Home > The Scam (Fox and O'Hare #4)(8)

The Scam (Fox and O'Hare #4)(8)
Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg

“Will the buffet be free, too?”

“It’ll definitely be comped.”

“Let’s do it,” Kate said.

Nick and Kate were on a private jet headed to Las Vegas. It had taken two days to organize, but Nick had needed the extra day to set up their fake identities as Nick Sweet, international entrepreneur, and Kate Porter, his executive assistant. It also gave Jessup time to wipe their real identities from various law enforcement databases and temporarily replace them with their new ones.

Nick wore a gray, impeccably tailored Tom Ford suit with a white shirt and blue silk tie.

Kate wore a skin-tight red Herve Leger bandage dress. It had a plunging neckline, cap sleeves, and a skirt that was so short, there was almost no way Kate could get up from a chair without making everyone her gynecologist. Nick had picked it out for her because she had nothing like it. Kate’s closet was mostly full of tank tops and jeans and her FBI windbreaker.

Kate picked an almond from a small bowl of heated nuts. “I don’t get it. Nick Sweet and Kate Porter. Why are you a dessert, and I’m a beer?”

Nick looked across the aisle at her. “Would you rather be the dessert?”

Kate ate the almond and thought about it. “No.”

“What then?”

“I’d rather be a morning glory muffin.”

“Hard to fit that on a passport,” Nick said.

Kate nodded. “What exactly is the job of an international entrepreneur?”

“To be charming, mysterious, and extravagantly wealthy,” Nick said. “Your job is to take care of all the little things that might distract me from being charming, mysterious, and extravagantly wealthy.”

“So you get to have all the fun,” she said, “while I do all the busy work.”

“I swindle while you investigate. We both do what we do best. I’ve booked the presidential suite for us at Côte d’Argent to announce our arrival. They’ll know a whale is coming and send a limo to pick us up.”

“How much is this announcement costing us?”

“Thirty-five thousand a night.”

Kate choked on a cashew. “Are you insane?”

“It’s only one night, two tops, and it accomplishes some very important things. It establishes that we’re among the highest of high rollers and it proves that we’re not in law enforcement. No cop could possibly justify this expense to his boss.”

“I’ll have to.”

He waved off her concern. “Only if the assignment fails. Until then, enjoy yourself.”

Easy for him to say. He wasn’t wearing a thong and four-inch heels that were pinching his toes.

“You look great in that dress,” he said. “It has me feeling romantic.”

“Romantic?”

“Okay, maybe that’s not exactly the right word.”

“And the right word would be what?”

“Hard to boil it down to one word.”

“Give it to me in a couple words then.”

“I’d like to rip it off you with my teeth.”

“Holy cow.”

Nick smiled. “Like I said, you look great in that dress.”

Kate squeezed her knees together and crossed her arms over her chest.

Twenty minutes later they landed at Henderson Executive Airport, a few miles southeast of central Las Vegas. A black Bentley Flying Spur from Côte d’Argent was waiting for them on the tarmac along with a chauffeur in a black suit and dark sunglasses.

The chauffeur opened the back door of the Bentley for Nick and Kate, and put the four titanium suitcases full of cash and the two Louis Vuitton bags containing their clothes in the trunk. He headed north on Interstate 15 toward the Strip. They hit the Strip and traveled from Mandalay Bay to the Bellagio, exiting at Flamingo Road, turning west over the freeway. Rising above a sea of budget motels, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants was a forty-five-story black granite tower shaped like a box cutter blade. “Côte d’Argent” was written in lights along the cutting edge.

The driver pulled up to a private entrance behind the building. It was shielded from public view by an eight-foot-high wall of black marble, lined with a thin layer of water cascading down the surface. A doorman who looked more like a Secret Service agent, down to the sunglasses, earpiece, and probably the gun, opened the back of the Bentley for Nick and Kate, and supervised the unloading of the trunk.

Nick and Kate walked into the VIP lobby. The air conditioner was cranked up high against the desert heat, keeping the elaborate ice sculptures of lions taking down gazelles from melting too quickly.

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