blessed by the gods of me and you
Martie doesn’t remember where she learned to cut cards. It’s like she was born in control of a deck. Remembers the snappy feel of the laminate under the whorls of her fingertips but knows that somewhere, somehow, she’d spent hours with different cards in her hands. Crisper, paper-thin, fragile. An old deck she’d kept much better care of than the set she’s currently rifle stacking; it’s a risky business, false shuffling, in a seedy place like this, but it pays well. It's complicated work, made more so by her accomplices disbelieving cow eyes from across the felted table.
All they’re thinking is that a little girl like Martie can’t possibly be shuffling this deck in their favour – and there’s a short, sharp feeling in her gut, something terrible whispering in her ear, throw the shuffle, let them see if they can win at the long game without her help. They’re not here to win at poker; they could do that without her. They’re here to convince the COE of some hotshot pharmaceutical company that he’s kicking their ass.
The game goes on for two hours, three, four. Martie is aching for something awful for happen. Practically itching for a fight. It doesn’t go quite the way they’d expected, but they pull it off, rinse him for all he’s worth. She thinks they ought to have played the game a little bigger, with higher stakes. Raked him out hard enough that he’d gamble something other than stacks of cash. But she is done for the evening, paid, unceremoniously kicked out of the poker den into the bar above, the thug who does so patting her smartly on the ass as he closes the door. Teeth bared, she stares solemnly at her feet. She should’ve taken a finger, for that. This fucking city is making her soft.
She’s spoiling for a fight – and tonight it seems as though lady luck is actually gracing her with her favour - such a philanthropic lady, presenting such a prize to a girl who steals from her so often.
‘Rafe Garcia,’ she says, smoothly, a drink with a paper umbrella and a cherry in her hand, appropriated from a lovely young lady a few barstools down, ‘as I live and breathe.’ She leans closer – horribly close – her hot breath brushing up along the slope of his jaw, her hand pressed into his shoulder, anchoring him down. If it wasn’t for that hand and her taut muscles, her body quivering like a pulled bowstring, she might even have seemed flirtatious, charming. ‘What’s a scoundrel like you doing in an elegant place like this?’
@ RAFAEL D. GARCIA //// lawd idek what this mess is ksdjhf pls forgive me