|Gamble Epilogue: Set-up
Author: Guede Mazaka
Tess threw her purse into the corner, then yanked off her heels and flung them in the same direction. "That bastard."
Terry had been so perfect. Considerate, caring, educated and witty, wealthy but not snobbish-and apparently, a complete son of a bitch when he didn't get his way.
To be honest, after the first three months, she'd been bored. However, she hadn't been sure that it was him and not the lingering effects of her break-up with Danny. But now, she was not only positive, but absolutely disgusted. There were unscrupulous people in the world, and then there were villains.
She sat down on the bed and snatched up the phone, ready to dial the police station. And then she remembered the cameras. It wasn't Terry's hotel she was now staying in, but she wouldn't put it past him to have agreements with all the other casino directors in Las Vegas.
Two minutes later, Tess was out front and hailing for the nearest cab. While the driver was getting her luggage into the trunk, she took out the new cell phone she'd bought and punched in a number she'd long since memorized.
Something chimed, and Danny hurriedly dealt out the rest of the cards. "Hang on, let me get that."
Across the table, Dean took the opportunity to steal Fred's cigarette. "Try to make it quick. I'd like to finish kicking your asses before dinner."
"Confidence is the first casualty of gambling," Rusty retorted, one hand picking up his cards and the other sneaking up Danny's knee. Linus would have spotted it and laughed, but luckily, he and Miguel were over in Europe, trying to date around a particularly bizarre assignment.
On the other side of the room, Ahmed and G exchanged amused looks while Danny desperately tried to ignore all the distractions. He dug out his cell and pressed the 'Answer' button, then attempted to divert Rusty with a bowl of spicy fries. "Hello?"
*Danny?* Tess' stunned voice said.
"Tess." All noise instantly ceased. "Hey…oh, did you want G?"
*I'd like to know why you're answering her number.* She sounded like she was clenching her teeth.
Danny dropped the fries and twisted out of his seat, heading for G. "Because I lost my phone yesterday, and she's letting me borrow it. She…well, she has this permanent first-dibs on Rusty's and my time, because she helped us…"
*Never mind, I see. And yes, I want to talk to her-but…Danny? You know who Terry Benedict is, don't you?*
"Terry Benedict? Of course." He glanced back and caught Rusty's eye; the other man shrugged, but looked interested. "Why?"
The kind of pause that preceded a complete reversal in history, fate, and a thousand other things. *How would you like to come to Las Vegas and screw him over?*