Vegas Two-Step — Deleted Scene

Take a peek at a deleted scene from Vegas Two-Step.

“The only good thing about baseball is the way the men look in those pants. I may be old, but I ain’t dead yet.” Grandmother Tucker to Nellie during the Texas Ranger game they won tickets to.

Nellie peeped out from the two cucumber slices covering her eyes. “You aren’t mad I’ve been spending so much time with Jack, are you?”

“Don’t talk. You’ll crack the mask,” Kate said. “But to answer your question, no, I’m not mad. That’s what this weekend is about. Indulgence.”

Nellie sighed. Indulgence. Right. She couldn’t argue with that. Cristal champagne, sumptuous dinner, winning a thousand dollars playing blackjack. The past few days had been nothing but excess from the $380.00 pair of pants she’d traipsed around in to the current spa treatment she lay wrapped in.

“Girl, nobody faults you for hangin’ with Jack. I’d give up my favorite pair of Jimmy Choo boots for one night with that man. And I love my Jimmy Choo’s.” Trish called from the chair in which she was getting a pedicure. Or at least Nellie assumed she was still in the comfy triple massage chair. She couldn’t see with the slimy veggies plastered to her eyes.

“Let’s go to the Ghost Bar tonight,” Billie said. “I love their chocolatinis.”

“Too touristy,” Kate said.

“I don’t care. I like tourists. They do crazy things when they get to Vegas.”

“Like me,” Nellie called out.

“Yeah, like her,” Billie said. “I swear, Kate, you are so damned bossy. You have to control everything.”

Nellie stifled a snort. “She’s always been that way.”

“I am not. We went to that sports bar you wanted to go to last time. Remember Limp Larry?” Kate blew out a huffy breath. Nellie knew her friend hated to be called bossy. Even though she was.

“I’d rather forget him,” Billie drawled. “But I appreciate you bringing it up and everything.”

“’Up’ was the problem if I remember correctly.” Trish’s velvet laugh wrapped round them. It made Nellie smile. And crack her red clay mask.

“Shut up,” Billie snapped. “Lots of guys have that problem. He was nearly forty.”

Kate hooted. Trish issued a belly laugh. This time Nellie couldn’t stop the giggle.

“You can all just shut up.” Nellie heard Billie stomp from the room. Even the manicurist gave a sniggle.

Nellie shifted again, wondering how in the world anything so icky feeling could be good for her. She could just imagine what Grandmother Tucker would say about being smeared with seaweed algae and then wrapped in crinkly foil wrap. She would have grumped about being a leftover burrito or something. Nellie would have to agree.

“How much longer?” she inquired.

Amy Claire, the spa technician, removed the cucumber slices from Nellie’s eyes. “Time’s up.”

“Great,” Nellie sighed as Amy Claire began unwrapping her. She glanced around the room at Trish and Kate. Kate was having her brows shaped and Trish had her toes under an ultraviolet light. Kate had arranged for an in-suite private spa party as a special treat for her friends complete with a mani, pedi, massage and a yummy lunch. Total luxury. Nellie had enjoyed it all, but the detoxifying seaweed wrap was a bit over the top.

“Okay, hop on to the bathroom. We’ll take the rest off there then you can slip into the steam shower,” Amy Claire said, her thick Louisiana accent reminding Nellie of home. A little ping of longing thumped in her chest, a desire for sweet ice tea, purple hull peas and all things undeniably Southern. Things so far away from the flashy lights and clanging slot machines of Vegas. She missed home. She’d spent most of the pedicure wondering if her neighbor would remember to water her begonias.

“Don’t forget to wash those hard to reach places,” Kate called out behind her as Nellie penguin-walked to the huge bathroom.

By the time, Nellie had rinsed, scrubbed and then rinsed yet again, the other girls had completed their requested services and were lounging on the balcony sipping marguerites. All three looked like movie stars swathed in fluffy hotel robes, frosted glasses hanging from their hands, trendy sunglasses propped on pert noses. All that was missing was a shirtless boy toy waiting on them hand and foot.

Nellie squinted against the blinding sunlight glinting off the building to her left.

Kate refilled her glass from the icy pitcher sitting on the small patio table. “So what do y’all want to do for the rest of the afternoon? Shop? Gamble? Nap?”

Billie pressed newly painted purple nails to her mouth, stifling a yawn. “The latter. If I’m going to make that show tonight, I need some beauty sleep.”

Kate’s eagle eyes met Nellie’s. “Nell?”

“Well, a nap does sound nice—“

Trish interrupted with a snort. “Probably haven’t been getting enough sleep, huh?”

Nellie could feel the heat steal across her cheeks. She hadn’t told the others she hadn’t slept with Jack yet. They just assumed she had. “I’m not the least bit tired. I was about to suggest y’all accompany me to Jack’s softball game. He invited me and told me to bring anyone I wanted as long as she was of the female variety.”

“Men in tight baseball pants? Count me in,” Kate wiggled her Ed Hardy sunglasses a la Rizzo style. “Doesn’t sound like a drag.”

“Not me. Got a lead on my case and it means tearing myself away from all you self-absorbed lazy-assed divas for the afternoon.” Trish chimed in, uncoiling her lanky frame from the chair in which she’d curled.

“No way, Jose! You promised.” Kate’s eyebrows drew together. She looked like a raincloud ready to unleash.

“Kate, this is a murder trial. I have a witness ready to make a statement. Somehow I don’t think Harv is going to think a nap is worth canceling the interview.” Trish lifted her eyebrows in silent challenge. Nellie now understood why Trish was such a good assistant district attorney. Her laser beam eyes could most likely make the most hardened of criminals squirm like a toddler.

But not Kate. She just shrugged. “Your loss. I know Jack has hot friends. They’ll be all sweaty and ready to shower.”

Trish’s laugh trailed behind her as she slipped through the open French doors. “Save me one.”

Kate rolled her eyes and directed her attention back to Nellie. “What time we heading out? I need to slip on something barely there.”

Nellie choked back a laugh. She wished Kate still lived close. She knew why Kate had left Oak Stand – who had a career in style there? The Curlicue Beauty Shop didn’t exactly need a colorist who demanded a six figure salary. And Kate had always hated Oak Stand – the town had left a bad taste in her friend’s mouth.

Kate had grown up in a tin foil trailer on the edge of town with a grandmother who worked as a waitress and dragged Kate along to every church service in town. Charity clothes and Thanksgiving baskets often got them though many a rough patch. As a member of the founding family of Oak Stand and not hurting for money, Nellie was an unlikely friend, but the two girls saw something in the other that made life tolerable.

“He said the game started at three. Somewhere out near Henderson.”

Billie stifled another yawn. “Well, if you guys are heading all the way out there, I hope the studs take off their shirts for you.”

“Amen.” Kate said setting her empty glass on the table.