[Mandalay Bay Poker Room, Almost Two Hours Later]
The tournament has whittled its way down to only three. balls, tWBS and yes…the OBfP. But OBfP’s stack of chips has dwindled over the past few hands and she’s becoming desperate. The dealer shuffles and begins dealing the next hand.
Just then, tWBS feels a hand on his shoulder. He turns to see Leticia standing there. But in spite of touching his shoulder, she’s not looking at tWBS. She’s looking at the OBfP across the table from him. She squeezes his shoulder, never looking at him, and backs away. tWBS looks over to balls, and sees Vanessa standing ten feet behind him. She nods to tWBS.
tWBS (not even looking at his cards): So? Which one of us do you want to lose to?
OBfP (reaching into her right vest pocket to retrieve a tissue and blow her nose): Not you, that’s for sure.
tWBS: (still not looking at his cards): Fine by me. In that case, I fold.
Without missing a beat, balls raises, forcing OBfP to either go all in, or fold. She goes all in. When the cards are revealed, she’s holding a full house, beating balls’ three of a kind.
OBfP: Haha, you smart little assholes don’t know who you’re dealing with.
tWBS: Actually, we kinda do. Tell ’em Leticia. … (to balls) … Pssst….watch this. I never told you Leticia dealt blackjack to put herself through Vet School, did I?
Leticia (signaling to dealer and pit boss): Check her pockets. Trust me.
The dealer steps away from the table, but the pit boss arrives immediately.
Pit Boss: Ma’am. Would you empty your pockets please?
OBfP: I’m just a poor old lady who came here for one last hurrah before…
Pit Boss (reaching into her pockets): Save it Lady.
The pit boss pulls out several used tissues….
Pit Boss: Oh goddammit I hate this job.
…then he pulls out two stacks of cards. They are Mandalay Bay Casino playing cards, identical to those on the table. The two stacks are suited….clubs and spades. When he reaches into her other pocket, there are more used tissues (fuck!!!) and two more stacks of Mandalay Bay Casino playing cards. Hearts and diamonds.
tWBS: Yeah, I was wondering how you were hitting so many flushes.
Pit Boss: Ma’am, are you aware that in the state of Nevada, it’s a felony for you to possess these cards within the casino?
OBfP (faking confusion): I….I’m sorry. I don’t understand. Those aren’t mine.
tWBS (to balls): Not bad, eh?
balls (to tWBS): Nope, now I know why you love her.
tWBS (standing up): Hey!!! Stop that, let’s just get out of here.
Dealer: I’m sorry, but this tournament isn’t over yet, Gentlemen. You are our final two. You have five minutes before the next hand begins.
[Inside balls’ cabana, Two minutes and thirty-seven seconds later]
balls: Oh my God!!!
Vanessa: Ay, Dios Mío!!!!
balls and Vanessa collapse on top of the day bed.
balls: Baby, it’s so great to see you!!!!
Vanessa: You too, baby. I’ve missed you soooo much.
balls: I can’t believe you’re here. That was AWESOME, btw.
Vanessa: I know!!! It felt like….
Manuel: …so deep!!!
Luis: Yeah, I know. I’m practically at your small intestine!
Manuel: You’re lucky you’re pretty. You know nothing about bioooooooo….
Luis: What was that? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Didn’t it feel like…
tWBS: …I’d never see you again. Then when balls and I dropped in last year….
Leticia: Dropped in? I hadn’t seen you in forever and you just showed up.
tWBS: I know. And I know all of this has been weird because of what happened before. But why now? Why did you go there? Why didn’t you just talk to me first?
Leticia: Because you tried to find me. My sister stopped you. That wasn’t her call to make. No matter what else might have happened before that, it wasn’t her call.
tWBS: And if you’d known? If you’d known I had tried to find you before leaving?
Leticia: I……don’t know. (suspiciously changing subject) … And it doesn’t matter. Right now you have a poker tournament to win.
tWBS (taken aback): It doesn’t matter?
tWBS: If you really think this poker tournament means anything to me compared to….
Leticia: balls is a good player. I’ve been watching for the last hour. He’s going to try to take your money.
balls (to Vanessa): No he’s not, baby. This tournament was just us killing time until you guys got here. Oh and putting the hurt on a little old lady for good measure, LOL.
Vanessa: So you don’t think he’ll….?
tWBS (to Leticia): No….no I do not. You’ll see.
Dealer (dealing the hand): OK Gentlemen. Blinds and Limits are now unlimited. Good luck, Gentleman.
Before he looks at his cards, tWBS looks at balls and grins. balls grins back and they both push their chips to the center of the table.
balls: Who cares? We’re going home together anyway, right?
tWBS: Damned right!!!!
Crowd Which Has Gathered (in unison): Awwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!
balls and tWBS (in unison): GAY!!!!!!!!!! (both laugh).
Who won? They both did. Get it?
They still had a solid friendship and both 1st and 2nd place prize money. $25,000 in total. Plus the rest of the weekend was comped because of the Cheating Old Bitch from the Plane.
Not bad, eh?
tWBS stood up from the table and hugged balls, then said….
tWBS (to pit boss): Let him cash us both out, please. I need some air.
As he walked past Leticia, without stopping, tWBS asked….
He continued walking without looking back.
Luis (singing): …in anger. I heard you saaaayy.
Manuel: Who knew they liked Oasis in Quebec, eh?
Luis: Honey, you’re fitting right in!
Manuel: Phrasing. Boom!
Luis: Speaking of, I REALLY like the hotel you chose for us!
Manuel: Yeah, I heard good things. Apparently they have them across Canada. If you like, we can hit up the one in Winnipeg.
Luis (giggling): Where?
Manuel: Winn-i-p… Oh FFS! Grow up!
Ten minutes later, Leticia easily locates tWBS…
He is again sitting at the bar in Red Square, again with his phone in his hand, but this time with half a dozen shots lined up in front of him.
tWBS (leaving msg for DTZM and RTD): It’s me again guys. Just trying to touch base with you so we can get things moving on ISoG like you said we would. Call me when you get this.
Leticia: Wow, shocking.
tWBS (startled): Dammit, doesn’t anybody ever knock in here??? And what’s that supposed to mean anyway? What’s so “shocking”?.
Leticia: Oooookay. Sooorry. It’s just that you always hit the vodka when you’re sulking.
tWBS: So I’ve heard. Want one?
Leticia: No. I want several.
tWBS: That’s my girl. Thanks for before, by the way. It was fun watching that old bag get hauled off to casino jail.
Leticia immediately downs two shots, then asks…
Leticia (picking up a third shot): So why the vodka sulk?
tWBS (picking up a shot): I Love You.
Leticia (choking on vodka shot): Cough, cough…… cough…. WTF did you just say?
tWBS (downing his shot): You heard me. I hurt you a long time ago, I know that. And even though I didn’t mean to, you never looked at me the same again after that. Then things just…
Leticia: But you just said….
tWBS: And I tried to find you, but….
balls: Haha!!!! I knew we’d find them here!!!
tWBS and Leticia both turn to see balls and Vanessa enter the bar. Vanessa has two drinks, one in each hand. balls is carrying a small grey case, which is handcuffed to his wrist. They are both laughing and probably drunk. Yes…they are in fact drunk. Vanessa raises one of the drinks to balls so he can reach the straw. He sips heavily.
balls: Wow!! Great Mai Tai’s, babe.
Vanessa: Hee hee. Maybe later I’ll let you tie my….
tWBS: OK!!!!!! Enough of that for now. (pointing at the case balls carries) … Is that what I think it is?
balls: That depends. Do you think it’s $25,000 in chips?
tWBS: Would you keep your voice down?
balls: Relax, babe. That’s what the handcuffs are for.
tWBS: Did you just call me “babe”?
balls: Yeah, babe. That’s my new thing.
tWBS (to Leticia): We’ll need to finish this later.
Leticia: Agreed. (to balls) … Hey balls? How about maybe we go back to the cage and deposit those in the Casino’s safe?
balls (looking down at his case): Awwwww, really? But it looks so cool handcuffed to me down there.
Vanessa (giggling): Can we at least keep the handcuffs?
balls and Vanessa burst out in drunken laughter and then begin making out. Soon they are dry humping on an empty table, until balls accidentally conks Vanessa on the head with the grey case, obviously forgetting it was still handcuffed to his wrist.
balls: Shit, sorry babe. I think they might be right about carrying this thing around, huh?
tWBS (taking the last two shots and handing one to Leticia): It’s gonna be a long night.
Leticia: Ain’t that the truth?
Fifteen minutes later, balls and Vanessa have successfully lobbied to keep the case (and the handcuffs). But tWBS and Leticia are still concerned as they approach the bank of elevators.
tWBS: Fine then. We’ll just put it in the room safe then?
balls: Fine, whatever.
Vanessa: But we keep the handcuffs, right?
Leticia: Oh FFS!!!!!
The four approach the bank of elevators and climb in to head upstairs to the room. tWBS hits the “14” button. balls and Vanessa giggle.
tWBS: Now what?
balls: I forgot to tell you. We’re not in 1422 anymore.
tWBS: What does that mean?
After the 14th floor comes and goes, balls hits “62”, slides a card into the proper slot, and giggles.
When the elevator opens again….
To Be Continued…….