This little story popped into my head after hearing this oldie on the radio. It just seemed to fit Brass.

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And Solitaire's the only game in town
And every road that takes him takes him down
While life goes on around him everywhere
He's playing Solitaire

Solitaire : Neil Sedaka

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Jim Brass stood in the bright lights of the Vegas strip. It was his night off and he'd gotten restless at home. A long time ago, when he'd first come to Vegas, he'd solved the problem by picking up some action in and around the casinos. There had always been some ladies on the prowl, looking for temporary company and he'd been happy to play the game. But as he stood here now, he realized that game really held no interest anymore. He sighed a heavy sigh and made his way into the nearest casino, heading for the bar. Settling in on a stool, he ordered his drink and turned to watch the action around him.

That which had seemed so exciting and full of promise when he'd first arrived in town seemed so shallow now, empty. He knew the stories behind all the liasons. He'd worked their crimes enough to know how it went. All that pain and suffering over things that meant so little. He spied a guy on the make at the other end of the bar. His ring finger revealed that he had recently worn a ring. Took it off to see what he's missing out on. Go home you SOB. There isn't anything here that lasts.

His drink appeared in front of him and he took a sip. He looked up to his other side and saw woman trying to make a pick up. He hoped he wouldn't be working her case tomorrow. His eyes continued around the room. No, there wasn't anything here that he was really interested in. He paid for his drink and slid off the seat, heading to the exit.

Back in the lights, he saw some hookers down the street, working. One of those could be Eliie. He remembered his younger years when hookers might have filled an empty night. It sickened him now to think about his behavior then. Those girls had been some other father's baby girls. He hoped that if there was a God, he would be forgiven. He knew he would never forgive himself. Tonight some other bastard was using his baby girl like he had used those girls.

As he made his way down the street, he saw a tourist couple. They were walking hand in hand. Here on vacation...maybe even a honeymoon. He remembered his own wife; a part of his distant past now. When they had first married, he had hoped they would be like that couple. It hadn't taken long for that dream to get blown all to hell.

There was a group of people, apparent friends, making their way across the street. He thought of his his friends here in Vegas. They went out together occassionally. He treasured those times, especially since he had died and been brought back to life. He'd spent a lot of time cherishing since then; cherishing and letting go too.

But on nights like tonight, he was reminded of life before then...the old Jim Brass. He didn't want to be that man anymore. Oh, there were parts of him that were still good. And Jim wanted to remember the lessons of that man's life, but he didn't want to be that man. He wanted more. No more empty nights with strangers...no more lone wolf attitude. He wanted a life. He just couldn't seem to put all the pieces together for the complete picture. As he unlocked his car and climbed in, he realized that he was stuck in a game of solitaire.

He pulled out of the lot and headed away from home, toward someone who might be the missing piece. Once he arrived, he sat for a moment, building his courage. Knocking on her door, he took a deep breath. As she opened the door, he smiled in response to hers. "Hey," he said shyly.

"Jim? Would you like to come in?"

He stepped inside and turned to her. "I need to say something and then you can tell me to take my sorry ass back where it belongs."

She looked at him quizzically. "Okay."

"I...uh...well, ever since...well, it's like this...I um..."

She smiled and put her hand on his cheek. "Jim, just say it. I want to hear what you have to say."

He swallowed and tried again. "I uh...look, could we talk about this over dinner?"

She grinned and said yes. They headed for a small place nearby where he did his best to explain what he was feeling. She listened intently as he told her about how empty his life seemed and how much he wanted someone in it. And how he had fallen for her when they first met but had been afraid to say anything but now he wanted to say it."

"What is it you want to say?"

Suddenly his nervousness fell away and he simply said the words, "I love you."

A light grew in her eyes. "Well now, isn't that very convienent because I love you too. You've had my heart since the first time you smiled at me."

"Really," his happiness radiated from his face. They ate quietly, glancing at each other; their eyes flirting.

He drove her back to her place. "Coming in?" She asked.

"Are you sure?" his eyes taking on a more lusty expression.

"Very."

Later that night as they snuggled together in her bed, satisfied from some very intense love making, he asked her what seemed to be a really random question. "You know any card games?"

She thought for a moment and replied, "solitaire."

He held her tightly as he replied, "No, no more solitaire for me."

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No, I didn't tell you who "she" is. I'll leave that choice to you although I do have my preference. But we all have our own private fantasies about Jim Brass, so I'll let you pick his lady. LOL. PLEASE review. I'm thinking this little story deserves more attention than it is getting.