DISCLAIMER: Not mine, never will be. No money was made from this story and really, who'd pay for it anyway?
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Sara entered the casino, feeling overdressed and out of place but determined to go through with her plan. It helped that she was drunk, of course. Well - tipsy, at least. She would never have considered this crazy plan if she'd been sober. The flickering neon and wildly buzzing klaxons and whistles of the casino were beginning to make her head spin and she opened her mouth to let out a manic laugh. In her purse was a stack of casino chips that represented last month's paycheck and she was going to risk them all.
It didn't take her long to find the roulette table. Roulette was Sara's kind of gambling - one spin, all or nothing, and it was all about physics. She sat down at the table and ordered rum and coke from a passing waitress, deciding to watch a few spins before she laid down her stake. When the waitress - a pretty redhead - returned with her drink Sara passed her a $100 chip as a tip. She was hoping to be lucky tonight and she figured she'd need all the good karma she could get.
The waitress thanked her as she rushed off to attend to another group of customers and Sara downed her drink in two swift swallows. A pleasant buzz settled around her skull. The roulette wheel slowly came to a stop and the ball landed on Red 17.
"That's my lucky number," Sara said to no-one in particular. She pulled out her stack of chips. "Put it all on Red 17."
"Come on now, little lady, that ain't never gonna come up twice in a row," said a guy in a cowboy hat sitting next to her. Sara laughed as she looked at him, the alcohol she'd had reducing her ability to take southern cowboys seriously.
"It's just as likely as any of the other numbers," she assured him. "Besides, I feel lucky."
The cowboy cocked his hat and flashed her a grin she supposed might be charming. The final bets were taken and suddenly the wheel was spinning again. Sara felt her bravado start to slip but she didn't have time to get too worried because the ball was skidding over the numbers, getting ready to stop.
"Red 17! Why I'll be damned!" The cowboy slapped her on the back and Sara raised her arms in triumph.
"Yes! Thank you Jesus!" Sara burst into drunken laughter and leaned against her new southern friend.
"You going again?" he asked as he slipped an arm round her waist. "Be a shame to waste that good luck."
Sara nodded. "You're right. But I've got a better use for my luck than roulette." She gathered her chips, the stack significantly larger than it had been just moments before. With a smile she tossed the cowboy a $100 chip. "Have one on me," she said with a grin.
Her friend lifted his hat and bowed slightly. "Why thank you kindly, ma'am," he said. Sara left him at the roulette table and quickly cashed in her chips. Flush with sudden wealth she staggered out into the cool night air and flagged down the first cab she saw. After she gave the driver the address she slumped back in the seat and closed her eyes till the cab drew up outside the house. Sara gave him the fare and decided on a whim to leave another $100 tip. The cabbie thanked her as he drove off and suddenly she found herself standing at the front door of a house she'd only ever been in once. Reality came crashing in on her like a wave and suddenly she felt sober as a judge.
"What the fuck am I doing here?" she whispered to herself. She'd been drinking in a bar by herself, going through her usual self recriminations. Stuff like 'Why am I such a pathetic coward?' and 'Why can't I just tell Catherine how I feel?' Around her fifth beer she'd been struck by an idea. She would get as much money as possible out of her checking account and risk it all on one spin of roulette. If the spin went her way she'd take it as a sign, swallow her pride and go straight round to Catherine's and declare herself. It had seemed like such a good idea in the bar.
"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit," Sara muttered under her breath, starting to pace. She nearly jumped out of her skin when Catherine's front door suddenly opened.
"Sara! Jesus Christ, you scared me half to death!" Catherine was standing in the doorway with her left hand over her heart and her right grasping her CSI-issue gun.
"Don't shoot," Sara joked, somewhat pathetically. Catherine clicked the safety on and put the gun down on a table next to the door. She gestured for Sara to come in. Sara took a few unsteady steps forward and closed the door behind her.
"Have you been drinking?" Catherine asked as she noticed Sara's slightly glazed eyes and dilated pupils.
"And how!" Sara replied with a grin, feeling a little of her former courage come back. "And gambling."
"And winning!" Sara grinned widely as she looked down at Catherine's dumbfounded face. "Winning big, Kitty."
Catherine put her hands on her hips and raised an eyebrow at Sara. "Kitty?" she said incredulously.
Sara ignored her tone. "Yeah, Kitty," she said. "Cat. Kitty Cat."
A war of emotions played out on Catherine's face but eventually laughter won. She wrapped her fingers round Sara's upper arm and leaned against her slightly. "You are so drunk," she said with a wide smile.
"Just drunk enough," Sara corrected her. Suddenly Catherine found herself surrounded by strong arms and her breath taken away by a pair of soft insistent lips pressed against her own.
"Mmmph," was all the sound she could manage as Sara's tongue swept gently against her lower lip. Her mouth opened automatically and the kiss deepened, their tongues tangling together. Sara ran her fingers through Catherine's hair as they kissed. Catherine tightened her grip on Sara's arms.
When the need for oxygen forced them to part Catherine fell against the other woman's heaving chest. "What the fuck took you so long," she muttered.
Sara exhaled carefully. "I was waiting for my luck to change," she answered softly. Catherine looked up at her with a rakish grin.
"Well you're certainly going to get lucky tonight," she said, tugging her towards the stairs.
Sara smiled as she followed. She'd never felt confident enough to gamble with her heart like this before but, as she looked into Catherine's shining eyes, she realised this wasn't a gamble at all. It was a sure thing.
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