Chapter One

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 "Come on triple!" I mumbled as I shot the dice across the table. I didn't even know why I was here, gambling away the minuscule amounts of money I still had. The banker sucked in breath through his teeth.

"Tough luck, kid."

"Well, that's the last of my cash. See ya' boys." I don't know why I even came here. Casinos ruined me. My college fund? Out the window. My parents sure had fun with that. Seventy-five grand that should have been mine. Taking out loans left and right has become my new favorite pastime because of them. And of course, it didn't help that I was gambling the few cents that were still mine when I had those debts to pay.

My gambling addiction. Ever since I could legally walk into a casino, I've had a problem. Cory was helping me, and I always felt better whenever he was around.

Cory. He was always there to pick me up when I was feeling like a giant dumpster fire. Which happened a lot. Ever since I got to college and was off my ass drunk all the time, I wasn't there for Cory like he was for me. I should have been there for him. I was never there for him. God, I sound so depressed and sad. Maybe I should see a therapist? Nah, shrinks are for wussies. You know what might help? Gambling. I always feel better when I'm gambling. I turned and began to walk back into the casino, and then I remembered I'm shit broke.

I knew that gambling isn't good for anything I did. My loans, my health, my sanity; wait, scratch that. Gambling was great for my sanity. It was my instant relief without thought of the consequences. Cory had never liked it when I used to gamble. But it was much more sparingly back then and I think he never imagined I'd become addicted to the bright slot machines and smoky rooms. It was a habit that I should break, but I didn't want too. At least it's not smoking, right. So what was I to do? I was to self-correct. I didn't want to spend extra money on a specialist. I was studying to become one anyway, so why bother? A lot of people can't handle a psych major, and the way I'm going, I won't be able to get a bachelor's in it.

I stood in the doorway of the casino for what felt like forever, looking at the poker tables and casino-goers milling about. I was so entranced by the casino that I didn't notice what seemed like a salesperson come up to me, smiling. "Mr. Kidd," the man smiled at me. "Would you like to win big money?" I didn't quite understand why he was asking; everyone likes money.

"Yeah, but I can't pay back. I'm already in debt, I can't." I said, more scolding myself that talking to him.

"That's okay! We don't take the currencies of Earth! Too filthy: exchanging paper that who-knows how many other people have touched."

"The currencies of Earth? Man, are you okay? You're not on crack, right?" I laughed nervously, only half joking.

"Of course not! If you lose, you only have to pay one thing! If you win then we will pay all of your debt back and much more."

"How much more?" I asked, not sure how sane this man was. Did he want to throw away money? Or as he puts it, 'Filthy Earth Currency'? Although I knew this was most likely fake, the possibility of it being true in my head was very real.

"Enough money to be set for life; unless you like to party. Then, you might need a little more. If you do, then we can provide a little more for you. Granted, you need to win for any of your human currency to call your own."

"Uh, yeah! 'Course! I love to party!" I lied badly, smiling the widest smile (as well as the fakest) anyone had ever seen.

"Then come to our table! You will enjoy yourself. It's free gambling! And we both know you love both of those things," he whispered the last bit into my ear. I do love free stuff. And gambling. Ah, what the hell. What's the worst that could happen?

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