Hell on Heels(5)

By: Victoria Vane



“You really think you can turn the operation around?” Tom asked.

“Hell, I don’t know,” Ty groaned. “But I wanna try.”

“You really think building an attraction is the answer?”

“Yeah, I do. The life you and I know is a novelty to these folks. I’d like us to offer live entertainment of a kind folks don’t expect here in Vegas.”

“Like what?”

“Bulls, Tom.”

“Bulls?”

“Yeah,” Ty said. “Why not? People come from all over to see magicians and those pansy-ass Canadian circus performers. Why not give them some all-American entertainment? America still loves cowboys. The proof is in the pudding on that—the national bull-riding association’s making money hand over fist.”

“I thought you wanted out of that game. Wasn’t it why you left Oklahoma?” Tom’s question was more probing than rhetorical.

“I had a lot of reasons for leaving,” Ty replied. “But I figure some of those aren’t as relevant anymore.”

Tom had offered him the job in Vegas when Ty was at an all-time low and desperate to break the cycle that had killed his father, the cycle he’d sworn never to fall into. But he had fallen. Deeper and harder than his old man ever had. Given time, his end would have been the same. The change of scenery had been a literal lifeline.

“Didn’t say I plan to be the one in the arena,” Ty corrected. “I’m too old and busted up for any more of that shit, but there’s plenty of younger guys gunnin’ to do it. Vegas holds the bull-riding championships every year, but I’d like to take the whole thing up a notch.”

“Care to elaborate?”

“Not yet, but I’m exploring some new ideas.”

“Bulls, eh? I like it, Ty. I really do. Fuck the bean counters!” Tom slapped the table. “I’d like to see where you take this. Let’s rebuild the place. Make it bigger. Make it better.”

“What did you say?” Ty could hardly believe his ears.

“You heard me right. If we’re gonna do it, let’s not go about it half-assed. Here’s what I’m willing to do.” Ty’s heart raced as Tom pulled a bundle of papers from his jacket pocket and penned a figure on the page that nearly made his eyes cross. He’d already done the research and spoken with architects. He knew his big plans required big funding, but Tom was offering far more than he’d asked for. Almost double.

Guilt hit him. Hard. He pushed the papers back across the table.

“It’s too damned much, Tom. I can’t accept it. Even if it succeeds, you’ll never come close to the kind of return you’d get investing this in the shale fields.”

“Who says I need it? I’ve already got more money than I could spend in ten lifetimes.” Tom raised his glass, his gray eyes twinkling. “Every decision doesn’t have to be about big gains, Ty. Hell, even ranching makes a damn fine business . . . when you have a few dozen oil wells.” He clapped Ty on the back with a chuckle. “C’mon, partner. Let’s raze the damned nightmare and build a dream.”





Chapter Two



Wall Street, Lower Manhattan

“The letter of intent has been drafted and copies have been provided for your approval.”

The occupants of the room simultaneously opened the embossed folders they held. Monica glanced up from behind the mountain of neatly stacked financial reports and darted her gaze over the faces of the paunchy, middle-aged venture capitalists seated around the conference table. None of them would bat an eye at dropping millions into any blind pool investment proposed by Evan Hirschfeld Davis III.

“As to prospects”—Evan’s eyes gleamed—“there are several properties on the Jersey Shore that never recovered from Hurricane Sandy. They can be had for pennies on the dollar, gentlemen. If we act quickly, we can Trump any other potential bids.”

Monica internally rolled her eyes at the bad pun, but all the men chuckled.

Evan was nearly salivating at the prospect of snapping up another floundering company. Even now, he was probably sporting a semi. Evan’s passion always manifested itself far more in the boardroom than in the bedroom. Any new acquisition, especially a hostile takeover, always excited him sexually. Fortunately, Evan bought, sold, merged, or dismantled companies with sufficient frequency to satisfy the few opportunities Monica took to indulge her libido.

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