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March 5th, 2018

Taking the mallet from Sal was easy enough, but checking his swing to make sure he didn’t kill the man was harder. He wasn’t used to showing mercy thanks to the nature of his job, but in this instance he was in the wrong, and he could admit it. But that didn’t mean he was going to let the bigger man brutalize him in that instant. Instead of bashing Sal in the head with the first strike slammed the mallet hard into the big man’s right hand, which was even now reaching for his weapon. He used the flat side to smash the man’s palm, the smack of metal on flesh loud in the empty restaurant. Sal’s grunt of pain wasn’t satisfying in the least, but again, he didn’t want to maim or seriously wound. He just wanted to get his point across.

“Back off Sal,” he said quietly, “I don’t want any beef with you.”

“Too bad,” Sal growled as he shook his injured hand, “cause you-“

Shaking his head he slammed the mallet just hard enough between Sal’s eyes to make them cross for a moment before he tumbled backward, hitting the faded linoleum floor hard as his outstretched arms each struck a table on their respective sides.

“I’m calling the cops!” the young woman said.

“Okay,” he replied, letting the mallet flip from his hand to the floor. If she had a cell phone on her then it might be that the cops would arrive a few minutes earlier than he’d expected, but as he heard the unmistakable dial tone of a handheld phone he noticed something shiny sticking out of one of Sal’s pockets. Leaning down he jerked on the keychain he found sticking of the cook’s left front pocket, pulling free a bundle of keys in the process.

Looking up he could see the girl staring at him from the opening to the kitchen, a knife in hand as she stared him in abject terror.

“Calm down,” he said to her, “I’m not here to hurt anyone, I didn’t even want to hurt him. If he wants his rig back he can come find it in the parking structure of the Bellaggio. I’m assuming that I’m only an hour or less out of Vegas, yes?”

She nodded, seeming dumbstruck. So he’d been correct in the assumptions he’d been holding onto. The bastards hadn’t even been smart enough to drop him somewhere he couldn’t easily walk out of. Sighing to himself he stood up, giving the woman one more look before he walked through the front door.

It was time to go settle up.

(to be continued)

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