The Saint-Tropez

“Come with me.” Dominick bustled them through the casino and into the attached hotel. He guided them across the lobby, all glass and gold and big velvet sofas and huge leafy potted palms, and led them to the front counter. After a few words with the poodle-haired woman in a gold tuxedo vest behind the desk, he handed Laurie a key on a bronze numbered tag. “Here you go. Twelfth floor. You’re all set. See you guys at four, right?”

“Thanks, Dom,” Laurie said. Next to him, Jonathan was silent and, Laurie suspected, disapproving.

They stepped into a chunky bronze elevator that smelled of perfume and cigar smoke, the green velvet carpeting worn down to threads, and rose swiftly up to their floor. They had a single room, not a suite, and while Laurie knew he had no grounds to be snobby—hey, free room!—it still disappointed him, just a little. It was pretty, though. Same green velvet carpet as in the elevator, a black velvet sofa, a black marble dining table trimmed in gold. A king-sized bed with a wildly patterned black-and-gold jacquard comforter and a reassuring stack of pillows arranged in front of the leather-wrapped headboard. Laurie slipped off his sandals and padded barefoot across the room, the luxurious feel of velvet unfamiliar to his feet.

In Lonely Satellite, the Saint-Tropez is a casino/hotel in Las Vegas. Dominick works on the casino floor; Laurie Sparks and Jonathan Frisch spend the night there while waiting to talk to Dom.