I guess my luck ran out when the leather boot connected with my jaw, I was already clutching my stomach from where the original (well, after the initial lackey roughing up, you know.) impact had landed. I guess I was just used to the lifestyle, because in between blows I still took the time to mentally add the image of the boots to memory. (And that should tell you, I usually don't have much luck to begin with.) I mean, they hurt like a bitch. I'd get my whole family some for Christmas, simply because everyone needs a good pair of ass-kicking boots. And these, well they were high class.

Back on my luck, which was rapidly declining, if not already gone, I think it probably ran dangerously low before the kick to the face, but I only noticed in that brief second of initial shock, followed then several moments of pain. So I allotted myself some more imaginary luck, just so I didn't seem so hopeless. Which in retrospect, shouldn't have been that important to me at all, I mean, who really cared if the kid in the alley getting his face kicked in was hopeless or luck-less, they could all pretty much assume one way or the other.

Pick him up, the owner of the casino said, the men obliged, and I was standing again, not of my own will, or ability at that point. 'Casino Owner' really liked aiming for the face, (maybe he wanted to turn me into a Pug.) I wasn't sure anymore if I was tasting the blood from my mouth or somewhere else. It was, however, all I could taste. He did eventually work his way back down to the gut area, another crowd favourite, (thankfully never that far down) and when his mates finally let me go again, the leather boot came into play, just once, as a final blow kind of thing. A classy, simple, strong message sending finisher. (Maybe I could just steal his boots, I mean, my blood was already on them.)

Stay the hell out of my casino, if I see your face again, it'll be the last anyone sees of you.

Wouldn't that be unfortunate (and not just the cliche threat he received every second Thursday). See, at this point, most people would count their losses and move on, grudgingly finding another bar, casino, etc. to haunt. They would let the guy walk away, no questions asked, repenting for their sins to God and happy they were still alive. But not me, oh no, never me, because I hate myself. This next part, I think it was mostly that the whole luck thing hadn't quite sunk in (or maybe just the fact that the boots were just that amazing to my hazy, bruised mind), but for whatever God awful reason, I had the nerve, well, more stupidity, to say:

"Where'd you get those boots?"

You could almost feel the disbelief wash over the atmosphere, as if the lord himself was staring down at us placing his palm to his forehead asking me directly what the hell, man, when CO turned around and walked back to me. At least we both agreed that I deserved it the second time around.