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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hustle Into Love - Chapter Two, Part Two

Hey all,

It's Thursday and it's time for our second installment of the week.  Let's see what Mace has to say about what happened last...


Hustle Into Love



* * * * *


   Sipping his morning cup of coffee Mace stared out the window of Lì’s office. From it he could see the hundreds of white cranes that nested in the lush trees at the base of Taipa Grande, the biggest hill on the island. Beyond that, he knew was the busy harbor of Zhujiang Kou. Hundreds of boats and ferries made their way up and down the shipping lanes, and on a clear day, if you stood on Fisherman’s Wharf, you could see the tiny islands to the west of Hong Kong.
   Easier seen was the rest of the Cotai Strip. The huge Venetian glowed like a master’s painting in the soft sunlight. An enormous gaming floor, amazing artwork, shopping and fine dining made this one of the most popular tourist sites in Macau.    
   Opposite the Venetian in geography and attitude was the City of Dreams, a casino whose sleek modern design of glass and steel offered the famous Hard Rock Café as well as the very first staged water show in production, The House of Dancing Water.
   Mace looked again at the Venetian and wondered what Chantal was doing this morning. He chuckled. What he wouldn’t have given for a camera when he told her who he was…or rather, who he wasn’t. Her face had been furious, unbelieving and aghast, all within a few seconds of each other. Forget dancing. With emotions like that she could be the next Oscar winning actress.
   He’d half expected her to show up in his office the next morning and give him an earful. In fact, he'd been looking forward to it. He’d found himself watching the door, waiting for it to open and her to stomp right in. But it remained stubbornly closed. As it had the last five days.
   It had been a childish thing to do—pretend to be her assistant. But she’d made him so damned mad. With her orders and reprimands, all the while looking down her nose at him. An interesting feat since he was at least a foot taller than she was.
   He grinned again as he thought about how she’d put her chin in the air and glared at him. She was an amazing blend of fire and sex and curiosity. If you could bottle that spark inside her, you’d make millions. Now he understood why his brother was in love with the woman.
   His brother. Mace lost his smile and sighed. Lì had been trying to get Mace to meet Chantal for years. But Mace always found some excuse not to. At first he told himself it was because he didn’t want to meet the female who had his beloved older brother wrapped around her little finger. It about killed him knowing all Chantal had to do was snap her fingers and Lì would jump to obey.
   During his visits with Mace, Lì would spend hours bragging about Chantal’s latest achievements. How she’d danced for an Arab prince or taught some French countess how to do a perfect strip tease. He’d go on and on until by the time he left, Mace was utterly sick of how wonderful Chantal Montgomery was. But a part of him—a very small part—was jealous she was able to spend more time with Lì than Mace could.
   Then, over time, Chantal seemed to become a member of the family. It worried Mace enough he started keeping tabs on her himself. And what he found both intrigued and infuriated him. The Amber Princess, she’d been dubbed by the press, due to her long blonde hair and exotic golden eyes. She was demanding and exacting in her art, often driving away co-workers who didn’t have the stamina to stay with her. But she only asked of them what she asked of herself.
   He’d labeled her a diva until his private investigators told him she volunteered twice a month at a run down dance school in Paris. Her fee? Anonymity. She wanted no one touching that part of her life. The investigators were told by the woman in charge, Chantal was afraid if the newspapers found out what she was doing, they’d publicize it so much she’d be overrun with people, so she wouldn’t be able to teach anymore.
   Her generosity was only matched by her temper, which was, from what he’d heard from Lì and other sources, something to behold. But she blew up hot then cooled down quickly and often laughed about it minutes afterwards. It made Mace wonder how long it had taken her to get over her little mad in the parking lot at the Venetian.
   But if he were honest with himself, what bothered him most was the thrill of excitement that ran through him whenever he spotted her picture. And the few times he’d seen her dance—he’d dropped in on a couple of performances without letting Lì know he was there—had only made it worse. It didn’t seem to matter whether she was dancing the sexy intimate tango or a perfectly innocent part of Swan Lake, she was beyond beautiful and utterly enticing. Mace knew that if Chantal belonged to him there would be no more cozy dinners with princes and playboys. Not if they wanted to stay alive. 
   After a while, he found himself wanting to pound on his brother for having what he wanted so badly. And it was that emotion that made Mace stay as far away from her as he could. But if he’d felt guilty before just disliking  and wanting Chantal, now he felt even worse for actively lusting after her.
   In the taxi, when she’d been scolding him, he’d come close to dragging her into his lap and kissing her to shut her up. He’d wanted to feel that beautiful body against his. His hands had ached to reach inside her colorful jumpsuit and fondle her generous breasts.
   Groaning, he put down his coffee and carefully adjusted himself. In the taxi he’d managed to control himself…barely, but it didn’t bode well for future confrontations.
   “Damn it, Lì.” He gazed down at the grounds of The Golden Tiger trying to ignore his raging hard-on. “You should be here, not me. This is your dream. And Chantal is your lover. Why leave me to deal with it all?”
   When Lì had told Mace he needed some time away from everything to make some decisions about his life, it hadn’t worried Mace then, but it did now. Lì had gone to so much trouble to build this casino. Why leave it when it was just getting off the ground?
   Not that Mace couldn’t handle it. Running a casino wasn’t all that different than running a corporation. He had the skills. 
   So after a heart to heart with his parents, who understood and encouraged his desire to help his half-brother out, he’d left the family business in his father’s more than capable hands and come here to Macau for a crash course in casino management.
   All he’d really needed was a quick course on gaming as a whole. And hospitality. That was something he didn’t have to worry much about in the boardroom. But Lì explained like in big business, in a way, it was all just politics, and Mace realized very quickly his big brother knew exactly how to treat his guests to make them come back a second time.
   With the Venetian, City of Dreams and the other hotels in the area, Lì knew he had to do something different or get lost in the shuffle. So when he built his casino beside those giants, instead of trying to out do the competition, which he knew would have been disastrous, he’d gone back to his roots. He hadn’t gone for the ultra elegant or the sleek modern. Instead, his casino, The Golden Tiger, was styled after one of the most beautiful Chinese gardens in the world. Simple and lovely, it was an oasis of beauty amidst the hustle and bustle of the Cotai Strip.
  The hotel and casino had the look of a beautifully carved pagoda. Made with dark gray native stone and trimmed with green jade, it gave the overall impression of peace and tranquility. And since jade is considered lucky, a tourist surrounding themselves with the stone knew all negativity would be erased. That was excellent for those who loved the games.
   Each room was fashioned in the comfortable minimalistic manner, yet each had all the amenities the twenty-first century traveler could ask for. Since he knew he couldn’t compete in size, Lì had gone for quality over quantity, while still keeping the prices down at a reasonable level.
   The gardens themselves were gorgeous. Quiet ponds and bubbling streams. Flowing fountains and mythical statues amid hundreds of trees and flowering bushes. Wooden gazebos were tucked away in small stands of flowering cherries, and benches dotted the curving paths. For the weary vacationer or tired gambler, it was the perfect place to relax and recharge.
   In the casino itself, had allowed his more dramatic side to show. Jade-green carpets with golden tigers woven into them. Paper-type lanterns with flicker bulbs to give the appearance of a garden party at night. Beautiful healthy plants and huge aquariums filled with koi fish. Always eight gold or red, and one black, to generate the most luck. Gold trimmed the gaming tables and dozens of miniature snarling tigers dotted the entire building, smaller renditions of the huge golden statue that stood growling in the courtyard outside.
   Mace wasn’t a casino expert by any means, but he knew a money maker when he saw one, and The Golden Tiger had all the makings of a cash cow. Great ambiance, quality staff, world renowned chefs and the perfect location. Everything a tourist or gambler could want. Except for good entertainment.
   Which brought him right back to Chantal, who he still didn't even really trust.
   Somehow he had to work with her and keep his mind off his dick. Which wasn’t easy since it always seemed to stand up and wave whenever she was around. But Mace had never stolen a woman from a mate before, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to do it to his own brother.
   Chantal Montgomery could stay on her side of the casino and he’d stay on his.

~*~

Well, Mace has a little problem, doesn't he.  Okay, probably not so little since I'm writing this.  *grin*  

Anyway, I hoped you liked today's offering.  We'll learn more about how they "get along" in the weeks to come.

Have a great rest of your week and don't forget to check out yesterday's Chat Blog as well as tomorrow's Guest Blog by MJ Fredrick.  http://cjslivingdreams.blogspot.com/

CJ England  














Follow Your Dreams

10 comments:

Phylis said...

Awesome as always CJ! Now I'm off to finish cleaning the kitchen sink and the floor so I'm ready for my candle party tonight. Then it's off to my Mom's! Have a great Thursday!

Shaiha said...

I really want to visit this casino and meet them both.

SharonJM said...

Do we see the fine hand of Li manipulating his brother and his friend?

Ashley L said...

Sounds like a great place for a vacation. I'd like to go there just to see the decor. Mace seems to have quite a problem on his hands. Of course, if he'd just ask his brother what his relationship with Chantal is then he wouldn't have his problem. But, that doesn't seem like Mace's style. Cannot wait for Tuesday. I want to see how they interact in the work environment.

CJ England said...

Thanks, Phylis,

Enjoy your party and don't get dishpan hands from cleaning. LOL

CJ England said...

Shaiha,

The casinos in Macau are beyond awesome. We try and visit a new one each week just to walk through.

The decor is really interesting and each have their own theme and ambiance. And most have one thing in common.

Really ugly carpets. LOL

CJ England said...

SharonJM,

Would Li do something like that? *blinks innocently*.

Honestly, I don't know. He hasn't told me yet. LOL

CJ England said...

Ashley,

It is a great place to visit and if you like to game, it's really cool.

And with Hong Kong so close by, you can make an overnight with no problem.

Carrie said...

Waiting for Tuesday is going to be a killer. Can't wait to see what happens next. Can't wait until htey come together.oh the fights. its going to be a laugh.

CJ England said...

Carrie,

I'm writing it as we speak and I'm loving it. LOL