Chapter Fourteen | The Gambler

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Gideon glanced quickly back and forth between Cash and Boss and then back to her cards.

"Raise." Cash held Boss's gaze without blinking and Boss smiled broadly.

"I uh-umm-I-huh..." Gideon's paws had begun to tremble slightly. "Dammit. Fold." The Vox threw down her cards and crossed her arms with a childishly grumpy expression.

You could have cut the silence in the room with a sheet of flexiglass.

Boss held Cash in a meaningful gaze, her hazel eyes just visible over the top of her cards.


"I can't handle this," Gideon buried her face in her hands.

"Let's see what you've got ladies," Csy murmured suggestively.

Boss laid down her hand. "Full House."

Cash licked her lips and slowly lowered her cards. "Straight Flush."

Csy's jaw twitched open slightly in surprise as Cash reached into her pocket and withdrew a cigar. 

Boss smirked and looked up at Cash beneath her eyelashes. "Well done."

Cash clipped her smoke and lit up. "Thanks," she said around the butt of the cigar, the edge of her lip curling into a lopsided smile.

"If you can't beat her how are you going to beat Calvera?" Csy asked bluntly.

Boss flushed and before she could give an indignant response Cash interjected.

"She doesn't need to beat him. Just keep the game going long enough for us to get what we need done."

"Fair," said Csy, leaning back in their chair.

Boss shot Cash a thankful glance.

"Next hand?" Gideon's whiskers twitched excitedly as Cash drew the pile of tokens she had won toward herself.

The next few hours were a bundle of nerves and laughter. Csy continued to be as obstinate as possible and Gideon's tell was quickly exposed via her expressive ears. Tate did alright for himself, as did Asimov, whose poker face was not to be trifled with. In the end. it was Boss who came out on top. Not to Cash's surprise.

The crew shuffled out from the parlor, feet thudding heavily on the faux hardwood as they dispersed to their individual quarters. Cash watched as Gideon and Csy lingered for a moment together in front of the Therian's door before moving together toward Asimov's room.

"What do you think they're up to?" Cash asked as they watched the pair walk away.

"At least they stopped insulting each other," Boss said from where she stood at Cash's side.

"For now." Cash chuckled.

Boss's wrist brushed against hers sending pinpricks of pleasure up Cash's arm. The woman looked up at her expectantly.

"Let's go for a ride," she said in a breathy whisper, "Like we used to."

Cash felt her knees wobble. "That might be nice."

"Might?" Boss's eyebrow arched.

"Will be." Cash corrected with a grin.

Minutes later, Cash could not quell the erratic beating of her heart when Boss wrapped her arms about her waist as the HOS lifted off the ground. They sped away from the estate, the roar of the air rushing past and the chaos of Lead Belly overwhelming them as they passed through the gate that skirted Boss's home.

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