Jack Kelly whistled as he drove home from his job at III (Idiotic Inventions, Incorporated). He smiled and waved at some joggers as the forest green Ford Expedition careened down Maple Street. The neighbor's Yorkshire terrier scampered off their lawn in time to avoid the suburban assault vehicle as Jack thought about the good news he had for his wife, Autumn, and his two children, Blaze and Race.

The SUV finally made it safely to the garage, but not before Jack scared the dickens out of some kids skateboarding across the street.

"Autumn! Blazey! Race!" Jack yelled as he hurried excitedly into their typical middle-class suburban kitchen.

He found Autumn surrounded by mixing bowls, flour, mixers, blenders and other assorted cooking accessories that he knew nothing about. He stood for a second, curious as to what she was making, but then he remembered the good news.

"Whatever it is, it smells great honey," Jack said before he gave Autumn a peck on her flour-covered cheek. He turned and made a face, then wiped his tongue on the back of his hand.

"Where are the kids?" he asked as turned back around. His brown eyes sparkled with excitement, which only told Autumn something bad was about to happen.

"Why?" she asked hesitantly as she pushed her dark brown hair away from her face.

Jack grinned. "I have an important announcement to make," he said proudly.

"Race! Blaze!" he yelled up the stairs.

A few minutes later a boy with short, slicked back dark hair and brown eyes and a girl with wavy, long blond hair and blue eyes plodded down the stairs. They looked nervously at each other and then at their father.

"Guess what!" Jack exclaimed.

Autumn, Race, and Blaze just stared emotionless at Jack for a second, then asked, "What?" in unison.

"We're going on vacation!" Jack said, grinning like a dolt.

The other three stood in shock

"But…it's Christmas!" Autumn protested. "I mean…didn't you want the whole family to come over for a good, old-fashioned Christmas just like year?" Autumn paused, then remembered last year. "Maybe a vacation isn't a bad idea," she muttered.

Jack smiled like an idiot again.

"The whole family can come with! I won, honey! The all-expenses paid vacation in the office-wide drawing!" he said.

"That's…great!" Autumn said, unsure if a vacation with the whole family would really be all that great.

"We are we going, Dad?" Race finally asked the question on everyone's mind, but were too afraid to ask.

"To Las Vegas!" he proclaimed, throwing his arm up in the air.

"Las Vegas?" Autumn asked. The dullness in her blue eyes showed her lack of enthusiasm, but Jack didn't notice. He nodded vigorously, which made his brown hair fall into face.

Blaze and Race groaned.

"You really need a haircut, honey," Autumn said.

"Not now," he said.

"Dad?" Race asked. "There's no snow in Las Vegas is there? I mean, it won't be Christmas in eighty degree weather!"

"It'll be great, son!" Jack said. "Think about it – you won't have to shovel the drive for a week. And after you open your presents, you can go swimming!"

Suddenly Autumn realized something horrible.

"Jack, wait a second!" she said. "Are you really planning on bringing my parents and your parents – who don't get along - and Aunt Bethany and Uncle Joe?"

Jack nodded again, as if it were nothing to worry about.

"Dad are ya sure that's a good idea?" Race asked.

"Yeah, Dad, did you think about this so-called plan for very long?" asked Blaze sarcastically.

"Relax, guys. It'll be fun! I promise!"

Autumn, Race, and Blaze rolled their eyes in unison.

***************************************

"Jack is the plane on fire?" Aunt Bethany asked in her shaky, 81 year- old voice. "I smell smoke!" she said as she looked around and sniffing the air with her wrinkled, old nose.

"You couldn't smell a rotten egg cooking in a pan of skunk spray!" Uncle Joe exclaimed.

"No, Aunt Bethany," Jack said as patiently as he could. "We haven't even taken off," he added.

"Why did Autumn get her own row?" he lamented to himself.

"How did you get the money to pay for this, Jack?" Uncle Joe asked in nasally voice. "You stole it didn't you! I bet you robbed a bank!" he accused, poking his finger into Jack's chest over and over.

"No," Jack said and gritted his teeth. He had gotten a bruise on his chest that lasted for three weeks the last time Uncle Joe visited. "I won an all-expenses paid vacation at work. In a drawing. And I get to take ten people with," he explained.

Meanwhile, Blaze was sandwiched between Grandma and Grandpa Kelly, Jack's parents. In the row ahead of them, Race was with Autumn's parents. Fortunately, none of them had started bickering yet.

Autumn's mom had already downed two miniature bottles of vodka, a Valium and had her nicotine patch firmly pasted to her arm. She was already starting to doze and had her head resting on Race's shoulder where a small pool of saliva was slowly forming. Race just stared straight ahead with such a helpless expression on his face that even Ebenezer Scrooge would have pitied him.

On the other side of Race, Autumn's dad flipped through the in-flight magazine as the plane took off smoothly.

Throughout the flight, Uncle Joe continued to poke Jack in his chest and Aunt Bethany kept claiming she smelled smoke.

Autumn smiled smugly as she thought about how she managed to avoid sharing her row with the rest of the family. She flipped through the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens and her smiled widened as she realized that, for the first time in 20 years, she didn't have to decorate a tree, or the house, or bake 40 dozen cookies.

The drink cart came by and Autumn ordered a mudslide. She fell asleep soon after she finished, only to be rudely awakened a few minutes later.

"Honey, where's the Tylenol?" Jack asked.

"Mmmmm," Autumn said and hoped he would get the hint and let her sleep.

"Honey?" Jack shook her shoulder gently at first, then harder.

Autumn took a deep breath and decided not to kill him.

"What?" she asked with her eyes still closed.

"Do you have any Tylenol? I think Uncle Joe made a permanent dent right here." Jack pointed to the spot on his chest where Uncle Joe had kept poking him, but Autumn didn't see as she rummaged through her purse.

"What kind of Tylenol do you want?" she asked, looking up at him. He stared back at her blankly.

"Huh?" he asked.

"Well, I have regular Tylenol, extra-strength Tylenol, gel caps, gel tabs, Tylenol Cold, Tylenol Flu, Tylenol Sinus, Tylenol Allergy, Tylenol PM, children's Tylenol, and oooh I still have some Codeine left," Autumn said.

Jack looked at her dumbfounded.

"Is that where all our money goes?" he asked.

Autumn laughed. "No silly. But you can never be too prepared."

"Is that Morphine?" Jack asked as he peered into purse.

Autumn smiled helplessly. "For emergencies only!" she said.

"Ok…well…I'll just take the regular Tylenol. No wait, the gel caps," Jack said.

"Wimp," Autumn said under her breath.

"What?" Jack asked.

"Here you go, sweetie," she said and handed him two pills. "Why don't you take a nap?" she suggested as she settled back into her seat and closed her eyes.

After what seemed like only five minutes to Autumn, the plane had landed and was taxiing to the runway.

*****************************************************

Not even an hour later, the whole group had arrived at the Treasure Island hotel and casino in beautiful Las Vegas. And not even ten minutes after that, the rioting ensued.

"Mom," Blaze said. Her face had paled and she held her stomach. "I think I'm going to be sick…this carpet…can't handle it…" her voice trailed off.

Autumn looked down at the carpet. It was red, but had gold and green designs that swirled endlessly and would make even the most iron clad stomach turn inside out.

"I don't think you're supposed to look directly at it," Autumn said as she rummaged through her purse. "Here, take some Dramamine," she said and handed the package to Blaze.

Blaze frowned.

"No thanks," she said. "I'll be ok." She shielded her eyes from the hallucinogenic carpet with her hand.

"Mom…I can't believe I have to sleep with my sister! And across from Aunt Bethany and Uncle Joe!" Race exclaimed as they got to their rooms.

"Well, we only have three rooms," Autumn started to explain, but Blaze cut her off.

"Hmm…funny… somehow you and Dad get your own room!" she said cynically.

Autumn didn't say anything. She just opened the bottle she had been holding, took out two white pills and swallowed them.

"Wow you're getting good that…without water even," Blaze continued.

"Well after 20 years…" Autumn trailed off. "I'm gonna take a nap."

"Didn't you sleep on the plane?" Blaze asked.

"Uhh," Autumn frowned. "Yeah, but I'm still tired. Why don't you go swimming or something?"

"Swimming?" Blaze asked critically.

"Where's Dad?" Race asked before Autumn and Blaze could get any further into their argument.

"He's getting tickets for the show tonight," Autumn replied.

"Show?" Race asked.

"Oh please God, don't let it be Denton and Dave," he silently prayed.

"Yes, we're all going to see a show the Mirage," Autumn said.

"The…the Mirage?" Race asked. "Isn't that where…"

"Denton and Dave are!" Blaze exclaimed disgustedly. "Aw, Mom, don't make us go to that! Who knows what they do to those poor tigers when no one's watching," she continued.

"We are all going! It is a family vacation after all," Autumn said. Yes, she enjoyed making her children's lives hell sometimes.

Autumn and Blaze glared at each other, then Autumn turned on her heels and went to her room.

Meanwhile, Jack had already emptied 500 dollars into a slot machine.

"Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!" he yelled. Then he realized everyone was staring at him. He grinned sheepishly and turned back to the machine.

"Jack!" A skinny man of medium height exclaimed as he saw Jack. He was wearing an inner tube around his waist and the loudest pair of swim trunks on the face of the earth. Not to mention the yellow plastic helmet with a can of Keystone Light attached to each of the sides and a tube leading from each can to the objectionable man's mouth.

Jack immediately recognized the voice and turned around.

"Maybe if I pretend I don't know him, he'll go away," he thought hopefully.

"Jack! I can't believe ya didn't tell me ya were comin here," the man said in a dialect only known to normal people as "white trash."

Jack slowly turned around, dreading the moment. Everyone in the casino was staring at him again. He was met with icy blue eyes and an expectant expression.

"Oh! Oh, Spot, it's you! When did you get here?" he asked.

"Just now. Autumn called Luna and said the whole family was coming! So we thought we'd drop by, seein as how we don't live too far away." Spot motioned to the rest of the family a few yards away.

"Oh yeah," Jack thought. "Damn, I forgot they live here now."

Jack smiled fakely at Spot's wife, Luna and the rest of the kids that surrounded her.

"Well, where is everyone?" Spot asked before he took a sip from the beer helmet he wore.

"Upstairs," Jack said after Spot let out a particularly loud belch.

"Well, lets go see 'em!" Spot exclaimed impatiently.

"Okay," Jack said hesitantly as he cashed out his slot machine.

"Damn…" he thought. "Two hundred more…gone!"

*****************************************************

"Well, this is just gonna be the best Christmas ever!" Spot exclaimed as the eleven of them rode up to the thirteenth floor in a crammed elevator.

"W…what makes you say that, Spot?" Jack asked hesitantly.

"Remember last year, when you had us all over?" Spot asked. He waited for Jack to acknowledge him.

Jack nodded and cringed the memory of last Christmas. Spot had shown up uninvited as usual and of course, all hell broke loose.

"Well, now its our turn to repay the favor," Spot said excitedly.

"Luna's gonna make dinner and we'll have you all over at out trailer! We got a permanent space to park in now, too. It's right on top of an old landfill, but let me tell ya, ya ain't never seen such huge tomaters, what with all that fertilizer in the soil. It's real nice," Spot said proudly. Luna's brown eyes sparkled at the thought of their new home.

Jack cringed at the thought of their trailer and wondered how Autumn managed to be related to these people.

The elevator stopped and everyone poured out. Jack led them all to his room, where Autumn had just fallen back to sleep.

"Honey!" Jack called as he opened the door. "We, uh, have some company," he said.

"Go away!" Autumn said and threw a pillow at him. "I'm trying to sleep."

"Honey, your cousin's here. And her family…all of it."

Autumn sat up in the bed and smoothed her tousled hair back into place.

"Oh great," she mumbled as she threw the covers off the bed.

"Autumn!" Luna exclaimed after she appeared in the doorway.

"Luna! It's great to see you! Wow and you brought all the kids too, huh?"

Luna nodded and smiled proudly, lighting up her pale face.

"Where are yours?" she asked.

"Um, I'm not sure. Weren't you watching them, Jack?" Autumn asked.

"Oh…uh…yeah," Jack said. "Kids!" he yelled and knocked on the door next to theirs.

Race flung open the door with a scowl on his face.

"Right here, dad," he said. "What do you want?"

"Come out here and see your cousins," Autumn said. "Blaze, too."

Blaze and Race slowly joined the rest of the group, some of whom were still milling about the hallway.

"Who are these people," Race whispered to Jack. Jack elbowed him.

"Don't you remember last Christmas?" Jack hissed at him.

Race rubbed his side and grimaced.

"Oh…yeah…" Race said. "The trailer trash."

Autumn overheard and smacked Race upside the head.

"My family is not trailer trash," she admonished.

"You all remember our kids, right?" Spot asked above the noise. Everyone just stared at him.

"Well, this here is Ruby Sue." Spot pointed to a little girl with long dark hair and big brown eyes.

"And this is Mary Sue," Spot motioned to an older girl with blond hair and blue eyes that changed with her mood.

"Here is Les and Snipeshooter," Spot said and pointed out the two boys with brown hair, brown eyes and mischievous grins.

"And this is our pride and joy, Whiskey," Spot said as he rested his hand on the shoulder of a tall, curvy, girl with braided, auburn hair and crystal green eyes.

Jack and Race ogled the girl who wore tight black leather pants and a teeny tiny red tee shirt that left pretty much nothing to imagination.

"She's a dancer," Spot said, practically bursting with delight. "Her picture is all over the city," he said.

"Yup," Luna nodded. "She's practically a celebrity!"

****************************************************************

"Well," Autumn said with yawn and stretched her arms up in the air. "It was great to see you!"

"Yeah, it was great seein' ya too!" Spot said a bit over enthusiastically and smacked Autumn's back. She almost fell forward, but somehow managed to keep her balance.

"We really should get going, honey," Jack said.

"Oh yeah," replied Autumn. "We have to get ready – we're going to see Denton and Dave tonight," Autumn explained to Luna and Spot.

"I've heard they are spectacular," exclaimed Luna.

"Specs?" Whiskey asked and looked up from her conversation with Blaze.

"No Denton and Dave," replied Luna.

"Oh, ew! They're gross!" Whiskey cried and turned her attention back to Blaze.

"Kids!" Luna rolled her eyes.

"Well, we better get goin'," Spot said. "But ya gotta come over tomorrow and we'll show ya the spread. I'll barbeque!"

"Sounds…like a plan," Jack said hesitantly.

The huge family finally left not long after and everyone else got ready for the show.

Autumn, Jack, Blaze and Race took the monorail that connected the two hotels and left the elders at the hotel to gamble and go to bed early.

The ride was very silent as result of Race and Blaze pouting about having to see Denton and Dave, but fortunately it was very short and in no time, the family was seated at table in the first row.

"Wow!" Jack said excitedly. "We'll be able to see everything from here!"

Their meals arrived right away and the show started a little while later.

The lights dimmed and cheesy music that was supposed to excite the crowd started playing. Autumn could sense Race and Blaze rolling their eyes.

Suddenly a spotlight appeared and shone on two men who were dressed almost as Jedi knights, minus the light sabers. Instead each man held a leash with a white tiger on the end.

The audience clapped and the show started. Autumn had to admit; the couple did seem rather…gay. With those outfits…and well, they were in show biz.

Denton kept telling Dave cheesy pickup lines.

Blaze kept muttering about the poor tigers. Race protested about the horrendous outfits. Jack kept saying how he could do that and Autumn drank – heavily.

Finally the show was over and Jack dragged Autumn to the monorail. Race and Blaze trudged behind them.

They were not looking forward to a night filled with snoring old people right next to them – or a night spent in the same bed for that matter.

*********************************************************************

"Vait! Vait!" A man's voice called after the foursome in a heavy German accent.

Jack turned with his arms still around Autumns waist.

"What?" Jack asked, very perplexed that Denton and Dave hadn't wanted him to leave.

"I, uh, just vanted to say…you are beautivul," Denton said, looking into Autumn's half closed, glazed over eyes.

"Oh, uh," Jack said. His cheeks turned bright red. "Uh, thanks…but I'm straight," he explained.

"No!" exclaimed Dave.

Jack nodded. "I'm sorry but it's true."

"No you tvit!" yelled Denton. "Ve are talking about your vife! She is like an angel."

Dave nodded whole-heartedly, but Race and Blaze noticed him also checking out Jack. They looked at each other and frowned.

"Are you as disgusted as I am?" Blaze asked.

Race nodded. "Let's get out of here."

"Definitely!" Blaze said. "Dad, we're gonna go ahead to the room!" she called as they walked off to the monorail.

Jack didn't hear them as he was busy deciding whether to be proud or kick their pansy asses for wanting his wife.

"Vere are yo stayingh? Ve vill take good care ofh you!" the taller part of the duo said grinning.

"Yes yes!" said the curly haired one, Dave, excitedly.

Jack looked warily at them. "We're at the Treasure Island," he slowly replied.

"Ahh, the Treasure Island. You like the pirates?" Denton asked.

Jack shrugged. "Haven't really seen any," he said. He felt a strong urge to run away as fast as he could, but a morbid sense of curiosity compelled him to stay.

"Ah no? Vell ve vill put on a show for you and your vife then," Denton said and raised his arm as if it were a sword.

Dave followed Denton's actions and they commenced "sword fighting." Jack looked on, not sure if he should be amused. He looked down at Autumn to see if she was still awake, but her eyes were shut.

"Umm, we should be going," Jack said.

"Ok! Buh bye now!" Denton said.

"Buh bye!" echoed Dave.

Jack walked off as fast he could while Autumn's feet dragged on the ground.

"Oh, she would've loved that," he thought as he finally climbed into the monorail.

***********************************************************************

Blaze and Race walked into the lobby, only to be greeted by a huge sign that read: NO ONE UNDER 21 ALLOWED IN GAMING AREA.

They look at each other, horrified.

"Now what are we gonna do?" Race asked.

Blaze shrugged. "I'm going out. Have fun!" she turned and called over her shoulder.

Race watched her leave and wondered what she could possibly do while "out." Then he wondered what he could possibly do as he wandered out of the hotel.

Blaze decided to go see if she could find Whiskey where she danced at "Club Epidermis."

She walked in the door and immediately covered her ears as the music permeated her entire body. Fortunately Whiskey saw her come in and danced over.

"Hiya, Blaze!" She said and shook her booty quite provocatively.

Blaze grimaced and tried to forget that image of her cousin.

"I'm gonna take the night off early and party!" Whiskey exclaimed with a huge grin. "Wanna come with?"

"Um, ok," Blaze said timidly. She wasn't sure, but she didn't want to go back to the hotel.

*********************************************************************

Race walked down the strip, kicking rocks, cigarette butts and anything else "kick-worthy."

"Hey kid," a voice whispered.

Race looked up and saw a strange man in a beige trench coat wearing a gray fedora.

"What?" Race asked suspiciously.

"Need a fake ID?" the man asked as if he could read minds.

Race nodded.

"You got one?" he asked in a critical tone.

The furtive man quickly grabbed Race's shoulder and pushed him to the side of the nearby hotel. Race was too shocked to protest, but then the mysterious man whipped a small, plastic white card out of one of his pockets and dangled it in front of Race's face.

"That'll be 20," he said.

"Lemme see it first," Race said just as firmly.

The man held the card out for Race to see and gave it to him after a satisfied Race gave him a twenty-dollar bill.

Race smirked to himself as he walked into the nearest hotel and proceeded to order a drink from the bar.

"A martini please," he asked the bartender as confidently as he could muster.

"You got any ID?" the bartender asked. Race nodded and showed him the card.

The waiter looked very critically at it for a minute then nodded.

"Five dollars," he said.



*********************************************************************

"C'mon!" Whiskey yelled excitedly and dragged Blaze by her wrist out of the club. They climbed into an old vehicle that might have once, before 1937 resembled a pickup truck and Whiskey introduced Blaze to everyone.

"This is Hank, Bob, and Billy Bob," she said.

After about fifteen minutes, they arrived in a desert area that appeared to Blaze as some sort of electric sign graveyard. There were old signs everywhere that had apparently been used at the hotels in Vegas. They were huge, with colored light bulbs covering them in all sorts of words and cheesy designs.

Blaze was immediately attracted to the hugest sign there – a horse with a cowboy atop it, waving his hat in the air. She didn't even notice all the hot men in the vicinity as she stood in awe for a few seconds until someone passed her a cup of Bud Light keg beer, which she readily accepted.

"Hi," said the bearer of the beer.

Blaze still looking at the sign almost forgot to respond.

"Hi," she said breathlessly and glanced over at the guy.

"What's your name?" he asked with curious dark brown eyes.

"Blaze," she replied and looked into his deep, rich eyes. She forgot all about the statue as she gazed at the hunky black-haired guy. He stared back at her and smiled.

"What a beautiful name," he sighed.

"W…what's yours?" Blaze asked coyly.

"Bumlets," he said equally as coyly.

"Hey Blaze!" Whiskey yelled, ruining the frozen in time moment between the two. "C'mere and I'll show ya some moves!"

Blaze looked at Whiskey, in her skintight red dress and wearing what she affectionately called her "fuck me" leather boots, dancing on top of a sign that was shaped like a bunch of cherries. Blaze shook her head and looked helplessly at Bumlets. He grinned back at her and she would've melted if Whiskey hadn't yelled at her a second time.

"Maybe I'll see you later," Blaze said hopefully.

He nodded. "I'll wait here all night for you," he replied.

**********************************************************************

Jack dragged Autumn all the way through the hotel room, cast a sidelong glance into the casino and struggled into the elevator with her.

He finally got her into to bed and snuck back down to the casino without her noticing.

"Finally!" he thought as he rubbed his hands together in glee and proceeded to the blackjack table.

"Now I'm gonna make some real money!" he gleefully decided.

He plopped a one hundred dollar bill down on the table

"Changing one hundred," the dealer, a gorgeous busty woman, with long, flowing blonde hair said.

Jack flashed his "I'm-not-really-as-old-as-you-think-I-am-and-I-still- know-how-to-party" grin. The dealer smiled flirtatiously back as she dealt everyone their cards.

"Hit me," Jack said with his Rico Suave grin when the dealer got to him.

"Bust," the dealer said as she dropped a nine of spades on top of his already dealt queen of hearts and five of clubs. She smiled smugly as Jack bet another 25 dollars and settled in his chair for a long night.

*********************************************************************

Race took a sip of the martini and frowned. It was just about the nastiest thing he ever tasted, but he pretended to like it, just in case the bartender got suspicious.

He decided to walk around and play a few slots. A machine in the front of the casino caught his eye.

"Win a Z3 roadster for a dollar," a huge sign with bright flashing lights read. A beautiful silver blue BMW Z3 roadster stood on a red- carpeted platform under the sign.

Race practically drooled at the wondrous sight and with shaking hands he put a crumpled dollar bill into the machine. The machine promptly spit the dollar bill out.

"Damn you!" Race muttered as he smoothed the bill out on the corner on the machine. His palms sweated as he anxiously put the dollar in a second time.

Nothing happened, except a button that said, "SPIN" lit up. Race took that to be a good sign and pulled the handle on the side. Sure, he could've just pressed the button, but it just didn't look as fun.

The reels inside the machine started spin. The first one stopped on a red 7. The second one stopped on a white 7 and the third stopped on a blue seven. A light on top of the machine went off along with a siren and some bells. Race looked around in shock.

Suddenly a uniformed hotel employee appeared in next to Race.

"Congratulations, sir, you won the car," the man said as he looked Race up and down critically.

"I just need to see some ID," he added. Race handed the card to the man who scrutinized it.

The man looked back up at Race. "Where would you like the car delivered, Mr. Finigian?"

"Uh," Race said, the only intelligible thing that popped into his mind at the time. "The…the Treasure Island hotel, please."

The man nodded and disappeared as quickly as he had appeared.

Race smiled and took a sip of his martini, then almost choked on the noxious concoction.

******************************************************************

Whiskey continued to dance atop the cherry sign as Blaze made her way over there.

"Ya gonna just stand there, or ya gonna dance?" Whiskey asked impatiently.

Blaze wasn't sure. She definitely needed a few more beers before she would dance like Whiskey was.

Whiskey frowned. "I know what you need," she said, grinning mischievously and climbing down from the top of the sign.

"They don't call me Whiskey for nothing, honey," she said and pulled out a small bottle of Jack Daniels. She spun the cap off and took a big swallow. Blaze shuddered as Whiskey passed the bottle to her and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

Blaze hesitatingly grasped the bottle. Whiskey nodded.

"Go on, it ain't gonna bite ya," she said, and then looked down at the ground. "Though that rattlesnake there might," she added with a giggle.

Blaze instinctively screamed and started running as fast as she could to the other end of the "sign graveyard."

Whiskey laughed and picked it up by the tail.

"It ain't gonna bite!" she yelled. "He just wanted to get to know ya!" Whiskey brought the snake's head close to her face and started baby talking to it.

"You wouldn't her, would you? No you wouldn't! No you wouldn't you cute, little bugger." After she had her moment with the snake, she put it down and it slithered quickly away.

Whiskey danced over to Blaze who still had her namesake.

"Ya gonna drink that?" Whiskey asked. "If not give it back to me," she demanded and reached out to grab it.

Blaze held on and turned away so the bottle would be out of Whiskey's grasp.

"No!" she said defiantly. "I'll…try it," she sighed, then smelled it. She wrinkled her nose and drew back in disgust.

"Ya ain't s'posed to smell it," Whiskey admonished. "Just drink as much as ya can as fast as ya can!'

Blaze pinched her nose, like she'd seen people do and poured the whiskey into her mouth and swallowed it as fast as she could.

Whiskey chuckled at Blaze.

"It's kinda like a blowjob," she said knowingly. "Ya gotta swallow it real quick."

Blaze turned to Whiskey, still recovering from the swig with a horrified look on her face. But soon she felt her whole body relaxing and Whiskey convinced her take another swig. And another. After that she didn't really need much convincing, but the bottle had run dry.

So Whiskey and Blaze sauntered over to the keg where Whiskey decided to do a keg stand. Everyone cheered her on, then Whiskey passed the nozzle to Blaze. Blaze looked at Whiskey with fear in her eyes, but took it. The alcohol clouded her normally good judgment and she drank out of the keg as if her life depended on it. Everyone cheered her on, especially Bumlets, but she didn't notice.

After the keg stand, Whiskey and Blaze were ready to dance. Whiskey showed off her moves and Blaze caught on quick. Soon they were up on the sign together with all the boys catcalling and hollering assorted things.

Whiskey grinned at Blaze. "It's better than being down there, ain't it?" she asked.

Blaze just nodded and a stroke of inspiration hit her.

"I'll be right back," she said and climbed down. She marched over to the cowboy sign and quickly climbed to the top.

Whiskey looked around confused, until she saw Blaze dancing her heart out on top of the cowboy. She smiled contentedly to herself and wondered whose heart she would break first.

********************************************************************

Autumn turned over in her bed and patted the covers next to her. Just as she suspected, there was nothing there.

"Bastard," Autumn groggily muttered. "Probably down flirting with any woman who'll look at him.

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!!!

Autumn sat up in bed wondering how many Cosmopolitans she'd had at the show. She rubbed her head and lied back down.

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!!!

Autumn realized it was someone at the door and not her head. She wondered who would be knocking at this late hour. After all it was…she squinted her eyes to read the blurry red numbers on the clock…10 o'clock. Autumn shrugged and lied down again.

However, the knocking didn't stop.

"Missus Kelly! Are you in there?" A strange voice yelled.

Autumn sat up again, trying to remember where she'd heard that voice before. It sounded almost like a…. German accent? Could it be? She slowly staggered out of bed and made her way to the door, though not before knocking over a lamp and stepping on the remote control, which turned the on the television. Autumn jumped in shock as the sound of moaning suddenly blared through the room, which lit up at the same time.

"What the…?" she thought and looked at the television. Then she looked quickly away in disgust.

"I thought you had to pay for pornos on TV," she thought. "I guess anything really does go in Vegas."

Autumn heard more knocking as she tried to turn the TV off. She pressed every button to no avail.

"Crap," she said. "I must've broken the damn thing. Oh well. I'll have Jack fix it…er maybe Race…no wait…nevermind. It'll stay broke," she thought.

Autumn walked a bit more carefully over to the door and looked through the peephole, although she couldn't see who was at the door. She slowly opened it and held back a surprised laugh.

********************************************************************

With a determined look, Jack laid yet another hundred dollar bill on the table and got his chips. The dealer gave him look full of pity and dealt his cards.

"Hit me," he said. The dealer laid down a card.

"Bust," she said for the…well Jack had lost count how many times she'd said that.

"I give up," Jack said. "Good night, miss." He flashed his grin again although it had lost most of its confidence.

"Have nice evening sir," the dealer said and grinned playfully.

Jack's head hung low as he slunk to the elevator.

**********************************************************************

Race, after getting over the shock of winning a car, headed to the craps tables. He'd seen this game on plenty of movies and TV shows; it was easy, just throw the dice and get a seven.

He put down twenty dollars and then threw the dice.

A seven! The crowd at the table all murmured with delight. Race grinned. Yep, this game was easy. He threw the dice again and got another seven. This, of course, gained everyone's attention in the within ten feet.

A girl with long curly brown hair and a killer figure sauntered over to Race. She smiled seductively and smoothed her form fitting red dress. Race stood frozen as she stopped right next to him.

"It's your lucky night," she whispered breathlessly and held out her hand. "I'm Angel," she added.

Race, unfrozen and who now looked like the cat who swallowed the canary, accepted her hand. "I'm Race," he said. Then he realized the crowd was growing impatient, so he threw the dice for another seven.

The crowd went into an uproar and several more women mauled Race.

"One at a time, one at a time, please ladies," he said. He'd always wanted to the say that.

**********************************************************************

Bumlets finally caught Blaze's attention when she came down off the sign for a refill on her beer.

"Hi," he said. "Remember me?" he asked hopefully.

Blaze nodded.

"Of course I do. You are the most cutest guy here," she said and it wasn't just the alcohol talking.

Bumlets grinned and Blaze giggled.

"You're a really great dancer," he said shyly. It was Blaze's turn to grin.

"Yeah right, you're just saying that," she replied.

"No! I really mean it," he said as his dark eyes became serious.

"Well…thank you," Blaze said sincerely, then drank some of her beer.

"Hey, listen. I'm gonna go to Denny's for some coffee. Would you…wanna come with?" he asked.

Blaze thought for a half second.

"Sure!" she said enthusiastically. "That sounds like fun!"

************************************************************

"Vhy are you laughingh?" the figure that appeared after Autumn opened the door asked.

"Do you guys, like, wear your little outfits all the time?" Autumn asked between gasps for air.

"Outfits?" Dave looked at Denton in confusion. Denton shook his head and shrugged.

"Oh…I see," Autumn said and managed to keep herself from cracking up again.

After an awkward pause, Denton finally spoke up.

"Ve vere vantingh to know if you vanted to have a nightcap vith us?" he asked while Dave nodded.

Once again Autumn tried to contain herself.

"I'm sorry, I don't think so. I really need to get back to sleep," Autumn replied.

"Oh ok," Dave said in tone that sounded like his whole life had been shattered.

"Vat about tomorrow?" asked Denton. "Perhaps dinner? You could bring your husband. Our treat! Then you could see the show again. You could even be in it if you want."

Autumn furrowed her eyebrows in thought.

"I don't know…" she said. "Jack probably really would like to be in the show, thought," she added.

"No problem!" Dave exclaimed.

"Pick you up at seven, then?" Denton asked.

"Uh…," Autumn hesitated. It was her last chance to say no. "Oh, ok. Why not? I need something tell my friends when I get back," she said.

"Oh goody," Dave said and jumped up and down while he clapped his hands. Denton tried to calm him down, but it was like trying to stop a kid on a pogo stick who had just eaten fifty pixie sticks.

"Have a nice night," Denton said before Autumn closed the door.

*********************************************************************

"Excuse me, sir," a man in an expensive suit interrupted Race's conversation with a blonde he'd just met named Hush.

"Can I help you?" Race asked.

"I just wanted to congratulate you on your fine playing and extend my offer to spend the night in one of our best rooms tonight," the man said. "Courtesy of the hotel, of course," he added.

"Of course," Race said patronizingly. "And thank you." He turned back to his conversation with Hush.

"Looks like we'll have to invite some of your friends over for some fun," he told her.

"Sounds great," she said with a nod.

************************************************************************

"Let me just tell Whiskey where we're headed," Blaze said to Bumlets. Bumlets grinned and grabbed her hand.

"I'll go with you," he said. Blaze laughed and dragged him over to where she'd last seen Whiskey.

They looked around but couldn't find her anywhere.

Finally after asking some other people, someone pointed to an undistinguishable blob.

Blaze looked at Bumlets and shrugged. She led him over to the mysterious object.

"Uh, I wouldn't do that," the girl yelled as they were halfway there.

"Why not?" Blaze asked.

Two seconds later she found out why.

"Oh geez!" she exclaimed as a surprised Whiskey jumped up and screamed as she hurriedly pulled her dress down where it should've been. Another figure also popped up from off the ground and hurriedly pulled his pants up.

"Blaze!" Whiskey said irritated. "Don't sneak up on people like that!"

"Sorry," Blaze said. Oh, Whiskey would never how sorry she really was. "I…uh, Just wanted to let ya know we're gonna go to Denny's for some coffee."

"Ok," Whiskey said. "Sure, whatever." She wasn't really paying attention as the boy she was with wrapped his hands around her waist and started to nibble on her neck.

"Specs!" she exclaimed.

"That tickles!" was all Blaze and Bumlets heard as they walked off hand in hand to Bumlets car.

They looked at each other and cracked up.

"That was close!" Bumlets said.

************************************************************************

"Vait a minute," Denton said and stuck his foot in the doorway before the door slammed shut.

Autumn whirled around.

"What?" she asked exasperated.

"Is that…vat I think it is?" he asked and gave Dave a nudge with his elbow.

"What?" Autumn asked.

"You know…. On zee television. Zee, um…"

"Porno!" Dave interrupted excitedly.

Autumn's cheeks turned bright red.

"No! It isn't!" she lied. "Now if you'll excuse, me I need to go to sleep!" she yelled.

"Oh, I am very sorry. We need to get going, too. Right Dave?" Denton said.

"Yes! Ve are doing a commercially tomorrow for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," Dave said proudly.

Denton nodded as if he had just accomplished his life's goal.

"That's really…nice," Autumn said. "Very interesting indeed."

"Yes, vell, vish us luck!" Denton said and chased down the hall after Dave.

"Good luck," Autumn said. "And good riddance!" she added when they were out of earshot.

She finally figured out she could the TV off by pressing the buttons on the set itself and then crawled back into bed. And she was asleep within ten minutes of taking her Valium. No way could she have gotten to sleep on her own with those horrid images of Denton and Dave in her head.

********************************************************************

Race was living his dream. He had a free suite complete with a whirlpool spa at the classy New York New York hotel. Beautiful women, tons of money and an everlasting supply of alcohol surrounded him.

He'd already met tons of fascinating people, especially women. Especially older women. He'd met an interesting group of girls in their early twenties who were all from New York and who all worked for the New York Times.

Angel and Illusion were very outgoing, no wonder they were in sales and advertising, respectively. They also dressed a more suggestively than the other four girls they were traveling with.

Snicker and Aki were rather shy, but once Race talked to them for a while they came out of their shells and even danced with him.

Psyche was a reporter, also quite outgoing and she had some very interesting stories to tell about things that had happened to her as a reporter. Hush was a photographer and also told some fascinating tales.

After two am, the party started dwindling and only the six girls were left with Race. The only thing he didn't have that he desperately wanted was six arms so he could put his an arm around each of them. On second thought, no, that probably wouldn't be very attractive and would just scare them all away. He sighed contentedly and poured the girls another round of champagne.

**********************************************************************

Bumlets opened the door to his blue 1987 Honda Civic as Blaze giggled and hopped in. She'd never had a boy open a door for her before, and she rather enjoyed it. The couple didn't talk much as Bumlets drove to Denny's. They had so much they felt like saying, but weren't sure exactly how. The sexual tension was almost killing them both. Fortunately they arrived at the restaurant soon.

Blaze turned and went to pull the handle to get out when Bumlets placed his hand on her knee. She froze for a second and didn't know what to do. She turned back and looked at him. He smiled.

"I uh, wanted, to, uh," Bumlets stammered, then leaned over and brushed his lips with Blaze's. Blaze was too shocked to move at first, however after a few seconds, she realized how enjoyable the kiss was. She started kissing him back and Bumlets put his hand around her neck. Blaze followed suit and things started to get hotter and heavier until they heard a knock on the window.

"Huh?" Bumlets murmured as he looked out the window. He couldn't see anything, though, since the windows were a fogged up. So he rubbed his shirtsleeve to see who would've had the gall to not on a car window that was all fogged up.

Bumlets jumped back in surprise as he saw a familiar face.

"Grandma?!" he exclaimed in disbelief.

*********************************************************************

Jack pushed the up arrow button in the elevator area and waited. Out of nowhere, an idea struck him.

"If it works for Autumn, maybe it'll work for me," he thought and turned around, walking to the lobby. He walked out the entrance and down the street until he found a nice looking bar. Well, maybe not "nice," to most people, but it looked good to Jack.

He sat down at the bar and ordered a beer.

"Well, if it isn't Mr. 'Hit me,'" a low voice said.

Jack swirled around and noticed the blonde dealer for his losing streak at the casino to his left. He almost spit his beer out.

"Well…hello there," Jack said, his voice came out much lower than normal in some sort of weird attempt to sound more desirable.

The woman just smiled.

"I'm Jack," he said. "May I ask your name?"

The woman giggled.

"What a psycho," she thought.

"It's Chesapeake. But I sometimes go by Chesa," she said.

Jack held out his hand.

"Nice to meet you, Chesa," he said. "Can I buy you a drink?" he asked.

"Make it a lemon drop," she said.

The drink came fast and Chesa drank it even faster while Jack attempted to make conversation.

Chesa set her empty glass down.

"I'm sorry, it was really nice talking to you, but I have to get home now," she said as she got up.

"Ok, then. Nice talking to you, too," Jack said and turned his attention back to his beer as she walked out the door.

*******************************************************************

"Grandma, what are you doing here?" Bumlets asked after he rolled the window down.

"Oh, you know I always eat here!" she admonished. "I noticed your car, and I thought I'd say hi, and see if you wanted to have dinner with me, but it looks like you have company." Yes, leave it to grandmother to perfect the guilt trip method.

"Oh that's ok, Grandma!" Bumlets said. "We can…all…eat together," he said and shrugged helplessly to Blaze.

Blaze just smiled back at Bumlets, then at his grandma.

They got out the car and headed into the restaurant together.

"So, Grandma," Bumlets started, "this is Blaze. Blaze, this is my grandma."

"Nice to meet you," Blaze said and hoped she didn't seen drunk although the floor was starting to spin while they waited to be seated.

"Well, it's nice to meet you too, dear," Bumlet's grandma said.

"She's a pretty one," Grandma said turning to Bumlets.

They finally sat down and got their drinks: two coffees, one decaf. The whole dinner was rather awkward, and Blaze had to admit she was kind of glad when it was over.

After Grandma left, Blaze and Bumlets were alone in the parking lot again and picked up where they left off. Of course, it didn't seem that luck was entirely with them. Not long after Bumlets managed to get Blaze's bra off, they heard a knocking on their window again. They both groaned.

"Not again!" And Bumlets wiped the fog off the windows again.

"Whiskey! What are you doing here?" Bumlets said, rolling down the window.

"Leaving so soon?" she asked. "Specs and I just dropped by to say good night and grab some coffee. But it looks like you never even made it into the restaurant," Whiskey said with an arched eyebrow and nodded to the bra Bumlets held in his hand.

"Oh, um," Bumlets blushed and threw the bra aside. "Well, uh, let's go inside," he said and looked helplessly at Blaze again.

**************************************************************

Sunlight streamed through a small crack in the curtains.

"Make it go away!" Autumn groaned and pulled the covers over her head.

"Huh?" Jack mumbled next to her.

Autumn shoved the covers back and looked at him questioningly.

"When did you get here?" she asked.

"Uhh…I dunno know," Jack replied. "Maybe midnight."

"Oh, I didn't even hear you," she said.

Jack turned and smiled at her.

"Lay off the valium, honey," he said just like every morning.

Autumn nodded.

"Sure dear, as soon as you stop flirting with every other woman you see," she always quipped.

They dragged each other out of bed and got ready for another day in Vegas.

"We're supposed to have lunch at Spot and Luna's trailer," Autumn groaned at the recollection. She was about to swallow a pill, when Jack protested.

"Let's try to have a sober day," he said while grabbing the hand that held the pill.

Autumn looked at him in shock at first, then anger.

"When did you become Mr. Betty Ford?" she asked.

Jack just shrugged.

"Let's go get Blaze and Race up," he suggested.

He knocked on their door, and was surprised when Race opened the door right away.

"You're up early," Jack commented. "It's not even nine o'clock yet."

"Well, what can I say, I'm just so excited about the barbecue later," Race said sarcastically.

Jack ignored that comment.

"Is my darling daughter awake yet?" he asked.

"Yeah, dad!" Blaze yelled from the bathroom where she was trying to rid of any evidence of a wicked hangover and a long night spent with a boy in the back of his car. She'd already been trying to cover a hickey up for a half an hour and hadn't even started on the bags under her eyes yet. She sighed and put even more powder on her neck, which only made it look cakey and a bit odd colored.

"Stupid boys!" she thought. "Race has it so easy, he doesn't have to worry about anything."

*****************************************************************

As the family drove out to the Conlon residence, Blaze smiled. She made it through breakfast without getting any weird looks from her parents. Race was also smiling at the memory of the night before. And Autumn only grew more irritable the longer Jack kept her away from her "pharmacy." Jack was beginning to remember why he hadn't said anything before.

"Honey," Jack said. "Can you read me the directions one more time?"

"I already read them to you five times," Autumn said quite irritably.

"I know, but I can't remember where to turn next," he replied as gently and non-threateningly as possible.

"Here!" Autumn yelled as they quickly approached an intersection with a dirt road.

"Are you sure," Jack asked.

Autumn gave him a death glare.

"Of course I'm sure!" she screeched. "Turn now!" She grabbed the wheel and made Jack turn, but the car wasn't moving slow enough to turn that sharply and skidded into a 360-degree turn.

Race and Blaze screamed and covered their eyes while the car spun out of control. They car finally stopped, but Race and Blaze continued to scream.

"Shut up!" yelled Autumn. "We're all okay, aren't we?"

"This is all your fault," Jack said matter of factly.

"My fault?!" Autumn roared. "You were the one who second guessed me! If you had turned when I said to it never would've happened!"

Race and Blaze looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

Jack started the car back up and drove onto the dirt road. The rest of the ride was spent in thick silent tension.

*******************************************************************

The car finally pulled up to a dirt lot adorned by a rusty trailer and assorted patio furniture strewn about.

"You came!" Luna exclaimed as everyone got out of the car. She gave Autumn and Blaze a quick hug.

"Did you find it okay?" she asked.

Autumn nodded.

"Thanks to me," she said and glared at Jack.

"Well, that's good. Can I get everyone something to drink?" she asked.

"Bloody Mary," Autumn said.

"A beer," said Jack who glared back at Autumn.

"Coke is good," said Race. Blaze nodded.

"A coke please," she said.

Luna went back into the tuna can of a house and emerged a few minutes later with all the drinks.

Autumn downed the bloody Mary in three sips.

"Where's everyone?" she asked.

"Spot's getting the grill going behind the house and the kids are out looking for chipmunks."

"Chipmunks?" Autumn asked, but then kicked herself. She was better off not knowing.

Luna nodded. "I make the best chipmunk stew in the whole state!" she bragged.

Autumn made a concentrated effort on not seeing the bloody Mary again.

Everyone sat down on the plastic chairs outside and sipped their drinks. Except Autumn who was gnawing impatiently on her straw.

A few minutes later everyone heard whooping and hollering that got louder and louder until they saw a pack of kids running towards them.

As the kids got closer it was plain to see that each one held a plastic grocery bag that no one really wanted to know what was inside.

Luna grinned proudly at the sight of her kids.

"Now, kids, go put them away," she said and the kids ran off again.

By the time they came back Spot came around with a plate full of hot dogs.

There was nothing the Kelly family despised more than hot dogs, especially ones burnt to a crisp, but they all managed to choke one down.

"Dammit, I knew I should've had that extra waffle at breakfast," Jack reprimanded himself.

After lunch Luna took Autumn on a tour of their house. Autumn poked her head through the door and saw the kitchen/dining room. She turned her head and saw a couch and several cots. She poked her head back out and look in disbelief at Luna.

"All fifteen of you live here?" she asked incredulously.

Luna nodded sheepishly and bit her lip.

"Soon to be sixteen," she said and Autumn's eyes practically bulged out of their sockets.

Jack and Spot shot the breeze for a while and drank some beer. Unfortunately for Jack, all Spot had was Keystone Light.

Finally Jack saw Autumn within eye contact and forgot all about being mad at her. He caught her eye and mouthed "save me" to her.

Autumn nodded discreetly.

"Well, I'm sorry to be taking off so early, but we have plans to see the Hoover Dam," Autumn apologized.

"Oh, that's ok," she said. "Don't forget thought about tomorrow night! Christmas dinner here! Seven o'clock."

"I know!" Autumn exclaimed with fake enthusiasm. "We all can't wait!"

Everyone said goodbye and the Kelly's all climbed into the van as fast as they could.

"Mom, you owe us big time for being in that family," Race said as Jack started the engine.

**********************************************************

Race and Blaze finally got a chance to sleep a little on the hour-long drive. Autumn wanted to sleep, but Jack still wasn't letting her touch any chemical substances.

She wondered what their parents and Uncle Joe and Aunt Bethany were up to. They'd refused to come with to visit Spot and Luna and insisted that they could entertain themselves. Of course she knew she'd get quite the guilt trip when they got back.

A little more than hour later, they arrived at the Hoover Dam.

Jack stood in line to get the dam tickets for the dam tour, while Autumn went to the gift shop and bought a dam camera to take dam pictures with.

Shortly after Autumn took all the dam pictures that the dam camera had, the whole family gathered around for the tour.

"Wow, honey, I'm impressed you managed not to fall over the dam edge," Autumn said when the dam tour was over. Although she had to admit, Jack seemed unnaturally attracted to the dam. He read the brochures at least five times while Autumn drove back to Las Vegas and kept commenting about the "dam engineering marvel."

Finally they got back to the Treasure Island. Another five minutes of listening to Jack babble and Autumn would've been ready to wring his neck.

Everyone went back to their rooms for a while. Blaze and Race took a nap, while Autumn and Jack watched TV.

Around a quarter to six, someone knocked on Autumn and Jack's door. They exchanged worried looks and Jack got up to see who it was.

"Surprise! Are you two ready?" Denton asked as Jack opened the door. Jack stood in the doorway with his mouth hanging open in disbelief. He finally regained his senses.

"Honey, are we ready?" Jack asked.

"What? Ready for…oh crap! I forgot!" Autumn cried and ran to the door.

"Give us ten minutes!" Autumn said.

"Ok," Denton said. "Ve vill vait outside."

Autumn and Jack got dressed for the show as Autumn explained what happened last night.

"Well at least they are wearing somewhat normal clothes," Autumn said to Jack.

"You call black spandex pants and a gold sequined halter top somewhat normal?!" Jack exclaimed. "And why do they always have to match?"

Autumn rubbed Jack's back.

"Just calm down. At least they're paying for dinner and they said you can be in the show."

Jack seemed to brighten up a little.

"I'll get the kids," he said. Leave it to men to always get dressed first.

"Race! Blaze!" Jack called and pounded on their door.

Race groggily opened the door.

"C'mon!" Jack yelled. "Get ready, we're going to see a show!"

"No," Race said plainly.

"You're coming with if you ever want us to buy you that car," Jack said through gritted teeth.

"No," Race maintained and thought of the car he'd won last night. He couldn't help a smirk.

"Don't smirk at me," Jack said. "You're going to see Denton and Dave tonight if it's the last thing you do! Besides, I might get to be in the show!"

"Jack, I can't find our parents, but Uncle Joe and Aunt Bethany will come with," Autumn said, realizing that subjecting the kids to Denton and Dave again could be construed as cruel and unusual punishment.

"Ok," Jack said, not at all reassured.

Race smiled smugly and shut the door.

The six finally got into a limo that took them to the Mirage.

"Vat does everyone feel like having?" Denton asked.

"Oatmeal!" exclaimed Aunt Bethany. Everyone else made a disgusted face.

"Vell, ve can have zee steak, or zee lobster, or zee sushi, or zee Italian, zee French. Vat sounds good?" Denton asked again.

"French sounds good," Autumn suggested. Everyone shrugged.

"Ok, zen, ve vill have zee French food," Denton said.

********************************************************************

After a particularly delicious meal that was made even better because it was free, Denton winked at Jack.

"Don't vorry, ve have something special planned for you!" he said.

Dave nodded excitedly.

Jack wasn't sure if he should be excited as well, or very, very afraid.

Autumn, Jack, Aunt Bethany and Uncle Joe were all seated at a front row table right in the center.

"Those fruitcakes!" Uncle Joe said. "Why did you bring me here?"

"You wanted to come, Uncle Joe," Autumn said.

"You tricked me!" he said and poked her shoulder.

"Ow, don't poke me!" Autumn shrieked.

He poked her again and Autumn glared at him.

Fortunately, the drinks arrived and Uncle Joe could only complain between sips of his scotch.

The show started again with the cheesy lights and music and Denton and Dave appeared in a puff of smoke in their wanna be Jedi outfits.

They went through the same routine until the got to the part where they saw a volunteer from the audience in half.

"Who vould like to be sawed in half tonight?" Dave asked, clapping his hands together.

Jack shrugged and raised his hand.

"You sir!" Denton pointed to him.

Dave went over to the table.

"Vat is you name, sir?"

"Jack Kelly," he said.

"And vere are you from?"

"Chicago, Illinois," he replied.

Dave nodded and led him up on the stage. Jack's heart pounded in anticipation.

"Please, Mr. Kelly, lie down in the box, and remain very still," Denton said motioning to a coffin sized black box.

Jack nodded and lied down in the box.

"Ladies and gentlemen, ve are now going to saw zis man in half!" Dave cried as a drumbeat became faster and faster in the background.

Denton brought out a huge saw and stuck in the box.

Autumn winced, even though she knew, or she hoped, Denton and Dave wouldn't do anything to him.

Meanwhile a few seconds after Jack lied down in the box, he felt himself falling down a chute, but it was pitch black. He landed softy on a fluffy pad.

"Hmm," he thought, "I wonder where I am."

Suddenly a large Arnold Schwarzenegger look-alike grabbed Jack's shoulder and dragged him into another room and told him that he had to stay there until the show was over.

Jack met Autumn, Uncle Joe and Aunt Bethany after the show. As soon as Autumn saw Jack, she ran over and gave him a big hug.

"I was so worried," she said. "I thought they replaced you with one of their white tigers."

Jack just hugged her back, thankful to be away from the freaky huge German guy.

They hurried back to the hotel, with Aunt Bethany and Uncle Joe trailing far behind them. When they got to their floor, they ran to the room and started making out.

"Nothing like a good scare to raise your libido," Autumn thought as she ripped Jack's shirt off. Jack fumbled to turn the lights off and somehow tripped on the remote control, which turned the TV on full blast again. When Jack saw what was playing, he grinned at Autumn.

"Oh no! I am not gonna do that!" she said. "But I'll show you what I will do."

********************************************************************

Race headed back to the Paris hotel, where Angel, Hush, Illusion, Psyche, Aki, and Snicker were staying.

Once he found them in the bar, he greeted each one with a kiss on the cheek.

"Ready to win some more?" Illusion asked.

Race nodded and grinned. He was still feeling quite lucky as he sauntered to the craps tables. He picked the dice up and rubbed them in his hand for second.

"God! I love that feeling," he thought. Then he rolled the dice and yes – a seven!

The girls all mobbed him with a hug and cheered.

"Please, ladies contain yourselves! The night's not over yet," Race said calmly.

"Damn, I sound cool," he thought as he rolled yet another seven.

It started to turn into repeat of the night before. The hotel once again offered him a suite and he even won another car before the party migrated to his suite.

*******************************************************************

Blaze got ready for another night of partying. Bumlets picked her up right at eight and they all headed to someone's house.

She looked around for Whiskey and saw Specs sitting alone.

"Where's Whiskey?" she asked after she grabbed a beer.

"She's at work, but she should be here soon," he said. Just then Bumlets came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist.

"Wanna dance?" he asked with a huge grin. Blaze giggled and nodded. They drank and danced, and danced some more and drank even more.

A few hours later Whiskey finally showed up with some of her dancer friends and the party got really crazy.

Blaze smiled as Whiskey and Specs danced and wondered if her and Bumlets were that cute together. She snuggled up to him on a couch and they started kissing, of course.

*****************************************************************

Morning came too soon again for Race and Blaze as they each sneaked back into their room before Aunt Bethany and Uncle Joe woke up at 6. They were both quite thankful that they were heavy sleepers.

Race went to sleep while Blaze got her makeup bag out again to erase any evidence of the previous night. She cursed Race for being able to sleep all the while and wondered what sort of plans her parents had for the day.

"It's Christmas Eve," she thought. "Which probably means family time," she gagged.

Jack got everyone up around nine o'clock and the whole family went to the buffet at the Mirage for breakfast. Everyone made to eat as much as they could; after all, they weren't sure how dinner that night would turn out.

"What are we doing today, Mom?" Race asked.

Autumn shrugged and looked at Jack.

"I dunno. Maybe we should all just relax until tonight," Jack suggested. Everyone else nodded in agreement and took off on their own.

Jack ran into Chesa, the cute dealer at a blackjack table. Autumn ran into Denton and Dave and they insisted on taking her to see the white tigers. Race went back to his suite at Paris and called up his entourage. Blaze called Bumlets, who picked her up right away. Uncle Joe and Aunt Bethany decided to go see some sights, while the grandparents each picked out a slot machine and plopped their butts down for a long afternoon.

************************************************************************

Autumn had an uneasy feeling in her stomach all day, and she was pretty sure it wasn't just Denton and Dave. Although she had to admit that petting a tiger was pretty cool.

"Poor things," she thought. "They look so sad, I bet they miss Siberia, or wherever they're from." Suddenly Autumn had an evil idea, but Denton and Dave didn't notice the glint in her eyes.

"Would you two mind getting me a drink?" she asked. "A margarita would be great!"

Denton and Dave jumped out fought each other to get to the bar first. Autumn laughed haughtily to herself as she stealthily unlatched the trap door that would set the tigers free. The tigers didn't budge.

"Go on!" Autumn yelled and motioned out the door. "Hurry before they get back!"

Finally one tiger realized what was going on and strolled through the door. Soon the other tigers followed.

Autumn went back to where she was and Denton came carrying a huge margarita. Dave trailed behind hanging his head. Autumn giggled at the sight.

"He'll always be Denton's bitch," she thought.

"Here you go, dahlingh," Denton said.

They didn't seem to notice the missing tigers for a while, until one of the trainers went to feed them.

"The tigers are missing!" the trainer cried.

"Vaht? Missingh?" Denton exclaimed. "Are you sure?"

The trainer nodded.

"I think I would notice them," she said dryly.

"Vell…vaht are ve goingh to do?" he asked frantically.

"We might want to look for them. They're probably hungry by now and it wont be the best thing for them to be out roaming the strip! And don't tell anyone about this," the trainer hissed and looked suspiciously at Autumn.

"I, um, I better get going," Autumn said, grabbing her purse.

"You're not going anywhere until we get those tigers back!" the trainer said. "For all we know you could have let them out!"

Autumn stood speechless. Denton put his arm around her.

"Everthingh is goingh to be fine," he said. "Don't vorry you pretty little head." Autumn just nodded and decided to play the "damsel in distress" with Denton.

She leaned her head on his shoulder.

"I know you can fix this," she said. She felt like vomiting, but that would just have to wait until later.

*************************************************************

Jack was losing…very badly. Worse than the night before. He even cashed his home equity loan and was pretty much down the last fifty bucks he had. He bet twenty-five dollars. It wasn't about gambling anymore; it was about getting his money back.

Chesa dealt the cards.

"Push," she said to Jack when she turned her card over.

"Huh?" Jack said confused. "You – you mean I didn't lose?" He looked up to the sky in relief.

"Someone up there does care," he thought and bet the twenty-five bucks again.

This time, he wasn't as lucky.

He looked up again this time in anger and jumped up from the table.

"I can't believe this!" he yelled.

"Sir, calm down, please," a security guard who had just walked by, said.

"Calm down?" Jack shouted as his face turned red. "I just lost everything and I'm supposed to calm down?"

"Sir, please," the guard said again. "If you don't keep it down, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

"Oh that's a great way to treat your patrons," Jack bellowed. "I just gave you guys over two hundred thousand dollars and you're going to repay me by kicking me out? I don't think so!" He crossed his arms and stood defiantly. A few other losers overheard and started to nod in agreement.

Jack continued to go about the injustices of the world and got a huge crowd riled up.

"We not gonna take it anymore!" he yelled. The crowd yelled with him. All the hotel's security guards were there by that time and starting shoving Jack out the door. However, the crowd behind Jack shoved him back into the casino. Soon, an all out riot ensued. People threw punches left and right, screamed yelled and carried on. A few men even managed to knock a slot machine over and quarters spilled out everywhere. There was a mad scramble for them, but they were all gone in less than a minute.

Jack heard sirens soon after that and started to worry. Things had gotten a little more out of hand than he thought it would.

The officers fought their way through the angry mob with their billy clubs, arresting people left and right. Someone grabbed Jack, handcuffed his wrists behind his back and threw him into a truck along with everyone else.

*******************************************************************

Meanwhile, Race was out gambling and partying with his girls as usual and Blaze was with Bumlets. They couldn't find any privacy anywhere else, so they just stayed in the backseat of Bumlet's car.

"When do you have to go back?" Bumlets asked when between a long make out session. It was the question he'd been avoiding since he met her.

"The day after tomorrow," she sighed. Bumlets sighed too and squeezed her body close to his.

"I wish you didn't have leave," he said wistfully. Blaze nodded.

"Me too."

They went back to kissing for a while, then Bumlets asked another question.

"Maybe we should stop this before it starts," he said. "I don't want to get hurt and I definitely don't want to hurt you," he explained.

"But it already has started," Blaze said. "It'll hurt when I leave. But let's not talk about this." She turned her head and kissed Bumlets, but he didn't kiss back.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"I just…don't think I'll be able to handle you leaving," he said softly. "Why can't you stay? You could live with me…we could get married!"

"Married?!" Blaze said, quite surprised.

"I've never felt this way about anyone before," Bumlets said. "I know we've only just met three days ago, but I already know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

*******************************************************************

Uncle Joe and Aunt Bethany decided it would be fun to go on the Manhattan Express, a roller coaster at the New York New York hotel.

"It been years since we've been on one of these things," he said.

Aunt Bethany nodded, although she wasn't quite sure what they were doing.

After waiting in line for an hour and paying ten dollars apiece, they finally sat down in the car.

The car started moving down the track and then went up a gigantic hill. Uncle Joe's heart started pounding in exhilaration. He wondered why he didn't go on roller coasters more often.

Suddenly, the roller coaster went down a steep incline and rushed around a corner. Before they knew it, they were upside down, then right side up again. Uncle Joe's left arm started to throb and his chest contracted. He couldn't breath and then there was a massive, sharp pain in his chest.

The ride screeched to a halt just as he passed out.

********************************************************************

"What a great way to spend Christmas Eve," Autumn thought. Just then, her cell phone rang and she fumbled through her purse in the dark to find it.

"Hello?" she asked.

"Hello, ma'am, may I speak to an Autumn Kelly, please?" the female voice on the other end asked.

"This is she," Autumn replied.

"Are you related to a Joseph Pulitzer?" the woman asked.

"Yes," Autumn said with increasing curiosity.

"This is Jennifer from the Las Vegas Community Hospital. I'm calling to inform you that Joseph suffered a heart attack and he is hospitalized here now. Also, his wife seems to be very disoriented. You may want to come pick her up," she said.

"Oh my gosh," Autumn said. "A heart attack? How did that happen?"

"It was suffered while he was on a roller coaster, ma'am," the woman replied.

"A roller coaster?" Autumn echoed. Then she groaned.

"I'm sorry, I'm in a bit of a predicament here. I'm not sure when I'll be able to come, but I'll call my husband and see if he can get Aunt Bethany. Thank you for letting me know," Autumn said.

"Great," she thought after she hung up. She tried calling Jack but she just reached his voice mail.

"I've got to get out of here." Autumn tried to remember all those McGuyver episodes she used to watch all the time.

The phone rang just as she thought of something that might work. Again she clumsily felt around for the phone.

"Hello?" she asked.

"Autumn, it's me," Jack said in a low voice.

"Where are you? I tried calling you! Did you hear about Uncle Joe?" she frantically exclaimed.

"No, I didn't hear, but I think I've got bigger problems here. I, uh, I'm kinda in jail right now," he said.

"What?" Autumn screeched. "Jail! How the hell did you get your ass in jail?"

"Look, it's not important, could you just come and pick me up?" he asked, sounding almost scared.

"Well, um, ok, I'll be there as soon as I can," Autumn said, hoping he wouldn't think she meant any time within the next few hours.

Autumn tried everything she could think of to get out, but met with no success. She sighed and closed her eyes.

*******************************************************************

Race and his groupies meandered down the strip and went into the Venetian hotel. The girls were all impressed at the sophisticated, elegant building. Race just smirked and wondered how soon they'd give him a suite.

He walked confidently up to a slot machine with a car prize, put in his dollar, and just like the other two times, won on the first try. The girls all screamed in delight and almost suffocated him with a hug.

A hotel security approached the crowd and Race smugly handed him his ID. The guard took it and gasped.

"Do you have another ID?" the guard asked.

Race, who looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a car, shook his head.

"Please come with me, sir," the guard said roughly.

Race motioned for the girls to stay there.

"It'll just be second," he called, trying to appear calm.

The guard led Race into a plain office.

"I'm going to ask you again. Do you have another ID?" the guard asked slowly and firmly.

Race solemnly shook his head.

"Sit down," the guard commanded.

Race sat faster than ice cream melts on a Vegas summer day.

"What's your real name?" the guard asked after Race sat down.

"It's Nicholas Finigian," Race insisted.

The guard sat down and stared at Race in silence for what seemed like an eternity. Race shifted uncomfortably.

"Listen you little twerp, I know that's not your real name. I know that's a fake ID. And you wanna know how? Nicholas Finigian was my partner back when I was on the Las Vegas police force. And he died three years ago!" the guard voice had started as whisper but increased to a yell.

Race sat in shock.

"What's your real name?" the guard asked again.

"Race Kelly," he sighed.

"How old are you?" he asked.

"Seventeen," he sighed again. The guard nodded and walked over to the door.

"I'll be back in a few minutes. Don't move," the guard warned and closed the door behind him as he left.

Race sat back in his chair, defeated.

The guard kept his promise and came back a few minutes later with a real cop.

"Name's Race Kelly," the guard said as the cop put Race in handcuffs.

"Kelly, huh?" the guard remarked. "You don't have a father named Jack by any chance, do you?"

Race nodded, wondering how the cop knew.

The cop laughed.

"Must run in the family," he commented.

Race thought it better not to ask what that meant.

***********************************************************************

"She's in there," Autumn hear someone say outside the closet door.

Light poured in the closet as the door opened. Autumn blinked a few times and saw the trainer and a cop standing in front of her. Autumn stood up.

"What do you want?" she spat.

"We have a video tape of you freeing the tigers, just as I suspected," the trainer said, laughing.

"So?" Autumn asked. Like the rest of the Kelly's, she was never one to give in easily.

She continued to act innocent on the drive to the station.

"Well, I told Jack I'd be there soon," she mused.

**********************************************************************

Autumn used her one call to call Blaze.

"Hello?" Blaze asked.

"Hi, sweetie," Autumn said.

"Mom, where are you? Shouldn't we be going to Spot and Luna's soon? I mean, not that I blame you for not wanting to go, but…" she trailed.

"Well," Autumn started. "There's been a slight change of plans. Find Race and meet me at the police station," Autumn said.

"Ok, we'll be there in a few minutes," Blaze replied.

"Ok, bye honey," Autumn said and turned around to put the phone back on the cradle.

"Race?!" Autumn called, quite surprised that he got there so fast. Then her heart dropped when she saw him followed by a cop.

"I thought your dad was here," the cop said.

Race shrugged.

"He is here," Autumn said.

The cops all exchanged bewildered looks.

"Wait a second," one said.

"You, your son and your husband are all here?" another one finished.

Autumn nodded sheepishly.

*******************************************************************

Blaze and Bumlets ran into the station.

"Mom! Mom?" she called.

"Can I help you?" a cop asked.

"I'm looking for my mom. She said to meet her here," Blaze said.

"What's her name?" the cop asked.

"Autumn Kelly," Blaze replied.

"Yeah she's here. So's your dad and brother," the cop said with a chuckle.

"You can go and visit them," he said and led her back to the holding cell.

"You have quite an interesting family," the guard to the cell said.

Blaze just shook her head in disbelief.

"How am I supposed to get all of you out of here?" she asked.

"Call Spot and Luna and let them know what happened," Autumn said.

"Let them know what happened? I don't even know what happened," Blaze said exasperated.

"Well, just tell them we can't make it and there's been a emergency, or something. I don't know. You can make something up. Oh, I know! Tell them that Uncle Joe had a heart attack," Autumn said.

Blaze frowned in disgust.

"It's true!" Autumn said. "And after you get us out of here, we better go see him and get poor Aunt Bethany out of there. Now go call Spot and Luna!"

Blaze nodded and left with Bumlets.

Normally Autumn would've been curious about Blaze hanging on to a boy she'd never seen before, but she had other things to worry about. She turned to Jack.

"Wanna make out?" she asked.

Jack shrugged.

"Ok, sounds like fun," he replied.

Autumn grinned. She always thought it'd be cool to make out with someone in jail.

*****************************************************************

An hour later, Blaze came back in with Spot and Luna.

"You all had better thank Spot and Luna," Blaze said seriously. "They managed to cover all of your bail. You owe them big time," she continued.

Autumn hugged Luna as soon as she was released.

"Thank you!" she cried.

Jack never thought the day would come when he'd be glad to see Spot, but he was.

"So," Autumn said to Blaze as they all walked out of the police station. "Who's this boy?"

"Well, I might as well tell you," Blaze said. "This is Bumlets."

Autumn nodded and gave Blaze a prodding look.

"My husband," Blaze added.

"What?" Jack and Autumn yelled simultaneously.

Blaze just nodded and leaned in closer to Bumlets.

"What a day," Autumn thought.

"So what exactly did you do, Jack?" Autumn asked. He never did explain why he was in jail with them and she couldn't worry about Blaze right then. It was simply too much in one day.

"Well, as long as we're confessing things, I might as well tell you," Jack said. "I lost all of our money, honey."

"Huh?" Autumn said. One more shock and she'd be lying next to Uncle Joe probably.

"Uncle Joe!" she exclaimed, remembering where he was.

"Oh yeah, what happened to him?" Jack asked.

"Nevermind, we'll get to that subject in a minute," Autumn said. "How much did you lose, Jack?"

Jack hung his head shamefully.

"Everything," he said woefully.

"Everything?" Autumn asked. "Our house? Our cars? Our…our…everything?"

Jack nodded.

"Well, I still have this," he said pulling a twenty-five dollar chip out of his pocket.

Autumn burst into tears.

"What the hell are we going to do, then?" she asked between sobs.

Race and Blaze looked at their parents worriedly.

"You can stay with us till ya get back on your feet," Spot volunteered.

Autumn let another sob.

"I think what she's trying to say," Jack said, "is that it may be a tad crowded."

Spot nodded in understanding.

"Well, there's an empty lot right next to ours. Only a hundred bucks," he said.

Autumn, Jack, Race, and Blaze looked at each other.

"Well, I'm going to live with Bumlets," Blaze said.

"One less mouth to feed," Jack said. Autumn glared at him.

"He doesn't mean that," Autumn said to Blaze.

Blaze just shrugged, then looked at Bumlets.

"Sorry to, um, just run off like this, but we have, uh, stuff to do," Blaze said. "See you later," she called as she ran off with Bumlets.

Autumn watched her go and was almost jealous.

"How much money ya got, Race?"

"A couple bucks, I guess," he replied. "I've got two cars, though," he added.

"Well, we can stay in the hotel room for two more nights," Jack said.

Autumn couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"How could he do this to us?" she thought in despair. "I can't believe we have nothing."

"I have an idea!" Autumn announced. Jack groaned.

"Didn't your last idea get you arrested?" he said.

"I'm serious!" she protested. "You take that twenty five dollar chip and get our money back. I know you can do it. And Race, you and I will find those tigers. I heard there's a million dollar reward for them."

Jack shook his head.

"This will never work," he said.

"Just do it!" Autumn yelled. "You owe it to us after losing everything!"

"Ok, fine. You're right," he said and sighed defeated. "I'll try."

Spot and Luna drove Autumn, Jack and Race to the Mirage.

Once they got there, Autumn told Luna to get her mom and go see Uncle Joe and Aunt Bethany and they'd meet them there later.

"Ok, Race, let's start from the beginning," Autumn said as Jack headed into the casino.

The looked for signs of the tigers from where they would've escaped and followed what they thought looked like a path of destruction.

They walked around for hours and asked people if they'd seen the tigers, but there was no use.

Autumn and Race sighed and sat down for a break. Their feet were both killing them.

******************************************************************

Jack walked into the casino feeling somewhat intimidated. A mysterious looking woman walked up to him and smiled. Jack smiled back.

"Hi," she said. "I'm LadyLuck. Maybe I can help you?" she asked.

"Well…I lost all my money except this," Jack said and held up his chip. "I need to win it back for my family."

LadyLuck smiled sympathetically and went with Jack to cash in the chip.

"Might I suggest this slot machine," she said and stopped. Jack looked at her, confused, but sat down anyway and put a dollar in.

The wheels turned and when they stopped, lights flashed and sirens sounded. He looked around confused.

"Congratulations," LadyLuck said. "You won the jackpot. Ten thousand dollars."

Jack almost fainted as he collected his money, but LadyLuck pulled him away and dragged him to another slot.

"Try this one now," she said.

Jack didn't question her this time as he put a dollar in.

He won again!

"Wow, another ten thousand," he exclaimed.

********************************************************************

Autumn and Race were still sitting on the bench, when Autumn heard a noise. She turned around and gasped.

"Would you look at that," she said softly.

Race turned around.

"The tigers?" he asked. Autumn nodded.

"You go get the police," she said. "I'll wait here."

Race nodded and ran off.

**************************************************************

"I just heard the news!" Jack said excitedly as he ran to hug Autumn.

Autumn grinned.

"Told ya," she said.

"Yeah, you were right. Of course, we were pretty lucky."

"Now we're millionaires!" Autumn said quite happily as Animal Control herded the tigers into a large truck. "So how'd ya do? Did ya win our money back?"

Jack nodded and smiled widely.

"And then some," he said. "All thanks to LadyLuck." He looked around for her, but she had disappeared.

"Wow, we really are quite lucky. What a Christmas Eve," Autumn said.

"We're gonna have some Christmas tomorrow, huh, Mom?" Race asked.

Autumn and Jack gave him a hug. Then Autumn and Jack looked worriedly at each other.

"We still don't have anywhere to live," Autumn said. "Well I suppose we can buy a new house back in Chicago."

Jack shook his head.

"What?" Autumn asked confounded as to why he didn't want to go back to Chicago.

"Well…I kind of, sort of…sold some company secrets for money to gamble." Jack said sheepishly. "Which will most likely get me fired when we go back."

"Then what are we gonna do?" Autumn asked Jack.

"Well, maybe we should just buy a house here," he suggested. "It doesn't seem like Blaze is going to be leaving. And you're close with Luna."

Autumn shrugged.

"It could be interesting I suppose," she said and looked at Race.

Race shrugged.

"That doesn't give you permission to gamble!" she reprimanded.

"So…the day after tomorrow we'll find a house," Jack said. "And we'll stay at the hotel in the meantime. And no run-ins with Denton and Dave!" he warned.

"And no gambling for you either!" Autumn retorted. "So tonight, we'll have a nice…er, uh…a dinner with Spot and Luna. And then…oh wow, I can't believe we're going to live here! Well, lets go get our parents and go see Uncle Joe," she suggested.

"I wonder if we'll ever see Blaze again," she thought as they walked to the hospital.

*******************************************************************

Autumn smiled and took Jack's hand as she looked around the room. They were eating Christmas Eve dinner in the hospital's cafeteria with everyone. Blaze and Bumlets even showed up to see how Uncle Joe was doing.

The crotchety old man couldn't wait to get out of his bed and go home in a few days.

"I'm fine," he repeated. "I want to go home now!"

Everyone just shook their heads and smiled.

"Sure, we're a little quirky," Autumn thought as she saw Luna hanging off Spot who had just let out a huge belch. Then she saw the newlyweds who couldn't keep their eyes off each other, then Race who played with the keys to his new cars, then she turned and saw Uncle Joe poking Jack and Aunt Bethany bothering her parents. She went over and pulled Jack away from everyone else.

"Merry Christmas," she said and held up a mistletoe. Jack grinned.

"Merry Christmas," he said and gave her a deep kiss.

They heard applause, whistles and groaning and looked over to see everyone staring at them. Autumn and Jack turned back to each other and groaned. Then they both shrugged and went back over to the group.

"Merry Christmas everyone!" they both said as they embraced everyone in a group hug.