“I see they finally quieted down in there, huh?” Mike-Mike said as he reentered the long hotel corridor.
He’d been in the hallway with Franco and several other guys when Millsap’s first howl was heard. Although Mike-Mike had gone into his room for a quickie with his own date, the rest of them had remained in the corridor. Now he was about to find out why.
“Yeah, the last howl was about five minutes ago,” Franco replied with a wide grin. “I won a bundle guessing the closest number of times Cami could make our boy howl.”
“He sho’ did,” inserted Nate, one of the young captains. “It was fifteen to be exact. Fifteen!”
“Sounds like Cami was really on her game tonight.” Mike-Mike grinned. “Let me holla at you for a sec, Franco,” he added, turning to give his partner a somber look.
“A’ight.” Franco maintained his grin, though his eyes had turned very somber, as well. Then the two men walked a discreet distance down the opposite end of the hallway for their private talk, stopping just shy of the last room.
“Listen, man, I ain’t trippin’ on your little game, ‘cause I know that was all innocent fun and such,” Mike-Mike began. “But what I am trippin’ on is you bringing money into the picture. You know what real betting does to you,” he continued, referring to Franco’s other vice that kept him almost as broke as the women in his life.
“It was just one bet. I’ll give the money back if you want me to,” Franco replied, trying to smooth things over with Mike-Mike who, along with Millsap, had given him an abundance of help with his child support issues and huge gambling debts.
“Yes, please give the money back,” Mike-Mike requested of Franco. “Tell ‘em that you don’t want to cut into their lowly captain’s salary or something. And whatever else you do, please don’t take or place anymore bets, dude. I don’t want to see you stretched to the limit again.”
“I don’t want to be stretched to the limit again either,” Franco replied, vividly recalling that dark time in his life when he had to reveal his gambling addiction to his friends and ask for their help. Help that they gladly gave and never held over his head.
“It won’t happen again,” Franco promised, renewing his vow to remain free from his gambling addiction. Especially since he’d done so good for so long. “We still cool?”
Mike-Mike smiled. “We better than cool, partner.”
Franco smiled, appreciating the ready forgiveness. Then to make things right, he immediately went to give back the money he won, citing the reason his friend just gave him.
As for Mike-Mike, he returned to his suite and prepared to be disappointed again. No matter how many women he slept with, none of them could hold a candle to Tonja.
I think it’s time for me to hang up my hat for awhile, Mike-Mike mused, ready to give his body to just one woman now. If only Tonja would make the same commitment to him.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier