Bob's job offer came with a $20,000 signing bonus. He wasn't nave and knew that it was friendly 'hush' money from Nero's to put the Bosco incident behind him. However, as a newbie college graduate about to start out on his first job, Bob gladly accepted the funding.
He signed the legal documents that released the casino from any responsibility and agreed on a fair trainee management salary that would be reviewed in six months. Bob would report to his new boss, Mike Diamond, in two weeks for a comprehensive training program in casino marketing.
"Thanks, Drew. Under the circumstances, everything turned out well," Bob said, holding a glass of champagne in his hand. "This has been a very eventful three days." They were having an early dinner in one of the signature, chef-owned restaurants that recently had opened in Nero's Forum. Bob was returning to L.A. on a 9:00 p.m. Southwest flight.
"Well and eventful, indeed. But I'm worried about the aftermath of the crap you went through. How are you really doing?" Drew noticed that the smile was just a little forced and Bob's eyes kept darting around the restaurant as if he was expecting someone. 'Fuck,' Drew thought, 'we both know who that someone is.'
"I still think about that asswipe and what he tried to pull. It's only been two days and I'm just starting to mellow. Ya gotta wonder who else Bosco pulled that shit on. When Charlie the bellman brought me up to the room that day, he was kinda cryptic about Bosco and I think he wanted to warn me."
"Charlie? Really. I've seen him in the bars on occasion but he's never let on anything had happened." 'Hmmm,' Drew thought, 'I should have a talk with that guy.'
"Could be my imagination. I just think that Charlie may have been in the same boat earlier on. But, hey, it's history. I'll be fine by the time I get back here," Bob said with a broad grin.
"And I've got a new roommate. You're sure you can put up with me after all you know about some of my habits?" Drew asked with a snicker.
"If what we've experienced over the past couple of days are habits, are you saying 'put up' or put in?" Both guys laughed and toasted with a clink of the glasses.
"Well, the sex was terrific and I hope that there'll be more down the road. Seriously, I want to make sure you're okay with us sharing a place. I'm going to check out a few apartments immediately if this is something you really wanna do." Drew looked into his new friend's eyes and studied Bob's reaction.
"I figure that at the very least we're going to be good friends. I need a place to stay and I know I can trust you. By the way, 'terrific' is an understatement." Bob reached under the table and squeezed Drew's thigh. This brought a warm smile and wink from Drew and he put his hand over Bob's.
"Trust is a two-way street. I guess we're going to keep each other's back covered. Bosco has disappeared and I think he knows that it wouldn't be wise to screw with us. But I'm going to look for apartments with a little more security than I have now." Drew felt good as he held his new friend's hand. The other diners were unaware of the interaction between the two young males.
"Prolly a good move. Security gate, cameras an' the whole ball of wax. That rat-bastard is a little too slippery for me. I just want to start the new job and do great. I also want to figure out where we're going with our friendship." Bob winked at Drew and scooped another spoonful of his crme brle.
'Kee-rist, does this guy make me feel great,' Drew thought. He could feel his dick growing and expanding at the touch of their hands. 'This is much more than a great fuck.' He observed Bob starting to relax.
"We'll figure out this friendship, together. I'll look for a two-bedroom, two-bath in Henderson. There's a lot of new complexes close to the 24 Hour Fitness and the freeway. And it's an easy commute to Nero's. You okay with a six-month lease?"
"Hell, yeah. I'm into this new job for a long-haul...same with our friendship, Brother Drew."
"Super. I feel the same way. You got much to move?"
"Actually, I've got some neat bedroom stuff that Al's giving me. Sis wants to redo his condo bedroom with all new furnishings before the wedding. I figure that's going to cost Al or his dad some serious bread."
"From what I've seen, Trish has excellent taste. But the Bromley bucks stretch pretty far." Drew knew from confidential data that Al's dad had major, eight-digit assets. "Sounds like a win-win situation."
"She gets to redecorate and I get Al's macho, bachelor things. In addition to the bedroom, I think I'm getting some pretty good shit from his den and living room."
"Wow, maybe the second-hand hotel crap I have can bite the dust," Drew answered in an upbeat manner.
"I'll call you as soon as Al and I meet in L.A. We're getting together for lunch tomorrow and a walk-through at his condo."
"I won't turn down any castoffs. Anything's an upgrade." Drew was relieved that the light banter seemed to create a mellow atmosphere.
"That's what I figured. So, with the 're-lo' package, the move will be really painless."
"When are you coming back?"
"I officially start in two weeks. Prolly the Friday before I report for training. Then, once I'm here, they've given me a free room for two weeks."
"Wow, I'm on a month-to-month lease. Better give a 30-day notice to the landlord tomorrow. I'll have some things we can look at when you get back. We'll have a new apartment to move into the middle of October. I can email you some choices to consider next week."
"Sounds like a plan," Bob replied.
"A plan on moving. When you return, we're going to work on a plan to build that friendship." Drew didn't want to say more for fear of scaring off his beautiful man. Beautiful in soul, spirit, intelligence and looks.
"If that includes continuing what we did last night, I can't wait."
"Count on it...buddy." Drew almost slipped and said 'lover'. Simultaneously they moved their hands below the table, again, and squeezed tightly.
Drew wished the guest a nice evening on the telephone. The man was a Nero's Court Platinum VIP member. This meant, aside from the usual 'RF and B', a luxury penthouse suite and all courtesies of the house. To be at the Platinum level, the member had an 'EP' - earnings potential rating from gambling - of at least $100,000.
He had arranged for the guest and wife to have box seats to the Barry Manilow show at the Hilton. Drew also arranged a limo for transportation to and from the competing casino hotel. The idea was to get the 'whale' back to Nero's and the gaming action.
It had been a week since Bob had returned to L.A. to wrap up his personal business. Drew and Bob spoke daily and exchanged emails concerning their new apartment.
The one incident Drew had not mentioned was discovering his tires had been slashed when he went out to his parking space two days earlier. Aside from being pissed at the expense of replacing four tires, Drew was concerned that this wasn't a dumb punk prank. This had Bosco written all over it.
It was a little after three in the afternoon and Drew wanted to pass on his suspicions to Security. He picked up the phone receiver and dialed. The call was answered immediately. "Hi, this is Drew Reichardt over at guest services. Is Jim available?"
"One moment, please," was the official, non-emotional reply. "I'll see if Mr. Duncan is free."
"Drew, what's up?" Jim said, coming on the line immediately. Aside from a professional compatibility and slight friendship, Drew knew that Jim was more than a little concerned about the recent Trent Bosco incident.
"Jim, you got a few minutes for me? I need to relate something that may be part of that problem." Drew knew not to say anything that might be overheard.
"Come on down. I got coffee or Coke."
"Coffee's great. I'll be down in a few. I'm just ending the shift."
"I'll let the secretary know that you're coming down."
"Thanks, Jim." Drew let his relief know that he was officially departing and left through a back door that took him into a labyrinth of corridors. Security on the first sub-level floor of the complex was conveniently located directly under the hotel lobby. Drew took the nearby stairway and went down to the windowless private empire of Jim Duncan's casino police.
"Hi, Drew. Mr. Duncan is expecting you," said the receptionist. Drew nodded and walked back to Jim's office. He knocked on the open door and waited until Jim waved him in. He was on the phone in an animated conversation. Drew nodded and sat down by the large desk.
The office was large and utilitarian. A bank of six large TV screens gave Jim instant access to several views that were monitored 24/7. The 'eye in the sky' operations center was in the ceiling above the casino floor and near the catwalks. Drew had been told that there were approximately 300 security cameras located throughout Nero's. While most were recording spaces for historical backup, every gambling space with a dealer or croupier was monitored live. The same policy applied to the cash-counting rooms.
"I don't care what sheik shithead's security wants. They're not going to guard the elevator landing and intimidate the other guests. You tell Abdul that we will provide coverage outside his door. What he wants with his security inside his suite is his call. End of story." Jim slammed the phone down and took a deep breath.
"Sounds like the son of the Emir is giving you headaches?" Drew asked.
"His staff. Christ, the guy is 25 years old and they watch over him like he was 13." Jim shrugged and continued, "Oh, well, I won this round. Wanna water?"
"Sure. A bottle's fine."
"So what can I do for you?" Jim reached behind his desk, opened the small refrigerator, reached for an Evian and handed it to Drew.
"I had a little problem couple days ago that may be related to Trent Bosco." He opened the bottle and took a sip.
"I've lost track of that asshole. His final check was mailed to him the day of the incident. What happened?"
"Two mornings ago I went out to my car and found all four tires slashed." Drew went on to describe his open parking space, the plans for getting a new apartment with Bob and his concern about renting a more secure place.
"First, good thinking about the security. Second, I think you and Bob will make great friends." Jim leaned back in his chair and winked. "But third, this incident has me concerned. No telling what Bosco might try to do to get back at you two."
"I figure that I needed a game plan from the best, Jim," Drew said. "And I'm not blowin' smoke."
"Hey, a little smoke blowing's okay once in a while." Jim laughed and leaned forward. "You want some help? Ya got it." The security chief's face turned solemn 'on a dime'.
"I wanna know what I can do in addition to the apartment building security."
"I'd suggest Brink's home security. Go the whole nine yards with audio monitoring and some small hidden video camera setups. And I can link Brink's system into my setup here."
"Audio and video? You mean that people can watch us if, uh, you know...?" Drew asked with an expression of concern.
"Relax, buddy. You can manually turn it off. Basically, the entire system is activated when you set the alarm when you leave the apartment. The difference is that when you return and turn off the alarm at the door, you have to switch off the audio and video separately. The audio and video is triggered by a voice, noise or movement."
"Jeez, that must be expensive? I mean, I don't make that much," Drew replied with a shrug.
"I got an idea that I think our boss will go for. He's very concerned about the incident and wants to make sure you two aren't bothered. What say I suggest that you take care of the Brink's basic monthly fee and my department will pick up the rest?"
"Wow, what can I say? If you can swing it, I'd be very grateful." Drew extended his hand and Jim shook it. "By the way, I haven't mentioned the tire incident to Bob."
"My lips are sealed. You get your apartment and I'll do the rest."
"On behalf of Bob and myself, a big thanks." Drew stood with a big smile and an expression of two-tons of burden lifted from his shoulders and conscience.
"One other thing, Drew. I am going to contact Metro and report this incident. You won't know it but Las Vegas' finest is going to keep an eye on you two. I don't want to blow this out of proportion; just preventive measures."
"I reluctantly agree. This part of the deal I am going to tell Bob." The two men shook hands and Drew returned to the main floor of Nero's.
"So, whaduya think? I know it's Saturday and I'm kinda rushing you," Drew asked Bob as they walked through the empty two-bedroom apartment. Bob had returned to Las Vegas the previous morning, his Toyota filled with clothing and personal gear. He was scheduled to start his new job on Monday.
"It certainly has great amenities and location." The rental agent had left them alone so that they could discuss the lease arrangements.
"You okay with splitting a 'thou' a month?" Drew was concerned that the monthly rent might be too much for Bob and his trainee salary.
"It's a little more than I had planned on spending...but not much more. I agree that the security angle is important. An' I think that your stuff and all the furniture that my future, hen-pecked brother-in-law gave me will fill up the place nicely."
"My old bedroom furniture can go into the smaller room. It'll be great for guests. I know my brother is dying to meet you." Drew's younger brother, Jason, had recently graduated from Cal State, Fullerton, and was working as an accountant in Orange County.
"And if Sis and Al ever get tired of those luxury suites at Nero's, they can stay with us."
"Absolutely. So, shall we sign a lease? I've already got the guy to agree not to start the lease until the first of the month. However, he'll give us the key so we can move our shit in at any time."
"Sweet. My movers should be over here sometime in two weeks."
"One thing I want to discuss is some security measures that Jim Duncan suggested we have installed. No panic deal...just precautionary. You wanna grab a sandwich before I gotta get to work? I can run over the stuff Jim thinks we need. By the way, the casino is going to spring for it."
"Sounds like a good deal. Let's sign up for this place. The agent said he wants a deposit and first month's rent. I can handle that. Then, while you're working, I'll unload my car with all the things I don't need immediately. Has that creep shown up anywhere?"
"Um, no one knows where Bosco is. Listen, babe. Jim Duncan also asked the Las Vegas police to watch over us with undercover patrols. Just precautionary." Drew decided he would never tell Bob about the tire-slashing incident. 'No reason to give him something to worry about,' he considered.
"As long as they don't snoop on our bedroom activities, I can live with that. So the asshole has just disappeared?"
"Vanished. Hopefully he crawled under a rock somewhere."
"Hopefully the rock is out somewhere in the middle of the desert." Bob said with a chuckle. "You want to get together after work? I'd really like to get to know you better." He pulled Drew into his arms and pressed their chests together as his tongue snaked out once he touched Drew's lips with his.
"Mmmm," Drew groaned. It was only noon but he felt like a man buckling to the pleasurable pressure of intimate closeness.
"Mmmm, yourself." Bob pulled back and grinned. He reached down and cupped Drew's balls. Through the pant and underwear material, he started gently rubbing the expanding crotch area. "How about letting me give you a little preview of what's in store for tonight?"
"What about lunch, stud?" Drew said with a chuckle.
"I could use a little protein smoothie from your blender," Bob replied as he unbuttoned Drew's cargo shorts. "Those balls feel full."
"Not from lack of use." Drew smiled at the memories of his welcome party for Bob last night. He closed his eyes, felt the zipper being released and his shorts slipping down over his legs before landing at his feet. He stepped out of them and pulled down his briefs. 'Might as well go with the flow,' he thought.
"Fair warning; they're going to get used...a lot. Along with this beautiful piece of meat." Bob winked and moved down to his knees. He looked at Drew's expanding penis and tenderly licked a few pearls of moisture from the tip."
"Only if I get equal time. Ahhh," Drew moaned. He felt his now-hard cock entering Bob's hot mouth. Within moments, Bob's nose was poking at his pube patch. 'Oh, yeah. I can get used to this,' he considered as he felt Bob's mouth slowly moving back and forth.
Bob was quite pleased with himself as he found the employee cafeteria without any assistance on the second day of work. 'Jeez,' he thought, 'this is like being back in high school.' It was just after noon and the food line was packed with hungry staff from various departments. He was impressed when Mike Diamond told him that the cafeteria fed almost 4,000 people a day.
After having his employee card scanned by the cashier, Bob searched the dining area for a spot to sit. He smiled when he saw Charlie, the bellman, waving. Bob nodded, walked over to the table and sat down with his food tray.
"I see, as a new member of Nero's team, you tracked down the free chow," Charlie said. "I haven't seen you since you accepted the job. How goes it?" He moved his tray over a bit to give Bob some more room.
"Charlie, you are the only familiar face I see. To answer your question, everything's fine. Mr. Diamond assigned me to one of his lead managers in marketing to help in my training."
"Drew told me that you guys are going to be roommates?" Charlie asked with a grin and raised eyebrows before taking another bite of his burger.
"Yeah, we'll move into the new place in about two weeks. You'll have to come over for dinner when we're all set up." Bob returned the grin and started picking at his beef stew.
"This all sounds very domestic. Is this just going to be a roommate thing or something else?"
"I'll put it this way; you're not going to see either Drew or myself cruising the bars, buddy." Bob winked and continued eating. "Seriously, we're just trying to figure out where our friendship is going and I'd appreciate you keeping this thing under the radar."
"My lips are sealed. Drew and I are pretty good friends and I'll respect your privacy."
"Let me ask you about something that you said when I checked in for the interviews last month. You were going to warn me about Trent Bosco and then backed off." Bob stopped chewing and looked seriously at Charlie.
"Ah, from what I heard, I probably should have said something."
"Heard? Whaduya mean?"
"Um, just that Bosco propositioned you and got canned because of it. That's all. This casino has a fast grapevine on gossip. However, this wasn't the first time and everyone thinks that Nero's is a better place without that scumbag." Charlie paused a moment and attacked the sandwich.
"It would have been better if you did say something. But we didn't know each other very well so it was probably difficult for you to bring anything up. Can I ask you if Bosco tried something with you?" Bob paused eating the stew and waited for the expected reply.
"Okay, truth time. But don't say anything beyond this table. Deal?"
"Cross my heart. I think we're going to be good friends, Charlie. I don't gossip about my friends."
"Well, here goes. I was a junior at UNLV and needed money. A bellman gig at Nero's is a good moneymaking job and I was eager to get hired. Bosco interviewed me, wormed out of me that I was gay and basically said the job was mine if we met that night at a leather bar east of the Strip."
"Got fucked and got the job. I'm not too proud that I dropped my trou but it was important that I get hired. We met a couple of times before I joined Nero's. But once I was working, I told Bosco that I wasn't interested in anything further. The asshole said a few unpleasant things but that's as far as it went."
"Hey, Charlie, I'm not going to be judgmental. I think the cocksucker is an evil fuck...but a goodlooking one," Bob said with a smile to lighten the conversation. "He's kinda disappeared, though. Drew's concerned that he's pissed enough at me to do something weird. If you hear anything or see him around, I'd appreciate knowing about it."
"Goodlooking, evil fuck? Yeah, that's the best description of Bosco. With a 'dick of death'," Charlie said with a laugh.
"I saw that 'DOD'. Thank God I was spared."
"You got spared and I got speared," Charlie said with a shrug.
"Under different circumstances, well..."
"But they were different. Let me say this: I was an adult and knew what I was doing. He's not a nice guy but the sex was great."
"Okay, I'll take your word for it. I just don't want to run into him...ever."
"Buddy, if I see or hear anything, I'll pass it on to you immediately."
"Charlie, I really look forward to you and me being friends." They shook hands and continued their lunch.