Friday, April 12, 2013

Kings and a Lady

Jake splashed the pot, all his chips tumbled haphazard about the center of the table. “Are you in little lady?”

The saloon hushed to a few whispers as Caroline looked up from her cards. There was only a glimpse of her confidence being shaken as her eyes glanced the cards again before tapping their worn edges on the table. “I was all in the last hand, Mr. Landry. I’m afraid I’ve nothing left to meet your raise.”

His lip turned up into a wicked curve as he leaned back in the chair. He unabashedly let her see him perusing her ‘goods’. “Oh I think you have something you can ante, darling.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Sir, I turn cards not tricks.” 

Boisterous laughter filled the room, more at her expense than his. Jake didn’t mind, he liked her moxie. In the six hours of the tournament, she matched a man’s skill with cards and wit, not to mention matching him drink for drink.

He leaned back and took a deep drag from his cigar and blew the smoke across the table toward her pretty face. When she didn’t blink or complain he grinned. “How do I know you don’t have an ace stuffed up in your petticoat to slip into that pretty hand?”

Caroline folded her cards and lay them face down on the green mat. She unbuttoned the top side buttons of her skirt and stood. A moment later her petticoat lay across the table. “A lady never cheats, Mr. Landry.”

He snorted and sat up to caress the linen still warm from being so close to her skin. “I think we should call this and see who’s luck holds out, Miss Watson.”

She took her seat and fanned her cards back with one hand. The dealer looked between them feeling a bit overheated himself. “Show your hands, gentlemen…. Uh and Miss Watson.”

Jake laid his down first one at a time in a row for effect. “Full house, two jacks and triple nines.”

Caroline glanced over at the cards and pursed her lips. “That is a good hand, I’m not sure…”

She laid out her cards in their perfect fan for him and the dealer to see as she leaned over the table. “I’m not sure but I believe four kings beats a house. Is that correct, Mr. Alcott?”

It took a moment for the dealer to stop his gaze from moving further down her neckline. “Um, yes.. Yes Miss Watson it does, indeed.”

A polite grin crossed her lips as she began to pile the cash and coins into the make shift bag from her petticoat. “Thank you, gentleman and Mr. Landry. It was a fine tournament.”

Jake swore and tossed his cigar on the floor and stood over her. He gripped her wrist and held it tight. “You playin me for a fool?”

She looked up into those dark eyes and grinned then let them openly drift down to take in his ‘goods’ as he had her. “Play nice, Mr. Landry and we both might get lucky tonight.”

Caroline reached up and grabbed his shirt collar. She pulled him over the table to meet her lips then let go.

Jake half over the table and off balance tumbled back onto the floor. She tossed her room key on his chest and picked up her petticoat bag of winnings. “Be a gent and give a girl some time to freshen up.”

She walked calmly up the stairs then into her room. Once the door closed and locked, she dropped the petticoat and its contents into her open, waiting carpetbag. She opened the window and grinned at the weight of her bag as she hefted it onto the roof. “The lady, got lucky tonight.” 

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Rose Anderson - Romance said...

Sharp-looking site Elise.


Kayelle Allen said...

Love the background. Is that Roda Spain?

Elise VanCise said...

Thank you Rose!

I think it is Kayelle :) I love the arches and detail of the arena.

Fe said...

Clever! Thanks...

Anonymous said...

Nice excerpt.

Kaitlin Hayes said...

Hey Elise! I'm on the blog hop, too, and just thought I'd say hi :) I like your exerpt!

Anonymous said...

Hello Elise, sexy, hot excerpt...nice;) I'm having a great time on the blog hop...happy hopping to you, too:)

Anonymous said...

Very clever. I loved the excerpt! It's a great read.

Shelley Munro said...

Wow, she's pushing her luck. I think she might regret her cheekiness.

M. S. Spencer said...

I LOVE this excerpt. The tension, the twist. Great stuff. Thanks, Elise! M. S.

Danita Minnis said...

Ha! That did not end as I thought it would. My bet was on Jake. Loved it!

Danita Minnis said...

Ha! That did not end as I thought it would. My bet was on Jake. Loved it!

Nikki said...

Looks fabulous!!

Karoline Fritz said...

Go Team Caroline!