The League of Unusual Guys

Written by Gary Deken and Ryan Deken

“Well,” Kevin was at a loss for words. “You beat Jared.”

Howard had not thought about that, and he began to perk up. “You're right. I did. And I didn't lose everything.” Howard added.

“See,” Kevin smiled. “It's not all bad. I got to run to the bathroom.” Kevin got up from his seat. “I'll see you in a bit.”

Howard nodded. He watch after Kevin as he walked across the room. He suddenly realized that Kevin had a tear in his pants, and he could see smiling faces poking through the rip. Howard chuckled in spite of himself.

By the time Ryan had quietly stuffed away the body into the nearby hall closet, he began to see shadows moving stealthily toward the front hall. He gasped, quickly shutting the door behind him. Then, a form appeared in the opposing doorway and it was looking directly at him. Ryan stood quietly with his back pressed up against the door. He tried to looked natural and relaxed, hoping the figure might mistake him for one of the other robbers.

At first the person stood, only looking toward Ryan. There was an awkward silence and no one moved. Ryan began to hesitate, not sure if he'd even been noticed. However, the person in his dark ninja suit finally made a gesture. He pointed toward his own ear. He obviously wasn't getting anything on his radio. Ryan shook his head, indicating his radio was broken. Then, the person quietly waved him over. So, Ryan quietly stepped through the dark hallway again, back toward the great room from which he'd entered.

“Where's Bill?” The man asked once Ryan was close enough.

Ryan pointed up the stairs. Then, he shook his head and shrugged.

“Alright, c'mon Lisa.” The man gestured to the back room and turned to go through the doorway.

Realizing he'd just been mistaken as a woman, Ryan glanced down. With his thin figure and the extra protective padding around his chest, he began to see how maybe someone could have mistaken his identity. He still kept rationalizing that it must have been a stretch of the imagination, but he couldn't help but cross his arms as he followed the man into the back room.

Kevin walked over to the bar and asked for a drink. He glanced down toward Cartier standing by the nearby tables, talking with some of the women gathered around. The man stood like a dignitary in his large black and red custom tailored suit. His warm charismatic smile brought a sense of humble dignity to the room. He was indeed an intriguing man.

“He nearly had us with that straight.” A voice interrupted Kevin's thought process.

“Hmm?” Kevin turned to see Laurence Ackerman sitting next to him. He hadn't even realized that the man was there when he'd sat down.

“Cartier has his charm,” Ackerman nodded, “but it's Alex Croft who's the real power player here. Edgar Cartier has been in this game for a long-time, but in recent years, he's become rather set in his ways and predictable. You've heard the saying. You can't teach an old dog new tricks.”

“Oh really?” Kevin inquired.

“You face a much more formidable foe with Croft.” Laurence continued. “He's young and creative, but most of all he has drive. You can see the determination in his composure and body language. He gives a strong presence in the game, not to mention he's won nearly half the rounds.”

“You think Croft is going to win the game?”

“Maybe,” Laurence smiled. “The odds are not in my favor, but you, I think you have a chance of claiming that victory for yourself. Cartier will be a knock-over for you – just watch his eyes – the way he looks around the table before he makes a play. That will tell you everything. It's Croft that will be the challenge. He's much less predictable and can play a bluff very convincingly.”

“I see.” Kevin nodded.

“Well,” Laurence glance down on his gold watch, checking the time. “It's time to get back in the game.” He set his drink aside and stood up from his stool. Laurence casually headed toward the main table.

“Right.” Kevin took a sip of his drink and wiped his brow. He slid it over to the bartender, and then, he jumped up. He walked over to the table, leaving the bartender standing in shock with the glass in front of him. There was a pause until the bartender could hardly contain himself. He chuckled at the mere sight of the tear in Kevin's pants.

The back room was now empty. Apparently, the others were busy trying to disable the alarm system. Only this one man was on duty guarding the diamond that was still carefully tucked away in it's glass case.

Ryan pulled his hand back, ready to strike at his enemy. Gerald, the man standing before him suddenly turned, looking back. Ryan quickly pretended to be scratching the back of his neck.

“Have you seen that old woman?” Gerald asked.

Ryan pointed upstairs, trying to avoid saying a word.

“Good,” Gerald smiled. “As long as she stays quiet and sleeps, we can be out of here before she ever knows what happened.” He paused. “How long do think Eric will be this time?”

Ryan shrugged.

“You know Vince should be here in the next half an hour or so, and we've got Eric working at the controls for the alarm system. Bill and the others should be at their checkpoints, and the cameras should be disabled by now. That gives us time together, alone.”

Ryan frowned beneath his ninja mask. He'd nearly forgotten that Gerald had mistaken him for a woman. He shifted uncomfortably in his position at the thought of what was to come.

“You remember the robbery at the Museum of Natural Beauty?” Gerald asked. “How we had posed as one of the exhibits and kissed each other to avoid being seen? You never did give me that second kiss we talked about.”

Ryan eyebrows had gone wide, and he did all he could to contain himself from screaming. Gerald pulled up part of his mask, and he leaned in close to Ryan – ready to give a kiss. Then, suddenly, Ryan smacked Gerald upside the head with small metal shield from the nearby armor stand. He'd never even noticed that he'd picked it up. With a soft clang, Gerald fell to the ground unconscious. Somehow, Ryan felt Lisa would have appreciated what he'd just done.

To Be Continued...

Next week we will add to the story, so come back then.
© Copyright 2011 Gary Deken and Ryan Deken