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Lucian (Filthy Marcellos #1)(62)


That was crazy.

And he wanted to know why.

"Miss?" the dealer asked Kim.

It was only then did Gio notice her hand. A three and an eight. Eleven. How fucking lucky was that? The dealer had stayed at seventeen, the house limit. Everyone else at the table had either folded, stayed, or gone bust. Kim, though, had not. She only needed to beat the house, and really, she had a pretty damned good chance of doing just that.

Kim smiled at Gio, the sight almost too innocent to be true. "Forty percent chance I hit a number lower than a five. Five percent says it could be a six. Fifty-five puts it high enough to beat the house. It's a risk. A little too close to fifty-fifty for some. Which would you choose, Giovanni?"

How did she know his name?

You never knew who the shark was.

"I'd take a card," Gio replied.

"Me, too." Kim nodded at the dealer for another card and didn't even bat an eyelash when a jack turned over. "Keep my bet for the house," she told the dealer with a shrug. "I was counting. It's unfair to the game."

Just as easily as she'd slipped into her seat at the Blackjack table, she was suddenly getting up to leave. Gio reached out and snagged Kim's wrist in his palm without even thinking about it. Like her reaction to the card game, she didn't seem all too surprised at his interruption of her exit, either.

Who was this fucking girl?

"You didn't answer my question," Kim said quietly, the heat of her skin soaking into Gio's palm like a drug.

"Which one?"

"Why wouldn't you do what your brother did and pick both?"

"I wouldn't do this at all," Gio stated with a pointed look to the entrance separating the dance hall from the casino section.

"The wedding thing, or the marrying thing?"

"Why does it matter?"

Kim shrugged. "It doesn't."

Gio doubted that. "Maybe it's just not my thing, Tesoro."

He didn't miss the recognition twinkling in her eye at his use of an Italian endearment for one's sweetheart. Did she understand what the word meant? Treasure. Dear. Darling. Gio couldn't think of another time when it'd slipped so easily from his mouth, yet he heard his father call his mother that every day of his life.


"Or maybe I'm not the marrying kind," Gio added.

"Maybe you just haven't found the right one to tame you, yet."

A smirk crept over his lips. "The fun isn't in the taming. It's in the attempt."

"Sì," she agreed.

Kim pulled her wrist from Gio's grasp without another word. He wasn't entirely sure this was how he wanted their odd encounter to end, considering the bubbling attraction curling around his senses and the lust pooling in his gut. Even still, he rested back in his chair and watched blue peep-toes walk away from the table without even a single glance back.

When she disappeared into the influx of people moving into the casino room from the ballroom, Gio turned back to the table.

"Mr. Marcello?" the dealer said, gaining Gio's attention once more.

"Hmm? I think I'm done for the night."

"Ah, no, sir. On the table, Mr. Marcello. It was underneath her cards when I picked them up."

With those words, the man handed over a key card. The fancy script of a hotel's name was scrawled across the front in golden embossed letters. The hotel directly across from the plaza they were currently in. On the back, a floor and room number were printed above the barcode.

Hell  …  Gio did like to take his risks, after all.

What was one more?