bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,
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The Crossing

Title: The Crossing
19/41
Author: BmblBee
Paring: S/X
Rating: NC17
Disclaimer: The Bee owns none of the characters or products named and
makes no money off anything. Sad state of affairs.
Warnings: Bad language, strong sexual content between M/M.
Second warning: Although I did do a lot of research, this story is not intended to
be an exact historical account so please don't scream and pounce on a detail or
two that may not be entirely accurate.

Credit: The snippets at the tops of the pages are from a web site entitled "Titanic,
A Time Line of Events". Earl Chapman on the Titanic Discussion List originally
published this chronology of events. Chapman modified it slightly in 1997. The
1997 version formed the basis of this timeline.

Summary: AU. It is the spring of 1912 and Xander Harris, who has been living
with relatives in Ireland, is heading home. As a gift of love, he was booked
passage on the maiden voyage of the Titanic with the promise that it will be the
adventure of a lifetime.

Author's note: This story is NOT a retelling of any of the Titanic movies.
It is the tale of one man and one vampire forgotten by history and the destiny they
both find on this doomed crossing.

Spelling checked by the gracious Silk_Labyrinth




As always, thanks to Petxnd for the wonderful banners and the valued friendship.


Xander stepped into the room and tried to do as he had been told. He tipped
his head up in an imitation of the haughty, uppity manner that he imagined men of
this stature in life would assume. For all of 30 seconds, he was patting himself
on the back for the perfectly executed snottiness. Then he realized he was
standing alone.

His head snapped around and it didn't take long to recognize the slow, confident
saunter of his companion's back as he moved toward the back of the lounge and
the card tables. Xander hurried to follow, all pretense of aloofness forgotten.

There were four card tables at the rear of the lounge. Spike took his time selecting
his target area. He leaned against the end of the bar and ordered a whiskey, neat.
When it was handed to him, the tip he offered to the bartender was a smile and
a wink. Xander slipped in beside him.

"Are you playing, Spike?"

Spike took his time to answer. His eyes scanned the four tables and he considered
the other players. He instantly calculated the amount of money being bet and he
examined the men who casually tossed the bills into a pile. These were men who
fancied themselves as expert players. They had perfected their poker faces and
took great pains to show no expression, twitch or movement that would give
away their position.

Spike snorted. They were fucking idiots and easier to read than a schoolboy's
primer. He could smell the body shift when they had a losing hand they were bluffing
with and he could see the minute lip movement and excessive blinking when they had
a winner. It was a fucking piece of cake, but a mild amusement that he enjoyed
immensely.

The only remaining question was which table offered the largest pot. If he was
going to win his boy a prize, he wanted it to be worthy of his human. He wanted a
big pot that would make the boy's pocket protrude out as far as the bulge of his
fat, hard cock. Luckily, the pocket he had picked earlier on the deck had given
him ample seed money.

"I'll see that and raise you another thousand."

That caught Spike's attention and he turned to the table at the left and the chubby,
older man with the grey, muttonchop sideburns. He had a long round, unlit cigar
that he was chewing and flipping from side to side in his teeth and he apparently
owned the table.

The thin nervous man who had a considerably smaller stack of paper money
in front of him, twitched. His beady little eyes darted from side to side and
Spike smirked, mentally urging him on. From his position at the bar, Spike
could see that the challenger had a pair of kings and the fat man nothing more
than a ten high and a set of balls the size of Mt. Everest.

The situation was simple. If Twitchy held on and called his bluff, he would end
the night with the huge pile of money that lay waiting in the center of the table.
If his nerve broke, his wallet would match.

The tension in the room was thick as the sweat beaded up on Twitchy's upper lip.
muttonchop caught the light as it twinkled on the perspiration on his opponent's face
and he knew he had already won.

"Well?"
"Don't rush me, George."

George loudly and impatiently drummed his fingers on the top of the table as all the
other players awaited the outcome. Holding his cards in one hand, Twitchy thumbed
through the money he had left, mentally calculating it. Finally, when he appeared
ready to call, Twitchy threw down his hand in disgrace and mumbled,

"Fold."

George roared with laughter and in an unnecessary move designed to humiliate
his opponent, he turned over his hand to reveal what the others already knew.
He had bluffed. If Twitchy had stood and called, he would be a rich man rather than
a shamed, poor one.

Everyone that had been watching the drama blew out the air they had been holding
and the comments flew. It was a chorus of "Damn." "Did you see that?" "Shit!"
And the ever present, "That fucking George can beat any man here."

While trying to maintain some shred of dignity, Twitchy picked up what little money
he had left and he rose from the table.

"Well, gentlemen, I believe that does it for me and I bid you all a good evening."

As the slumped shoulders of the defeated man slipped away, Spike tipped his glass,
gulped the last of his whiskey and he smiled to Xander.

"I think I've found my game, Love."

Xander's eyes bugged as he silently watched Spike casually stroll over and when he
reached the table, he pulled a wad of cash out of his coat pocket and fanned it out
obscenely.

"You blokes looking for a fourth?"

The others eyed him up and down assessing his worthiness to join their elite gathering.
When their gaze locked on his money, he passed muster.

"Please, join us. Welcome, Mr., uh......."

"Spike. The name's Spike. Lovely to meet you lads."

What transpired over the next three hours was something that had the room enthralled.
The players at the other tables abandoned their own games to stand on the sidelines
and observe. The small pile of money in front of Spike and the mountain of paper
bills in front of George slowly shifted and moved till their financial positions had
reversed. Xander paced and wrung his hands.

Some in the room suspected Spike was a mind reader. He seemed to know instinctively
when George was bluffing and when he genuinely had a winning hand. Most of the
others had a pretty good idea that he was somehow cheating, but without concrete
proof, accusations were unthinkable.

By the third hand, George himself was beginning to understand his situation but
pride kept him playing. A gentleman simply didn't stay and play when they won
then cash and dash when they lost. On the few hands he did take, Spike had
bet the minimum. On the rare occasion he had a straight, a full house, or even
trips, Spike had better.

He was receiving the same horrendous beating he took such pleasure in doling out.
He considered faking a heart attack. 'Hell, he thought, 'with my fucking luck
there are probably a dozen physicians in the fucking room.' So, he played on
and watched helplessly as Spike raked in pot after pot.

Finally, with only a few dollars left, George lifted his hand to his face and
felt a shiver run down his spine. A STRAIGT FLUSH! No way could he lose.
This was it. He would win this hand and with his dignity bruised but intact, he
would collect and walk. With a snort and a sigh that he hoped concealed
his excitement, George pushed his remaining stack to the center of the table.

Spike groaned. He glanced again at his cards and he gave the impression that
his world had just crashed down around his ears. Then, when everyone, Xander
included, was certain he would fold, Spike winked and shoved in a matching
amount.

"Call!"

George leapt to his feet and slapped his hand down on the table, face up to show
the world his dominance.

"HA! Straight flush! Jack high!"

Just as he reached for the mound of wealth on the table, Spike casually dropped
down his.

"Sorry, mate. Royal flush."

The room exploded. Whistles, shouts and a general uproar split the air in a total
disregard of the unspoken rule of low tones and dignity that were the norm in
rooms such as this. George's face was beet red with fury. He wished he had
dropped his derringer in his vest pocket and could imagine himself putting a bullet
between those blue eyes and tossing the cad overboard.
Spike was in no way intimidated.

"Well, lads, I bid you adieu. Thanks, George. Maybe we'll play again."

With a relaxed air and a laugh, he scooped up his winnings and stuffed his pockets
full. He then returned to the bar to collect his boy and together, arm in arm, they
strolled from the smoking room.
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