Thorne Hamilton stepped into the grand ballroom of his Las Vegas hotel, and like a magnet, all eyes were upon him. He had money, charisma, and power. It all showed. He was thirty nine years old and he had the world by the balls.
Wherever he went, intrigue and curiosity followed. Being one of the wealthiest and most eligible bachelors in the world, attention of every kind was expected. Whether good or bad, effortlessly it flowed. He wished the bad kind would take a long sabbatical and let him be. But no such luck there. Wealth was a magnet for the unscrupulous, and over the years, he’d grown accustomed to the shenanigans of people and media alike. Not to mention the opposite sex. It made him weary, not of women per se, but of their intentions.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, exercising caution when indulging his libido was key. It kept him out of the headlines. With so much at stake, namely his image and reputation, carelessness was not an option. Choosing the right woman, at the right time, for the right reason was essential. And like a business deal, it had to be on his terms. Since he wasn’t interested in a prolonged affair, many accepted the rules of engagement simply out of the desire to be with him. This suited him perfectly. It kept that part of his life uncomplicated. With his mental and emotional faculties in the clear, it allowed for more focus and concentration on the business which he loved with a passion.
As the preeminent developer of luxury real estate, his work took him to remote and exotic places, where he built some of the world’s top resorts and casinos. His properties catered to the ultra wealthy, where they paid exorbitant amounts of money for seclusion and privacy.
Like them, he enjoyed his privacy too. He chose when and where he would avail himself to people, places and things. Frivolous socializing wasn’t his thing. Didn’t enjoy it one bit. So he would emerge out of his lair for professional reasons only.
Being a man of the world, he knew the fundraisers, dinner parties and special events were good for business. It was always good to keep the brand in circulation. And if that meant he had to suffer through a few hours of superficial pleasantries, so be it. Business always came first. His decisions, personal and otherwise, revolved around what was best for Hamilton International Resorts and Casinos. And sometimes what was best was to forfeit his privacy and don his billionaire persona instead. In light of that, attending Jack Carter’s birthday bash tonight served that end.
As his gaze wandered lazily over the crowd, he couldn’t help but take note. The guest list was stellar. Jack hadn’t missed anyone of importance. It was a who’s who from the world of finance, entertainment, media and politics. The right mix of players with enough money to buy a small country. He recognized many of the faces gathered in the grand ballroom of his luxury hotel, Oro Vegas, a world class hotel, casino and apartment complex on the strip. And like its namesake, Oro was certified gold. The premiere choice for those with discerning tastes and hefty bank accounts.
Even though the scene before him felt more like a gala than a birthday party, it didn’t fail to impress. The tables gleamed with brilliantly polished silverware. Immaculately dressed waiters circulated with trays of champagne. Light from candles and chandeliers glinted off the women’s diamonds as the ladies mingled, admiring one another’s priceless gowns and no doubt swapping stories about their children, diets, shopping and god knew what else. The music by a string quartet stationed at the opposite end soothed and enchanted. An elaborate ten tier birthday cake of white chocolate in the center of the dance floor commanded the room like a Michelangelo masterpiece. And soon, from what he’d been told, Oro’s resident DJ Ace Knight who would take over and kick this elegant birthday bash into high gear – Vegas style.
It was just like Jack to be over the top, he mused. The size of the man’s ego was hard to miss. His self importance evident everywhere, especially in the lavish details. His wealth unquestionable. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind just who Jack Carter was.
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