Mr Walsh awoke with a beaming smile plastered across his face after his encounter with Summer yesterday. He knew he couldn’t resist but to go down to see her again soon. They had already set up a plan for later that week, he intended on acting on it soon. Despite the wavering childhood memories that had played on his mind yesterday he just wanted to see her. He sat up in his bed and swung himself around and sprung up like a jack in the box. He washed himself and threw on his clothes again, but this time made sure he was a bit more respectable. He wanted to impress her today for some reason. He didn’t know why, but he felt the need to.
He knew Digby would be a problem and would ask questions like he did yesterday on why he was walking up the hill instead of driving. He could tell Digby had suspicions whether he was still focused on work and making money as he should be. Digby liked to dig around for answers. He never liked not knowing the full story. Mr Walsh knew there wasn’t much to be done today business wise, so he took a casual morning and didn’t leave his room until just gone ten. As soon as he left his bedroom, he heard voices coming from downstairs in the theatre room, and as he approached, he saw Commissioner Terrence and Digby having a spot of late breakfast, brunch if you please. A startled look covered Mr Walsh’s face.
“Ah hello Mr Walsh”, Commissioner Terrence said with great surprise, as if he didn’t expect him to be at home. “Digby said you wouldn’t be around today”.
A red mist now encapsulated Mr Walsh as Digby’s deceit at organising a private meeting with Commissioner Terrence angered him beyond belief. He didn’t show it though. “Must have been a small misunderstanding”, he replied with just assurance.
Commissioner Terrence soon got up to leave and said good day to both gentlemen and was on his way.
“Sorry sir, at the meeting yesterday Terrence asked if he could meet with you regarding more horse racing business, but I was unsure whether you’d be well enough after yesterday”, Digby said rather rattled. Briefly wanting to throttle Digby for going behind his back and organising a business meeting without him, he decided he wasn’t going to. He felt a sense of calm overcome him, one that meant he didn’t care what business had been discussed. He had more important things to do. “It’s okay Digby you don’t need to apologise it is understandable”.
The air was clearly still unsettled between the two; Digby retired to the outside while Mr Walsh had his breakfast served to him, egg and bacon with pancakes to suit. Mr Walsh picked at his food for a good twenty minutes not sure whether his appetite was there or not. He had two problems now, Digby’s suspicious behaviour and his will to see Summer. They were colliding like two trains off course. He knew he couldn’t let Digby pull stunts like that again, so he decided to make his way outside and tell him if he’s to question his ability surrounding business again there will be a repeat of what happened ten years ago. Despite Mr Walsh not caring what they spoke about he knew he couldn’t be undermined because that would lead to a tumultuous future. Digby soon understood his indiscretion and gave a nod to be sure he understood Mr Walsh’s threat.
“What did he do ten years ago”, Marty asked with a dumbfounded expression covering his face.
“He never really mentioned it. He just said it was something that made Digby understand who he was and what he could do.”
“Sounds pretty terrifying, still don’t trust Digby though. Sounds like he’s got a chip on his shoulder”.
Billy laughed at Marty’s comment and carried on drinking. The two had got through a fair bit of liquor and beer now. They were belching like old men.
“Did he go and see Summer then?”
“When shall we leave for the casino then boss”, Digby uttered to Mr Walsh.
Mr Walsh had forgotten about the trip to the casino they had planned. Mr Walsh and his men loved to gamble. It gave them a thrill. They felt like it was earning money rather than just stealing it off the Submissives. Mr Walsh didn’t want to unbalance the focus in the group more than he already had, so he decided to wait to see Summer again. He knew if he still wanted to see her after the trip to the Opazo Casino he wasn’t acting on impulse. He also thought she wouldn’t expect him to come and see her so soon anyway, so it was a no brainer, off to the casino they went.
He went back upstairs and made himself look a hell of a lot more respectable. The Opazo Casino was no small fry. You had to impress in order to be respected there. They always carried large sums with them when they went there. They loved the feeling it gave them. The cold shiver that bounced between the walls of their hearts as the roulette ball traversed its way round the wheel was addictive. The sight at the ball landing on their number would send shockwaves of euphoria surging through their veins.
They pushed open the large front door and were greeted with a beam of sunlight. The weather had been spectacular recently and it always brought a smile to their faces. Nothing signalled a good day more than some summer rays.
“It’s gonna be a good day boys, I can feel it”, Charlie said as he inhaled deeply through his nose, picking up the scent of freshly mowed grass. They got into the car, Digby driving, Charlie in the passenger seat and Mr Walsh in the back. They made their way down the hill and turned off eastwards towards the casino in Newell Heights, which lay in between the Grand Palace and the County Park Racetrack. The conversation never picked up. There was a strange atmosphere flowing throughout the car. Even Charlie’s valiant efforts of chatter fell on deaf ears.
Mr Walsh’s mood changed when they drove past Lower Hampton. He looked forlorn at the town as they passed it and his eyes followed Summer’s house as long as it was in view. His elbow resting on the window ledge with his chin resting on the palm of his hand. He couldn’t help but want to see her. He thought about bailing on the trip but remembered there was a lot at stake here. His relationship with Digby and Charlie needed to remain strong as possible for as long as possible.
As Lower Hampton disappeared from view, the magnificence of Newell Heights was upon them. It was a very large place Newell Heights, many of the rich people lived here as it provided 24-hour entertainment, and everything was at the click of a finger. The casino was on the far eastern point of the town, bringing it as close to the racetrack as possible. This was deliberate so many a man could visit both in a day.
They reached the casino in good time and made their way inside. They were all greeted by Manuel, who handed them all a case of the finest cigars that would keep them company throughout the afternoon and evening. The money that was gathered from the rent collection was brought to the casino as a fund to make as much money as possible. More often than not, Mr Walsh would walk out of there with heavier pockets than when he walked in.
The plush soft carpets greeted their feet as a gush of chilled air stemmed from the air conditioning unit. The Opazo Casino felt almost like a second home to them. It was a warm feeling being there as their coats were taken and placed in the cloakroom. However, Mr Walsh was evidently unfocused. He didn’t want to be there at all. He’d played his hand on many of the tables and enjoyed it, but he wanted something new. He wanted the feeling Summer gave him yesterday. He felt like he was losing his mind so he excused himself to the toilet. He crashed through the door and luckily it was empty. The restroom was comprised of marble. Everything was shiny and it made Mr Walsh’s head bang uncontrollably. He locked himself inside one of the stalls and sat down on the toilet. He steadily controlled his breathing and his heart started to slow; his head also stopped banging. He tried to rid Summer’s face from his thoughts as best he could. After he felt he had done an adequate job, he went over the spotless mirror that covered the whole one side of the wall. He splashed water on his wrists and composed himself.
He left the toilet and was ushered to a table where Digby and Charlie were. They were engrossed in a game of roulette. Digby had placed some big hands and had already come up trumps. Charlie wasn’t the biggest of gamblers. He did love a game of blackjack though, he felt roulette relied far too much on luck. Mr Walsh sat on the table with Digby while placing a hand on Charlie’s back to give him the signal to go and have a go on the blackjack table. Digby noticed Mr Walsh’s lack of enthusiasm for the game and asked if he wanted to sit out for a bit. He sat motionless for a second and then stirred by placing money on black. The ball rolled around the wheel and landed on thirty-five. Digby nudged his shoulder against Mr Walsh’s as a mini celebration, but he was unmoved. Roulette went remarkably well for someone who didn’t want to be there.
They moved onto the blackjack table Charlie had recently vacated in favour of the bar. They sank into the leather stools and played their first hand. The Opazo Casino wasn’t overly busy that day which gave the gentlemen the unlimited access to the place they wanted. Still, the place was polluted by the sound of slot machines. Mr Walsh was dealt a seven and an eight. This gave him a decent fifteen. Mr Walsh was extremely aggressive when it came to blackjack and often took risks that paid off, literally. The dealer was sat on a ten when Mr Walsh had to decide to stay or go. He said stay. Digby sat up in his stool and gave a blank stare at Mr Walsh. This was highly uncharacteristic of his play. The dealer unfurled the next card and revealed an ace, calling blackjack. A few more hands went by with varying success.
He barely remembered the outcome of the hands when they stood up from the table. He’d come out successful, of course he had. But not as successful as usual. This was clearly down to his absentmindedness. He had been away from the game all day. He was clamouring to go home so he could go for another ‘walk’.
This had been a good trip to the casino for Charlie that’s for sure, he was stumbling around everywhere on the way to the car. When they got in the car, he opened the passenger window and hung his head out the whole journey home, like a tired dog. Digby felt a great fury over come him as he felt betrayed by Mr Walsh’s attitude in the casino. He struggled to hold back his anger. He knew he owed his life as he knew it to Mr Walsh. The man had given him the opportunity to do whatever he wanted. But now he felt it slipping away. He felt he couldn’t be without Mr Walsh and the thought of him losing his edge made him worry.
He thought back to the meeting with Commissioner Terrence he had organised earlier that day. He organised that himself and Commissioner Terrence wanted to meet with him. He glanced at the rear-view mirror and saw a brittle and fragile man sat in the back. He thought he was just as good at gambling as Mr Walsh and he could easily sway the shareholders as well as him, and as for the Submissives, they were easy enough to handle. The idea to stand on his own two feet more crashed through his brain.
Mr Walsh sat in the back and couldn’t help but think about Summer. He thought she must have drugged him because what he was feeling wasn’t normal. He had just missed out on making more money in the casino, but he didn’t care. He really didn’t. He started not to care at all about anything other than Summer.
They arrived back at the Grand Palace quite late after Digby stopped for petrol on the way back and Charlie had to throw up in the bush a couple of times. He didn’t bother to go down to the town as it was late, and he didn’t want to cause a stir down there. Plus, he was shattered. His emotions had run his energy levels dry and as soon as his head hit the pillow his eyes slammed shut.
“This Digby guy seems like a bit of an asshole dontcha think”, Marty slurred out of his mouth.
Billy rolled his finger around the inside of the empty glass solemnly. He had clearly had a fair few to drink that evening. It was as if something was paining him to tell the story. “Yeah Mr Walsh said he was a tough character to deal with sometimes, heart in the right place though”.
The two carried on knocking back the drinks with the barman listening intently to the story now.
“He sure fell for Summer didn’t he?”
“Yeah, he said he couldn’t explain it. One minute she wasn’t in his life and the next she was all he could think about. It was her eyes he said. The calming green did something to him”.
“Shame about Digby’s macho attitude”.
“Digby was a tough man, never say die type of guy. Mr Walsh said he knew that Digby couldn’t be trusted after that meeting he organised. There was a loyalty there that he could not shake so easily. Of course he could never have imagined what he would do after though”