'Aw hell,' thought Chris Larabee, Head of Security at
the Montecito Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was in a meeting
with the hotel/casino owner, Orin Travis, and had just received some rather
"I know, I know," said Travis as he held up a hand to stop any further protests
from the Security Chief. "You're not happy about this."
"That is an understatement, Sir," replied Chris succinctly.
"But I promised a friend and besides it will only be for a week," countered
Travis as he tried to look on the positive side.
"So you want us to play babysitter for this Hollywood-type," stated Chris
Larabee as he tried to hold back a groan of disbelief.
"Jock Steele is a producer and director, and he's looking to develop a TV
show that takes place in a Las Vegas resort. He wants to get a behind-the-scenes
look at how a hotel and casino is run," explained Travis, and then added,
"And the Montecito is the perfect place to get that information."
"If you say so, Sir," replied Chris. "We'll play babysitters. But if Mr.
Steele gets in the way of us properly protecting our guests and our employees,
he goes back home on the next plane."
"Agreed," said Travis knowing Larabee took the security of the hotel and
casino very seriously. "Well, then, glad we are in agreement. Oh, Mr. Steele
will arrive on Monday."
Chris nodded in understanding and said, "If there isn't anything else, Sir,
I believe I will go notify my folks."
"Sure, sure," said Travis. "That's it."
Later that Day...
"Hey Buck! Buck!" called JD Dunne, the computer/technical expert on the Security
Team, as he tried to catch up to his buddy who was down on the main floor
working. The young man was on a break, and he wanted to see if his friend
heard the big news.
Buck Wilmington turned at the sound of his name and smiled when he saw it
was his 'younger brother.' "Hey, JD, what got you all excited? Got a big
date?" joked the Hospitality Host as he slowed down to let the young man
catch up to him.
JD rolled his eyes at the 'big date' remark and chose to ignore it. "Did
you hear the big news?"
"What news is that?" asked Buck who had a sinking suspicion what the young
man was going to say since news traveled pretty fast at the Montecito.
"That a big Hollywood producer is coming," replied JD excitedly. "He wants
to get a 'behind the scenes' look at the Montecito for a TV series he's
"Oh, that news," replied Buck nonchalantly. "Yea, I did hear."
"Well, aren't you excited?" asked JD. "Isn't it cool? Maybe if we're lucky
he'll put us in his TV series as extras or something. . ."
Buck started to laugh as he shook his head in disbelief. "JD, you need to
lay off the caffeine."
A dejected look crossed the young man's features, clearly not pleased his
friend didn't share the same excitement at the recent announcement.
Buck, who noticed the look, continued, "Although, I must admit, it is pretty
"Finally! Someone who agrees," declared JD.
Buck laughed as he replied, "What? Did Chris and Vin not take the news too
"Not at all," replied JD. "Chris . . . well, if looks could kill, Jock Steele
would already be dead. And, Vin, it didn't even faze him . . . he was all
laid-back about it . . . like it wasn't a big deal. . ."
Well, that about summed it up, thought Buck. He figured his old friend, Chris
Larabee, would be spitting mad and well, Vin Tanner, the soft-spoken security
officer probably could care less about the big hoopla. The sound of a ringing
cell phone interrupted the two men's conversation as Buck reached for his
cell and answered it. A few moments later, he said, "Gotta go, JD, I've got
a whale coming in that I need to meet."
JD nodded in understanding, knowing the high rollers were important to the
Montecito and were Buck's responsibility. "Catch you later," said JD and
then headed in the direction of the security control room to get back to
It was Monday afternoon and the sun shown brightly in the cloudless sky.
It was another hot day in Las Vegas, thought Josiah Sanchez, Head Valet at
the Montecito, as he waited outside the hotel for Jock Steele's arrival.
They had been alerted by the hotel's limousine driver that the TV producer
had been picked up at the airport and was now in route. Wearing a communication
device so he was in constant contact with Montecito's security, Josiah spoke
softly in the concealed mic as he glanced up at the security camera that
was carefully positioned out of the way. "No sign of our guest," he murmured.
He knew Chris and his team were monitoring his movements in the security
Finally after a few minutes a sleek black limousine pulled up and Josiah
quickly moved forward to open the door to help Mr. Steele.
Stepping out of the vehicle was a short gentleman with pale skin and dark
hair slicked back, dressed in a sharp navy business suit.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Steele," said Josiah. They had found a picture of TV
producer from the internet and had passed it out to all the employees so
they would be on the lookout for the important visitor.
Jock was taken aback slightly that the Montecito valet attendant knew his
name. Finally, he responded, "Thank you, Mr.?"
"Sanchez," replied the big man. "Josiah Sanchez, I am the Head Valet at the
Montecito. If there is anything I can do to help you during your stay, just
let me know."
"Thank you, Mr. Sanchez," replied Jock Steele as he smiled at the friendly
gentleman. Pausing a moment to take in the Montecito's front area, Jock
continued, "This is quite an establishment."
"Your first time in Las Vegas, Sir?" asked Josiah as he had one of his staff
place the last of Mr. Steele's suitcases on the cart.
"Yes, it is," declared Jock. "Hard to believe, ain't it? You'd think I would
have been here before especially since we had that big Vegas shootout scene
in my action thriller 'Reilly's Bloody Revenge' but that was all filmed back
in LA on a soundstage."
Josiah nodded in understanding even though he hadn't seen the movie in question
and then replied, "Well, Sir, if you are impressed with the outside of the
Montecito, just wait until you go inside." The Head Valet opened the entrance
doors as he continued, "VIP Reception is through the doors and on the left.
They will help you with checking-in and I will make sure your bags get to
"Thank you, Mr. Sanchez," replied the TV producer as he slipped a tip into
the big man's hand. "I appreciate your assistance.
"Anytime, Sir," said Josiah as he placed the money in his pocket while watching
as Jock Steele entered through the doors. Once the TV producer was gone,
Josiah alerted Security to the TV producer's arrival by saying in his hidden
mic, "The eagle has landed."
Meanwhile in the Security bullpen, JD exclaimed, "He's here! He's here!"
as they watched Jock Steele at VIP Reception checking in.
"Yep, it sure does look like it," commented Vin Tanner barely looking at
the security monitors. His attention was focused on the leftover jelly-filled
donut he was munching on for his mid-afternoon snack. Meanwhile hearing the
young man's exclamation, Chris Larabee emerged from his office to see what
"Come on, you can't say you haven't seen any of his movies or TV shows?"
replied JD as he looked at the two men and then began to rattle off some
of his favorite Steele productions, "'Bloody Hand Barnes,' 'Twin Guns of
Death,' 'Twin Guns of Death Part Deux,' 'Purgatory,' 'Murder and Mayhem,'
and my favorite 'Reilly's Bloody Revenge.' They're classics . . . masterpieces
of the cinema. . . And then there is his detective TV drama called, "Watson
and Watson" . . . it was only on one season before CBS yanked it off the
air." The young kid shook his head in dismay of the TV network's stupid decision.
"If you say so, kid," replied Vin as Chris shrugged.
"Guess I need to get out more . . . never heard of any of those movies or
TV show," countered Chris.
"Oh man, you've never heard of 'Purgatory'?" replied JD as he stared in disbelief
at his two coworkers and then quickly continued not waiting for a response
from either. "At the end of the movie there's this big final shoot-out with
zombie cowboys that is unbelievable!"
"Zombie cowboys?" repeated Vin Tanner as Chris Larabee tried to hold back
"I've got the director's cut version on DVD," continued the excited computer
specialist. "I'll bring it in so you can watch it."
"Great, I appreciate it," replied Vin who was now questioning the young man's
taste in movies.
"Ok, guys, I hate to break up the chatter but back to work," replied Chris
as JD and Vin quickly returned back to their surveillance duties. Shaking
his head as he smiled, Chris returned back to his office to enjoy his last
few moments of quiet before Jock Steele descended on him and his security
In the meantime, back at VIP Reception, Jock Steele was finishing up his
check-in. "Mr. Steele, here is the pass card to your room," said the VIP
Receptionist, Betty, as she handed the item in question to the TV producer.
"In addition, here is a map of our hotel and casino as well as a complimentary
ticket to tomorrow evening's show in our lounge. If there is anything I can
do to assist you during your stay, please don't hesitate to ask."
"Thank you," said Jock Steele as he took the documents from the young lady.
It was at this time Hospitality Host, Buck Wilmington, arrived.
"Mr. Steele, my sincere apologies for being late," said Buck. "I was assisting
another guest. My name is Buck Wilmington. I am one of the Hospitality Hosts
here at the Montecito and have been assigned to make sure you have everything
you need during your stay."
"Mr. Wilmington," said Jock Steele as he shook the man's hand. "It's nice
to meet you. I must say everyone is so nice and friendly here and very helpful."
"Well, we do pride ourselves in offering the best experience for our guests,"
said Buck while smiling. Motioning to the set of elevators Buck continued,
"Let me show you to your room."
Steele nodded in agreement and together the two men entered into one of the
elevators and headed up to the 14th floor. Once they reached Jock's
door, Buck said, "Here is my business card. Once you have settled in, call
me and I will escort you to the Security offices to meet with Head of Security,
"Thank you, Mr. Wilmington," said Steele as he accepted the business card
and then headed into his suite. He noticed immediately that his luggage was
already there and sitting on the table was a complimentary gift basket. The
Montecito was definitely going all out to make him feel welcome, he thought,
as he pulled out his Blackberry and began to record his initial impressions
of Las Vegas and the hotel. He never went anywhere without his electronic
handheld device which he used for note taking or jotting down ideas for movies
and TV shows.
Chris Larabee was sitting behind his desk finishing up the last of his paperwork
when there was a knock on his door.
"Chris, it's Buck," said the Hospitality Host as he poked his head in the
doorway. "I have Mr. Steele here for his meeting with you."
Chris finished signing the last document and then placed his pen down. Standing
he said, "Please come in, Mr. Steele" as he reminded himself this was Orin
Travis' idea and the TV producer was only here for a week. He could get through
this, he thought.
Buck gave his friend a reassuring smile before leaving the two men alone.
"Mr. Larabee," said Jock Steele as he shook the Security Chief's hand. "It
is nice to meet you."
"Mr. Steele, please have a seat," offered Chris as he took a seat behind
"Thank you," said Jock as he took a seat and then continued, "Mr. Larabee,
let me first say that I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity to get
a behind the scenes look at this magnificent hotel and casino. I realize
I am taking time out of your busy schedules and I do really appreciate it."
"Well, Mr. Steele," started Chris. "Mr. Travis, the owner of the Montecito,
was very excited to open our doors to you for your research."
"Ahh, but you aren't?" asked Jock who could easily tell the Head of Security
was not happy with this.
"Let's just say I follow orders," replied Chris succinctly. "And, let me
also say, that if at any time you put my team, the guests, or Montecito staff
in danger or seriously interfere with the running of this casino, you are
on the first plane back to LA."
"I understand completely," said Jock. "And I promise I will not get in your
team's way . . . I'm only an observer this week."
Chris nodded, glad to see the TV producer will follow his directions. "Well,
then, since we are in agreement, how about if I give you a tour of Security
"I would like that," said Steele as the two men stood and Chris directed
the TV producer out of his office and into the 'bullpen' area.
Over the next few minutes Chris gave Jock Steele a general overview of the
various duties and functions of his team, what they did in the control room,
and introduced him to the men and women in his group.
"And finally, this is JD Dunne and Vin Tanner," said Chris Larabee as they
came to the two men who were watching the main security monitors, the ones
focused on the VIP guests.
Vin nodded in acknowledgment to the TV producer while an excited JD Dunne
stood and shook the man's hand. "Mr. Steele, let me say it is an honor to
meet you," gushed JD. "I am a big fan of your movies and TV shows . . . the
zombie cowboy shootout at the end of 'Purgatory' was just brilliant!"
"Not again about the zombies," mumbled Vin under his breath as he got up.
He then announced to Chris, "I think I'll go make my rounds on the main floor
. . . I'll be back in an hour."
Chris nodded as he then turned his attention back to youngest member on his
team. "JD, why don't you explain some of the technical aspects of our job,"
suggested Chris as he interrupted JD's detailed account about the last scene
"Sure thing, boss," said an excited JD as he began to explain the various
technical systems the Montecito had.
Jock Steele took a seat by the young man and began feverishly taking notes
in his blackberry. At one point, he asked, "Now, Mr. Dunne, aren't you kind
of young to be responsible for such an elaborate security system."
The young man blushed as he replied, "Well, I finished school early . . .
got my Master's degree from MIT."
"Can I ask why you chose a hotel/casino in Las Vegas as your first job?"
asked Steele who was curious by the young man's decision.
"Well, I'm from the East coast and had always wanted to go out West. When
I was a kid I wanted to be a Texas Ranger but then when I got older I found
out I had a knack for computers and technical stuff. So, after college I
packed my bags and headed west. When I got to Vegas I saw a help wanted ad
for security personnel with experience in computers. And I guess the rest
"Fascinating," said Steele.
JD shrugged as if it was no big deal and then said, "We should continue with
the tour . . . now we have security cameras or as we like to call them 'Eyes
in the Sky' posted throughout the hotel and casino. The only places we don't
have them are in the guests' rooms and restrooms. We use these cameras to
monitor everything and to ensure the safety of our guests and personnel.
JD paused when he noticed Steele's gaze was focused on one particular TV
monitor. It was the one for elevator four where currently a young couple
was engaged in a very heated kiss. JD cleared his throat as he said, "None
of our cameras are hidden from our guests."
To prove the young man's point the woman in the elevator glanced up in the
direction of the camera and smiled for them as her boyfriend lavished kisses
on her neck. Giving one the impression she enjoyed the idea that they were
being watched. A few seconds later the elevator doors open and the young
couple left the elevator, the young girl waving to the security camera before
exiting, and headed down the hall to room to continue their private party.
"And as you see, we sometimes see some interesting stuff," replied JD.
"So I see," replied Jock.
"There was this one time when we watched this man stuff his pants with crab
cakes from the all-you-can-eat buffet in our restaurant. I guess he wanted
a little snack for back in his room," said JD. "It definitely doesn't get
boring that is for sure."
Jock Steele nodded in understanding as he smiled while imagining all the
different stories he could tell in his new Las Vegas TV series.
"Mr. Sanchez, can I have a moment of your time?" asked Jock Steele who was
continuing his behind the scenes look of the Montecito. He wanted to chat
with the Head Valet for a few minutes to get his perspective on the job for
Josiah smiled as he replied, "Sure thing. What can I do for you, Mr. Steele?"
The Head Valet motioned for Jock to follow him to a nearby bench where the
two men took a seat.
"Well, I wanted to ask you a few questions for my research," explained Jock.
"All right, ask away," replied Josiah.
"What's it like working here at the Montecito as Head Valet?" asked Steele.
"Well, one definitely has to like working with people," replied Josiah after
he pondered the man's question. "My staff and I are usually the first individuals
our guests meet when coming to the Montecito so first impressions are very
important. And, many a time you see people at their best or at their worst
and how you treat them at those times will depend on whether they will return
to the Montecito in the future."
Jock nodded in understanding as he took notes in his Blackberry.
"Also, I find that you treat everyone from the whale who is staying
in the mansion or high rollers suites to the homeless person just passing
by the same," continued Josiah. "There are so many 'lost souls' out
there needing a helping hand and I try to be that person."
"So, you're sort of a shepherd to the wayward flock?" surmised Steele.
"You could put it that way," replied Josiah and a smile tugged at his lips.
"And here in Vegas you could say that is quite a big flock I tend to."
Jock smiled as he nodded in agreement. "And, you help Security out on occasion?"
"I have in the past when the need arises," replied Josiah. "In this job you
have to be sort of a 'jack of all trades' but my preference is to be out
here where the people need me the most. It's where I can make a difference."
Jock Steele nodded in understanding, believing the big man was indeed in
the right job to do the most good. "Well, Mr. Sanchez, I know you are busy
and I want to thank you for taking the time to chat with me," said Steele.
"No problem, anytime," said Josiah. "If you think of any other questions,
you know where I am."
Steele nodded as he smiled while standing, watching as the Head Valet returned
to his job.
"Hey Vin," said Chris Larabee as he walked out into the bullpen area. The
quiet security officer looked up from his work as Chris said, "You're up."
"Awww come on, let JD handle it," pleaded Vin who was not looking forward
to this day.
"JD already handled the briefing on the technical-computer aspects," replied
Chris. "Besides he's busy with backing up the system at the moment."
"Ok, fine," relented Vin. "Where is he?" The soft-spoken Security Officer
was referring to the TV producer, Jock Steele.
"Down in the lobby, waiting for you to do your security sweep," replied Chris.
"He'll be tagging along."
"Wonderful," replied Vin as he stood and grabbed his suit coat, shrugging
"Hope you don't run into any zombies," called out Chris as Vin was walking
out, knowing JD had been bugging the quiet man about the zombie cowboy movie.
The younger man sent a glare back at his boss that made Chris chuckle.
Larabee took a seat in one of the chairs in the bullpen area watching the
monitors as Vin met up with the TV producer. Once the two began their sweep
of the facility, he took a sip of his coffee.
"So, Mr. Tanner, how long have you been at the Montecito?" asked Jock as
he tried to get to know the young man while on their security sweep.
"A couple years," replied Vin succinctly.
"Do you like it?" asked Steele.
"Yea, I do," replied Vin.
So, he's a man of few words, thought Jock Steele, realizing it was going
to be like pulling teeth to get this man to say more than three words.
"So, what do you look for on these sweeps?" asked Steele as he tried again
to draw the quiet man into a conversation.
Vin cast a glance Jock's way as if he was almost surprised the man was still
trying to ask him questions and then answered, "Anything that is unusual."
Well, that was four words, thought Steele, as he asked, "Like what?"
"Well, say for example, that young kid over there," replied Vin who discreetly
pointed out a 20-something kid who was hanging by the slot machines. "He
doesn't seem like the normal high-roller, looks like he's by himself, and
see how he keeps glancing around like he's guilty?"
"Yea," replied Steele as he whispered, "What do you think he's up to?"
"No good," replied Vin. And to prove his point the young man chose that moment
to steal the purse of a little old lady who was playing the slots (his first
mistake for the day). He took off running in the opposite direction as the
woman began to yell, "Help!!! Help!! He took my purse!! Help!!! Help!!!!"
"Stay right here, I'll be back," said Vin quickly as he took off after the
purse-snatcher like a panther on the prowl.
Jock Steele hurried to the little old lady to console her. "Don't worry,
Ma'am, Mr. Tanner will get your purse back."
'Aww hell, so much for an easy security sweep,' thought Vin as he dodged
past a couple of sightseers in hot pursuit of the purse-snatcher who headed
out of the casino and into the hotel lobby in the direction of the main doors.
That was the purse-snatcher's second mistake for the day.
As the thief ran through the main doors and into daylight he thought he was
home free unfortunately he didn't see the large arm come out from nowhere
and clothesline him across the chest until it was too late. He hit the ground
like a pile of bricks.
"Son, I don't think this belongs to you," said Josiah who was responsible
for knocking the man down as he retrieved the purse from the man's hands
while at the same time Vin Tanner arrived on the scene.
"Looking for this?" asked Josiah while holding up the purse.
"Yea," said a slightly winded Vin as he took the purse. "I am."
"Chris gave me a heads up he was headin' this way," commented Josiah. "Thought
you could use some help."
"Thanks," replied Vin.
"If you want I can stay with him until the police arrive so you can return
the purse," replied Josiah. Vin nodded as he turned to head back inside the
"Oh, Vin," said Josiah as Vin paused and turned. "The purse goes great with
"Gee thanks, Josiah," said Vin sarcastically as he headed back inside to
find the owner of the purse.
Meanwhile Josiah said to the purse-snatcher, "Son, you definitely picked
the wrong casino . . . this is not your lucky day."
Meanwhile back inside. . .
"Ma'am, I believe this belongs to you," said Vin as he returned the purse
back to the gray-haired lady.
"Oh, thank you so much, young man" said the woman as she clutched the purse
to her chest.
"See, I told you Mr. Tanner would bring your purse back," replied Jock Steele.
"Here, let me give you a tip," said the older woman as she tried to hand
Vin a $5 bill.
"Ma'am I can't accept that," said Vin as he smiled reassuringly. "I was just
doing my job."
"Well, thank you, young man," said the elderly woman as she gave him a hug
before hurrying away to find her friends to tell them what happened.
"So, is this normal for your security sweeps?" asked Jock as they watched
the woman walk away.
"No," replied Vin. "This was a quiet day."
Jock Steele was seated in one of the hotel's restaurants enjoying his lunch
as he looked over his notes he had taken so far. He had found his observations
of the Montecito staff fascinating. They were like a well-oiled machine,
each contributing their talents and skills to the smooth running of this
very impressive Resort and Casino. There was definitely a story here, he
thought, one that he could create into an entertaining TV series with interesting
"Mr. Steele, can I join you?"
The sound of a voice interrupted his thoughts as he looked up to find a handsome
African-American man standing by his table.
"I am Dr. Nathan Jackson, the physician on call here at the Montecito," said
Nathan. "I had heard you wanted to talk to me."
"Oh, Doctor Jackson, yes, please join me," said Jock Steele who was happy
to finally meet up with the Montecito's doctor.
Nathan slipped into the booth across from the TV producer while at the same
time the waitress came over to take his drink order. "I'll take an ice tea,"
said Jackson and the waitress hurried away.
"So, are you enjoying your stay?" asked Nathan.
"Very much, very much," replied Steele. "Everyone has been so friendly and
helpful. So, how long have you worked here?"
"Going on three years now," replied Nathan as the waitress sat the ice tea
down in front of him and then took their food order, Nathan deciding to stick
to his usual turkey sandwich while Jock had already started on a cheeseburger
"Can I ask why you chose a job here at the Montecito instead of starting
your own practice?" asked Steele who was curious about the man's occupational
"Well, before I came here I was working at a free clinic not too far away,"
replied Nathan after taking a sip of his drink. "Soon money, or lack of it,
became an issue as in most cases for free clinics and this opportunity presented
itself. I thought it would give me the option of making money, as well as,
still help out at the clinic on my days off."
Steele nodded in understanding as he asked, "So, do you handle many medical
"Well, it all depends on the day," replied Nathan. "Without going into details,
because of doctor-patient confidentiality, we get a wide range of medical
calls ranging from the common cold, stomach viruses, overindulgence of alcohol
or other substances, heart attacks, panic attacks, depression, and the occasional
"Jumper?" asked Steele as he looked up from his note taking.
"Las Vegas is the city of extremes," replied Nathan. "People either win big
or lose big and when they lose big, some decide it's no longer worth living
and they go someplace high and jump."
"OH," replied Jock as he realized the serious implications of the doctor's
"But with every bad day we have a good one ... or an unusual one," said Nathan.
"For example, just last week there was this lady who gave birth at the blackjack
table ... she refused to break her winning streak and leave the table and
that little baby boy wasn't going to wait any longer. That was a good day."
The waitress returned to their table and delivered their food, refilled their
drinks, and asked if they needed anything else. After she left, there were
a few moments of silence as the two men enjoyed their meals. Finally, Jock
asked, "What about the 'unusual days'?"
"Oh, well those days definitely break up the monotony," replied Nathan. "There
was this one time where this woman glued her hand to the slot machine lever
because she wasn't going to leave until she won."
"What happened?" asked Jock.
"Well, she didn't take into account all the alcohol she had been drinking
and that she would need to use the bathroom," replied a grinning Nathan as
he shook his head remembering back on the scene. "It was not a pretty sight
that was for sure."
"Then there was the time where a gentleman swallowed a pair of dice because
he was upset he was losing at the craps table," commented Nathan. "He had
to go to the hospital to get x-rayed to make sure the dice wouldn't get lodged
anywhere. It all worked out in the end."
Both men laughed at Nathan's pun.
"So you see dealing with all this chaos is worth it," stated Nathan. "'Cause
in the long run it means my free medical clinic remains open, and I can continue
to help the people who really need it."
Jock nodded in agreement as he said, "Well, Doctor Jackson, I do appreciate
you taking the time to talk to me. If I think of any other questions, can
I call you?"
"Of course, anytime," replied a smiling Nathan as he placed his napkin on
his empty plate. "Well, I should get back to work. It was nice talking to
you Mr. Steele."
"You too," said the TV producer as he watched the Doctor get up and leave
Montecito's Pit Boss Ezra Standish was standing off to the side watching
the casino with a careful eye. The tables were busy with customers; he thought
it was going to be a good night. Unfortunately that thought changed very
quickly a moment later.
"Mr. Standish, I've been looking for you," said the TV producer. "I'm Jock
Steele, from Steele Production Company. I was told you are the Pit Boss at
the Montecito and the one to talk to."
Ezra glanced down at the gentleman and then back at the tables. "Yes, I have
heard of you, Mr. Steele," said Ezra. "My compatriots tell me that you're
a servant of the muse a literary man."
"Why yes," replied Steele. "I do like to write and direct my own movies and
"High adventures involving murder, revenge, and the occasional zombie cowboy,"
recited Ezra who had heard all about them, repeatedly, from JD Dunne.
"Oh, you've seen my work?" asked an excited Steele.
"No, I can't say that I have," replied Standish as he adjusted his suit cuff.
"I usually avoid cinema that involves zombies."
"Well, not all of my movies have zombies in them," explained Steele. "Just
that one movie and in fact it was huge on DVD in the States as well as Canada,
United Kingdom, and Australia."
"Well, then there is no accounting for tastes so it seems," murmured Ezra
as he watched one blackjack dealer handle an unruly customer. "Question for
you, Mr. Steele, except for the zombies, the characters in your movies, who
say, figure prominently in the narrative, might there be some manner of monetary
remuneration given to such a person?"
"Perhaps," replied Jock Steele as he smiled and continued, "Royalties and
"Royalties," repeated Ezra as he grinned while a twinkle appeared in his
green eyes. "Yes, you and I really must discuss the financial aspects of
your business. They sound fascinating."
"I would be happy to, Mr. Standish," replied Jock Steele. "If you are by
chance willing to discuss a little about your job here at the Montecito?"
"What is there to discuss?" asked Ezra. "I manage the tables, and I catch
"How do you do that?" asked Jock, anxiously waiting his response as if he
was about to divulge a huge secret.
"Because I am one," replied Ezra succinctly. "I know how they think, what
they do, and how they do it."
"Ahh, so to catch a cheat you need to hire a cheat," repeated Steele as he
recorded it quickly in his Blackberry. He then looked up and said, "No offense,"
as if he realized he might have just said something that would have insulted
the Montecito Pit Boss.
"None taken," replied Ezra who had noticed an individual palming the dice
at one of his craps tables. "Well, Mr. Steele, I am sorry to cut this short,
but I believe I just spotted a cheater." Taking a moment to first notify
Security about the situation, the Pit Boss then headed in the direction of
the craps table.
"Oh, yes, yes," replied Jock quickly. "I understand." He watched as the Pit
Boss walked toward one of the craps table and slowly followed after him,
curious to see how Ezra was going to handle the situation.
"I'm sorry ladies and gentlemen, but we are closing this table," stated Ezra
to the guests around the craps table. "There will be another table opening
momentarily," he continued as he motioned to the nearby table. As the group
around the table began to move, Ezra placed a hand on the cheater's shoulder.
"Sir, we need to discuss a few matters with you in private," said Ezra as
he picked up the loaded dice in question.
The gentleman glanced back at the Pit Boss in surprise. 'Damn,' he thought.
'They're on to me.' Stupidly the man decided he would try to make a break
for it, and he turned quickly and ran right into Jock Steele, pushing the
smaller man into Ezra as he continued on his escape. Unfortunately for him
he ran right into Chris Larabee and the other Security personnel who had
"Sir, I believe Mr. Standish said he would like to have a chat with you,"
said Chris as he placed a hand on his shoulder restraining him. The Security
Chief instructed his men to take the gentleman to one of the holding rooms.
After they had left, he walked over to where Ezra was standing with the TV
"Ezra, he's waiting for you in the holding room," said Chris. The Pit Boss
nodded and turned to leave.
"Can I come?" asked Jock Steele who was curious to see what happens next.
"Mr. Steele, I believe we need to have a little chat," said Larabee, dashing
the TV producer's hopes of seeing the 'interrogation.' After Ezra left, Chris
turned his attention to Jock.
"Mr. Steele, I believe I instructed you on your first day that if you got
in the way of the running of the casino that you were on the first plane
back home," warned Chris.
"But Mr. Larabee, I didn't mean to," replied Steele as he tried to explain.
"I was standing a discreet distance just observing Mr. Standish with the
cheater. Could I help it the gentleman in question ran in my direction and
pushed me? Besides you all caught him before he got away so there was no
Chris rubbed his forehead; he was getting a headache. If he threw the TV
producer on the next plane he knew he would be hearing from a very unhappy
Orin Travis. Deciding to cut his loses; he said to the TV producer, "This
is your last warning. If it happens again, you are gone."
"Yes, I understand, Mr. Larabee," said Steele. "Thank you."
"Now if you would excuse me, I need to get back to work," said Chris.
It was the next day and Jock Steele was spending it shadowing Hospitality
Host, Buck Wilmington, to get an idea of what his duties entailed and the
range of different and unusual requests he received and handled.
"So, is that the norm?" asked Jock after they finished assisting a whale
with filling his suite with pink roses for his Mistress. He could tell that
the tall mustached man really liked his job and was very good at it. In the
couple hours he had spent shadowing him, Buck had never forgotten a name
of a client, and he seemed to have a knack for handling the most finicky
"Well, it varies depending on the whale," replied Buck as they made their
way down the elevators to the lobby. "We try to give them what they want
within reason of course. There are some things we do draw the line
"Of course," repeated Jock.
"Although some requests can be quite unusual," commented Buck as he smiled,
remembering back on one in particular. "There was this one whale who wanted
his bathtub filled with blue jell-o."
"Blue jell-o?" repeated Jock Steele in surprise.
"Yep," replied Buck. "Seems he and his girlfriend had a 'thing' for bathing
in blue jell-o. So, I took care of it. Needless to say, Housekeeping was
not pleased . . . the jell-o turned the sheets and towels all blue."
The two men were laughing as they emerged off the elevators.
"So, you wantta get a cup of coffee?" asked Buck, thinking the two men could
use a break.
"Sure, that would be great," replied Steele.
A few moments later the two men were seated at the Hotel's café with
cups of hot coffee in front of them.
"So, can I ask you something?" asked Steele after taking a sip of his java.
"Sure, shoot," replied Buck.
"Why a Hospitality Host?" asked Jock. "I would think an ex-FBI agent could
get something with more. . ." The TV producer had done a little research
before coming. It was not hard to find out that an ex-FBI agent ran Head
of Security and that another ex-FBI agent was a Hospitality Host.
"Responsibility," provided a grinning Buck who was not surprised the man
had brought up his previous occupation. "Well, that's true I guess I could
have chosen another type of job but I got this offer. . ."
"From Mr. Larabee," supplied Steele.
"Yea, from Chris," replied Buck. "He did originally ask me to be a member
of his Security Team, but I thought I could make a bigger difference as
Hospitality Host. Plus, after working a demanding FBI job, I needed something
that wasn't so . . . intense. Anyway, I do help Security when needed."
"I see," replied Jock. "So, you're sort of an undercover member of the Security
Team detailed as a Hospitality Host."
Buck grinned at the TV producer's twist of words. "Well, if you want to put
it that way."
"Mr. Larabee, Mr. Larabee, can I have a moment," called out Jock Steele,
as he tried to catch up to the Security Chief who was making a sweep of the
Chris nearly groaned out loud when he heard the TV producer's voice. Taking
a deep breath, he readied himself for what he knew was going to be a painful
discussion. "Mr. Steele," said Larabee as he cast a quick glance at the short
man. "How is everything going so far?"
"Oh, fine, fine," reassured Steele. "Everyone has been so helpful and it
has been very enlightening research."
"Good," replied Chris. "Is there something else I can help you out with?"
"Well, I wanted to see if I could have a few moments of your time," answered
Steele. "I had a few questions for you."
"Chris, we've got a drunk in the bar making a scene," said Vin's voice over
the earpiece in Chris's ear. "I'm on it," he said to the hidden mic back
to Security Control and then turned his attention back to the TV producer.
"Mr. Steele, I have to go take care of a small problem in the bar. Maybe
we can chat later."
"Sure, sure," responded Jock. "Maybe I'll tag along . . . get some more info
for my show."
"I think it would be best if you didn't," responded Chris who was remembering
how the TV producer got in the way the other evening.
"I promise I won't get in the way this time," reassured Steele. "You won't
even know I'm there."
"Ok, ok," responded Chris who didn't have the time to argue with the man.
He turned and headed in the direction of the bar with Jock Steele quickly
on his heel.
Larabee strode into the bar, his gaze taking in the situation immediately.
Relief crossed the bartender's face as she saw the Security Chief. She motioned
with her eyes the drunken customer who was giving her a problem and Larabee
nodded in acknowledgment.
Walking slowly to the bar, Chris stopped when he was positioned to the left
of the gentleman. Meanwhile, Jock Steele had slipped in after Chris and found
a seat that would allow him to see the whole scene as it unfolded.
"Sir, I think you've had enough to drink and it's time to go," said Chris
The drunk cast a glance in Chris' direction and started to laugh. "Naww,
I think I'm fine where I am. I want to finish my drink."
"Sir, I will say this only one more time. It's time to go," warned Chris
in a low voice.
The drunk turned to face the Security officer as he replied in a slurred
voice, "And what if I don't? You'll make me?"
"Yea, that's about right," replied Chris matter-of-factly.
The drunk laughed out loud as he replied, "Buddy, if you had any brains you'd
be afraid of me."
"Mister, I know a few ladies I'm afraid of but you're not one of 'em," replied
Chris sarcastically. "Now, it's time for you to leave." The Security Chief
glared at the drunk that made Jock Steele glad he wasn't the recipient of
such a look.
The drunk stupidly decided he could handle the Security Chief, and he made
a clumsy swing to try and hit Chris.
Larabee easily avoided the punch and grabbed the drunk's arm and twisted
it behind him while sending him up against the bar. "Now, Sir, that was a
mistake," said the Security Chief as he pulled the man up off the bar and
ushered him out of the bar. "Let me escort you out of the Montecito and into
a cab, Sir," continued Chris as he quickly moved the drunk through the casino
and to the exit. Jock Steele followed from a discreet distance, watching
as the Security Chief easily handled the unruly customer.
When he was finished and Chris returned back inside, Jock Steele quickly
approached the Security Chief and said, "Wow!! That was unbelievable how
you handled that customer."
"Just doin' my job," replied Chris as if it was no big deal.
"Do you ever think about going back to working for the FBI?" asked Steele
and immediately realized he asked the wrong question when Chris sent a glare
his way. He then continued by explaining, "It's just 'cause it's clear your
talents are wasted here."
"That part of my life is over," said Chris in a low voice. "I prefer not
to discuss it."
"I understand," said Jock quickly. "And I'm sorry if I offended you . . .
just was curious."
"If you don't mind, Mr. Steele, I have a meeting I need to go to," said Chris.
"Sure, sure, Mr. Larabee," said Steele. "Thanks for everything."
The next day. . .
A SPF 60 covered Jock Steele was lounging by the adult-only pool, enjoying
the warm sun while surrounded by a bevy of shapely beauties. Once the ladies
had found out he was a big Hollywood producer/director they swarmed him like
moths to a light bulb. Over the past hour he had them mesmerized with stories
of Hollywood parties and various stars.
"So, Jock, do you think you could put me in one of your movies?" asked the
buxom blonde next to him as she batted her fake eyelashes at him.
"What about me?" asked the curvaceous brunette in a seductive purr. "I promise
you won't regret it."
"Oh, please. Forget those two," said the redhead with a fiery temper. "What
you want is a woman that is 100 percent real . . . no fake enhancements here,
"Are you saying I have implants?" demanded the blonde.
"If the fake breast implants fit," responded the redhead.
"Honey, these ain't fake," demanded the brunette as she yanked off her bikini
top and grabbed her breasts to emphasis her point.
"Yea, but the butt cheeks are," replied the redhead quickly.
"Oh, no you didn't," responded the brunette as the argument began to escalate.
Meanwhile, in the Security Control Room, JD said out loud, "Looks like we
have a situation at the pool," as he watched the TV monitors.
"Vin, JD, go check it out," said Chris as the two men followed their boss'
direction and hurried out of the bullpen.
When the two security officers arrived at the pool area it didn't take long
to figure out what was happening. It seemed the three beauties were fighting
for the right to be in one of Jock Steele's movies.
Vin shook his head in disbelief as he leaned against a pillar. "It's all
yours, kid," he said to the youngest member on the team.
"Ladies, ladies, let's calm down now," said JD Dunne in an official voice,
as he tried to avoid staring at the ample bare breasts displayed in front
of him, while attempting to calm the very irate women who at the moment were
"Please, let's stop the fighting," said JD as he tried move in between two
of the women. Unfortunately, they weren't going to have any part of JD trying
to end their argument and the redhead pushed the security officer straight
into the pool.
Vin watched with amusement as JD fell into the pool with a big splash. The
three women stopped their arguing at the sound of his surprise yelp when
he hit the water. Meanwhile, Jock Steele, hurried to the edge of the pool
to see if JD was all right.
"Mr. Dunne, Mr. Dunne, are you ok?" asked Mr. Steele.
The young security officer broke the surface, sputtering, as he replied,
"I'm fine . . . don't worry . . . I can swim . . ."
"He's ok," repeated Jock Steele to the group gathering by the poolside. "He
Meanwhile, a laughing Vin moved to assist JD out of the water. "Next time
there are three gorgeous women fighting, you're taking care of it," said
JD as he wiped the water from his eyes.
"Next time, we send Buck," responded Vin who knew the Hospitality Host had
a way with women.
"Deal," said JD as he shook Vin's hand. "Now I'm gonna go dry off."
It was Jock Steele's last day at the Montecito and before he departed for
the airport, and he wanted to see Montecito's Head of Security one last time.
After being escorted to the Security Control Room, he knocked on Chris' door.
"Mr. Larabee, I wanted to stop by and say goodbye," said Jock Steele. "Do
you have a moment?"
"Has it been a week already?" asked Chris Larabee as he pretended to be surprised
it was time for Mr. Steele to leave. In fact, he had the date circled on
his desk calendar and was planning to celebrate with a "Wheels Up" party
as soon as Steele's plane took off.
Steele walked into the office and sat down. "Yes, it has been a week already.
Time does fly when you are having fun."
'Or not', thought Chris. "So, did you get all the research you needed for
your TV series?" he asked as he changed the subject.
"Oh, I did and much more!" replied Jock Steele. "You all have been very helpful
and very tolerant. I know you weren't too enthusiastic about my arrival,
but I appreciate your hospitality."
"I'm glad you got everything you needed," said Chris. "I'm sure the TV series
will be a big hit."
"If it is half as interesting as this place, I'm sure it will be," stated
Jock. "And, don't worry I will make sure you all get a glimpse of the first
episode before everyone else does."
"Well, I know JD will be excited to hear that," said Chris.
Jock smiled as he said, "I'll be sure to send some autographed scripts to
him, especially after that little pool incident. I do owe him."
"He'd like that," replied Chris.
Jock cleared his throat as he said, "Mr. Larabee about the other day when
I asked you about your previous job, I apologize if I offended you. It was
not my intention."
"It's fine, Mr. Steele," replied Chris. "No offense was taken."
Steele smiled as he replied, "Good. Now, I must leave if I am going to catch
my plane." The TV producer shook Chris' hand as he said, "Thanks again."
"No problem, Mr. Steele," replied Chris. "Have a safe flight back to LA."
One year later. . .
There was a box on his desk waiting for him when Chris Larabee returned from
his meeting. Glancing at the return address he realized it was from Jock
Steele, the TV producer who shadowed him and his men for a week for research
for his TV series.
"Did you see what arrived?" asked an excited JD as appeared in Chris' doorway.
"I saw the mailroom deliver it. Well, aren't you going to open it? Maybe
it's that promised preview of his new TV series."
Chris shook his head as he grinned at the young man. "Ok, ok, be patient."
Using the pair of scissors from his desk he opened the box and glanced inside.
Pulling out the enclosed note, he took a moment to read it to himself,
As promised enclosed is a copy of the pilot episode of 'Las Vegas.' My deepest
appreciation for the Montecito's assistance. I couldn't have done this without
you all. Enjoy the show!
P.S. the enclosed autographed scripts are for Mr. Dunne."
"So, what did he say?" asked an anxious JD. "Did he send us the first episode?"
"Yea, he did," said Chris Larabee as he held up the DVD copy. "We got the
first episode of 'Las Vegas' compliments of Jock Steele."
"All right!!" exclaimed a very excited JD. "Let me see," he asked as he took
the DVD from Chris' hands.
"JD, why don't you see if we can arrange a special showing of the episode
tomorrow at my place?" said Chris. "See if the rest of the guys are available."
"Sure thing, boss," said JD as he gave the DVD back to Chris and moved to
head out the door.
"Oh, JD, the other items in this box are for you," said Chris as he handed
the box over to the youngest agent.
JD took a look inside and let out a yelp of surprise at the scripts. "Autographed
scripts by Jock Steele," exclaimed the young agent. "Unbelievable!! I've
got to show Vin and Buck!" He hurried out of the office as Chris shook his
head. At least Jock Steele made good on the one promise now hopefully his
TV series won't make him regret his actions a year ago.
The next day the seven men were gathered at Chris Larabee's house to watch
the pilot episode Jock Steele's latest TV series. Pizza had been ordered
to go with the beers and hot wings. After everyone had plates loaded with
food and beer by their sides, Chris put the DVD in and hit play.
45 minutes later. . .
It was quite for a moment and then Nathan Jackson finally spoke up, "Well,
that was pretty . . . interesting."
"Oh, man! That was way cool!" exclaimed JD. "Although I thought my character
was a little too clumsy, don'tcha think?"
"I can't believe he made my character a girl," commented a stunned Buck
"I believe I had the same unfortunate fate," remarked Ezra Standish.
"Although I was a pretty girl," continued Buck Wilmington.
"No comment on that remark," replied a grinning Ezra.
"I thought the gentleman who played my character was rather handsome and
dashing," said Josiah.
"Well, I liked my character," declared Vin Tanner.
"Of course you would, he had that big sex scene with the visiting heiress,"
remarked a clearly unhappy Buck.
"Chris, you're awfully quiet over there, what did you think of the Security
Chief in the TV series?" asked Nathan.
"Thought the actor was pretty decent," said Chris. "He did a good portrayal
of Chief of Security."
"I'd say so, he definitely could glare," commented JD.
"You think so?" asked Josiah. "'Cause I thought the Security Chief didn't
quite have the hang of the 'glare' . . . he looked more like he was . . .
what's the word . . . constipated."
The last comment drew laughter from the others.
"Well, there is at least one good thing about the series," remarked Vin Tanner
after the laughter had died down. "There were no zombie cowboys in it."
"Amen Brother," chimed Josiah Sanchez.
#3 Forbidden Love