Aaron made his way through the crowded casino as discreetly as possible. The hoodie he stole from the sleeping bum made him feel slightly more at ease, but he worried its stench would attract attention to him. He scanned the room as hastily as he could. Luckily, Cross's shiny bald head and thick brown beard made him easily identifiable.
Aaron made his way over to Cross, who was in the middle of a game of blackjack. He looked up from the table and locked eyes with Aaron. He didn't look surprised. He excused himself from the game and motioned for Aaron to follow him. Aaron followed him to the restroom.
Cross locked the door behind Aaron.
"I knew you'd come to me first," Cross grumbled. He faced the mirror and brushed his thick beard with his palm.
"Who the hell did you lend my body to, Cross?!" Aaron demanded. He felt all the rage and confusion in him slipping out.
"You know I can't tell you."
"Tell me who or I'll---"
"You'll what?" Cross interrupted, facing Aaron. "Kill me?"
Aaron made every effort not to hit the body broker. He turned away and paced around the spacious bathroom.
"I knew I shouldn't have gotten involved with this crap."
Cross turned back to the mirror and began running his fingertips over his bald cranium. "Oh, come on, Aaron. You did it for a good cause. That's more than I can say for most other lenders."
Aaron closed his eyes and stopped. The image of his daughter hugged his mind. He took a deep breath and collected himself.
"All right... There's got to be some kind of insurance policy protecting me, right?"
"Great. Problem solved."
"I'm afraid not."
Aaron eyed Cross suspiciously. "What do you mean?"
Cross played with his bow tie. "You never signed an agreement."
Aaron stepped closer to Cross. "Yes I did! I signed several papers in your office."
Cross chuckled, pleased with himself. "Yes, but those papers you signed had nothing to do with our business."
Cross looked at Aaron, grinning from ear to ear. He cherished the stunned, hurt expression painted on the poor man's face.
"That's why it's important to read the fine print. By the way, you smell atrocious."
Aaron couldn't move. The gravity of his conflict anchored him. He closed his eyes and tried to wake up.
This can't be happening. Not to me. My little girl needs me. This must be a dream.
A series of loud knocks forced Aaron's eyes open.
"That would be the police," Cross said, smiling.