The Lucky Winner

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Chapter 45


“You know what I like about you?” Misty said as she rested her chin on Dad’s bare chest. She didn’t get a response. “Hey,” her naked body rose and she peered into his eyes.

“What?” Dad asked, blinking himself back to reality, like he’d just woken up from a long coma.

“The way you look. You don’t look anything like a high roller.”

He stared at her as if he had no idea why a naked woman were lying next to him. “But I’m not…” he said, as his guilt and regret hit him hard, like a massive tsunami.

Misty surveyed his face. “Don’t feel guilty. I know what you’re thinking.” She talked as if she’d done that before. Many times. “But it was meant to happen. And it happened already, so no matter how you feel now, you can’t take it back.” She played with his chest hair with a mischievous smile. “So you might as well enjoy the moment.”

Saying that, she buried her head under the sheet, going down until her mouth clamped onto him. A gasp, mixed with guilt and pleasure, escaped his mouth.

There was a knock at the door.

“Did you order something?” she asked, emerging from the sheet.

“No,” he said, catching his breath.

Another knock.

She pressed her index finger to her lips, saying, “Shhh…”

She cautiously slid out of bed and approached the door, peeking through the peephole.

Dad grabbed a robe and followed her. She turned around, and her eyes were nothing less than horrified. She put her index finger over her lips once more, and took his arm, guiding him back to the bedroom.

Another knock.

“What’s going on? Who is it?” Dad whispered. From her expression, he was certain that it couldn’t be room service. Then who could it be? Nobody knew he was staying at that hotel. And he paid cash for it.

Misty sighed and whispered, “It’s Frank.”

“Frank? Who’s Frank?”

“My ex.”

“What? Did you tell him you were here?”

Misty grimaced. “Of course not.”

“Then why is he here? How did he know you were here?”

Misty took a moment to think. “Shit. He must have tracked my phone.”

“What? That’s crazy. How could he even do that?” He furrowed his brow, stupefied.

“He’s pretty well-equipped.”

“What does that even mean?”

Another knock.

“Well, he knows you’re here. So what do you want to do? Call security?” He asked.

“I don’t know if you should do that.”


“Trust me. You don’t want to upset him,” she slipped her dress over her head. “I will talk to him. At least, he seems to be alone.”

“Who would he bring along? Why would he even bring anyone?”

“Because he usually does,” then she added, “Just wait back here. And don’t make any noise. I’ll explain later. I promise.” Leaving him behind, she walked over to the door.

As he waited in the bedroom, he could hear the sound of the door opening.

“Hey.” He heard her say.

“There’s my pouty, little girl,” a man’s voice replied. It was low and calm, and somehow intimidating. “What are you doing here? I thought we were meeting at Delta.”

In the bedroom, Dad’s face twisted into a grimace. Meeting at the casino? She lied…?

“Could we go somewhere and talk about this?” Her voice sounded believable. Like she wasn’t flustered at all.

“Why go anywhere when you got yourself a nice room? Is this charged to my credit card, baby doll?”


“No, I had some cash. You gave me some last night. Can we step out? I just wanna get some fresh air.”

“You little, selfish doll. I can’t have you pout like this every time we have an argument, sweetheart.”

“I tried to call you but my phone died.”

There was a silence.

“Don’t you dare lie to me, young lady. Do you think I could find you here if your phone was dead?”

“I’m sorry. I was just upset.”

“I know, baby. I thought you accepted my apology though. It cost quite a lot.”

“I did. Can we go get some drinks downstairs now?”

“Sure. In a bit.”

A sound of kissing was heard, followed by clothes rustling and heavy breathing.

Then it abruptly stopped.

“Oh, you had some company.” His calmness made it sound even more threatening.

“Michelle came over. We had a few drinks. She’s gone—”

And with that, Frank stood face-to-face with Dad in the bedroom.

Frank appeared to be in his early fifties. A good-looking man for his age with a striking resemblance to Robert De Niro. His stare was ice-cold, like he wouldn’t feel a pang of remorse while stabbing someone in the eye.

“Is this Michelle?” Frank said, turning to Misty who stood behind him. Then he turned back to Dad. “Are you Michelle?”

If this were a movie, it would have been a funny scene where the audience laughed. But not in real life. Dad just stood there, motionless and mute.

“Start talking. Who the fuck are you? Why are you fucking my woman?” Frank’s calm tone continued with his eyes piercing Dad’s.

Usually, calm is good. But not in this case. This calm was way more threatening than any yelling.

“She… She told me you two were broken up…”

The man looked down at Dad’s wedding band.

“What are you, married? Why am I not surprised? We both know her type, don’t we?”

Misty stepped in. “Look, I was upset, and I’m sorry, okay? It’s not like you don’t fuck other women—”

The man suddenly turned around, slapping Misty across the face.

“Hey,” said Dad. He was a lifelong supporter of peace and opposed to any violence.

“You know it’s not the same, sweetheart. Who’s taking care of you?” Then he turned to Dad. “You and I have some talking to do. Sit down.”

Dad didn’t move.

“Sit down!” The sudden loud voice made Dad flinch. He sat down in a chair.

“Did she tell you who I am?”

Dad just looked back, puzzled.

“Did you pick her up at Delta?”

She picked him up but he wasn’t sure if he should argue any details at this point.

“Well, I own that place. Along with other casinos in the area,” Frank said as he scratched his chin. Dad didn’t know much about luxurious accessories, but he’d certainly heard of Cartier. Frank’s watch was that. And it seemed exceptionally shiny with embedded diamonds.

“I’ve been taking care of her for a long time. We’ve got some history, you know,” Frank continued. Then he paused to examine Dad’s face. “I don’t know if you booked her for the night, but I can’t have guys like you fucking my girl, if you know what I mean.”

Dad nodded, “Yes… that’s perfectly understandable.”

“They all say that, but they rarely seem to mean it. So I usually make them understand in my own way,” Frank said with a smile. Almost simultaneously, he punched Dad in the stomach.

“Ugh!” Dad gasped as he doubled over.

“Get your head up,” Frank shouted as he stood over Dad and punched him across the face. Something shot out of his mouth with the gushing blood—a tooth. Doing a faceplant on the floor, he groaned in pain.

“You’ve got to know the rules, pal. Don’t worry, after you learn this lesson, you’ll know. You’ll even be thanking me.”

Frank tightened his fist and pulled it back to throw another punch, then—


He toppled over onto the floor.

Behind him, Misty stood with a marble table lamp. The lamp looked very heavy for such a small-framed girl like her to swing around.

Dad’s widened eyes froze in shock.

She asked, “Is he dead?”

Dad struggled to get up and crouched down over Frank’s body. He’d never checked anyone’s pulse before, but seen plenty of it on TV shows. He pressed two fingers to Frank’s neck.

“No… Thank God…”

“He’s going to wake up soon.”

Dad got up, wincing in pain. “We need to get out of here now.”

“He’ll find us.”

“Destroy your phone, and we’ll be good. Come on. Hurry—”

Then they heard something—a moaning sound. The two of them exchanged looks in terror, and their eyes landed on Frank’s body in the tense silence.

His body jolted a bit—he was slowly regaining consciousness.

Instantly, Misty grabbed the lamp again, and began whacking his head repeatedly.

“S-S-Stop! Stop!” Dad whisper-shouted, paranoid.

Misty stopped and dropped the lamp, out of breath and panting.

Frank’s skull was squashed like a watermelon, and blood was pouring out of it. If anyone thought he could still be alive, they needed a psychiatric evaluation.

Dad slowly sat back down in the chair. His shaking knees buckled and did not seem strong enough to support his body any longer. His paralyzed eyes could not be pried from the sight of the bright-red blood. He’d never seen so much blood in his life. He almost passed out in the delivery room when Mom gave birth to us, or so I heard. Not to mention, he’d never witnessed anyone dying before. Or getting murdered. So it must have been definitely something for him.

“What do we do now?” asked Misty, the blood spatter on her face.

Dad’s mouth opened as if he wanted to say something, but no sound came out. Maybe he was about to lose consciousness.

Misty gazed at him for a moment. Then she walked over to the wet bar and came back with a damp towel. She gently pressed it on his mouth where he lost a tooth. “It was self-defense, wasn’t it? He attacked us first.”

Dad’s catatonic eyes slowly shifted from Frank’s dead body to Misty’s blood-speckled face.

“Don’t worry. I’ll do the talking. I’ll call 911 now.” Nodding, she placed the damp towel in his hand before she went to her purse to get her phone.

Finally, a sound came out of his mouth, “Wait…”

She looked up with the phone in her hand.

“We can’t… We can’t call the police.”

“Why not? Trust me, they will believe us. Frank is a violent man. He’s a mobster too.”

Dad’s eyes widened so big, he made the grey aliens’ eyes look tiny. “He’s—a what?

“I’m sure he was on the list of, you know, criminal watch list, type of thing. They should know who he is. So it’s only believable that he’d try to harm his girlfriend if he witnessed her cheating on him.”

“Jesus Christ…” Dad covered his face with both hands like he wanted to vanish from the face of the earth.

Misty stroked his head, as if none of it could be blamed on her. “It’ll be okay. I promise.”

Her fingers touched her phone, trying to dial 911.

His hands peeled off his face, and he stopped her.

“What?” she asked, looking at him, puzzled.

“They’ll question my wife, too.”

“Oh,” she paused. “Would they?”

“They will. I can’t let them do that.”

“Then what can we do? Just ditch? Did you pay cash for the room?”

“Yeah, but they saw my face… And there was a camera at the front desk.” Dad dropped his head in defeat.

The reservation was under his name too. He spoke to the front desk clerk face-to-face, with a security camera directed right at him. Now there was a dead body in his room. If he ran, he’d be the number one murder suspect, and the picture of his face that was captured on camera along with his name would be flashed all over the national news. The police would eventually find him, and we’d suffer forever, wondering what in the hell happened to our dear, kind dad.

What did he get himself into? If only he never entered that casino six hours ago…

“Your wife needs to toughen up. Little cheating? Big deal. Don’t be a wimp,” she said as if Mom should have been blamed for the whole mess. “Not you. Her,” she said, making sure he didn’t think she was calling him a wimp.

He didn’t respond. He couldn’t. He lost any ability to think.

“Oh!” She exclaimed abruptly. “I have a solution. Oh, my God! Why didn’t I think of that?”

She got on her knees before him, and cupped his face to lift it up.

“I know the guys who clean,” she said with a smile, like the dead body that lay there was nothing but a stone statue.

The guys who clean…? What?

“Frank used those guys whenever he killed someone. They dump the dead bodies, clean the bloodstains, oh, my gosh, you wouldn’t believe how amazing they are for what they do. They make sure no evidence is left at crime scenes. Not even the smallest piece of fiber, not even something as tiny as the size of a sperm.”

He just looked at her like he was just shot by a peashooter.

“They’re not cheap. But for their perfection, they’re totally worth it,” she winked. “So, yeah? Then we can go on with our lives as if nothing ever happened!” She kept on talking as if killing a human being and getting rid of the body were as simple as ordering a pizza.

Ignoring Dad, who was currently incapable of saying anything, she searched something on her phone. “Yes! I found them!” She jumped up like her favorite football team just scored a point.

Now he had to force himself to snap out of his momentary paralysis.

“W-Wait, wait,” he stammered, then took a deep breath. “What did you find…?”

“The contact info. Of those guys that clean.”

“But didn’t you just say Frank always used them?”


“Then they’ll know! I mean, they worked for him, right?” Dad felt like he was drowning in a deep ocean.

“Yeah, but Frank didn’t deal with them directly. His guys did. Besides, his face is squashed pretty good, who’s gonna know who this is?” She pointed at her dead ex proudly as if she just made Dad the happiest camper in town.

“But… how are they going to carry the body out without being noticed? It’s not like he’s three feet tall.”

“They cut it up into smaller pieces, of course.”

Of course?

“Oh,” remembering something else, she pulled her dead lover’s phone out of his pocket and removed the battery. Then she went to the balcony and tossed both of them out.

“So his guys won’t find him here. I learned so much from this man,” she giggled. “Hopefully, he didn’t tell anyone where he was going. Or maybe he did.” She put her pinky in the corner of her mouth, cocking her head. “Nah—I don’t think so. I hope not.”

This just kept getting better and better…

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