Nettie Wells pulled her beat up pickup truck next to
the mailbox located along the side of the road leading to her horse ranch.
Rolling down her window she leaned forward and grabbed the day's mail. It
wasn't until she was home perusing the mail did she encounter another letter
from that land developer Guy Royal requesting an appointment with her regarding
her property. She already knew what he wanted. He wanted to buy her land
to build a new housing development on it.
"Like hell they're gonna make me leave," she muttered as she ripped up the
letter and tossed it in the trashcan. She sure as heck wasn't planning to
sell her property any time soon and definitely not to some land developer
wanting to build more houses.
"Everything ok, Aunt Nettie?" asked Casey Wells. She had heard her aunt and
wanted to check on her to make sure everything was all right.
"It's just another letter from that Guy Royal fella again," replied Nettie.
"He's definitely stubborn. You'd think he'd get a clue I don't want to sell
my property." Noticing her niece's worried look she continued, "Casey, it's
nothing to worry about."
JD Dunne, member of Montecito's security team, was doing his final sweep
of the main floor of the Las Vegas casino and hotel when he ran into his
friend and coworker, Buck Wilmington. Deciding he had a few minutes before
he had to get back, he stopped to chat with the man.
"Should be an interesting couple days," remarked Buck Wilmington as he gestured
to the group of young ladies entering through the main doors. "The college
cheerleading competition starts tomorrow."
JD glanced back, his gaze finding the gaggle of girls in question. There
was a pretty blonde who had noticed him and she smiled as her friends giggled.
A smile tugged at the JD's lips as he nodded to the blonde and then returned
his attention back to Buck.
"I think she likes you," commented Buck who had noticed the exchange. "Maybe
you should go ask her out."
"Oh, Buck, come on," replied JD who was tired of his friend trying to set
him up. "She's just a kid."
Buck grinned. Considering JD had graduated from college early he was most
likely about the same age as that young lady he had referred to as a "kid."
"Well, ok, old man," joked Buck as he lightly slapped JD on the shoulder.
"I need to get back to work so catch you later."
"Ok, Buck," said JD. "Bye." The young man turned to head back to the security
It was later in the day and the security team watched from the control room
as several more teams of cheerleaders arrived at the Montecito for the big
competition. On one monitor they observed as a group practiced their cheerleading
routine outside, drawing the attention of quite a few men.
"Well, this definitely ain't gonna be a quiet weekend," remarked Vin. "Glad
I'm off duty."
"Any big plans?" asked JD as Chris Larabee came out of his office to join
"Not really," replied Vin. "Probably will go riding . . . Chris and I were
talking about taking our horses out."
"Why don't you join us, JD?" suggested Chris, he had walked out into the
bullpen area and overheard their conversation. He had bought a horse several
years ago and it was boarded at Nettie's Horse Ranch. Whenever he was off
from work, he would head out to Nettie's Ranch to go riding. After dealing
with the chaos of working at the Montecito, he found the outdoors relaxing
and peaceful and a good way to recharge. Plus he respected the older woman
and how she ran her ranch, took care of the horses, and raised her niece.
She was a strong, stubborn woman and a friend.
"Sure, sounds like fun," replied JD eagerly glad to be included.
"Good," replied Chris. "How about if you all meet at my place tomorrow at
10:00 a.m.? We'll take my car over to the ranch."
Montecito's Doctor on Call, Nathan Jackson, was leaving for the day when
he stopped outside to talk to his good friend, Josiah Sanchez. "How's it
going, Josiah?" asked Nathan. "Busy day?"
"Very," replied Josiah as he wiped his brow with a handkerchief. "Lots of
cheerleaders with lots of luggage."
"I know what you mean," replied Nathan. "I've been busy all afternoon
coordinating the emergency medical assistance for the upcoming cheerleading
competition and making sure all the appropriate procedures are in place."
It was at that time a group of cheerleaders walked by and entered the hotel.
"I feel so old," commented Josiah as he watched the group of young cheerleaders
Nathan began to chuckle at the Head Valet's comment as he replied, "Just
think you're old enough to be their father."
"Gee, thanks, Nate," replied Josiah sarcastically. "You're not helping matters."
"Hi Josiah . . . Nathan," said lounge singer, Rain, who was arriving to work
as she interrupted the two men's conversation.
"Hello Miss Rain," replied Josiah as Nathan smiled and nodded. Josiah continued,
"Yes, I am," replied Rain as she paused to talk to the two men. "In fact
I haven't seen either of you in the audience yet."
"Oh, I'm planning to come hear you sing," replied Josiah. "Just need to find
an evening when I'm off."
"How about you, Nathan?" asked Rain as she tried to bring the quiet doctor
into the conversation.
"Sure, I'd love to see you . . . see your show," said Nathan quickly who
had suddenly become very tongue-tied around the beautiful woman.
Rain smiled as she replied, "Good. Well, don't wait too long to come see
me . . . sing. Now excuse me gentleman I need to go get ready for my show."
"Sure, sure," replied Nathan. "Have a good show tonight. Break a leg!"
The two men watched as the pretty lounge singer walked into the Montecito.
"Break a leg?" repeated Josiah as he shook his head.
"What?" replied Nathan.
"You're almost as bad as JD," continued Josiah. "Can't you see she likes
Nathan had a confused look on his face and Josiah shook his head as he commented,
"Nate, you really do need to get your head out of those medical books."
It was the next morning and Chris Larabee was sipping his hot coffee when
he heard the familiar roar of Vin's motorcycle approaching. Heading to the
front door, he watched as his friend pulled up in front of his house.
Opening the screen door, Chris stepped outside and said, "JD's not here yet
. . . imagine he should be pulling up soon."
Vin nodded as he grabbed the small box that was secured to the back of his
bike and replied, "I brought breakfast." He held up the box of Krispy Kreme
glazed donuts and Chris smiled as he shook his head while thinking Vin definitely
had a sweet tooth.
As Vin walked up to the house, JD pulled up in his Dodge Neon. Turning the
car off, the young man jumped out of the car. "Hey Guys," said the computer
tech. "I stopped and got us breakfast." He held up another box of donuts
and the two men laughed.
"Twenty-four donuts for the three of us," commented a grinning Vin. "That
should almost be enough."
An hour and four donuts each later Chris pulled his SUV into Nettie's horse
ranch. "Here we are," he declared as he turned off his car.
"Nice place," remarked JD as he crumbled up his napkin and threw it in the
empty donut box.
"Nettie Wells and her niece, Casey, run the place," commented Chris as the
three men got out of the vehicle. "They are pretty reasonable in their prices
to board horses too."
As the three men walked up to the stables they spotted Orin Travis'
daughter-in-law, Mary Travis and her son, Billy, just finishing their ride.
"Chris! Chris! Chris!" exclaimed Billy Travis who had spotted the three men
and took off running towards them.
Chris squatted down as the young boy gave him a hug.
"I didn't know you were coming here today," stated Billy.
"We thought we'd come out for a ride," replied Chris. "JD's never been here
"Oh, you're really gonna like it," stated Billy to the young security officer
as he eagerly nodded. "The horses are really nice."
Chris stood as Billy's Mother, Mary, approached. Both Mary and Billy were
frequent visitors to the Montecito, visiting the owner, Orin Travis or his
"Hi," said Mary as she smiled at the three men. She then placed a hand on
Billy's shoulder and said, "I hope Billy's not bugging you?"
"Not at all," replied Chris. "We're just chatting about horses."
"Mom's writing a story about Miss Nettie's Ranch," declared Billy. "So we
came out here to do some research. I'm her assistant."
"Very cool," replied JD. "Do you recommend a particular horse?"
"Daisy is very nice," answered Billy. "She's very gentle and won't throw
JD nodded as he replied "Thanks for the tip."
"Well, Billy, we should let them go get their horses," commented Mary, knowing
her son could talk anyone's ears off when he got started.
"Have a nice ride," said a smiling Billy as he waved goodbye to the three
When the three men walked into the stables, Nettie and her niece, Casey,
paused in their chores to greet them. "Got your horses all ready for you,"
stated Nettie. Chris had called the night before to let the older woman know
they would be out for a ride.
"Thanks," said Vin as he moved to his mount named Crazy Horse. "How you doin'
fella?" softly asked the quiet security officer as he scratched his horse
behind one ear. "Hope you've been behavin' yourself."
"JD, this is Nettie Wells and her niece Casey," said Chris as he made the
introductions. "Nettie, Casey, this is JD Dunne. He works with us in Security
at the Montecito."
"You're kind of young to work in a casino, aren't you?" remarked Casey who
thought the young brown-haired man was very cute.
"I graduated from college early," explained JD who hated to referred to as
"young" or "the kid."
"JD, I saddled Buck's horse, Little Darlin', up for you," interrupted Nettie.
"He said it was ok for you to ride her."
"Thanks, Ma'am," replied JD who moved to the horse in question, stroking
her long neck. "How you doin' girl?" whispered JD to the horse.
"We appreciate you getting the horses ready for us," said Chris as he moved
to greet his horse, Crusader.
"It was no problem at all," replied Nettie. "I know you all are on a limited
schedule." The older woman had always liked the Security Chief. He didn't
talk much but that was ok. She could tell by the way he treated his horse
he was a good man and considering everything that had happened to his wife
and son, she figured he had a right to be quiet.
"We should be back in a couple hours," said Chris as the three men began
to lead their mounts out of the stable.
"We'll see you then," replied Nettie.
It was after lunch when land developer Guy Royal pulled up in front of the
Wells' Ranch. Turning the Lexus off he got out of the vehicle as he removed
his sunglasses to take a look at the property. It was a nice large piece
of land that would be perfect for his luxury house development with adjourning
Casey Wells had heard the vehicle pull up and she emerged from the stable
to see who it was.
"Aunt Nettie we have a visitor," she announced.
The older woman stopped feeding the horses and walked outside to see who
it might be, thinking it might be a person interested in boarding their horse
at the ranch.
Guy Royal spotted the two women and he walked towards them. "I'm looking
for Nettie Wells," he stated.
"I'm Nettie Wells," said the older woman. "How can I help you?"
"I'm Guy Royal," replied the housing developer. "I'm here about your property."
"Casey, go back to the stables and finish the chores," instructed Nettie
to her niece, recognizing the name from all the recent letters she had received
from him. Then turning her attention back to the stranger, she said, "Mr.
Royal I'm not sure where you got the impression that I want to sell my property
but I'm not interested. I'm sorry you wasted your time in coming out here."
Royal smiled as he responded, "Ms. Wells, I'm sorry if I gave you the impression
you had a choice cause you don't. You see I have this little deed that belonged
to my Great Grandpa that says this property belongs to me." He pulled out
a piece of paper from his suit jacket pocket and handed it to Nettie.
The older woman took the document and unfolded it, her gaze quickly reading
"I don't believe it," declared Nettie in a raised voice.
"Well, its true," declared Royal. "And you have one week to get off my land."
"One week!" repeated a shocked Nettie Wells.
"Yep, one week," replied Guy.
"There's no way we can get everything moved in a week," responded Nettie.
"Well, if you're not off my property then I will move you myself," stated
Royal. "Now if you will excuse me I have a meeting I need to get to."
The land developer left a very shocked Nettie as he walked to his car, got
inside, and drove off in a cloud of dust.
Casey emerged from the stables and joined her aunt. She had overheard the
whole conversation and was in shock too.
"What are we going to do, Aunt Nettie?" asked Casey as she hugged her Aunt.
She knew her horse ranch meant everything to Nettie.
Meanwhile Chris Larabee, Vin Tanner, and JD Dunne, had returned from their
ride and saw the last part of the exchange between Nettie and the stranger.
"I wonder what that is all about?" asked Vin Tanner as they watched the stranger
"Don't know but I'm gonna find out," replied Chris Larabee as they stopped
"Nettie, is everything ok?" asked Chris Larabee as they approached the two
Nettie had been so upset she hadn't even heard the three riders approach.
"Tell them," urged Casey. "Maybe they can help." The young girl looked at
the three men with hopeful eyes. Her Aunt had told her about Chris Larabee
working Security at the Montecito and he was bound to have some contacts
that could help them.
"Tell us what?" asked JD Dunne as he stole a glance at the young girl.
Over the next few minutes Nettie filled the three men in on Guy Royal and
his deed. When she was finished Chris definitely had a feeling that something
was wrong with this whole situation. He asked while referring to the document
in the older woman's hand, "Is that the deed?"
"Yes," replied Nettie.
"Can I see it?" asked the Montecito Security Chief. The older woman handed
the document to him. Taking a moment, Chris looked over the 'deed". Finally
he asked, "Can I borrow this?"
"Well, of course, why?" replied Nettie. "Is there something wrong with it?"
"Not sure," replied Chris. "But I'm hoping to find that out. Something doesn't
feel right about this and I thought I would check to make sure this indeed
"Ok," replied Nettie, hopeful the Security Chief would find something to
help her. "But we only have a week before we're run off this property."
"I'm hoping to have an answer way before then," replied Chris. "I'll call
you tomorrow with an update."
Nettie nodded and watched as the three men headed off to Chris' SUV and left.
"Do you think they can really help?" asked Casey as the vehicle drove down
their long driveway.
"I hope so," replied Nettie. "I really do hope so."
Meanwhile in Chris' SUV, Vin was asking Chris the same question. "Do you
think we can help them?"
"I think so," replied Chris. "Take a look at the deed," he instructed as
he handed the document to Vin Tanner sitting in the passenger seat.
"Something doesn't seem right about it," replied the Security Chief. "Thought
JD could use all that fancy computer equipment of his to verify if it is
Vin passed the document back to JD who looked over the deed.
"Shouldn't be too difficult," replied JD. "I can run it through the databases
plus I have some contacts in the county office that can double check the
legitimacy of the document."
"Good," replied Chris. "Vin, I want you to run a background investigation
into Guy Royal . . . I want to know everything about him."
"Sure thing," replied the quiet man.
Hospitality Host Buck Wilmington weaved his way through the busy Montecito
casino, his gaze looking for one particular person until he finally found
"Hey Ezra," said Buck. "You're a hard man to find..."
"Mr. Wilmington," replied Ezra Standish, Montecito's Pit Boss. "To what do
I owe this pleasure?"
"I've got a whale who wants a high stakes poker game," replied Buck.
"When?" asked Ezra.
"Tonight," replied Buck.
Before Ezra could reply, a loud uproar was heard in the direction of one
of the craps tables. The two men looked in the direction to try and see what
was going on.
"Excuse me, Mr. Wilmington," but I have a situation I need to investigate,"
said the Pit Boss.
"Sure thing, Ezra," replied Buck. "Maybe I'll tag along in case you need
any help." It was highly unlikely the Pit Boss would need any assistance
but Buck was just plain curious as to what was going on.
As the two men approached craps table ten they could easily see what the
commotion was. It seemed several of the visiting cheerleaders were treating
the men after they won by lifting their tops, flashing their chests which
was of course was starting to cause quite a scene.
Ezra nodded to the dealer, instructing him with the slightest head movement
to put a hold on the game.
"Ladies, the Montecito's policy is that attire remains on at all times in
the common areas," announced Ezra. "If you wish to continue your current
flashing exploits might I suggest you take it out to the adult pool area
where topless attire is allowed?"
"Ohh... you're such a party pooper," commented one of the girls as she pouted.
"Yea, we just want to have a little fun," replied another as she batted her
eyelashes at the handsome Pit Boss.
"That's right, we're just having some harmless fun," chimed one of the male
gamblers who was clearly disappointed his free peep show was coming to an
abrupt end. The other men at the table cheered their approval and encouragement
and the man continued, "Isn't this a free country? Freedom of speech to all?"
"That is true, this is indeed a free country," countered Ezra. "But I don't
believe the United States Constitution considered a peep show as part of
the first amendment's 'freedom of speech'."
The crowd booed in response to Ezra's comments and Buck decided maybe he
should help his friend out before he got tarred and feathered by the angry
"Ladies and Gentlemen," said Buck as he moved up next to Ezra. "My apologies
but my friend is right. If you don't stop the flashing, we will need to contact
the local authorities. Now how about if everyone enjoys a drink on us?" Taking
some free drink tokens from his pocket, the Hospitality Host began to pass
them out to the crowd which seemed to appease them just a little.
"Now I hope you all continue to enjoy your stay at the Montecito," continued
As the crowd dispersed, Ezra commented, "Well, that went well."
"You think?" replied Buck sarcastically as he grinned. He lightly slapped
the Pit Boss on the shoulder as he continued, "Well, now that we have things
under control I should get back to work. Remember, poker game for my whale
"I won't forget," replied Ezra as he nodded to his coworker.
Guy Royal pulled into his parking spot and turned his car off. Before getting
out of the vehicle he placed a phone call. When the gentleman on the other
end answered, Guy asked, "I need your assistance tonight at the Wells' Ranch
. . . I want to make sure that old wizen crone knows I mean business."
"Will do boss," replied the voice at the other end.
"I don't want anyone dead . . . at least not yet," warned Royal. "Just scare
them a little, ok?"
"Sure thing," replied the hired hand. "Consider it done."
Guy Royal hung up on the call as he smiled. Everything was going as planned.
By this time next week he will have a nice piece of property that will be
perfect for his housing development.
Rain was in her dressing room getting ready for the evening show when she
heard a soft knock on the door. "Come in," she croaked as she placed a hand
to her sore throat.
The door slowly open and Nathan Jackson, the hotel's Physician on Call, slipped
inside. "I heard you're not feeling well," said Nathan as he smiled softly
at the beautiful singer.
Rain nodded as she replied, "I'm starting to get a sore throat."
"Well, let me take a look," replied Nathan as he placed his medical bag on
the nearby table and opened it. "Open up and say 'ahhh'," instructed Nathan
as he took a look inside her mouth. He then lightly touched the sides of
her neck to see if it was swollen.
"It does look like you are starting to get a sore throat. I don't think it
is anything more serious," replied Nathan. "I suggest you try to restrict
the amount of talking and singing you do but realize in your current job
that might be difficult."
"I have a show tonight," replied Rain. "But then I'm off the next two days."
Nathan replied, "You might want to try gargling with warm salt water to help
reduce swelling and relieve some of the discomfort. Other options are hot
tea or throat lozenges. That should hopefully help you through the show tonight."
"Any chance you can cancel tonight's show?" asked Nathan.
Rain shook her head as she replied, "No, but I've already asked Inez about
shortening the show tonight."
"Well, when you get home make sure you take a decongestant that should help
relieve a runny nose and postnasal drip which can cause a sore throat. Also,
do you have a humidifier in your bedroom?" continued Nathan who just realized
he was asking the beautiful woman about her bedroom. He could feel his face
turn red from embarrassment.
"Humidifier in my bedroom?" repeated Rain as she smiled softly. "No, I don't."
"Well, you might want to consider getting one," recommended Nathan who tried
to focus on Rain's sore throat and not the image of her bedroom. "They can
help soothe the swollen air passages and make you feel more comfortable.
Now, if your throat is still giving you problems after a couple days, give
me a call. I might have to prescribe you something stronger."
"Ok, thank you Nathan," replied Rain. "I really appreciate you coming to
see me on short notice."
"Just doing my job," replied Nathan as he began to put his medical items
back in his bag. "I should let you get back to getting ready for your show."
Rain nodded and Nathan continued, "And I haven't forgotten about coming to
see one of your shows . . . I hope maybe later this week or next week."
"Ok, well, I look forward to seeing you in the audience," replied Rain as
she smiled softly.
"Good night, Miss Rain," said Nathan as he picked up his medical bag and
headed for the door.
"Good night, Nathan," replied Rain as she watched the handsome doctor leave.
It was well after midnight, the full moon hanging high in the Nevada sky,
when the two men arrived at the Wells' Ranch. Parking their vehicle a distance
away they quietly walked up to the buildings.
"Over there," whispered the bald-headed man nicknamed "Curly" as he pointed
in the direction of the stables.
Bob nodded in agreement as they began to weave their way to the wooden structure.
"Royal said to not hurt anyone but he didn't say anything about the buildings,"
whispered Bob. "The way I see it these buildings are gonna have to go so
might as well help them along."
Curly nodded in agreement as the two men went to work. A few moments later
they were making their quick escape as the fire began to move through the
Inside the house, Nettie Wells was unable to sleep and she went downstairs
to get a cup of warm milk. That always seemed to do the trick and help her
fall back to sleep. She grabbed a coffee mug from the rack and was about
to get the milk when she noticed a flicker of light from outside the window.
"CASEY!!!" she yelled when she realized what was happening, dropping the
coffee mug. It shattered into pieces as it hit the kitchen floor. "BARN'S
ON FIRE!!" She then quickly placed a call the fire department.
The sound of her Aunt's scream woke the young girl as she grabbed her robe
and slipped on some sneakers and ran down the steps.
Knowing it would take some time for the local fire department to get to their
location the two women headed outside.
It was early in the morning when Chris Larabee's phone started to ring. Expecting
it to be some problem at the Montecito, he was surprised when it was instead
"What's wrong, Nettie?" he asked the clearly upset woman.
"We had a fire at the Ranch," replied Nettie. "The barn went up in flames
. . . luckily none of the horses were harmed . . . the Fire Marshall says
it looks suspicious."
"Kind of a coincidence that this would happen right after Guy Royal visits,
don'tcha think?" commented Chris.
"My thoughts exactly," replied Nettie.
"I'm coming out there," stated Chris as he got out of bed and grabbed a pair
"No, you don't need to," replied Nettie. "There is nothing you can do now."
"I'll be there within an hour," said Chris, ignoring the older woman's comments.
He then hung the phone and promptly called his second in command at the
Montecito, Vin Tanner, to fill him in on what was happening and that he would
be in late to work.
True to his word, Chris Larabee pulled up to the Wells' Ranch within the
hour. Getting out of his SUV, his gaze took in the sight of the destruction.
Where the barn once stood was just a pile of burnt wood and embers. The scene
brought back memories of his past and the tragic deaths of his wife and son
in a house fire while he was away on a business trip with the FBI.
Nettie and Casey had seen the Montecito Security Chief pull up and they walked
over to his car. "You didn't have to come all the way out here," commented
Nettie. "We're both fine and the horses have been moved to Cody Porter's
ranch nearby until everything settles down."
"None of them were hurt . . . just a little spooked," explained Casey knowing
the man would be worried about his horse, Crusader.
"Did the Fire Marshall find anything else," asked Larabee.
"Don't know," replied Nettie. "They are still running their investigation
and will tell us when they're done."
Chris nodded and then replied, "I want you to come back with me to the Montecito
where you'll be safe. You can stay there a couple days until we can get this
A very stubborn Nettie shook her head in disagreement and she replied, "We'll
just stay here . . . we'll be fine."
"No, I insist," replied Chris who knew just how lucky the two women were.
If the fire had been set to their house instead of the barn they both could
have been dead by now. Finally he continued, "I would feel better if you
"Nettie, we should listen to him," whispered Casey, trying to encourage her
Aunt to follow Chris' advice.
"Ok, ok," said Nettie as she finally relented. "We'll come back with you
to the Montecito but it's only for a few days."
"Good," replied Chris. "A couple days is all we need . . . I've got Vin and
JD checking into Royal and his deed so we should know more soon."
Nettie nodded and then said, "Well, Casey, I guess we should pack our bags."
As the two women went inside to pack their personal items, Chris placed a
phone call to Vin back at the Montecito to fill him in and to give him a
heads up that he was bringing Nettie and Casey back with him and to have
a room ready for them at the hotel. After the phone call was finished he
checked out the destruction that was done to the barn.
Guy Royal was enjoying his breakfast when he got a phone call.
"'ello," he said in a gruff voice, not pleased someone would interrupt his
"Hey Boss," said Curly. "Wanted to let you know the job was done."
"Good, good," replied Royal as he paused in his eating and leaned back in
"Need me to do anything else?" asked Curly.
"No, not just yet," replied Royal. "We'll see if that old woman got the message.
I'll let you know if I need you for something else." He then hung up before
the other man could say anything else.
With a smile on his face Guy Royal continued with his breakfast, pleased
that everything was going as planned. Within a week or less he should have
Nettie Wells' property. It was definitely turning out to be a good day.
Back at the Montecito it was business as usual. The cheerleader competition
was in full swing as Security monitored everything from the control room.
JD Dunne was keeping a close eye on the casino cameras for anything suspicious
Mindy, a pretty brunette who was part of the cheerleading group, walked up
to the roulette table wanting to try her luck.
The dealer asked, "Can I see your driver's license?" With all the young
cheerleaders in the hotel for the competition, they were instructed to check
everyone's identification to make sure they were all of age.
Mindy pulled out her ID from her purse and handed it to the dealer.
Meanwhile in the security control center, JD zoomed in closer on the driver's
license as he verified it through his various security databases to make
sure it was legit. A second later he found out it was indeed a forgery.
Contacting the Pit Boss, Ezra Standish, JD informed him of the fake driver's
license and Ezra quickly and efficiently handled the situation by confiscating
the phony license and sent the young woman away after a warning that if she
tried it again, the police would be notified.
Back in the control room, Vin Tanner stated, "Looks like Chris is here with
Nettie and Casey." He was watching another set of monitors which showed the
Security Chief and two women out front of the hotel unloading their suitcases
from Chris' SUV with the help of Head Valet, Josiah Sanchez.
Vin's announcement drew JD's attention to the set of monitors as he watched
their arrival, his gaze straying to the pretty brown haired girl.
"Nettie, Casey, I heard the news," said Mary Travis who greeted the two women
as they entered the hotel lobby. "How horrible!" She had heard about the
horrible fire and immediately headed over to make sure they were ok.
"Thank you, Mary," said Nettie as she hugged the woman back. "You didn't
have to come here . . . I know you're busy at the paper."
"But I wanted to," replied the pretty blonde. "You two are good friends plus
you know how much Billy loves your horses. Is there anything I can do?"
"I think we're ok, Mary," replied Nettie, taking comfort in her friend's
kind words. "Chris has been very helpful and insisted that we stay here until
they find out who did this."
"Well, let me help you settle into your room," said Mary. "And then I'll
take you down to Wolfgang's to get something to eat . . . my treat."
"Mary, you don't have to do that," countered Nettie.
"I know," replied Mary as she smiled. "But I insist."
After Chris Larabee returned back to the security control room he was anxious
for an update on what JD and Vin uncovered about Guy Royal.
"Ok, what did you all find out?" asked Chris.
"Well, this Guy Royal fella is a huge land developer," stated Vin Tanner.
"Over the last couple years he's been collecting land and turning all the
property into high-end housing developments. The man has made a killing and
is worth millions. . ."
Chris nodded as he absorbed the information. He then asked, "What about the
deed? Is it real?"
"Well, at first check it looks authentic," replied JD as he handed the deed
in question to his boss. "But you know how looks can be deceiving so I dug
a little deeper. I have a contact in the County office we went to school
together at MIT and were in several classes together."
"JD, the point of all of this," said Chris as he tried to get the young man
back to the matter at hand.
"Oh, right, well I checked with my contact and there is a record of this
deed at their office but the funny thing is the plot of land that is listed
on their version of the deed is slightly different then this one." JD pulled
out the County version of the deed to show the Security Chief.
"So, it's fake?" asked Chris as he looked at the two documents.
"Yep," replied JD succinctly. "A very good one but it's definitely fake."
"Interesting," said Chris. "Well, I think its time for Nettie to meet Mr.
Royal and we call his bluff. . ."
Heading into his office, Chris Larabee had a few more details to work out
before they put his plan into works.
It was later in the day when Chris Larabee visited Nettie Wells in her room
to fill her in on what they had found out. After giving her all the details,
the older woman asked, "So, what do we do? Obviously I can't just ignore
him . . . if I do, he'll try to burn down something else on my land . . .
and we don't have evidence against him to take it to the police."
"Well, I have an idea," replied Chris as he slowly smiled. "How about if
you give Mr. Royal a call and tell him you want to meet with you to talk
about his offer?"
"Ok, but he sure as heck not getting my land," replied Nettie.
"Oh, that definitely ain't gonna happen," replied Chris. "In fact I have
something else in mind for Mr. Royal."
Following his suggestion, Nettie called Guy Royal and arranged to meet him
tomorrow at noon in the hotel restaurant.
Buck Wilmington was assisting a whale at the adult outdoor pool area when
it suddenly turned into a 'Girls Gone Wild' video with the cheerleaders deciding
a wet t-shirt contest was needed to spice things up.
"Mr. Dylan," said Buck. "If you would prefer a more secluded and quiet location
I can have it arranged."
"Oh, no, this will be fine," said Rupert Dylan as his gaze lingered in the
cheerleaders' direction. "It looks like things are getting a little interesting
plus I could use a distraction from all the money I just lost."
"Alright Sir," said Buck. "Can I get you another drink?"
"Oh, yes, that would be fine," replied the whale who couldn't tear his eyes
away from the wet t-shirt contest. Buck nodded as he quickly handled the
Down in the security control room they watched the impromptu contest with
amusement. Unfortunately it didn't last long because the wet t-shirt contest
turned into a cat fight when one of the cheerleaders hogged the stage from
"Looks like we have a situation at the adult pool," stated Vin Tanner.
JD Dunne shuddered as he remembered the last incident he handled at the adult
pool ended with him in the water. "Rock, paper, scissors . . . loser has
to go down," suggested JD as he held up a hand.
Vin nodded and the two men played the game with Vin picking paper and JD
picking rock. The computer tech reluctantly got up from his chair as Vin
commented, "Hope you got a bathing suit under those clothes. Looks like you
might need it."
JD ignored the razzing as he quickly made his way down to the pool area.
When he got there he expected chaos and mayhem but instead it was the complete
"What the?" he muttered as he spotted his buddy, Buck Wilmington, standing
off to the side and headed in his direction. "What happened, Buck?" he asked
as he tried to figure out who had stopped the fight between the girls.
"I just used a little of my animal magnetism," replied Buck as he grinned.
"It gets them every time."
JD rolled his eyes as he replied, "No, really? What happened? How did you
stop the cat fight?"
"Let's just say Mr. Dylan made them an offer they couldn't refuse," replied
Buck as he pointed in the whale's direction. The gentleman was now surrounded
by a crowd of cheerleaders. "So, no dip in the pool for you today," continued
Buck as he lightly slapped his friend on the shoulder.
JD rolled his eyes as he turned and headed back to the control room.
Nathan Jackson finally had an evening off and decided he would go see the
lovely Rain sing in the Montecito's lounge. Finding an empty seat in the
corner, he settled in and enjoyed the show as she sang some of the new favorites
as well as classic oldies. She had such a beautiful voice that seemed to
weave a spell around him. He couldn't take his eyes off of her.
Rain had spotted Nathan in the audience and her stomach did a flip flop,
glad to see he finally took her up on her offer and came to hear her sing.
She smiled as she continued with her show while trying not to focus all her
attention on the doctor.
When the show finally ended, Nathan joined the rest of the audience in giving
Rain a stand ovation. Using his Montecito employee badge, he slipped into
the "Employees' Only" section and headed to Rain's dressing room.
Rain was taking a sip of her hot tea when she heard a soft knock on her door.
"Come in," she said softly. Much to her surprise and delight, it was Nathan
"Nathan, come in," she said softly as she stood to greet the man. "I noticed
you were out in the audience tonight. Did you enjoy the show?"
"Very much," replied Nathan as he smiled. "I just wanted to come back and
see how you are doing . . . see how your throat is feeling."
"It's much better, thank you," said Rain as she touched her throat lightly.
"The hot tea has helped a lot as well as your other suggestions."
"Well, you'd never know you had a sore throat," said Nathan. "You were
unbelievable tonight. I see why the audiences love you."
Rain blushed as she glanced down, embarrassed. "Those are very kind words.
Thank you." She then looked up, her gaze catching his as she continued, "I'm
glad you were able to come to the show."
"I'm just sorry I didn't make it sooner," replied Nathan sincerely.
"Well, that's ok, I understand," said Rain. "I know you have a busy schedule."
"Well, hopefully not so busy that maybe we couldn't go out for lunch or
something," said a hopeful Nathan. He then continued quickly, "If your schedule
"I'd like that a lot," replied Rain. "Maybe a late lunch. . . say Thursday
"That would be perfect!" replied Nathan. "Where do you want to meet?"
"How about the lobby and we can decide then where to go?" suggested Rain.
Nathan nodded and then said, "Well, I should let you go. I know you have
a second show that you need to prepare for."
"Thanks for stopping by, Nathan," said Rain as she walked the man to the
door. "I'm also glad you made it to a show."
"Me too," replied Nathan as he smiled at her and then slipped through the
Rain closed the door behind him and leaned against it. A smile appeared across
her face as she thought of their upcoming date.
Casey Wells was down at the Bella Petto Pool Bar enjoying her glass of lemonade
while she tackled her homework. She was taking classes at Las Vegas College
while helping her Aunt with the ranch and with everything that has happened
she was behind on her assignments. Sure the room was probably a little quieter
but she was tired of staring at the same four walls and wanted to get out
and get some fresh air. She was so engrossed in her book she didn't even
hear the young security officer when he approached.
"Hey Casey, whatcha reading?" asked JD who was on his security rounds and
had seen the young girl sitting by herself.
Casey looked up, the sun blinding her briefly as she held up a hand to see
the young man standing before her. "Hi JD," said Casey. "Accounting II. I'm
just working on some homework."
"Ugh . . . that doesn't sound like fun," commented JD.
Casey laughed softly as she replied, "It's not too bad. I have a good teacher
who makes it easy to understand."
JD nodded, suddenly finding himself at a loss of words.
"Can I ask you a question, JD,' said Casey softly.
"Sure," replied the young quickly. "What's up?"
"This meeting with Royal," said Casey. "It's going to work, right? We're
not going to lose the ranch."
"It'll work," reassured JD. "One thing I know for certain is you can count
on Chris. He'll make sure Royal doesn't get your ranch."
Casey replied, "Thanks. I shouldn't keep you any longer . . . I know you
have a job to get back to."
JD nodded, "Well, if you need anything, just call us and try not to worry."
"I'll try not to," replied Casey as she watched the young man walk away.
When he was no longer in sight she returned back to her accounting homework.
Guy Royal walked into the Montecito, pausing for a moment as he took off
his sunglasses and glanced around the lavishly decorated lobby. At least
the old broad had some taste suggesting that they meet here, he thought.
"Excuse me, can you tell me where the restaurant is?" asked Royal to one
of the passing employees who pointed him in the right direction.
Meanwhile, security had already been alerted to his arrival with the
well-positioned cameras. Chris watched the monitor closely as he sized up
his enemy. Nettie was already down in the restaurant and in a moment he would
leave to meet her and Royal.
Nettie nervously sat in the restaurant and waited for Guy Royal to show up.
When she saw him at the entrance of the restaurant she took a deep breath
to calm herself and got ready for the showdown.
"Ms. Wells," said Guy as he stopped at her table.
"Mr. Royal," said Nettie in a formal voice. "Please join me."
"I'd love to," replied Guy as he took a seat across from her. The waitress
came and took his drink order and quickly departed. "So, should we continue
these formalities or get down to business?" asked Royal who was anxious to
close the deal.
"I believe that is an excellent suggestion," said Chris Larabee as he made
his appearance. "Mind if I join you?" he asked and then took a seat next
to Nettie without waiting for his response.
"Who's this?" asked Royal who was not pleased with this unexpected visitor.
"A friend," replied Nettie succinctly.
The waitress returned with Royal's drink and asked Chris if he wanted anything
and he declined. Once she left, Royal asked, "Shall we start this?" and then
took a sip of his drink.
"What's there to discuss?" asked Nettie. "I'm not giving up the ranch."
Royal laughed and then said, "You forget you don't have a say in the matter
I have the deed to the land."
"That's where you are wrong, Mr. Royal," said Chris. "You had this deed .
. . a fake deed might I add." He pulled out the piece of paper that the land
developer had given to Nettie. "Sure it looks pretty real but it isn't."
"That deed is 100% real," defended Guy Royal. "You're wrong!"
"No, I'm very much right," countered Chris. "You see this deed is the real
one we got from the County office." He pulled out the second document that
was indeed a legit deed. "If you look real closely these two documents are
the same except for one little area . . . you change the location on the
fake deed to Nettie's ranch."
A stunned Guy Royal sat in silence as Chris sat back and continued in a low
voice, "Now we can do this one of two ways. Option one, you leave and you
never contact Nettie Wells or her niece again or option two, I contact the
police about your little scam that I am sure they will be interested in.
I also have a few friends at the IRS who I'm sure would be happy to do a
thorough investigation on all your previous years' returns as well. Now I
get the feeling you really wouldn't want that."
A very unhappy Guy Royal shook his head 'no'.
"Also, you and your men don't come near Nettie's property," warned Chris.
"If there is another fire, you will have to deal with me, got it."
Royal shook his head in understanding. "I believe this meeting is over?"
asked Guy Royal as he stood; he was not pleased with how the outcome.
"It has been a pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Royal," said Chris to
a retreating back.
When Royal was out of the restaurant, Nettie said, "You did it! I can't believe
you did it?"
"You shouldn't have anymore problems with Mr. Guy Royal," said Chris. "But
if he is stupid enough to try something, just let me know and I'll take care
Vin Tanner hung up the phone as he stood and grabbed his coat. "Got a complaint
about a room disturbance . . . need to go check it out," he reported.
"Ok," replied JD who was working on the computer.
Vin headed out of the security control room and weaved his way through the
back corridors until he emerged out of the side door in the lobby area. He
moved quickly to the elevators and took one up to the ninth floor.
Stopping at room 949, Vin knocked and waited. He could hear through the door
loud music and giggles.
The door opened and there stood a college aged girl with long brown hair,
blue eyes, and wearing a pair of shorts and tank top. "Yes?" she asked.
"Ma'am, I'm from Montecito Security and I would like to ask that you turn
down your music and keep the noise down," stated Vin. "We've received several
"Oh, is our music that loud?" asked the young girl. "I'm so sorry."
One of the girl's friends came up carrying a pillow and she whacked her friend
with it. "Tag, you're it!" she said proudly as feathers from the pillow floated
in the air.
"Buffy, can't you see I'm talking to Security," said the young girl as she
turned to her friend. "He's says we're too loud . . . they've gotten complaints."
Buffy looked at the Montecito Security Officer and asked while smiling, "Do
you want to join us?"
Several more young girls appeared behind Buffy and Vin's first thought was
'Run. Run like hell.' Instead he replied, "Sorry Ma'am, I'm on the job. If
you could just turn down the music and keep the noise down, we would appreciate
"Ok, we will," said one of the girls while the others giggle. "When you get
off of work, come back and join us!" The door closed and Vin shook his head
as he turned and headed back to the control room.
When he got back, JD looked up and smiled. "Had a nice time?" asked the young
"Just the usual," replied Vin nonchalantly.
"Involved in a pillow fight?" asked JD as he plucked a feather from Vin's
hair and handed it him. "Looks like you lost." A speechless Vin turned back
to work as he threw the feather in the trash while JD hid a smile.
Nettie and Casey were anxiously waiting out front of the Montecito for their
ride back to the ranch. Now that the whole Guy Royal mess was over they couldn't
wait to get back home.
"Here's your ride," stated Chris Larabee who was waiting with the two women
as their transportation arrived.
Nettie and Casey turned to see a sleek black limousine pull up in front of
them. "Oh, that can't be right . . . there must be a mistake . . . we can't
ride home in that," stated a shocked Nettie.
"It's right," reaffirmed Chris as the driver popped the trunk. "Compliments
of the Montecito."
"I've never ridden in a limo before," stated an excited Casey. "How cool
"Here, let me help you with your bags," said Josiah Sanchez as he quickly
loaded them into the vehicle and closed the trunk.
"Thank you," said Nettie who was still in shock over their 'ride' home.
"Our pleasure, Ma'am," said Josiah as he smiled.
Nettie turned to Chris and said, "I can't thank you enough for everything
"It was no problem, Nettie," said Chris.
"And thank Vin and JD for me too," continued Nettie. "For all the work they
did in finding out about that deed and all. . ."
"I will," said Chris as he smiled.
"And I want you all to come out for dinner when you have a day off," stated
Nettie. "It would be just a small way for me to thank you all."
"Nettie, you don't have to," started Chris.
"I insist," replied Nettie stopping the Security Chief.
"Alright, we would love to," said Chris as he smiled.
"Well, now that we have that settled," said Nettie. "I believe we should
leave so you can get back to work."
Chris nodded as he helped held open the door for the two women to get into
"If you need anything just call," said Chris.
"We will," said Nettie.
"I'll be out next weekend for a ride," stated Chris.
"Ok, we'll have Crusader ready for you," replied a smiling Nettie.
Chris closed the door and tapped on the hood to signal to the driver they
were ready. He watched as the limo slowed pulled away, taking the two women
back to their ranch.
Turning, Chris Larabee headed back inside to return to work. It was just
another typical day in Vegas. . .