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"So, I was thinking we could go to your room," Patrick said, after he beat the dealer with nineteen. "If I know Ronnie, he's probably just about falling asleep out by the pool."
"You haven't won yet." Her fingers drummed along the edge of the table as she watched the dealer dole out another hand. "Not that I'm saying you're going to, but let's say you do. You really want Whitney in the next room? Kind of puts a crimp on how much noise you can make."
"I'm quite adept at not shouting out your name at ... inappropriate moments. Besides, if she hears anything at all, she'll just think you lost interest in the casino and came upstairs early."
Cass smiled at the pair of aces she held. "Splitting," she announced, separating the cards and tossing in the new bet. "I suppose if what Whitney says is true, it'll all be over in five minutes anyway."
Patrick checked his facedown card. "Hit me. And, Cass, it'd be the best five minutes of your life."
"Oh, I dunno about that. I've had a pretty exciting life so far." She swore when the dealer turned over twenty to her two nineteens. "Though tonight is turning into a bust."
Patrick only smiled as he revealed his twenty, and the dealer bypassed the pile of chips in front of his cards. "Looks like it's going to plan to me." A server in a skimpy outfit sauntered by and he gestured for her. "Can I get a rum and coke, and a Sam Adams for my friend here."
Cass kept her bet low on the next hand, riffling through her stack of chips as she sat in silence. She didn't speak until she pushed on eighteen, shifting to face him a little more directly.
"What would you do if Ronnie found out about this little bet?" sheasked.
"Depends on how he found out. If you told him, I guess I'd have to be honest with him. If he just suspected something was up and confronted me, I'd lie."
"But he's your best friend."
"Would that be an argument against honesty or against lying?"
"Either. Both." The drinks arrived, and she immediately took a long swallow. "I guess I'm trying to figure out why you decided to do this now, of all weekends."
Patrick grinned at her. "Because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Because I was feeling lucky. Because I wanted to know if you could walk the walk after running your mouth."
"I can..." She scowled at the cards she'd been dealt. "...when the cards aren't completely fucking with me." Her eyes darted from hers to the eight the dealer had showing. "Hit me." The jack he tossed Cass had her growling in disgust and reaching for her beer. "You've got balls, Patrick, I'll give you that."
"Hit me." The dealer laid down a three and Patrick flipped his down card up, revealing an eight to match his ten and three. "Twenty-one." He reached for his drink and shrugged. "Sometimes you've got to be willing to take a chance. That's what gambling is all about, right?"
"But you've never even kissed me. How do you know it's not all in your head, something you've built up since that blind date?"
"Good point." He leaned over, his hand cupping the back of her head, and touched her mouth with his. It was the slightest caress, but it sent a sharp jolt down his spine. Knowing he could have more, could have it all, in a less than an hour, made his groin tighten. Patrick leaned back and licked his lips. "What do you think?"
He caught the glitter of her eyes before she turned back in her seat. "I think this bet's not over yet."