing from her skin throwing it into the closet hitting the hamper. She stormed into the bathroom bending over the sink to scoop cold water across her face. Leaning toward the mirror she looked long and hard at her reflection. Cold blues eyes stared back, and for the briefest of moments she thought she saw fear. She moved her hands to the back of her head and undid the band that was holding her long inky hair back.

She surveyed the creamy marble surfaces that were her bathroom. The familiarity served to ground her and she began to regain her control once again. She stepped into the shower under a brutally icy stream of water. Immediately her nipples pulled tightly, hardening against the cold water sending shivers down her body. She reached up and adjusted the water to a much warmer temperature. Grabbing the shampoo she lathered her long dark hair, loving the feel of the soapy hot water slithering down her skin. Her hands followed the soapy river sliding fingers and hands over firm muscle covered with velvet skin, a paradox that was her body. She added more soap and worked over every surface in a thick lather. She was feeling better already. That's all in the past, she told herself, but she wasn't quite sure that she believed it. Grabbing a towel she left the marble bathroom and padded across the soft carpet of her bedroom. She picked up the phone and dialed the extension for Loss Prevention.

The phone was answered on the second ring. "LP, this is Tucker." Sounds of electronic equipment and talking were coming through the line as well.

"Tuck its Corbin. Where is our joker right now?" She asked while continuing to dry herself off.

"Last report has him in his room. I would bet he's taking a short break and is planning on hitting the tables again tonight." His deep voice rumbled through the phone.

"Great. Comp him dinner and ask if he'll join me at Zeus' Throne for a drink at 9pm." She hung up. Now what to wear.

She pulled her favorite black leather pants from her closet and grabbed a scarlet silk blouse from a hanger. Pulling the pants up her legs she stopped for a moment relishing the contact of soft leather against her skin. The silk shirt followed next and she checked herself in the full-length mirror. Her skin was becoming more sensitized as she moved within the material. "Well when business is finished tonight I am definitely making a stop at Sappho's Bath." She loved the fact that she owned the only casino on the strip with a woman's bar. It was one of her favorite spots in the whole casino because it brought beautiful women right to her doorstep and all she had to do was open up and invite them in. I am a genius, she thought. She blew her hair dry and added a touch of make-up finishing her face off with lipstick that matched the shade of her silk shirt. Next came the black leather boots and she headed out the door.

The elevator ride to the lobby level was quick. The doors opened onto a whole fantasy world, like stepping back in time 3000 years. She loved this place and had designed most of it herself. The whole casino was like walking through ancient Greece, stone walkways, pillars and Greek letters detailed all the different shops and clubs and restaurants.  All the staff was dressed as warriors, poets, amazons, and other Greek icons and exposed flesh was the main theme. She checked in with the registration desk and let them know she was on the floor if they needed her for anything. Corbin walked through the casino with a proprietary look about her, a palatine surveying her subjects. With that ownership came a great sense of responsibility, which she took very seriously almost as if she were a Goddess who must oversee and protect the masses of humanity that flowed in and out of her world.

Across the main casino floor she could see a young woman approaching her purposefully. "Good evening Ms. there anything I can get for you?" The floor hostess' offer was delivered breathlessly followed by a pink flush crawling across the young blondes face. "I could get you a drink or something to eat, or anything else you might want..." Lisa lowered her eyes unable to make contact with the incredible woman standing in front of her and her offer just seemed to linger unfinished in the air.

"Thank you..."Corbin scanned the front of the young woman's uniform looking for a name. "Ah...Lisa. That is very nice of you, but I am fine right now. Maybe later?" She pulled her eyes up to her face after having studied the woman's bare midriff taking in the pierced belly button and very fit body. "How is it going on the floor tonight? Everything quiet? Any problems?"

"Oh" More flushing. "Everything seems to be under control. Are...are you working late tonight?" She asked hopefully. The wicked smile she got in return made the blonde catch her breath. She looked back at Corbin and smiled widely, openly.

"What I plan on doing late tonight I would not call work...but who am I to argue semantics? What shift are you working?" She ran a tongue across her bottom lip and reached a hand out to tug on the belly button ring attached to one of the sexiest stomachs she had ever seen.

"I am on the center shift...4 to midnight." Lisa's mouth had gone dry and she tried to keep her heart from beating out of her chest. She had been watching Corbin Sheridan for weeks and this was the first time she had gathered the courage to address her directly.

"Well if you are not too...tired after you're finished then why don't you meet me at Sappho's Bath at midnight? That is unless you object to putting in a little overtime." The ready nod she got at her request told her that she would not be alone tonight and with a parting smile, she turned and made her way to make her nine o'clock appointment.

Walking through the main casino floor she was struck, like always, at the anomaly before her. The main casino was designed to recreate the marketplace of ancient was a cavernous building with marble flooring and columns. The floor proper was open, but the slot machines were placed down what looked to be like side streets off the main square, as were the change machines, restaurants, bars, and cappuccino carts. The amazing thing was that if you were to take away the constant clanging of change hitting the slot trays and all the card tables and roulette wheels, you would actually feel like you were in Greece. The reproduction was that precise. The hard part was melding the two worlds that were separated by 3000 years of neon progress.

Turning down a side street Corbin came to stop in front of her destination. She walked through the great arched doorway and caught the eye of the manager to let her know that she was expecting a guest, then headed toward the rear of the room. The casino owner eased herself into her private booth in the back corner of Zeus' Throne. From this vantage point she could see all who entered into the bar while also being able to see through the huge tinted windows down the corridor out onto the main casino floor. She waited patiently while her guest was shown to the seat opposite her. "Good evening Mr. Tanner...thanks for joining me." She smiled at the seated man, her posture quiet and controlled, the calm before the storm.

"Your welcome...although I am not quite sure why I was invited." He wiped his brow with a handkerchief from his pocket. As his confidence returned he took an opportunity to openly stare at his hostess. She was gorgeous. He wiped his brow once again and moved his eyes slowly up her body lingering in all the good places. Before he could get too far into one of his favorite imagined fantasies, he noticed her disinterested look, but took a shot anyway. "I would have thought a woman as pretty as you wouldn't have a problem finding a date. Did you see me on the floor and decide you just had to have me?" He laughed nervously as he said this, which was probably the only thing that prevented the beautiful woman from taking him apart right then and there.

"No. That is not why I asked you here. Do you know who I am?" She tilted her head to the side as she waited for his reply.

"Uhh...I didn't really read the invitation carefully. Just perused it, you know? Free drinks, a Ms. Someone, 9 pm and here I am." He smiled weakly and shifted uncomfortably in his chair at the icy blue stare pinning him in his seat. His confidence was seeping out his pores, and he wished now he had read the note more closely.

"Mr. Tanner," She began. "I like rules. I live by them. Granted, I may make my own rules up here and there, but I believe in them. But, the one rule that I live by as a casino owner here on the Strip is The Rule. Do you know what that is?" He nodded his head in the affirmative as a new rush of what was left of his confidence sweated down his face. He was panicked now and she knew it. "Good, but to know and not to do is not to let's review. All professional gamblers check in with the hotel. We let you stay and you only play the poker tables. Is this the same Rule that you know?" He nodded his head again. "So why in the fuck am I sitting here having this tutorial with you?" This last sentence seethed through her teeth in a barely audible whisper.

Shit, shit, shit. Tanner started out of his seat but was pushed back down in his chair by a huge hand on his shoulder. "Mr. Tanner please meet my associate Mr. Tucker." No hands were produced for the shaking. "He is going to accompany us upstairs, there is something that you owe me."

Once inside her office, two more bodyguards appeared and joined them. Tanner was pushed roughly into a chair. "What do you think you are doing? I..I..I'm sorry for cheating you, it won't happen again. I swear. As a matter of fact, I'll never come back I promise." He was babbling.

"Mr. Tanner are you right or left handed?" She forced down a shudder as she asked this. His response was to raise his right hand and babble more about never coming back again. "Hold him down and take his left hand." She commanded this to Tucker and the two heavies. Grabbing her cigar cutter off her desk she made her way to the panic stricken man. Tucker held his left arm out to her, using all his weight to keep the man in his chair. She put the metal cigar cutter around his left hand pinky.

"No. No. Stop!" He was screaming now. A hand clamped across his mouth stopping the pleading.

"You stole $100,000 from me today. I learned along time ago that you should never bite the hand that feeds you. I feed you Mr. Tanner and other casino owners feed you. We control the trough and if you eat it is because we let you. Do you understand this?" Rapid shaking of his head told her he did, indeed understand. "Well, I am advocate of learning but I also know that humans learn quicker when there is either a physical or emotional lever that can be flipped. I am going to be that lever for you..." And with that statement she closed the cutters firmly down upon his finger effectively severing the digit from its home. She closed her ears to the screaming and stepped away from the pooling blood.

"You can't get away with this. You won't." Tanner cried in agony clutching his hand trying to stop the flow of blood. He was shaking, going into shock.

"I just did Mr. Tanner. Because you know, as well as I," pausing, she reached into his pocket taking his wallet and pulling out one of his business cards. "that 'Mr. Tanner the Handyman: If its broke I can fix it'-hasn't paid a fraction of the income tax we know you owe. So don't even think about messing with me. I could make your life a hell on earth, but I won't. One day you'll thank me for only taking a pinky...if you were in any other House you know it would have been more like a pound of flesh." Opening the door for her men to leave she finished by saying, "Take him down the back elevator and drop him off at a hospital. Good-bye Mr. Tanner."

Taking a deep breath she called after them, "Tucker, hold on a second," she motioned with her eyes to the puddle of blood on the black marble tiled floor. "Will you take care of this?" He nodded in the affirmative and moved toward the inner bathroom door. Corbin stopped him with a hand on his arm. "Not now...later. Give me a few minutes."

As the door closed behind Tucker, Corbin started to shake uncontrollably. She stumbled blindly toward the bathroom her left hand covering her mouth, her body rebelling against her actions. She threw herself on the floor, her stomach expelling it contents into the toilet. She stayed there a long time, until finally only dry heaves wracked her body. God what am I doing? She asked herself this question silently, desperately. She answered her own question out loud. "You're doing the only thing you know how to do. You'll block it out just like all the rest."

The casino owner stood herself up, straightening out her silk blouse. Noticing that she still held the cutter in her right hand she let it drop to the cold floor. At the sink she washed the blood off her hands, brushed her teeth and ran a comb through her inky black tresses. On the way down she composed herself, gathering strength from the cool vision that stared back at her through the interior mirrors of the elevator. She had done what she had to do, anything less would bring chaos to her tightly controlled world, and that was something that neither she, nor Angelo Lucchesi would tolerate. Too many people depended on her and she would give nothing less than her best.

She heard the music floating from Sappho's Bath as soon as she left the elevator. It was a techno beat, the kind that thumped in your chest replacing your own heartbeat. The club was packed already and the sea of women undulating in various stages of undress was a sight to behold. She scanned the crowd as a waitress put a drink in her hand, already having anticipated her desire. Corbin smiled her thanks and moved into the crowd. Here, these women did not know who she was or why she was here, or what she had just done. They were here to dance, drink and maybe find some much needed relief in the bed of a beautiful stranger. The first she would forego, the last two she would partake of tonight.

The club was reminiscent of an ancient Greek bathhouse. It was steamy, hot, and humid. Water ran down the walls, turning to steam as it hit the heating elements below. Steam rose throughout the club up through tiny holes drilled in the flooring. The walls, floors and bar were all made of creamy travertine marble. All of the female servers were dressed in cotton bikini-like costumes, not one was identical to another. The exposed flesh offered to the public for viewing was tan, toned and gorgeous. Thick columns, about six feet high, were scattered about the club on which paid dancers were grinding by themselves or with partners to the music. She noticed she had more clothes on than just about anyone there. Not for long, she thought to herself. Scanning the crowd her eyes came to rest on her quarry. Pushing her way through, she was stopped many times by women wishing that she'd choose them. Some of them were very tempting, but her mind flashed back to a muscular stomach and a belly button ring. She couldn't wait to tug on it with her teeth.

"What are you thinking about?" The silky contralto that rumbled next to her ear sent shivers down Lisa's spine and all the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention. Caught by surprise she blushed again as her thoughts wandered to what it would be like to hear that voice calling to her, tinged with lust.

"It's so damned hot in here, I feel like I am burning up." It was a lame response, but Lisa was always one to tell the truth.

Corbin's dark head dipped once again to brush against Lisa's ear. "Well, let's get out of here...follow me." With that the casino owner turned on her heel and left. Lisa closed her mouth, which had fallen open. She followed the tall enigma out of the club and proceeded to do what she did best: follow orders.

Severed - Part 2

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