The Solitaire Series Reminder: Each week, a story will appear here, and be free to read for one week only. The next story will take its place, and the first story will be available on Amazon and other e-retailers. But if you follow this blog, you can read the stories for free every single week! Read more about the Short Story Deal here.

Throughout the series, there will be collections of stories, and we will even be producing some really cool swag along the way. Watch for contests, prizes, and even some fun “in-person” events.

“Jack, that’s the dude with the messed-up face from what Solitaire tried to do to him, right?” his real name was Cliff, but he insisted that everyone call him Ace. He stood with his back to a huge bank of monitors flanking a large walnut desk, hands clasped behind his back, and stared through a one-way mirror at the bodies writhing, moving apart and together under the laser lights and flashing globes in the club below. A redhead wearing a typical little black dress turned and looked up at the mirror for just a second, hair flipping around her freckled face, and flipped him the bird.

“That’s him, Ace.”

“Who’s the red hat, scarf-wearing asshole? And who let their security man in here?”

“Manny did, as far as I can tell.” Fredrick, his head of security stood much taller than Ace. A former NFL linebacker, he was much wider in the shoulders as well. Still, he seemed cowed as he made his report, and Ace liked that. He thrived on it.

The redhead continued to gyrate, rubbing up against a skinny white dude wearing a Neck Deep t-shirt under his pimpled face and sporting dark, bowl cut hair. For no reason, he suddenly hated her. Not her specifically, but what she represented.

Flipping off a mirror not knowing what lay behind it, dancing with guys she’d never give a chance in order to get free drinks and flaunting her flaming beauty to get whatever she wanted? She represented so many things he despised.

“Hang on a sec,” he said, picking up a radio. “Sal, the gal in the black dress?” he said.

Below he saw one of the large bouncers raise his hand to his ear. “Yeah, boss?”

“Kick her out.”

“Are you sure, Ace? She’s the daughter—”

“I don’t give a fuck whose daughter she is. Get her out of here, at least for tonight.”

“Yes, sir.” He saw the bouncer moving towards the girl and turned back to Fredrick.

“Back to the matter at hand. So Manny let a Solitaire man into my club why?”

“Red Hat is a counter, the same as Jack. He thought we might have mutual interest in removing him.”

“You know I like the counters sometimes, right? Everyone loves to follow a winner.”

“Yes, but—”

“Yes, what?”

“Yes, Ace. He seems like a pro, though.”

“Does he belong to someone or is he a freelancer?”

“Freelance, as far as we can tell.”

Ace studied the monitor that showed him a view of the front door. He saw Jack and Red Hat exchange a few words, the man in the hat handed Jack a card, and then Jack left.

“Huh,” he said, still watching. Behind him, Fredrick stayed silent.

Ace watched as Jack drove away. Red Hat turned to leave himself.

“Stop him and bring him up here,” Ace said. “I want to talk to him.”

“Yes, Ace,” Fredrick said, and fled the room while talking rapidly into his radio.

Ace smiled, and waited, watching events unfold in black and white on the tiny monitor in front of him.

Read the rest of this story on Amazon here!

I hope you are enjoying reading this series as much as I am. You can the rest of this series on Amazon here! Stay tuned for another FREE story right here next week. I hope to see you then!

Troy Lambert
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.

Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.