The sixth book in the Seven Deadly Sins series, 2007
for Richard, David, and Natalie Roher
And for Aunt Susan, who has heard it all-
and is always willing to listen
They are as sick that surfeit
with too much as they that starve with nothing.
– William Shakespeare,
I eat too much
I drink too much
I want too much
– Dave Matthews Band, “
“Anything worth doing,” Kane Geary intoned, gulping down a glowing green shot that looked radioactive, “is worth overdoing.”
“Thanks for the wisdom, O Wise One.” Adam Morgan pressed his hands together and gave Kane an exaggerated bow. “What did I ever do without you to guide me through the mysteries of the universe?”
“Less sarcasm.” Kane clinked his shot glass against the half-full pitcher of beer. “More drinking.”
It was nearly midnight, and the bar was packed. To their left, a whale-size cowboy in a ten-gallon hat tucked hundred-dollar bills down the cleavage of a harem of spangled showgirls half his age. Against the back wall, a table of white-jumpsuit-clad Elvis impersonators argued loudly about whether
Welcome to Vegas.
Adam felt like he’d set foot on an alien planet; Kane, on the other hand, had obviously come home.
“Where do you think Harper and Miranda are?” Adam asked, nursing his beer.
Kane rolled his eyes and spread his arms wide. “Morgan. Dude. Focus. Look around you. This is nirvana. Who the hell cares where the girls are?”
“If they got stuck somewhere-”
“They’ll be fine. You’re the one I’m worried about.” Kane clapped him on the back. “You need another drink, kid. You’ve got to loosen up.”
Adam shook his head. “No more. It’s late. And I’m-”
“Lame. Very lame.” Kane grabbed Adam’s glass and downed the remaining beer in a single gulp. Then he filled it back up to the brim and slammed it down in front of Adam. “But we’ll fix that.”
“Oh, will we?” Adam asked dryly.
“Adam, my doubting disciple, if there’s one thing you learn from me tonight, let it be this.” He was silent for a long moment, and Adam began to wonder whether all that beer sloshing around in his brain had swept away his train of thought.
“Yes?” Adam finally said.
Kane leaned across the table, the better to wheeze his sour breath into Adam’s face. “This is Vegas, baby.” His voice was hushed, almost reverential. “America’s Playground. City of Lights. Sin City.” He leaned in even closer, as if to whisper a crucial secret.
“This is definitely
Miranda Stevens pulled the car over to the side of the road and shut off the ignition. “Thanks for the news flash,” she snapped. “If you hadn’t pointed that out, I might have mistaken that”-she gestured toward the hulking mound of rock and dirt jutting out of the desert landscape-“for the Trump Taj Mahal.”
“That’s in Atlantic City,” Harper corrected her.
Harper tore open a bag of Doritos and kicked her feet up onto the dashboard. “I really hope that’s not sarcasm,” she said, neglecting to offer Miranda a chip. “Because the person responsible for stranding us here in the middle of East Bumblefuck should probably steer clear of the sarcasm right about now.”
Miranda snatched the bag out of Harper’s hands, though it was several hours too late to prevent an explosion of orange crumbs all over the front seat of her precious Honda Civic. “And by the person responsible, I assume you’re referring to… you?”
Harper raised an eyebrow. “Am
That shut her up. Miranda’s lips curled up in triumph. Beating Harper in an argument was a rare victory, one that she planned to savor, lost in the wilderness or not.
“Okay, let’s not panic,” Harper finally said, a new, ingratiating tone in her voice. “Look on the bright side. It’s your birthday-”
“Not for another twenty-four hours,” Miranda corrected her.
“We’re bound for Vegas,” Harper continued.
“And we’re not stranded,” Harper added, grabbing a map off the floor, seemingly at random, “just-”