Montecito's Security Chief, Chris Larabee, stepped out
of his office and into the security bull-pen area. "Anything happening?"
he asked the youngest member on his team.
JD looked up from the monitors as he replied, "Just the usual . . . the Elvis
impersonators have been arriving all day for their convention and the poker
competition is in full swing."
Chris nodded and then asked, "Vin making the rounds?"
"Yep, he's down in the casino right now at the poker competition," replied
JD as he flipped a switched to show the security officer currently talking
to the Pit Boss, Ezra Standish.
"Good, if anything happens, let me know," said Chris as he turned and headed
back up the steps and into his office.
"Will do," replied JD as he returned back to his job.
Meanwhile down at the casino, Greg Pinkerton, a self-made man who made his
fortune in technology, was in the midst of a big poker game. He only had
one opponent left . . . Alfred Martinson who was a big time cattle tycoon
from Texas that liked to be called "Big Al." He was a big, tall fella who
was in his mid-50s and had a busy moustache and a hearty laugh. Taking a
sip of his drink, Greg watched as the waitress placed another whiskey sour
in front of Big Al who grinned as he said, "Thanks little Lady." He then
playful swatted her on the butt as she walked away.
Shaking his head at his opponent's antics, Greg upped the ante and waited.
He was sure he could beat Big Al, he didn't have much of a hand -- only one
pair -- but he could definitely bluff and he was hedging his bets that Big
Al had a worse hand than him.
Vin Tanner and Ezra Standish were standing a discreet distance away watching
the game with great interest, neither saying much except for the occasional
word or observation. A few moments passed as Ezra watched Big Al closely.
Something was wrong, he thought. He could just sense it . . . Big Al was
now perspiring like crazy and his face was flushed. He definitely didn't
look well and his gut was telling him it was not a ploy to fake out his opponent.
"Mr. Tanner, I believe it might be wise to contact Mr. Jackson and please
ask him to join us," suggested Ezra.
"What's up, Ezra?" asked Vin after he notified Nathan his presence was needed
in the casino. A moment later he got his answer. Big Al collapsed, slumping
over in his chair.
The crowd gasped as Ezra and Vin rushed to the man's side. Meanwhile the
rest of the casino personnel moved quickly to hold back the crowd of onlookers
and provide additional assistance.
"I don't have a pulse," stated Vin who had two fingers placed against Big
Al's neck. The two men began to move Big Al to the floor, Ezra undoing the
top two buttons to the man's shirt.
Nathan Jackson approached his pace quickening as his gaze took in the scene.
When he finally reached Ezra and Vin, he asked, "What happened?"
"Mr. Martinson collapsed," replied Ezra. "I believe he suffered a heart attack
and he's currently not breathing."
Nathan nodded in acknowledgement as he began to work on the man, providing
"Um, excuse me," said Greg Pinkerton. "But we're in the middle of a game
here. The rules strictly state no interruptions once a game has started."
"Sir, that is correct," replied Ezra who turned his attention to the skinny
man with horn-rimmed glasses. "I am sure Mr. Martinson did not purposely
plan to have a heart attack to disrupt the game. So, under the circumstances.
"Well, I called and I want to see his cards," demanded Greg who was eager
Ezra cleared his throat as he said, "All right." He turned Mr. Martinson's
Greg groaned when he realized his bluffing hadn't worked and he had lost.
He stood up and quickly left the table.
"What did he have?" asked Vin as he peered over at Big Al's cards.
"A dead man's hand," stated Ezra as he turned his gaze to the man who was
now lying on the floor being tended to by the Montecito's on-call physician
and wondered if his poker hand a premonition for the big cattle tycoon?
"Chris," there's a situation down at the casino," said JD as he popped his
head into his boss' office.
"What's going on?" asked Chris as he quickly stood and followed him down
to the surveillance room.
"Seems one of the poker contestants collapsed during a game," said JD as
the two men walked out of Chris' office and into the bull-pen area. "Emergency
medical personnel have been called and Nathan, Vin, and Ezra are currently
on the scene."
Chris nodded as the two men continued out of the office and headed to the
casino. A few moments later they were reaching the scene at the same time
as the EMTs.
Once they had Big Al ready for transport, Nathan said, "I'll go with Mr.
Chris nodded and instructed, "Call us once you have more info."
Nathan nodded and he replied, "It doesn't look good."
Chris nodded as Ezra interrupted, "I believe someone will need to let Mrs.
Martinson know what has happened."
"I will," said Chris, it was one of the worst parts of this job . . . telling
folks bad news but it had to be done. "JD, Ezra, if you can take care of
the clean up here. Vin come with me."
The men nodded as they broke away to do their duties. Chris and Vin headed
out of the casino, stopping momentarily at reception to get the Martinson's
room number. When they reached the designated suite, Chris knocked.
"One moment," said a female voice on the other side. A second later the door
opened and there stood Mrs. Martinson, a petite slender woman who looked
like she was in her early 20s with long blonde hair, deep blue eyes, and
wearing one of the hotel's complimentary bathrobes.
"Yes," said Mitsy Martinson.
"Are you Mrs. Martinson?" asked Chris.
"Yes, I am," said the petite woman. "But everyone calls me Mitsy."
"Well, ma'am, my name is Chris Larabee and this is Vin Tanner," started Chris.
"We are from Montecito security and we need a moment of your time."
Mitsy's brow furrowed, gesturing the men to enter, as she said, "Is something
"Well, Mrs. Martinson," started Chris.
"Mitsy," corrected the young woman.
"Mitsy," said Chris. "It's about your husband."
"Oh, he's down at the poker tournament," replied Mitsy quickly as she waved
a manicured hand in the air. "He'll be down there for another six hours or
so. I'm sure you would want to speak to him directly."
"No, you don't understand," said Chris. "We want to talk to you about your
husband. You see, he collapsed at the poker tournament and has been taken
to the hospital."
"Oh, my," said Mitsy as she placed a hand on her chest. "Poor Big Al."
It was at this time the bathroom door opened and out emerged a young, chiseled
Elvis impersonator wearing a towel around his waist, his black hair slicked
back, singing, "I'm just a hunk, a hunk of burning love. Just a hunk, a hunk
of burning love." He stopped when he noticed they were not alone. "Umm, baby,
I didn't realize we had company," said Gary.
"Darlin', they're here about Big Al," explained Mitsy. "It seems he collapsed
during the poker tournament and was taken to the hospital."
"Oh man, bummer," replied the Elvis look-a-like.
"Speaking of poker," said Mitsy. "Did Al win?"
"Excuse me?" said Chris who was not sure what to make of the situation. It
was clear that Mrs. Martinson was having a fling on the side but also very
obvious that she was not embarrassed by it at all.
"The poker tournament," answered Mitsy. "Did Big Al win?"
"He won some," replied Vin slowly. "It's being held at the cashier's desk
at the casino."
"Can I pick it up?" asked Mitsy who was clearly more eager to get Big Al's
winnings than to see the man himself at the hospital.
"Yes you can if you show identification," replied Chris. "But I thought you
might want to head straight over to the hospital first to see how your husband
is doing. We have a car ready to take you over."
"Oh, of course, I do," replied Mitsy. "It's just I know Big Al wouldn't want
the house to hold his money . . . he doesn't trust anyone."
That's understandable; thought Chris, considering the man's wife was cheating
on him. "Well, we will leave so you can change," said Chris. "Your car is
waiting out front to take you to the hospital."
"Ok, gentlemen," said Mitsy. "Thank you . . . I'll be down shortly."
Chris and Vin exited the room, the door closely behind them as Vin commented,
"Sometimes this job gets weirder and weirder."
"You think?" asked Chris as a grin tugged at his lips. The two men shook
their heads and they headed back down to the lobby to check in with JD and
It was an hour later when Mitsy and her boy toy finally emerged from the
suite. Clearly the news did not upset Mrs. Martinson enough to stop her fling
with Gary, the Elvis impersonator.
Holding hands they exited the elevator and headed out of the main entrance
to the waiting limo. "See you later, lover," said Mitsy as she kissed him
lightly on the lips.
"Are you sure you don't want me come with you?" asked the beefcake.
"No, it's best if you stay here," replied Mitsy quickly. "Here's my room
key for later . . ." She slipped the hunky Elvis look-a-like her extra room
"Well, call if you need me," said Gary as he pocketed her room key.
"I will," replied Mitsy.
Gary opened the limo door and helped Mitsy in and then closed it behind her.
Meanwhile from the Security Control Room Chris watched the exchange between
Mrs. Martinson and her lover. "Vin, pull up all the info we have on the
Martinsons'," instructed Chris.
"Will do," replied Vin.
Cindy, a buxom brunette who was staying at the hotel on vacation, got out
of the pool and headed to her lounge chair. Toweling off first, she then
took a seat and reached for her bag, wanting to check her phone for any messages.
Unfortunately it was no longer where she left it. She looked all around her
in case she had placed it in another location but still came up empty.
One of the pool attendants was walking by when she stopped him. "Excuse me,"
said Cindy. "I'd like to report a theft. Someone took my bag when I was in
"Yes, Ma'am," said the young pool attendant. "Let me notify security and
someone will be down to talk to you in a moment."
A few moments later Vin Tanner and JD Dunne arrived at the pool. JD purposely
giving the pool a wide berth, remembering the time he had ended up in the
water while trying to break up a fight between a bunch of ladies who wanted
to be in Jock Steele's next movie.
After introducing themselves, Vin asked, "Ma'am, we received word there's
"Someone took my bag when I was in the pool?" replied Cindy. "It had my wallet
with all my credit cards and cash, cell phone, and my room key."
"Did you see anyone suspicious in the area?" asked JD as he glanced around
"Well, I wasn't really paying attention," replied Cindy. "I was in the pool
The two men nodded. Vin said, "Ma'am, we'll check the security cameras to
see if we can find the culprit. In the meantime, I'll also notify Main Reception
to give you a new key and they will also rekey the lock on your door just
in case the assailant decides to use it."
"Oh, Thank you," said a relieved Cindy. "I do appreciate your immediate attention
to this matter."
"It's not a problem, Ma'am," said Vin. "We're just doing our jobs."
As the two men walked away, JD asked, "This is the second robbery in two
days. What's going on here?"
"Don't know," replied Vin. "But I do know Chris will want us to get to the
bottom of it."
Mitsy Martinson arrived at the hospital, her high heels making a clicking
sound on the tile floor. She stopped at the information desk and said, "I'm
Mrs. Martinson, my husband was brought here from the Montecito."
"Yes, Mrs. Martinson," replied the young girl. "Your husband's here. If you
wait a moment I'll notify the doctor and he'll come out and see you."
"Thank you," said Mitsy as she glanced around the waiting area and then found
Nathan Jackson who had accompanied Mr. Martinson to the hospital had noticed
Big Al's wife's arrival and walked over to see her.
"Mrs. Martinson," said Nathan as he took a seat next to her. "I'm Nathan
Jackson, the Montecito's on-call Physician. I accompanied your husband to
"Oh, Mr. Jackson, please call me Mitsy," said the young woman as she shook
his hand. "It's very nice to meet you. I appreciate everything you've done
for my husband."
"Its the least I could do," said Nathan. "Sorry we couldn't meet under
Mitsy nodded as she asked, "Do you know what happened to my husband?"
The hospital doctor arrived at this moment, interrupting Nathan's response.
"Mrs. Martinson, I'm Dr. Shelby."
Mitsy stood as she shook the man's hand. "Yes, Doctor, how's my husband?"
"Mrs. Martinson, I'm sorry to say your husband had a massive heart attack,"
replied Dr. Shelby. "He did not survive."
"Oh my!" said Mitsy with tear-filled eyes as she took a seat. "Poor Big Al.
At least he died doing what he loved . . . playing poker . . ."
"Ma'am, let me offer my sincere condolences," said the Doctor.
Mitsy nodded as she replied, "Thank you."
"When can I take his body back to Texas?" asked Mitsy.
"It'll be a couple days before we can release his body," replied Dr. Shelby.
"The coroner will need to perform an autopsy."
Mitsy nodded in understanding as she said, "I'll be staying at the Montecito.
Can you let me know once he's ready?"
"I will," said the Doctor.
"Thank you, Doctor, for all of your help," said Mitsy.
After the doctor had left, Nathan said, "Mrs. Martinson, if there's anything
I or the Montecito can do, please let us know. If it is all right with you,
I can work with the hospital about getting your husband's body released and
can arrange for his transportation back to Texas."
"Thank you," said Mitsy as she dabbed her eyes. "I would like that a lot."
Chris Larabee was in his office reading the information they had on the
Martinsons. This was his second time going through all the information and
he had found nothing suspicious about Big Al or Mitsy. The ringing of his
cell phone interrupted his thoughts as he flipped it open and put it to his
"Chris, its Nathan," said the Physician. "I'm with Mrs. Martinson at the
hospital and we just got word her husband had suffered a massive heart attack
and didn't make it. She's in the ladies room right now but I will be escorting
her back to the Montecito shortly."
Chris rubbed his forehead as he replied, "Ok, I'm sorry to hear that. Be
sure to let Mrs. Martinson know she can stay at the Montecito as long as
"I've already done so," replied Nathan.
"Good," replied Chris. "I'll need to fill Travis in on what has happened."
"Ok," said Nathan. "Well, I should go, Mrs. Martinson is coming out of the
ladies room . . . we'll be back at the Montecito shortly."
"Ok," said Chris and then hung up. He was on the verge of calling Travis
when Vin appeared in the doorway and said, "Got a minute? We need to show
you something on the tapes."
"Sure," said Chris as he stood and followed him out to the surveillance room,
knowing it must be important if Vin was interrupting him.
JD was in his chair fiddling with the controls to the recorder and he glanced
up when Chris joined them. "I've got the tape cued up," he said.
Vin nodded as he explained, "In the past two days we've had two robberies
at the Montecito . . . minor stuff being stolen. This afternoon was the latest
robbery . . . it happened by the pool."
Chris nodded in understanding as JD continued, "We went back and checked
the tapes and found the robber . . ."He pressed start and the poolside tape
began to run, the three men watching it closely as the thief casually walked
by, accidentally dropping his towel near the victim's purse and then bending
down to retrieve his dropped towel as well as the ladies' purse.
"Damn, he's good," commented Chris.
The two men nodded as JD said, "Unfortunately because of camera angles and
all we didn't get a great view of his face but I was able to blow up a frame
where we had a good profile shot of him but we have a problem."
"What's that?" asked Chris.
JD handed Chris the picture of the thief as he said, "The thief is Elvis."
Chris looked down at the picture and sure enough the robber looked like Elvis.
And, normally that wouldn't be a big deal but since there was an Elvis
Impersonator convention currently going on at the Montecito that meant their
list of suspects was quite long . . .
"Ok, I want a list of everyone attending the Elvis convention," said Chris.
"And check to see if any of them have been arrested for shoplifting, petty
crimes, etc. I also want to talk to the organizer of this event and get this
picture out to the staff . . . not sure how much help it will be but I want
everyone to be on the lookout . . ."
"Sure thing," said Vin. "We also had another idea."
"What's that?" asked Chris as he looked up from the picture he had been
Vin nodded to JD who then began to talk. "Well, last year Buck dressed up
as Elvis for Halloween and he really looked like him and we thought maybe
he could go undercover at the convention. . . Maybe the guy will brag to
his buddies or something and it would be good to have an inside man there.
Plus he still has the costume."
"Good idea," replied Chris who could just imagine what his good friend was
going to say at this suggestion. "I'll give Buck a call and see if he can
come up to see me."
As if right on cue, the man in question walked through the security doors.
"Hey fellas," said Buck Wilmington who was on a break and thought he would
check in with his friends. "What's going on?"
"Well, that's a good question," replied Chris. "We've got a thief at the
Montecito. He's hit twice." He handed the picture over to his friend.
Buck gazed at the photo and replied, "He looks like The King of Rock and
Roll. And, with that Elvis impersonator convention going on you've got like
over 200 suspects."
"Yea, that was our thoughts too," said Chris. "But we had an idea of how
we could maybe catch him."
"Really? How's that?" asked Buck as he glanced up from the picture.
"Do you still have that Elvis costume from Halloween?" asked Chris.
"Well, sure I do, the ladies love it," replied a grinning Buck. A moment
later he realized what his friend was asking. "You don't mean. . ."
"Yea, I do," replied Chris. "Would you be willing to dress up as Elvis again?
We thought maybe having a guy go undercover at the convention we could catch
this fella. And, like you said, you'll be a hit with the ladies."
"Ahh hell," replied Buck who knew he didn't have a way to escape out of this
one. "Ok, BUT you're gonna owe me."
"So noted," replied Chris as he tried to hide a grin.
"Well, I better head home and get my costume," replied Buck. "Anything in
particular you want me to do when I get back?"
"Just mingle with the rest of the Elvises . . . or is it Elvii when there
is more than one?" started Chris his comment drawing a chuckle from JD and
Vin which ended when Buck cast a glare in their direction. Clearing his throat,
Chris continued, "We're hoping the thief will slip up and you'll be there
when he does."
"Ok, got it," said Buck.
"And I probably don't need to say this but keep in touch," said Chris. "And,
don't be a hero . . . we're here when the time comes to catch this guy."
"Will do," said Buck before he headed out of the office.
"Well, he took that pretty good," commented Vin after the Hospitality Host
"Yea, that is what I'm afraid of," replied Chris.
Gary, one of the Elvis impersonators, joined his buddy, Steve, also an Elvis
impersonator, in Mystique, sliding into the booth with a big grin on his
"So, where've you been?" asked Steve who was annoyed he had been kept waiting.
He took a swig of his beer and waited for his friend's response.
"In room 1243," said Gary with a big grin on his face.
"Room 1243?" repeated Steve. "Is that part of the convention?"
"Lets just say its a 'private convention' . . . I got an offer from
his fine young rich lady that I just couldn't refuse," bragged Gary. "Her
husband is a big rich cattle tycoon from Texas . . ."
Gary was interrupted when the club's manager, Inez, appeared asking if he
wanted a drink. He ordered a beer and Steve ordered another and she quickly
"Husband?" asked Steve as he shook his head in disbelief at his friend's
"They have an open marriage," explained Gary as he shrugged. "Anyway, she
gave me her room key and we're supposed to meet up again later . . . she
got news her husband was ill and had to go to the hospital."
Inez returned with beers for both men and then walked away, the two men
continuing their conversation about the wealthy Mitsy.
In the booth next to them, Stan leaned back as he continued to listen to
the conversation behind him. If this Mitsy lady was as rich as the fella
said, she could be the next perfect mark for him and maybe he would score
big -- much more than the two minor snatch and grabs he did earlier. Smiling
to himself he began to form a plan . . .
Chris Larabee had joined Josiah Sanchez at the front of the Montecito to
meet Mrs. Martinson when she returned from the hospital. In the meantime
while they waited, he informed the Head Valet of the pick pocketing Elvis
impersonator they had and gave him a copy of the photo.
"Well, it never is dull around here, is it?" commented Josiah as he studied
"No, that's for sure," replied Chris. "Between Mr. Martinson's sudden death
at the poker tournament and our Elvis look-a-like thief, it looks like we'll
"How are you planning to catch this guy?" asked Josiah as he watched several
of the impersonators walk by.
"Figured we need a man inside the convention," replied Chris. "Sort of a
mole to try and find this guy before he strikes again. . ."
Josiah nodded as he replied, "Who's the lucky one?"
"Buck," replied Chris as he looked out in the distance, scanning the crowds
that were walking by.
"Oh, I bet he loved that," commented Josiah as he chuckled.
"He took it better than I thought," replied a smiling Chris as he glanced
in Josiah's direction.
"Here's the limo," commented Josiah as he change the conversation back to
As the limousine pulled up to the Montecito, Chris and Josiah quickly moved
forward, Josiah opening the passenger door. Holding out a hand he assisted
Mitsy out of the vehicle who was followed quickly by Montecito's on-call
physician, Nathan Jackson.
"Mrs. Martinson, please let me extend our sincerest sympathy on the death
of your husband," said Chris Larabee. "If there is anything the Montecito
can do, please do not hesitate to ask."
Mitsy placed a hand lightly on the Security Chief's arm and said, "Thank
you, Mr. Larabee, I do appreciate your kind words."
"How about if I escort you back to your room?" suggested Chris.
"Yes, that would be nice," said Mitsy as she slipped her expensive sunglasses
up onto her head. "I believe I'm going to lie down and rest . . . it's been
a trying afternoon."
Chris nodded to his two colleagues before guiding the young woman into the
Montecito. As they walked across the lobby, Mitsy said, "You must think I'm
a horrible person . . . having an affair on Big Al but he knew about my
extra-marital activities and he had no problems with them as long as I returned
to him . . ." Then in a soft emotion-filled voice she said, "I did love him,
"Mrs. Martinson," said Chris as they waited for the elevator. "What you do
is none of my business." The elevator arrived and they entered it, Chris
pressing the number to Mitsy's floor. They waited in silence as they made
their upward journey and when the doors finally opened they walked out and
headed down the hallway to her suite.
When they reached her door, Chris said, "Again, Mrs. Martinson, if you need
anything at all, call Main Reception and we will assist in any way possible."
"Thank you," said the young woman before she slid her key in the lock and
opened the door. Entering her suite, she closed the door behind her and then
reached for her cell phone and entered the phone number. A second later she
could hear ringing on the other end and then he answered.
"Gary, darlin'," said Mitsy. "I'm back and I could use some company . . .
I've had a dreadful afternoon . . ."
"Sure thing, Baby," said Gary. "I'll be up shortly . . . sounds like you
could use some TLC. . ."
"Excuse me sir, I'm looking for the Elvis convention."
Josiah turned at the sound of the familiar voice and did a double take. "Buck?"
he asked as he took in his friend's rhinestone jump-suit appearance. "You
shaved your mustache?"
"Well, I had to be authentic here," replied Buck as he touched his now bare
upper lip. "Besides it'll grow back."
"Well, stay safe," replied Josiah. "If you need anything you know where I
"I will," replied Buck. "And will do. Oh, and tell the fellas if I see any
pictures of me dressed as Elvis floating around the office, their asses are
Josiah chuckled softly and replied, "I'll be sure to let them know."
Meanwhile in the security bull-pen, Vin and JD had noticed Buck's arrival
and were recording every moment for use later.
"He's so going to kill us," commented JD.
"Oh, but it'll be worth it," replied Vin.
Buck walked into the Montecito lobby and glanced around, there were quite
a few Elvis look-a-likes mingling and he nodded to them before heading up
to the Reception Desk.
"I'd like to check in," he said as he handed Sandy his driver's license.
Sandy took a look at it, recognizing his name immediately and then glanced
upward. "Buck?" she said in a low voice.
"It's me darlin'," he responded quietly as he winked. "I'm on a job right
now so pretend you don't know me."
"Yes, Sir," said Sandy as she began to process his information, noticing
in the computer the reservation was made at the request of Chief of Security.
A few seconds later, she said, "Here is your room key and I hope you enjoy
your stay at the Montecito." She then leaned over the counter and whispered,
"I miss your moustache."
"Me too, darlin'" said Buck.
It was the next day and Gary and Mitsy finally emerged from her suite. Gary
had spent the night helping Mitsy with her grief over Big Al's death. The
next morning they enjoyed a leisurely breakfast followed by a bubble bath
"Gary, darlin'," said Mitsy as she put the finishing touches on her makeup.
"I need to take care of a few loose ends down in the casino."
"Big Al's winnings?" asked Gary who had remembered from the day before the
old guy had won some at the poker tournament.
"Yes," said Mitsy while nodding. "How about if we meet up later? Are you
"For you, babe, definitely," said Gary. "Although I should make an appearance
at the convention but other than that, I'm yours."
Mitsy smiled as she said, "Be a dear and help me with this" while holding
up a delicate diamond pendant necklace.
"Sure thing," said Gary as he took the item in question from her. Mitsy moved
her long hair out the way as he clasped the chain together and then leaned
down and kissed her lightly at the base of her neck. "Sure you don't want
to stay in?" he asked in a low voice as he nuzzled her neck.
Mitsy sighed as she turned in his arms and said, "Maybe I can take a rain
check on that."
Ezra Standish had just started his shift and was checking in with his employees
to get an update on any recent developments when a pretty blonde approached
"Excuse me, I was wondering if you could help me," said the petite woman.
"Of course, Ms. . . ." started Ezra.
"Martinson," replied the blonde. "Mitsy Martinson."
"Oh, Mrs. Martinson," said Ezra as he took the woman's hand. "Let me offer
my sympathies in the loss of your husband. Mr. Martinson was a fine man."
"Thank you Mr. . . ." started Mitsy.
"Standish. Ezra Standish," said the Pit Boss as he smiled. "What can I do
"I believe my husband had won some money in the poker tournament and I wanted
to pick it up," explained Mitsy.
"Oh, yes, let me escort you to the cashier," said Ezra as he held out an
arm. Mitsy smiled as she hooked her arm through his.
Once she had picked up Big Al's winnings, Ezra said, "If you want, we can
deposit your money in the hotel safe . . . I assure you it will be safe and
"Oh, that's not necessary," said Mitsy. "I'm just going to take it back to
"Are you sure?" asked Ezra as his brow furrowed. "It is quite a lot of money."
"Oh, I'm sure," replied Mitsy.
"Well, if you insist," said Ezra. "Then let me escort you back to your room
to ensure your safety."
"Why thank you," said Mitsy. "I do appreciate it."
Montecito's Mystique club was all abuzz with the Elvis impersonator concert
that was in full swing and Stan was keeping a close eye on Gary who had just
arrived and was now backstage getting ready for his performance. He was a
discreet distance away when Gary got the phone call from his rich girlfriend.
Stan casually moved closer to hear the conversation. . .
"Yea babe," said Gary. "You got the money? Wonderful. . . Sure, we can meet
up later . . . yea, I still have the key to your room so if I get there first
I'll just let myself in. . . Ok . . . catch you later and enjoy the spa.
Stan smiled while thinking this was the perfect time. When Gary went on stage
he would swipe the key to his girlfriend's room and head up there. He already
knew the room number -- 1243 -- from Gary's previous phone conversation and
it sounded like the little rich lady was going to be away so it would be
a perfect opportunity to steal a few items. . .
Meanwhile Buck Wilmington, dressed as Elvis, had just arrived at Mystique
to join the festivities. He smiled as he took in the scene while thinking
Elvis impersonators definitely knew how to throw a party. Making his way
to the bar, he took a seat and waited.
"What can I get you?"
"Beer would be fine, darlin'," replied Buck as he grinned at the Club's manager,
Inez arched an eyebrow, immediately recognizing the voice. It belonged to
Hospitality Host Buck Wilmington. There must be a good reason why he was
dressed up as Elvis so she decided not to say anything. "Will do," she responded.
A moment later she returned with a bottle of beer.
"Thanks, gorgeous," replied Buck as he winked at her, sensing she recognized
him. "So, what is a beautiful creature like yourself doing working at a place
Inez leaned against the bar towards Buck as she smiled. "For the money .
. . it pays well . . . plus I get the opportunity to meet handsome men like
yourself. You know it's not every day a girl gets to meet the 'King of Rock
"Well, little lady tonight is your lucky night," replied Buck in his best
Elvis voice. "How about if you be my 'Priscilla'?"
"I'd love to but I'm working late," replied Inez who was enjoying herself
flirting with the Hospitality Host.
"Darlin', for you I'd wait until the end of time," responded Buck in a low
Inez got the feeling Buck really meant it. The man always flirted with her
but tonight, blame it on the costume but she was falling for it.
"How about this," started Inez as she traced one finger down his cheek. "You
get up and sing a song and I'll give you a kiss. . ."
"Little lady, you have a deal," said Buck as he captured her hand in his
and brought it up to his lips to place a light kiss on it.
"The sign up sheet is at the end of the bar," instructed Inez. "The kiss
comes after you sing."
Buck nodded as he got off the bar stool and said, "I'll be back" before he
headed down to sign up to sing.
As Gary made his way onto the stage to perform his set, Stan stayed back
in the dressing room. Taking a quick look around to make sure no one was
watching, Stan swiped the room key from Gray's belongings that he had left
on the dressing room table. It was lucky for Stan that the majority of the
performers removed their personal belongings from their pockets not wanting
them to detract from their appearance while on stage. Slipping out of the
dressing room he quickly exited the club and headed up to room 1243. He moved
quickly in stealing the items and then returned to the backstage dressing
room to return the key before Gary finished his set of songs. Pausing by
the mirror he touched up his stage makeup and then decided to call it an
evening and lay low by heading back to his room.
After he finished his beer, Buck Wilmington slipped backstage to prepare
for his set. 'What the heck was he doing', he thought. Agreeing to get up
on stage and sing just to get a kiss from Inez. This was a new low for him.
Taking a look around he noticed other Elvis impersonators backstage as well
. . . one was reapplying stage makeup while several others were discussing
which songs they were going to sing. All of the men looked like the picture
that Chris gave him and he realized this was going to be a lot harder to
track down this pick-pocket than he originally thought. Hopefully the guy
would get cocky and start blabbing, he thought.
Vin Tanner and JD Dunne were in the security control room watching the monitors
when their colleague Buck Wilmington walked out on stage.
"Hey . . . look who's singing," said JD in a loud voice as he flipped a couple
of switches so they could get sound coming from the live feed from the club.
Chris came out of his office to see what the commotion was as Vin asked,
"Is that Buck?"
"Yep," replied JD.
"Are you taping it?" asked Vin.
"Yep," replied a grinning JD.
The music began to play and Buck started to sing "Teddy Bear" while the ladies
in the crowd cheered. When the last strains of the music ended, Chris said,
"You know he's not a bad singer."
"Definitely could give Rain a run for her money," replied JD.
"Well, I wouldn't go that far," replied Vin as a smile tugged at his lips.
Meanwhile Buck exited the stage and headed back out into the audience, making
his way straight to a certain sexy bartender.
"So, darlin'," said a grinning Buck. "I sang my song . . . believe you owe
"Sí Senor," said Inez who had been quite impressed with his singing
talents . . . the way he played the crowd and he had a pretty decent voice
too. "I never back down on my promises," she said. She leaned across the
bar and grabbed him by his jumpsuit lapels and brought him close.
"Be gentle," he murmured while smiling.
Her lips touched his and her original thought of a quick kiss quickly evaporated.
His lips were soft and firm and so delicious that she found herself not wanting
it to end.
As much as he wanted the kiss to continue, Buck was keenly aware that the
cameras above were watching everything. Mindful of Inez's reputation he slowly
pulled away and murmured, "Darlin', you are T-R-O-U-B-L-E."
Inez laughed softly as she whispered, "And, don't you forget it. . ." Letting
go of his lapels, she murmured, "I should get back to work."
Buck nodded as he responded, "If I sing another song do I get another kiss?"
Inez glanced back and replied, "In your dreams, stud."
"Most definitely," murmured Buck to himself as he watched her walk away.
Mitsy Martinson was carrying two shopping bags as she made her way back to
her suite. She'd had a wonderful afternoon at the spa getting a massage followed
by manicure and pedicure and then a very successful shopping trip where she
found a cute outfit and matching shoes.
Careful not to screw up her newly polished fingernails, she opened her suite
door and slipped inside, closing the door firmly behind her. Placing her
bags on the bed, she went to the dresser where she had stashed Big Al's winnings.
"What the. . ." she murmured when she realized the money was not where she
had put it. She then began opening up the other drawers to make sure she
hadn't moved it somewhere else but no, it wasn't in any of the drawers. She
also realized in her search that her jewelry box was missing as well. Someone
had been in her suite and had stolen her money and jewelry.
Moving quickly to the phone, she picked it up and dialed Security.
Chris Larabee was working on some paperwork when Vin popped his head in and
said, "We've got another robbery."
"Where?" asked Chris as he put his pen down and quickly stood.
"Martinson's suite," replied Vin as the two men walked out of Chris' office
and down the steps to the surveillance room.
"JD, check the tapes," instructed Chris. "I want to know everyone who entered
that suite today."
"Will do," replied JD.
"Call Buck and let him know what's happened," replied Chris. "Maybe the guy
will get cocky and start bragging about his new found wealth. Also, instruct
the gift shops and the casino that if any Elvis impersonators show up spending
lots of money, I want to know about it."
"Ok," said JD.
"Vin, you're with me," said Chris. "We'll be checking out the Martinson's
suite if you need us, JD."
JD got busy on his instructed duties as Chris and Vin headed out to the Martinson
suite. It didn't take too long before the two men arrived at room 1243. Knocking
three times, Chris waited.
"Who is it?" asked Mitsy.
"Security ma'am," replied Chris.
The door swung wide and a clearly distraught Mitsy said, "Thank God you're
here." She motioned for the two men to enter.
"Mrs. Martinson, we received word there was a robbery," stated Chris. "What
"Well, I came back from the spa and shopping," said the blonde as she paced
back and forth in the room, "and found all my money and jewelry gone."
"Money? How much are we talking about?" asked Vin.
"All of Big Al's winnings from the tournament," replied Mitsy.
Chris' brow furrowed as he realized her ex-husband had won a large sum of
money and curious as to why she didn't put it in the hotel safe for safe-keeping.
"And the jewelry?" asked Vin.
"There were several rings and necklaces that Big Al gave me that were taken,"
said Mitsy as she dabbed the tears from her eyes. "Now they're all gone .
. . just like Big Al."
"Do you know of anyone who might have access to your room?" asked Chris.
"Does anyone else have a key besides yourself?"
"Well, Gary does," replied Mitsy.
"Gary?" asked Chris.
"He was here with me yesterday," said Mitsy. "The Elvis impersonator."
"I know this is probably not my business but let me get this straight," said
Chris. "You gave a guy who you just met a key to your room?"
"No," replied Mitsy. "We hadn't 'just met' . . . we've known each other for
a couple years and we arrange to meet periodically . . ."
"Ok," said Chris who was thinking this was going to be another weird day.
"Well, we need to talk to Gary."
"You don't think he would have anything to do with this?" said Mitsy quickly,
clearly not believing her boy-toy could have stolen from her.
"Well, let's just say I want to rule out all the obvious folks," replied
Chris. "Now can you reach him?"
Mitsy nodded as she went to her purse and dug out her cell phone. "I can
"That'd be great," replied Chris. "Ask him to come up here."
Mitsy nodded as she did what the Security Chief instructed. A few moments
later, Gary arrived, knocking on the door. Needless to say, he was surprised
to find Vin answering the door instead of Mitsy.
"You're not Mitsy?" said Gary who was stating the obvious.
"No, I'm not," replied Vin.
"Where's Mitsy? Is she ok?" asked Gary who remembered the guy as being on
the security force.
"Sir, I need to have a chat with you down in Security," said Chris.
"What's wrong? Is Mitsy ok?" asked Gary who was clearly getting upset.
"Mrs. Martinson is fine," replied Chris. "There's been a robbery and we need
to have a moment of your time." The Security Chief then turned to Vin and
said, "Have maintenance come up and check to see if this lock has been tampered
with and then have it rekeyed."
Vin nodded as Chris escorted Gary from the doorway and down the hallway to
Chris brought Gary to security interrogation room number one, the man taking
a seat in the chair.
"So, Mr. . . . " started Chris.
"Gary," said the Elvis look-a-like. "I just go by Gary . . . like all the
great performers . . . Madonna, Cher, Elvis . . . just Gary."
Chris held back rolling his eyes as he continued, "Ok, Gary, Mrs. Martinson
mentioned you had a key to her room . . ."
"Yea, I do," said the young man as he began to fish out his wallet from his
back pocket. He pulled the card out of his wallet and said, "Here it is."
"Can you tell me where you were this afternoon?" asked Chris.
"I was down at the club . . . it was Elvis karaoke and I had signed up to
sing," said Gary. "There are tons of witnesses down there to collaborate
my story. What's all this about? Do I need a lawyer?"
Ok, the guy's been watching way too many CSI episodes, thought Chris. "Well,
Mrs. Martinson had a few items stolen from her room and right now we are
checking everyone who had a key to her place. Did you give her room key to
"Of course not," said Gary who was shocked to think the Security Chief would
even suggest it. "I care about Mitsy. I wouldn't do anything to hurt her
. . ."
A soft knock on the door broke further questioning as Chris said, "I'll be
right back." He walked to the door and opened it, finding JD outside. Chris
motioned for another member of the security team to go in and wait with Gary
while he stayed out in the hallway to talk to JD.
"Whatta you got?" asked Chris.
"I went back the past eight hours on the tapes," started JD. "After ruling
out Mrs. Martinson, guests that were with her, and housekeeping, there was
only one peculiar incident. About an hour ago this gentleman entered her
suite and stayed only five-and-a-half minutes." JD passed the photo of the
individual to the Security Chief.
"Elvis," said Chris. It looked like the same guy from the pool-side incident.
"But there is one thing different," said JD. "We got this guy from a different
angle and look at this." He passed Chris another picture of the Elvis look-a-like
that was blown up and there on his cheek was a mole.
"He has a mole on his cheek . . . that should narrow down the list of suspects,"
JD nodded and he replied, "You're looking for a young Elvis with a mole on
his left cheek. So, Gary didn't do it. . ."
"He might not have but clearly this person had a key to Mrs. Martinson's
room," said Chris, "and I want to know how. Thanks JD, this helps a lot.
Fill the others in so they will be on the look out for the thief. Meanwhile,
I have a few more questions to ask Gary."
When Chris entered the interrogation room, Gary looked up. "Ok, Gary, I only
have a few more questions for you," said Chris as the other security officer
left the room.
"Sure, ask me anything," said Gary. "I didn't take anything from Mitsy. I'm
"And I believe you, Gary," said Chris as he took a seat. "But I want to clarify
a few items."
"Sure," said Gary.
"Ok, you said you had a key to Mrs. Martinson's room," said Chris and Gary
nodded. "Did you give the key to anyone? Could it have been taken at anytime?"
"Well, no I didn't give it to anyone," said Gary who was getting tired of
repeating himself. "It's been in my wallet the whole time . . . but . . .
when I went on stage to sing I took my wallet out . . . didn't want any unsightly
bulges in the back you know . . . and put it on the dressing room table.
When I got back it was there."
Chris was calculating how much time the culprit would need . . . probably
8-10 minutes total to include a little over five minutes in the suite plus
travel time to and from. "How many songs did you sing?" asked Chris.
"Three songs," replied Gary. "Then Steve, my buddy, came up and we sang one
together . . . the chicks loved it . . . they went wild. . ."
That would give the thief enough time, thought Chris, as he calculated the
time for each song. "Ok, one last question for you," said Chris as he pulled
a picture out of the folder. "Does this gentleman look familiar? Have you
seen him down at the convention?"
Gary studied the picture for a moment and then said, "No, I don't think I
have. . . it's hard to tell cause he's dressed like Elvis."
Chris nodded, so much for an easy conclusion to this case he thought.
Buck was still down at the club when his cell phone started to ring. "Hello,"
he said as he placed a hand over his other ear to drown out the music. "Hold
on one sec," he said as he got up and quickly heading out of the club so
it would be quieter and he could hear.
"Ok, what's up?" he asked as stood outside the club.
"Buck, its JD," said the young man. "Just wanted to let you know the thief
struck again . . . stole some cash and jewelry from the Martinson's suite."
"Damn," said Buck at the thought the guy was getting more daring going to
a private room. He'd hate to think what might have happened if he was interrupted
by the person returning to their room.
"We got a good picture of the guy," said JD. "It's the same person who did
the snatch-and-grab from the pool. But we got him from a different angle
and found out he has a mole on his left cheek."
"A mole?" repeated Buck who was suddenly remembering something he saw earlier.
He had been backstage getting ready to perform and there was a guy back there
putting stage makeup on and he had a mole on his cheek. "I think I might
have seen him earlier. There was a guy backstage at the club putting on stage
makeup. I'll go do a sweep of the club to see if he is still there and call
"Ok, if you do see him, let me know and I'll send backup," said JD.
JD hung up and began working with the facial recognition program to see if
he could get a lead on the thief unfortunately with the Elvis convention
going on, he was getting multiple hits. As he began the tedious task of checking
each one, Chris returned from the interrogation room.
"What's happening?" he asked.
"Just talked to Buck . . . he thought he saw the guy earlier and is checking
the club and will call back," replied JD. "I'm trying to find the guy from
here but I'm not having any luck."
"Vin?" asked Chris.
"Right behind you," replied JD as the man in question walked into the security
"Well, the lock wasn't tampered with," said Vin. "And it was workin' properly
so the thief definitely used a key."
Chris filled the two men on what he had learned from his interview with Gary
about how the thief could have stolen the key which could have been removed
when he was in the dressing room.
JD's cell phone rang and he picked it up on the second ring. "'ello," he
"JD, it's Buck," said the Hospitality Host on the other end.
"Hey Buck," replied the young man.
Chris motioned for the phone and JD said, "Buck, hold on. Chris wants to
talk to you."
After he took the phone, Chris asked, "Did you find him?"
"No, no luck," replied Buck. "He's no longer at the club."
"Probably hiding out or has already left," surmised Chris.
"Yea," replied Buck. "But if he hasn't, he'll most likely show up at the
big closing ceremony tomorrow."
"Ok, we'll continue to watch from here for him and meanwhile I'll put the
rest of the personnel on alert," said Chris. "We'll get copies of the latest
pics of the guy to you . . . have them delivered to your room." The Security
Chief didn't want to break his friend's cover quite yet. "If we haven't caught
him by the closing ceremony, we'll stake out all the entrances there and
see if he shows up."
After Chris got off the phone he met with his security team on the plan of
attack for the next 24 hours to make sure everyone was prepared and ready.
It was the big closing event for the Elvis Convention and Montecito security
was stationed at every entrance to the ballroom. The thief had yet to show
his face and Chris was hoping the cocky SOB would make an appearance tonight.
Vin and JD were monitoring one of the entrances when they spotted their
colleague, Buck, dressed in his costume as he walked by to enter the room.
"The king has arrived," said Vin into his mic to notify the rest of the team
members that Buck was there.
"Ok, everyone, stay alert," instructed Chris into his mic.
Stan walked into the ballroom as part of a group of Elvis impersonators,
purposely trying to blend in. After his last snatch-and-grab and performance
at the club, he stayed in his room to lie low but he couldn't miss tonight's
festivities. It was the big closing ceremony and he wanted to be there.
Buck was trying to mingle in the crowded ballroom to see if he could spot
the thief. He didn't have much time; guests were starting to take their seats
because the ceremony would start soon. Pretending to take a sip of his drink,
he spoke into his mic that he was wearing to let the others know. "No luck
yet . . . I'm still looking." Casually walking over to the other side of
the room he continued his search. Pausing for a moment, his gaze spotted
an Elvis look-a-like who was seated at a table talking to the others around
him. Moving closer to get a better look, Buck was pleased to see this guy
did indeed have a mole on his left cheek.
"Table 15," spoke Buck softly in his mic to tell the others.
"Wait for me," instructed Chris who began to move towards Buck's location.
Meanwhile, the hairs on the back of Stan's neck began to stand. Something
wasn't right, he thought as he took a quick sip of his drink. There was way
too many security around. Maybe it would be better for him to just leave
early. Telling the others at the table that he had to make a quick pit stop
to the men's room, he got up and made his way towards an exit.
"He's on the move," said Buck softly as he followed the guy.
Stan glanced back and realized security was on to him. Picking up his pace,
he weaved his way between crowd of Elvises and other guests and changed course,
heading towards the door that led to the kitchen area.
"He's on the run," said Buck in the mic. "And he's headin' to the kitchen
door." Not wanting him to get away, Buck picked up the pace and he sprinted
after the thief. When he got close enough, he did a flying tackle taking
the man down right by the kitchen doors.
The crowd grew quiet during the scuffle as Chris and the other security force
joined Buck when he was pulling Stan off the ground.
"Hey, I didn't do anything," declared Stan.
"Why'd you run then?" replied Buck quickly. "Cause you're innocent?"
"Sir, we would like a few minutes of your time," said Chris as he grabbed
the man by the upper arm and ushered him out of the kitchen door.
"It's okay, folks," said Buck as he tried to calm the rest of the partygoers.
"Please continue with your closing ceremony . . . enjoy yourselves!"
"Well, I'm glad that's all over with," declared Chris after Lieutenant Luis
Perez left with Stan
"Pretty cocky fella to stay around for the closing ceremony," replied Buck.
"And pretty stupid that he left all the loot he stole in his room."
"Well, they always say criminals are not the smartest bunch," chimed Vin.
"Well, I don't know about you all but I've got plans for this evenin'," declared
a grinning Buck. "Met this little lady who's an Elvis fan so I'll see you
all tomorrow. . ."
As Buck headed out of the security office, JD said, "Elvis has left the
It was a couple days later and Mitsy Martinson was leaving the Montecito
to head back home to Texas.
"Nathan, I do appreciate all your help in working with the hospital and the
airport on transporting Big Al back home," said Mitsy as the on-call doctor
escorted her out of the hotel.
"It was not a problem, Mrs. Martinson," said Nathan. "It's the least I could
"And also please tell Mr. Larabee that I appreciate everything he and his
men did to get my money and jewelry back," continued Mitsy.
"I will," said Nathan as they headed out of the main entrance doors, finding
Josiah was waiting for them.
"Mrs. Martinson, your luggage has been loaded in the car," said Josiah.
"Thank you, Josiah, you are too kind," replied Mitsy as she smiled. "Big
Al always loved this place," declared the blonde woman as she paused to look
around. "It was like a second home to him."
"Well, he was a good man," said Nathan.
"Amen, Brother," chimed Nathan.
Mitsy smiled at the two men as she said, "Well, I probably should go . .
. I've got a flight I need to catch."
"Have a safe trip home," said Josiah as the two men escorted her to the waiting
limousine, Josiah opening the back door for her.
"Thank you," said Mitsy as she slipped inside the vehicle. "I hope to see
you all next year when I come to visit."
Josiah and Nathan froze for a moment, not sure if they heard her correctly,
and then Nathan said, "We're looking forward to it."
Josiah closed the door and as the limousine pulled away, Nathan said, "You
can tell Chris about Mrs. Martinson's comin' back next year."
"Oh no, I think that might be a job for Montecito's on-call physician," said
Josiah as he smiled. "Cause I have a feeling Chris will need your medical
expertise after he hears that little bit of news."
The Las Vegas Chronicles