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Authors: Stella Price,Audra Price,S.A. Price,Audra

Double Down (Take a Gamble)

BOOK: Double Down (Take a Gamble)
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DOUBLE DOWN

A TAKE A GAMBLE STORY

 

 

S.A. PRICE

 

Shadow Demon Lady Shade
Loganazzi, lamenting the loss of her most recent lover, ends up in Monaco to enter a black jack tourney and forget her troubles with men and her life in general. She knows she’s to be summoned back home to marry a man she doesn’t even like, let alone love, and is determined to go out with a bang. She didn’t count on gambling away her freedom in another manner.

Caleb Marshapoltes,
Djinn, and cousin to the crown, knows what he wants when he sees it, and he very much wants Shade. An enigma on the supernatural betting circuit, she’s harder to place a bet on then a winner in the 4
th
. But Caleb is smart, and knows that the woman that haunts his every thought is exactly the kind of woman he could end up with as a consort, something he didn’t even consider until laying eyes on Shade.

When they come face to face in the qualifiers,
egos rear and lust flames as the two set to one upping each other… and in the process find out that what burns white hot between them could be meant for always, if they can figure out how to get her out of a loveless marriage.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

DOUBLE DOWN--- A TAKE A GAMBLE STORY

A Sisters Price Publishing Book

 

Copyright© 2013 Stella and Audra Price

Copyright©
2013 S.A. Price

           
Cover Artist: Stella Price

Interior text design: Stacee Sierra

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

 

Chapter 1

“And he just said no.”

“No?”
Tyrina asked, astounded, or at least her tone had the right amount of astonishment in it.

“Exactly, no.
Can you believe that?  Pathetic low life worm refusing me?” Shade growled her hands angrily curling into fists.

“Well you did leave him.” The flighty fire demon examined her nails not getting Shade’s point.

“That doesn’t mean he’s supposed to move on. He’s supposed to pine and wither and beg me to take him back when I decide to grace him again, not tell me to sling my proverbial hook.” She growled again, the fury threatening to take her over. “Instead he jumped ship, with a Jenai. Claims love has him. Ugh!”

“One of the wish races?
They’re rare, good for him.” She said cheerfully.

“Not good. Not good at all, I wanted him.”

“You left him, there’s plenty more men about, especially for you.”

“No there’s not,” She shook her head
. There was no point explaining it to her. Shade was on the lam, and with Tyrina’s track record she’d most likely march her straight back home. “I just wanted some fun.” She ended with a sigh.

“Shade
, you’ve had enough fun to last ten lifetimes. I simply don’t know why your father puts up with it.”

“I’m the favorite.” She retorted with a bitter smile, fact of the matter was daddy wasn’t so tolerant anymore. “And anyway I’m a grown demon
, nothing I do makes any difference back home, and I just wanted something hard and hot and youthful under me and over me and any other which way I demanded.”

“And your young gambler was the one to do this eh?”

“Exactly. He had the stamina of a twenty year old and the cock of stallion.”

“You’d know.”
Tyrina snorted her drink.

“Hey,” she slapped her arm. “Those rumors were completely unfounded and gross. Just because I enjoy myself all the men start feeling threatened and make shit up.”

“Like that one at the Savorio beach club and that group of Satyrs.”

“No that one’s true. Those boys sure can show a lady a good time.” Shade purred at the memory
. Maybe she should look them up, it sure would be a good time to spend her last month or so before home finally caught up to her.

“Sick.” Her only available friend pulled a face. “So are we going to have fun or what? And I have no clue why you brought us to this dive.” She motioned around one of the most prestigious casinos in the city.

“To have some fun.” Shade swung her legs off the barstool lifting the stack of hundred dollar chips in the air.

“I hate gambling
, you told me there was going to be booze and naked men.  I came here for debauchery, not a Shade pity party and cards.”

“This isn’t a pity party,”
not really
, “The debauchery comes after the winnings, you know when we’re riding the high.”

“I don’t know. I do know that the last time you did this to me you got us kicked out the place for card counting.”

Shade winced as she shrieked the taboo subject out. “Shit, are you insane?” she quickly checked around but nobody had noticed. “Really, are you really going to hold that one against me? When have I ever not been fun?”

She raised a dubious eyebrow and Shade knew she had her.
“Fine, but only an hour of this.”


Two, and I bet you we’ll double our money.”

“I don’t care about the
money, I just want to get to the naked men.”

“You and me both.”
She winked finishing her drink.

 

***

Caleb Mars
hapoltes watched the entire scenario from his spot across the bar, listening intently to the whining and arguing. Normally he tuned women out, they all sounded like the
Peanuts
adults anyway, but today he had found himself someone worth listening to.

Lady Shade
Loganazzi was both a legend on the cards circuit and in her own mind. And Caleb, since the first time he saw her at a private back room game, had wanted those long legs wrapped around him while she screamed in pleasure. It was even less usual that he had that kind of urge for a specific woman, especially one of her breeding and… station.

As a
royal demon, and a Caligo, or Shadow Demon, she was rare indeed. He had heard of all the naughty things Caligo could do if the Shadows liked them, and it was well known that Lady Shade was very much loved by those that would serve her, much like the missing prince that was her cousin.

And she was here, in Monaco, and she just lost a lover. Caleb grinned to himself. It was well known that Shade liked two things, the tables and sex. Well
, he could rock both with ease.

He called his friend Tyson, a bookie that served all the unusual bets in the world, mostly having to do with
supernaturals.

“Tyson.”

“T, Caleb. Listen what’s the action on Lady Shade?”

Tyson laughed.
“The Demon? Right now it’s 10 to 1, though word has it she’s in Monaco for some black jack tourney and alone. Shit might go up or down, depending on what happens in her world in the next twenty four. Why?”

Caleb shook his head. He was going to be a rich man soon, richer then he already was.
“Two thousand.” He said and sighed. “Make it three. She is here, I just saw her.”


You going to pull that card?” Tyson asked as he typed away on a keyboard.

“Not sure, but anything is possible.
I’m simply putting my bid in.”

“Understood.
Happy hunting man…” Tyson hung up.

Caleb finished his drink and stood. He rolled his shoulders and then left the bar, and headed to the concierge office to enter that Black Jack contest. It wasn’t a gamble that she would enter, the woman loved the cards. He just had to get himself inserted next to her, and the game would really be afoot.

Chapter one

 

Tyrina had left as soon as Shade had suggested entering the tourney, not that much of a loss. She enjoyed her own company anyway. Still, sometimes she craved the company of another, a well hung, young stud of another.  Had provided that to an extent and the rest she could always get at the tables. Playing cards had become a favorite hobby of hers and one she indulged in as often as she could.

She made her way into the room set up for the tourney and checked her game card.
Table b seat 5. Excellent, that meant she was at the end. She loved sitting at the tables bantering with the other players, learning about their tricks and lives. An end seat gave her the best view of the players, and meant she only had to sit next to one human. Plus it meant she would play last, giving her a better card advantage.

She located the table
, slipping into her seat and ordering a gin and tonic from the waiter. She needed to stay sharp so she couldn't have too many, but one wouldn't hurt. Surveying the other players, she decided they weren’t much of a threat to her. Of the four available seats, two were drunk, one was wearing a Stetson with mirrored glasses, and the seat next to her hadn't even bothered to show. No this would be a cake walk and the next round would be easier. 

She crossed her legs
, the dark blue silk of her dress creeping its way up her thigh. She’d worn the dress with its low cowl and spectacularly short hem line as a distraction technique, and it was doing its job well. She could practically feel glasses down her top. She leaned forward, flashing more flesh as she took her drink off the recently returned waiter, thanking him with a smile.

“Fabulous seeing you here…” she heard the deep timbre of a masculine voice from her left. A large hand with long, cultured fingers with square nails that looked well manicured gripped the table as the seat next to her was pulled out. No rings, but the cufflink was unusual. A large morning star opal set in platinum, it screamed of two things, money, and power.

“And I thought you were in America…”

"Is that where I'm supposed to be?" she asked
coolly though she felt anything but. 

She
recognized him instantly, though their paths had rarely crossed. Caleb was Djinn. Rich and powerful with an air that exuded sensuality and she bet her life that he knew exactly how to show a girl or three a very good time. A time very much like the one she craved now. Pity he wasn't her type. Caleb’s flaw above all else was his brains. He was smart, too smart and it was a damn shame too. She preferred her loves lacking in all but the body department, it made it easier to cut ties when she wasn’t as interested in them as their body. If anything, at least the game wouldn't be boring.

"
It’s good to see you again." She stood for him air kissing both his cheeks. "Callum was it?"

Caleb smirked. “You know damn well what my name is Shade, though it is stunning to see
you again, and on such display, sans bra and knickers. I wonder, are you looking to get fucked or just trying to roust the competition.”

He took his seat next to her and looked around her shoulder and down the low cowl.
“Must be the latter.” He said with a wink. “So, tourney just bring you into town or are you here for other licentious reasons?”

She couldn't help but smile with him. "Trying out the tourney
, you know I can turn my hand to anything. I’m surprised to see you here, the wind blow that big boat of yours in?" she shook her head. "I've always thought that was over compensating for something. With a big private boat like that and no woman bound to you yet. Anyway I don't listen to that sort of gossip. And you look fabulous darling."

Caleb laughed. “Oh darling, why bind just one human when I can have twenty on the boat at my beck and call?” he asked and then motioned to the waiter to bring him a drink.
“If I bind, it’s going to be to a paragon of female kind.”

"That's not exactly the
Djinn way though is it? Most are very much in a bind now worry about the consequences later frame of mind. Rather like Satyrs if you don't mind the comparison."

Caleb gave her a droll look.
“Not at all. Those randy fuckers tend to take hold of anything they can collar. Djinn are actually far more discerning. What kind of life would it be if we just used powers willy nilly and bound someone we just wanted to get our rocks off with?” He nodded to the waiter and handed him a chip for a tip and continued on.

“What you know about
Djinn I’m sure could fill a small thimble. But it’s to be expected, we do perpetuate so many lies and fallacies of our own race. Far more fun that way.”

"Well I do know the wish races a
re my least favorite as of late," apart from her own she amended mentally. "A grubby little Jenai stole my boy toy. You people should learn to stick to your own." she huffed sipping her drink. It surprised her she was still sore about the whole Jace thing. She only wanted him for the short term so she really shouldn't be so annoyed. After all he could be replaced, the problem was training another toy would take longer than she had.

“Those little hookers have nothing to do with m
e. Jenai are the rabble of the wish world. I’m sorry one rousted you of your lover, though if the position is open…” he nodded to the dealer as he came over.

"
It’s not." she said sharply as the dealer opened a fresh deck and stared to explain the rules. "He was a pet not a lover. I don’t take lovers."

“Damn shame that.”

They started to play, both winning hands over the others at the table. As a qualifier for the full tourney, round one was pathetic. They advanced in less than fifteen minutes of play, both neck and neck with their winnings.

"Well that was simple. You know it's a good thing we’re not playing each other, I seem to remember taking all your money off you last time we me
t." The other tables were still playing so they had some time before the next one started. "Come on, I'll buy you a drink at the bar."

Caleb got off his seat and offered his hand. She took it and he placed hers on the crook of his arm, and they walked to the bar section. He steered her towards the far end of the bar, where it was a bit quieter and a lot less populated. They could talk here without worry of being overheard.

"So you never answered my question earlier. What brings you here? I didn't expect to come across anyone I knew here; it's a little out of the way of the normal traffic areas."

“Actually I spend at least a month a year here. I like that
it’s off the beaten path, and the gaming is top shelf. I was surprised to see you here to tell you the truth. But it seems providence has smiled on me hasn’t it?”

"Really?
And why's that?"

“Because the most stunning
Caligo in the world is here, unattached, and in desperate need of a good fucking. I would say that’s a pretty damn good thing, well, for me anyway.”

She blinked surprised at his
brazenness, and she’d be lying if she said she wasn't a little turned on by it. "Only if you think you’re the one to give me said fucking. Now I'd say I'm not easy but we both know that's not true. What I will say is I don't like to mix it up within the circles I travel. Unfortunately that includes you."

“Yet you train human males to service that stunning body? Is that what
you’re looking for? You have no idea what I could do to you Shade, things your humans couldn’t even dream of…” he leaned and whispered, “I get what I want Shade, and getting what I want is giving you the fucking you so desperately need. What’s wrong with that?”

Her body rebelled against her
, moisture flooding between her bare thighs at his words. What's worse she couldn't think of anything to say. He was right there was nothing wrong with it. Nothing obvious except the fact she’d become a notch, a prize bounty on his bed.

If t
he men she saw on a regular basis saw her as nothing but an easy lay, she’d lose what threads of respect she gained from them. As it was she was seen as one of them, if she started to fuck around with them she’d be nothing but an easy skirt. "Pretty words Caleb, but I prefer my males a little less cocksure. You can want me all you want but I'm not a prize."

“I didn’t say you were Shade. You are a stunning woman who deserves to be worshipped and well used come morning. If
you’re not interested, then that’s fine, we will have our drink and have done with it. But I know you are, I know you’re curious, and I know you haven’t had a Djinn grace your bed. You’re a gambler, take a chance?”

"I..." she sighed. Damn he was good and she had no doubt he'd be able to do more than bamboozle with that
tongue of his. There were thousands of reasons not to but then she had been looking for a few nights of debauchery and who better to provide that than a Djinn? As far as one last fling goes, he was damn fine choice. Plus that boat of his was very secluded nobody would go looking for her there. "Ask me again after I win."

Caleb laughed. “And If I win?
Because as lovely as you are Shade, I do plan to beat you.”

"Oh Caleb." she laughed. "Darling if you beat me my body is yours."

His eyes flashed. “Deal. And I’m going to hold you to that…” he grinned. “Now about that drink…”

"Of course.
What would you like?" she smiled at the bartender showing more cleavage than was proper. He rushed over to serve them. She ordered herself another gin.

“Two, please…” Caleb said and settled in.

What Shade didn’t realize was that her little comment about him winning was far too open ended. She didn’t specify, and he was going to use it to his advantage. Round two was coming up, and he was going to make sure he beat her. There wasn’t a shot in hell that he would wait till the end, not when the damn tourney was at least four days long. With a pot of one million, they would play till it had an indisputable winner. That little body was ripe for him
now
. He could wait… but not long.

“Dare I ask if you would like to accompany me to dinner?”

"Dinner? Now or after today’s round?" She took her drink, sipping at the straw.

“Up to you, though I would suggest a light repast now, a couple drinks, maybe even some light conversation?
It’s been a while since I have held company with another of our… persuasion.”

"
Slumming it with humans too eh?" she laughed but agreed. "Fine, so we'll eat then I'll take your money... again." 

“I dare say
so, I do plan on paying for the date.” He winked and then called over the floor concierge, who made them a reservation for fifteen minutes later at Route, the hotel’s four star restaurant.

They spent the time before talking and drinking, and then made their way to the intimate seating towards the back of the place, where they were all but alone. Caleb normally would order a bottle of wine, but Shade was not that kinda girl. They ordered more of the same of what they were drinking at the bar and Caleb ordered their
appetizers so they would have a chance to look at the menu proper.

"Well isn't this cozy?" she purred sinking back in her seat, kicking her shoes off. "I think sometimes it makes a difference having good company. Trying for decent conversation with Jace was like wrenching teeth. Humans are good for fucking but not known for their conversational prowess."

“I think you may be right there. So what was up with that? You bargained him, he was your companion? I just stay away from most humans unless I’m planning on sex. They have their uses.”

"I agree and that's exactly how it started.
But honestly? He had passion, actual driven passion. Granted it was an addiction but he could make a table come alive. I'd never seen that before and you know how Immortals get with novelties."

“Indeed. They are rare in this world. I’m sorry you lost him, if for nothing else then you
r own lost amusement.”

She shrugged. "I'm not. Not really, I tired of him. That's why I left, nostalgia and circumstances made me go back. I loathe being told what I can and can't do
, and being refused is even worse." 

“Well that solves that mystery. So what are you looking for now? Cuz I know
it’s not a hot romp in a penthouse suite with a well hung Djinn…”

"You have a very high opinion of yourself." she laughed. "And when you put it like that you make me sound more insane than normal. It's not that I wouldn't love a hot dirty hard romp. I specialize in those
. I just don't want a target on my back for the next lot of immortal males who think I'm going to be an easy lay. I like to keep seduction firmly in my own books." she sighed. "I’m just looking for a good time away from demons and ley lines. Something fun, secluded and private."

“So then lets up the ante.” h
e said, and took a sip of his drink. “I could give you all that you know, and be discreet. But we can talk about that after I win. I’m thinking if I win, I not only get to rock that stunning body, but I get to keep you cloistered on my Yacht for a week. What do you say?”

"Sweetie you might as well make it two because you’re not going to win, but if you want to play it that way then when I
win I want that fabulous yacht of yours." 

BOOK: Double Down (Take a Gamble)
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