I have found love in my life but once in my life and who would think it was to be in the seedy underbelly of Casino City?
I was born and bred in Casino City, it was all I ever knew… The neon lights, the air so thick with smoke my eyes always itched, the high rollers (generally with their posse of younger, attractive females), the addicts – chasing themselves deeper into debt: there was so much I hated. And what I hated most was that my family owned half the City, casino after casino on the strip. I was never even put in school: I was their only heir. To this hell hole.
I rebelled. I would hitch rides to neighbouring towns (which were miles away) just to get into their libraries where I would steal as many books as I could that weren’t about gambling. Just to learn. Just to be free. I’d find my way back, and no one would ever know. No one ever found out. But, I was too scared to run for good. I still worked the tables at night. But I never hustled. Not like the other dealers. My Dad knew he couldn’t make me. If you played at my table, you played fair.
Things got complicated when one night a man by the name of Jones came in. He was new. He was so handsome. He wore his tie loose and a trench coat with the collar turned up. He was arresting. He sat down at my table. And I dealt. The game was Blackjack. Now, I may play fair but, I know the game better than anyone. I can count. Well. And he floored me. Time after time. Of course my Dad was watching and he thought I was growing soft. As nicely as he could, he asked Jones to gamble at another table.
He told him that I was promised an early night because I was not feeling well. I was furious. Just because a man was actually winning. A man who deserved to win. I am told he floored every table that night. All I know is that, as I was walking home after a long night, I heard a gruff voice (he hadn’t yet spoken one word all evening): “Vera Siti? That’s apt.”
“How did you know my name?” I turned to him and paused. But, before I could speak again he had pulled in to kiss me.
We spent the night in a motel room on the outskirts of the city. That was the night I found love. And the next morning I woke up to a bracelet that I still wear today and a note: “I will always remember, my beacon of truth.”
When I got home, my Dad was outraged. He knew I was with the man to whom he’d lost millions and he put me on lock-down, took me off the tables. And that was it, the last time I saw Maxwell Jones. On his trip he emptied the pockets of all the big casinos to such an extent that he was banned, not just from the casinos but from the city itself. Or so the rumours go…
At the first chance I could, I sold my shares in Casino City and got out. Since then I’ve been on his tail. He’s a hard man to find. I hear he had troubles with an online casino paying out and he’s seeking revenge. I want in. All in.