Chapters: Chapter 5/?
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
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters and they rightfully belong to Joss Whedon.
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Past chapters here
“Hi there! You must be new around here, never saw you before this.”
Oz turned to look up at a red haired woman watching him nervously while bouncing on the heels on her feet. He grinned.
“Hey, yeah. Am here with a friend actually. Name’s Oz,” he greeted the friendly looking red-haired.
“Oh, hi Oz. I’m Willow,” she said smiling shyly at him.
“You’re a regular then?”
“Not really, actually I work here. One of the Hard Count Attendants, I’m taking a break now, um, wouldyoulikeacoffee?” Willow babbled.
Oz smiled, why did that sound vaguely familiar?
“Sure why not? But you have to wait for awhile, my friend disappeared into the bathroom awhile ago, currently he haven’t made an appearance yet,” Oz said frowning and once again took a look at the direction Xander headed.
Cordelia had left a few minutes ago telling him that she had to attend to a special guest while bitching to him about said houseguest. All the while, Xander had not appeared once. Oz supposed he did his usual habit with hiding himself waiting for Cordelia to disappear but it had been awhile and he had not appeared yet. Could possibly something happened to him on the way?
“Um, it’s okay then. We can always do it next time you know? I mean of course if you’re coming the next time. Hopefully you’ll come the next time too,” Willow said smiling at him.
Oz nodded, “Thanks. Well, I better look for him right now? For all I know, right now, he’s probably drowning in the toilet.”
Willow giggled. It was a nice giggle, Oz observed. But damn it, sometimes Xander could just bring trouble wherever he go.
He gave a final wave to Willow before heading off to find his best friend.
* * *
Xander wondered how was it possible for anyone to run into uncomfortable and embarrassing situations in a day.
The man holding him in a death grip which he had bumped into was not letting go no matter how many times he tried pulling away.
“Never seen you before, new around here? Surely, you can’t be more than twenty-one,” the man said with a sardonic smile that sent shivers down Xander’s spine.
There was only one word for this man who just arrived in a limousine: spooky.
“I would highly advise you to let go of the young man now,” a cold voice came from behind them.
They both turned and Xander couldn’t help-strange as it seems- to sigh in relief when he saw Spike.
“Ah, Mr. Adridge, perhaps you could explain what is this boy doing around the casino. Surely, the rule still states that patrons under the age of twenty-four are not allowed inside.”
Xander had to smile at the scowl Spike gave the stranger at the mention of his last name. It was obvious that he didn’t like this man.
“I assure you Mr. Mcdonald, the man is old enough to be a customer here. Now then, why don’t you be a kind enough gentleman and let go of his hand?” he said stiffly.
Xander watched in horror as the man gripped his hand tighter before sighing in relief when he finally let go. He gave a curt nod to him followed by Spike before turning to leave towards the casino area with a trail of men leaving behind him.
He was rubbing his hand when Spike approached. “You alright pet?”
Xander nodded embarrassingly, “thanks for saving me there. He sure isn’t a friendly guy.”
Spike grinned at him. “Oh but I think he would be if you show off your poker skills. That’s Lindsey Mcdonald by the way.”
Xander gasped. “Lindsey Mcdonald? The guy who owes that large firm in Las Vegas?” Spike nodded. “The Master told me about him before. Said he’s a poker player who cheats, a disgrace of sorts.”
“The Master and you are good friends then? Don’t think I’ve heard him talking so much before, giving out information like that.”
“Oh no,” Xander protested, “just that after the game we had, he sort of told me the different type of poker players in the world. Said that there are some like Mr. Mcdonald who constantly cheats and there are some who depend on luck. He told me the professionals in this world didn’t believe in luck though, informed me that the pros believed in their skills which always bring them up to the top. He said that you were one of the poker players that believed in your skills which were exceptional, but for one reason or another he also said you quitted when you were at your peak.”
“And he still told you to come find me for another game?” Spike asked him curiously.
Xander shrugged. “He told me to try my luck.”
Xander squirmed as Spike set his intent gaze on him. He felt as though he was being studied thoroughly. He fidgeted and was about to open his mouth when Spike spoke first. “Okay then, we’ll have a game. An actual one.”
Xander’s jaw dropped-literally.
“How about this Friday night? We’ll make it a private game though, don’t want others to know about it asking and questions and all that,” Spike paused then gave him a smile. “Of course, we’ll have a different type of bet.”
Xander gulped. “Um, what?” he asked hesitantly.
“If you win, I’ll allow you to play in this casino for free; on my account.”
Xander felt his pulse raised and heart start to thunder, somehow he knew whatever was coming next wasn’t going to be a good thing. “And if I lose?”
Spike smile grew wider, “then you have to promise to go out on a date with me.”