The lights of the Vegas strip made for a lovely Christmas backdrop. He had been putting off dreamland since midnight and sunrise was due to arrive on the strip in less than 5 hours.
He hadn’t been this afraid to sleep since he was a kid and that was for an entirely different reason.
He had been a bed wetter as a child. Back then, he was really more afraid of what he would find upon waking up. Now he wasn’t so much afraid of the destination as he was of the journey along the way.
His idea of dreamland did not consist of a visit to the neighborhood pawnshop. His eyes and head had been doing the two-step nod for the last twenty minutes and he could no longer put off the departure of the Sandman special. Falling asleep in the chair would cause real physical pain.
The pawn shop had only consisted of psychological pain up to this point.. He moved to the bed and surrendered to the inevitable.
Across town, another nighttime drama was beginning to unfold. Nadine had gotten home and rather than open up the briefcase, she stashed it under her bed. She had told herself she was too tired to deal with the consequences involved.
The real truth was that the story Gladys had spun had gotten to her.
Nadine decided that any decision made at this point would be better made in the light of day and with a clear head. The suitcase would still be there when she woke and Christmas morning was the traditional time for opening presents. She lay down and waited for the dreamland express with visions of money signs dancing in her head.