N I N E - Poker Face

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Josslyn understands why Edwin obsesses over a good hand of cards. An invisible man can overturn luck and chance in Nevada's Paradise. In fact, an invisible man can do a hell of a lot of damage in Las Vegas. Edwin practically knows every secret code to each million-dollar vault lining the Vegas strip. If he were to round up a heist, he'd put Danny Ocean to shame. But he'd rather be standing behind Josslyn, flushing his palms against the ledge of the poker table as he whispers into her ears how to win the next million-dollar pot. They are the poker room's Bonnie and Clyde and although Josslyn's never enjoyed the gambling lifestyle, she can't deny that the rush is exhilarating. So when ever her funds are running low, she sits at a table with high limits, nestled in between men with twice as much money; ready to amuse themselves by intimidating her into losing. At 5'5" and a pretty baby face, she's a force of reckoning they'd least expect to find. And everything was going as planned until a disheveled mysterious man came into the game.

His shoulder length hair reminded her of Scotch-Brite stainless steal scrubbers. She's sure he's near 6 foot tall with a menacing wrestler build. Those sunglasses didn't hide the big brown wart that sits right above his left eye. Bruised patches line his jaw and his bottom lip swells like that of a Sangrila monkey. He looked beat up, deformed by the small hunch on his back which would explain why Edwin nicknamed him after Victor Hugo's Quasimodo. But Josslyn knows better, this Quasimodo is far from a gentle giant.

Josslyn shuffles uncomfortably in her seat. Quasimodo could have sat anywhere, but chooses to sit directly across from her, hell, he's probably eye-fυcking her right now. Leaving isn't an option at this point, she's simply invested too much time and her cards are only getting better by each draw. One million may sound a lot but after transaction fees and taxes, she'd be lucky to bring home half of that - which was more than enough but not according to Edwin. In 'Go big or go home' Edwin always prefers the former and this doesn't sit well with Josslyn. He pushes the limits too far, at times risking all they have. But she knows he relishes in each glorious victory, after all, your opponents can't win when they've got no poker faces to begin with.

The clock struck midnight and Josslyn had sucked nearly every player dry out of cash. Quasimodo though, was simply toying with her.

"All in," said Edwin.

She hesitates and mentally scolds him. No, I'm not giving up my entire pot because you want to play reckless. She wonders if Edwin is aware of how uncomfortable Quasimodo is making her feel.

"Three Jacks, one five and Asian-Not-So-Persuasion over there's got the other five he needs."

Josslyn withholds laughing. Edwin's got names for everyone sitting at the table. She narrows her eyes; Quasimodo's got three of a kind.

Glancing at her cards again, she knows her three Kings are higher ranking. She needs a ten to get a full house. She just has to bait him into giving her his entire pot, which at the current moment is worth two million dollars.

Shoving her entire pot toward center of the table, she smirks with trepidation. She straightens her spine to exude fake confidence.

A bone-chilling smile crawls on Quasimodo's face, sending shivers down her spine, unnerving her fragile state of confidence. He leans back onto the chair, and drums his fingers on the bright green felt lining the surface to the poker table. Where his eyes are resting, Josslyn doesn't know but she can't help feeling completely naked. He sits up and smirks. "You're toying with me, Red. A gal like you shouldn't be playing with big boys like me. I could chew you up and spit you out alive."

Josslyn gulps.

"He's trying to intimidate you." Edwin speaks into her ear.

He's not trying anymore. He is! "Make your damn call, I don't got all night."

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