He paid out my remaining two bets, and the woman’s to my right. Since I’d already won one hundred and seventy-five dollars on my first round, I doubled my original bet before he dealt the next hand. My luck held, and I got a ten followed by an Ace. When he paid me out one hundred and fifty dollars, I added another fifty to my opening bet for the next round. About an hour into playing, I was up to two hundred and fifty dollars a hand and had won almost ten thousand dollars.

“Damn, girl. You’re on fire!” the guy to my right cheered. He was loud enough to draw the pit boss’s attention, and he wandered over to the table to watch the next few hands. I wasn’t surprised when he signaled a new dealer over and informed Becket that he was close enough to the end of his shift to be done for the day. If I wasn’t familiar with how casinos operated, I would’ve been worried that I got the hot dealer into trouble. But it wasn’t unusual to swap out dealers when a table was running hot, in an attempt to slow down play until things shifted back into the casino’s favor.

I tossed a one-hundred-dollar chip in Becket’s direction before he left, and the other players followed suit with tips of varying denominations. He accepted everyone else’s tip with a nod and smile, but his eyes darkened and darted towards the pit boss when he picked mine up. I wasn’t sure what that was all about, but I wasn’t going to ask with his supervisor standing right there.

The mood of the table changed with the new dealer. Even though I won both of them, I only lasted a couple of hands before I collected my chips and wandered away. None of the other tables called to me, so I headed in the direction of the cage to cash out my chips. I was about halfway there when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, “This belongs to you, Miss Carrington.”

“Lia,” I corrected automatically, before I realized who was trying to get my attention. Turning around, I found Becket standing in front of me, his long fingers holding out the one-hundred-dollar chip I’d given him.

“Lia,” he echoed. “You like the shortened version better than Cornelia?”

“Yeah, but should I be worried about how you know my name? And how you’ll make a living if you give back all of your tips?”

The grin he flashed me sent shivers down my spine. “Your name is attached to your player’s card profile, which I swiped at my table for you.”

“Ah, that makes sense.” I pointed at the chip in his hand. “And this?”

“The only way you’re going to be able to talk me out of giving this back to you is if you let me take you out for some ridiculously expensive drinks.”

“Hmm.” I tapped my finger against my chin while I pretended to consider his offer. “That waitress never did come back with my second drink, and I am thirsty.”

“I’m going to take that as a yes.” He tucked my arm into the crook of his and started to lead me to the entrance of the hotel.

“I’m pretty sure they serve ridiculously expensive drinks in all of the bars and restaurants here at the Lennox.”

He pulled me a little bit closer, almost as though he thought I was going to try to get away from him. “That’s a bet I wouldn’t take since you’d be right.”

“Then where are you taking me?”

“I’d prefer to have you all to myself, without any audience, so I was thinking of someplace where my co-workers aren’t the ones serving us. Does that work for you?”

Oh, yes. His take-charge attitude more than worked for me.

Chapter 2

Becket

Lia gestured towards the exit with an inviting smile. “Lead the way.”

Part of me wanted to encourage her to walk in front of me so I could get a better look at the fantastic ass I’d only glimpsed before she turned around. One glance around the room shot that idea to shit. I wrapped my arm around her and glared at every son of a bitch leering at her. Her skirt was hot as fuck, but I found myself wishing she was wearing pants so that nobody got to ogle her gorgeous legs but me.

We stepped out into the hot summer night where the glittery lights of the strip bathed everything in a soft glow. It surrounded Lia, giving her an almost ethereal look and for a second, I wondered if she was even real. Then, I remembered the punch to the gut I’d felt when I first saw her. As well as the brick wall of lust that had almost knocked me the fuck over. I’d never seen a more beautiful woman. Her gray eyes and red lips were intoxicating. But then she’d sucked me in even more with her wit and skill.

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