House Rules(3)By: Rebecca Brooke
I looked at Wasden, only just managing to keep the shock from my face. Normally, the man was very conservative when he increased the pot. But this time, he’d more than doubled it in one round. He lifted a hand and rubbed the back of his neck as he pushed all of his chips forward. He knew the house rules. He must have honestly thought he had a chance to beat me. Then again, the probability of being dealt a pair of Kings was so low, most people didn’t expect it.
Carson’s eyes were wide as he slid his cards to the center of the table. Most likely he’d been bluffing from the beginning and hoped his high bid would scare people out. “Fuck, that’s it for me. I’m not going home to my wife empty handed.”
Two down. Two to go. I dropped my chips onto the pile. “Ten.”
Wasden’s eyes practically bulged out of his skull. “What?” he whispered.
“Ten grand?” Sullivan repeated. “That shit’s way too much for me.” He slid his cards to the center.
I turned my attention back to Wasden. He sat there, frozen, staring at the pot in front of him. When he finally looked up, his eyes were haunted.
“I’m already all-in.”
I could have felt bad for the guy and given him a break. Ashton probably would have. Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t my style.
“You know the house rules, Ray. You either match the bet or forfeit the pot.”
I’d instituted the rule a few years ago when I installed the new poker tables into the place. Getting rich quick on sports betting was one thing, but poker, that was just an insult to the game. A few young idiots came in hoping to hit it big by bluffing and pushing their chips all-in during the first round, forcing everyone else to call them. It pissed the other players off. When one guy almost took out one of the punks in my establishment, I talked to Dad. Neither of us wanted to call for cleanup every night because of that bullshit. So I made it a house rule.
Anyone who sat down at my tables knew the rules before any chips were set in front of them, including Ray Wasden. If it were at all possible, his hands shook even more when he ran one through his hair. He glanced at the cards on the table and then over to the pile of chips that sat before me. He swallowed hard.
His head snapped up, eyes bright. “What if I don’t bet cash?”
I crossed my arms over my chest. What in the hell was he up to? “What could you possibly have on you worth two grand?”
I knew enough to know, even from this distance, that his watch was some cheap knockoff. Beyond that, he didn’t have anything else on that might pay the difference.
“A night with Theresa.”
My eyes narrowed. “What the fuck did you just say?”
“You can have a night with Theresa.”
How the fuck did my brother and I end up in these situations? I’d never met this Theresa. All I knew about her was that she took no shit from Wasden. My guess was the only reason she kept going back was money. Not that the little shit made a lot of it, but from what he said it was a hell of a lot more than her. He leapt from his seat and went over to the bar. What I hadn’t expected was for him to take the hand of the brunette I’d been watching earlier and lead her over to the table.
“Miller, this is Theresa. If you win, she’s yours for the night.” He pushed his chest out and held his head high but he wasn’t confident. A confident man doesn’t tremble like Ray Wasden was. Which made it all the more obvious that he needed to win this money.
It became very clear that the only reason he was willing to offer his girlfriend up was he thought he couldn’t lose. Desperation does strange things to people. For a moment, I sat back and pretended to contemplate his offer, when what I was really doing was checking out my winnings.
Her legs were tan and seemed even longer this close up. Her dress was also shorter than I had first noticed. One wrong move and her ass cheeks would peek out below the hem. The deep V in her neckline exposed smooth, creamy skin in the valley between her breasts. My cock hardened. The last three women I’d had below me in bed were nothing but a disappointment. Hell, it was the main reason I never waited until the morning to kick them out and send them on their way.
Her head snapped in his direction. “Ray! What the hell are you thinking?”
Wasden leaned over to whisper in her ear. Since he had to speak over the music playing throughout the room I could hear exactly what he said. “Don’t worry, babe. I’ve got this in the bag. I just need to throw in something enticing to call the pot and make up the difference.”
Her nostrils flared. “You’d better be right.”
Theresa stood, arms crossed over her chest, staring at the game. By now all the attention in the room had turned to our table. This shitshow needed to be over soon. I wasn’t making any money if everyone abandoned their tables to watch what was going on a mine.