Chapters: Chapter 2/?
Summary: Spike is the co-owner of a well-known casino known as The Grand Aurelius. Xander is an upcoming professional poker player who is climbing up the leader board. After becoming an infamous and top professional poker player, Spike never played poker again and refused all challengers that was thrown his way; that is until Xander catches more than his eye. HAU
Warnings: None for now.
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters and they rightfully belong to Joss Whedon.
Feedback: Very much appreciated
Beta'd by: By lecaryk
Past chapter here
Xander couldn’t help but feel proud of himself as he took his winning chips to exchange it for cash. He knew somewhere along the line he had a gift for pretending since his childhood days. Able to hide his true feelings as well as making sure that no one was aware of him.
This gift had allowed him to survive through high school where most bullies had like to pick on him. Recently, he had found he could use his gift for playing poker. Of course, he believed that majority of his winnings were from luck and he frequently wondered when his luck would run out eventually and he had to return to his high school days of multiple jobs.
As he slipped of his chair, he turned to search for his best friend Oz. He knew that without his friend support, he wouldn’t have been here today. In fact, Xander thought as he spotted his best friend and headed towards him, Xander was sure he would be living on the streets today if Oz did not take pity on him and let him stay in his apartment.
As Xander’s musings carried him to a different place, he didn’t notice someone walking towards him until it was to late. The initial bump into a hard body cause his chips flying about and as Xander look up to apologize, a sudden blue mesmerized him.
“A-ah, s-sorry. “
Xander could have kicked himself. He hated this, feeling like a teenager all over again. He thought he had kicked out the habit of dorkiness since high school but looks like it chased him back all the way through his adult years.
He quickly turned away from the amused blue eyes and bent to collect his chips. As he was about to reach for one, a pale hand grabbed his and he turned to look at his owner.
“Sorry mate, my fault. Didn’t see where I was looking, was kind of distracted.”
Xander could have sworn he heard a faint snort somewhere around the background.
“Nah it’s okay,” Xander felt like congratulating himself for managing to sound cool in front of this man wearing a slick suit.
“No, come, let me help you collect these chips,” the stranger said.
Xander watch dumbfounded as the man helped him pick up his chips. He was sure that this guy was some important man somewhere in the world. The suit he wore was very expensive, Xander was sure about that.
“Xander, you alright?”
Trust Oz to appear the right time to always save his ass when embarrassing himself.
“Yeah, fine. Thanks,” Xander said to both Oz and the blue eye stranger as the man handed him back the chips. He look around and was finally aware at the attention he was getting around the casino.
‘Shit! Way to go in embarrassing yourself Xan-man,’ he thought.
He felt like crawling into a hole with all the eyes watching him. For goodness sake, this was a world class casino and here he was making a fool of himself. Suddenly, he wished that he had just continued to stay within the midst of underground gambling, that way he needn’t need to humiliate himself. But damn Oz for sounding so convincing.
“Look, I’m sorry pet. Obviously I’ve embarrassed ya in front of the whole crowd. Tell you what, why don’t I give you a free commendation at one of our hotel rooms? Courtesy of the place of course.”
Xander looked up from his bowed head to the strange accent of this sexy stranger. Damn, he could feel a faint blush creeping up his cheeks from the blue eyes looking piercingly at him.
“Nah, it’s okay. We rented a hotel somewhere near here anyway.”
Thank god for Oz saving the day. He turn to his friend who had found his way beside him and gave him a grateful smile.
Xander found himself nodding his head, all the while avoiding all eye contact from this guy.
“Okay then. How about a drink? Come on, there’s a great bar here at The Grand Aurelius. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”
Xander look up again to see high cheekbones and the very beginning of twinkle from the blue eyes. He gulped but nodded his head.
“Yeah, okay. You…wouldn’t mind letting my friend coming along would you?”
The man just chuckled and shook his head. “Come on then.”
As the man led the way, Xander could feel a thousand or so pair of eyes around him. He felt that the whole ground can swallow him whole for all he could care.
* * *
Spike couldn’t help it. His encounter with Alexander Lavelle Harris had been an amusing one. The boy was extremely…cute.
He could hardly believe that this young man had beat the Master in a game of poker. He wondered briefly that it could be luck that led this young man in defeating the Master but immediately dismissed the thought.
Sometimes, in the world of professional gambling there was no such thing as luck. Besides, watching the boy just staking with his money Spike knew he was no ordinary poker player.
The three of them had arrived at the bar. Spike was initially taken back when Xander had invited his friend, who presumably was Oz, but Spike had a feeling that without his friend, Xander wouldn’t even come at all.
As they settled down at a corner table, he waved at one of the waiters to order their drinks. He smirked slightly as the young man tried to order a glass of water but was put off immediately, the waiter informing him that the bar did not serve ordinary water.
So Xander ordered a glass of coke whereas his friend declined any drinks. When Spike quirked an eyebrow at him, he just shrugged in response. Spike ordered a glass of wine for himself and the waiter left them alone.
“So, ah, I guess you must be a pretty important person here eh? I mean, what with you offering a hotel room and all.”
Spike had to smile at the boy’s attempt at conversation. It was pretty cute. Acutally, now that he thought of it, everything about the boy was cute. Perhaps even on the bargaining side of sexily cute.
“Actu-,” he began but was cut off by an alarming shrill.
“Oh my god Spike there you are! Angel has been looking everywhere for you!”
Spike had to fight to keep off both a scowl and a growl. He wondered briefly what in the world the poof was thinking when hiring the bint.
“Harmony,” he greeted coolly well aware of Xander’s jaw dropping and Oz looking at him with a curious look seeing the recognition of his name amongst their faces.
So much for his subtle questions and later surprise.
“You know Angel has been looking for you. He thought that you went off with another one of those young male waiters we had.”
Spike could have killed her. In fact, he wondered whether it was possible to kill her and escape to Mexico right about now. He didn’t want to scare Xander, but after this episode of Harmony announcing he was attracted to the majority of the male population, he was sure that the boy would scamper off.
“Oh I’m sure he would think that, since I’m pretty sure he would be in one of the exquisite rooms now,” Spike snarkily replied and couldn’t help the playful smirk that spread across his face despite his mood at the blush on Xander’s cheeks.
“No, actually he's in the office now. Said to get and let me quote, ‘Spike’s ass right up to the office right now,’” Harmony said, unaware of the commotion she was making in front of the three man.
Spike let out a sigh. “Fine, but that poof better have a good explanation for interrupting my drinks.”
He then turn to look at both men and grinned, ‘’well, since my secretary here ruined our introductory meeting and had clearly introduced myself for me-” here he turned to Harmony to glare at her, who gave an oblivious blink, “hopefully you all won’t run away and will come back as customers to this casino. I’ve heard a lot about you Alexander Harris and am hoping to meet up someday with you, perhaps even for a game or two.”
With that, he promptly left both men sitting on their sofas with a certain black-haired boy gaping bewilderedly behind his back.