Chris Larabee grinned as he entered the security domain
of the Montecito. It would seem that his kingdom had a visitor today.
Chris! the young towheaded boy sitting next to JD leapt up and
rushed the man, leaping at him.
Grinning, Chris caught him and swooped him up.
Hey, Billy! Visiting your Grandpa?
The boy nodded, Hes making a lot of calls to try and help Grandma
so I came in here.
Is something wrong with your grandma? Chris asked, concerned.
Evie Travis was everything to Orin, and the security boys were right fond
of her as well.
Her bachelors got arrested before she had a chance to auction them
off, JD explained.
And your Grandpas trying to round up more bachelors for her?
Vin said hesitantly.
Billy nodded. JD said hed help, so shes got one, but she
needs more. Cancers real bad and the people with it needs lots of money
to figure out how to stop it.
JD? Chris looked at the young man in surprise. He had not mentioned
that he was being auctioned, though he had gotten more and more involved
in cancer fund raising since helping out with a talent show Evie arranged.
He had told Chris that it made him feel good, like he was helping his mother
Evie was in a panic when she was in here an hour ago, so when she asked
I said yes. I didnt think any of youd be interested, the
security tech explained while never taking his eyes from the wall of monitors.
Thank you for watching Billy while I made those calls, Orin said
from behind the men as he came in.
Did you get Grandma some new men to sell? Billy asked.
Chris smirked as his boss took a deep breath.
Billy, shes not selling them.
Shes keeping them? Billy was totally confused now.
No, the men have agreed to let her set them up on a date and shes
selling a date with the men, Orin told him.
Did you get any volunteers? JD asked.
Not so far, shes still short six men, Orin sighed. Normally
he left this kind of thing solely to his philanthropist wife.
Well, I got her one more. Buck said hes be happy to help out,
JD informed the somewhat elderly man.
Thank you, Ill make sure and let Evie know. Im sure
shell really appreciate it, Orin responded.
This is the auction theyre having in Mystique in three days,
right? Chris asked.
Orin nodded, thanked JD again for his help and for watching Billy, and left.
Chris turned to JD, Details.
Theyre having something called the Love Bug, its a bachelor
auction in three days, all proceeds go to cancer research and the new
childrens wing at the cancer center. The actual date is on Valentines
Love Bug? Chris shuddered, it sounded like some kind of virus.
The committee voted on names for the event, and Love Bug was the one
that won, JD explained.
Chris took a deep breath, maybe hed be lucky and wake up to find out
this was all one big bad nightmare.
Get everyone in the conference room in ten minutes, Chris instructed
before heading into his office.
Vin paled, he had a hunch where this was going.
JD used the ear pieces to call in the rest of the main team. He had hoped
the guys would help out, but after accidentally volunteering them all for
a talent show once, he had not been about to suggest that they do this.
Josiah Sanchez, head valet; Nathan Jackson, doctor on
call; Ezra Standish, pit boss; Buck Wilmington hospitality host; Vin Tanner
and JD Dunne from security; and Chris Larabee, head of security, all meet
in the conference room where the regular morning meetings were held.
It seems that we have a bit of a situation, Chris began.
The men all gave him their complete and undivided attention. Any situation
that called for a mid-shift meeting was apt to be messy.
Evie Travis is part of Love Bug, they have a charity bachelor auction
planned in three days. It would seem that all of her men were arrested for
drunken and disorderly behavior as well as disturbing the peace and being
a public nuisance. Buck and JD have already agreed to help, leaving her short
five men, Chris quickly and concisely gave them the facts.
Id sure hate to let Ms. Evie down, Josiah said shaking
his head. Count me in.
Cancers taken a lot of good people including my dad, Ill
give a night of my life to try and fight it, Nathan agreed.
Yes, indeed; well they do say that charity begins at home. I am certain
I could entertain a lady for one evening, Ezra said, giving his boss
a nod of agreement.
Aw hell, Im gonna be regretin this; reckon if the rest
of ya are game ya can count me in, Vin shuddered.
Okay, Ill let Travis know that Evie has her five men, Chris
said getting up and dispersing the meeting.
Thanks guys, I really appreciate this, JD told them. He had hoped
they would help., but had dared not ask as he could not imagine any of them
being willing to do this. He was pretty sure that had he not already been
involved in it the other would likely not have gone for it, no matter how
much they liked Evie.
JD swallowed and took a deep breath as he looked in the
mirror in the mens locker room, making final adjustments to himself
and his tux.
JD, relax, you look fine, Buck assured him, reaching out and
giving the younger mans tie a quick straightening.
Chris was watching Vin. He glared at him like he had invented fire, daring
the lean man to back out now. The Texan looked like a wild animal cornered
and ready to bolt for any hole it found.
Nathan, Ezra, and Josiah were waiting for the others by the door.
As one, they headed for the Mystique and its party. Thankfully the
men would not be required to do a runway walk or anything like that. They
had done brief interviews that could be viewed on computers stationed around
the room, and were to mingle, chat, and make themselves accessible during
the party so potential bidders could get to know them.
In a few hours the auction would be held. The man being bid on would stand
up so folks could see who he was, if they had not attached a name to a face.
Evie greeted them warmly. She saw to it that they got a drink, and in Vin
and JDs case helped out by introducing them to a group of the ladies
to help them get started. The others had been in enough social cocktail party
like situations to know what to do.
Two hours later, Chris had managed to not scare anyone and was wishing he
had not already hit the two drink limit he gave himself. Buck was in his
glory flattering and flirting shamelessly with every lady in site. Josiah,
had found his nitch and was charming and regaling some matronly type beauties
with tales of his wandering days. Nathan was chatting up some women with
medical and science backgrounds, or at least interests. Ezra was entertaining
some ladies at a table with a few card tricks. Vin was looking less lost,
but no more comfortable or happy. JD was evidently the cutie
of the night and was being made quite a fuss of. He wasnt certain if
he should be flattered or not, he usually thought of puppies, kitties and
teddy bears as cute he had spent most of his life being called
cute he had been hoping to at least be upgrade to handsome or good looking.
The signal was given and the men headed to their table. The moment of doom
Word had gotten out that the legendary security team, also called the Seven,
of the Montecito were to be auctioned off. The ticket sales had skyrocketed
when it was heard who the guests of honor would be.
Chris managed not to glare, even if he was not smiling, as he stood. The
bidding was fast and furious was with the finally victory going to a Latino
beauty and her seven thousand dollars. Chris thought he recognized her from
somewhere, but wasnt sure where.
Buck grinned from ear to ear as he stood. It seemed that the bidders had
just been warming up on Chris, now they really flew. It finally topped off,
at ten thousand. Buck gave the platinum blonde woman a thousand watt smile
and a wink.
Nathan nearly fainted, when the bidding on him was topped off at a respectable
five thousand, only to at the last minute be upped by a hundred dollars and
sold to Rain. One had to be blind to miss the look of puppy love they shared
before he sat down.
Josiah was next. Evidently there was no shortage of appreciation of an older
man. The bidding finally ended at six thousand with a white haired octogenarian
who cackled and told him she hoped he had some dancing shoes. Josiah gave
her his big, broad smile as he sat.
Ezra was swooped on like a pair of Gucci shoes mis-labeled for twenty dollars.
The barker could barely keep up with the raises. At twelve thousand he was
bought by a raven haired woman with green eyes.
Vin swallowed, and stood. A deer in headlights had nothing on him. He brought
in seven thousand and was won by a woman near his age, dressed nice, but
simpler than a lot of the women.
Last, and certainly not least, was JD. He was almost whimpering as he stood.
How had he ever gotten himself into this predicament? A woman old enough
to be his mother, got him for six thousand five hundred.
Evie proudly announced to one and all that seventy thousand dollars had been
raised and thanked her bachelors again for their willingness to help out
by volunteering to someones special valentine.
Chris headed off to meet his date, wishing more than ever that he could have
a drink. He found her standing with Inez, the manager of Mystique.
Ladies, he greeted them.
Chris, you remember my sister, Maria; Maria this is Chris Larabee,
Inez re-introduced them as it had been over a year since Maria had dropped
in for a visit.
Nice to see you again, what do you do? Maybe if he found out
her job it would help him place her, he knew that it wasnt just the
one brief meeting when they had been introduced that he knew her from.
Im a singer. I go by the name Amora. Im sorry I didnt
have a chance to talk to you during the party. My plane was delayed so I
got here late.
The Salsa Queen, Chris smiled. He had seen posters advertising
her concerts when she was in town.
Si, she returned his smile.
Anything special you want to do on our date? He asked.
Well, yes there is something I always wanted to try, she replied.
Buck beamed as the statuesque platinum beauty found him.
Well, hey there, Tina, darlin, Buck greeted her.
Hey, Buck, she grinned. They knew one another slightly through
some mutual friends.
You just tell ol Buck what you got on your mind and well
have us a grand time, Buck instructed.
Tina chuckled, Since you asked...,
Nathan was positively floating as Rain joined him.
I didnt know you were going to be here tonight, he practically
I hadnt planned on coming, but when I heard what was being offered,
I couldnt stay away, Rain told him with the little laugh of hers
that he loved.
Any ideas on what to do? He asked. Blind dates were something
he avoided, but he figured a good first step was letting her pick the activity.
You pick, Ive always found I can learn a lot about a man that
How about I get a couple of ideas and call you and you can pick from
them? Nathan suggested.
I would like that, she smiled.
The white haired old biddy approaching Josiah was all
but rubbing her hands with glee. He smiled broadly at her, if age had slowed
this octogenarian down she must have been some woman in her younger years.
Hehe, those young girlies dont know a good things when they see
it! She told him by way of greeting.
Hello, again, Mildred, He greeted her warmly. He had enjoyed
had her during the meeting and greeting party before the bidding had started.
Ya know how to jitterbug and fox trot? She asked brightly.
Yes, maam, the dancing shoes might be a might rusty, but Ive
still got them, he assured her. Something told him they were going
I knew you would. Those youngsters today, they just dont know
how to dance and those that do fold like a deck of card after two or three
hours, she harrumphed.
Yes, maam , they just dont make them like they used to,
Josiah agreed. Mentally he told himself to start resting up now.
Ezra made his way over to the dark haired woman. She
was not a raving beauty, but was far from unattractive.
Miss Savannah, how very kind of you to have expressed such interest
in my companionship, he bowed and gallantly kissed her hand.
I could hardly have allowed a fine southern gentleman such as yourself
to get away, now could I? She responded in her honey southern accent.
If I might inquire as to your pleasure on our approaching engagement,
I will see that all is in preparation,
Very well, I thought it might be fun to ...
Hey there, The red head said approaching
Vin as he went to find her.
Hi Lila, He greeted her, thankful that he recollected her name
from their brief chat before the auction.
So, um, you have any ideas on what to do other than gambling in
Vegas? She asked. I havent lived here long and dont
really know what there is to do.
Reckon there aint much a person cant do here, He
responded. Where did ya move here from?
A little two horse ranch town in Texas. Really miss it there, but this
is where a job offer was.
Vin nodded, he had ended up here largely the same way. Ya ride?
Grew up on a horse ranch, once Ive got money for boarding Ill
have daddy bring Bad Boy here.
Ive got an idea, then for some fun, He grinned at her.
JD smiled nervously at the woman that approached him,
carrying a purse that said in big letters, Love me love my dog and had a
picture of a Doberman.
I, I was just going to try and find you maam, He told her.
Thats very kind of you. Your date will actually be with my daughter.
Shes twenty two and going to college here. Shes had a hard time,
I thought that getting out might help her a bit. You are so kind and such
a gentleman that I know youll be perfect.
JD nodded and accepted the card the woman was handing him. Thank you,
Ill call and make arrangements,
That will be fine, just, dont judge her until you get a chance
to met her. The woman told him kindly.
Are you sure about this? Chris hollered, to be heard over the
Ive always wanted to try Sky diving! She yelled back, laughing.
Never thought Id be doing this after I left the military,
Chris responded, grinning.
With that, they jumped from the plane.
Far below Buck and Tina cruised around eating their ice cream cones in his
Mustang Convertible. Thankfully casual dress was entirely acceptable for
a George Straight Concert.
Nathan and Rain were settling into their late picnic lunch and discussing
the movie they would be going to at the Science museum. As this was a first
date and they were hoping for plenty more they had opted to keep it simple
Josiah had called and gotten a table at the Crystal Ballroom and was now
polishing up his shoes. A quick nap and hed be all set for a night
on the town with Mildred.
Savannah and Ezra were enjoying an early dinner as they were headed to the
opera and did not wish to have to hurry their meal.
Vin and Lila were just heading back to Netties stable after a day of
riding and then were off to the rodeo. Lila was still in shock at finding
a real cowboy here in Vegas.
JD and Jenny were just getting off of the roller coaster having screamed
Th... th...thank you, JD, she smiled at him. The day at the amusement
park had been perfect. They were going to dinner and a movie later.
JD smiled, he guessed a lot of people were put off by her severe stutter
or assumed it meant she was stupid. She was, in fact, at twenty two working
on her PHD. The young computer tech had found her to be fun and intelligent.
If there really was a cupid, he had been darned busy that day.