Home > The Scam (Fox and O'Hare #4)(9)

The Scam (Fox and O'Hare #4)(9)
Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg

A slim, beautiful hostess approached them. She was dressed in a black frock jacket, a lace peplum blouse, pencil slacks, and ultra-high heels.

“Welcome to Côte d’Argent,” the hostess said, guiding them to the registration desk.

The red-haired woman behind the desk wore the same outfit as the other hostesses. She smiled at them as if she’d been eagerly awaiting Nick and Kate’s arrival for months.

“I’m so glad to see you, Mr. Sweet,” she said.

“Thank you,” Nick said. “This is my associate, Ms. Porter. Please extend to her any courtesies that are offered to me by the hotel.”

“It will be my pleasure,” the clerk said. “My name is Tara. I will be your personal assistant during your stay.”

“I’ve brought a deposit with me.” Nick tipped his head to the door, where the bellman was bringing in the luggage. “It’s in those four silver cases. I’d appreciate it if you’d exchange the cash for chips and have them on hand for tonight’s game.”

“Of course. Would you or Ms. Porter like to be present while the cash is counted?”

“Not necessary. It’s five million,” he said. “I trust you.”

“In that case, I’ll call for your personal butler, Mr. Covington, to see you to your suite.”

“That won’t be necessary, either,” Nick said. “We like to find our own way around.”

“Very well. Mr. Covington will be on call twenty-four hours a day for you, as well as a maid, a bartender, a personal chef, a doctor, a masseuse, a concert pianist, and anyone else that you might need.”

“All the comforts of home,” Nick said.

“I hope you enjoy your stay. Let me show you to your private express elevator.” Tara stepped out from behind the podium and led them to the elevator. She slid a transparent key card into a slot on the wall and then handed it to Nick.

“Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make your stay more pleasurable. I am entirely at your service.” She handed another transparent key to Kate and smiled. “Individually or together.”

“Good to know,” Nick said.

Nick and Kate stepped into the elevator. The door closed and the elevator rose smoothly, but swiftly, up the forty-five floors to the penthouse.

“When she said ‘individually or together’…did she mean, you know what?” Kate asked.

Nick grinned. “She implied we could have the ultimate group activity.”

“Would it show up on our bill?” Kate asked him.

“Would it matter?”

“Jessup would throw a blood clot.”

“I’m sure I could have it removed from the bill,” Nick said. “Is this a possibility?”

“No!” Kate said. “Good grief.” She grimaced at him. “You would do it, wouldn’t you?”

“Only one way to find out.”


The elevator opened into a circular marble foyer with a massive crystal chandelier. They crossed the foyer into an expansive living room that opened onto a wraparound terrace with an unobstructed view of the Las Vegas Strip. There was an infinity pool along the edge of the terrace, creating the illusion that the water flowed onto the street forty-five floors below.

The living room walls were paneled in walnut and decorated with abstract art, swirls of paint drippings on canvas in the style of Jackson Pollock. Kate squinted at one of the paintings and saw Pollock’s signature.

“Is this the real thing or a forgery?” she asked.

“You’ll know if it’s in my luggage when we leave.”

There were plenty of inviting leather-wrapped couches and easy chairs, a wet bar, a sixty-five-inch flat-screen TV, a stacked-stone fireplace, and a Steinway grand piano.

“Well, this explains the on-call concert pianist,” Kate said.

“I was wondering about that myself,” Nick said. “There are his and hers bedrooms and boardrooms on either end of the penthouse.”


“You never know when you might want to hold a meeting with your personal staff.”

Kate checked out a bedroom. It was the size of her entire apartment. There was a couch, two easy chairs, a fireplace, a flat-screen TV, and a massive king-size bed covered with fluffy pillows and a thick comforter. The marble-tiled bathroom had a steam shower built for two, a whirlpool tub, and a massage table.

“Decadent,” Kate said.

“Yeah,” Nick said. “I especially like the furry pillows. I’m guessing Mongolian lamb. Or maybe a rabbit on steroids.”

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