Read the first page here and download a PDF of Chapters 1 through 5.
"No matter what happens in the next few minutes, don't turn around."
The driver nodded and kept his eyes on the glittering street beyond the windshield because when a client wanted discretion you had, sensibly, two options: shut up and take the money, or shut up and take the money."This submarine of yours have one of those partition thingies?"
The driver didn't bother to nod this time--partition thingy?--just extended a hand and touched a finger to the magic button. With a gentle hum, the blackened glass rose ghostlike behind him, closing off his world from the sweaty Shangri-la the client was about to create in the back.
No one waited like the driver. Other chauffeurs gathered in the casino parking garages for gossip, caffeine, text messaging, and--inevitably--smoking. In the strata of Las Vegas social groups, theirs was an archaeological history of shooting the breeze while their betters wiggled martinis at one another and hid behind their sunglasses at Texas Hold 'Em tables, preening like miniature gods. But the driver needed no cigarettes and even less camaraderie from those who understood the trade. Alone, his thoughts walked the steps of his imagination, and what he found at the path's end was always himself.
The door opened. Closed.
The driver felt the car's weight dip gently. He knew the vehicle intimately, like a captain with the first and only ship of his command, and judging by the minimal shift, he guessed the new passenger to be no more than a hundred and fifty pounds, give or take. And so the limousine welcomed aboard another actor, though the driver didn't care whether they knew their lines or not. All that mattered other than the sun rising tomorrow and his shoes staying shined was the client's fifty-one dollars an hour, plus tax.